Rules of Procedure of the Constitutional Court Of Latvia

Adopted pursuant with
Section 14 of
Constitutional Court Law
 
 
Chapter I
General Provisions

1. The Rules of Procedure of the Constitutional Court (hereinafter – Rules of Procedure) in accordance with Constitutional Court Law (hereinafter – the Law) shall define the structure of the Constitutional Court, organisation of its work and the status of the Justice of the Constitutional Court (hereinafter – Justice), as well as the procedure for initiating and reviewing disciplinary cases.
2. The Constitutional Court shall decide upon procedural issues, which are not prescribed by the Law or the Rules of Procedure (Section 26(1) of the Law), in accordance with the provisions of Chapter XIV of the Rules of Procedure.

Chapter II
Composition of the Constitutional Court

3. The Constitutional Court may be composed only by those Justices, who have taken up their duties of the office according to the procedure defined by the Law and whose mandate has not been suspended (Section 7 – 9 of the Law).
4. The Constitutional Court shall adjudicate a case in full membership (Section 25(1) of the Law) or by a composition (Section 25(2) of the Law), which is indicated in the order by the President of the Constitutional Court (hereinafter – the President).
5. If a case is adjudicated by a composition of three judges (Section 25(2) of the Law), the President shall, unless objective circumstances prevent it, appoint the Justice, who prepared the case for reviewing, to the composition of the court.
6. The Constitutional Court shall adopt its rulings with the majority of vote by the Justices included in the composition, except for cases envisaged by the Law or the Rules of Procedure.
7. If objective circumstances prevent the Justice from participating in the work of the Constitutional Court, he or she shall immediately inform the President about it. The President shall decide, whether it is necessary to replace the Justice during his or her absence.

Chapter III
Status of a Justice

8. If a Justice combines the office of a Justice with other office in a case permitted by regulatory enactments, he or she shall inform the President about it (Section 34(1) and Section 34(4) of the Law).
9. If a Justice wishes to perform official duties at an international court or hold an office at an international institution, he or she shall request the President to convene a court sitting to receive the agreement by the Constitutional Court regarding performing such duties or holding such office (Section 34(2) of the Law).
10. At the court sitting, during which the Justice’s request to grant approval to performing official duties at an international court or holding an office at an international organisation is examined, it also shall be decided whether the Justice’s mandate will be suspended for the period of performing the duties or holding the respective office. The Justice, to whom this decision pertains, shall not be included in the composition of the court; however, he or she may be invited to the court sitting.
11. A Justice’s mandate shall expire if:

1) the term of office of the Justice, defined in Section 7 of the law, has expired;
2) the Justice had reached the age defined in Section 8(1) of the Law;
3) the Justice has informed the Constitutional Court in writing on leaving the office on his or her own accord;
4) the Constitutional Court has removed or dismissed the Justice from Office in accordance with Section 10(1) or Section 10(3) of the Law;
5) the Justice has been convicted for a criminal offence and the judgement has come into legal effect;
6) the Justice has died.
12. If a Justice’s mandate expires due to the expiry of the term of office, he or she shall leave the office following the pronouncement of ruling in the case, the adjudication of which was started with him or her participating.
13. If a Justice reaches the maximum age defined by the Law for performing duties of office, while a case is being examined, his or her mandate shall be retained until the ruling in the case, the adjudication of which began with him or her participating, is pronounced.
14. A Justice shall submit an application on leaving the office on his or her own accord (Section 8(2) of the Law) to the Secretariat of the Constitutional Court (hereinafter – the Secretariat). If a Justice leaves the office on his or her own accord, the President shall decide on the time (date) of expiry of his or her mandate.
15. A proposal to remove a Justice from office because of his or her state of health (Section 10(1) of the Law) may be expressed by the Justice himself or herself, the President or three Justices. The proposal shall be submitted in writing to the Secretariat. The President shall include his or her proposal in the order on convening a court sitting for deciding upon this issue.
16. The President, upon receiving the proposal to remove a Justice from office because of his or her state of health, shall request an opinion by a medical treatment facility on the Justice’s state of health and its impact upon his or her capacity for work, and also shall convene a court sitting for deciding, whether the Justice should be removed from office.
17. The Constitutional Court shall decide upon removing a Justice from office because of his or her state of health at a closed court sitting. The Justice, to whom the decision applies, shall not be part of the court composition, but he or she shall be invited to the court sitting.
18. The Constitutional Court shall adopt the decision on suspending the Justices’ mandate (Section 9(2) of the Law) at a closed court sitting. The Justice, to whom the decision applies, shall not be not part of the court composition, but he or she shall be invited to the court sitting.
19. The President or three Justices may express the proposal to dismiss a Justice from office (Section 10(3) of the Law). The proposal shall be submitted in writing to the Secretariat. The President shall include his or her proposal in the order on convening a court sitting for deciding upon this issue.
20. The President, upon receiving a proposal on the dismissal of a Justice from office, shall convene a court sitting for deciding upon this issue.
21. The Constitutional Court shall adopt the decision on dismissing a Justice from office at a closed court sitting. The Justice, to whom the decision applies, shall not be part of the court composition, but he or she shall be invited to the court sitting.
22. The Constitutional Court shall examine a proposal to agree on commencement of criminal prosecution against a Justice or allow detaining a Justice (Section 35(1) of the Law) at a closed court sitting. The Justice, to whom the decision applies, shall not be part of the court composition, but he or she shall be invited to the court sitting.
23. If the Constitutional Court agrees on commencement of criminal prosecution against a Justice, the mandate of this Justice shall be suspended (Section 9(1) of the Law) and the President may appoint him or her to perform other duties of office, which are not related to administration of justice.
24. The proposal regarding detention of a Justice, his or her forcible conveyance or subjection to a search (Section 35(2) of the Law) shall be examined by three Justices, appointed by the President, at a closed court sitting. The Justice, to whom the decision applies, shall not be part of the court composition, but he or she shall be invited to the court sitting.

