The first day of the major international conference of the legal field in the year of Latvia’s centenary is underway
Today, on 24 May, the international conference The Role of the Constitutional Courts in the Globalised World of the 21st Century”, organised by the Constitutional Court, was opened. This conference is the major international event of the field of law held in Latvia in the year of its centenary. At the opening ceremony of the Conference, the participants were addressed by the President of Latvia Raimonds Vējonis, the Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis, the Chief Judge of the Supreme Court Ivars Bičkovičs, the President of the Council of Europe Commission “Democracy through Law” (the Venice Commission) Gianni Buquicchio and the President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Latvia Ineta Ziemele.
The President of Latvia Raimonds Vējonis gave the opening address of the Conference. He noted that Latvia has made remarkable achievements in strengthening the rule of law and the Constitutional Court has greatly contributed there. The Court has done a lot to grow the trust of the society in the judiciary institutions, however there is still much to do. The Speaker of the Parliament Ināra Mūrniece also sent greetings to the Constitutional Court, she stressed that this Court is the paramount in order to safeguard the values of the Latvian Republic as a country that is independent, democratic, abiding by rule of law and national in the globalised world.
The Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis in his speech acknowledged that the subject chosen for the conference is well adapted and significant for all three branches of power, he also expressed his satisfaction with the high reputation the Constitutional Court enjoys in the eyes of public opinion and amongst the political class. In turn the president of the Supreme Court Ivars Bičkovičs emphasized the valuable content of the thesis which can be derived from the Constitutional Court’s case law and the interpretation of principles of law it has given – all of that contributes to a unified application of legal norms and strengthens the rule of law.
The President of the Council of Europe Commission “Democracy through Law” (the Venice Commission) Gianni Buquicchio underscored the longstanding cooperation between the Venice Commission and the Latvian Constitutional Court. He reminded the active position of the Constitutional Court in the international cooperation in order to encourage the exchange of experience and dialogue between different jurisdictions and to bolster the democracy and principles of a democratic state.
The President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Latvia Ineta Ziemele drew attention to the fact that nowadays both the globalization and technologic change influences the ways how the states function and the justice is rendered. She remarked that Europe is characterized as a united legal space based on the European organizations including the European Courts. Ineta Ziemele reminded the crucial role of the constitutional traditions. She posed the rhetorical question whether the constitutional traditions of the states will be able to keep their importance while the united European legal space and possibly the global legal space keeps developing further. Ineta Ziemele also suggested that the actors in this legal space should reflect in advance on the possible directions that could take the European integration.
During the opening of the Conference, the Minister for Justice Dzintars Rasnačs awarded to the Justice of the Constitutional Court Daiga Rezevska the 2nd degree Badge of Honour of the Justice System for particularly significant contribution to the development of the justice system and judicature, strengthening democracy and the rule of law, as well as for particularly significant scientific achievements in the field of law, development of international relations and promoting knowledge and professionalism of officials belonging to the system of justice.
The official addresses were followed by the first session of the Conference presentations, given by: the Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union Eleanor Sharpston, the Judge of the European Court of Human Rights Mārtiņš Mits, the member of the Constitutional Council of France Claire Bazy Malaurie, the President of the Constitutional Court of Belgium André Alen, and the Judge of the German Constitutional Court Doris Köning, and the Vice-president of the Constitutional Court of Croatia Dr. Snježana Bagić.
During the second session, presentations were given by: the Judge of the Austrian Constitutional Court Johannes Schnizer, the President of the Constitutional Court of Hungary Tamás Sulyok, the Vice-president of the Constitutional Court of Spain María Encarnación Roca Trías, the Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic David Uhlíř, the President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Latvia Ineta Ziemele.
The description of the Conference’s topic is available here:
tēmas apraksts ir pieejams šeit.
The agenda of the Conference is available here:
programma ir pieejama šeit.
The proceedings of the first day of the Conference are streamed live online:
After the Conference the recording will be available on the home page of the Constitutional Court.
Tomorrow, on 25 May, the Conference will continue in the form of a round-table discussion with the participation of all invited foreign guests, the Justices and employees of the Constitutional Court of Latvia, as well as scholars and experts of law from Latvia.
A video recording of the round-table discussion will be available on the home page of the Constitutional Court after the Conference.