This section provides you with an overview of specialised courts in Latvia.
Constitutional Court of the Republic of Latvia
Pursuant to the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia, Latvia has a Constitutional Court, which is an independent judicial institution that examines whether in cases within its remit the law is in conformity with the Constitution, and also considers other cases assigned to it by the law. The Constitutional Court may declare laws and other legal acts or parts thereof null and void.
Pursuant to Article 16 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, the Constitutional Court considers cases concerning:
- the constitutionality of laws;
- the constitutionality of international agreements signed or concluded by Latvia (until such time as those agreements are approved by the Saeima (Parliament));
- the conformity of laws and regulations or parts thereof with higher-ranking rules of law;
- the conformity with law of other acts of the Parliament, Cabinet, President, Speaker of Parliament or Prime Minister (other than administrative acts);
- the conformity with law of orders by which a Minister empowered by the Cabinet has suspended the decisions of a local council;
- the conformity of provisions of Latvian national law with international agreements concluded by Latvia that are not incompatible with the Constitution.
The Constitutional Court comprises seven judges who are approved by a majority of the of Members of Parliament (at least 51 votes). Three of the judges are approved at the proposal of at least ten Members of Parliament, two are approved at the proposal of the Cabinet, and a further two at the proposal of a sitting of the whole Supreme Court. The candidates put forward by the Supreme Court must be selected from among Latvia’s judges.
The Constitutional Court may not institute proceedings at its own initiative; it considers cases only on receipt of an application from persons so authorised by law. Under the legislation currently in force, an application initiating proceedings in the Constitutional Court may be submitted by:
- the President of Latvia;
- the Saeima;
- at least twenty Members of Parliament;
- the Cabinet;
- the Prosecutor-General;
- the Council of the State Audit Office;
- a local council;
- the Ombudsman, if the institution or official that issued the contested act has not rectified the shortcomings identified within the deadline set by the Ombudsman;
- a court examining a civil, criminal or administrative case;
- a judge at a land registry office when registering immovable property and related rights in the land register;
- any natural or legal person, if their fundamental rights under the Constitution have been prejudiced;
- the Judicial Council (Tieslietu padome), within its legally prescribed remit.
Cases concerning the constitutionality of laws, Cabinet regulations and other Cabinet acts, the conformity of provisions of Latvian national legislation with international agreements concluded by Latvia which are not incompatible with the Constitution, and the constitutionality of international agreements signed or concluded by Latvia (until such time as those agreements are approved by the Saeima) and laws or regulations or parts thereof are considered by the Constitutional Court in full session. Other cases are examined by a panel composed of three judges, unless the Constitutional Court decides otherwise.
The judgment of the Constitutional Court is final and enters into force at the time of delivery. A judgment of the Constitutional Court and the interpretation it contains of a contested provision is binding on all central and local government bodies (including courts) and officials, and on natural and legal persons.
A provision which the Constitutional Court has declared incompatible with a higher-ranking rule of law is deemed annulled with effect from the date on which the Constitutional Court judgment is published, unless the Constitutional Court determines otherwise. If the Constitutional Court has declared an international agreement that has been signed or concluded by Latvia to be unconstitutional, the Cabinet must immediately take steps to amend, denounce, suspend or withdraw from the agreement.
Name and URL of the database
Is access to the database free of charge?
Yes, access is free of charge.
Content of the database in brief
The database contains judgments of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Latvia.
The database search interface and judgments are available in Latvian and English.
The national language version of this page is maintained by the respective Member State. The translations have been done by the European Commission service. Possible changes introduced in the original by the competent national authority may not be yet reflected in the translations. The European Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to any information or data contained or referred to in this document. Please refer to the legal notice to see copyright rules for the Member State responsible for this page.
Last update: 09/08/2017