25. The following shall be indicated in the decisions referred to in Para 10, 17, 18, 21, 22 and 24of the Rules of Procedure:

1) the place and time of the court sessions;
2) the composition of the court;
3) the issue to be examined;
4) the grounds for the decision;
5) the ruling;
6) other rulings, if necessary;
7) whether the decision should be published in the official journal;
8) that the decision is not subject to appeal.

26. The decisions referred to in Para 10, 17, 18, 21, 22 and 24 of the Rules of Procedure shall be signed by the Chairperson of the court sessions and forwarded to the Secretariat, which, upon the receipt of the respective decision, shall:
1) forward to the Justice a copy or a transcript of it;
2) add it to the Justice’s personal file;
3) perform other actions indicated in the decision.
27. The Managing Director of the Constitutional Court shall ensure the production and registering of the judicial robes and insignia. The President shall issue the robe to a Justice.
28. If the judicial robe or insignia is lost, stolen or damaged, the Justice shall immediately inform the President about it.
29. After leaving the office the Justice may keep the judicial robe and insignia, unless the Constitutional Court has decided otherwise.
30. If a Justice is dismissed from office, he or she shall within a week return the judicial robe and insignia to the President.

Chapter IV
The President and the Vice-President of the Court

31. The President of the Court shall:
1) set the internal order and procedures of work at the Constitutional Court;
2) define the list of court employees and remuneration;
3) employ and dismiss employees of the Constitutional Court;
4) decide upon business trips and granting of vacations;
5) define the procedure for organising training of Justices and employees of the Constitutional Court;
6) define the procedure for ensuring the Constitutional Court’s communication with the public;
7) define the procedure for ensuring the international cooperation of the Constitutional Court;
8) define the procedure for protecting (guarding) facilities of the Constitutional Court;
9) perform other duties envisaged by the Law and the Rules of Procedure.
32. The President and the Vice-President shall agree upon the division of official duties, as well as coordinate the performance of official duties in the absence of the President or the Vice-President (Section 13(2) of the Law).
33. If both the President and the Vice-President are absent or are otherwise prevented from performing their official duties, then some of the President’s official duties shall be performed by another Justice, appointed by the President (Section 13(3) of the Law).
34. The President or the Vice-President shall issue an order, defining the place and time of the court sitting, during which the election of a new President or Vice-President will be held.
35. The order, upon which a court sitting, during which the election of the new President or the Vice-President will be held shall be issued:
1) at last seven days before the President’s or the Vice-Presidents term of office expires;
2) within three days as of the day, when the President or the Vice-President has given up his or her mandate or his or her mandate of a Justice has expired.
36. At the beginning of the court sitting, during which the election of the President or the Vice-President is be held (Section 12 of the Law) the Chairperson of the court sitting shall announce the agenda of the sitting. Following that Justices shall nominate candidates for the respective office, who announce, whether they agree or disagree to be nominated as candidates. To nominate a Justice, who is absent, his or her agreement is necessary, which must be submitted in writing.
37. The election shall be organised by the Secretary of the court sitting. Employees of the Constitutional Court may be involved in preparing the ballot papers, ballot box and the secret ballot.
38. The ballots shall be counted by the Secretary of the court sitting in the presence of the court members. The court members shall decide upon the validity of a ballot paper, if notes made on it create doubt about the voter’s choice. After the ballots have been counted, the Chairperson of the court sitting shall announce the outcome of election.
39. If several candidates for the office of the President or the Vice-President have been nominated and none of them gains the necessary number of ballots during the first round of election (Section 12 of the Law), the members shall vote for all candidates a second time. If nobody is elected again, then the voting continues, in each successive round of voting excluding the candidate, who has gained the smallest number of ballots in the previous round, until one of the candidates gains the necessary number of ballots.
40. If the necessary number of ballots is not gained at the last round of voting or if only one candidate for the respective office has been nominated, but he or she fails to gain the number of votes needed to be elected, the nomination of candidates shall start anew in accordance with the procedure established by Para 36 of the Rules of Procedure. The Justices, who had been nominated for the previous rounds of election and failed to gain the necessary number of votes, may be repeatedly nominated as candidates.
41. Minutes of the court sitting, during which the election of the President or the Vice-President is held, shall be taken. The Minutes shall be written by the Secretary of the court sitting, but signed – by the Chairperson of the court sitting and also the Secretary of the court sitting. The ballot papers shall be added to the minutes.
42. Within three days following the respective court sitting the Secretariat shall send an announcement regarding the election of the President or the Vice-President for publication in the official journal. The announcement shall be singed by the Chairperson of the court sessions and the Secretary of the court sitting.
43. The mandate of the President of the Court or the Vice-President shall expire if:
1) the term defined in Section 12 of the Law has expired:
2) the President’s or the Vice-President’s mandate as a Justice has expired (Section 7 of the Law);
3) the President or the Vice-President has announced in writing that he or she is relinquishing his or her mandate;
4) the President or the Vice-President has been removed from office by a decision by the Constitutional Court.
44. The President or the Vice-President shall continue performing the duties of office until a new official is elected, unless the Constitutional Court has decided otherwise.
45. The revoking of the President or the Vice-President may be proposed by at least three Justices. They shall submit a reasoned application to the Secretariat, which shall forward the application to the President.
46. Upon the receipt of the application on revoking of the President or the Vice-President, the President shall issue an order, setting the place and time of the court sitting, within three days.
47. The court sitting for examining the issue of revoking the President or the Vice-President shall be held no later than within seven days after the order has been issued. If the President fails to issue the respective order within this term, the court sitting may be convened by at least three Justices by a reasoned decision.
48. The Constitutional Court shall adopt a decision on revoking the President or the Vice-President by secret ballot, with an absolute majority of votes at a closed court sitting. Following adopting of such a decision, a curt sitting shall be convened immediately, during which the election of a new President or a Vice-President shall be held.

