Address of the President of Latvia Egils Levits
Honourable Madam Kaija,
From a Supreme Court perspective this is a rather unique case. A new judge, an ‘outsider’ from academic community has joined the Court. I hope that this will evolve into a stable trend for legal scholars to join the Supreme Court as judges.
I would like to underline that legal science and legal practice are actually two sides of the same coin in the methodological sense. Legal science seeks to find abstract answers to particular questions or challenges before they occur. And judges adjudicate cases the same way, making judgements based on specific circumstances after something has happened. The same approach is used to adjudicate specific cases. It is important that shared approach is based on actually the same principles and that, by the way, means that all judgements made by the court have to meet certain scientific integrity principles. That is how the Supreme Court benefits from a new colleague who has prior background in legal science and good understanding of how the overall legal methodology works.
So, let me congratulate because your new colleague, her prior professional career and work is highly regarded by the community of legal scholars. She is also the author of many publications on legal science.
I should also mention that not only Latvia, but also other countries of the world try to ensure that legal science and practices work together for the common goal. And by common goal I mean the court judgements. This is a crucial synergy. Of course, that does not mean that you should always combine them, however, such combining is often unavoidable.
Madam Kaija was previously employed by Riga Stradiņš University, a higher education establishment that has given us some of the best lawyers. I hope that you, Madam Kaija, will cut down your academic activities to zero. I myself have worked as a judge for 25 years and I have often used my academic experience in my work, so it has, indeed, come in handy quite often. I wish you to be able to find the time for science as well. I wish you to meet the highest judicial, professional and ethical standards.
By the way, I am absolutely certain that our society, looking at different court judgements, will appreciate having you as a judge due to your academic experience because you are very well positioned to be able to identify certain systematic problems and solve them, thus benefitting also the Supreme Court by enriching its practices.
Thank you for choosing the Supreme Court as your next career choice. I would also like to thank the Supreme Court for bringing in another highly-qualified colleague. Good luck!