bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Wednesday 08.04.2020 | Name days: Dana, Dans, Danute, Edgars
LatviaLatvia

Justice Council supports delegating prosecutor general’s approval to the council

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Justice Ministry, prosecutor, selection, Justice Council, Supreme Court

Latvia’s Justice Minister Jānis Bordāns

On Monday, 16 December, the Justice Council decided to support Justice Ministry’s amendments to the law that would relieve the chairman of the Supreme Court of the duty to pick candidates for the post of prosecutor general and instead delegate this duty to the council in an open contest.

Other proposals from the Justice Ministry and minister Jānis Bordāns on improving candidate selection process caused some discussions but did not receive support.

The council’s decision is more of a recommendation and in any case amendments have to be discussed by the Saeima. Saeima Defence, Internal Affairs and Corruption Prevention Committee plans to decide on amendments on Wednesday, 18 December.

After the council’s meeting, Bordāns told journalists that by continuing work on amendments, the ministry takes into account the council’s conclusions. Additionally, work will continue in the Saeima. Deputies will carry their own arguments and other proposals.

The minister said he is satisfied the council has basically accepted the offer, that the Saeima will be presented with candidates by the Justice Council after an open selection process. «Debates were about candidate selection order and clearly debates may yet continue in the parliament,» adds the minister.

During the 16 December meeting, the council supported law amendments that provide for having the council interview prosecutor general candidates, pick the most appropriate one and forward them to the Saeima for approval. The council’s approved amendments provide for candidate searching taking place in an open contest. However, the council did not support the proposal to form an expert committee to assess candidates and their fitness for the position of prosecutor general.

The biggest discussions were caused by the ministry’s proposal to that provides for approving a person with 15 years of total experience working in position of academic staff of a college of law or as sworn advocate.

Some members of the council said in this case candidates for the position of prosecutor general could be picked from people who never passed judge or prosecutor exam, making their ability to perform duties questionable.

«If you are prepared to approve a person who has never worked in the judicial field, this means a rather interesting and revolutionary proposal,» said one of the members of the council and incumbent Prosecutor General of Latvia Ēriks Kalnmeiers.

Another council member, Riga Regional Court judge Juris Stukāns said academic staff even with 15 years of experience «stand nowhere near prosecutors and judges’. ‘Why do you intend to appoint lawyers and academic staff? If you want to change the subordination of the office of the prosecutor to the executive power, change the law,» said Stukāns.

Additionally, certain council members said that in accordance with the law officials of judicial power are appointed from a selection of officials who work in a specific institution, not outside it. This is how it is with the chairman of the Supreme Court of Justice.

Council member and Saeima Legal Affairs Committee head Juta Strīķe said with a system of picking management from within will not urge change. She said even heads of certain special services can be picked from the side, adding the proposal is supportable because it expands the range of potential candidates.

If the Saeima accepts Justice Ministry’s amendments, the Justice Council will be able to decide which candidate is more appropriate.

The justice minister agreed with Strīķe. He said that in accordance with the ministry’s offered solution candidates would be evaluated by a special committee and the final decision would be made by the Justice Council. Lawyers and academic staff would help expand the range of candidates, but the minister denied having anyone in mind to pick for the position of Prosecutor General of Latvia.

Although the council did not support Justice Ministry’s proposal to allow academic staff and lawyers to stand candidate, the council did support the proposal to expand the range of judges and prosecutors who are able to become candidates. «I will invite prosecutors and judges to find the courage and commitment to become candidates,» Bordāns told journalists after the meeting.

Read also: Exclusive | Latvian MP: Top justice figures, Bičkovičs and Kalnmeiers, working like this in private sector, would be sacked long ago

Bordāns believes the order for selections of candidates for the prosecutor general position should be changed. He believes selection of candidates for this post should be delegated to the Justice Council.

His proposal for the Law on the Office of the Prosecutor provide for contenders to submit their candidacy personally without mediators.

Justice Ministry believes that after the initial exchange of opinions it is clear there are no serious objections against changes, and now it is necessary to change the prosecutor’s selection process, delegating the choice to the Justice Council.

Currently the law states the Saeima elects the prosecutor general for a five-year term following the choice from the Supreme Court coordinated with Justice Council. No later than three months prior to the end of the term for the prosecutor general the Council of the Office of the Prosecutor, judges or prosecutors’ professional associations, as well as private persons can submit applications to the chairman of the Supreme Court.

Next year marks the end of the term for both the prosecutor general and the chairman of the Supreme Court: 15 June for Bičkovičs and 11 July for Kalnmeiers.


Leave a reply

Another month stuck home. Latvian government extends state of emergency

The state of emergency declared in Latvia because of COVID-19 pandemic has been extended until 12 May, as confirmed by Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs on social media on 7 April.

75 reports on competition distortions reported to Competition Council in 2019

Last year, the Competition Council received a total of 75 reports related to competition distortions caused by public persons, according to information listed in the latest public account for the institution’s more significant accomplishments in 2019 and developments in competition rights enforcement in Latvia.

Australia quashes child abuse convictions against cardinal Pell

A court in Australia has overturned child sex abuse convictions against cardinal George Pell after he was found guilty and received a prison term, British news portal The Guardian reports.

