Representation of Latvia before the CJEU and the EFTA Court 11.07.2013


Representation of Latvia before the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Free Trade Association Court

Competence of the Ministry of Justice
Agent of the Republic of Latvia before the European Court of Justice


COMPETENCE OF THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE

In order to provide qualitative drafting of the national positions of the Republic of Latvia and to ensure the representation of the Republic of Latvia before the Court of Justice of the European Union (the CJEU) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Court the competence of the Ministry of Justice includes:

  • Providing national competent authorities with information about the cases before the CJEU and the EFTA Court;
  • Providing national competent authorities with information about the case-law of the CJEU and the EFTA Court;
  • Organizing the cooperation between the Republic of Latvia, national administrative authorities and the CJEU and the EFTA Court;
  • Providing the representation of the Republic of Latvia before the CJEU and the EFTA Court;
  • In cooperation with the competent authorities drafting positions of the Republic of Latvia in cases brought before the CJEU and ensuring submission of these positions to the CJEU and the EFTA Court (the position is drafted and approved after the initiation of the case  during the written procedure or shortly before the oral hearing of the case)
  • Annually reporting to the Cabinet of Ministers the participation of the Republic of Latvia in the cases before the CJEU and the EFTA Court;
  • Reporting to the Cabinet of Ministers the actions brought before the CJEU against the Republic of Latvia; judgements announced against the Republic of Latvia or the cases brought before the CJEU that can affect significant public interests of the Republic of Latvia;
  • Reporting to the national parliament (Saeima) actions brought before the CJEU against the Republic of Latvia.

To ensure the functions of the Ministry of Justice in relation to the above mentioned matters the Department of Cooperation with the Court of Justice of the European Union has been established within the Ministry of Justice. However, the representation of the Republic of Latvia before the CJEU and the EFTA Court is provided by a representative (the Agent) appointed by the Cabinet of Ministers.

The procedure of the drafting and approval of the positions of the Republic of Latvia before the CJEU and the EFTA Court is defined by the Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers No 995 (adopted on 2 December 2008) “The Order of Drafting and Approval of the Position of the Republic of Latvia and Ensuring the Representation of the Republic of Latvia at the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Free Trade Association Court” (hereinafter – the Regulations).

According to the Regulations the positions of the Republic of Latvia before the CJEU are prepared and approved in the following cases:

The position of the Republic of Latvia before the CJEU is approved by the Minister of Justice or in special cases by the Cabinet of Ministers, for example, if the case can affect significant public interests of the Republic of Latvia.

  • Republic of Latvia brings an action before the CJEU;
  • Republic of Latvia intervenes in cases before the CJEU;
  • Republic of Latvia submits written observations in the preliminary ruling procedure before the CJEU;
  • The action is brought before the CJEU against the Republic of Latvia;
  • It is necessary in others procedures before the CJEU.

THE AGENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LATVIA BEFORE THE EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE

The Agent of the Republic of Latvia before the CJEU (hereafter – the Agent) is appointed by the Cabinet of Ministers upon the recommendation of the Minister of Justice, which is coordinated with the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

According to the Order of the Cabinet of Ministers No 246 of 15 June 2011 „Regarding I. Kalniņš” Mr. Inguss Kalniņš is approved as the Agent of the Republic of Latvia before the Court of Justice of the European Union. Inguss Kalniņš is currently working as Deputy State Secretary on Strategies in the Ministry of Justice.

Since 1 May 2004 the work of the national courts of the Republic of Latvia is closely linked to the European Union law, i.e., the national courts are obliged to apply the European Union law.

The preliminary ruling procedure, i.e., the rights of the national courts to ask the CJEU for the interpretation of certain EU law provisions or to review the validity of EU law provisions is extremely relevant to ensure unified application of the EU law in all the Member States.

Since 2008 the courts of the Republic of Latvia have made 47 references for preliminary rulings. The most references for preliminary rulings have been made by the Department of the Administrative Cases of the Supreme Court (on January 25, 2016 – 39 cases). That could possibly explained by the duty established in article 267 of the Treaty of the functioning of the European Union. Namely, “where any such question is raised in a case pending before a court or tribunal of a Member State against whose decisions there is no judicial remedy under national law, that court or tribunal shall bring the matter before the Court”. However, the references for preliminary rulings made by other national courts are gradually increasing.

Detailed information of the preliminary ruling cases, the case law of the CJEU as well as procedures before the CJEU are available on the website of the CJEU http://curia.europa.eu/.

To provide society with more information regarding the cases before the CJEU the Ministry of Justice have launched a website www.estiesibas.lv where any individual without any fees or registration can access the information regarding the participation of the Republic of Latvia in the procedures before the CJEU. However, currently the website is available only in Latvian.

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