Ambassador of Germany to Latvia Nikolai von Schoepff visits the Constitutional Court
On Monday, 14 October, President of the Constitutional Court Ineta Ziemele met with Nikolai von Schoepff, the new Ambassador of Germany to Latvia). During the meeting, the parties discussed co-operation between the constitutional courts of both states, turned to issues related to reinforcement of the rule of law in Latvia and the European Union as well as outlined possible co-operation between the Constitutional Court and the German Embassy in Latvia.
At the beginning of the meeting, Ineta Ziemele provided to the Ambassador an insight into the competence of the Constitutional Court and the importance of the Constitutional Court in the development of Latvia as a democratic state governed by the rule of law.
In providing and insight into the Latvian legal system, Ineta Ziemele underscored that historically it had been influenced by the German legal system and that the synergy of both legal systems continued to exist.
Ineta Ziemele recognised that the Latvian Constitutional Court and the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany shared similar legal thinking; therefore the courts have maintained a close judicial dialogue already for some time. The last official visit of the Latvian Constitutional Court to Germany took place last year when all Justices of the Latvian Constitutional Court met with Justices of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany. Justices of the Constitutional Court of Germany have visited Latvia repeatedly; moreover, this week another visit is expected, in the framework of which the Constitutional Court will welcome Stephan Harbarth, the Vice-president of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany, and Justice Peter M. Huber.
This year, at the end of April, the Constitutional Court for the first time participated in the Heidelberg round-table discussion (Heidelberg Gesprächkreis) in Germany, organised by Max-Planck-Institut, held annually and involving judges from constitutional courts belonging to the German legal tradition and of the European courts.
During the conversation, Ineta Ziemele informed the Ambassador that in the coming year, on 21-22 March, the Constitutional Court, in co-operation with the Court of Justice of the European Union, was organising an international conference: “The European Union, United in Diversity: Between Shared Constitutional Traditions and National Identities” and also underscored that also in the coming year the Justices of the Constitutional Court were planning a meeting with representatives from all foreign embassies in Latvia.
At the end of the meeting, the parties also discussed the experience of both countries related to ensuring democratic freedoms and the way the theme of the rule of law was represented in mass media.