13 March, 2008
On March 13, at the opening of the traditional annual report conference in the Supreme Court the reporters were informed that Andris Gulans in the position of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court leads such conference for the last time. In June when his term in the office expires A. Gulans has decided not to run repeatedly for the position of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
A. Gulans considers that in a democratic state democratic traditions have to be developed. Although the law does not state any restrictions to run for the position repeatedly, a chance has to be given to others. Gulans holds the position already for two terms what is almost 14 years. He finds that for the establishment and, probably, for the society, as well, the change of the Chief Justice is desirable as there are many things which he being in this position maybe does not see or find less significant, but a person who successes his work, sees and maybe can introduce something new.
The new Chief Justice has to be politically neutral and has to be free of any influence, he may not give raise to doubts regarding corruption or lobbying any particular interests, thinks A. Gulans. The Head of the Supreme Court has to have extensive knowledge and up-to-date view of human rights, transparency of information and good state administration.
A. Gulans admitted that he has a person in mind who could be the successor of his work but he did not disclose his name. The nomination of a candidacy to the position of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is within the competence of the Plenary Session, and each of the judges, including A. Gulans, has one vote. The Plenary Session to discuss the next Chief Justice should take place at the beginning of May. After the voting, the nominated candidate will be evaluated by the Saeima (the Parliament).
The reporters asked whether being in the position Gulans has experienced any political pressure to what his answer was negative. The Chief Justice stressed that in the Supreme Court in this country work independent judges who cannot be influenced.
A. Gulans considers that the best accomplishments during his work in the position are the establishment of the Department of Administrative Cases of the Senate and its high level senators and their assistants, the establishment of the Divisions of Case-law and the system of development of a uniform court practice, the accomplishment of rehabilitation of the illegally repressed persons. He noted also the establishment of the Supreme Court Administration and ensuring up-to-date working conditions and remuneration for the staff of the court. The Supreme Court is the first court establishment which started communication with the society and joined the court system of the EU countries. The Chief Justice stressed that a long-term strategy of court activities has been worked out determining the priorities and the tasks for their achievement.
Looking back to what was accomplished A. Gulans feels satisfied, however, he notes that it is not only his accomplishment, but the work in cooperation with the judges and the Court Administration.
Information prepared by the Head of the Supreme Court Administration Anita Kehre
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone: 7020395, 29287367