A case initiated with respect to a norm, which prohibits from nominating a person, who has been previously punished for committing an intentional criminal offence, for the position of a board member of a capital company of a derived public person
On 19 March 2020, the 1st Panel of the Constitutional Court initiated the case “On Compliance of Para 2 of Section 37 (4) of “Law on Governance of Capital Shares of a Public Person and Capital Companies” with the First Sentence of Article 106 of the Satversme of the Republic of Latvia”.
The Contested Norm
Para 2 of Section 37 (4) of “Law on Governance of Capital Shares of a Public Person and Capital Companies:
“The following person may not be nominated as a member of the board or the council:
2) who has been punished for an intentional criminal offence, even if the criminal record had been extinguished or removed [..]”.
The Norm of Higher Legal Force
The first sentence of the Satversme of the Republic of Latvia (hereafter – the Satversme): “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 by a natural person (hereafter – the Applicant). It is noted in the application that the Applicant works in a leadership position in a capital company of a derived public person. Upon assessing the Applicant’s education and professional experience as well as the requirements set in the regulation on the board of the capital company, he head been recognised as the most suitable candidate for the position of a board member of the capital company. However, after information about his criminal record had been disclosed, his advancement for this position had been stopped on the basis of the contested norm.
The Applicant holds that the contested norm comprises an absolute prohibition for a person, who had been previously punished for an intentional criminal offence, to be nominated for the position of a board member of a capital company belonging to a derived public person. Hence, it is alleged that this prohibition restricts the Applicant’s fundamental rights included in the first sentence of Article 106 of the Satversme.
The Legal Proceedings
The Constitutional Court has requested the Saeima of the Republic of Latvia to submit a written reply on the facts of the case and the legal reasoning by 19 May 2020.
The term for preparing the case is 20 August 2020. The Court will decide on the type of procedure and the date for hearing the case after it has been prepared.
Linked case: 2020-18-01