On Tuesday, 3 October, the Supreme Court will mark the centenary anniversary of the Senate of Latvia in Kuldiga, in the hometown of Kristaps Valters, the first Chief Justice of the Senate. On Tuesday at 2pm a commemorative event will be held at the Kuldiga City Garden, where the oak tree will be planted in memory of Kristaps Valters. The oak will be planted by all three Chief Justices of the restored Supreme Court of the Republic of Latvia – current Chief Justice Ivars Bickovics and former Chief Justices Gvido Zemribo and Andris Gulans together with the head of the municipality Inga Berzina.

"The Supreme Court is proud of stable foundation of the Latvian judicial system, which was established by the predecessor of the Supreme Court – the Senate of Latvia – during the first period of free state.  The Senate of Latvia enjoyed respect and trust both at that time and its contribution to the rule of law and the strengthening of the independence of judges is appreciated also today – almost hundred years later," says Ivars Bickovics, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. It undoubtedly was the achievement of senators – capable lawyers, patriotic citizens and intelligent personalities. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court emphasizes that the founders of the judicial system are honoured in the person of Kristaps Valters – the first Senator, the first Chair of the Department of Administrative Cases and the first Chair of the Senate Assembly.

Representatives of the Supreme Court will also visit the resting place of the first Chief Justice of the Senate of Latvia in Lacplesa cemetery in Rumba parish, which was found and taken care of by the local government.

The Supreme Court appreciates the contribution of the Kuldiga district municipality and the Rumba parish administration to the preservation and commemoration of their townsman Kristaps Valters. "This is an assurance of esteem not only for the excellent person, but also for the position of a lawyer and judge as such and the rule of law in Latvia," says Ivars Bickovics, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

It is noteworthy that the first event of the centenary anniversary of the Senate of Latvia takes place on October 3, because this is the day when in 1995 the Plenary Session of the Supreme Court adopted the decision “On Establishing Senate Departments and Court Chambers of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Latvia”, thus, in fact, restoring the Supreme Court Senate after 55 years.

Additional information:

Krista Jansone, Head of Office of Marketing and Education at the Kuldiga Regional Museum, phone: +371 26005212, e-mail: krista.jansone@kuldiga.lv

Rasma Zvejniece, Head of the Division of Communication of the Supreme Court, phone: +371 67020396, +371 28652211, e-mail: rasma.zvejniece@at.gov.lv

 

Facts about Kristaps Valters

Kristaps Valters was born on December 18, 1861, in the farmer family in Kuldiga (now Rumba) parish, "Dindzi". After graduating from the German Gymnasium in Kuldiga, he studied law at the Moscow University, where he became friends with Krisjanis Valdemars, Krisjanis Barons and other Latvians. They together formed the Latvian Students Association. Kristaps Valters also participated in the New Current; he had been the chief editor and co-publisher of the newspaper "Dienas Lapa". After his studies, he started lawyer practice in Kuldiga, was elected chair of the Friendship Society of Kuldiga. Later he worked as a private advocate and sworn advocate in Riga.
After the declaration of independence of Latvia, he participated in the drafting of the Provisional Regulation of the Latvian courts and, in December 1918, was elected as the first senator of the Senate of Latvia, together with Janis Graudins. In 1919 he was appointed as Chair of the Senate's Department of Administrative Cases, in 1920 - as Chair of the Senate Assembly. In 1934, upon retirement, he renewed hid practice as sworn advocate in Riga, from 1941 he worked as an advocate in Kuldiga Legal Consultation Bureau. He spent his last days in his native home “Dindzi”, where he died at the age of 82 on November 4, 1944. For the contribution to the State of Latvia, he was awarded the Order of the Three Stars of the II Class.

 

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