Chief Justice Andris Gulans invites the chairs of the Latvian Regional Courts, the Supreme Court Senate Departments and the Supreme Court Chambers to recommend judicial candidates to the Constitutional Court. The deadline for the suggestions is January 30, 2004. On February 6, 2004, the Supreme Court will hold a plenary session to vote on the candidate to be approved by the Saeima’s (Parliament) for the position of the Constitutional Court Justice.

There is a vacancy on the Constitutional Court due to the fact that on January 15, 2004, the Saeima (Parliament) approved the former Constitutional Court Justice Ilze Skultane to the Supreme Court. Ms. Skultane was approved as a Constitutional Court Justice upon a recommendation by the plenary session of the Supreme Court. The Law on the Constitutional Court requires that in the event of a vacancy on the Constitutional Court, the same institution that recommended the previous justice must recommend the new candidate.

The Constitutional Court consists of seven justices. The justices to the Constitutional Court are approved by the Saeima (Parliament) in accordance with the following formula: three judicial positions are filled with candidates recommended by of no less than ten members of the Saeima (Parliament); two judicial positions are filled with candidates recommended by the Cabinet of Ministers and two judicial positions are filled with candidates recommended by the plenary session of the Supreme Court.

The judicial candidate to the Constitutional Court must be a citizen of the Republic of Latvia who has a law degree and at least ten years of legal, academic or teaching experience in law-related areas. If the otherwise qualified candidate may not take a judicial position due to the restrictions set forth by Article 55 of the Law on Judicial Power, such person may not be recommended to the position of a Constitutional Court justice.