Public attitude towards court system has been formed not only by courts and judges, but largely also by actions and attitude of other officials involved in proceedings – such conclusion is made in research on reliability of courts and corruption perception in work of courts.   

The goal of research performed upon order of the Board of Justice was to identify factors, which form rather critical public attitude towards courts, and to search solutions to change of attitude.  The Board of Justice got acquainted with conclusions and recommendations included in research in the sitting on February, 17.

Dr. sc. soc. Ieva Karklina, researcher of the Philosophy and Sociology Institute of the University of Latvia, when presenting research, pointed out main factors, which  formed opinion on courts of respondents questioned – firstly, those are long terms of review of cases, lack of information, when facing proceedings, necessity for individual to involve in procedure very actively him/herself, seclusion of a court from society, media information and judge’s decisions, which sometimes seem to be subjective.

Researchers point out that within public perception not only work of judges and court employees, but also that of officials, who do not belong to courts, namely, police officer, investigator, prosecutor, advocate and bailiff, is associated with work of a court, and negative experience related to it also often forms sceptic attitude towards courts. The most critically evaluated professionals in court system are sworn bailiffs and advocates, whose work is paid by the state.

Stressing meaning of media in informing of society about work of courts, authors point out that media content also has not been evaluated unequivocally among participants of research At the same time, it has been admitted that information is listened to and the fact that mass-media inform about crimes officials working in court system are related with (and convicted for) approves decrease of corruption in court system.

In the end of research, recommendations are given on strengthening of reliability of courts and development of court image in society.  

Ivars Bickovics, the Chair of the Board of Justice, points out – the fact that the Board of Justice itself initiated such research and publishes it, testifies that the court system takes care of its image and public attitude towards it. “It depends on ourselves only, if problems identified will create solution, if we will be able to increase public trust”, the Chair of the Board of Justice says, stressing that serious and voluminous material is given for disposal of the Board of Justice. 

The Board of Justice considered as necessary to work upon analysis of problems and recommendations identified in research further.  

Research “Reliability of courts and corruption perception in work of courts in Latvia” is available on the web site of the Supreme Court  www.at.gov.lv in section  the Board of Justice/ Documents

 

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