Ineta Ziemele, the President of the Constitutional Court discusses reinforcement of the independence of the judicial power with Egils Levits, the President of the State
Today, on 19 July, Ineta Ziemele, the President of the Constitutional Court, met with the President of the State Egils Levits at the Riga Castle. During the meeting, the parties discussed relevant issues in the field of justice and constitutional law as well as matters related to the development of civil service in the public administration of Latvia. Jānis Citskovskis, the Director of the State Chancellery, also participated in the conversation.
One of the central themes of this conversation was the reinforcement of the independence of the judicial power in implementing the principle of checks and balances of the branches of power following the judgement by the Constitutional Court in connection with judges’ remuneration (Case No. 2016-31-01). The parties shared the opinion that a united system of remuneration, based on uniform principles, was needed in the country for all constitutional bodies referred to in the Satversme. The uniform principles would apply not only to the officials but also to the employees of these constitutional bodies.
The President agreed that the matter of the status of a Justice of the Constitutional Court had to be resolved and that the independence of the Constitutional Court both as to its administrative and financial management had to be reinforced; moreover, the guarantees for the Justices of the Constitutional Court after leaving their offices upon expiry of their 10 years’ term in office needed to be reinforced, facilitating competitiveness, stability, and predictability. It is important to ensure that Latvia’s public administration would have the possibility to use the experience of the former Justices after their term of office has expired.
The parties underscored the need to stir to activity, step by step, the discussion on optimising the civil service of public administration. This system should be based on the hierarchy of the constitutional bodies, enshrined in the Satversme, ensuring a balance between them. The President emphasised that a united conceptual vision was needed in the state on the further development of public administration, based on the foundations of the Latvian constitutional order. Likewise, Latvia needs a transparent system of remuneration in public administration, which would be able to raise the constitutional prestige and would define, with sufficient precision, the identified requirements and guarantees.
The officials shared the opinion that the work for improving the quality of legislation in Latvia should be continued. Hence, a discussion on establishing the Council of State should be facilitated.
At the end of the meeting, the President of the Constitutional Court invited the President to visit the Constitutional Court.