Constitutional Court Law



Chapter I
General Regulations

Article 1. The Constitutional Court


(1) The Constitutional Court is an independent institution of judicial power, which within the jurisdiction set forth in the Satversme (Constitution) of the Republic of Latvia (hereinafter - the Satversme) and in this law, shall review cases concerning the compliance of laws and other regulatory acts with the Constitution, as well as other cases placed under its jurisdiction by this law.

(2) The Constitutional Court shall hear cases pursuant to the Constitution and this law.

(3) The Constitutional Court shall be a legal entity.

Article 2. Independence of the Constitutional Court


Direct or indirect interference with the actions of the Constitutional Court in relation to judging shall not be permissible.

Article 3. Composition of the Constitutional Court


The Constitutional Court shall have seven judges.

Article 4. Affirmation of a judge of the Constitutional Court


(1) Judges of the Constitutional Court shall be affirmed by the Saeima. Three judges of the Constitutional Court shall be affirmed upon the recommendation of not less than ten members of the Saeima, two - upon the recommendation of the Cabinet of Ministers, but two judges of the Constitutional Court - upon the recommendation of the Plenum of the Supreme Court. The Plenum of the Supreme Court selects candidates for the office of a judge of the Constitutional Court from among Republic of Latvia judges.

(2) Any citizen of Latvia who has a higher legal education and at least ten years' working experience in a legal profession or in a scientific or educational field in a judicial specialty in a research or higher educational institution, may be affirmed a judge of the Constitutional Court. A person who may not be nominated for the office of a judge under Article 55 of the law "On Judicial Power", may not be appointed as a judge of the Constitutional Court.

(3) The application for the office of a judge of the Constitutional Court shall be accompanied by the following documents signed by the nominee to the post of the judge of the Constitutional Cant:

1) the consent to be nominated for the office of a judge of the Constitutional Court;

2) the statement that the restrictions under Article 55 of the law "On Judicial Power" do not apply to the nominee.

(4) Lists of nominees for the office of judges of the Constitutional Court shall be published in the newspaper "Latvijas Vestnesis" not later than five days after their submission to the Saeima Presidium (Board), indicating:

1) the submitters of the nominees;

2) the following information concerning each nominee for the office of a judge of the Constitutional Court;

a) full name;
b) year and place of birth;
c) place of residence (district or city);
d) higher educational institutions (year of graduation, specialty);
e) former places of employment and positions.

Article 5. The oath of a judge of the Constitutional Court


(1) After affirmation by the Saeima, the judge of the Constitutional Court shall swear before the President of State the oath prescribed in the law "On Judicial Power".

(2) A judge of the Constitutional Court shall take up his/her duties of office after swearing the oath.

(3) In the event a judge of another court, who has already sworn the oath, is affirmed a judge of the Constitutional Court, he/she shall not swear the oath again, and shall take up the duties of his/her office immediately after confirmation.

Article 6. The Robe and Badge of Office of a judge of the Constitutional Court


A judge of the Constitutional Court shall perform his/her duties of office at Court sessions wearing the Robe and Badge of Office.

Article 7. Term of office of a judge of the Constitutional Court


(1) The term of office of a judge of the Constitutional Court shall be ten years as of the day when he/she took up his/her duties of office pursuant to Article 5 of this law.

(2) A judge of the Constitutional Court may not be removed from office during his/her term except in cases provided for in Article 10 of this law.

(3) One and the same person may not be a judge of the Constitutional Court for more than 10 years concurrently, except for those occasions anticipated in the third and fourth Parts of Article 11 of this law.

(4) If a person, who pursuant to the law "On Judicial Power" has been approved to the office of a judge for an unlimited term, is affirmed a judge of the Constitutional Court, he/she, after the expiry of the term of office of a judge of the Constitutional Court, shall have the right to return to his/her previous position, unless he/she has reached the age-limit allowed for a judge to hold office.

Article 8. Resignation or retirement of a judge of the Constitutional Court before expiry of his/her term of office


(1) A judge of the Constitutional Court shall retire from the office of a judge upon reaching the age of 70, except for those occasions anticipated in the third and fourth Parts of Article 11 of this law.

(2) A judge of the Constitutional Court may resign from office before expiry of his/her term at his/her own discretion, notifying the Constitutional Court in writing.

Article 9. Suspension of the authority of a judge of the Constitutional Court


(1) If the Constitutional Court has agreed to criminal prosecution of a judge of the Constitutional Court, the authority of this judge shall be suspended until the time the verdict in the relevant case comes into legal effect or the relevant criminal case is closed.

(2) If a judge of the Constitutional Court is charged with disciplinary liability because he/she has committed an act incompatible with the status of a judge, the Constitutional Court may suspend the authority of this judge until completion of reviewing of a disciplinary case, but not longer than for one month.

