A case initiated with respect to a norm that provides that in civil procedure the Senate’s decision to refuse initiation of cassation legal proceedings may be drawn up in the form of a resolution
On 18 July 2019, the 1st Panel of the Constitutional Court initiated the case “On Compliance of Section 464 (41) of the Civil Procedure Law with the First Sentence of Article 92 of the Satversme of the Republic of Latvia”.
The Contested Norm
Section 464 (41) of the Civil Procedure Law provides that the decision adopted at the assignments hearing of the Supreme Court regarding initiation of cassation proceedings, refusal to initiate cassation hearings, on transferring a case for hearing in cassation procedure by the Supreme Court in expanded composition, as well as refusal to accept an ancillary claim may be drawn up in the form of a resolution in conformity with the provisions set out in Section 229 (2) of this Law.
The Legal Norm of Higher Legal Force
The first sentence of Article 92 of the Satversme of the Republic of Latvia (hereinafter – the Satversme): “Everyone has the right to defend his or her rights and lawful interests in a fair court.”
The case was initiated on the basis of an application by Sandra Pīlāte. The Senate, by a decision of the assignments hearing that was adopted, inter alia, on the basis of the contested norm, refused to initiate cassation legal proceedings on the basis of her cassation complaint.
The Applicant holds that the contested norm is incompatible with the first sentence of Article 92 of the Satversme since it provides that the Senate may draw up the decision to refuse initiation of cassation proceedings in the form of a resolution. Therefore, the applicant had not had the possibility to familiarise herself with the reasoning for this decision.
The Applicant is of the opinion that the right to a reasoned court’s ruling falls within the scope of the first sentence of Article 92 of the Satversme. The legitimate aim of the restriction on fundamental rights established in the contested norm could be protection of other persons’ rights by ensuring effectiveness of legal proceedings; however, it is said to be disproportionate. This restriction on fundamental rights, allegedly, is not appropriate for reaching the legitimate aim and other measures for reaching the legitimate aim are said to exist. Moreover, the benefit that society gains from this restriction on fundamental rights is said to not outweigh the damage it inflicts on a person’s rights and lawful interests.
The Legal Proceedings
The Constitutional Court has requested the institution, which issued the contested act, – the Saeima – to submit a written reply on the facts of the case and the legal reasoning by 18 September 2019.
The term for preparing the case is 18 December 2019. The Court will decide on the type of procedure and the date for hearing the case after it has been prepared.
Open in PDF: 2019-13-01_PR_par_ierosinasanu_ENG
Linked case: 2019-13-01