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Features - Latvian Law Guide

By Ilona Ceica and Ligita Vasermane, Published on November 4, 2002

Ilona Ceica, LL.M, is the Prorector in administrative matters of the Riga Graduate School of Law.
Ligita Vasermane, M.Soc.Sci, is the Head of the Law Library of the Riga Graduate School of Law.

Table of Contents

1. Current developments in Latvian law
        State order and division of powers
        The hierachical system of legal acts
        Regulation of the legal professions in Latvia
        Court system of Latvia
        Commercial Law
        Banking Law
        Bankruptcy Law
        Civil Law
        Civil Procedure Law
        Competition Law
        Consumer Law
        Environmental Law
        Insurance Law
        Intellectual Property
        Labour Law
        Maritime Law
        Securities
        Tax Law
        Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure Law
        Administrative Procedure and Administrative Breaches Code
        Citizenship, Immigration and Language
2. Print and electronic resources on Latvian Law
        Parliament
        President
        Government
        Governmental institutions: Sources of legislation
        Court decisions, judgments, court claims
        Encyclopaedias, dictionaries, reference editions
        Publications and books on Latvian Law
        Latvia and European Union
        International organizations
        Human rights
        Non-governmental organisations
        Law journals
        Lawyer's associations
        Law schools
        Law firms
        Auditors
        Law libraries
        Business sources

1.  Current  Developments in Latvian Law

State order and division of powers

The basic legal document that sets the state order in Latvia is the Constitution (http://www.ttc.lv/New/lv/tulkojumi/E0013.doc) (Satversme). The Constitutional Convent of Latvia adopted the Constitution in 1922 and therefore it is the oldest Constitution among the three Baltic countries. The Constitution has been changed a few times. The last significant changes amended it and added a very important part for a constitution - a catalogue of human rights.

According to the Latvian Constitution, Latvia is a parliamentary democracy where the highest power belongs to the Latvian nation (full-fledged citizens of both sexes of at least 18 years of age). The nation, by voting, has the highest legislature powers over some of the issues set by the Constitution (e.g., release of the Parliament proposed by the State president). Only the nation has a right to decide on state independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and democratic state order.

By general, equal, direct, secret, proportional voting the citizens of Latvia elect the Parliament (http://www.saeima.lv/) (Saeima). The parliament of Latvia consists of 100 MPs. Parliament is elected for four years and any citizen starting from age of 21 can be elected. The Parliament is the highest legislator and it adopts state budget. The legislative power is also balanced with the judicial power since the Parliament approves all judges of Latvia.

The Parliament of Latvia elects a President (http://www.president.lv/index.php). The president is elected for years and any citizen of Latvia at least 40 years old can be elected to the post. The functions of the Latvian president if compared to other states are quite limited. The president is more like a representative person than a decision maker. Nevertheless, the state president has rights to initiate a law, as well as in other countries, to grant a pardon. The president appoints diplomatic the representatives of Latvia. He/she is the commander-in-chief of the Latvian army in peacetime.

The highest executive power of Latvia lies with the Cabinet of Ministers (http://www.mk.gov.lv/index.php/en) that is formed by a person entrusted by the President. The person forms the rest of the Cabinet. When the Cabinet of Ministers has been formed the Parliament has a vote of confidence. If the voting is positive the person who has been entrusted to form the Cabinet becomes the Prime Minister. Cabinet of Ministers has the rights of legislative initiative. It has competence over any question where the Parliament has not taken any decision. In strictly defined situations (Art. 81 of the Constitution) the acts of Cabinet of Ministers have a power of a law.

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The hierarchical system of legal acts

According to the Constitution there is a following system of hierarchy of the legal acts in Latvia:

  1. Constitution;
  2. international agreements approved by the Parliament;
  3. laws;
  4. acts of the Cabinet of Ministers with a power of law;
  5. other acts of the Cabinet of Ministers;
  6. municipal rules.

Regulation of the legal professions in Latvia

The Law on Regulated Professions and Recognition of Professional Qualifications (adopted on 20 June 2001) established that there are two regulated legal professions - sworn advocates (assistant sworn advocates) and sworn notaries.

The Bar association of Latvia consists of sworn advocates. Any sworn advocate can be a representative in any court instance and pre-trial investigation. Administrative and control function within the Bar is carried out by the Council of sworn advocates. It organizes the admission of new Bar members, controls the work of sworn advocates and assistant sworn advocates, i.e., also reviews complaints and reports, imposes disciplinary measures.

Notaries also belong to the legal profession and they act within the regional courts. The Minister of Justice sets the number and places of practice of the notaries. Administrative and control function is carried out by the Council of sworn notaries.

