3 June, 2021
The Supreme Court has changed the usual format of the yearbook of Senate’s rulings in search of new, up-to-date ways for reaching the audience. The 2020 collection of rulings has been created not by publishing full texts of rulings, but by giving summaries of the most significant rulings and especially highlighting the findings of the Senate in the interpretation and application of legal provisions.
Summaries of rulings are created to reveal only the most essential, because, as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Aigars Strupiss emphasizes in the preface to the book, "in today's world of amount and speed of information, it has become especially important not to lose the core". However, he points out that details also play a role in jurisprudence. Therefore, before using any of the findings in the application of legal provisions, it is necessary to read the full text of the ruling. The full text of the rulings outlined in the collection is available on the Supreme Court's website.
In 2020, a total of 2,945 cases were reviewed in the Senate. This collection contains summaries of 120 rulings, enabling the reader to get acquainted in a transparent way with 40 rulings selected by each department. The summaries are arranged by department and grouped by categories of cases. The summary of a ruling is accompanied by a title and keywords, as well as the findings of the Senate.
One of the tasks in the Supreme Court's operational strategy is to develop legal thought and legal culture. Senate’s rulings are a part of the legal culture, so it is important that they are used not only by judges but also by students in the practical application of law, as well as by legal scholars and members of the justice system, providing quality feedback in the form of analytical articles and reasoned comments. Therefore, the new format of the book allows revising the topicalities of Senate’s case-law in a more comprehensible form, ensuring its more varied application.
Whereas, Anita Zikmane, the Head of the Division of Case-law and Research, calls for a reassessment of the system of sources of law in Latvia, “In practice, the findings of the Senate have proven themselves to be in line with the status of case-law and have in fact become an additional source of law. The stability, accessibility and application of the findings of the Senate in the practice of application of legal provisions also requires a corresponding change in the system of sources of law used for strengthening democracy, the rule of law and ensuring the observance of fundamental rights.”
The book was prepared by the chairs of Senate’s departments Veronika Krumina, Normunds Salenieks, Anita Polakova and employees of the Division of Case-law and Research Kaspars Kukmilks, Zinaida Indruna, Evita Fridentale and Kristine Ivulane. Editors are Anita Zikmane and Liena Henke. The publisher of the book is the Supreme Court.
The book will be received by all Latvian courts, the faculties of law of higher education institutions, it will also be available in the National Library. The book is accessible electronically on the website of the Supreme Court.
Information prepared by
Rasma Zvejniece, the Head of the Division of Communication of the Supreme Court
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