December 29, Themis Award winners 2016 were announced in the Supreme Court. Professional Themis Award was given to Janis Neimanis, Judge of the Department of Administrative Cases, Creative Themis Award – to Rihards Gulbis, Scientific adviser to the Department of Civil Cases, and Special Themis Award – to the Chamber of Civil Cases.

Professional Themis Award is given for special, bright and qualitative achievement. In nominating Janis Neimanis, his professional skills and amazing work performance were emphasized. In 2016 Janis Neimanis as reporting judge has adjudicated more than 165 cases and has again been leader of the department. In addition, he specializes in tax and competition law, and other complex spheres.

Also the high quality of performance of the judge was stressed. His rulings always contain opinions that are valuable for developing case-law. His in-depth understanding of legal theory and legal methods contributes to qualitative reasoning of rulings. At the same time he always taught to think and see things without complicating them and making the proceedings more understandable for everyone.

He was able to combine judge’s work with participating in activities of Judicial Disciplinary Committee, managing Latvian Association of Administrative Judges, as well as working in the University of Latvia.

Colleagues believe that Janis Neimanis deserves Themis Award also for improving the image of judiciary and in particular the image of profession of a judge. He has tried to raise public awareness of the work of a judge by giving interviews, writing articles, participating in discussions, delivering presentations at conferences. On behalf of Council for the Judiciary he prepared an application to the Constitutional Court on issue of judges’ remuneration. Thanks to his experience, professionalism and personality Janis Neimanis has earned the praise of colleagues and at the end of year 2016 he was nominated for the position of a judge in the Constitutional Court.

There are two winners in nomination of Creative Themis Award. They both are scientific advisers, thus recognizing the significant contribution of these employees to work of departments of the Supreme Court. Amendments to the Civil Procedure Law are valued as successful ideas. These amendments entered into force on 13 July 2016 and have significant impact on the work of Cassation instance. Rihards Gulbis is co-author and implementer of the amendments, who successfully materialized the idea and adjusted it to the law. In turn, publications and reports on issues of criminal law and criminal procedure, as well as academic work were mentioned as achievements of Janis Baumanis. In 2016 he was granted an expert status in legal science by Latvian Council of Science.

Special Themis Award for contribution to the history of Latvian court system was given to the Chamber of Civil Cases, which itself would be history starting from 2017. During the last year of its work the Chamber of Civil Cases worked hard to adjudicate the maximum cases received by appellate instance of the Supreme Court. It is noted that judges and employees have been loyal and responsible till the end of the work of the Chamber of Civil Cases, maintaining its authority.

Candidates for all the Themis Awards could be nominated by any judge, employee or department of the Supreme Court. Applications were reviewed and winners were selected by a panel chaired by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Overall 99 applications were submitted and 23 candidates were nominated.

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