A case initiated regarding the right of a person who has been punished for serious or particularly serious offences to be evaluated and get permission to work as a teacher
On 16 March 2017, the Constitutional Court initiated a case “On compliance of Section 50(1) of Education Law, insofar as it denies a person who has been punished for serious or particularly serious offences the right to be evaluated and get permission to work as a teacher, with Article 106 of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia.”
Para 1 of Section 50(1) of Education Law sets a prohibition on working as a teacher for a person who has been punished for committing an intentional criminal offence (regardless of the criminal record having been set aside or extinguished), except the case when, after the criminal record had been set aside or extinguished, the institution appointed by the Cabinet evaluated whether it would not harm the interests of educatees and gave permission to work as a teacher to a person who had been punished for an intentional criminal offence or a less serious crime. The Cabinet shall set the procedures for evaluating whether the permission for such person to work as a teacher will not harm the interests of educatees.
Norm of Higher Legal Force
Article 106 of the Constitution inter alia provides that everyone has the right to freely choose their employment and workplace according to their abilities and qualifications.
The case was initiated on the basis of an application submitted by Raivis Veinbergs. As indicated in the application, the applicant has worked as a teacher since 1998. In the past, namely in 1994, the applicant was convicted of a serious criminal offence – grand larceny – and sentenced to a suspended imprisonment term and a probation period.
After the contested norm came into force, the applicant turned to the Education Quality Service to present his situation for evaluation and get permission to continue working as a teacher. The Education Quality Service refused to evaluate the applicant’s situation, substantiating the refusal with the contested norm. Since the applicant failed to obtain permission to continue working as a teacher, the employment relationship with the applicant was terminated.
The applicant holds that the contested norm denies a person the right to freely choose occupation and work in the profession chosen according to the acquired qualification. The restriction contained in the contested norm is allegedly disproportional, for it is placed for life.
The Constitutional Court has requested the Saeima to submit by 22 May 2017 to the Constitutional Court a written reply, presenting the facts of the case and legal substantiation.
The term for preparing the case is 16 August 2017. The Court shall decide on the type of procedure and the date for hearing the case after the case has been prepared.
Open in PDF: 2017-07-01_PR_par_ierosinasanu_ENG
Linked case: 2017-07-01