Chapter V
Establishing of Panels and Organisation of Work

49. The President shall convene a court sitting for establishing the Panels (Section 20(2) of the Law) at least seven days before the term of office of the Panels expires. The proceedings of the sitting shall be recorded in the minutes, which shall be signed by the Chairperson of the court sitting and the Secretary of the court sitting.
50. The first sitting of the Panel, which comprises neither the President, nor the Vice-President of the Court, shall be convened by the President within three days following the establishment of the Panel. The Panel shall elect its chairperson by open vote during the first sitting of the Panel (Section 20(2) of the Law).
51. If a Justice, because of objective reasons, is unable to participate in a Panel’s sitting, the President shall appoint another Justice to replace him or her, taking into consideration the Justices’ work-load.
52. The chairperson of the Panel shall organise the work of the Panel, shall convene and chair the sittings of the Panel, but the records of the Panel shall be managed and kept by the Secretariat.
53. Minutes of the Panel sittings dedicated to issues of organising work, inter alia, election of the Chairperson of the Panel, shall be taken. The minutes of the Panel sitting, during which an application is examined, shall not be taken.

Chapter VI
Examination of Applications

54. An application is a document, which complies with the requirements set out in Section 16 – 193 of the Law.
55. If the submitted document is obviously incompatible with the requirements of the Law, the applicant shall be informed about this in writing and this document shall not be forwarded to the Panels.
56. The President shall examine the submitted documents and appoint a Panel for examining the application (Section 20(1) of the Law). The President shall forward the applications for examination by the Panels in the order they have been received.
57. To facilitate unbiased and fast examination of an application the President may transfer the application for examination by another Panel by reasoned order.
58. While preparing the application for examination, the Panel or a Justice may, if necessary:
1) invite the applicant to provide additional explanations or submit documents;
2) to request an institution or an official, which adopted the contested act, as well as any state or local government institution to provide documents and information, which is necessary in order to decide on initiating a case or refusing to initiate a case.
59. If it is necessary to extend the term for examining the application (Section 20(7) of the Law), the Panel shall decide on it at its sitting and the Secretariat shall send a copy or transcript to the applicant within three days.
60. If a Justice has reasoned objections against the decision to refuse initiating a case prepared by the Panel (Section 20(71)of the Law), the Chairperson of the Panel shall inform about it the President, who shall convene an assignment sitting for examining the application. The decision prepared by the Panel and the decision prepared by the Justice on initiating a case shall be submitted to the assignment sitting. The assignment sitting, having examined the application and the prepared decisions, shall decide on initiating a case or refusal to initiate a case (Section 20 (71)of the Law).

61. The following shall be indicated in the decision on initiating a case or refusal to initiate a case:

1) the place and time of taking the decision;
2) the composition of the Panel;
3) the application that was examined;
4) the grounds for the decision;
5) the ruling on initiating a case or the refusal to initiate a case;
6) other rulings, if necessary;
7) that the decision is not subject to appeal.
62. If the Panel has adopted a decision on initiating a case, it shall also include:
1) the title of the case (the title of the contested act and part therefor, as well as the norm of higher legal force, the compatibility with which is being contested);
2) whether it has been decided to refuse initiating a case with regard to a part of the claim;
3) the term, in which the institution or the official, who issued the contested act, has been requested to submit its written reply with explanation of the facts of the case and legal substantiation.
63. If a decision is adopted on initiating a case, the Secretariat shall create the case file and submit it to the President within three days’ time.

Chapter VII
Preparing a Case for Adjudication

64. The President shall appoint a Justice to prepare the case for adjudication or shall undertake to prepare it for adjudication himself or herself. The sequence of appointing the Justices to prepare cases shall be established by taking into consideration the procedural economy and the Justices’ workload.
65. In the decision on recognising a person as the summoned person in a case or on requesting an expert’s report the Justice shall indicate the following:
1) the place and time of taking the decision;
2) grounds for the decision;
3) in the decision of requesting an expert’s report – the invited specialist (expert) (hereinafter – the expert);
4) request to provide within specified term opinion in writing or to provide a conclusion regarding issues linked with the case:
5) if necessary – issues, regarding which and opinion or conclusion is necessary;
6) whether documents included in the case should be sent;
7) that the decision is not subject to appeal.
66. A copy or transcript of the decision shall be sent to the summoned person or the expert and, if necessary, transcripts or copies of the documents included in the case.
67. An expert’s report shall be requested if special knowledge in science, technology, arts or other field is needed in order to establish facts, relevant to the case.
68. The expert’s rights and obligations shall be explained to him or her, and he or she shall be warned that the expert shall be liable according to law for the refusal to provide an opinion or intentional provision of false opinion.
69. The Justice, who prepares the case for adjudication, shall decide on appending documents to the case. The decision to refuse appending documents to the case shall be drawn up as a separate procedural document.
70. If the title of the case must be defined more exactly, amended or changed, the Justice, who is preparing the case for adjudication, shall submit to the President a reasoned application requesting convening an assignment sitting to decide on this issue.
71. If the term for preparing the case needs to be extended (Section 22(7) of the Law), the Justice, who is preparing the case for adjudication, shall submit a reasoned application to the President no later than seven days before the expiry of the set term.
72. Upon the receipt of the application regarding the extension of the term for preparing the case the President shall within three days issue an order, defining:
1) the Justices, who are appointed to examine the application;
2) the place and time of the assignment sitting.
73. The Justice, who has proposed the extension of the term for preparing the case, shall be included among the Justices appointed to examine to application.
74. The Secretariat shall send the copy or transcript of the decision on extending the term for preparing to the participants of the case within three days.
75. The Justice shall complete the preparation of a case by providing his or her findings in writing (Section 22(8) of the Law), noting:
1) the number and the title of the case;
2) the applicant;
3) the institution or the official, who issued the contested act;
4) the time, when the institution or the official, who issued the contested act, submitted the written reply;
5) whether the participants of the case have been invited to provide additional explanations or submit documents, and whether such explanations and documents have been received;
6) the summoned persons;
7) considerations regarding adjudication of the case at a court sitting with the participation of the participants of the case or in written procedure;
8) proposals regarding the persons, who should be summoned to the court sitting with the participation of the participants of the case;
9) other information about the case, if necessary.
76. If the President prepares the case for adjudication, he or she shall include the information referred to in Para 75 of the Rules of Procedure in the decision on forwarding the case for adjudication.
77. No later than seven days before the expiry of the term for preparing the case the Justice shall submit the case to the President, who within three days after receiving the findings of the Justice, shall adopt a decision on forwarding the case for adjudication (Section 22(9) of the Law).
78. The decision on forwarding the case for adjudication shall comprise the following:
1) the place and time of taking the decision;
2) the title and number of the case;
3) that the preparation of the case has been completed;
4) the place and time of the assignment sitting;
5) the composition of the court;
6) that the decision is not subject to appeal.

