Bordāns: The process of selecting candidates for the top two positions in the judicial hierarchy has begun 27.03.2020


On Monday, 30 March, the Minister of Justice, Jānis Bordāns, will take part in the meeting of the Judicial Council during which the issues of the selection of candidates for the position of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Prosecutor General will be discussed.

"The process of selecting candidates for the top two positions in the judicial hierarchy has now begun. By ensuring an open process, an equal and fair competition in the process of evaluating the most suitable candidates, we will promote public confidence in the judiciary system as a whole," the Minister of Justice emphasized.

At the same time, the Minister of Justice stressed that, “We are facing a difficult time period, which is likely to be accompanied by an economic recession. How deep it will be will depend not only on the work of the government, doctors or businessmen, but also on judges, prosecutors and investigators. Entrepreneurship can only develop in those countries where there is no concern regarding their rule of law. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court plays a critical role in ensuring the rule of law. This is why both his reputation and professional ethics, as well as his ability to actively engage in solving problems, is particularly important."

The Minister points out that only one candidate has applied for the position of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and, moreover, this is taking place in circumstances when the involvement of the public and the media in this process is very difficult. At the same time, J.Bordāns believes that there are sufficient technical possibilities to also ensure that  representatives of the public and journalists can also take part in the meeting of the Judicial Council remotely. Although the decision regarding the approval of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is taken by the Saeima based on a proposal from the plenary session of the Supreme Court, the public will also evaluate both this candidate and also the process of nominating and evaluating the candidates, therefore J.Bordāns emphasizes the importance of ensuring a high quality of the selection process.

Similarly, the Judicial Council must also approve the procedures for the selection of the next Prosecutor General in order to establish clear criteria for the evaluation of candidates for the office in a way that is comprehensible to all. The Minister for Justice welcomes the changes to the procedures for the selection and appointment of the Prosecutor General, since now, following the changes to the legal framework adopted by the Saeima, the choice of the most suitable candidate for the post of Prosecutor General will not be decided unilaterally, but this will be done by a collegial body – the Judicial Council, which includes active representatives from all branches of power.

“In the process of selecting the next Prosecutor General, an open contest will be held for the first time. The new arrangements will ensure an open and fair selection. This could lead to faster growth in the justice sector, and especially in the public prosecutor's office,” J.Bordāns emphasized.

 

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