The Council for the Judiciary approved plan of reorganisation of Latgale district courts prepared by the Ministry of Justice, which envisages to administratively annex Ludza district court and Balvi district court and Land Registry offices included therein to Rezekne court; Preili district court and Kraslava district court, and the Land Registry office of Preili will, in turn, be annexed to Daugavpils court as from 1 February 2016.

There were extensive discussions regarding this issue at the sitting of the Council for the Judiciary, and members of the Council expressed their concerns on organisational issues, and pointed out the necessity to communicate with judges and employees of courts to be reorganised, and to explain process and results of the reform to the public.

Dzintars Rasnacs, the Minister of Justice, and Irena Kucina, the deputy Secretary of the State on issues related to work of courts, substantiated the aim of the reform – specialisation of judges, principle of randomness in allocation of cases and prevention of conflict of interests, as it is impossible to ensure them in small courts.  After reorganisation of Riga city Centre district court, Sigulda and Jurmala courts, Latgale court region was selected, because here the load of district courts is the smallest, and the Chair of the regional court supports the reform.   In future, district courts will remain where they are at present, number of judges will not be reduced, but judges will specialise and courts will be provided additional opportunities of video conferencing, so that accessibility of the court to parties to cases would not decrease.  Each of two merged courts will have one Chair of the court, unified system of allocation of cases and equalization of judges’ load.  

Andris Strauts, the Chair of Latgale regional court, pointed out that he agreed to reform of courts, because, first, Latgale regional court has established a model of cooperation already apart from reform stipulated by the law; second, thus he sees an opportunity for judges, by equalizing the load, not to lose work in places of their residence. The Chair of Latgale regional court is satisfied that the opinion on preservation of two district courts in the regional court, instead of one, was heard.

The Council for the Judiciary adopted the decision in the sitting of 26 October. See information on all issues reviewed in the sitting here

 

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