Article 10. Releasing or dismissing from office a judge of the Constitutional Court


(1) If a judge of the Constitutional Court is not able to continue the work due to the state of the health, he/she can be fired from office thorough a decision of the Constitutional Court. For the adoption of such decision an absolute majority of votes of all the contingent of judges is required.

(2) A judge of the Constitutional Court is removed from office, if he/she is convicted of a crime and the verdict has come into legal effect.

(3) A judge of the Constitutional Court, if he/she has violated the requirements of Article 34 of this law, has committed a shameful offence which can not be related to the status of a judge or on regular basis does not fulfil ones official duties and due to all aforementioned has a disciplinary penalty imposed over her/him, can be discharged from the position through a decision of the Constitutional Court. For the adoption of such decision the absolute majority of votes of all the contingent of judges is required.

Article 11. Procedure for affirming a new judge of the Constitutional Court if the authority of office of a previous judge has terminated


(1) Upon termination of authority of office of a judge of the Constitutional Court, the Saeima shall affirm another judge upon recommendation of the institution which recommended the affirmation of the judge whose authority of office has terminated.

(2) About the expiration of the authorization of a judge of the Constitutional Court, the Constitutional Court shall inform in writing that institution upon the recommendation of which that judge, whose authorization has terminated, was approved, but in the events when a judge was approved upon a recommendation submitted by no less than ten Saeima deputies - to the Saeima. About the expiration of the authority of a judge of the Constitutional Court due to the lapse of authorization or reaching that age established in the first Part of Article 8 of this law the Constitutional Court shall make announcement for at least three months ahead.

(3) If the Saeima did not approve another judge instead of that judge of the Constitutional Court, whose authorization expires due to the lapse of authorization or reaching that age established in the first Part of Article 8 of this law, the authorization of that judge shall be deemed extended until the moment when Saeima appoints another judge to replace him/her and a new judge has taken the judicial oath.

(4) A judge of the Constitutional Court, whose authorization expire due to the lapse of authorization or reaching that age established in the first Part of Article 8 of this law shall continue exercising obligations of the judge of the Constitutional Court until the announcement of judgement in those cases of the Constitutional Court the hearing of which at the court sitting was commenced with his/her participation.

Article 12. Chairperson of the Constitutional Court and his/her Deputy


The Chairperson of the Constitutional Court and his/her Deputy shall be elected for a period of three years from among the members of the Constitutional Court by an absolute majority vote of the entire total of the judges. The voting shall be by secret ballot.

Article 13. Obligations and rights of the Chairperson of the Constitutional Court and his/her Deputy


(1) The Chairperson of the Constitutional Court shall preside at the sessions of the Constitutional Court, organize the work of the Court and represent the Constitutional Court.

(2) The Deputy Chairperson of the Constitutional Court shall assist the Chairperson of the Constitutional Court in performing the duties of the Chairperson indicated in Part 1 of this Article and shall substitute for the Chairperson of the Constitutional Court in his/her absence.

(3) The Chairperson of the Constitutional Court may delegate some of his/her duties to a judge.

(4) The Chairperson of the Constitutional Court and his/her Deputy may give orders to judges of the Constitutional Court in matters of performing organizational duties of office only.

Article 14. Rules of the Constitutional Court


The structure and work procedures of the Constitutional Court shall be set out in the Rules of the Constitutional Court which shall be adopted by an absolute majority vote of the entire total of the judges.

Article 15. The seal of the Constitutional Court


The Constitutional Court shall have a seal bearing the State Emblem of the Republic of Latvia and the name of the Court.


Chapter II
Jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court

Article 16. Cases to be reviewed by the Constitutional Court


The Constitutional Court shall review cases regarding:

1) compliance of the laws to the Constitution;

2) compliance to the Constitution of international agreements signed or concluded by Latvia (also until approval of the corresponding agreements by the Saeima);

3) compliance of other regulatory acts or their parts to norms (acts) of higher legal power rights;

4) other Saeima, Cabinet of Ministers, State President, Chairman of the Saeima and Prime Minister's acts, except for the administrative acts, compliance to the law;

5) compliance to the law of such order by which the Minister authorized by the Cabinet of Ministers has stopped a decision adopted by the dome (council) of a local government;

6) compliance of Latvian national norms of rights to those international agreements concluded by Latvia which do not contravene to the Constitution.

