“We have fully embraced the Western legal system with its characteristic belief in the values of a democratic and law-based state, such as human dignity, human rights and the rule of law,” stressed Solvita Āboltiņa, Speaker of the Saeima, in opening the international conference on Post-Socialist Justice after Two Decades. The Speaker pointed out that it is time to acknowledge that the transformation of the legal system in Latvia has ended.
In addressing the participants of the conference, Āboltiņa referred to the viewpoint prevalent in the field of law that “during the globalisation era, Latvia’s legal system will continue to develop under the increasingly strong influence of international law and the converging legal systems of individual countries”.
When Latvia restored its independence, it had to replace the Soviet legal system with a regulatory framework that complied [was compatible with] with the values and traditions of Western law, noted Speaker Āboltiņa; she emphasised that one of the greatest challenges during this process was giving up the normativism characteristic of the Soviet legal system.
“With the restoration of independence, each one of us had to rediscover the importance of living in a law-based state. It was crucial to understand these values not only from a theoretical point of view but also to ensure their implementation in legal practice. Creating a new legal system was a tremendous challenge for both the legislature and Latvia’s legal community. The Western legal system is based not only on well-drafted laws and regulations but also on the ability of the law-enforcement agencies to appropriately apply these laws in practice,” said the Speaker of the Saeima.
“Currently the legal area of Latvia is preoccupied by the issue of reinforcing the core of the Constitution that is closely connected with the national cohesion policy and strengthening national identity. After fifty years of separation, Latvia has become a part of Europe again, and we realise now more than ever how important it is to preserve the fundamental values that unite us,” stressed Āboltiņa.
The Speaker also emphasised that the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia adopted on 15 February 1922 has regained its legal force and thus has been a cornerstone for the successful development of Latvia. “I believe that today we can assert that the Constitution has endured the test of time,” said Āboltiņa, encouraging the participants to pay particular attention to the opinions of legal experts in order to make Latvia’s legal sphere even more effective.
Photos from the conference are available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/saeima/sets/72157631743407491/
When using the material, please give credit to the Saeima Chancellery.
Saeima Press Service