AMENDMENTS TO ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE LAW MAKES THE WORK OF THE CASSATION INSTANCE MORE EFFECTIVE

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10 March 2017

On 1 March the amendments to the Administrative Procedure Law came into force, which prevent the shortcomings of current regulatory framework identified in practice, as well as provide new opportunities for making the administrative proceedings more effective.

Regarding the amendments to Administrative Procedure Law, the Chair of the Department of Administrative Cases of the Supreme Court Veronika Krumina praises the positive dialogue between the legislator and the judiciary, stating that the discussion on amendments to the Law took place in a constructive and positive atmosphere, by hearing the opinion of the judges.

In the context of a work of court of cassation, the Chair of the Department of Administrative Cases highlights three amendments to the existing regulatory framework.

First of all, the possibility to refuse to consider an ancillary complaint is provided, if it is manifestly unfounded (Section 3201 of the Administrative Procedure Law). As can be seen from the statistics, in 2016 the Department of Administrative Cases has examined 330 cases under procedure of review of ancillary complaints. In 219 cases or in more than 66% of cases the contested decision had been upheld. Under the new regulation in part of such cases it would be possible to reject the ancillary complaint, given that it is apparently unfounded.

Secondly, the rules on refusal to initiate cassation proceedings are clarified (Section 3381 (2)) Emphasis is made on assessment of quality of cassation complaint’s argumentation. As well as provisions are included that will make it possible to reduce the length of the reasoning of judgment both in the case the reasoning of contested judgment is correct (Section 349 (6)) and in the case the contested judgment does not comply with the Supreme Court's case-law in other similar cases and there is no substantiated explanation included in contested judgment why the deviation from the case-law has occurred (Section 349 (7)).

Third, jurisdiction is changed regarding the applications related to newly discovered circumstances. In future they will not be examined by the highest instance court, but the same court the judgment or decision of which has terminated the adjudication of a case on the merits (Section 354 (1)).

At the same time the number of cases is extended when the ancillary complaint shall be submitted to the Department of Administrative Cases, which will undoubtedly lead to increased work-load of the Department.

Changes to security deposits

Amendments to the Administrative Procedure Law change the amount of state fee and security deposit. When submitting a cassation complaint and a counter-complaint in the administrative proceedings, one shall pay security deposit of EUR 70 (Section 124 (4)). Security deposit of EUR 15 shall be paid for submitting ancillary complaint, a request for temporary protection or an application in connection with newly discovered circumstances (Section 124 (3), 124 (5), 124 (6)).
In line with these amendments, the counter-application institute is introduced. This will allow related contrary claims in cases on public contracts to be combined into one case, without initiation of individual proceedings.

More opportunities for electronic communication of court and parties to proceedings
The court may send documents to institution’s official e-mail address without the use of a secure electronic signature. Parties to proceedings have the right to submit documents to the court electronically if they are prepared and sent in accordance with the laws and regulations on electronic document circulation. In turn, the court communicates with sworn advocates directly through judicial information system (Section 1141).

 

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