Article 17. Rights to submit an application about the commencement of a case


(1) The right to submit an application about the commencement of a case regarding the compliance of laws or international agreements signed or concluded by Latvia (also until approval of corresponding agreements by the Saeima), other regulatory acts or their parts complying to the norms (acts) of the higher judicial power of rights (Paragraphs 1 - 3 of Article 16) as well as compliance of Latvian national norms of rights to those international agreements which do not contravene to the Constitution (paragraph 6 of Article 16 of the Constitution) is held by:

1) the State President;

2) the Saeima;

3) no less than twenty Saeima deputies;

4) the Cabinet of Ministers;

5) the Prosecutor General;

6) the Council of the State Control;

7) the dome (council) of local government;

8) the State Human Rights Office;

9) the court, when reviewing a civil case, criminal case or an administrative case;

10) a judge of a land book department when performing the recording of real estate or recording rights connected to it with the land book.;

11) a person in the event of offence of ones basic rights set forth in the Constitution.

(2) The right to submit an application about the commencement of the action regarding compliance to the law (paragraph 4 of Article 16) of other acts of the Saeima, State President, the Chairman of the Saeima and the Prime Minister, except for administrative acts, are held by:

1) the State President

2) the Saeima;

3) not less than twenty Saeima deputies;

4) the Cabinet of Ministers.

(3) The right to submit the application about the commencement of the action regarding the compliance of such order to the law by which the Minister authorized by the Cabinet of Ministers has stopped the decision adopted by the dome (council) of a local government (Paragraph 5 of Article 16) is held by the corresponding dome (council).


Chapter III
Proceedings

Article 18. Submission of application


(1) An application to the Constitutional Court to initiate a case (hereinafter - the application) shall be made in writing. The application must indicate:

1) the applicant's name;

2) the institution or official who issued the act which is disputed;

3) an account of the true circumstances of the case;

4) the legal justification of the application;

5) the claim presented to the Constitutional Court.

(2) Disputing several acts in one application shall be permissible only if:

1) a regulatory act or a part thereof and legal norms of lesser legal force issued pursuant to same are disputed;

2) the acts issued by an institution (official) are disputed because the establishment of the institution, or election, affirmation or appointment of the official did not take place as prescribed by law, or the institution or official has violated the law in a manner which renders the said acts invalid.

(3) The application shall be signed by the applicant. If the application is submitted by a collegiate institution, it shall be signed by the head of it. If the application is submitted by not less than twenty members of the Saeima, it shall be signed by each of these members.

(4) The application must be accompanied:

1) if the application is submitted by a collegiate institution - by a decision of the institution;

2) by explanations and documents necessary to determine circumstances of the case.

Article 19. Application of the dome (council) of a local government


(1) The application in compliance with Paragraph 7 of the first Part of Article 17 of this law the dome (council) of a local government can submit only if the disputed act affects the rights of the corresponding dome (council).

(2) The application by the Dome (Council) of a local government pursuant to Part 3 of Article 17 of this law shall be accepted in the procedure provided by Article 49 of the law "On Local Governments".

Article 19.1 Court application and application of a judge of the land book department


(1) The application shall be submitted if:

1) the court of general jurisdiction, when hearing the civil action, criminal case or an administrative case in the first instance, appeal or cassation procedure considers that the norm which shall be applied in this action does not correspond to the norm (act) of the rights of a higher judicial power;

2) a judge of the land book department, when performing the recording of the real estate or those rights connected with it with the land book, considers that the norm which must be applied does not correspond to the norm (act) of the rights of a higher judicial power.

(2) The application shall be formulated in the type of a justified decision. The decision shall be adopted and signed by that court which review the corresponding civil action, criminal case or administrative case, or that judge of a land book department who perform the recording of real estate or rights connected with it with the land books.

(3) To a decision of a court or land book department judge shall be attached documents which justify the application. If necessary the particular civil action, criminal case or administrative case shall be attached as well.

(4) Disputing of several acts in the decision of a court or land book department judge is permissible in those events when all such acts are required to be applied into review of one civil action, criminal case or administrative case or a securing request.

Article 19.2 Constitutional complaint (application)


(1) A constitutional complaint (application) can be submitted to the Constitutional Court by any person who considers that those basic rights established for him/her in the Constitution are offended by the norm of rights, which does not correspond to the norm of rights of the higher judicial power.

(2) A constitutional complaint (application) can be submitted only if all options to defend the aforementioned rights by using general means for the protection of rights have been used (a complaint to the higher institution or higher official, a complaint or a claim application to the court of general jurisdiction etc) or such do not exist.

(3) If the review of a constitutional complaint (application) is generally important or if the protection of rights by general means for the protection of rights can not prevent substantial harm to a submitter of the complaint, the Constitutional Court can decide about the review of the complaint (application) prior all general means for the protection of rights were used. The commencement of the action to the Constitutional Court restricts the review of a corresponding civil action, criminal case or administrative case to be reviewed by the courts of general jurisdiction prior to the moment of the announcement of the decision of the Constitutional Court.