Bailiffs differ from the other legal profession because they are not freelance representatives of the legal profession, but they belong to the Ministry of Justice and form a Bailiffs department within the ministry. The minister of Justice appoints a bailiff.

Court System of Latvia

As set by the Constitution (http://www.ttc.lv/New/lv/tulkojumi/E0013.doc) and the Law on Judicial power (http://www.ttc.lv/New/lv/tulkojumi/E0036.doc) (adopted on 15 December 1992).[1] Exclusive judicial power lies with the courts. The Latvian court system consists of:

  1. Supreme Court;

  2. 5 regional courts;

  3. 34 district and city courts.

The Supreme Court consists of a Senate and two court chambers - Civil case chamber and Criminal case chamber. The Senate has the power of cassation in all cases that have been tried in regional and district (city) courts.

At the Senate, three senators try the cases.

Chambers are instances of appeal for cases earlier tried by the regional courts as courts of first instance. Three judges try the cases.

There are five regional courts in Latvia. The regional court is court of first instance for civil and criminal cases that according to the law are within its competence. The regional court is instance of appeal when criminal and civil cases have been tried in the district (city) courts or by one judge. In the appeal three judges try the case.

There are 34 district (city) courts in Latvia. District courts are the first instance for civil, criminal and administrative cases as set by the law. Civil cases with a few exceptions are tried by one judge. One judge and two assessors try criminal cases and particular categories of civil cases. Certain criminal cases (if set so by the law) can also be tried by one judge.

Besides the courts mentioned, there is a Constitutional Court of the Republic of Latvia (http://www.satv.tiesa.gov.lv/Eng/e_index.htm). The Constitutional Court was established in 1996 by adopting a Law on Constitutional Court (http://www.satv.tiesa.gov.lv/Eng/court_law_new.htm) (adopted on 5 June 1996). The judges of the Constitutional Court are approved by the parliament by a secret vote.  The candidacy of three judges are suggested by at least 10 MPs, two others - by the suggestion of the Cabinet of Ministers, and the remaining two - by the Supreme Court of Latvia. The Constitutional Court of Latvia consists of seven judges and they are appointed for 10 years. During the years the circle of institutions and persons rightful to apply to the Constitutional Court has been significantly improved and now also naturalized citizens have a legal standing.


[1] The draft of the new Law on Judicial Power was prepared by the Ministry of Justice at the time of preparation of this report.

Commercial Law

In 2001, the Parliament of Latvia adopted Commercial Law  (http://www.ttc.lv/New/lv/tulkojumi/E0040.doc) (Komerclikums) that is based on the German legal system, however, a number of EU directives have also been introduced by this legal act. Prior to this law, the commercial activities, as well as procedure of organizing companies was regulated by several laws adopted at the beginning of the 1990s. The new law came into force on 1 January 2002.

The Commercial Law has invented quite many and so far unknown concepts, e.g., commercial entrepreneur, procura (commercial power of attorney). 

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Banking Law

The Law on Credit Institutions (http://www.ttc.lv/New/lv/tulkojumi/E0102.doc) is the main tool in regulating this sphere of activities (adopted on 5 October 1995). As well, there is a special Law of Guarantee of Deposits of Natural Persons (adopted on 21 May 1998).

Bankruptcy Law

The bankruptcy procedure in Latvia is guided by the Law on the Insolvency of Undertakings and Companies (http://www.ttc.lv/New/lv/tulkojumi/E0146.doc) (adopted on 12 September 1996).

Insolvency of a company is established by a court judgement. A company is insolvent if it is not able to fulfill its obligations to its creditors.

The law does not apply to the insolvency of credit institutions. There is a special procedure for these institutions. In regard to insurance companies, this law is applicable as far as it does not conflict with the special laws on insurance activities.

There is also a special law On Protection of Employees in Case of Employer’s Bankruptcy (adopted on 20 December 2001).

Civil Law 

Civil Law of Latvia was adopted in 1938 and was reinforced step by step as of 1992.

Civil Law (http://www.ttc.lv/lv/publikacijas/civillikums.pdf) (Civillikums) of Latvia consists of the following chapters and regulates the following main issues of civil legislation:

  1. Family Law (Ģimenes tiesības);

  2. Inheritance Law (Mantojuma tiesības);

  3. Property Law (Lietu tiesības);

  4. Law on Obligations (Saistību tiesības).

Civil Procedure Law 

Civil Procedure Law (Civilprocesa likums) (adopted on 14 October 1998) replaced the older Civil Procedure Code. It is the legal act exclusively regulating the procedural issues of all levels of courts in Latvia.

