The Constitutional Court is the ultimate guarantor of the rule of law in the Republic of Latvia and, at the same time, it has become a recognised part of the European legal system and the global community of constitutional courts, contributing to the development of the shared European legal area.
The Constitutional Court develops and maintains relations of international cooperation with European constitutional courts, as well as courts outside Europe. The Constitutional Court is involved in a dialogue with supra-national courts – the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union, to facilitate awareness of law policy issues that are important to Latvia. Regular sharing of opinions and experience with partners of cross-border cooperation is a priority for the Constitutional Court. This is a way to promote the visibility of Latvia as a state governed by the rule of law, to foreground the discussion of matters that are important for this region on the international level, to coordinate cooperation between like-minded states, shaping the development of the common European legal area.
The Constitutional Court implements diplomatic relations of a law policy nature both in discussions with diplomats, accredited in Latvia, and by maintaining constant dialogue with its foreign partners of cooperation and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is an active contributor to the countries of the European Union’s Eastern Partnership, by training its partners, thus supporting their closer integration into the common European legal area.
Being aware that the judicial power operates in ever closer connection with the processes taking place in society on the national and international level, the Constitutional Court has become a member of several international institutions. It is a Member of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (the Venice Commission), the Conference of European Constitutional Courts, the World Conference on Constitutional Justice as well as the Institutional Observer at the European Law Institute (ELI).
The Constitutional Court organises conferences and seminars aimed at sharing opinions and resolving issues related to the functioning of constitutional courts. Justices and employees of the Constitutional Court regularly participate and give presentations at various bilateral and multilateral meetings, conferences, and seminars, dedicated to matters of constitutional law and constitutional justice.
Cooperation with European constitutional courts
The Constitutional Court is involved in bilateral and multilateral cooperation with the constitutional courts of other European states. In this regard, first and foremost, the Constitutional Court’s close links with the Lithuanian Constitutional Court and the Constitutional Review Chamber of the Estonian Supreme Court must be mentioned; the aim is to maintain relevant discussions on the issues of constitutional law on the national and European level, as well as to strengthen the judicial dialogue in the Baltic States.
Since 2016, the Constitutional Court has participated in a trilateral dialogue with the Constitutional Courts of the Czech Republic and the Kingdom of Belgium. Moreover, close cooperation between the Constitutional Court and the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany, the Federal Constitutional Court of Austria, the Constitutional Court of Slovenia, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, and the Constitutional Court of Moldova has developed. Likewise, during recent years, the Constitutional Court has successfully implemented several cooperation projects with France, attesting to the close partnership between the Constitutional Court and the judicial institutions of France and experts thereof in the area of law.
Each such case of cooperation in the form of a judicial dialogue allows the parties to share experience, enrich each other, and exchange opinions on the relevant constitutional law issues on a national and international scale. It is an imperative necessity within the common European legal area.
Since 2000, the Constitutional Court has been a Member of the Conference of European Constitutional Courts (CECC) and the Institutional Member of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice (WCCJ). The Constitutional Court has productive cooperation with the European Commission for Democracy through Law (the Venice Commission), which ensures dissemination and consolidation of the European common constitutional heritage.
The year 2022 witnessed important turning points in the Constitutional Court’s international cooperation. Namely, on 6 October 2022, at the V Congress of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice, the Constitutional Court was approved as a member at the executive institution of the international organisation, established by the constitutional courts of the world. During the next three years, the Latvian Constitutional Court will represent the interests of all European constitutional courts on the global level. This mandate, granted to the Constitutional Court, confirms trust in those values that the Court protects in its work.
Dialogue with supra-national courts
The Constitutional Court is involved in the dialogue with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. In 2017, the Constitutional Court joined the Superior Courts Network, established by the European Court of Human Rights with the aim of promoting implementation of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in Member States to facilitate uniform interpretation of the Convention.
The Constitutional Court maintains close ties also with the Court of Justice of the European Union. Thanks to this judicial dialogue, the Constitutional Court participates also in the network of the Supreme Courts of the Council of Europe, as well as the Judicial Network of the European Union. Uniform application of the European Union law can be guaranteed only by cooperation between, on the one hand, the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg and, on the other hand, national constitutional courts.
Accessibility of information
To ensure that information about the Constitutional Court’s work and current events is provided to as extensive a circle of foreign partners of cooperation as possible, the Constitutional Court ensures translation of the Court’s rulings, judgements, press releases, and information about the Court’s work into English.