(4) The Constitutional claim (application) can be submitted to the Constitutional Court within six months after taking effect of decision of the last institution.

(5) The submission of a constitutional complaint (application) does not stop the execution of a court judgement, except for cases, when the constitutional Court has decided otherwise.

(6) In addition to the contents of the application established in the first Part of Article 18 of this law within a constitutional complaint it shall be justified that:

1) the basic rights of the submitter established within the Constitution have been offended;

2) all other means for the protection of rights have been used or such do not exist.

(7) To the constitutional complaint (application) shall be attached:

1) explanations and documents which are necessary for the clarification of the circumstances of the case;

2) documents which certify that all other means for the protection of rights have been used in those events when such do exist.

Article 20. Commencement of an action or refusal to commence an action


(1) The application shall be reviewed and upon the commencement of the action or a refusal to commence an action shall be decided by the collegium in the contingent of three judges.

(2) Collegiums are created for the period of one year by the Constitutional Court with the absolute majority of votes of all contingent of judges. The Collegium in the composition of which are the Chairperson of the Constitutional Court or his/her deputy shall be managed by the Chairperson of the Constitutional Court or his/her deputy correspondingly. The collegium in the composition of which is not the Chairperson of the Constitutional Court nor his/her deputy shall be managed by a chairperson of the Collegium, whom the Collegium shall elect from among itself.

(3) The procedure in which the Chairperson of the Constitutional Court orders the Collegiums to review applications and by which a judge, whose status of health or other justified reasons delay him/her to participate in the sitting of the Collegium, the taking of minutes of the Collegium sittings and other issues related to the activity of the collegium shall be established by the regulation of the Constitutional Court.

(4) The sittings of the Collegium are closed sittings. Only members of the corresponding Collegium shall participate in those. If required the members of the Collegium can invite the submitter of application, employees of the Constitutional Court or other persons to participate in the sitting of the Collegium.

(5) When reviewing applications the Collegium has right to refuse to commence an action if:

1) the action is not under the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court;

2) the submitter did not have the right to submit the application;

3) the application does not correspond to requirements of Articles 18 or 19 - 192 of this law;

4) the application has been submitted about a claim already decided upon.

(6) When reviewing the constitutional complaint (application) the collegium can refuse to commence an action also in such cases when the legal justification included into complaint is obviously insufficient for the satisfaction of the claim.

(7) A decision about the commencement of an action or a refusal to commence an action shall be adopted by the Collegium within one month from the day of the submission of the application. In complicated actions the Constitutional Court can extend this period up to two months.

(8) A decision of the Collegium about the commencement of an action or a refusal to commence an action is final.

(9) If a decision about he commencement of an action has been adopted within three days after its adoption:

1) a copy of a decision shall be sent to the parties in the action;

2) a copy of the decision shall be sent to that institution or official which issued the disputed act;

3) that institution or official which have issued the disputed act shall be invited within that period established by the judge of the Constitutional Court to submit their response letter including actual explanation of circumstances of the action and legal justification;

4) shall be sent for the publication in the gazette "Latvijas Vestnesis" the information about the commencement of the action in which shall be indicated that Collegium which commenced the action, the submitter of the application and the title of the action.

(10) If a decision about the refusal to commence an action is adopted, within three days after its adoption the copy of the decision shall be sent to the submitter of the application, but in the events when the application is submitted by no less as twenty Saeima deputies - to their authorized representative.

Article 21. Procedure by which a decision to refuse to initiate a case is appealed


[Deleted by the law of November 30, 2000]

Article 22. Preparing a case for review


(1) When the action is commenced, the chairperson of the Constitutional court shall assign to one from amongst the judges to prepare the action for hearing.

(2) While preparing the action the judge, if necessary, shall:

1) inquire additional explanations and documents from the submitter of the application or form that institution or official which have issued the disputed act and also from any state or local government institution, office or official;

2) establish which persons shall be invited and request them to express their opinion;

3) decide upon ordering experts examination for the action.

(3) Through a decision of judge any person the hearing of whose opinion can make progress of complete and objective review of the action shall be deemed an invited person.

(4) The opinion of an invited person, professional (expert), inquired explanations and other documents shall be submitted within that period established by a judge.

(5) A judge shall decide about requests from the parties to an action which are submitted while preparing the action for hearing. If a judge partially or completely rejects the request he/she shall adopt a decision about it. The copy of the decision shall be sent to that party to an action who declared the request. The decision about complete or partial rejection of the request is final.

(6) In order to promote the complete and quick litigation of an action the amalgamation of two or several actions into one action or dividing of one action into several actions is permissible.

