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Supreme Court keeps ban on new construction contracts for JRT in force

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charges, construction, New Riga Theatre, plea, ReRe Būve, State Real EstateOn Wednesday, 13 November, Latvia’s Supreme Court of Justice decided to reject the protest submitted by the Office of the Prosecutor General in regards to the ruling on approving construction company ReRe Būve 1 plea against State Real Estate (VNI), in which the company managed to secure a prohibition for VNI to sign new construction contracts with third party companies on work associated with New Riga Theatre (JRT).

As reported by the Supreme Court’s Senate representative Baiba Kataja, the protest was rejected because the law does not permit submission of protests for such decisions.

In July, VNI announced termination of the contract with ReRe būve 1. The decision was made because VNI believes the contracted company had committed serious violations and the quality of work was not of sufficient quality.

More on this topic: ReRe Būve 1 no longer engaged in restoration of New Riga Theatre

Kataja explains that the construction company submitted a plea to the court in August, requesting the court to find the termination of the contract as null and void and order the defendant to remain with the previously signed contract. The court was also asked to prohibit VNI from signing contracts with third parties about construction work associated with JRT building.

With Riga City Vidzeme Suburb Court’s ruling of 14 August 2019, in regards to justifications and proportionality for legal interests of all involved sides, the request to satisfy the claim was satisfied.

The chief prosecutor mentioned in the protest that the decision to satisfy the plea was made by the judge formally, without performing an in-depth assessment of the plea’s legal justifications.

After assessing requirements of the Civil Law applicable to the dispute, the chief prosecutor concluded that legal consequences in the event of the contractor’s unjustified dismissal would not include anything more than paying a compensation for costs and losses. However, the company has no subjective rights to request access to construction work.

The senate admitted that before reviewing the received protest, it is necessary to check its validity. With reference to the Constitutional Court’s judicature, the senate concluded the protest as a legal mechanist was formed in the Civil Process Law as the last resort tool for protection of rights – an additional guarantee in case there are no other ways to protect rights.

On the other hand, in a situation when a court has satisfied a request, the defendant has a different option to protect their rights. According to requirements of the Civil Process Law, the defendant has the right to request cancellation of the approved plea. Additionally, if the request to have the plea cancelled is rejected, the defendant still has the right to appeal it in a higher instance court institution.

The senate concluded that there is no pre-condition as outlined in the Civil Process Law for a protest, which is why it was rejected.

Commenting on the decision made by members of the senate, chairman of the Senate’s Department for Civil Cases Aigars Strupišs said the senate did not review arguments detailed in the chief prosecutor’s protest in depth because the law does not allow submitting protests for such decisions of judges.

He explains a prosecutor’s protest in civil processes is intended as a last resort tool for protection of rights.

As previously reported, VNI is committed to ensuring JRT reconstruction quickly so that it is possible for the theatre to reopen in summer 2022. This is why a new tender will be announced for construction work based on build & design principle.


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