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Competition Law

The Competition Law (http://www.ttc.lv/New/lv/tulkojumi/E0026.doc) (Konkurences likums) of Latvia was adopted on 4 October 2001, and came into force on 1 January 2002. This law transposes the main EU requirements and is basically based on Articles 81, 82 and 83 of the EC Treaty. Competition issues are reviewed and decisions are adopted by the Competition Council of Latvia. Every year until 1 March, the Competition Council has to prepare a report on cases reviewed in the previous year. This report is published in the Official Gazette. The decisions of the Council can be appealed to the court.

The field of advertising is also regulated in Latvia and the Law on Advertising (http://www.ttc.lv/New/lv/tulkojumi/E0048.doc) (http://www.ttc.lv/New/lv/tulkojumi/E0048.doc) (adopted on 20 December 1999) sets the requirements for a legal, objective and unfabled advertisement. It is also a tool for ensuring honest competition.

State market of Latvia is protected by Anti-dumping Law  (http://www.ttc.lv/New/lv/tulkojumi/E0047.doc), (adopted on 16 December 1999). The goal of the Law is to prevent dumping provided that according to a legal examination it is established that import for dumping prices causes loss to local (national) producers and manufacturers. 

Consumer Law

Consumer protection in Latvia is regulated by a number of laws:

Law on Protection of Consumer Rights (http://www.ttc.lv/New/lv/tulkojumi/E0267.doc) (adopted on 18 March 1999);

Product and Services Safety Law (http://www.ttc.lv/New/lv/tulkojumi/E0275.doc) (adopted on 20 June 2000);

Standardization Law (adopted on 14 October 1998).

Environmental Law

The basis of environmental legislation in Latvia is the Law on Environmental Protection (http://www.ttc.lv/New/lv/tulkojumi/E0042.doc) (adopted on 6 August 1991). The Law on Pollution (adopted on 15 March 2001) sets basis for integrated permitting system (IPPC) for industrial pollution. Environmental legislation in Latvia lately has been amended or drafted so that basic EU requirements in the field of environment are incorporated into the national legislation.

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Insurance Law

The Law on Insurance Contract (http://www.fktk.lv/law/insurance/laws/article.php?id=3577) (adopted on 10 June 1998) regulates insurance activities in Latvia. This law applies to insurance against losses (material values of interest), civil liability (personal civil liability) insurance and personal insurance (life, health, physical condition).

This law does not apply to the social insurance, as well as to reinsurance.

Activities of insurance companies are regulated by the Law on Insurance Companies and Their Supervision (http://www.fktk.lv/law/insurance/laws/article.php?id=3556) (adopted on 10 June 1998). The insurance market in Latvia is supervised by State Insurance Supervision Inspection (adopted on 24 August 1995).

Intellectual Property

Intellectual property issues are regulated by several laws in Latvia:

Copyright Law (http://www.ttc.lv/New/lv/tulkojumi/E0098.doc) (adopted on 6 April 2000);

Law on Trademarks and Geographical Indications (http://www.ttc.lv/New/lv/tulkojumi/E0006.doc) (adopted on 16 June 1999);

Patent Law (http://159.148.90.160/eng/likumi/patenti.asp) (adopted on 30 March 1995);

Law on Industrial Design Protection (http://159.148.90.160/eng/likumi/dizainparaugu_aizsardziba.asp) (adopted on 4 May 1993). 

Latvia is a member of several international conventions in this field, e.g., the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, the Paris Convention for the Protection of Intellectual Property, WIPO, etc.

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Labour Law

Labour Law (http://www.ttc.lv/New/lv/tulkojumi/E0223.doc) of Latvia was adopted in 2001; however, it came into force on 1 June 2002. Before this Law, a Code of Labour Laws adopted in 1972 by the Supreme Council of the Soviet Republic of Latvia regulated employment issues. The new Labour Law has been elaborated based on EU requirements, therefore many new issues have been incorporated into the law, e.g., non-discrimination on a sexual basis, rights to an extra vacation for fathers (not only mothers as was the case previously).

Maritime Law

Maritime Law in Latvia is regulated by several legal acts:

Maritime Code (adopted on 16 August 1998);

Several laws on free ports of Latvia;

Regulation on Ship brokers (adopted on 26 November 1996), etc.

Securities

The basic legal act regulating the securities market in Latvia is the Securities Law (http://www.fktk.lv/downloads/news_en/low3.pdf) (adopted on 23 August 1995). The law regulates the order of public release, registration and circulation of securities, activities and liability of securities market participants, as well as protects the interests of investors by securing publicity, equal access to the securities market and equal access to information on public release, registration and circulation of securities. 