(7) The action shall be prepared no longer than within three months. In especially complicated actions the activity sitting of the Constitutional Court in the composition of three judges has the right to extend this period, but for no more than two months.

(8) A judge shall complete the preparing of the action by making a conclusion. If a judge considers that the action must be reviewed through a written procedure, he/she shall include such proposal within a conclusion.

(9) The preparing of the action shall be closed through a decision of the Chairperson of the Constitutional Court regarding giving the action for hearing, the contingent of court and the place and time for the activity sitting.

(10) The activity sitting shall decide upon:

1) establishing the process in writing, if the corresponding proposal was expressed by that judge who prepared the action for hearing;

2) the time and place of the court sitting;

3) other issues which are connected to deciding of action in a court sitting.

(11) The court sitting shall be scheduled no earlier as 15 days and no later than three months after the decision about the time and place of the court sitting has been adopted.

(12) If the action is reviewed at the court sitting with the participation of parties to an action, no later than 15 days prior to the court sitting:

1) to parties to an action the time and the place of the court sitting shall be announced;

2) the announcement about the time and place of the court sitting shall be sent for the publishing in the gazette "Latvijas Vestnesis".

(13) If a procedure in writing has been established for the action, the parties to an action shall be informed so.

Article 23. Representation at the Constitutional Court


(1) The participant in the case - an applicant and an institution or an official who has issued the disputable act - may perform proceedings at the Constitutional Court by him/her/itself or through the mediation of an authorized representative.

(2) If the application is submitted by not less than twenty members of the Saeima, they shall be considered one procedural person. They may perform procedural actions by the agency of one authorized representative only. The first person who has signed the application shall be considered the authorized representative unless the members of the Saeima agreed otherwise. This authorization shall be certified by the Chancellery of the Saeima. In those events when the application is submitted by no less than twenty Saeima deputies the expiration of deputy's authority for one or several from among them does not prohibit to perform procedural activities connected with the application.

(3) If the compliance of such act to the norm of rights of the higher legal power which was adopted or issued by the institution or official, which cease to exist and which does not have a successor to rights, is being disputed, the right of the party to an action during court process is held by an institution or official which has the right to recognize the disputed act invalid or to change it.

(4) Participants in the case may employ the assistance of a sworn advocate. All rights of the participant in the case at the court session excluding the right to revoke the application shall belong to the sworn advocate. Authority of the sworn advocate shall be certified by the order. The participant of the case may entrust the sworn advocate also the duties of the authorized representative. This authorization shall be certified by the power of attorney in writing.

Article 24. Rights of the participants in the case to examine case material


Following adoption of the decision to forward the case for review, participants in the case - the applicant and the institution or official who issued the act which is disputed -may examine the case material.

Article 25. Composition of the Court


(1) In the complete contingent the Constitutional Court shall review those actions regarding:

1) compliance of the laws to the Constitution;

2) compliance to the law of other administrative acts of the Saeima, Cabinet of Ministers, State President, the Chairperson of the Saeima and the prime Minister;

3) compliance with Latvian national norms of rights to those international agreements concluded by Latvia, which do not contravene the Constitution;

4) compliance to the Constitution and other laws of regulatory acts of the Cabinet of Ministers;

5) compliance to the Constitution of international agreements signed or concluded by Latvia (also until corresponding agreements are approved by the Saeima).

(2) Actions which are not mentioned in the first Part of this Article shall be reviewed in the contingent of three judges, unless decided otherwise by the Constitutional Court.

(3) If the entire Constitutional Court reviews a case, it shall include all the judges of the Constitutional Court who are not excused from participating in the Court session because of health or other justified reasons. In this case there may not be less than five judges of the Constitutional Court. The session shall be chaired by the Chairperson of the Constitutional Court or his/her Deputy.

(4) If the Constitutional Court reviews the action in the contingent of three judges those judges shall be appointed by the chairperson of the Constitutional Court in that procedure established in the regulation of the Constitutional Court. If the contingent of court does not contain the Chairperson of the Constitutional Court or his/her deputy the chairperson for the court siting shall be elected by those judges from among themselves at the activity sitting.

(5) Judges of the Constitutional Court cannot be rejected.

Article 26. Procedure for reviewing cases


(1) The procedural order for the review of actions is established by this law and the regulation of the Constitutional Court. For the counting of procedural periods and procedural sanctions - monetary fine - execution the provisions of the Law of the Civil Process shall be applied. Other issues not governed by the regulation of the Constitutional Court shall be decided by the Constitutional Court.
(2) Parties to the action which do know the language of legal proceedings, except for the representatives of legal persons, hold the right to use the services of translator. Expenses for translator's services shall be paid by the corresponding party to an action.