Chapter VIII
Combining and Dividing Cases

79. The Justice, who is preparing the case for adjudication, may adopt a decision on combining cases. If each case is being prepared for adjudication by a different Justice, then these cases shall be combined by a decision, which has been substantiated jointly by these Justices.
80. Cases that are in different stages of preparation may not be combined, unless the Constitutional Court has recognised that special circumstances, requiring combining of the cases, exist. The aforementioned issue shall be decided upon at an assignment sitting.
81. The case is divided into several cases by a reasoned decision of the Justice, who is preparing this case for adjudication.
82. The following shall be indicated in the decision on combining or dividing cases:
1) the place and time of taking the decision;
2) the number and title of the case or cases;
3) substantiation of the decision;
4) the ruling;
5) the number and title of the combined cases or the divided case:
6) that the decision is not subject to appeal.
83. The decision on combining cases or dividing a case shall be submit to the Secretariat. It shall:
1) assign a number to each case, if the case has been divided into several cases:
2) send to the participants of the case transcripts or copies of the decision.
84. If two or more cases, which are being prepared by the same Justice, are combined, the Secretariat shall forward the combined case to this Justice. If two or more cases, which are being prepared by different Justices, are combined, the Secretariat shall forward this case to the President.
85. If two or more cases, which are being prepared by different Justices, are combined, the President, within three days following the receipt of the combined case, shall appoint a Justice for receiving the combined case or shall undertake to prepare the case himself or herself.
86. If the case has been divided into a number of cases, the President may transfer any of these to another Justice for preparing or undertake the preparation of the case himself or herself.

Chapter IX
Assignment Sitting

87. The following shall be decided on at the assignment sitting:
1) transferring the case for adjudication;
2) extending the term for preparing the case;
3) termination of judicial proceedings, if the court sitting in the respective case has not yet started;
4) examination of an application in the case envisaged in Section 20(71) of the Law;
5) making the title of the case more exact, amending or changing it;
6) other issues, which are linked with the progress of the case after it has been transferred for adjudication.
7) introducing technical corrections to the rulings already adopted by the Constitutional Court;
8) procedural issues that are regulated neither by the law, nor Rules of Procedure.
88. The assignment sitting shall examine issues in full membership of the Justices, unless the Law or the Rules of Procedure envisage that the case should be adjudicated by a composition of three judges (Section 25(2) of the Law).
89. The assignment sitting shall be convened and chaired by the President. If neither the President, nor the Vice-President belongs to the composition of the court, then before start of the respective sitting the Justices shall elect its chairperson by open vote (Section 25(4) of the Law).
90. If within three days after the receipt of substantiated proposal by a Justice an assignment sitting has not been convened, it may be convened by three Justices.
91. The assignment sitting shall be closed. If necessary, employees of the Constitutional Court may be invited to the assignment sitting. The opinions expressed during the assignment sitting may not be disclosed.
92. The following shall be indicated in the decisions by the assignment sitting:
1) the place and time of the assignment sitting;
2) the composition of the court;
3) the issue to be examined;
4) substantiation of the decision;
5) the ruling;
6) to whom the transcript or copy of the decision should be sent;
7) that the decision is not subject to appeal.
93. If the decision is taken to forward the case for adjudication, the following shall also be indicated in the decision:
1) the form of adjudication (a court sitting with the participation of the participants of the case or a written procedure);
2) the persons to be summoned to the court sitting (the participants of the case and, if necessary, summoned persons, witnesses, experts, interpreters), if the case is adjudicated at a court sitting with the participation of participants of the case.
94. The decision by the assignment sitting shall be signed by the Chairperson of the assignment sitting.

Chapter X
Handling a Case Tran for Adjudication

95. The Secretariat shall send a notification about adjudication of a case at a court sitting to the participants of the case and for publication in the official journal.
96. The transcript or copy of the decision by the assignment sitting shall be appended to the notification on the adjudication of the case at a court sitting that is sent to the persons to be summoned to this sitting.
97. The participants of the case may familiarize themselves with the case and obtain the information that they need from the case materials by agreeing with the Secretary of the court sitting on the time, when it is possible to familiarize themselves with these materials (Section 25 of the Law). The participant of the case shall certify by signing that he or she has familiarised himself or herself with the materials of the case, and the Secretary of the court sitting shall append this statement to the case materials.
98. The participants of the case shall have the right to familiarise themselves with the case materials within the term set out by the Law and to express their opinion of it in writing(Section 281 (2) of the Law). The written opinion shall be submitted to the Secretary of the court sitting, who shall append it to the case materials and inform the Justice about it.
99. If after forwarding the case for adjudication a request by the summoned persons, witnesses or experts to be permitted to acquaint themselves with the materials of the case is received, an assignment sitting shall be convened for deciding on this issue.
100. If after the transfer of the case for adjudication additional documents are received, an assignment sitting shall be convened to decide on the extent to which the received documents are to be appended to the case. The copies or transcripts of the documents that have been appended to the case after its transfer for adjudication shall be sent to the participants of the case.

