What are the types of courts in Latvia?
The Latvian judicial system is divided into: the Supreme Court, Supreme Administrative Court and the Court of Audit. Besides those, the Constitutional Court is also part of the judicial system, but it is separated and doesn’t report to any of the above.
There are third level judicial courts in Latvia: the first level courts represented by the district courts; the second level represented by the regional courts and the third level which is considered the Supreme Court.
What are the responsibilities of the courts in Latvia?
The Constitutional Court, as the name states, is watching the applicability of the Constitution in the new approved laws and decrees. The court is formed by seven judges, appointed by the members of the Saeima, with a majority of the votes of not less than fifty one members. The judges are appointed for a period of ten years.
The Latvian Supreme Court is the highest level court in Latvia and it is considered court of second and third instance. The Supreme Court is formed by 24 judges. The Supreme Court is formed by the Senate, whose decisions cannot be appealed, the Chamber of Civil Cases and the Chamber of Criminal Cases.
The Senate is also divided into the Department of Civil Cases, Department of Criminal Cases, Department of Administrative Cases and the Chancery of the Senate.
The second instance courts or the regional courts have the authority to review the decisions of the district courts on the basis of an appeal.
There are 5 regional courts in Latvia in: Kurzemes, Latgales, Riga, Vidzemes and Zemgales.
There are 34 first instance courts in Latvia, called district courts. The first instance courts are hearing minor criminal and civil cases.
The district administrative courts are hearing the administrative cases involving disputes resulted from public legal conventions, checks that administrative actions or acts issued by an authority are correct, decides the public legal rights and duties of private individuals. The appeals are usually heard in the regional administrative court.
Usually the cases heard at the district court are heard by one judge while the appeals can be heard by a panel formed by three judges.
The Latvian Court of Audit is hearing the cases involving the expanses made by the public institutions or administration of public funds. It can audit the accounts of the public institutions and authorities.
What are the responsibilities of the Arbitrary Court in Latvia?
The Latvian Arbitration Court has authority only in the cases where parties have signed an agreement called agreement on arbitration. Any dispute can be solved by the arbitrators, unless it involves one of the following situations:
- it is related to the amendments to the Civil Records Registry,
- one of the parties hasn’t signed the arbitration court agreement,
- one of the parties is the state or local authorities,
- if the decision taken by the court can affect the rights of the state or the authorities,
- if the decision may lead to the eviction of a person from living quarters, - in case the parties are involved in cases related to immovable property, when one of the parties is not allowed by law to operate immovable properties,
- cases related to employment contracts and the applicability of the collective labor agreements.
If you are interested in arbitration, you may receive legal assistance from our law firm in Latvia.
How long does litigation in Latvia last?
The litigation may take up to one year before a case is heard by a competent court. If the initial decision is contested and an appeal is raised at a second or even third instance court, it may take years before a final decision is taken.
For details about the duration of your litigation, you may contact one of our Latvian lawyers