Article 27. Openness of Constitutional Court sessions


(1) The sittings of the Constitutional Court are held publicly, except for those cases when it contravene with the interests for the protection of state secrets, commercial secrets and guarding interests of the immunity of a private live of a person.

(2) Persons present at the court sitting may make a written notes and audio recordings without leaving seats provided for the public. Video recordings, photograph pictures and audio recordings outside seats anticipated for the public during a court sitting can be made only through agreement of the chairperson of the court sitting and in such a way that they do not interfere the process of court sitting.

(3) A decision about reviewing an action at the closed court sitting shall be adopted by the Constitutional Court. The review of the action in the closed court sitting shall take place while observing all provisions for the litigation. In any event the court decision shall be announced publicly.

Article 28. Sessions of the Constitutional Court


(1) Decisions during the process of court sitting the court shall adopt with the majority of votes of judges on its contingent by conferring at the place or in conference room. If a decision is adopted in the conference room only those judges who are in the contingent of the court can be present in this room during voting period. Opinions expressed during voting can not be divulged. If a decision is adopted in the conference room the chairperson of the court shall announce that decision when the court has returned to the court room.

(2) The sitting of the Constitutional Court is opened by the chairperson of the sitting. He/she announces the contingent of the court, parties to the action and other parties involved in the action, examines their identity and authorization.

(3) If a party to the action or other party involved into action did not appear the chairperson of the court shall clarify whether such person has been properly informed about the court sitting and whether the reasons for non-appearance are known.

(4) If some of the parties to an action who was properly informed about the court sitting did not appear the court shall decide about commencement of hearing of the action or about its postponement. If the invited person, a witness, professional (expert) or interpreter did not appear the chairperson of the court sitting shall pool parties to an action whether the hearing of the action can be commenced without such witness, professional (expert) or interpreter being present. After listening to the opinions of parties to an action the court shall decide about the commencement of hearing of the action or its postponement.

(5) The hearing of the action in the point of fact shall start with judge's report.

(6) After report parties to an action shall disclose the actual circumstances of the action and its legal justification. Submitter of the application shall be given the floor in the first instance. Speech of each party to an action while disclosing the actual circumstances and legal justification for the action may not exceed 30 minutes. Upon request from the party to an action the court can extend the time for a speech.

(7) After that, if necessary, shall be heard invited parties, conclusions of professionals (experts) and witnesses shall be questioned.
(8) The court debate and replication shall follow after it.

(9) The sitting of the Constitutional Court shall end with the announcement of the chairperson of the court regarding the fact when the judgement will be announced.

(10) The process of the sitting of the Constitutional Court shall be recorded on phonogram from which the stenogram shall be made. The stenogram shall be attached to the minutes. The minutes shall be signed by the chairperson of the court sitting and by secretary.

Article 28.1 Process in writing


(1) In those events when documents attached to the file are sufficient to adjudicate an action under the process of writing the court sitting with the participation of parties to an action can be not arranged. The adjudication of an action under the process of writing is established in that procedure set forth in the tenth Part of Article 22 of this law.

(2) Within fifteen days after the announcement about the hearing of action under the process of writing has been received the parties to an action have the right to examine materials of the action and to express their opinion about them in writing.

(3) The action shall be reviewed under the process of writing and a judgement shall be made in conference room.

Article 28.2 Procedural sanctions


(1) In those events set forth in this Article the court can apply the following procedural sanctions:

1) a warning;

2) expulsion from the court room;

3) a monetary fine.

(2) The chairperson of the court sitting can express a warning to such person who interrupts the order during the period of the hearing of an action.

(3) The expulsion from the court room can be applied in those cases when a person to whom the warning was directed is repeatedly interfering the order during the period of the hearing of an action. Persons present who are not parties to an action or other parties involved into action can be expelled by the chairperson of the court sitting, but parties to an action - by the court. If the representative of - state institution or official - the party to an action has been expelled form the court room that institution or official whom he/she represents shall be informed so.

(4) The court can impose a monetary fine in the following cases and in the following amounts:

1) if a party to an action, invited person, professional (expert), a witness or an interpreter does not appear to the court session due to such reasons which by the court are recognized unjustified - a monetary fine up to one hundred Lats;

2) if a party to an action or other party involved in the action to whom a warning was directed is repeatedly interfering the order during hearing of the action - monetary fine up to five hundred Lats.

(5) The copy of that court decision (an excerpt form minutes) regarding imposing monetary fine shall be sent to that person upon whom a monetary fine was imposed.

(6) A person upon whom a monetary fine was imposed within ten days after receipt of the copy of that court decision (an excerpt form minutes) can request the Constitutional Court to release him/her from such monetary fine or to reduce its amount.

(7) Monetary fine shall be collected in that procedure set forth in the Law of Civil Process.

