bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Ceturtdiena 17.01.2019 | Name days: Tenis, Dravis
LatviaLatvia

Opposition deputy: a new mechanism is created to reduce legal nihilism in municipalities

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU«A new mechanism has been created to help reduce the legal nihilism in municipalities – disrespecting the rights of minority deputies,» BNN was told by Ventspils City Council opposition deputy Ģirts Valdis Kristovskis, commenting on the verdict of the Supreme Court’s Department of Administrative Cases.

During a meeting of the Supreme Court’s Department of Administrative Cases, judges decided to overturn the ruling of the Administrative District Court. This ruling had previously rejected Kristovskis’ application in which he requested the court to order Ventspils City Council to provide the information he had previously requested, as well as declare the restriction of information provision to minority deputies on the city council’s official website as illegal.

With this decision, the Supreme Court stepped back from its case-law decisions made 12 April 2013 and 27 May 2016 – the practice of having cases regarding information requests from municipal council deputies reviewed as part of administrative processes. Now the court has declared that in accordance with democratic principles and Section 2 of the Administrative Process Law violations of rights of deputies are to be viewed by administrative courts.

«This offers greater justice and fairness in public administration and municipal administration»

Kristovskis told ventspilnieks.lv that ‘the Supreme Court’s ruling gives new impulses in the fight against authoritarianism and other democracy-distorting activities in Ventspils’. He also believes this opens a new page for Latvia’s court justice system, because it creates a mechanism with which deputies will be able to defend their subjective rights in court.

The opposition deputy also told BNN: «This offers greater justice and fairness in public administration and municipal administration. State officials should learn to use this mechanism to defend state interests.»

«Until now it was not possible in practice, because the Administrative Court refused to launch cases requested by deputies and state officials. The Supreme Court found arguments and proof provided by me, a minority deputy in Ventspils City Council, as justified. This is why the Supreme Court declared it previous practice as flawed, which they have corrected, making it a duty for Administrative Court to view cases regarding violation of deputies subjective rights,» Kristovskis told ventspilnieks.lv.

It should be said that the Supreme Court explains this decision with the ruling of the Constitutional Court of 29 June 2018, in which it was concluded that in accordance with democratic principles and Section 2 of the Administrative Process Law any violations of subjective rights of municipal deputies are in the jurisdiction of the Administrative Court.

The Constitutional Court concluded in the ruling that in the event of a municipality breaching subjective public rights of one of its deputies, he law and specifically Section 101 of the Constitution require providing a mechanism for protection of the rights of the affected deputy.

The Supreme Court also adds that the Administrative District Court, repeatedly deciding on the progress of the application, needs to decide also on the request from municipal deputy Kristovskis on the legality of the restriction on publishing information on Ventspils City Council’s official portal ventspils.lv.

The Supreme Court has concluded that regulations to not guarantee municipal deputies the rights to have their opinions be published on the municipal portal. «In this particular case, the plaintiff [Kristovskis] does not simply believe he has the right to publish his opinion on the municipal portal when no opinions of municipal portals are published, except for cases when opinions are included in documents, which have to be published, but rather he wants to be provided with equal opportunities to publish opinions together with other municipal deputies,» the court comments on the verdict.

The Supreme Court adds – if not only neutral information about the municipality’s work and opinions of deputies of the city council are published on the official portal, it is not allowed to use this portal to support one-sided opinions of specific members or groups. In such a situation, the portal has to reflect a variety of opinions, including opinions of the opposition. This comes from the principle of democracy. In a democratic country ruled by law, municipal deputies have to be provided with equal rights in all aspects – both in relation to procedural rights and material solutions. At the same time, it is necessary to comply with the principle of proportional representation. Equal rights for deputies also include the rights to inform society of their activities and opinions, as well as equal rights to access publicly financed communication means.

To continue the fight for rule of law in state administration, Ventspils City Council opposition deputies Ģirts Valdis Kristovskis, Dace Korna, Aivis Landmanis and Ivars Landmanis turned this September to the Administrative District Court with a request to cancel Ventspils City Council’s illegal decision of 29 September 2017 in regards to the city council’s committees and councils, as well as make it a duty for the city council to include opposition deputies in committees, councils and work groups.

«Until now, Ventspils City Council has been actively ignoring the rights of opposition deputies to be represented in committees, councils and work groups, denying them the right to perform the duties entrusted to them by residents. Administrative District Court will view this plea on 6 December 2018,» said Kristovskis.


Leave a reply

Lithuania’s ruling majority swings at media freedom, experts warn

All media, the so-called fourth authority of power, has been facing some international challenges, with the European Parliament set to vote next Monday on final text of Article 13, the proposed EU directive on copyright, which, if implemented, could censor internet users and internet platform hosts through artificial intelligence-employing filters.

Riga Active Seniors Alliance: seniors’ behaviour on the road should be discussed

Riga Active Seniors Alliance supports Latvian State Police informative safety campaign that addresses the behaviour of pedestrians on the road. This campaign invites seniors to pay attention to their own behaviour to ensure safe movement without putting at risk other traffic participants.

New healthcare service principle’s adoption in Latvia postponed until July

The rights to receive healthcare services as part of state compulsory healthcare regardless of their health insurance contributions will remain available for residents until 30 June 2019, Latvian Saeima has decided.