Chapter XI
Court Sitting

101. The court sitting of the Constitutional Court shall take place only in Riga and may be convened in another place only because of objective reasons.
102. The court sitting shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of Section 27, Section 28 and Section 281 of the Law. If a case is adjudicated in a written procedure, then the minutes of the respective court sitting shall not be taken and the participants of the case shall not be invited to it. If a case is adjudicated at a closed court sitting, then the participants of the case and, if necessary, the summoned persons, experts and interpreters shall participate in it.
103. The persons, who want to be present at the court sitting, shall apply to the Secretary of the court sitting following the publication of the announcement of this court sitting.
104. The maximum number of persons present shall be defined by the Secretary of the court sitting, taking into consideration the number of the participants of the case and other persons involved in the case, as well as the capacity of the courtroom. If it is impossible to ensure the possibility to be present in the court room to all persons, who wish to do so, then the place in the court room shall, first of all, be proportionally allocated to mass media representatives and to the persons, who have applied in due time according to the set procedure.
105. The Secretary of the court sitting shall ensure order in the courtroom before the sitting begins. He or she shall register the participants of the case and other persons involved in the case, who have come to the court sitting, and shall report to the Chairperson of the court sitting on this.
106. When the Constitutional Court enters and leaves the courtroom, the Secretary of the court sitting shall invite all present to stand up.
107. The Constitutional Court shall adopt decisions by deliberating in the courtroom or in the deliberation room. If a decision is taken in the deliberation room, the Chairperson of the court sitting shall announce this decision after the Constitutional Court has returned to the courtroom (Section 28(1) of the Law).
108. If the Constitutional Court considers it necessary, it may announce a break in the court sitting. Upon announcing the break, its duration or the time when the court sitting will be continued shall be indicated. If necessary, the Secretary of the court sitting shall inform about the time, when the court sitting will be continued, in writing.
109. If the Constitutional Court decides to commence the adjudication of the case in the absence of a summoned person, a witness, an expert or an interpreter (Section 28(4) of the Law), the Chairperson of the court sitting may issue an order on implementing measures necessary to ensure the presence of the said person.
110. Before commencing the adjudication of the case as to its merits the Chairperson of the court sitting, if necessary, shall ask the witnesses to leave the courtroom.
111. The participant of the case, the summoned person or the expert, who is not proficient in the language of the judicial proceedings and wants to use an interpreter’s assistance, shall have the obligation to inform the Secretary of the court sitting in due time, before the adjudication of the case as to its merits has started, that he or she will use an interpreter’s assistance in the procedural activities.
112. The Chairperson of the court sitting shall warn the interpreter that according to law criminal liability may set in for the refusal to interpret or intentionally wrong interpreting. The interpreter shall certify by signing that he or she has been warned.
113. Upon commencing the adjudication of the case as to its merits the Justice shall indicate in the report (Section 28(5) of the Law):
1) the date of the receipt of the application and the claim defined in the application:
2) the date, when the Panel decided on initiating the case, and the substance of this decision;
3) the procedural activities performed in the period of preparing the case;
4) the date of taking the decisions on forwarding the case for adjudication;
5) when and where the announcement on adjudication of the case was published;
6) whether the participants of the case have been duly informed about the adjudication of the case;
7) whether the participants of the case have acquainted themselves with the case materials;
8) other information about the case, if necessary.
114. If there are several applicants in the case, first of all the floor shall be given to the one, whose application was received first. After the applicant has spoken the floor shall be given to the participant of the case, who has issued the contested act. If acts issued by a number of institutions or officials are being contested in the case, the participant of the case, the act issued by who has a higher legal force, shall be given the floor first. The sequence of the speakers may be changed upon the request by the participants of the case.
115. The Constitutional Court, after sitting the opinions of the participants of the case, shall set out the order of sitting the summoned persons and experts, as well as questioning witnesses (Section 28(7) of the Law).
116. The Constitutional Court, in questioning a witness or sitting an expert or a summoned person, may also put questions to the participants of the case. The participants of the case, with the permission of the Constitutional Court, may put questions to each other.
117. After the summoned persons and experts have been heard and the witnesses questioned, they may ask the Constitutional Court’s permission to leave the court sitting. The Constitutional Court shall decide on this issue after sitting the opinions of the participants of the case.
118. Before commencing to question the witnesses and hearing expert’s opinion the Chairperson of the court sitting shall warn about the liability envisaged by law. The witness or expert shall certify by signing that they have been warned. If the expert has been warned during the preparation of the case, the Chairperson of the court sitting shall announce it and he or she shall not be warned repeatedly.
119. The participants of the case shall speak during the court discussion (Section 28(8) of the Law). The Court may establish the time allocated for their speeches. The participants of the case shall not have the right to refer in their speeches to circumstances and materials that have not been verified during the court sitting. No questions may be asked to the speakers during the court discussion.
120. During the court discussion the applicant shall be given the floor as the first. If there are several applicants in the case, the Constitutional Court shall prescribe the order, in which they should be given the floor.
121. If a number of participants of the case wish to express a reply, they shall be given the floor in the same order, in which they spoke during the discussion (Section 28(8) of the Law).
122. The proceedings of the court sitting shall be recorded in minutes, which are written by the Secretary of the court sitting, and simultaneously recording by technical means is made at the sitting.
123. The following shall be indicated in the minutes of the court sitting:
1) the composition of the Constitutional Court, inter alia, the Chairperson and the Secretary of the court sitting (name and surname);
2) the place and date, the time of begging and ending the court sitting;
3) the time of begging and ending of the break in the court sitting;
4) the title and number of the case;
5) the participants of the case and other persons involved in the case present (as regards an official – name, surname and the place of work or position, but as regards a natural person – name, surname and personal ID data);
6) the persons, who have been summoned to the court sitting, but are absent;
7) the fact that the court sitting is being recorded by technical means;
8) the procedure of the court sitting;
9) decisions by the Court, which have not been drawn up in writing;
10) other information regarding the case, if necessary.
124. The transcript of the court sitting and the recording made by technical means shall prepared in accordance with the procedure defined by the President.
125. The transcript shall be signed by the person, who prepared it, and the Secretary of the court sitting. The transcript and the minutes shall be appended to the case materials.
126. The participants of the case may acquaint themselves with the recording of the court sitting, the minutes and the transcript, previously agreeing with the Secretary of the court sitting about the time for acquainting themselves with these materials.

