Judge: National Council would help uncover mistakes in the court justice system

Latvian President Egils Levits’ proposed initiative to found a National Council would help uncover mistakes committed in the court justice system post factum. Thereby the Constitutional Court would not be the sole institution that looks into possible non-compliance or violation of procedures that result in innocent people receiving penalties for no reason, said Constitutional Court judge Sanita Osipova in an interview to Jurista Vārds magazine.
«If an act of unlawful conduct is discovered, the person needs to go through the entire court justice system to prove his or her innocence, which can take three to five years. Then this person comes to us, where cases are reviewed in less than a year. This means people suffer injustice for three to six years until justice is restored,» the judge explains the situation.
She believes this situation would not exist if Latvia had a National Council, because risks would be evaluated before legislative norms are applied and people are subjected to injustice.
When asked if Latvia’s National Council could be similar to France’s example, which already has a similar institution, Osipova said it is not necessary to create a new institution, because there are countries in which such issues are entrusted to constitutional jurisdiction.
«If such issues are entrusted to constitutional jurisdiction, it is necessary to keep in mind that we have a small seven-person court that operates with the same composition all the time. We don’t have a chamber for issues to be reviewed by one changer and in other situations by another. We cannot direct the same issue to the same institution that had provided a response once before,» explains Osipova.
This is why she believes it would be best for Latvia if there as a separate constitutional institution, because there are many different models. However, it is necessary to look at each specific case to see how regulations were applied and whether or not there were any breaches.
«Legislative acts are made by ministries. At public court hearings, whenever we hear opinions of representatives of ministries, we can see that development does not always include an assessment of all commitments Latvia has taken on, because most of the time only regulations that govern industries are taken into account. The best example of this was observed in summer 2020, when a case was reviewed regarding the use of Latvian language at private schools. It was clear the development process did not take into account EU regulations, specifically legislation on competition. It is important to survey the entire legislative framework the new regulation will cover. Then it will be possible to see if there are any higher regulations affected by it,» explains Osipova.