“Where there is law, there is order, where there is order, there is security, but security means peace and harmony.”
(Hermanis Apsītis, the last Minister of Justice of the First Sovereign Latvia, 1938)
The Ministry of Justice is the first ministry in Latvia in the direct sense since it was established on the next day following the proclamation of an independent Latvian state on 18 November 1918. The urgent need of the first Latvian statesmen for an institution governing the judiciary was justified as an independent judiciary that effectively protects rights and interests of persons is a cornerstone of a democratic state.
Today the Ministry of Justice remains the institution handling „matters of the judiciary” by ensuring the principle of the independence of the judiciary embraced in the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia and the law On Judicial Power. However our activities reach beyond the judiciary. The Ministry of Justice is responsible for drafting and implementing of the public policy in the fields of state laws, administrative laws, civil laws, criminal laws and laws governing religion, as well as procedural laws. All legal acts drafted by other government institutions are subject to approval of the Ministry of Justice.
Moreover since Latvia has become a member state of the European Union the Ministry of Justice is responsible for securing Latvian representation at the European Court of Justice and harmonization of national legislation with legal acts of the European Union thus ensuring compliance with the rule of law in Latvia on both, the national and international level.
In 2004 the Ministry of Justice was reorganized and more emphasis was concentrated on the sector of strategic planning hence increasing possibilities for further development. Our goals for the nearest future are to establish a more efficient co-operation between Latvia and the European Union in legal matters, increase support for drafting of efficient legal acts and maintain independence of the judiciary. The attainment of these goals is closely linked to an expedient utilization of the available resources, especially intellectual and human resources.
The main wealth of the Ministry of Justice is its employees – qualified specialists, experts and managing officials with a vast future vision ensuring high quality ministerial work and a perspective opportunity for the Ministry of Justice to become the most efficiently functioning ministry in Latvia and a trustworthy partner in European and international judicial matters.