Chapter XII
Termination of Judicial Proceedings

127. The judicial proceedings in a case may be terminated before the judgement is pronounced on the grounds of circumstances referred to in Section 29(1) of the Law.
128. The decision on terminating the judicial proceedings in a case (hereinafter — termination of judicial proceedings) shall be taken:
1) at an assignment sitting or
2) at a court sitting, if the respective case has been commenced.
129. The Constitutional Court shall decide on the termination of judicial proceedings:
1) in full membership, if the respective case is to be adjudicated by full membership;
2) in the composition of three Justices, if the respective case is to be adjudicated by the composition of three Justices.
130. Until the moment when the decision on forwarding the case for adjudication is adopted, a reasoned proposal regarding termination of judicial proceedings may be expressed by the President or the Justice, who is preparing the case.
131. If the proposal regarding termination of judicial proceedings is expressed by the President, he or she shall with a reasoned order in writing determine the composition of court and the place and time of the assignment sitting. If a proposal of this kind is expressed by a Justice, he or she shall present it in the form of a reasoned application. The President within three days from the receipt of the application shall issue an order determining the composition of court and the place and time of assignment sitting.
132. The Justice, who proposed termination of judicial proceedings, shall be included in the composition of the court.
133. Starting from the moment of taking decision on forwarding the case for adjudication until the moment when the court sitting has started, a Justice, who has been included in the composition of court for examining the respective case, may submit a reasoned proposal in writing to decide on termination of judicial proceedings.
134. The following shall be indicated in the decision on terminating judicial proceedings:
1) the place and time of adopting the decision;
2) the composition of the Constitutional Court;
3) the number and title of the case;
4) the substantiation of the decision;
5) the ruling;
6) other information, if necessary;
7) that the decision is not subject to appeal.
135. If the assignment sitting adopts a decision to refuse to terminate judicial proceedings, the case shall be forwarded to the Justice, who began it, and he or she shall continue preparing it for adjudication.
136. If the decision on terminating judicial proceedings is adopted at a court sitting with the participation of the participants of the case, the decisions shall be taken in the deliberations room. If the decision is taken to refuse termination of judicial proceedings, the adjudication of the case shall continue. If a decision on terminating judicial proceedings is adopted, it shall be drawn up in accordance with the requirements of Para 134 of these Rules of Procedure and the court sitting shall end with the pronouncement of this decision.
137. In deciding on termination of judicial proceedings, the provisions of Para 138 – 142 and Para 146 – 151 shall be complied with.

Chapter XIII
Judgement and a Justice’s Dissenting Opinion

138. The Constitutional Court shall make the judgement in the deliberations room (Section 30(1) of the Law). The time of deliberations shall be defined by the Chairperson of the court sitting.
139. The Chairperson of the court sitting shall convene additional deliberations to make the judgement, if it is required by any of the Justices. The additional deliberations for making the judgement shall be convened no later than within three days following the receipt of the Justice’s proposal.
140. The Justice shall be obliged to keep the secret of the deliberations room.
141. The judgement shall be elaborated and drawn up in accordance with the decisions taken during the deliberations. If necessary, the employees of the Constitutional Court shall be invited.
142. The employees of the Constitutional Court shall be prohibited to disclose information that has come to their knowledge in connection with the elaboration or drawing up of the judgement and might disclose the secret of the deliberations room.
143. If the Constitutional Court, in making the judgement, establishes that the provisions referred to in Section 29(1) of the Law for terminating the judicial proceedings have arisen, it shall stop making of the judgement and decide whether the judicial proceedings should be terminated. In case of a tie vote the judicial proceedings must be continued.
144. If dissenting opinion regarding the judgement has not been expressed, the Chairperson of the court sitting shall append to the case a written statement about this.
145. A Justice shall express his or her dissenting opinion in writing, shall sing it and submit it to the Chairperson of the court sitting within two weeks following the pronouncement of the judgement. The Chairperson of the court sitting shall place the dissenting opinion regarding the respective judgement in an envelope, which is appended to the case, and shall apply the seal of the Constitutional Court to it. The dissenting opinion shall be published in accordance with the procedure defined by the Law (Section 33(1) of the Law).
146. The judgement adopted in a court sitting with the participation of the participants of the case shall be read by the Chairperson of the court sitting or another Justice, appointed by him or her. If the Constitutional Court, due to considerations of procedural economy, has decided not to read the factual part of the judgement, it shall be announced before the judgement is read.
147. The provisions of Para 101 and Para 103- 106 of the Rules of Procedure shall apply to the pronouncement of the judgement.
148. Prior to the pronouncement of the judgement the Secretary of the court sitting shall invite those present to rise.
149. After the judgement has been pronounced the Secretariat shall issue its transcripts or copies to the participants of the case, and they shall certify the receipt by signing. If on the day following the pronouncement of the judgement a participant of the case has not received its transcript or copy, the Secretariat shall mail it to him or her.
150. If a case has been examined in a written procedure, the participants of the case shall be informed about the ruling by mailing transcripts or copies of the ruling.
151. Following the pronouncement of the ruling (at a court sitting with the participation of the participants of the case) or signing (in a written procedure) the Secretariat shall send its transcript or copy for publishing in the official journal. The ruling shall be published on the Internet homepage of the Constitutional Court.
152. If the Constitutional Court has recognised an international treaty, signed or entered into by Latvia, as being incompatible with the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia, the transcript of copy of the respective ruling together with a cover letter by the President shall be forwarded to the Cabinet of Ministers, irrespectively of the fact, whether the Cabinet of Ministers has been a participant in the respective case (Section 32(4) of the Law).
153. The judgement shall be stored in a separate case of case nomenclature. A transcript or a copy of the ruling certified by the President shall be kept in the case materials.
154. The collection of Constitutional Court judgement shall be prepared for publication according to the procedure set out by the President (Section 33(2) of the Law).