Article 29. Closing of proceedings


(1) Proceedings in the case may be closed before the verdict is announced by a decision of the Constitutional Court:

1) upon a written request of the applicant;

2) if the disputed legal norm (act) is no longer in effect;

3) if the Constitutional Court finds that the decision to initiate the case does not comply with the provisions of Part 1, Article 21 of this law;

4) if that norm (act) the compliance of which is disputed has lost its force;

5) if a judgement in other action about the same subject of claim has been announced;

6) in other events when the continuation of legal proceedings for such action is impossible.

(2) Changes in the contingent of an elected institution or changing of an official after the application has been submitted shall not be sufficient basis to refuse to commence an action or to cease legal proceedings for the action.

(3) If the decision on closing of proceedings of the case has been adopted, the copy of the decision shall be forwarded, within three days after its adoption, to the participants of the case and for publishing in the newspaper "Latvijas Vestnesis".

Article 30. Reaching the verdict of the Constitutional Court


(1) Following the session of the Constitutional Court, the judges shall meet to reach a verdict in the name of the Republic of Latvia. During voting only those judges who are in the contingent of the court can be present in the conference room.

(2) The verdict shall be reached by a majority vote. The judges may vote only "for" or "against".

(3) In the event of a tie vote the Court shall reach a verdict that the disputed legal norm (act) complies with the legal norm of higher force.

(4) The judgement shall be adopted no later than within 30 days after the sitting of the Constitutional Court. No later than three days after the adoption of judgement it shall be sent to the parties in the action.

(5) The judgement shall be signed by the chairperson of the court sitting.

(6) A judge who had voted against the opinion given in the verdict shall present his/her individual opinion in writing, which is attached to the case file, but is not announced at the Court session.

Article 31. Contents of the verdict of the Constitutional Court


The verdict of the Constitutional Court shall indicate:

1) time and place of reaching the verdict;

2) membership of the Constitutional Court and secretary of the Court session;

3) participants in the case (indicating the applicant);

4) provision of this law pursuant to which the Constitutional Court has reviewed the case;

5) the disputed legal norm (act);

6) circumstances established by the Constitutional Court;

7) arguments and proof justifying the conclusions of the Constitutional Court;

8) arguments and proof by which the Constitutional Court rejects this or other proof;

9) provision of the Satversme or other law pursuant to which the Constitutional Court considered whether the disputed legal norm (act) complies with the legal norm of higher force;

10) decision of the Constitutional Court whether or not the disputed legal norm (act) complies with the legal norm of higher force;

11) with regard to a disputed valid norm (act) of rights - that moment when it is loosing its force if the Constitutional Court has decided that such norm (act) does not correspond to the norm of rights of the higher legal power;

12) if necessary - other court decisions;
13) a statement that the verdict of the Constitutional Court is final and may not be appealed.

Article 32. Force of a verdict of the Constitutional Court


(1) The verdict of the Constitutional Court is final. It shall come into legal effect at the time of announcement.

(2) A verdict of the Constitutional Court shall be binding on all state and local government institutions, offices and officials, including the courts, also physical persons and legal entities.

(3) Any legal norm (act) which the Constitutional Court has determined as incompatible with the legal norm of higher force shall be considered invalid as of the day of publication of the decision of the Constitutional Court, unless the Constitutional Court has ruled otherwise.

(4) If the Constitutional Court has recognized any international agreement signed or entered into by Latvia as incompatible with the Satversme, the Cabinet of Ministers is immediately obliged to see that the agreement shall be amended, denounced, suspended or the accession to that agreement shall be recalled.

Article 33. Publication of the verdict of the Constitutional Court


(1) The decision of the Constitutional Court, no later as within five days after its adoption, shall be published in the gazette "Latvijas Vestnesis" and in the publication "The Republic of Latvia Saeima and Cabinet Reporter".

(2) Once a year the Constitutional Court shall publish a collection of verdicts of the Constitutional Court, including all verdicts in full and individual opinions of judges attached to cases.


Chapter IV
Status of a judge of the Constitutional Court

Article 34. Restrictions concerning other paid employment and participation in public affairs


(1) A judge of the Constitutional Court may not fill another office or have other paid employment except in a teaching, scientific and creative capacity. He/she may not be a member of the Saeima or the Dome (Council) of a local government.

(2) The office of a judge of the Constitutional Court is incompatible with membership in a political organization (party) or the association of same. A judge of the Constitutional Court may be a member of other social organization or the association of same, however, he/she must use this right so as not to harm the dignity and reputation of a judge, the independence of the Court, and impartiality.

