International judicial cooperation is a part of the overall international cooperation pursued within the framework of the Ministry of Justice. Basically, the international judicial cooperation is aimed at cooperation between judicial authorities in various matters of law in different cross-border situations.
It should be taken into account that the field of international judicial cooperation is governed by different legal instruments. Judicial cooperation between the Member States of the European Union Member, for example, is regulated by the the European Community instruments.
In international judicial cooperation important role is played by the bilateral (trilateral) international treaties to which Latvia is a party. The cooperation based on the terms of international treaties may take different forms, taking into consideration the terms and conditions of the respective treaty. Therefore, judicial cooperation with certain countries has wider scope envisaging judicial cooperation in both criminal and civil matters, while the treaties with other countries only provide for judicial cooperation in the matters of extradition or mutual cooperation of the States in the matters of criminal law.
It should be taken into consideration that the international treaties made between the European Union Member States have very restricted application and they only relate to the matters not regulated on the level of legal acts of the European Union.
Terms and conditions of the international legal cooperation also arise from a number of multilateral international conventions.
The national legal framework of Latvia incorporated in the Civil Procedure Law, the Criminal Procedure Law and other laws also has great importance. It should be noted that the above-mentioned national rules apply if the respective international treaty (convention) or legal act of the European Union does not provide for any other solution or does not govern the concerned matter.