13 February, 2014
On Wednesday, February 12, 17 pupils from Talsi, Valmiera, Preili, Jelgava and Riga visited the Supreme Court on Shadow Day. Participants of the Shadow Day, among which the youngest pupil studies in Form 6 only, kept up with duties of a judge, a court consultant and legal adviser in the Supreme Court with real interest.
The day began for pupils with brief presentation about Latvian court system and structure of the Supreme Court. Then “shadows” went to a court hearing in the Department of Administrative Cases. Before the court hearing the judge Jautrite Briede told about review of cases under cassation procedure, on cases being reviewed by the Department of Civil Cases and by the Department of Criminal Cases. The judge explained to pupils, what are cases on administrative misdemeanours, which may be called “small criminal cases” in some way, as an individual is imposed punishment for commitment of those. The judge also told about administrative cases and how different complaints about decisions of public and municipal institutions may be. For example, like those in the case being reviewed in court hearing – about corporate tax, late payment charges and penalties calculated to the bank. Although pupils could not watch the court hearing till the end, in order to dedicate more time to individual conversations with “shaded” judges, but they admitted that it was very interesting and that the advocate in proceedings had to be able to explain his opinion very well.
Then “shadows” went to their “shadow-givers” – Inguna Radzevica, the judge of the Department of Criminal Cases; judges of the Department of Civil Cases - Valerijans Jonikans, Inara Garda, Lubova Kusnire and Valerijs Maksimovs; Rudite Vidusa, the judge of the Department of Administrative Cases and Janis Tiltins, the judge of the Chamber of Criminal Cases. Pupils considered conversations with their “shadow givers” to be very valuable and admitted that holding the office of a judge is not easy, but it is very interesting.
Then pupils went on guided tour to the museum and over the Palace of Justice. In the second part of the day pupils met Ivars Bickovics, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The Chief Justice, when speaking about lawyer’s profession, told that, when choosing among profession of a lawyer, historian and journalist during studies in secondary school, he decided to study at the Faculty of Law and had never regretted it even for a moment. The Chief Justice told about his career, how he got in the position of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Pupils asked questions, how to become a judge and what natural features are helpful in judge’s work.
The Shadow Day ended with watching of video movie “The Senate of Latvia is 95. Yesterday and Today”.
Moreover, there were other “shadows” in the Supreme Court, except for its own, namely, Baiba Broka, the Minister of Justice and Irena Kucina, the deputy state Secretary on Court of the Ministry of Justice, brought their “shadows” to the meeting with Ivars Bickovics, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Rasma Zvejniece, the Head of the Division of Communication of the Supreme Court, also took these “shadows” on guided tour to the museum.
Information prepared by Baiba Kataja, the Press secretary of the Supreme Court
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