Article 35. Immunity of a judge of the Constitutional Court


(1) The commencement of criminal prosecution against a judge of the Constitutional Court or his/her arrest are not permitted without the consent from the Constitutional Court. For the adoption of such decision the absolute majority of votes of the entire contingent of judges is required.

(2) A judge of the Constitutional Court may be detained, opeared by force in and subjected to a search with the consent of the Constitutional Court only. These matters shall be reviewed by three judges of the Constitutional Court.

(3) A judge of the Constitutional Court may be charged with disciplinary liability in case of administrative violations.

Article 36. Disciplinary liability of a judge of the Constitutional Court


(1) A judge of the Constitutional Court may be charged with disciplinary liability for:

1) violating the restrictions provided for in Article 35 of this Law;

2) failure to perform his/her duties of office;

3) unbecoming conduct;

4) an administrative violation.

(2) A disciplinary case may be initiated by the Chairperson of the Constitutional Court, his/her Deputy or not less than three judges of the Constitutional Court.

(3) A disciplinary case shall be prepared for review by a judge appointed by the Chairperson of the Constitutional Court or his/her Deputy.

(4) A disciplinary case shall be reviewed by the entire Constitutional Court with all the judges of the Constitutional Court who are not excused for health or other justified reasons, participating. The judge against whom the disciplinary case is initiated, is not part of the court. In this case the court must consist of not less than four judges. The session shall be chaired by the Chairperson of the Constitutional Court or his/her Deputy.

(5) The Constitutional Court shall adopt a decision on a disciplinary case by a majority vote, except for that event mentioned in the third Part of Article 10 of this law. In the event of a tie vote the case shall be closed.

(6) When reviewing a disciplinary case, the Constitutional Court may:

1) impose disciplinary punishment;

3) close the disciplinary case.

(7) Disciplinary punishment which the Constitutional Court may impose on a judge shall be:

1) reproof;

2) admonition;

3) reduction of basic salary for a period of one year, withholding up to 20% of the basic salary.

4) discharging from the position in compliance with the third Part of Article 10 of this law.

(8) Disciplinary punishment does not exclude criminal and material liability of the judge of the Constitutional Court.


Chapter V
Financing of the Constitutional Court, Remuneration of and Social Guarantees for Judges

Article 37. Financing of the Constitutional Court


The Constitutional Court shall be financed from the state budget.

Article 38. Remuneration of judges of the Constitutional Court


(1) The salary of a judge of the Constitutional Court, the Chairperson of the Constitutional Court and his/her Deputy shall be equal to the salary of a judge of the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and his/her Deputy, respectively.

(2) The Chairperson of the Constitutional Court shall receive an extra payment for performing the duties of a Chairperson, equal to the extra payment set for the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court for performing the duties of the Chief Justice; the Deputy Chairperson of the Constitutional Court for performing the duties of a Deputy Chairperson shall receive an extra payment equal to the extra payment set for the Deputy Chief Justice of the Supreme Court for performing the duties of a Deputy Chief Justice.

(3) In addition to their basic salary, judges of the Constitutional Court shall receive an extra payment provided for in legislative acts currently in effect for judges of the Supreme Court with the higher qualification grade.

Article 39. Social guarantees for judges of the Constitutional Court


All social guarantees and relief provided for judges in regulatory acts currently in effect shall also apply to judges of the Constitutional Court.


Chapter VI
Officials and employees of the Constitutional Court

Article 40. Officials and employees of the Constitutional Court


(1) The list of positions of officials and employees of the Constitutional Court shall be established by the Chairperson of the Constitutional Court within the limits of the Court's budget.

(2) The employment relations between the Constitutional Court and its officials and employees shall be regulated by the Latvian Labor Code.

(3) All benefits and social guarantees provided for officials and employees of the judiciary by the law "On Judicial Power" and other regulatory acts currently in effect shall apply to the officials and employees of the Constitutional Court.


Transitional Provisions

1. If, at the time when the first session of the first Constitutional Court is convened, all the judges of the Constitutional Court have assumed office, the Constitutional Court shall elect the Chairperson of the Constitutional Court according to the procedure set in Article 12 of this law. If not all the judges of the Constitutional Court have assumed office at this time, the Constitutional Court shall, by a simple majority vote, elect the Acting Chairperson of the Constitutional Court from among the judges which have assumed office. Only a judge of the Constitutional Court who has assumed office may be elected the Acting Chairperson of the Constitutional Court.

2. The Acting Chairperson of the Constitutional Court shall have full powers of the Chairperson of the Constitutional Court until the time when the Chairperson of the Constitutional Court is elected.


The President of the Republic of Latvia
G.Ulmanis


Translation (C) by the Latvia Law Institute. All rights reserved. Other translation of Latvian laws available. E-mail: latjurinst@parks.lv