Latvia, Markets and Companies

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Monday, 16.09.2019, 09:47

Latvian government endorses establishment of economic affairs court

BC, Riga, 20.08.2019.Print version
The government today approved in principle the Justice Ministry’s plan to establish a new specialized economic affairs court in Latvia, informed LETA.

According to a conceptual report attached to the Cabinet of Ministers’ agenda, the economic affairs court would start work on January 1, 2021. By September 9, 2019, the Justice Ministry has to work out and submit to the government draft amendments to the Law on Judicial Power, providing for the establishment of the new specialized court. By November 11, 2019, the ministry is expected to submit draft amendments to the Civil Procedure Law and the Criminal Procedure Law, and if needed, also to special regulatory acts to define the specialized court’s area of competence.

The first instance of the specialized court would employ ten judges and 27 court employees. The creation of the first instance court would cost EUR 1,004,712.

The appeals instance of the specialized court would employ four judges and six court employees. The creation of the appeals court for economic affairs is expected to cost EUR 384,005.

The Justice Ministry would need additional EUR 136,245 in its 2020 budget for setting up the economic affairs court.

As reported, Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) believes that the justice minister’s proposal to establish a specialized court for handling economic cases is the right way to proceed.

“One of our benefits as an OECD member is that the OECD assesses its members and recommends improvements, and this is one of them. Of course, sorting out financial crimes is not the same as sorting out a burglary. These are two different kinds of theft. I am confident that under the justice minister’s guidance we will find the right way to introduce such a court,” Karins said.

Justice Minister Bordans told the Judicial Council at the beginning of June that a new specialized court of first instance should be set up in Riga to handle cases of economic character. At the same time, a specialized panel of judges would be set up at Riga Regional Court to hear the appeals.

As reported, the American Chamber of Commerce in Latvia (AmCham) believes that a new specialized economic court would lead to the improvement of the business environment in Latvia.

“Our members and foreign investors have repeatedly pointed out that slow and unpredictable proceedings contribute to corruption and make Latvia less attractive for investors. Our members are concerned about the fact that complicated economic crime cases remain unsolved in the courts for decades,” AmCham said in a statement.

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