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Law in Latvia

Law in Latvia is based on continental law system opposed to common law. Latvian law system is similar to German, French, Estonian, Lithuanian and other Civil Law systems in Europe.

The core law branches in Latvia are:

*) civil law

*) criminal law

*) administrative law

*) constitutional law.

Civil Law

Civil Law is a part of private law and plays a vital role in daily life of any person as well as in business.

General civil law governs legal relationships raised out of obligations law (contract law and delict law), property rights (Latin - ius in rem), family law and inheritance law. The general civil law is consolidated in one legal instrument - Civil Law.

Company law is also considered as private law and at some extent governs the legal relationships between business entity or between companies (see company) and consumers.

Consumer rights generally are considered as private law, although the Consumer Protection Center is entitled to initiate an administrative cases and constitute a violation of consumer rights.

Insurance law stipulates the rights and duties related to Law on Insurance Contracts.

Employment law addresses rights and duties between employee and employer.

Civil Law as a law science refers to obligations and attempts to solve conflicts between two or more private persons, including companies as legal person

Criminal law

Criminal law is a part of public law. Criminal offences are listed in Criminal Law; investigation is governed by Criminal Procedure Law.

The underlying principle Under Latvian Criminal Law is presumption of innocence [Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat), which means that one is considered innocent until proven guilty.

Administrative law

Administrative law is a branch of law governing the creation and operation of state institutions. Administrative law encompasses laws and legal principles governing the administration and regulation of government agencies against the private person.

A person may file a petition to administrative court only after he/she has contested the decision or action of an institution to a higher authority and administrative cases have been initiated.

The merit of court proceedings in administrative matters is exercising control over the lawfulness of administrative acts of institutions, or actual actions of institutions, or rational considerations within the framework of freedom of action, as well as establishing responsibilities or rights of a natural person under public law, or adjudication of disputes arising from public law contract.

Constitutional law

It is recognized by civilized nations that human rights are considered fundamental and must be protected by state. A list of human rights is incorporated in Latvian higher level law - the Constitution (Latvian - Satversme ).

When preparing and filing a constitutional claim to the Constitutional Court, it should be taken into consideration that such claim is the ultimate means of protection of fundamental human rights. Before filing a claim to the Constitutional Court, a person must try to protect his/her rights by general legal remedies.

For example, if a person finds that a state or local government institution, or an official by an action or a decision has infringed his/her rights, he/she must first file a claim to a superior institution or official. If the decision of such institution or official seems inadequate, one may apply to district (city) court; in turn the decision of a district (city) court may be appealed to a regional court. The decision of a regional court may be appealed to the Senate of the Supreme Court (Latvian - Senāts). If a decision of the Senate is found unsatisfactory, all available legal remedies have been exhausted, and a person regards that the reason of the problem is the in compliance of the applied normative act with the Constitution, such person may file a petition to the Constitutional Court.

This page was last modified on 20 November 2020 at 05:57.

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