Supervision of public circulation of securities is carried out by the Financial and Capital Market Commission of Latvia (http://www.fktk.lv/en/).

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Tax Law

There following are taxes applicable in Latvia:

Tax payment supervision authority in Latvia is State Revenue Service (http://www.vid.gov.lv/eng/).

Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure Law

During the independence period there have been several attempts to change the old Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code left over from the Soviet system. At this time, there is a new Criminal Law (http://www.ttc.lv/New/lv/tulkojumi/E0032.doc) in Latvia (adopted on 17 June 1998), however, the drafting group of Criminal Procedure Law is still working on it, therefore the Criminal Procedure Code in force still reflects a lot of Soviet elements of criminal procedure.  It cannot be successfully applied in the progressive information technology and telecommunications environment, as it misses certain requirements for the application of human rights in the process of criminal prosecution.

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Administrative Procedure and Administrative Breaches Code

The Parliament of Latvia has adopted (25 October 2001) an Administrative Procedure Law (http://www.ttc.lv/New/lv/tulkojumi/E0069.doc) which will be in force as of 1 July 2003 and will set the procedure.

Administrative Breaches Code (adopted on 7 December 1984) is the most frequently amended law in Latvia, therefore for many years there has been a strong need for a modern code. The drafting of the code has taken several years. Currently, the draft is submitted to the Parliament, however, due to the size of the Code, it may take some time before it is adopted.

Citizenship, Immigration and Language

Four years after regaining independence, Latvia's Parliament adopted Citizenship Law (http://www.ttc.lv/New/lv/tulkojumi/E0031.doc) (adopted on 22 June 1994). This law defines Latvian citizenship, as well as sets the necessary requirements to become a Latvian citizen. According to the law, dual citizenship in Latvia is not allowed. Law also reflects upon procedure and regulations of naturalisation, as well as sets rules for loss and restoration of Latvian citizenship.

Law on the Status of Stateless Persons in the Republic of Latvia (http://www.ttc.lv/New/lv/tulkojumi/E0134.doc) (adopted on 18 February 1999) determines the legal statuses of such persons that are not considered citizens in any recognized country. 

Law on Entry into and Residence in the Republic of Latvia of Aliens and Stateless Persons (http://www.ttc.lv/New/lv/tulkojumi/E0039.doc) (adopted on 9 June 1992) determines the entry, residence and deportation procedures for stateless persons in Latvia. The main purpose of the Official Language Law (http://www.ttc.lv/New/lv/tulkojumi/E0120.doc) (adopted on 9 December 1999) is to ensure maintenance, development and protection of the Latvian language, as well as the right to freely use the Latvian language in Latvia and facilitate integration of different minorities of Latvia.

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2.  Printed and electronic resources on Latvian Law

Parliament

Saeima of the Republic of Latvia (http://www.saeima.lv/) (Parliament) offers information on Parliament, the text of the Constitution, notes of Parliament sessions starting with the year 1999, draft laws (http://www.saeima.lv/ /Likumdosana/likumdosana_likumprojekti.html), with a search engine (in Latvian).

President

President of Latvia (http://www.president.lv/), information on presidential activities, speeches.

Government

Cabinet of Ministers (http://www.mk.gov.lv/), draft legal acts (http://www.mk.gov.lv/index.php/lv/?id=130), as well approved conceptions, programmes and strategy documents (in Latvian).

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (http://www.am.gov.lv/en/) information on diplomatic representative offices, international agreements, foreign economic policy, Latvia’s integration in the European Union, as well as information on consular and diplomatic services. 

Ministry of Justice (http://www.tm.gov.lv/) – information on the judicial system of Latvia, system of courts, judicial policy documents and international agreements signed in this area.

Ministry of Welfare (http://www.lm.gov.lv/english/ministry/mission.html) – gives an insight into the social welfare system of Latvia, contains descriptions of Latvia’s social welfare policy, international agreements signed in this area, as well as shows the structure of the Ministry.

Ministry of Interior (http://www.iem.gov.lv/eng/main.html)contains information on the structure of the Ministry, as well as its major institutions, e.g., State Police, State Border Guard, Citizenship and Migration Agency, State Fire Fighting and Rescue Service, Police Academy.

Ministry of Culture (http://www.km.gov.lv/UI/Main.asp?id=321) - basic laws and state programmes regulating the field of culture in Latvia. Special collection of legislation on Copyright (http://www.km.gov.lv/UI/Main.asp?id=349) (in Latvian)

Ministry of Economics (http://www.lem.gov.lv/En/) – report of the development of economics in Latvia (in English), legislation regulating economic development (in Latvian).

