Today, President of Latvia Egils Levits met with Minister for Justice Inese Lībiņa-Egnere at the Riga Castle to discuss current judicial priorities of Latvia and national position regarding the establishment of special international ad hoc tribunal for Russia’s crimes of aggression against Ukraine.
President of Latvia and Justice Minister discussed the progress with new Judicial Academy. ‘We need the Academy for further training of judges, prosecutors and investigators. Judicial Academy must become a strong pillar of national judicial system,’ President Levits said. Minister Lībiņa-Egnere informed about the timeframe of this project and various phases that will be completed to open the Academy in January of 2025.
Officials then turned to performance of Economic Crimes Court and need to expand its jurisdiction. Egils Levits and Inese Lībiņa-Egnere agreed that court has shown that it is efficient and professional.
President and Justice Minister touched upon position of Latvian judicial system experts regarding CJEU (Court of Justice of the European Union) decision to delete the provision on public access to beneficial ownership records from EU directive. Egils Levits and Inese Lībiņa-Egnere both pointed out that national regulations on public access to data about final beneficiaries of legal entities must remain in force. Such provision is crucial for fair and transparent financial sector practices.
President Levits informed Minister Lībiņa-Egnere about his plans to prepare and hand over to Saeima changes in the party financing law aimed at strengthening intra-party expertise. Initiative has already been discussed by President with several parliamentary groups.
Future of Central Election Commission was another topic discussed during the meeting. Saeima is currently debating various scenarios. According to President, MPs should not hesitate with clear procedures for relocation of the Commission to the organisational structure of parliament, Ministry of Justice or Interior Ministry. He urged Saeima to ensure that Commission is sufficiently funded and capable to reform itself and ensure successful future elections.
President Levits reminded of the importance of collective memory and democratic awareness, which need to be formed and deepened. ‘We must develop democratic awareness through our history. When you know your history, you know what you need to do now,’ Egils Levits pointed out.
President and Minister also talked about enforcement of Constitutional Court’s judgement regarding legal status of civil partnerships in Latvia.