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Last update: 20-08-2007
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Legal professions - Latvia

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Judges 1.
2. Prosecutors 2.
3. Clerks of the court 3.
4. Court bailiffs 4.
5. Sworn notaries 5.
6. Sworn lawyers 6.

 

1. Judges

A judge is a State official. Judges are independent and are subject only to the law. State authorities, public and political organisations, and other legal and natural persons have a duty to respect and observe the independence of the courts and judges' immunity. No one is entitled to request statements or explanations from judges relating to the examination of a particular case, or to intervene in the administration of justice regardless of their motives and under what pretext this may be done. A judge is immune while fulfilling the duties of the administration of justice. A judge's post is incompatible with affiliation to a political party or any other political organisation.

2. Prosecutors

Prosecutors are officials operating under the legal system who participate in the examination of cases in court and carry out other duties prescribed by law. A prosecutor's office consists of the following officials: prosecutor general, senior prosecutor, deputy senior prosecutor, and prosecutors working at all levels within the prosecutor's office. A prosecutor is assigned a grade according to the requirements of the post, professional knowledge, qualifications and work experience.

Prosecutors adopt decisions on given cases independently and exclusively on the basis of their convictions and pursuant to legislation, taking into account the equality of individuals before the law and the courts, presumption of innocence, the truth and legitimacy. Prosecutors work independently of the influence of other State governing or administering institutions and officials and are subject only to the law.

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3. Clerks of the court

Deputy chair of the court – responsible for organising the work of the court. The person working in this post ideally should hold a degree in law.

Assistant judge – receives callers and accepts their applications, carries out preparatory work relating to court hearings, carries out other tasks designated by the judge. The person working in this post ideally should hold a degree in law.

Court consultant – generalises and analyses case law and statistics and undertakes other methodological work. The person working in this post ideally should hold a degree in law.

Clerical manager – manages and organises the work of the court registry. The person working in this post ideally should hold a degree in law.

Court session secretary – participates in court sessions whenever a record of court proceedings is required by law. The person working in this post must have completed secondary or secondary specialised (legal) education.

Court courier – delivers court summons, indictments and other documents to addressees. The person working in this post ideally should have completed secondary education.

Court interpreter – participates in court sessions where required by law, translates court documents. The person working in this post ideally should hold a university degree.

Court administrator – organises the provision of court materials and suitable rooms, and the practical arrangements of the court.

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4. Court bailiffs

Court bailiffs work within the court system under the regional courts executing the judgments of courts and other institutions and performing other functions specified under legislation. In their professional capacity bailiffs are equivalent to State officials. They are independent and are subject only to the law.

Court bailiffs are classed as liberal professionals. Bailiffs operate directly and personally. Their professional work (practice) is intellectual and is not motivated by profit. Bailiffs are financially independent in the execution of their profession.

Competence

Court bailiffs bear disciplinary, civil and criminal liability for their work under procedures laid down in legislation.

The claims and orders established and issued by court bailiffs in their professional capacity are binding on all persons within national territory. Court bailiffs bear professional responsibility for executing the following judgments by courts and other institutions or officials:

  1. enforcements;
  2. annex orders;
  3. clearing of premises (eviction);
  4. seizure;
  5. removal of specific items from debtors and delivery to debt-collectors and the execution of other activities laid down in enforcement documents;
  6. compulsory execution of liabilities;
  7. organisation of auctions for the voluntary sale of immovable property by judicial means;
  8. confiscation of property.
Salary

For each professional task carried out by a court bailiff and for legal aid provided he or she is entitled to receive an amount of remuneration which is separate from State fees. Court bailiffs are prohibited from entering into agreements whereby the amount of remuneration payable for their work differs from the standard rate.

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5. Sworn notaries

Sworn notaries operate within the court system under the regional courts and undertake tasks laid down in legislation. In their professional capacity sworn notaries are equivalent to State officials and are subject only to the law. In exercising their duties they provide for the civil rights and legal interests of natural and legal persons in an independent and neutral manner.

