On Thursday, 25thof April, the Swiss Ambassador to Latvia Konstantin Obolensky visited the Ministry of Justice to discuss current and future cooperation issues with Jānis Bordāns, the Minister of Justice.
During the conversation the Minister of Justice welcomed the Swiss good example of both addressing the legal issues and business matters and implemented immigration policy, which is open enough but at the same time requires a high level of integration. The model of the small and efficient public administration is also welcomed, and it is also one of the goals of the Latvian government, J. Bordāns admitted during the meeting.
“Cooperation between Latvia and Switzerland has always been particularly important for us, and Switzerland is a country from which it would be valuable to take over the good practice in arranging business and business environment and solving legal issues. I would like to confirm the readiness of the Ministry of Justice to establish even closer bilateral relations and to develop cooperation also for the purpose of exchange of experience.”
During the meeting, J. Bordāns particularly stressed the importance of the individual project “Modernisation of courts in Latvia” of the Latvian-Swiss Cooperation Programme 2009–2013 in strengthening of the judicial system and the rule of law, which significantly helped to improve judicial capacity through the introduction of new technologies in judicial processes and court management, as well as increased the access of population and economic operators to justice.
Both parties recognized the importance of cooperation between Latvia and Switzerland in relations between the two countries.
Within the framework of the project “Modernization of courts in Latvia”, all 47 courts of Latvia and 12 prisons (a total of 323 halls) were provided with video conferencing and sound recording equipment. In total, within the project, 94 video conferencing and 308 sound recording units were purchased and installed, procedures for court hearing cost control and cost reduction were developed and implemented, proceedings' procedures were implemented and made more efficient, audio protocol labelling systems were introduced in courts, 41 information kiosks and 130 information boards were installed in courts, the national court portal www.tiesas.lvwas improved, 5 electronic services for entrepreneurs and citizens were developed and implemented, 71 electronic forms for electronic filling were developed and implemented, the single internal portal of the Court Administration, the courts and land registry departments was improved, and 85 court workplaces were equipped with scanners infrastructure.
The results of the project provide an opportunity for the Latvian judicial system to use modern technical means for much more efficient provision of judicial procedures, which already today give concrete results – reduction of costs and time limits of judicial proceedings.