A case initiated with regard to procedure for examining the issue of cancellation of the special permit to access official secrets
On 15 April 2016 the 1st Panel of the Constitutional Court initiated the case “On compliance of the fifth part of Section 11 and the third and fourth part of Section 13 of the law “On Official Secrets” with the first sentence of Article 92, Article 96 and the first sentence of Article 106 of the Satversme of the Republic of Latvia.”
The third and the fourth part of Section 13 of the law “On Official Secrets” provide, inter alia, that a person may appeal the decision regarding cancellation of the special permit to access official secrets in the procedure established in the fifth part of Section 11 of this Law (to the Director of the Constitution Protection Bureau within 10 days from the day when he or she became aware of such decision. The person may appeal the decision of the Director of the Constitution Protection Bureau within 10 days from the day when he or she became aware of such decision to the Prosecutor General, whose decision is final and is not subject to appeal. It is sent for enforcement to a State security institution.). Until the taking of the final decision, the person is denied access to official secrets.
If on the basis of Para 2-4 of Section 13(1) the special permit of an official or employee is cancelled, it is a sufficient reason to believe that this person does not conform to the position held (work to be performed,) which is related to the use or protection of official secrets. After the taking of a final decision, such a person must be transferred without delay to work, which is not related to official secrets, or employment (service) relations with him or her shall be terminated and henceforth he or she shall be denied receipt of a special permit.
Norms of Higher Legal Force
The first sentence of Article 92 of the Satversme: “Everyone has the right to defend his or her rights and lawful interests in a fair court.”
Article 96 of the Satversme: “Everyone has the right to inviolability of his or her private life, home and correspondence.”
Article 106 of the Satversme: “Everyone has the right to freely choose their employment and workplace according to their abilities and qualifications.”
The case has been initiated on the basis of a constitutional complaint submitted by Raimonds Lazdiņš, it is noted in the application that the applicant’s special permit to access official secrets had been cancelled, as the result of which he left the position of the head of security department of a state joint-stock company.
The applicant has appealed against the decision by the Security Police on cancelling the special permit to access official secrets to the Director of the Constitution Protection Bureau, and the decision by the Direction of the Constitution Protection Bureau, in turn, to the Prosecutor General. The Prosecutor’s General decision left the decisions that were appealed against in force. This decision by the Prosecutor General is not subject to appeal.
The applicant holds that the legislator, in establishing the procedure for examining the issue of cancelling the special permit in the contested norms, has placed disproportional restrictions upon the applicant’s fundamental rights referred to in the application; i.e., the right to access to court and to effective legal remedy. In examining such an issue the Prosecutor General, allegedly, cannot be independent and objective, and the procedure established by the contested norm does not ensure the principle of equal opportunities and the right to be heard. The applicant also notes that the procedure for cancelling the special permit, which is established in the contested norms, infringes upon his right to inviolability of private life and the right to freely choose employment and workplace according to his abilities and qualification.
The Constitutional Court has invited the Saeima to submit to the Constitutional Court a written reply on the facts of the case and the legal substantiation by 15 June 2016.
The term for preparing the case is 15 September 2016. 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: 2016-06-01_PR_par_ierosinasanu_ENG
Linked case: 2016-06-01