Sworn notaries are classed as liberal professionals. Their professional work (practice) is intellectual and is not motivated by profit. Sworn notaries are financially independent in the execution of their profession.

Competence

Sworn notaries have jurisdiction to:

  1. draw up notarial deeds;
  2. draw up certifications;
  3. accept money, securities and documents for bailment;
  4. conduct inheritance matters;
  5. draw up property division drafts where provided for by law;
  6. perform other activities provided for by law.

Sworn notaries are permitted to:

  1. provide for the fixing of rights and security of rights in land registers;
  2. secure permits, certificates and other documents, required for the closure or fixing of deeds to be notarially drawn up or certified, from State, local authority and private institutions, as well as from officials and private persons;
  3. draw up draft deeds, draft contracts and drafts of other documents appropriate to a sworn notary's profession, and make copies and translations;
  4. provide other legal assistance.
Entitlements

For each professional task carried out by a sworn notary he or she is entitled to receive an amount of remuneration which is separate from State fees.

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6. Sworn lawyers

A lawyer is an independent legal professional who provides legal assistance by defending and representing the legitimate interests of individuals in court and during pre-trial investigations, and by offering legal consultations, preparing legal documents and performing other legal services.

In Latvia a lawyer can be:

  1. a sworn lawyer;
  2. a sworn lawyer's assistant;
  3. a citizen of an EU Member State who has qualified as a lawyer in an EU Member State (an EU Member State lawyer).

Foreign nationals practising as lawyers in Latvia, except EU Member State lawyers, are subject to international legal aid agreements binding on Latvia.

Lawyers operate under the legal system conducting proceedings before any court or pre-trial investigation authority in the Republic of Latvia as selected by and on behalf of the parties, the defendant or the other participants in a case (clients), or where specified under legislation on behalf of the chair of the court, the head of the pre-trial investigation authority or the Latvian Council of Sworn Advocates. Lawyers also provide other forms of legal assistance under procedures set out in legislation.

Professional activities of a lawyer

In their professional capacity lawyers are independent and subject only to the law. Sworn lawyers are classed as liberal professionals. They operate directly and personally and their professional work (practice) is intellectual and is not motivated by profit. Sworn lawyers are financially independent in the execution of their profession.

Conditions with which EU Member State lawyers must comply before beginning professional practice in Latvia.

An EU Member State lawyer must submit to the Latvian Council of Sworn Advocates a certificate showing registration with a competent authority in the lawyer's country of residence (the EU Member State in which the lawyer acquired the right to use the professional title of lawyer before he or she began practising in Latvia). The Latvian Council of Sworn Lawyers then registers the EU Sworn Lawyer in a special register. An EU Member State lawyer practising under the professional title used in his or her country of residence can only participate in criminal cases together with a lawyer who is a member of the Latvian Council of Sworn Advocates.

If an EU Member State lawyer can demonstrate knowledge of the official language and of Latvian law, and the Latvian Council of Sworn Advocates acknowledges that the lawyer's professional qualifications meet the requirements for permanent practice, he or she is entitled to the same rights to practise as a professional and is subject to the same duties as a Latvian sworn lawyer. When an EU Member State lawyer has practised his or her profession in Latvia under the professional title used in his or her country of residence for an uninterrupted period of at least three years and has demonstrated to the Latvian Council of Sworn Advocates the required knowledge and experience of Latvian law, he or she is granted a certificate of professional qualifications.

Competence

Sworn lawyers conduct civil and administrative cases, represent victims, civil plaintiffs and civil defendants in criminal cases, and provide legal aid to any person in a criminal case either on behalf of a client, the chair of the court, or the Latvian Council of Sworn Advocates where requested by a client.

Salary

The amount of remuneration for conduction of a case is decided by means of a written agreement between a sworn lawyer and the client. In the absence of such an agreement the amount of remuneration is established according to the statutory rate.

Further information

« Legal professions - General information | Latvia - General information »

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Last update: 20-08-2007

 
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