Chapter XIV
Procedure for Deciding upon Unregulated Issues

155. The proposal to convene an assignment sitting for deciding on issue unregulated in the Law and the Rules of Procedure (hereinafter – unregulated procedural issue) may be expressed by:
1) the President;
2) the Panel, which examines the application;
3) the Justice, who is preparing the case;
4) three Justices.
156. The proposal to convene an assignment sitting for deciding upon an unregulated procedural issue shall be drawn up in writing and submitted to the Secretariat. The President shall include his or her proposal in the order on convening an assignment sitting for deciding on this issue.
157. An unregulated procedural issue shall be decided by full membership of the Court with the absolute majority of votes.
158. The decision on the unregulated procedural issue shall be drawn up as:
1) part of the ruling, if this issue was decided upon in a judgement or a decision on terminating judicial proceedings;
2) as the decisions by an assignment sitting, is this issue was decided on at an assignment sitting;
3) as a separate procedural document, if this issue was decided at a court sitting and extended reasoning of the decision must be provided;
4) as an entry in the minutes of the court sitting, if this decision was decided on at a court sitting.
159. If the decision on unregulated procedural issue is drawn up a separate procedural document, the following shall be indicated in it:
1) the place and time of the court sitting;
2) the composition of the court;
3) the issue to be examined;
4) reasoning of the decision;
5) the ruling;
6) whether the decision must be forwarded for publication at the official journal;
7) that the decision is not subject to appeal.
160. The Secretariat shall within three days forward information on the decision on an unregulated procedural issue to the persons, to whom the decision applies, and shall make an entry into the Register of Unregulated Procedural Issues.

Chapter XV
Initiation and Examination of Disciplinary Cases

161. A disciplinary case may be initiated in the cases envisaged by Section 36 of the Law.
162. Before initiating a disciplinary case the preliminary verification of the received materials shall be conducted and the Justice concerned shall be asked to provide an explanation in writing.
163. A disciplinary case shall be initiated by a reasoned decision, which shall include the following:
1) the place and time of taking the decision;
2) the official, who has taken the decision;
3) the circumstances of a disciplinary or administrative violation established in the preliminary verification;
4) the Justice, with regard to whom the disciplinary case has been initiated;
5) the legal provision, which has been the basis for initiating the disciplinary case;
6) the ruling on the initiation of the disciplinary case;
7) the time and place of the court sitting at which the issue regarding suspension of the Justice’s mandate until the disciplinary case shall be examined, if the disciplinary case has been initiated in connection with action incompatible with the status of a Justice committed by the Justice;
8) the name of the Justice, who has been appointed to prepare the disciplinary case for examination;
9) the time and place of the court sitting, at which the disciplinary case will be examined;
10) the person, who shall take minutes of the court sitting;
11) that the decision is not subject to appeal.
164. All the materials connected with the disciplinary case shall be appended to the decision and forwarded to the Secretariat, which shall:
1) make an entry into the Register of Disciplinary Cases;
2) issue a transcript or copy of the decision to the Justice, with regard to whom the disciplinary case has been initiated;
3) inform other Justices about the decision;
4) shall create the disciplinary case file and forward it to the Justice, who has been appointed to prepare this disciplinary case for examination.
165. The Justice, who is preparing the disciplinary case for examination, shall, if necessary, request additional documents and materials and shall decide, which persons should be summoned to the court sitting.
166. The initiator of the disciplinary case (Section 36(2) of the Law) may withdraw his or her decision by a reasoned decision, before the hearing of the disciplinary case has started. In such a case the decision shall be appended to the disciplinary case and the disciplinary case shall be considered terminated, unless the Justice, with regard to whom the disciplinary case was initiated, submits a written request to examine it a court sitting within three days after receiving the transcript or copy of the decision mentioned above.
167. Disciplinary case shall be examined by a disciplinary Panel of Justices within a month after its initiation. The court sitting for examining issues connected with the disciplinary case shall be closed.
168. The Justice, with regard to who the disciplinary case has been initiated, shall have the right to familiarize himself or herself with the case materials, provide explanations and submit requests.
169. The Justice, who is made disciplinary liable, must participate in the court sitting. If the Justice is absent without justification, the Constitutional Court may take the decision to examine the disciplinary case in his or her absence.
170. A disciplinary sanction may be imposed upon a Justice no later than within three months as of the day when the disciplinary or administrative violation was detected, but no later than within two years as of the date when the disciplinary or administrative violation was committed.
171. In adopting a decision in a disciplinary case, the nature of the disciplinary or administrative violation, its consequences, and the Justice’s degree of guilt in the particular offence, as well as information that characterises his or her personality and previous activities in the office of a Justice shall be taken into consideration. The Constitutional Court may impose upon the Justice only one disciplinary sanction for each violation.
172. The decision in the disciplinary case shall be adopted the disciplinary Panel with the majority vote by its members. The decision shall be signed by the Chairperson of the court sitting and members of the Panel.
173. The Justice, to whom the decision by the disciplinary Panel applies, may appeal against in within seven days to the President. To assess the legality of the decision by the disciplinary Panel, the President shall convene a sitting of the Constitutional Court in full membership.
174. The decision by the disciplinary Panel shall come into force and shall be enforced after the expiry of the term for appeal and if the appeal has not been submitted. If the Constitutional Court leaves the decision by the disciplinary Panel unchanged and rejects the appeal, the decision by the disciplinary Panel shall come into force at the moment the decision by the Constitutional Court is pronounced and shall not be subject to appeal.
175. The following shall be indicated in the decision adopted in the disciplinary case:
1) the place and time of adopting the decision;
2) the composition of the Court;
3) the Justice, with regard to whom the disciplinary case has been initiated;
4) the circumstances of the disciplinary or administrative violation;
5) the grounds for making disciplinary liable;
6) the Justice’s explanations;
7) information, which characterises the Justice’s personality and previous activities in the office of a Justice;
8) substantiation of the decision;
9) the ruling;
10) whether and how the decision may be appealed against.
176. The following shall be indicated in the Register of Disciplinary Cases:
1) the number of the disciplinary case;
2) the date when the disciplinary case was initiated;
3) the initiator of the disciplinary case;
4) the Justice, with regard to whom the disciplinary case has been initiated;
5) the grounds for initiating the case;
6) information on suspension of the Justices’ mandate in accordance with Section 9(2) of the Law;
7) the Justice, who prepares the disciplinary case for examination;
8) the date, when the disciplinary case was examined at a court sitting;
9) the decision in the disciplinary case or that the decision on initiating the disciplinary case has been withdrawn;
10) information on striking the disciplinary sanction off the record.
177. The Constitutional Court may, upon reasoned proposal by three Justices, may strike the disciplinary sanction off the record pre-term, but no sooner than six months after the disciplinary punishment has been imposed. The President shall issue an order on examining the proposal at a closed court sitting.
178. A disciplinary sanction shall be considered as having been struck off the record, if within a year following its imposition a new disciplinary sanction has not been imposed upon the Justice. If the disciplinary sanction has been struck off the register, the transcript of copy of the decision adopted in the disciplinary case shall be removed from the Justice’s personal file.
179. The procedure for storing disciplinary cases shall be determined by the document management procedure.

