Modernisation of courts

Project completed

The number and complexity of court proceedings in Latvia is increasing while courts are not equipped with the necessary new technologies to meet adequately the demands placed on them. The Project aims to improve the capacity and the quality of the judiciary. New communication technologies (audio, video conference, internet) and more efficient court procedures will contribute to reaching this goal.

Security/ Stability/ Reforms
Modernisation of the Judiciary

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Latvia
Enhanced security and safety
Modernisation of the Judiciary
01.01.2009 - 30.06.2013
CHF 8'000'000

Note: the texts under all the headings, with the exception of 'Results achieved', describe the situation before the start of the project.

Background

The increasing number of court proceedings and the demand for cost-cutting measures for the judiciary have created the need to modernise all Latvian courts and prisons, i.e. raise the efficiency of court management and update court infrastructure and technology. Today, due to limited financial resources, Latvian courts and prisons lack, among other things, audio and video equipment. Court records are still made only in written form – at high cost in terms of time and human resources. Witnesses must always travel to the place of the proceeding to give evidence rather that appear at their nearest court. Furthermore, every year it is necessary to transport in convoys approximately 7,000-8,000 convicted persons or detainees from prison to court, at high cost.

 

The aim of this project is to raise the quality and efficiency of the Latvian juidiary. The project will be implemented by the Court Administration (CA), which is responsible for human resources, financial matters, IT solutions and technical equipment with respect to all Latvian courts.

 

Objectives

The project is intended to increase the capacity and the quality of the judiciary and to enhance access to it through the use of new technologies (video, audio, internet), the implementation of e-justice measures and improved court management.

Target groups

Courts, prisons and (potential) litigants (citizens, private and public sector)

Activities

All Latvian courts and prisons receive video conference equipment; the courts are equipped with audio recording devices; research is being done to develop more effective court procedures at reduced costs; new information technologies (internet, e-justice activities) enhance citizens' access to judiciary.

Results

Achieved results:  

  • New technologies in court proceedings are introduced; Efficiency of court personnel due to using new technologies has increased; Ways for communicating with courts are simplified; Information channels on court services and available legal aid upgraded and improved
  • 94 video and 308 audio equipment units are placed in 42 courts and 12 prisons
  • 2’000 video sessions and 6’000 audio recordings held involving video conferences with forensic experts, cross border cooperation and prison facilities
  • 46 information kiosks and 130 modern unified information boards installed
  • 5 court electronic services available for inhabitants and business, 46 electronic forms for claims and documents for court proceedings developed
  • Court intranet has been developed and implemented
  • 85 courts’ seats are equipped with scanner infrastructure


Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Swiss Contribution to the enlarged EU
Project partners Contract partner
Foreign state institution
  • National State Institute North


Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   8'000'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   7'963'161
Project phases

Phase 1 01.01.2009 - 30.06.2013   (Completed)