Riga, March 7, 2019
PRESS RELEASE: Nordic Chambers of Commerce in Latvia in a meeting with Minister of Justice emphasize the need to strengthen justice in Latvia
Nordic Chambers of Commerce in Latvia during a business luncheon with the newly appointed Latvia’s Minister of Justice Jānis Bordāns emphasized the need to pursue reforms in Latvia’s Judicial system directed at increasing its efficiency and strengthening trust in Latvia’s court system. The Business Luncheon took place on March 6 at the Radisson BLU Hotel Rīdzene.
“The so called oligarch talks which were released a few years ago and the recent news about potential corruption schemes at Rīgas Satiksme vividly illustrate the legal nihilism in Latvia. In this context, we invited the new Minister of Justice to outline his planned action to fight corruption, reform the judiciary system and strengthen the rule of Latvia,” said Matīss Kukainis, Member of the Board of the Norwegian Chamber of Commerce in Latvia and a partner at the “Spīgulis & Kukainis” Law Firm. "We invited the Minister of Justice to talk openly about the most urgent and pressing in the justice sector, believing that situational awareness, problem identification and full openness would lead to a quicker and more effective solutions," added Kukainis, who moderated the informative session with Mr. Bordāns.
Responding to the invitation by the Nordic Chambers of Commerce in Latvia, Latvia’s Minister of Justice outlined his intended reforms focusing on transparency, stability and modernization. “Stable legal environment is the basis for economic growth,” said the Minister of Justice. As the key priorities were listed increasing the court efficiency by organizing specialized courts and strengthening court capacity, increasing salaries for court staff and prosecutor’s office, as well as implementing innovative solutions in the court work, including the use of IT and artificial intelligence. The Minister also emphasized the need to ensure effective and efficient pre-trial investigation process and promote better cooperation between investigators, prosecutors and the Court system.
Whereas the representatives of the Nordic Chambers of Commerce in Latvia in their questions to the Minister brought up the widespread culture of impunity, protecting investors’ assets in case of insolvency process, and restrictions on purchasing agricultural land by foreign investors. The foreign investors also inquired about the recently exposed violations at Rīgas Satiksme and the situation related to the Governor of Latvijas Banka Ilmārs Rimšēvičs. The problems in the Latvian Judicial system have been previously addressed by the Foreign Investors Council in Latvia, which at the beginning of this year published their most recent Sentiment Index, summarizing the key concerns of foreign investors in Latvia, including corruption and shadow economy.
The Business Luncheon with the Minister of Justice was organized by the Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish and Danish Chambers of Commerce in Latvia with the support of Leinonen and HD Forest. More than 60 members of Nordic Chambers, several ambassadors and diginataries attended the luncheon. The four Nordic countries – Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finnland are among the biggest foreign investors in Latvia with investments reaching nearly 1,9 billion euros, according to Lursoft.
Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Responding to the great interest from our members, we have made arrangements to accommodate a few more people at the luncheon with Mr. Bordāns. If interested, please contact us at the earliest time possible as we will accept reservations on first come, first serve basis! All reservations financially binding after noon of March 4.
If you are unable to attend the luncheon but want to address a question to the new minister of Justice, please send your question in writing to email@example.com !
The Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Latvia (SCCL) in colloboration with other Nordic Chambers in Latvia cordially invites you to join a business luncheon with the new Minister of Justice, Mr. Jānis Bordāns (The New Conservative Party – Jauna konservativa partija).
Date: Wednesday, 6 March 2019
Time: 13:00-14:30 (registration and networking from 12:15)
Venue: Radisson Blu Rīdzene Hotel, Reimersa iela 1, Rīga
Admission: 30 EUR (organizing chamber members), 40 EUR (non-members)
Registration: by email to Swedish Chamber at firstname.lastname@example.org by noon of March 4.
All registrations by email are financially binding after March 4.
* The event will be photographed for the SCCL illustration and information purposes. Please notify the SCCL office, if you do not want to be photographed.
Recorded conversations at Ridzene Hotel between 2009 and 2011 exposed potential large scale corruption schemes and trading with power and influence in Latvia involving various government officials and private business owners. Mr. Bordāns run in the last Parliamentary elections was partly based on combating exactly such illegal behavior, with his party’s campaign platform that was focused on strengthening the rule of law, fighting corruption, and reforming the insolvency process in Latvia.
Now Mr. Bordāns is pushing for an independent review of the Latvian judicial system, in order to increase transparency and decrease corruption.
At the luncheon, Mr. Bordāns will give an update to guests regarding the current status of the Latvian legal system, and the main areas of concern that he will address in his role as the Minister of Justice. Mr. Bordāns will give a short speech, which will be followed by a question & answer session, thus please get your questions ready!