RIGA - The Saeima plenary’s rejection on Dec. 16 of criminal law expert Andrejs Judins as Supreme Court judge “proves once again that such votes must be open,” declared Saeima Legal Affairs Committee Chairperson Ilma Cepane (Unity), reports news agency LETA. She pointed out that her committee had been “almost unanimous” in its support for Judins, just one deputy had abstained. But now, she claims, “some deal has been made backstage,” and the result is a negative outcome.
Cepane said that Judins is “competent,” and that he would have been suitable for the bench. His rejection could be connected to his frank comments on various key issues within the judicial system, she believes.
Forty deputies voted for Judins’ confirmation, 27 voted against, and 22 abstained, thus his candidacy was denied. When Judins was asked why Saeima rejected him, he jokingly replied: “Perhaps the deputies are more interested in my statements instead of my verdicts.” He added that before the vote, he had talked to several deputies and they did not say anything negative about him, promising to support him for the position of Supreme Court judge; however, the situation turned out completely different.
Judins pointed out that by agreeing to vie for the position of Supreme Court judge he had wanted to change his life, though, since he did not succeed, nothing will change. “I will carry on,” said Judins.
The Chief Justice of Latvia’s Supreme Court, Ivars Bickovics, refuses to comment on the rejection of Judins’ candidacy and points out that this is the decision of parliament, and the Supreme Court takes it into consideration.
The public data shows that Judins is working in the Public Policy Center ‘Providus’ as a criminal law expert, and since 1994 he has been a lecturer in the Department of Criminal Law at the Latvian Police Academy (associate professor since 2000). From 1991 until 1994 he was an investigator in the Latvian Interior Ministry’s Investigation Department.
Judins has graduated from the doctoral program of the Latvian Police Academy.