Chapter XVI
Document Management

180. The record keeping and archive work at the Constitutional Work shall be conducted in accordance with the Law, the Rules of Procedure, the procedure for document management and the rules set out in other regulatory enactments.
181. The President shall approve the procedure for document management, which shall set out the requirements regarding drafting, presenting, storing, registering and circulating documents. The document management and archive work shall be organised by the Head of the Secretariat.
182. Documents in a foreign language may be submitted by appending to them a translation into the official language, which has been certified according to the set procedure.
183. A Justice shall have the right to familiarise himself or herself with any application, documents appended to it, as well as other case materials and, if necessary, receive copies of these. The Justice shall agree upon the time, when he or she shall acquaint himself or herself with these materials, with the Justice or the Court employee, who has at his or her disposal the particular case or materials.
184. Making notes or marks in the original documents shall be prohibited.
185. Taking the application, materials linked to it, as well as the case materials outside the work premises of the Constitutional Court shall be prohibited. Using the copies of the aforementioned materials outside work premises shall be allowed only with the President’s permission.
186. After the President has adopted an order or a decision, the Secretariat shall within three days inform about it the Justices and employees of the Constitutional Court, to whom this order or decision applies.

Chapter XVII
Communication with the Public

187. The President shall set out the procedure for preparing and distributing, as well as publishing on the Internet homepage of the Constitutional Court information for the public.
188. The Constitutional Court shall provide information to persons and mass media only on issues connected with the work of the Constitutional Court. The Constitutional Court shall not provide explanations about the interpretation of the rulings by the Constitutional Court.
189. Information to persons and mass media shall be provided in writing (press release) and shall be sent electronically to the address, which has been registered for receiving news, via the Internet homepage of the Constitutional Court. If it is necessary to provide information orally and the request for information is commensurate with the resources of the Constitutional Court, information shall be provided by the President or a person appointed by him or her.
190. A person may receive information on the work of the Constitutional Court and acquaint himself with the materials of an examined case according to the procedure and within the scope defined by the regulatory enactments. The compatibility of a person’s request for information with the requirements of the regulatory enactments shall be assessed by the President. The respective documents shall be prepared and issued by the Secretariat.
191. If the request of information or the conditions for its execution are not commensurate with the resources of the Constitutional Court or the conditions for its execution are such that might threaten the work of the institution or the rights of other persons, the Constitutional Court may refuse fulfilling such a request of information.
192. The report on the work of the Constitutional Court shall be prepared and published according to the procedure established by the President.
193. Visitors shall be received according to the procedure established by the President.

Chapter XVIII
Procedure for Introducing Amendments to the Rules of Procedure

194. A Justice shall have the right to submit a new wording of the Rules of Procedure or a draft amendment (hereinafter – the draft). The draft shall be submitted to the Secretariat, which shall register it in the Register of Draft Amendments and forward it to the President.
195. The President, upon receipt of the draft, shall issue on order on forwarding it for examination. The following shall be indicated in the order:
1) the Justice, who has been appointed to prepare the draft for examination;
2) the term for submitting proposals;
3) the place and time of the plenary sitting;
4) the Secretary of the plenary sitting.
196. The Secretariat, upon the receipt of this order, shall:
1) make appropriate entries into the Register of Draft Amendments to the Rules of Procedure:
2) issue to each Justice a transcript or copy of the draft and the President’s order.
197. The following shall be indicated in the Register of Draft Amendments to the Rules of Procedure:
1) the submitter of the draft;
2) the date of submitting the draft
3) the content of the draft;
4) the Justice, who is preparing the draft for examination;
5) the term for submitting proposals;
6) the date of examining the draft at a plenary sitting;
7) the date of adopting or rejecting the draft.
198. The proposals on the draft within the defined term shall be submitted in writing to the Justice, who prepares the draft for examination.
199. The Justice, who is preparing the draft for examination, shall collect the proposals submitted by other Justices and shall append his or her proposals and shall write an opinion on the compatibility of the draft with the norms of higher legal force.
200. The draft shall be examined at a plenary sitting. Employees of the Constitutional Court may participate in it and express their opinion. The presence of other persons during the plenary sitting must be approved by the President.
201. If during the plenary sitting a Justice proposes to suspend the examination of the draft and transfer the draft for additional preparation, the plenary sitting shall adopt a decision on this proposal.
202. If the draft has been transferred for additional preparation, it shall be decided where and when it will be examined in a plenary sitting, and the term for submitting proposals shall also be set.
203. The minutes of the plenary sitting shall be taken. The minutes shall be written by the Secretary of the sitting. The following shall be indicated in the minutes:
1) the place, the time of beginning and ending of the plenary sitting;
2) the title of the draft to be examined and its number in the Register of Draft Amendments;
3) the Justices participating in the plenary sitting;
4) the Chairperson of the plenary sitting;
5) the summoned persons;
6) the Justice, who reports on the draft, and briefly – the content of the draft;
7) the persons, who participate in debates, and briefly – the content of their statements;
8) the proposals made during the plenary sitting.
204. The adopted amendments to the Rules of Procedure shall be signed by the President.
205. Within three days after signing of the amendment to the Rules of Procedure, the Secretariat shall forward it for publication in the official journal.
206. The amendments to the Rules of Procedure shall enter into force on the day following their publication in the official journal, unless other date of coming into force has been defined.

Final Provisions

The Rules of Procedure shall enter into force on the day following their publication in the official journal.
With the coming into force of these Rules of Procedure the Rules of Procedure of the Constitutional Course adopted on 30 January 2001 (LV, 20 (2407), 06.02.2001.) shall become invalid.

The Rules or Procedure were adopted at the plenary sitting of the Constitutional Court on 5 February 2014.

The Chairperson of the Plenary Sitting
of the Constitutional Court

G. Kūtris


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