Baltic states' constitutional courts strengthen trilateral cooperation

  • 2024-03-04
  • LETA/BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - On February 29, a trilateral cooperation meeting of the constitutional courts of the Baltic states took place in Riga, attended from Estonia by chief justice of the Supreme Court Villu Kove, chair of the criminal law chamber Saale Laos, justice of the administrative law chamber Nele Siitam, justice of the civil chamber Vahur-Peeter Liin, and adviser to the chair Karin Leichter-Tammisto.

Kove emphasized the importance of such trilateral meetings.

"It's an excellent opportunity for sharing current judicial practices, strengthening inter-court cooperation, and enhancing the friendships among judges," Kove stated.

President of the Constitutional Court of Latvia Aldis Lavins highlighted the significance of multilateral cooperation in protecting the rule of law both regionally and globally. Judge Daiva Petrylaite, head of the delegation of the Lithuanian Constitutional Court, also emphasized the importance of cooperation in strengthening ties between judges.

The first discussion topic was the right to a fair trial. Lavins presented an overview of several decisions that clarified procedural guarantees to ensure fair judicial consideration in civil proceedings. Petrylaite stressed that the obligation to motivate court decisions aims to ensure that both the parties involved and society as a whole understand how the court reached its conclusion. The chair of the Estonian criminal law chamber, Saale Laos, introduced various issues arising from procedural codes that have reached the Supreme Court for constitutional review.

The second round of discussions analyzed the constitutional protection of the state language. Nele Siitam, judge of the Estonian Supreme Court's administrative law chamber, emphasized the constitutional value of the state language. Although the Supreme Court's constitutional review chamber has no recent case law on this topic, several examples from the administrative chamber's practice were shared. Anita Rodina, a judge at the Latvian Constitutional Court, noted that the court's practice on state language protection covers a wide range of issues.

In the final discussion round, the focus was on the courts' recent judicial practices. As the term of Lavins as the president of the Latvian Constitutional Court, is coming to an end, his colleagues thanked him for pleasant cooperation.