Case brought before the Constitutional Court regarding the provision denying the right for a defence counsel to sign a complaint addressed to a court in an administrative offence case
A case regarding compliance of Section 185, Paragraph four of the Law on Administrative Liability with the fourth sentence of Article 92 of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia has been brought before the Constitutional Court.
The contested provision stipulates that a complaint addressed to a court against a decision in an administrative offence case shall be signed by the applicant. If the complaint is submitted by a representative on behalf of the applicant, he or she shall append a relevant power of attorney or another document to the complaint which attests to the authorisation of the representative to submit the complaint.
It appears from the application and the documents enclosed thereto that the applicant has been subject to administrative liability and has authorised a defence counsel to provide legal assistance. The defence counsel had signed and submitted to the court on behalf of the applicant a complaint against the decision of the institution in the administrative offence case, but the court applied the contested provision and refused to accept it. The contested provision does not provide for the right of the defence counsel to sign the complaint. Therefore, the right of the applicant to the assistance of counsel provided for in the fourth sentence of Article 92 of the Constitution has been violated.
The Constitutional Court invited the authority which issued the contested regulation (the Saeima) to submit, by 15 January 2024, a letter of response detailing the factual circumstances of the case along with a legal justification.
The deadline for the preparation of the case is 15 April 2024.
The court will decide on the procedure and date for hearing the case once the case is prepared.
Linked case: 2023-42-01