People in Latvia have a strong desire for justice, and how to strengthen it was the central topic of discussion of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Aigars Strupiss and the Speaker of the Saeima (Parliament) Inara Murniece at the Supreme Court on October 6.

The Speaker of the Saeima and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court agreed that ensuring the rule of law and justice is not the responsibility only that of the legislator or the courts – it is a systemic problem that must be solved in a systemic way. Consequently, closer cooperation between all branches of power is needed.

The Speaker of the Saeima emphasized the significant role of the Judicial Council in strengthening the rule of law. Whereas, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, who is also the Chair of the Judicial Council, pointed out that a solution must be found for the Judicial Council, representing the judiciary, to be an equal interlocutor in budgeting and other sectoral policy issues. "The court cannot be a partner in political negotiations, because the court does not have the means and the mechanism for political compromises to 'trade', for example, in a coalition council," said the Chair of the Judicial Council. The Speaker of the Saeima sees the State Council proposed by the State President as a possible centre for stabilizing political views.

Speaking about ensuring the rule of law, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court emphasized the importance of a transparent legislative process, namely, to make information available to the public, including judges, on the objectives of amendments to the law, in particular to those provisions that are included in the law in later readings. The Chief Justice emphasized the need for a clear regulation of the lobbying process in the Saeima.

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court indicated education as the most important stage in the improvement of the functioning of the judicial system. The training of judges, prosecutors and investigators must be a strategic priority, which requires both organizational and substantive changes in the training system, especially with regard to the understanding of economic and corruption crimes.

 

 

Information prepared by

Rasma Zvejniece, the Head of the Division of Communication of the Supreme Court

E-mail: rasma.zvejniece@at.gov.lv, telephone: +371 67020396, +371 28652211