Ministry of Finance (http://www.fm.gov.lv/en/index.htm) - contains information on the structure of the Ministry, main publications and reports, as well as its major institutions, e.g., State Revenue Service (http://www.vid.gov.lv/eng/index.htm), State Real Estate Agency (http://www.vnia.lv/public/), Procurement Monitoring Bureau (http://www.iub.gov.lv/), The Treasury of the Republic of Latvia (http://www.vkase.gov.lv/), Latvia Insurance Supervision Inspectorate (http://www.vaui.gov.lv/en/), The Traffic Bureau of the Republic of Latvia (http://www.sb.gov.lv/).

Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development (http://www.varam.gov.lv/) - national policy for environmental protection, nature protection, preservation and rational use of natural resources, planning of regional development, development of tourism, hydrometeorology, construction, housing and exploitation of subsoil.

Ministry of Education and Science (http://www.izm.gov.lv/en/default.htm) – information about the educational system in Latvia, basic legislative acts concerning education, wide information on scientific and research activities and legislative framework.

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Governmental institutions: Sources of legislation

State Enterprise Register (http://www.ur.gov.lv/) – basic information on establishing enterprises, registration of enterprises, legal acts in this area.

State Revenue Service (http://www.vid.gov.lv/eng/) - legal acts in the area of taxes and duties, customs and customs procedure, application of customs tariffs, observation of import and export permits system of the goods and other articles.

Latvian Privatisation Agency (http://www.lpa.bkc.lv/Lpa.php?lng=GB) - reveals privatisation and investment opportunities in Latvia, gives an overview of the legislative framework in privatisation process. Regularly updated online database of more than 300 Latvian companies open for privatisation.

Latvian Development Agency (http://www.lda.gov.lv/) - information about Latvia and doing business with Latvia. For Latvian and foreign entrepreneurs and investors, information on legal environment for foreign investors.

Translation and Terminology Center (http://www.ttc.lv/en/) – State Agency which provides a translation of Latvian legislation consolidated versions into English; translation of EC legislation into Latvian (free access). Offers wide Multilanguage Dictionary (http://completedb.ttc.lv/) - Internet term bank which has been developed in a translation process.

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Sources of legislation

Print sources

Laws (likums), government orders (lemums) and other legislation is published in “Latvijas Republikas Saeimas un Ministru Kabineta Zinotajs”, before it was called: “Latvijas Republikas Augstakas Padomes un Valdibas Zinotajs” (until July 1993). It contains all government laws, decisions, regulations, official announcements, and information about state accession to international agreements and conventions.

Government documents come into force after their publication in the newspaper "Latvijas Vestnesis” (http://www.vestnesis.lv/) (The Latvian Herald) (1993- ). Documents are published only in Latvian. “Latvijas Vestnesis” continues the traditions of “Valdibas Vestnesis” (The Government Herald) which was the official state gazette in 1919-1940.

Laws and government documents in pre-war period (1919-1941) was published by the Saeima as annual editions “Likumu un Ministru kabineta noteikumu krajums”.

Currently two companies publishing Latvian laws in loose-leaf format: Business Information Service (Lietiskas informacijas dienests) in Latvian and Latvian Law Institute in English. Business Information Service publishes specialized collection of laws in different areas – legal codes, collections of normative documentation on credit institutions, entrepreneurship, customs, tax system, court system and others.  

The Latvian Law Institute has provided an authorized English translation in loose-leaf format since 1997 of Latvian Legal Codes:

Vol.1 Civil law (The Civil Code). ISBN 1-88758-643-1  

Vol.2 Latvian Code of Civil Procedure. Latvian Labour Code. ISBN 1-88758-644-x  

Vol.3 Maritime Code. Customs Code. ISBN 1-88758-647-4

In addition, the Latvian Law Institute has provided an authorized English translation in loose-leaf format since 1997 of Latvian law services:

Vol.1 Company law service ISBN 1-88758-621-0  

Vol.2 Financial law service ISBN 1-88758-609-1

Vol.3 Commercial law service ISBN 1-88758-611-3

Vol.4 Government law service. –ISBN 1-88758-624-5

Starting with 2000, the Latvian Law Institute provides the database of Latvian legislation in English (authorized translation) in CD-ROM format “Latvijas konsolidetie likumi = Latvian Consolidated Laws”. Documents in the database are available in Latvian and English, and are issued regularly 4 times a year.

