Latvian government backs special economic crimes court
07 Nov 2019

The Latvian government on November 5 supported a Justice Ministry plan to establish a specialized economic affairs court that will start operating as of January 1, 2021.

However, Interior Minister Sandis Ģirģens (KPV LV) spoke against the legislative amendments and minister also called for an audit of the judicial sector before adopting new regulations. The bill was supported by all ministers, except Ģirģens.

The first instance of the specialized court would employ four judges and six court employees. The creation of the first instance court would cost EUR 384,005, and EUR 334,369 will be allocated from the base funding.

According to the Justice Ministry, the intention would be for the court “to ensure rapid and high quality proceedings concerning complex commercial disputes, corruption, economic and financial crimes” allowing it to process cases involving economic crimes, such as money-laundering, in a faster fashion than is currently the case in the mainstream judicial system.

It would be another piece of the government’s desire to show that it has turned a corner as far as prosecution of financial crimes is concerned, as Latvia seeks to shed its previous reputation as being soft on money-laundering, offshore tax evasion and similar financial sector crimes.

The bill has yet to be considered by the Saeima.


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