Education and Science Ministry considers not cancelling centralized exams

Latvia’s Education and Science Ministry considers the option to not cancel centralized exams, especially for 12th graders, as reported on Tuesday, 7 April, by Education Minister Ilga Šuplinska during a meeting with Saeima’s Education, Culture and Science Committee.

Estonian government in two minds on cutting public spending to help economy

Should public spending be cut to help restore the economy? Two of the three parties in the Estonian government have opposing views on this as economic recovery is increasingly discussed, Estonian public broadcaster ERR reports.

Riga International Airport plans to lay off 500 employees

Because of consequences caused by COVID-19, Riga International Airport plans to lay off 500 employees, as BNN was informed by the company.

Poland planning to hold presidential election as postal ballot

The Polish presidential election in May should be held as a postal ballot, the country’s legislators have decided. Opponents of the idea argue that this means putting public health at risk, British-Canadian news agency Reuters reports.

COVID-19 update in Baltics. 548 infected in Latvia, 880 in Lithuania, 1 149 in Estonia

The total number of confirmed coronavirus COVID-19 infection cases in Latvia has reached 548, increasing by six in the past day.

Latvian president urges not to sort idleness benefit recipients based on tax debts

When assessing whether or not a company meets requirements for idleness benefit eligibility, Latvia’s President Egils Levits urges the government to not sort them based on tax debts.

British PM Johnson treated from COVID-19 in intensive care

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been moved to intensive care in London with his COVID-19 symptoms worsening as the outbreak is claiming more lives in the United Kingdom, British news portal The Guardian reports.

Riga City Council snap elections pushed back to 5 September

The ruling coalition in Latvia has agreed to push back Riga City Council snap elections to 5 September, as journalists were told by politicians after a meeting of ruling parties on Monday, 6 April.

US death toll of COVID-19 nears 11 000

The US, which is the country with the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 infections, has on Tuesday, April 7, reached a total number of COVID-19-related deaths of 10 986, according to the US John Hopkins University and German public broadcaster DW.

Prime Minister says Latvia will neither enhance nor relieve restrictions

We do not plan to enhance restrictive measures, but neither do we plan to relieve restrictions – the storm is not over. Nevertheless, we are on the correct path, said Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš in an interview to Latvijas Radio.

Spanish coronavirus death toll drops for fourth day in a row

In Spain, for the fourth day a row, the number of COVID-19 related deaths per day has decreased as the country has the most confirmed cases in infection in Europa, BBC reports.

Recovery from COVID-19 confirmed for 16 people in Latvia

So far 16 people in Latvia have made a successful recovery from COVID-19, as reported by Latvian Disease Prevention and Monitoring Centre (SPKC) Infectious Diseases Risk Analysis and Prevention Department director Jurijs Perevoščikovs at a press-conference on Monday, 6 April.

Kilometre-long freight train from China to pass through Latvia this week

This week a freight train pulling 100 containers forming a kilometre-long chain will pass through Latvia on its way from China to Kaliningrad Oblast, as BNN was told by Latvian Railway.

Design work commences across the entire Rail Baltica route in Latvia

Rail Baltica project management joint company RB Rail has signed two contracts on behalf of Latvia’s Transport Ministry for design and design supervision services on the remaining sections of Rail Baltica route in Latvia, as BNN was informed by the company.

Meduza: Head of Russian doctors’ organisation arrested during delivery of protective equipment to hospitals

The chairwoman of the Russian Doctors’ Alliance has been hit after being arrested by police as she was in a group of activists trying to deliver personal protection equipment to hospitals in the Novgorod region of Russia, Meduza news portal reports.

NEPLP wants 1.6 million euros for media to overcome COVID-19 crisis in Latvia

The National Electronic Mass Media Council has prepared historically the largest state support programme for electronic TV and radio to ensure uninterrupted production of domestic content and broadcasts during COVID-19 crisis. The volume of support is estimated at 1.6 million euros, as reported by NEPLP.

Estonian top virologist: Peak of COVID-19 will be flattened out

Estonian virologist Irja Lutsar, who is part of the Estonian government’s working group of COVID-19 has forecast that the peak point of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Estonia will be long, Estonian public broadcaster ERR reports.

COVID-19 infection numbers in Baltics. 542 in Latvia, 843 in Lithuania and 1 108 in Estonia

The number of confirmed COVID-19 infection cases in Latvia has reached 542, increasing by nine new cases in a day. Lithuanian media, meanwhile, report 843 coronavirus infection cases.

Kazāks: the virus causes Latvia’s economy to drop 2-3 percentage points every month

Because of restrictions adopted to restrict the spread of COVID-19 in the country, Latvia’s economy drops 2-3 percentage points every month, said governor of the Bank of Latvia Mārtiņš Kazāks in an interview to Latvijas Radio on 6 April.

British Prime Minister hospitalised 10 days into coronavirus infection

In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been admitted to hospital ten days after receiving positive tests for COVID-19, British public broadcaster BBC reports.

Universities in Latvia have no plans for entry exams if central exams are cancelled

If central exams in Latvia are cancelled, universities have no plans to organize entry exams, because this would require additional resources.

Number of COVID-19 infections increase in the 50 to 59 age group in Latvia

The number of COVID-19 infections in the 50 to 59 age group has nearly doubled in the past week, reaching 83 cases, according to the latest data from the Disease Prevention and Monitoring Centre.


Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!