Number of judges per population in Latvia is one of the highest in Europe - Strupiss

  • 2023-05-19
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - There are 29 judges per 100,000 inhabitants in Latvia, which is one of the highest figures in Europe, the Chairman of the Supreme Court Aigars Strupiss informed today at the Latvian judges' conference.

According to him, only the Balkan countries and Monaco have more judges. On the other hand, in Estonia there are 18 judges per 100,000 inhabitants, in France, Sweden and Norway - 11, and in Great Britain - only four per 100,000 inhabitants.

Also, in relation to the state budget, Latvia spends more than many other countries. Last year, spending reached 1.05 percent of the total national budget. More is spent only in Romania, Bulgaria and Poland, the head of Supreme Court mentioned.

For example, Estonia allocated 0.66 percent of the state budget to the judiciary, and Lithuania - 0.62 percent.

A similar picture is also in relation to the gross domestic product (GDP). Also in this indicator, only Romania, Bulgaria and Poland are ahead of Latvia.

On the other hand, the number of cases in courts of first instance per 100,000 inhabitants in 2020 in Latvia was one of the lowest in Europe. Overall statistics show that the number of cases has decreased by about 25 percent over the last four years. At the same time, the average number of cases reviewed by a judge has dropped by about a quarter. However, the deadlines for considering cases have remained unchanged.

Strupiss emphasized that the judiciary has no right to demand more vacancies, more money, because there is enough money in the system. He did not rule out the possibility that the judicial system in Latvia includes some other cost sections that other countries do not.

"Right now, I cannot explain why, for example, Latvia has such a large budget for the judicial system in relation to GDP, but where does it end up?," Strupiss told the audience, adding that this issue will have to be carefully looked into together with the Ministry of Justice.

Furthermore, Strupiss repeated what has been emphasized in the past, that judicial policy must be a unified one, and this will be possible only when the organizational and fiscal issues of the courts are not subject to the executive power.

Strupiss expressed the hope that this problem, which should have been solved 20 years ago, will be solved very soon, because the executive branch has finally heard the judges.