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Fundamental rights - Latvia


The national courts

Civil, criminal and administrative cases in Latvia are heard by courts at three levels - district or city courts (rajonu (pilsētu) tiesas), regional courts (apgabaltiesas), and the Supreme Court (Augstākā tiesa). For a list of courts click Link opens in new windowhere.

There is also the Constitutional Court (Satversmes tiesa), which in accordance with the Constitution and the Link opens in new windowConstitutional Court Law (Satversmes tiesas likums) hears cases involving the compliance of laws and regulations with the Constitution, and other matters assigned to its jurisdiction by law.

In accordance with the Link opens in new windowLaw on the Judicial Power (Likums “Par tiesu varu”), the principles and procedures for the trial of cases are laid down in the Link opens in new windowConstitutional Court Law, the Link opens in new windowLaw on Civil Procedure (Civilprocesa likums), the Link opens in new windowLaw on Criminal Procedure (Kriminālprocesa likums), and the Link opens in new windowLaw on Administrative Procedure (Administratīvā procesa likums), which regulate the progress of cases, the decisions to be taken during and at the end of the proceedings, and the procedures for enforcement.

Specialised human rights bodies

The Link opens in new windowOmbudsman’s Office (Tiesībsarga birojs) operates under the Link opens in new windowOmbudsman Law (Tiesībsarga likums).

Any person who believes that there may have been a violation of human rights, whether his or her own or those of another person, or a violation of the principles of good governance, is entitled to make a written complaint or submission to the Ombudsman’s Office. The procedure for the receipt and examination of complaints is regulated by the Ombudsman Law and the regulations on the handling of complaints (sūdzību izskatīšanas reglaments). According to these provisions, upon receipt of a written complaint, the Ombudsman must decide whether to accept the case or to reject it (the complaint will be rejected if it does not contain sufficient details of the violation or is outside the competence of the Ombudsman), and must notify the complainant accordingly. The case must be considered within three months. The case ends either with an agreement between the parties or with a recommendation made by the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman’s recommendation is not legally binding.

Section 13(6) of the Ombudsman Law provides that the Ombudsman may also initiate cases on his or her own initiative.

Ombudsman of the Republic of Latvia contact information:

Baznīcas ielā 25
Riga
LV-1010

Tel.: +371 67686768
Fax: 67244074

E-mail: Link opens in new windowtiesibsargs@tiesibsargs.lv

Open to the public every day from 9.00 to 16.00.

Consultations are by appointment. There is no charge.

Ombudsman in children’s rights cases

The Link opens in new windowOmbudsman acts under the Link opens in new windowOmbudsman Law. In addition, in accordance with Section 652(2) of the Link opens in new windowProtection of the Rights of the Child Law (Bērnu tiesību aizsardzības likums), the Ombudsman’s Office also deals with complaints about violations of children’s rights, paying particular attention to violations committed by state and local government authorities or their employees.

Ombudsman of the Republic of Latvia contact information:

Baznīcas ielā 25
Riga
LV-1010

Tel.: +371 67686768
Fax: 67244074

E-mail: Link opens in new windowtiesibsargs@tiesibsargs.lv

Open to the public every day from 9.00 to 16.00.

Consultations are by appointment. There is no charge.

The Link opens in new windowState Inspectorate for the Protection Of Children’s Rights (Valsts bērnu tiesību aizsardzības inspekcija) monitors and verifies the enforcement of laws and regulations in the field of the protection of children’s rights, in accordance with Section 651 of the Link opens in new windowProtection of the Rights of the Child Law.

Children’s rights protection inspectors can be consulted at:

53 Ventspils iela
Riga
LV–1002

Tel.: +371 67359128, +371 67359133

Open to the public on Mondays 13.00-18.00 and Thursdays 8.30-14:00.
Please click Link opens in new windowhere for more detailed information on applications and complaints regarding child rights issues.

Equality body

The Link opens in new windowOmbudsman operates under the Link opens in new windowOmbudsman Law.

