Strengthening the access to justice in Latvia through fostering mediation and legal aid services, as well as support to the development of judicial policies and to increased quality of court management
September 2019 - June 2021
This project is a joint Council of Europe and European Union project “Strengthening the access to justice in Latvia through fostering mediation and legal aid services, as well as support to the development of judicial policies and to increased quality of court management” funded by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Structural Reform Support and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe.
This project follows and builds upon the results of the cooperation project “Evaluation of the Latvian justice system”, conducted between March 2017 to April 2018, in which the performance of the Latvian judicial system was assessed, and recommendations were formulated as regards judicial efficiency and court management. The current Project aims at implementing some of these expert recommendations, according to the priorities of Latvian authorities, at developing the mediation and improving the legal aid system.
- Improving the organisation and functioning of the judiciary
- Developing the use of mediation
- Supporting further development of the stateensured legal aid system
Following the project’s successful implementation, the users of the court system of Latvia will experience improved judicial efficiency and court management, which will be achieved through defining and monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs), revising courts’ resources based on objective data regarding the caseflow, efficiency and quality, and introducing other modern court management techniques. The use of ICT tools in courts will be enhanced and the communication of the courts with institutional partners, court users, and the public will be improved.
In parallel, the mediation as an alternative to the usually more time-consuming and costly judicial dispute resolution, will become better understood and more attractive and, consequently, the recourse to it will increase. The awareness about the advantages and means of implementing mediation among justice professionals (including judges, court staff, and lawyers) will be broadened. The capacities of the network of mediators will be increased through training. The availability of mediation services will also be increased by piloting innovative approaches to offering mediation services and by assessing the ways in which ICT tools could allow expanding the use of Mediation.
The state-ensured legal aid system will also be developed further, made more accessible and relevant for the public – both as regards primary legal aid and secondary legal aid.
- Expert reports on the promotion of justice sector reforms, their implementation, and the related communication policy;
- Guidance on the CEPEJ tools and methodology as regards the judicial statistics, KPIs, quality measurements, and their evaluation with a view to assessing courts’ performance and the impact of reforms;
- Expert recommendations on the provision of information and communication by the judiciary;
- Expertise on further development of ICT tools for courts and on the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in courts;
- Court coaching programme carried out in 2 pilot courts. Guidelines and training on advanced court and case management (for judges and court staff);
- Expert recommendations on increasing the recourse to mediation;
- Court mediation pilot with results analysed;
- Increased knowledge and awareness on mediation among various stakeholders and the public;
- Mapping of the current situation as regards the stateensured legal aid, with a focus on vulnerable groups, and recommendations for improvement;
- Pilot project to increase the accessibility and efficiency of legal aid is carried out. The results of the pilot project are assessed, and specific recommendations are provided based on lessons learned.
Project beneficiaries and stakeholders
The main partners of the project are the Ministry of Justice, the Court Administration and the Legal Aid Administration of Latvia. Other key stakeholders are the High Judicial Council and the Council of Certified Mediators.
Translation of CEPEJ documents
- European Ethical Charter on the Use of Artificial Intelligence in Judicial Systems and their environment - Eiropas Ētikas harta par mākslīgā intelekta izmantošanu tiesu sistēmās un vidē
- Case weighting in judicial systems - CEPEJ Studies No. 28 - Lietu svēršana tiesu sistēmās (CEPEJ(2020)9)
- Declaration on lessons learnt and Challenges faced by the judiciary during and after the Covid-19 Pandemic -CEPEJ PAZIŅOJUMS - TIESU IESTĀŽU ATZIŅAS UN PROBLĒMAS COVID-19 PANDĒMIJAS LAIKĀ UN PĒC TĀS (CEPEJ(2020)8Rev)
- Breaking up judges’ isolation - Guidelines to improve the judge's skills and competences, strengthen knowledge sharing and collaboration, and move beyond a culture of judicial isolation - Tiesnešu nošķirtības novēršana - Vadlīnijas tiesnešu prasmju un kompetences uzlabošanai, zināšanu apmaiņas un sadarbības stiprināšanai un tiesu iestāžu nošķirtības kultūras novēršanai (CEPEJ(2019)15)
