top_img
The Conferral and Presentation of State Honours

Chapter VII of the law on state honours 

Section 51.  Upon taking office, the President of Latvia shall have the right to receive the highest class of each order, as well as the chain of the Order of Three Stars.  The said honours shall be presented to the President after he or she takes office by the Speaker of the Saeima.

(As amended on April 15, 2010, amendments taking effect on May 1, 2010)

 

Section 52.  (1)  No person shall have the right to ask that he or she be granted state honours.
 

(2)  Persons receive state honours only in accordance with the procedures referred to in this law, with the President conferring state honours in accordance with decisions taken by the Chapter of Orders.
 

Section 53.  (1)  Any person shall have the right to submit a proposal to the Chapter of Orders on the conferral of state honours on another person.
 

(2)  The President shall have the right to recommend that state honours be conferred on any person by making the relevant proposal before the Chapter of Orders.

 

Section 55.  (1)  The class of an order or a medal of honour shall be determined on the basis of the recipient’s activities and achievements, as well as the recipient’s job in those instances which are referred to in Section 55.1 of this law.
 

(2)  The Chapter of Orders shall request evaluations in the following instances:
 

1)  When it comes to honours for military personnel, from the commander of the National Armed Forces.  The Chapter of Orders shall inform the defence minister of any proposal to confer state honours upon a representative of the military;
 

2)  When it comes to honours for an individual who is not a representative of the military but is to receive honours in relation to military achievements, from the defence minister;
 

3)  When it comes to any foreign individual, except for representatives of the military, from the foreign minister;
 

4)  When it comes to a representative of foreign armed forces, from the defence minister.
 

(3)  Where the Order of Viesturs is conferred upon a representative of the military posthumously, the requirements referred to in Section 55.1 of this law shall not be applied.

(As amended on April 15, 2010, amendments taking effect on May 1, 2010)

 

Section 55.1.  The following requirements shall be taken into account when conferring the Order of Viesturs and its Medals of Honour unto military personnel:
 

1)  Recipients of honours who hold a rank ranging from soldier (sailor in the Navy) to corporal shall receive the Medal of Honour, Third Class;
 

2)  Recipients of honours who hold a rank ranging from soldier to master sergeant (master boatswain in the Navy) shall receive the Medal of Honour, Second Class;
 

3)  Recipients of honours who hold the rank of staff sergeant, sergeant first class and master sergeant (ranging from staff boatswain to boatswain first class to master boatswain in the Navy) shall receive the Medal of Honour, First Class;
 

4)   Recipients of honours who hold a rank ranging from lieutenant to captain (lieutenant captain in the Navy) shall become Bearers of the Order;
 

5)  Recipients of honours who hold a rank ranging from major (lieutenant commander in the Navy) to lieutenant colonel (captain commander in the Navy) shall become Officers of the Order;
 

6)  Recipients of honours who hold the rank of colonel (sea captain in the navy) shall become Commanders of the Order;
 

7)  Recipients of honours who hold the rank of brigadier general, major general, or lieutenant general (fleet admiral, counter admiral, vice admiral in the Navy) shall become Grand Officers of the Order or Commanders of the Grand Cross of the Order, depending on their position in the military.

(As amended on April 15, 2010, amendments taking effect on May 1, 2010)

 

Section 56.  (1)  State honours shall be presented in relation to the following historical events:
 

1)  The adoption of the Declaration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia, May 4;
 

2)  Veterans’ Day, November 11;
 

3)  Latvian Independence Day, November 18.
 

(2)  Where the Order of Three Stars, the Order of Viesturs or the Cross of Recognition is conferred in accordance with the terms referred to in Section 11.4, 21.4 or 30.3 of this law, the honours may be conferred during a state visit paid by the Latvian President to another country or a state visit paid to Latvia by the head of state of another country, as well as to foreign ambassadors whose tour of duty in Latvia has ended.
 

(3)  State honours are presented by the President or by a person delegated by the President to do so.

(As amended on September 28, 2006, the amendments taking effect on October 27, 2006)

 

Section 57.  (1)  Recipients of orders shall also receive a diploma, and recipients of a medal of honour shall receive a certificate, both to be signed by the President and the chancellor of the Chapter of Orders.
 

(2)  Each order and each medal of honour has its seal.  The seal of each order and each medal of honour shall be placed upon the relevant diploma or certificate.
 

(3)  Persons receiving state honours shall also receive the miniature version of the order of medal of honour, as well as a copy of the statutes of the relevant order or medal of honour.
 

(4)  Where a person who has been awarded state honours has died between the taking of the decision and the date of conferral, the order or medal of honour shall be received by the person’s closest relatives.
 

(4¹)  Where the terms referred to in Section 21.5 of this law prevail, the Order of Viesturs shall be received by the relevant individual’s closest relatives.
 

(5)  Orders and medals of honour, except for the Order of Viesturs, are not awarded posthumously.

(As amended on April 15, 2010, the amendments taking effect on May 1, 2010)

 

Section 58.  (1)  The number of persons to whom state honours may be conferred is not limited in terms of classes of orders or medals of honour, or in any other way.
 

(2)  A higher class of one and the same order or medal of honour may be awarded to an individual for new achievements, but no sooner than four years after the conferral of the original honours.
 

Section 59.  Where a government official has been awarded state honours, the said fact shall be noted in the individual’s work papers.
 

Section 60.  (1)  A person shall be considered to have refused state honours after their conferral if the said person returns the honours, all relevant documents, and the miniature version of the order or medal of honour to the Chapter of Orders, doing so together with a letter of refusal.
 

(2)  A person shall be considered to have refused state honours before their conferral if the said person so advises the Chapter of Orders in writing and before the conferral of the honours.
 

(3)  Where a person has refused state honours, relevant records shall be made in the register of the order upon the taking of the said decision by the Chapter of Orders.
 

Section 61.  (1)  The Presidential Chancery shall store any state honours, apart from memorial medals for the participants of the 1991 barricades, which have not been conferred for one reason or another, which have been returned after conferral, which have been taken away from individuals, which are ones that have been refused by the relatives of the recipient after his or her death, with respect to the handling of which the deceased person’s closest relatives cannot agree, or whose recipients do not have any close relatives.
 

(2)  Upon the expiration of the President’s term in office, the Presidential Chancery shall distribute the honours referred to in Section 61(1) as follows:  Orders of Viesturs and relevant medals of honour to the Latvian More Museum, and all other state honours to the Latvian National Historical Museum.
 

(3)  Where state honours, diplomas and/or certificates have been lost, the recipient of the honours or the person who possesses the honours shall be obliged to so report to the Chapter of Orders.  The lost state honours may be restored, but in that case the said individuals shall cover the cost of the restoration themselves.
 

(4)  Recipients of state honours may purchase additional miniature versions thereof, covering the cost of the said miniature versions themselves.
 

(5)  Ladies who receive the second or third class of the Order of Three Stars, the Order of Viesturs, or the Cross of Recognition prior to February 28, 2011, may purchase an additional ribbon to wear the order in accordance with the relevant apparel, covering the cost of the said ribbon themselves.

(As amended on April 15, 2010, the amendments taking effect on May 1, 2010)