In 2021, administrative courts celebrated two significant anniversaries.
100 years ago, on March 4, 1921, the Constitutional Assembly adopted the Law on Administrative Courts, which regulated the administrative procedure in court and laid the foundation for the development of administrative justice in Latvia. Although the law was largely criticized as a copy of the law of the Russian Empire, no other law was drafted and it was in force until the occupation of Latvia in 1940.
20 years ago, on October 25, 2001, the Saeima (parliament) passed a new Administrative Procedure Law, which is currently in force.
Celebrating both of these important dates for the Latvian legal system, the Department of Administrative Cases of the Senate called for this year to be celebrated as the centenary of Administrative Justice.
Symbol of administrative justice – lilac flower
The lilac flower has been chosen as a symbol of administrative justice because it has various shades of purple, it symbolizes spring and lilac is a classic Latvian symbol. The colour purple is the colour of administrative courts (it is the colour of the Administrative Procedure Law and of the publication of Commentary to the Law). Administrative courts are always open to the new and ready for the challenges of spring, and administrative rights are present in everyday life like lilacs in Latvian yards. One of the petals is in the colours of the Latvian national flag, which reflects the idea that administrative justice protects the values of the Latvian state, the fundamental one of which is the human being. The symbol of the centenary of administrative justice was used in events and publications, as well as in e-mails and souvenirs. A special badge has also been created.
Film and video interviews with the developers of the Administrative Procedure Law
In order to preserve the historical evidence, Jānis Geks, a legal research counsel to the Department of Administrative Cases, interviewed the members of the working group for drafting the Administrative Procedure Law. Eight valuable video interviews have taken place, from which a film has also been created.
- Film “Person, State, Judge. Administrative Court”
- Video interviews “Developers of the Administrative Procedure Law Twenty Years Later”:
Centenary lilac of administrative justice will bloom and flourish
During the anniversary year of administrative justice, lilac bushes have been planted in several places related to this area of law. May the legal state of Latvia always be like a flowering lilac bush! - this is the wish of planters.
The garden of Riga Castle. State President Egils Levits was the author and promoter of the idea of the Administrative Procedure Law, therefore the working group that drafted the Law gifted him a symbolic lilac bush of administrative justice, which was jointly planted in the garden of Riga Castle.
Trikāta parish. One of the founders of administrative justice was born in Trikāta – Jānis Kalacs was the senator of the Latvian Senate, the chair of the Administrative Department. A lilac has been planted in the centre of Trikāta next to the monument to King Tālivaldis.
The Administrative Court House. In Rīga, Baldones Street, where the building of the first and second instance administrative courts is located, three lilacs have been planted, which symbolize three court instances.
Exhibition “Administrative Justice – 100; Administrative Procedure Law – 20”
The exhibition in the lobby of the Supreme Court is a story about the Law on Administrative Courts and its applicant - the Administrative Department of the Latvian Senate 100 years ago, as well as about the drafters of the Administrative Procedure Law 20 years ago
Administrative courts in erudition games
The administrative courts also decided to mark the centenary in the most unusual way – by participating in popular Latvian television shows - in erudition games “V.I.P. - Luck. Intuition. Mind” and “Gudrs, vēl gudrāks” (Smart and Smarter). Four justice teams took part in "V.I.P." game, the captains of which were Lauma Paegļkalna, Agris Dreimanis, Arvīds Dravnieks and Miķelis Zumbergs. In its turn, the Department of Administrative Cases of the Senate prepared questions to be asked in eight final broadcasts for the student erudition game “Gudrs, vēl gudrāks”. The senators' questions were filmed in the Supreme Court.
Publications dedicated to the centenary of Administrative Justice
- Administrative Justice - 100. V. Krūmiņa, Jurista Vārds (magazine Lawyer’s Word), 16.03.2021.
- Administrative Justice - 100. V. Krūmiņa, Supreme Court Bulletin, No 22, March 2021
- Commemorative event to senator Jānis Kalacs. www.valmierasnovads.lv, 09.09.2021.
- Special lilac tree shall flourish in Trikāta. www.eliesma.lv, 23.09.2021.
- Administrative justice through the century. E. Brikmane, LVportāls, 25.10.2021.
- Moments of the centenary of Administrative Justice. Supreme Court Bulletin, No 23, December 2021
Video interview with Gunta Višņakova, Senator of the Department of Administrative Cases of the Senate, who drafted the Administrative Procedure Law
Lilac planted in Trikāta in memory of Jānis Kalacs, Chair of the Administrative Department of the Latvian Senate