Department of Civil Cases: pilot cases – for uniform case-law, guidelines – for the quality of cassation complaints
27 January, 2021
Normunds Salenieks, Chair of the Department of Civil Cases of the Senate, began his report with the most positive message delivered at the Plenary Session of the Supreme Court on January 22, namely that the Department has reached the lowest backlog number of cases in the last twelve years. At the end of the year, 421 cases were pending, which is 228 cases less than in the previous year. Compared to six years ago, the backlog has fallen by almost 1,700 cases.
The Department has reviewed 20% of cases more than received during the year. On average, a case was reviewed in 182 days – the average term has decreased by 55 days. In only 13 cases has the proceedings been protracted since 2017-2018, and the deadline for their examination will be closely monitored.
Having dealt with quantitative indicators, the Department will pay more attention this year to the development of uniform case-law and the improvement of the quality of the cassation procedure. The main directions of activity shall be the issue of pilot cases and guidelines for filing cassation complaints.
The issue of pilot cases has been raised in order to prevent the emergence of contradictory case-law. If uniform cases enter the lower courts on a massive scale, and they concern the issues to be resolved that have never been considered in the Senate, different case-law may develop in different courts. "In cooperation with lower courts, we will identify such cases, and the Senate will review them in order of priority, preventing the formation of contradictory case-law and allowing to predict the outcome of the case in analogous cases," pointed out the Chair of the Department. At present, one possible pilot case has already been identified; it will be received from the regional court.
Whereas, in order to improve the quality of cassation complaints, the Department will compile the most typical issues of cassation complaints and develop guidelines for the submission of cassation complaints. Guidelines will be published on the website of the Supreme Court.
When thinking about the improvement of the work of the Senate, the Chair of the Department of Civil Cases called for interdepartmental discussions on law issues, as well as for the creation of unified databases and the development of a standard for rulings of cassation court.
Information prepared by
Rasma Zvejniece, the Head of the Division of Communication of the Supreme Court
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