Remarks by the President of Latvia Egils Levits
Honourable Mr Balodis,
In my opinion it is excellent that after serving 10 years as the judge of the Constitutional Court, and a short break, you have decided to join the judicial family of the Supreme Court. It is excellent because your experience as a judge of the Supreme Court will be valuable for the Supreme Court. The court must be open to ideas coming from other legal disciplines, from other branches of law.
You are a professor, scholar and a judge. I believe that any judge is also a scholar at the same time. Judges and legal scholars use the same approaches. The only difference is that a judge works on a judgement and tries to ensure that his ruling is scientifically sound after an incident. Whereas, a scholar tries to model various situations or define principles that are then followed by practitioners. Scholars always have practical application in mind, and practitioners rely on scientific conclusions. That is why it is excellent that your professional career combines both the academic and practical experience.
Your book, ‘Introduction to Civil Law’, is exceptional. It is the golden standard of civil law textbooks. The first, and so far, the only civil law textbook published after the restoration of Latvia’s independence and re-establishing of the Civil Law. Your book and numerous other articles that focus on civil law have become a part of the canon of legal training in Latvia. And now you yourself will be able to put the many ideas you have written about in your book and other publications to good use as a judge.
I value highly the strong sense of duty to our country with which you served as the judge of the Constitutional Court. There have been numerous discussions about where our state is headed and what a democratic Latvia, a nation-state governed by the rule of law, should look like, and we can see these ideas in the judgements of the Constitutional Court. These concepts might not directly apply to civil cases, but they definitely have certain relevance to the work of all judges.
You are the second Supreme Court judge to give oath lately, which shows that the Supreme Court is going through a renewal process and is probably going to put more emphasis on legal science.
Support of the family is vital for a judge. And I am happy to see that you have brought your family with you today. You have all the support you need. The support of your family, university and, of course, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
Good luck to you in the new position of the judge of the Supreme Court!