Press release Jaunumi

On 14 July 2022, under the chairmanship of the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Justice Jānis Bordāns, the international Justice Leaders’ Forum “Accountability and Innovation in a Time of Change” will be held in Riga, where justice leaders from several countries will discuss how to ensure the development of the justice sector in today’s changing environment. Special attention will be paid to the Russian war crimes investigation.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice J.Bordāns states: “Today, every country faces challenges at national and cross-border level, caused by the pandemic in the recent years and, for many countries, the national security threat posed by the Russian-led war in Ukraine. The future of justice is also unpredictable and the question of how to operate in times of change is a pressing one, hence the need to discuss with justice leaders from other countries how to build capacity among justice policy makers and justice service providers”.

The Forum will focus on the ability of leaders to take responsibility in times of change, ensuring the development of the justice sector in a changing environment. At the same time, the Leaders’ Forum will focus on the governance of justice institutions and access to services, sharing examples of best practice. Discussions will focus on lifelong learning and research opportunities to support the implementation of justice reforms. The discussions will focus in particular on what justice leaders can do to end the war in Ukraine and contribute to the restoration of the rule of law.

On 14 July, the first International Riga Justice Leaders Forum “Accountability and Innovation in a Time of Change” will take place, bringing together more than 35 justice leaders from around the world, the European Commission and major international organisations.

In response to the invitation of the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Justice Jānis Bordāns, for the first time academics, decision-makers and legal practitioners will gather in Riga to discuss the ability of justice leaders to take responsibility and ensure the development of the justice sector in a changing environment. One of the core issues of the Forum is what needs to be done to restore the international legal order.

On 14 July at the House of the Blackheads in Riga, justice leaders will shape the future of the justice sector in three discussion sessions.

  • The Forum will kick off with a session on “Innovation and Strategic Leadership for an Achievable Justice Sector in 2022: a Leaders’ Perspective”, where participants will discuss the questions: What are the challenges facing the justice sector? What shapes leadership at national and international level? What drives the development of the justice sector? Do the usual decision-making pathways work in extreme situations? Does the rule of law allow for deviations and to what extent? What shapes the next generation of leaders?
  • In the second Forum discussion “Critical Factors for Successful Change”, participants will discuss the rule of law in the digital environment - are new standards of justice needed? What are the elements of a successful change process? What are the necessary resources for successful change management? How to foster a supportive environment for the sustainability of learning outcomes? 
  • The Forum will conclude with a discussion on “War Crimes Investigations and Sanctions Mechanisms towards Restoring the Rule of Law”. Justice leaders will seek legal instruments to contribute to ending the war and rebuilding Ukraine. War crimes investigations at international and national level. Does force create rights? Is there an obligation to respect rights also against those who flagrantly violate them? Is indirectly supporting war, including by financing an aggressor state, a war crime? Have all tools been used against the aggressor?

The Forum will also be streamed live on 14 July from 9.30 to 18.00 on the Ministry of Justice’s YouTube account.

For the agenda and a list of discussion participants, please see below.

The Riga Justice Leaders Forum is organized by the ESF project “Justice for Development” (No.

More information can be found here.

Riga Justice Leaders Forum 2022

Responsive Justice Sector


Venue: House of the Black Heads, Rātslaukums 7, Rīga


Thursday 14 July 2022

Venue: House of the Black Heads, Rātslaukums 7, Rīga


9h00 – 9h30 Arrival of the participants

9h30 – 9h40 Opening speech by Mr Jānis Bordāns, Minister of Justice, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Latvia

9h40 – 11h30 Opening session


Innovation and strategical management for responsive justice sector in 2022: leaders’ perspective


How to ensure responsiveness of justice sector in unpredictable circumstances – leaders’ responsibility.


