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Monday 21.08.2017 | Name days: Linda, Janīna
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Court rulings are to be published on the internet

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Аuthor: SXCStarting from September 1, 2013 Latvian courts are expected to publish all rulings made on open hearings on the internet. This is one of the innovative approaches provided by amendments to the Law on Judicial Power supported by the Saeima Judicial Commission on Thursday, May 30.

Amendments to the law provide the increase of the authority of court chairmen and their responsibility, also increasing the maximum age cap of a judge to 70. Amendments also provide the option of offering job opportunities or the payment of minimum wages to judges for the duration of possible disciplinary or criminal proceedings, as reported by the Saeima press service.

“This is a significant step in making the justice system more transparent and effective. This bill is a solution to the years-long court hearings and low trust of society in the Latvian courts. We hope that the increased openness of the workings of the court and more extensive opportunities to effectively organize court proceedings will motivate judges to increase the prestige of Latvian courts”, – believes the Chairwoman of the Saeima Judicial Commission Ilma Cepane.

The amendments also provide an obligation for courts to publish the rulings of open sessions on the internet right after they come into force. Published information will not feature sections that reveal the identities of involved individuals.

Amendments to the law also mark a complete transfer to the practice of reviewing cases in clean court instances. Having refused the current practice, district (city) courts will be reviewing all first instance cases, appeal cases will be reviewed by specific chambers of the Supreme Court, while cassation proceedings will be reviewed by the Senate of the Supreme Court. Law amendments will also modify the structure and competency of the Supreme Court. It is planned to terminate the Criminal Court and the Civil Court chambers of the Supreme Court by 2017.

Given the pile of cases awaiting review at the Supreme Court, it is only planned to transfer to clean criminal court instances by the end of 2014, civil case court instance by the end of 2016 – as soon as all initiated cases have been reviewed.

The offered edition of the law provides for all judges to set one equal age cap: from now on the maximum age at which a judge is allowed to remain in his post is 70 years. At the same time, it is provided that the Justice Council will no longer be allowed to extend judges’ remainder on post for two years.

If a disciplinary action is initiated against a judge or he is given the status of a person with the right for defence, and he is suspended as a result of this, following his approval, this judge can be relocated to another court, Justice Ministry or court administration with relevant wage. If the judge disagrees, he is to be paid a minimum wage for the duration of his suspension. If the disciplinary action turns out to had been initiated without reason or the judge is deemed innocent in the end, he is to be paid the salary he was not paid during his absence as well as additional fees for the time he was forced to lose.

Amendments are to be reviewed by the Saeima. The commission plans to submit the bill for review on June 6.

Ref: 102.109.109.7536


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