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Electronic sources

Latvian Legislation in English (http://www.ttc.lv/en/default-translations-lr.htm) provided by the Translation and Terminology Center (free access).

NAIS (http://www.nais.dati.lv/naiser/login.cfm) - legislation information system (commercial, requires subscription) is the only computerized legislation system offering its clients a complete set of different legal acts of the Republic of Latvia (laws, bills, regulations, decrees, etc.) and international conventions, and agreements accepted in Latvia. The database contains the most current versions of the documents, amendments included. The legislation database is constantly updated with newly issued documents. A large part of the international document are translated in English.

Latvijas Vestnesis” (http://www.vestnesis.lv/) offers archive of publications (articles, legislation, announcements) in the state official since 1995 (searchable, possibility to browse issues, in Latvian, requires subscription).

Likumi.lv (http://www.likumi.lv/) – legislation in force, search mechanism (free of charge, in Latvian). Link to the Latvian law in English.

News agency LETA (http://www.leta2000.com/eng/default.asp) provides a database of “Latvijas Vestnesis” publications since 2000, court decisions, laws (searchable, in Latvian, requires subscription).

Latlex (http://www.latlex.lv/) – the normative acts system which contains international and Latvian normative acts in Latvian (laws, regulations), sentences of the courts of Latvia and their comments. The system is integrated with other principal state registers.

Court decisions, judgments, court claims

Printed sources

Decisions of the Supreme Court of Latvia (“Latvijas Senata spriedumi”) for 1918-1940 were published in 16 volumes during the pre-war period, 1919-1941. This publication has a facsimile edition, 1997-1998, published by the Supreme Court with the support of the August Leober Foundation (ISBN 9984-616-00-2).

Current decisions of the Supreme Court of Latvia starting with 1996 are published annually by the Latvian Judicial Training Center:

Latvijas Republikas Augstakas Tiesas Senata spriedumi un lemumi, 1996. - Riga : Latvijas Tiesnesu macibu centrs, 1997.  

Latvijas Republikas Augstakas Tiesas Senata Kriminallietu departamenta lemumi, 1997-2000. - Riga : Latvijas Tiesnesu macibu centrs, 1998-2001. 

Latvijas Republikas Augstakas Tiesas Senata Civillietu departamenta spriedumi un lemumi, 1997-2000. - Riga : Latvijas Tiesnesu macibu centrs, 1998-2001.

Electronic sources

Constitutional Court of the Republic of Latvia (http://www.satv.tiesa.gov.lv/Eng/e_index.htm) - Court decisions available in English.

Kuldiga District Court (http://www.tiesa.kuldiga.lv/indexe.html) - Court decisions, information on Latvian judicial system.

LURSOFT Database of court claims (http://www.lursoft.lv/en/db_tiesa.html) - detailed information about court disputations between Latvian companies (commercial, requires subscription).

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Encyclopaedias, dictionaries, reference editions

Printed sources

The Civil Law of Latvia: Glossary of terms: Latvian-English, English-Latvian. - Riga: Tulkosanas un terminologijas centrs, 2001. ISBN 9984-657-06-x 

A dictionary of legal synonyms Latvian-English-Latvian/American Bar Association - Riga : American Bar Association, 1994.  ISBN 0-89707-866-7    

English-Latvian glossary of EU primary legislation terms. - [Riga] : Tulkosanas un terminologijas centrs, 2000. ISBN 9984-657-04-3    

Translation handbook for Latvian legislation. - [Riga] : Tulkosanas un terminologijas centrs, 2000. ISBN 9984-657-01-9

Juridisko terminu vardnica. – Riga: Nordik, 1998. – 302 lpp.

Latviesu-anglu, anglu-latviesu juridisko terminu vardnica. – Riga: Kamene, 2000.  ISBN 9984-636-33-x

In the 1990s, there were several glossaries published, e.g., Glossary of Legal terms, Glossary of Legal terms, Glossary of legislation terms.

Electronic sources

Translation and Terminology Centre (http://www.ttc.lv/en/) offers wide Multilanguage Dictionary (http://completedb.ttc.lv/) - Internet term bank which was developed in a translation process. The various specialised dictionaries are available electronically: Unified terminology database, Database of military terms, Database of chemistry terms.