Panel leader: Mr Māris Vainovskis, Representative of FICIL Latvia


Mr Aigars Strupišs, Chief Justice, Latvia

Mr Ramin Garagurbanli, President of the European Commission for the efficiency of justice (CEPEJ)

Ms Elsa Pilichowski, Director for Public Governance, OECD (online)

Mr Georg Stawa, Former Judge, Counsellor for Southeast Europe, Federal Ministry of Justice, Austrian Embassy at Belgrade

Mr Rolands Lappuķe, Smart Technology Adviser to the President of Latvia


Panel leader: Mr Jānis Pleps, Legal Policy Adviser to the President of Latvia


Mr Ivan Malenica, Minister of Justice, Croatia

Ms Maija Āboliņa, Member of Board, State Control, Latvia

Mr Johan Galea, Permanent Secretary Justice, Malta

Ms Laila Medina, Advocate-General of the Court of Justice

Mr Pēteris Zilgalvis, Judge at the General Court of the European Union


11h30 – 12h00 Coffee break

12h00 – 14h30 Session – discussion


Critical factors for successful change


Management of justice institutions and accessibility of justice services: challenges, best practices, and stories of success.


Lifelong learning and research supporting reforms in justice sector – trends and modern perspective.


Panel leader: Ms Anda Smiltēna, Deputy State Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Latvia

Mr Felix Steffek, Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge

Ms Daniela Piana, Professor of Political Science at the University of Bologna (online)

Ms Chloe Lelievre, Head of Justice Unit, OECD

Ms Daiga Zivtiņa, FICIL, Latvia

Mr Kaspars Kauliņš, International Business Development Director at Tilde


Panel leader: Ms Ilona Kronberga, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Latvia


Ms Dzintra Balta, Deputy President of the Judicial Council

Ms Adrija Kasakovska, President of the Association of Judges, Latvia


Mr Viktor Vadász, Deputy Director, European Law Academy

Ms Kristīne Strada-Rozenberga, Dean of Law Faculty, University of Latvia

Mr Jānis Rozenbergs, President of Bar Association, Latvia


14h30 – 15h30 Lunch

15h30 – 18h00 Session – discussion


Prosecution of war crimes and sanction mechanisms to restore legal order 


What justice leaders should do to stop the war in Ukraine and contribute to the recovery of state.

The need to change the substance of war crime in 21st century.

Procedure, base, and legitimate objective for the confiscation of property under sanctions.

Panel leader:  Mr Jānis Bordāns, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Justice, Latvia

Mr Denys Maliuska, Minister of Justice, Ukraine

Ms Katrīna Kaktiņa, Ambassador of Latvia to the UN, OSCE and other international organizations in Vienna

Ms Elīna Melngaile, Advisor to the Vice-Presidents of European Commission

Mr Andrew Adams, Director of the KleptoCapture Task Force

Mr Aivars Ostapko, Head Prosecutor, Department for Supervision and International Cooperation, General Prosecutors Office, Latvia

Ms Gabija Grigaitė – Daugirdė, Vice-Minister of Justice Lithuania

Mr Edgars Pastars, Finance Association, Latvia

Ms Ineta Ziemele, Judge at the Court of Justice of the European Union (online)

The press conference of the Riga Justice Leaders Forum for media representatives will take place on 14 July at 11.30 on the 1st floor of the House of Blackheads, Rātslaukums 7, Riga.


During the press conference, the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Justice Jānis Bordāns and the Minister of Justice of Ukraine Denys Maliuska will inform about the first Riga Justice Leaders Forum and current topics.

Registration for the press conference is open until 13 July at 17.00 by e-mail or call 67036920.

The press conference will be held in Latvian and English with translation.

After the press conference, the media will have a photo and video opportunity at the start of the second Forum discussion at 12.00 – 12.15.

Media representatives will also have the opportunity to book individual face-to-face interviews with one of the Forum participants (up to 15 minutes) on 14 July in a dedicated media room at the House of the Blackheads. To apply for interviews and to arrange a time, please email or call 26536677.

On the day of the Forum, on 14 July, the Ministry of Justice website will make available to the media, for publicity and public information purposes, photo and video material, as well as a full recording of the Forum.