A positive tendency is noted in Latvia’s judicial sector, specifically efficiency indexes like length of litigation, number of pending cases and introduction of digital solutions into the function of courts of justice.
Such are the conclusions mentioned in European Commission’s published 2016 EU Justice Scoreboard, which analyses the efficiency of the justice system, its quality and independence in 28 EU member states.
In this report, the European Commission puts Latvia on the 16th place in terms of casework duration. On average, cases in Latvia require approximately 180 days to be processed. The longest processing time for cases is found in Italy (nearly 400 days), Malta (nearly 600) and Cyprus (nearly 900 days).
In terms of terms for processing insolvency cases, Latvia is on the 12th place. On average, each case requires 1.5 years (2.3 years in Lithuania and 3 years in Estonia).
The number of pending cases continues to decline in Latvia, which is currently on 4th place. In terms of processing of complicated and administrative cases, as well as the reduction of their numbers, Latvia is on the 5th place among 28 EU member states.
This report also includes Eurobarometer data on the opinion of society and entrepreneurs in regards to the level of independence of courts of justice. In terms of independence, Latvia’s residents gave the judicial power in the country a neutral score (mostly positive or mostly negative). Residents explain their views with concerns about interference of third parties in the work of courts of justice or pressure exacted on judges by parties with vested interest or desire to influence judicial processes.
The report also analyses views provided by judges in regards to the level of independence of their work. Latvia is on the lowest place in terms of judges’ self-assessment indexes. In general, assessments provided by judges demonstrate the need to strengthen independence of the judicial system by means of adopting Justice Ministry’s developed and Cabinet of Ministers’ supported amendments to the Judicial Power Law. Those amendments were developed in order to introduce recommendations offered by Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption, notes Justice Ministry.
«Latvia’s judicial system received a positive assessment in the report compiled by the European Commission. Terms for processing cases and reduction of pending cases came as a result of consecutive and complex reforms carried out in the judicial sector over a long period of time. I am happy about Latvia’s score in regards to direct communication with the public. Work will be continued to improve courts’ cooperation with mass media to further enhance the trust in Latvia’s justice system,» – comments Justice Minister Dzintars Rasnacs.