Ombudsman of the Republic of Latvia contact information:

25 Baznīcas ielā
Riga
LV-1010

Tel.: +371 67686768
Fax: 67244074

E-mail: Link opens in new windowtiesibsargs@tiesibsargs.lv

Open to the public every day from 9.00 to 16.00.

Consultations are by appointment. There is no charge.

Data protection body

The Link opens in new windowState Data Inspectorate (Datu valsts inspekcija, ‘DVI’) supervises the protection of personal data. It verifies and monitors the compliance of the processing of personal data in the country with the requirements of the Personal Data Protection Law (Fizisko personu datu aizsardzības likums).

According to Section 5(3) of the Official Applications Law (Iesniegumu likums, effective 1 January 2008) and Section 64 of the Law on Administrative Procedure (effective 1 February 2004), the Inspectorate must consider an application or complaint made to it and give an answer within one month of receipt. This deadline may be extended if further information is needed in order to examine the application or complaint.

The Inspectorate has power to impose penalties for personal data protection offences. Its decisions can be challenged in the courts.

State Data Inspectorate contact information:

Blaumaņa iela 11/13-15.
Riga
LV-1011

Tel.: +371 67223131
E-mail: Link opens in new windowinfo@dvi.gov.lv

Admission by appointment.

Staff are available for telephone consultations every weekday 14.00-16.00.

Other specialised bodies

The Link opens in new windowLatvian Centre for Human Rights (Latvijas cilvēktiesību centrs, ‘LCC’) is an independent non-governmental organisation concerned with human rights education, human rights research and issues of national relations. Its areas of activity include social integration, tolerance and anti-discrimination, closed institutions, legal advice, protection of the interests of mentally ill people and prevention of discrimination against them, hate crime, and asylum seekers.

Latvian Centre for Human Rights contact information:

13 Alberta iela
7.stāvs
Riga
LV-1010
Latvia

Tel.: +371 67039290
Fax: +371 67039291

E-mail: Link opens in new windowoffice@humanrights.org.lv

Other

The Link opens in new windowLegal Aid Administration (Juridiskās palīdzības administrācija, ‘JPA’) acts under the Link opens in new windowState Legal Aid Law (Valsts nodrošinātās juridiskās palīdzības likums), the Link opens in new windowLaw on State Compensation to Victims (Likums par valsts kompensāciju cietušajiem) and Cabinet Regulation No 869 of 15 November 2005 laying down the Link opens in new windowCharter of the Legal Aid Administration (Juridiskās palīdzības administrācijas nolikums). It reviews applications for state legal aid and decides whether to grant or refuse it; considers claims for state compensation and decides whether to pay or to refuse payment; examines applications by individuals for approval as state legal aid providers and concludes contracts with legal aid providers; and performs other tasks in accordance with the aforesaid laws and regulations.

The form for obtaining the status of a state legal aid provider is available on the Administration’s website at Link opens in new windowhttp://www.jpa.gov.lv/, in the section ‘Juridiskās palīdzības sniedzējiem’ [legal aid providers].

Legal Aid Administration contact information:

Brīvības gatve 214
Riga
LV-1039

Toll-free tel.: + 371 680001801, tel.: +371 67514208
Fax: +37167514209

E-mail: Link opens in new windowjpa@jpa.gov.lv

Safe House Shelter Association

The Safe House Shelter Association [Link opens in new windowNVO "Patvērums „Drošā māja”"] was founded with the aim of developing support services for trafficked persons and legal immigrants, including asylum seekers, refugees and persons granted alternative status, so as to ensure the right of the individual to receive adequate assistance and protection; promoting rehabilitation and reintegration of people who have been trafficked; and providing support services for legal immigrants, with the development of interactive forms of training and cooperation with state and local government institutions and social and Christian organisations in Latvia and elsewhere in the world. In September 2010 the association was recognised as an organisation of public benefit. Since 2007 it has been entitled to provide state-funded social rehabilitation services to the victims of human trafficking.

Contact information:

Lāčplēša iela 75 - 9/10
Riga
LV-1011

Tel.: +371 67898343, +371 28612120

E-mail: Link opens in new windowdrosa.maja@gmail.com


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Last update: 20/08/2018