Today, on 6 January, amendments to the State Ensured Legal Aid Law extending range of cases, when the state ensures legal aid in administrative cases, come into force.  The aid will be provided also to appeal against decisions of orphan’s courts to the administrative court.

Previously, the state ensured legal aid in administrative cases only in appellate proceedings within procedure for granting of an asylum and within appeal against decisions regarding contested order of departure or forced expulsion. Amendments to the law, along with foregoing cases, envisage provision of state ensured legal aid in administrative cases also in cases to appeal against the decision of the orphan’s court regarding protection of rights and lawful interests of a child.  

Observing the principle of objective investigation, the state ensured legal aid is not necessary in all cases. Moreover, the Administrative Procedure Law envisages an opportunity that in cases, which are complex for an addressee, upon decision of an institution or a court, observing material situation of an individual, to pay remuneration to his or her representative from means of the state budget. Foregoing amendments to the law are envisaged, observing problems established in praxis, and the fact that children is one of the most unprotected social groups, whose rights and lawful interests  must be particularly protected.

Amendments to the State Ensured Legal Aid Law will not affect work of the Department of Administrative Cases of the Supreme Court, because previous procedure of adjudication of cases has been preserved. In particular, decisions of granting of legal aid are adopted by the Legal Aid Administration, and its decisions may be contested in the Administrative district court, and the court judgement, in its turn, may be appealed under cassation procedure to the Department of Administrative Cases of the Supreme Court.

At the same time, it has been envisaged that number of cases examined in the Administrative district court, and, accordingly, in the Department of Administrative Cases, could increase, because amendments introduce new category of cases the Legal Aid Administration will decide on in future, and it will be possible to appeal against these decisions to the court.

 

Information prepared by

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

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