- Revised SATURN guidelines for judicial time management - PĀRSKATĪTAS SATURN VADLĪNIJAS LIETU IZSKATĪŠANAS LAIKA PĀRVALDĪBAI (3. pārskatīšana) (CEPEJ(2018)20)
- Guide on communication with the media and the public for courts and prosecuting authorities - Rokasgrāmata tiesām un kriminālvajāšanas iestādēm par saziņu ar plašsaziņas līdzekļiem un sabiedrību (CEPEJ(2018)15)
- Implementation guide "Towards European timeframes for judicial proceedings" / Ceļā uz Eiropas lietu izskatīšanas termiņiem tiesvedības procesā Īstenošanas vadlīnijas (CEPEJ(2016)5)
- Guidelines on the Creation of Judicial Maps to Support Access to Justice within a Quality Judicial System - eiropas tiesu sistemu efektivitates komisija(cepej) - tiesu sistemas kvalitates darba grupa (CEPEJ-GT-QUAL) - (CEPEJ(2013)7)
- Handbook for conducting satisfaction surveys aimed at Court users in Council of Europe's member States - eiropas tiesu sistemu efektivitates komisija (cepej) - rokasgramata tiesas klientu apmierinatibas novertešanas veikšanai eiropas padomes dalibvalstis (CEPEJ(2010)1)
- Checklist for promoting the quality of justice and the courts - eiropas tiesu sistemu efektivitates komisija (CEPEJ) - Raditaju saraksts tiesnešu un tiesu sistemas darbibas kvalitates uzlabošanai (CEPEJ(2008)2)
- CEPEJ guidelines on judicial statistics (GOJUST) - eiropas tiesu sistemu efektivitates komisija (CEPEJ) / CEPEJ vadlinijas tiesu statistikai (GOJUST) (CEPEJ (2008)11)
- Saturn guidelines for judicial time management - eiropas tiesu sistemu efektivitates komisija (CEPEJ) - saturn vadlinijas lietu izskatišanas laika planošanai (CEPEJ(2008)8Rev)
- Guidelines for a better implementation of the existing Recommendation on alternatives to litigation between administrative authorities and private parties - eiropas tiesu sistemu efektivitates komisija(CEPEJ) - vadlinijas rekomendaciju alternativam stridu risinašanai starp iestadi un privatpersonu labakai ieviešanai (CEPEJ(2007)15)
- Guidelines for a better implementation of the existing recommendation concerning family mediation and mediation in civil matters - vadlinijas rekomendaciju mediacijai gimenes lietas un civillietas labakai ieviešanai - Ievads (CEPEJ(2007)14)
- Guidelines for a better implementation of the existing recommendation concerning mediation in penal matters - eiropas tiesu sistemu efektivitates komisija (CEPEJ) - vadlinijas rekomendaciju par mediaciju kriminallietas labakai ieviešanai (CEPEJ(2007)13)
- Compendium of “best practices” on time management of judicial proceedings - eiropas tiesu sistemu efektivitates komisija (CEPEJ) - Labas prakses par laika vadibu tiesvediba apkopojums (CEPEJ(2006)13)
- Time management checklist (Checklist of indicators for the analysis of lengths of proceedings in the justice system) - eiropas tiesu sistemu efektivitates komisija (CEPEJ) - laika vadibas kontroljautajumu saraksts (Raditaju saraksts tiesas procesu ilguma analizei tiesu sistema) (CEPEJ(2005)12Rev)
- A new objective for judicial systems: the processing of each case within an optimum and foreseeable timeframe - Framework Programme - eiropas tiesu sistemu efektivitates komisija (CEPEJ) - Jauns merkis tiesu sistemam: ikvienas lietas izskatišana optimala un paredzama laika (CEPEJ (2004) 19 REV 2)
On 8 June 2021, the CEPEJ, in co-operation with the Latvian Ministry of Justice, is organising an online seminar on new technology solutions for more efficient courts in Latvia, with a particular focus on digitisation and electronic case management. CEPEJ experts from Portugal, Austria, Italy and...
Closure of the Cooperation Project on 9 June 2021 in the presence of the Latvian Minister of Justice and the President of the CEPEJ
On 9 June 2021 the CEPEJ, in cooperation with the Latvian Ministry of Justice, will celebrate the closure followed by the meeting of the Steering Committee of the Cooperation Project initiated in September 2019 "Strengthening the access to justice in Latvia through fostering mediation and legal...
Training for Latvian court judges on the length of proceedings and practice related to the case law of the European Court of Human Rights
The CEPEJ, in cooperation with the Latvian Ministry of Justice, organised on 2 June 2021, a training on Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and more particularly on the excessive length of proceedings and the practice related to the case law of the European Court of Human...
On 28 April 2021, the Latvian Court Administration and the Working Group responsible for the implementation of the Action Plan on Strengthening the effectiveness of the courts and improving the methods of judicial administration which includes a case-weighing model, presented and discussed the...
The CEPEJ Guidelines to improve the judge's skills and competences, strengthen knowledge sharing and collaboration, and move beyond a culture of judicial isolation provide concrete tools to remedy to judicial isolation which could have been worsened with the health crisis. The CEPEJ activities in...
