Latvia`s judicial reforms evaluated highly by the European Commission

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Jānis Bordāns. Foto: Evija Trifanova/ LETA

Riga, October 30, LETA. In its report on the rule of law in the member states of the European Union (EU), the European Commission (EC) welcomed the reforms of the Latvian justice system.

The EC statedthat the quality and effectiveness of the Latvian judicial system is constantly improving. The Commission has also positively assessed training measures for court staff.

The report states that the information and communication system used by the courts and prosecutors is at a high level and has developed successfully.

Assessing the selection of new judges and the General Prosecutor as well as the procedure for appointing Chairman of the Court, the EC states that the new arrangements have strengthened the independence of the system.

According to the Ministry of Justice, in recent years Latvia has adopted several legislative reforms aimed at strengthening the effectiveness of the anti-corruption regulation, as well as amending criminal legislation to bring the rules on criminal offenses related to abuse, bribery. Latvia is working hard to meet international standards.

The Ministry of Justice pointed out that in the section of the report on the rule of law in Latvia, the EC particularly welcomes the level of digitization of Latvian courts, which is one of the highest throughout the EU.

At the hearings of the Parliamentary committee today, Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Justice Andris Vītols expressed satisfaction about the appreciation of Latvia, particularly by highlighting the changes introduced in the selection procedures for candidates for the position of the Prosecutor General, which stipulates that the selection process is now based on the principle of open competition, and that is what makes it possible to choose the most suitable and professional candidate.

The amendments to the Law on Judicial Power and the Law on prosecutors entered into force in March 2020 and has changed the procedures for the appointment of a candidate for the post of Prosecutor General. The Prosecutor General is now appointed by the Parliament on a proposal from the Justice Council.

In June 2020, the Justice Council used its new powers for the first time to evaluate and select the Attorney General’s candidate, Juris Stukāns, who was later appointed by the Parliament.

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