The Latvian Chapter of Orders is responsible for all matters related to state honours. The Chapter considers proposals on the awarding of state honours, as well as other issues related to same. The Chapter of Orders takes decisions on awarding or withdrawing state honours. Its decisions are signed by the President of Latvia. Information about the awarding and withdrawing of state honours is published at no charge in the newspaper Latvijas Vēstnesis.
Members of the Chapter of Orders come from different sectors and professions. They are not paid for their work. The chancellor of the Chapter of Orders is always someone who has received at least one of the state honours. Among the other six members, two must have the Order of Three Stars, two must have the Order of Viesturs, and two must have the Cross of Recognition. The chancellor and members of the Chapter of Orders are appointed by the President. Only citizens of Latvia may hold any post in the Chapter.
The President can release a member of the Chapter of Orders from his or her duties if the President finds that to be necessary or if the member has personally requested that he or she be released. The duties of the chancellor and members of the Chapter of Orders automatically expire upon the relevant member’s death.
Meetings of the Chapter of Orders are convened by the chancellor. A quorum is present for a meeting if the President or chancellor is present along with at least four other members of the Chapter. The speaker of the Saeima and the prime minister may be present at meetings of the Chapter of Orders. Meetings are chaired by the chancellor. A decision is taken if the majority of members present have voted in favour of it. Voting rights at the meeting rest with the President, the chancellor and the members of the Chapter. Where the vote splits evenly, the decisive vote is cast by the President. Votes are taken openly unless a member of the Chapter asks for a secret vote.
The Chapter of Orders meets behind closed doors, and the content of debates at the meetings is never disclosed.
The Chapter of Orders withdraws state honours from an individual who has been convicted of a voluntary crime; has committed a shameful deed that was not known to the Chapter of Orders as such time as the decision to award state honours was taken and that is not compatible with the status of one who has state honours; has refused the honours after their presentation and returned them, with all relevant documentation, to the Chapter of Orders; has, prior to the awarding of honours, submitted a written statement of refusal of the honours to the Chapter of Orders. When a situation referred to in first two situations occurs, the National Police are asked to confiscate the relevant order, emblem of recognition, all relevant documents and miniature versions of the order or emblem.
The Chapter of Orders may ask state and local government institutions, as well as other legal entities, for information, at no cost to the Chapter, about persons who have been recommended for state honours.
The Presidential Chancery is responsible for the everyday operations of the Chapter of Orders. The Chancery is responsible for designing, preparing the orders, emblems of recognition, diplomas, certificates and statutes of state honours, as well as for the ceremonies at which state honours are conferred upon their recipients. The Chapter of Orders summons consultants as necessary in its work. The Chapter also keeps a register of all state honours. A registered number is given to each order and to its diploma.
The Chapter of Orders drafts its own internal regulations, and these are approved by the President.
Chapter of Orders
Chancellor of the Chapter of Orders:
Ms Karina Pētersone, Director of the Latvian Institute, Commander of the Order of the Three Stars;
Members of the Chapter of Orders:
Mr Roberts Strīpnieks, President of JSC “Latvijas valsts meži”, Commander of the Order of the Three Stars;
Mr Ēriks Hānbergs, writer and publicist, Officer of the Order of the Three Stars;
Mr Gaidis Andrejs Zeibots, Vice-Admiral, Commander of the Great Cross of the Order of Viesturs;
Mr Aivars Straume, General, Head of Emergency and Recovery Unit, state-owned JSC "Latvijas dzelzceļš", Commander of the Great Cross of the Order of Viesturs;
Mr Indulis Bērziņš, Permanent Representative of Latvia to NATO, Commander of the Order of Three Stars, Grand Officer of the Cross of Recognition;
Ms Žaneta Ozoliņa, Professor at the Department of Political Science of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Latvia, Dr.paed., Grand Officer of the Cross of Recognition.