Workshop on the implementation of timeframes and the importance of performance indicators and Court Statistics in Latvia
On 25 February 2021, the CEPEJ will organise a workshop on the implementation of timeframes of proceedings in courts and the importance of performance indicators and court statistics in Latvia, in cooperation with the Latvian Ministry of Justice, with the participation of the Chief Justice of the...
On 3 March 2021, the CEPEJ will organise a webinar on the development of a cyberjustice strategic framework for the Latvian judicial system and way for improving the existing Central Information System. Discussions will focus on the modalities of implementation and the proper involvement of...
During this pilot project, during 8 weeks from 12 October to 4 December, the CEPEJ, in collaboration with the Latvian Ministry of justice, Legal Aid Administration and the Directorate General for Structural Reform of the European Commission, professionals offered free legal aid held to 610...
Increasing capacities of Latvian judges and court staff to implement modern court and case management
The Latvian Judicial Training Centre has been awarded a grant for the elaboration and implementation of trainings on court and case management based on CEPEJ methodology and tools. The duration of the grant will last four months, until end of February 2021. For that purpose, three training...
On 6 November 2020, during an online workshop, CEPEJ will provide expert advice and support to the Latvian Working Group for Court Efficiency of the Ministry of Justice in regard to the preparation of a Latvian case-weighting solution. It will take into account the recently adopted CEPEJ Study...
On 23rd October 2020, the CEPEJ will organise an online training session on court communication in Latvia in cooperation with the national Court Administration. On this occasion, the CEPEJ Guide on communication with the media and the public for courts and prosecution authorities will be...
On 16 October CEPEJ, together with the Directorate General for Structural Reform of the European Commission, the Ministry of Justice of Latvia, the Council of Certified Mediators, and representatives of judges, lawyers, court staff, and mediators, held their first Mediation Pilot Project...
On 12 October, the pilot project to strengthen free primary legal aid in Latvia will start for a two months period. The national councillors, who have previously be trained by CEPEJ experts to the concept of the "One-stop legal aid advice desk"will be present several days a week in Riga and...
On 06 August 2020, the judicial case-weighting model set up in the Republic of Moldova was presented and discussed with Latvian counterparts. The event took place in the format of a videoconference. Representatives from the Ministry of Justice, Court Administration and judges from CEPEJ pilot...
Latvia: workshops on the courts' communication with the media and the public and on the introduction of dashboards
On 30 June 2020, a presentation of a CEPEJ assessment report on court communication by a CEPEJ expert was organised by videoconference in the presence of representatives of the Ministry of Justice, court administration, the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court of other courts and the European...
Workshop for Latvian judicial authorities on the use of Key Performance Indicators and dashboards for monitoring and improving the judicial performance
On 19th June 2020, the CEPEJ, in partnership with the Latvian Court Administration, organised a workshop by videoconference, on the use of Key Performance Indicators and dashboards for monitoring and improving the judicial performance, based on Slovenian good practices, in particular the use of...
CEPEJ ensures participation of partner institutions of cooperation programs into SATURN working group meeting
On 18 May 2020, representatives of the partner institutions of the Judiciary of Georgia, Latvia, Slovak Republic attended the meeting of the SATURN working group on judicial timeframes of the CEPEJ. The meeting focused on the project concerning the development of a tool to implement a...
On 27 and 28 April 2020, the CEPEJ organised two videoconferences with representatives of the Latvian Ministry of Justice and Legal Aid Administration. The first one consisted in presenting the legal aid systems of other member states (Ukraine, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, England and...
On 21 February 2020, the CEPEJ organised a meeting in Riga aiming at presenting to the key actors of mediation in Latvia (mediators, judges, lawyers) the tools developed by the CEPEJ Working Group on Mediation (GT-MED). This presentation was given by CEPEJ experts, who were members of the Working...
A Fact-finding meeting to assess the mediation scheme in Latvia took place in Riga on 2 and 3 March 2020
On 2 and 3 March 2020, the CEPEJ organised a meeting in Riga aiming at conducting an assessment of the Mediation scheme in Latvia. The experts, who are former members of the CEPEJ Working Group on mediation, therefore thoroughly exchanged with the key actors of mediation (mediators, judges,...
A court coaching programme for Latvian pilot courts was launched in Riga on 22 and 23rd January 2020
CEPEJ conducted on 22-23 January 2020, the first session of a court coaching programme for two pilot courts, in cooperation with the Court Administration of Latvia. The session, held in the premises of the Riga Regional Court, was moderated by Ms Daiga Vilsone, President of the Riga Regional...
Launch of a new project to support further modernisation of the Latvian judicial system and improving access to justice
The CEPEJ held coordination meetings on the efficiency of justice, legal aid and mediation in Riga, Latvia, followed by a launch event of the co-operation project entitled "Strengthening the access to justice in Latvia through fostering mediation and legal aid services, as well as support for the...