The Constitutional Court organises a webinar of the right to a fair trial
On Thursday, 9 July, the Constitutional Court organised the first webinar in its history on the theme “Protection of the Rights Included in Article 92 of the Satversme at the Constitutional Court”. The webinar was a symbolic launch of the Constitutional Court’s bookazine, published in April, “Article 92 of the Satversme of the Republic of Latvia: the Right to a Fair Trial. The Constitutional Court’s Judicature”.
The webinar was opened by President of the Constitutional Court Ineta Ziemele. She explained how the idea to collect the Constitutional Court’s judicature on fundamental rights, to create a bookazine and offer its presentation in the format of a webinar originated. Ineta Ziemele underscored that, also during the spread of Covid-19 infection, communication on issues of law was important for lawyers, moreover, communication allowed sharing of ideas and inspiring one another.
Justice of the Constitutional Court Aldis Laviņš provided insight to the webinar’s participants into the recent rulings by the Constitutional Court regarding the right to a fair trial. In his presentation, the Justice highlighted the importance and diversity of the methodology, used by the Constitutional Court in examining the compliance of a legal norm with Article 92 of the Satversme, and also focused on several significant findings of the Court regarding the content of the right to a fair trial. Discussing the cases pertaining to the access to “court”, in the institutional understanding of this term, Aldis Laviņš pointed to several findings included in the judgement in case No. 2016-06-01 regarding the procedure for annulling the special permit for accessing the official secrets. In connection with ensuring procedural safeguards, the Justice highlighted the findings included in the judgement in case No. 2019-15-01. At the conclusion of his presentation, the Justice offered several examples linked to the right to a fair trial from the practice of the Constitutional Court’s Panels.
An in-depth overview of the methodology for applying Article 92 of the Satversme was provided by Advisor of the Constitutional Court Elīna Podzorova. She reminded of the fact that the Constitutional Court in each of its judgements used a certain approach to establish, whether a contested norm complied with a legal norm of higher legal force. Elīna Podzorova underscored that Article 92 of the Satversme, as to its content, significantly differed from other norms included in the Satversme’s part on fundamental rights, therefore, in cases pertaining to the right to a fair trial, several different methods for verifying the constitutionality of a contested norm existed. In her presentation, she pointed to several most typical categories of cases pertaining to the right to a fair trial and explained, step-by-step, the methods for verifying constitutionality, applicable in each category of cases.
The presentations were followed by a discussion, moderated by Head of the Constitutional Court’s Legal Department Alla Spale.
In concluding the webinar, Ineta Ziemele underscored once again the high added value of the bookazine in revealing the core of the right to a fair trial and its broader content. At the same time, she admitted that the work in revealing the content of the aforementioned legal norm was never completed. She noted that, with changes in legal relationships, the methodology to be used by the Court was also changing and improving.
The webinar gathered more than 90 participants: judges, prosecutors, scholars of law, representatives of the Saeima Legal Bureau, the Ministry of Justice and other state institutions, faculty members, and lawyers. The participants of the webinar will be ensured the opportunity to receive a copy of the bookazine from the Constitutional Court.
Video recording in Latvian of the webinar is available here:
Presentation by Justice of the Constitutional Court Aldis Laviņš is available here.
Presentation by Advisor of the Constitutional Court Elīna Podzorova is available here.
Photos from the webinar available here.
About the bookazine
The first bookazine of the Constitutional Court “Article 92 of the Satversme of the Republic of Latvia: the Right to a Fair Trial. The Constitutional Court’s Judicature” was published on 9 April of the current year. This is the most comprehensive and voluminous edition, published in Latvia, dedicated to the content of the right to a fair trial. It comprises a clear and logically arranged catalogue of the principles and rights, included in Article 92 of the Satversme.
The first publication in the series was prepared by Advisors of the Constitutional Court Alla Spale, Elīna Podzorova, Gatis Bārdiņš, Sandijs Statkus, Kristaps Tamužs, Uldis Krastiņš as well as Judge of the Administrative Regional Court Līga Biksiniece-Martinova, who served as the Advisor of the Constitutional Court in the first half of 2019, in the framework of the judicial dialogue, implemented by the Constitutional Court.
The bookazine in Latvian was published by the publishing house of the state joint-stock company “Courthouse Agency”. It can be purchased from the Agency’s bookstore https://tnagramatas.tna.lv/.