Agenda of the Plenary Session or general meeting of judges of the Supreme Court of February 21 was extensive – performance of the Supreme Court in 2013 was assessed, the Plenary Session nominated candidate to the office of a judge of the Constitutional Court, elected the Chair of the Chamber of Criminal Cases, adopted decision regarding title of the Senate in cassation instance and made amendments to the Plenary Session Manual.

When assessing performance of the Supreme Court last year, the Chief Justice and Heads of structural units of the Supreme Court paid attention to the most important topicalities – number of cases pending and reform of the Supreme Court. Managers assessed influence of amendments to the law to work of the court, analysed problems and proposed recommendations on effectivisation of work.  

The Plenary Session decided to ask the Saeima (the Parliament) to restore and to keep to the highest court instance of the Republic of Latvia its historical title of the Senate, which was rejected due to amendments to the law “On Judicial Power” of 13 June 2013.

Decision was adopted to advance Aldis Lavins, the judge of the Department of Civil Cases, to the office of a judge of the Constitutional Court.  

The Plenary Session re-elected Ervins Kuskis to the office of the Chair of the Chamber of Criminal Cases.

In accordance with amendments to the law “On Judicial Power” of 13 June 2013, changes in the Plenary Session Manual were necessary – titles of departments do not contain title of the Senate anymore, and it was also necessary to state that the Plenary Session may be led by the Chief Justice or, upon his order – one of heads of departments, as there is no position of the deputy Chief Justice in the Supreme Court anymore. Moreover, it was stated in the manual that course of the Plenary Session may be fixed in audio record. 

 

Eriks Kalnmeiers, the Prosecutor General, and Baiba Broka, the Minister of Justice,   participated in the Plenary Session and addressed judges.  Both the Prosecutor General and the Minister of Justice asked the Supreme Court to involve in legislation processes concerning court system and issues related to proceedings, more actively.  The Minister of Justice pointed out that the Plenary Session of the Supreme Court is authoritative judicial institution, which discusses topical issues related to interpretation of legal provisions and other important subjects, and the Plenary Session has potential power to define powerful opinion about issues, which are important within court system, the state and society in general. The Minister stressed that the Plenary Session has opportunity and moral obligation to discuss issues, which could help to improve work of the Supreme Court and all court system and public administration in general. The Minister stressed that reform of court system is possible only in dialogue with all institutions involved.  

 

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