A special type of legal proceedings have been established for hearing cases at the Constitutional Court – the legal proceedings before the Constitutional Court which differ from hearing cases at other courts. It proceeds in several stages: initiation of the case, preparing the case, adjudication of the case and drawing up the judgement.
The proceedings before the Constitutional Court are regulated by Constitutional Court Law and Rules of Procedure of the Constitutional Court. The proceedings before the Constitutional Court may be interconnected with other proceedings only in two cases, when the norms of Civil Procedure Law are applied, i.e., for calculating procedural terms and for enforcing a monetary fine (procedural sanction). Unregulated procedural issues are decided by the Constitutional Court itself.
Usually the Constitutional Court examines cases in full composition. It must have at least five Justices of the Constitutional Court. The sitting is chaired by the President or the Vice-President of the Constitutional Court.
Recusal may not be requested with regard to the Justices of the Constitutional Court.
In those cases, where the documents appended to the case suffice, a case may be examined in written procedure, without the presence of the participants of the case.
The judgement is passed no later than within 30 days after a sitting of the Constitutional Court. The Court adopts the judgement by majority vote. The Justices may vote only “for” or “against”. If the vote is tied, the Court passes a judgement on compatibility of the contested legal norm with a legal norm of higher legal force. The judgement by the Constitutional Court is published in the official journal “Latvijas Vēstnesis” no later than within five days after it has been adopted.
A Justice, who has voted against the opinion expressed in the judgement, expresses his or her dissenting opinion, which is published within two months after the judgement has been adopted.
The judgement by the Constitutional Court is final. It enters into force at the moment it is pronounced.
A legal norm, which has been recognised by the Constitutional Court as being incompatible with a legal norm of higher legal force, is to be considered as being invalid as of the date of publishing the judgement by the Constitutional Court, unless the Constitutional Court has provided otherwise. The judgement and the interpretation of legal norms provided by it are binding upon both state institutions and upon private persons.
Scheme of the procedure