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Publications and books on Latvian Law

Printed sources

Civil Law of Latvia and Commentaries:

        The Civil Law of Latvia. - Riga: Tiesu namu agentura : Tulkosanas un terminologijas centrs, 2001. ISBN  9984-657-05-1 

Commentary on Family Law by J.Vebers:

        Latvijas Republikas Civillikuma komentari : Gimenes tiesibas (26.-51.,114.-125.,140.-176.p.) / Janis Vebers. - Riga: Mans ipasums, 2000.  ISBN 9984-574-22-9  

Commentary on  Inheritance Law by R.Krauze and Z.Gencs:

        Latvijas Republikas Civillikuma komentari: Mantojuma tiesibas (382.-840.p.) / sast. R.Krauze (382.-654.p.), Dr.iur.; Z.Gencs (655.-840.p.). - Riga : Mans ipasums, 1997.  ISBN 9984-574-06-7

Commentary on  Property Law by G.Visnakova and K.Balodis

        Latvijas Republikas Civillikuma komentari: Lietas. Valdijums. Tiesibas uz svesu lietu (841.-926., 1130.-1400.p.) / autori: G.Visnakova, K.Balodis. - Riga: Mans ipasums, 1998. ISBN 9984-574-13-X

Commentary on Property Law by A.Grutups and E.Kalnins:

        Grutups Andris. Civillikuma komentari : 3. dala. Lietu tiesibas. ipasums / Andris Grutups, Erlens Kalnins. -  2.papild.izd. - Riga: Tiesu namu agentura, 2002. - ISBN 9984-671-30-5

Commentary on Law on Obligations by K.Torgans:

        Latvijas Republikas Civillikuma komentari: Saistibu tiesibas (1401.-2400.p.) / aut.kol.; K.Torgana   visp.zin.red. - [2.parstr.izd.]. - Riga : Mans ipasums, [2000]. ISBN 9984-574-12-1

Commentary on Civil Procedure Law by K.Torgans and M.Dudelis:

         Civilprocesa likuma komentari: Latvijas civilprocesa kodekss. Izvilkums (22.-25. nod.) / K.Torgana un M.Dudela visp.zin.red. - Riga: Tiesu namu agentura, 2001. - ISBN 9984-671-22-4

The history of Latvian legal system:

         Latvijas tiesibu vesture, 1914-1920 – Riga: Fonds “Latvijas vesture”, 2000. – 528 lpp. – ISBN 9984-643-14-x

         Court system reform of Latvia: Twinning project of the Ministry of Justice of Latvia "Court system reform". - Riga: Tiesu namu agentura, 2001. - 989 p. - Text parallel in Latvian and English language. - ISBN 9984-671-18-6  

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Electronic sources

History of Legislature of the Republic of Latvia (http://www.saeima.lv/).

The Court System of Latvia (http://www.tm.gov.lv/index.php?mid=46).

Legal.lv (http://www.legal.lv/) Latvian legal form database, consultations on civil and procedural matters, excerpts of legal documents, Civil Code.

Latvia and European Union

The European Commission’s delegation in Latvia, the European Union’s Information Centre (http://www.eiropainfo.lv/) - information on the European Union, delegation of the European Commission in Latvia and the EU programmes – Phare, SAPARD, ISPA. Publications, a calendar of activities, discussions on the accession of Latvia to the EU, news, contest of projects.

European Integration Bureau (http://www.eib.lv/) – information on Latvia's integration process into the European Union, an overview of the law approximation process, main EU documents and legislation relating to Latvia’s integration process in the EU. This homepage offers the public not only a wide range information on EU and Latvia's accession to the EU, but also an EIIS (European Integration Information System) database supported by the Bureau. The database contains the most important information on the European Integration process in Latvia, and serves as a tool for the work of the public administration. The database contains basic documents, as well as statements of Latvia's accession goals and detailed plans of the implementation of these plans (technical inquiries), and information on fulfilment of the plans.

Saeima (Parliament) EU Information Center (http://www.saeima.lv/elk/angliski/index.html) – ensures access to a wide range of information resources in EU matters and accession process. Here you can find basic EU agreements, agreements between the EU and Latvia, as well as the most important documents on Latvia’s EU accession process.  The homepage also contains a full set of the bulletin “Euronews”, as well as a wide catalogue of EU sites on the Internet.

International organizations

United Nations Development Program, Country Office in Latvia (http://www.undp.riga.lv/) – information on the UN in Latvia, Latvian Human Development Reports and informative materials.

Information and Documentation Centre of the Council of Europe (http://www.coecidriga.lv/) – Conventions of the COE, translations into Latvian, articles (in Latvian).

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Human rights

Human rights in Latvia (http://www.humanrights.lv/) - publishes domestic law on human rights in English, translations of international and regional human rights conventions and other documents in Latvian, information on Institute on Human Rights activities.