150 jobs lost in Estonia as polluting power stations reduce operations

Estonian state energy giant Eesti Energia, which mostly generates energy from fossile oil shale plants will reduce its operations at the Narva power plants, resulting in 150 job cuts.

Opinion: Russia will definitely interfere with European Parliament elections

According to Latvian member of the European Parliament Inese Vaidere, Russia will definitely attempt to interfere with upcoming European Parliament elections.

In no-deal Brexit, border control in Ireland would be obligatory

In an interview with the British news portal The Guardian, Michael Lux, a former head of customs legislation and procedures at the European commission, said the UK would have to impose customs checks and tariffs on the northern side of the border, despite claims to the contrary by Brexiters.

Opinion: Daugavpils City Council doesn’t want emergency elections; to agree on new mayor

Daugavpils City Council deputies Rihards Eigims and Andrejs Elksniņš are afraid of voters’ opinion in regards to emergency elections. Because of that, they will agree on the next mayoral candidate at the 17 January meeting, said Latgale party representative Jānis Lāčplēsis.

Scientists suggest sustainable diet to save the planet and prevent premature deaths

An international group of 37 scientists has developed a diet that promises to save lives, feed 10 billion people and all without causing catastrophic damage to the planet.

Latvian parties taking too long on compiling government cooperation documents

Although work on the new government’s cooperation documents has taken more time than initially expected, Latvian prime minister candidate Krišjānis Kariņš still hopes for the government to be approved next week.

Ministry: more children end up in families in Latvia not through foster families or guardians

More and more children in Latvia end up in families not through adoption, but through foster families or guardians, says Welfare Minister’s office manager Linda Baļčūne.

Estonian population continues to increase, mostly due to immigration

Estonia has registered population growth for the third consecutive year as 4,690 more persons lived in the Baltic country on January 1, 2019 than a year before, official statistics show.

Sweden to nominate head of government, who could finally be confirmed

In the Swedish parliament, three parties have stated they would not vote against caretaking Prime Minister Stefan Löfven to have another attempt to form a center-left government after a four-month political crisis.

In 2018 Latvia experienced more rapid growth of car registrations than EU

Last year the number of newly registered cars in Latvia was higher than the average in the European Union, according to the latest data from European Automobile Manufacturers' Association.

Latvian government prepares legislation to protect rights of Latvian in Britain after Brexit

Latvian government has started working on a document that provides for the protection of rights of Latvian citizens working in Britain and vice versa after Brexit, says Latvian Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs.

Karolis Sankovski appointed as chairman of RB Rail council

A new council chairman has been appointed in Baltic joint company RB Rail. Riia Sillave and Edvīns Bērziņš were picked as vice-chairmen, as the company reports.

airBaltic carried record number of passengers in 2018 – 4.1 million

Latvian airBaltic airline carried a total of 4,136,711 passengers to different destinations in 2018. This is 17% more when compared to 2017. The number of passengers carried in 2018 is airBaltic’s all-time highest, as BNN was told by the company.

KPV LV to decide on dismissing Kaimiņš as vice-chairman of party’s faction

KPV LV party’s Saeima faction plans to discuss the proposal of dismissing Artuss Kaimiņš from the post of the faction’s vice-chairman.

Latvian minister sceptical about abolishing MPC system without litigations

Latvia’s Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens does not expect abolishment of the mandatory procurement component system this year to pass without litigations.

Latvian parties agree on 90% of content of coalition cooperation agreement

Parties of the forming coalition move towards a cooperation model in which matters are resolved based on the principle of consensus, says prime minister candidate Krišjānis Kariņš from New Unity.

What do Britons actually want? Reactions from EU politicians

Commenting on the rejected deal of UK withdrawal, leaders of the European Union and member states, which are British neighbours, are seeking clarity over the exit scenario London would prefer if the British really want to leave.

Ministry fails to coordinate decision regarding Riga City Council’s dismissal

On Tuesday, 15 January, Latvia’s Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry failed to coordinate the latest redaction of the decision project On the Dismissal of Riga City Council, because the Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments and Latvian Association of Large Cities objected it.

UK rejects Brexit deal, May faces no-confidence vote

British Prime Minister Theresea May hopes to overcome a vote of no confidence in her government, following the rejection of her Brexit deal in the UK Parliament.

Is polygamy the answer for Latvia? «Demographic affairs expert» Parādnieks is the man for the job!

The government formation process in Latvia is progressing slowly and painfully. It is as though a ship without navigation – Latvia has yet to find its way in the ocean of political roads. And this ocean I full of «icebergs» Latvia keeps bumping against. The latest one is National Alliance’s official candidate, an «expert» at resolving demographic problems Imants Parādnieks.

Latvian government approves unified requirements for road and street construction quality

On Tuesday, 15 January, Latvian government approved a project of rules from the Cabinet of Ministers. The goal of this project is ensuring rational use of public funds for road and street construction.

Strike in German airports cancels hundreds of flights

Several hundred flights have been cancelled in German airports on January 15, because of strike as part of an airport worker wage dispute. Germany's powerful Verdi union has announced the strike would last from 02:00 am until 8:00 pm local time at the airports of Frankfurt, Munich, Hanover, Bremen, Hamburg, Leipzig, Dresden and Erfurt.