Latvia, Legislation, Technology, Transport

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Constitutional Court of Latvia opens a case on speed cameras

Alla Petrova, BC, Riga, 29.06.2012.Print version
Following a petition by Ombudsman Juris Jansons, the Constitutional Court of Latvia on June 27 opened a case to determine if the practice where fines for speeding offenses recorded by speed cameras have to be paid by vehicle owners, not the persons who actually drive the vehicles, conforms with Article 92 of the Constitution.

The Constitution's Article 92 states: "Everyone has the right to defend his or her rights and lawful interests in a fair court. Everyone shall be presumed innocent until his or her guilt has been established in accordance with law. Everyone, where his or her rights are violated without basis, has a right to commensurate compensation. Everyone has a right to the assistance of counsel", writes LETA.


Jansons claims in his petition that, pursuant to the presumption of innocence principle enshrined in Article 92 of the Constitution, it is the authorities that must prove a given person's violation, not persons who have to prove their innocence. That is, the person is presumed to be innocent unless there is evidence proving the contrary.


Also, the current procedure makes it impossible for automobile owners to exercise their fundamental rights when they have committed no violations but are nevertheless held responsible, as is the case with offenses recorded by speed cameras.


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