Non-governmental organisations

Non-governmental Organizations Centre (http://www.ngo.org.lv/) - promoting the development of a democratic and integrated civil society in Latvia, programmes, description of activities.

Latvian Maritime Law Association (http://vip.latnet.lv/LJTA/) – this homepage is concentrated on academic publications in the field of Maritime Law. Here you can also find Latvian and international documents (agreements) in Latvian, as well as it serves as a good database for maritime case law of Latvia (1996-2001) (in Latvian).

AKKA/LAA (http://www.autornet.lv/) (Copyright and Communication Consultation Agency/Latvian Copyright Agency) administers property rights of national and international authors in Latvia. There are also Commentaries on Copyright Law (in Latvian).

State Center of Children's Rights (http://www.vbtac.lv/) - The Center enforces the law of the state supervision on protection of children's rights, as well as co-ordinates activities in this scope. Conventions and laws regulating children’s rights (in Latvian).

Law journals

The full text of articles from law journals are available only in print format.

 “Likums un Tiesibas” (http://www.ius.lv/) (Rules and Law) monthly journal, published by the Latvian University and Riga Graduate School of Law since 1999.

 “Administrativa un Kriminala Justicija” (Administrative and Criminal Justice) quarterly published by the Academy of Police since 1998.

 “Cilvēktiesību urnāls” (in Latvian) and “Latvian Human Rights Quarterly” (http://www.humanrights.lv/frames_e.htm?menu/hrmag_e.htm) (in English) published by the Latvian Human Rights Institute since 1996.

Weekly supplement to the “Latvijas Vēstnesis” “Jurista Vards” (http://www.vestnesis.lv/main.php) (Lawyer’s Word) which publishes analytical articles.

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Lawyer's associations

Latvian Bar Association (http://www.advokati.lv/) - offers information on Bar association activities, as well as provides legal base of the Bar activities in Latvia.

Latvian Sworn Notary Council (http://www.notary.lv/not_council.htm).

Law schools

Faculty of Law, University of Latvia (http://www.lu.lv/eng/dept/f_law.html) – Higher Professional Education Study Programme in Law, Master’s Degree Programme in Law.

Riga Graduate School of Law (http://www.rgsl.edu.lv/) – LL.M in International and European Law.

Academy of Police (http://www.polak.edu.lv/) - professional lawyer’s diploma in Public Law.

School of Business Administration "Turiba" (http://www.turiba.lv/eng/index_en.htm) – higher professional education in legal science.

Business Institute Rimpak Livonija (http://www.rimpak.com/) – law professional study programme (bachelors standard included).

Law firms

Sorainen Law Office (http://www.sorainen.ee/), providing legal services to the clients from the Baltic States and from abroad, primarily in the areas of commercial law, contract law, property law, financing and investments, privatisation, international trade. Publications: Legal update – Estonia: Commercial law (since 1997), Legal update – The Baltic states: Commercial law (since 1999), as well as Overview of Latvian legislation: Business legislation, published in Latvian and English since 1997.

Patent Law Office FORAL (http://www.patents.lv/) specializes in the field of intellectual property, including consulting services, taking preventive measures against any infringement of intellectual property, investigation of violations, and running pre-court and court proceedings.

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Auditors

Deloitte & Touche Latvia (http://www.deloittece.com/latvia/index_eng.php3) – audit and advisory, tax and legal, management consulting, and financial advisory services.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (http://www.pwcglobal.com/lv/eng/about/svcs/) – audit and advisory, tax and legal, management consulting, and financial advisory services.

KPMG (http://www.kpmg.lv/detail.thtml/en/about/) insurance, tax and legal, consulting and financial advisory services.

Law libraries

Law Library of the Riga Graduate School of Law (http://www.rgsl.edu.lv/) – the only public library specializing in law, and accessible to any person interested in law. Wide range of electronic databases and electronic catalogue (http://www.rgsl.edu.lv/5/3.htm) of the latest law books and analytical index of journal articles.

Union Catalogue (http://fikuss.lanet.lv:4505/ALEPH0/9N67K8298MJSLYFRGGG426R5LFDD98BI54JTHFY1HTLASKAEGG-01363/con-lng/eng) of eight Latvian libraries of national significance.

Business sources

LURSOFT Data bases of enterprises incorporated in Latvia (http://www.lursoft.lv/en/db_ur.html) - information on all enterprises registered in Latvia, their managers, shareholders, fixed capital and annual accounts (commercial, requires subscription).

LURSOFT Data base of the Register of Movable Pledges (http://www.lursoft.lv/en/db_kr.html) - credit information on all companies which have registered movable pledges in Latvia. Data on all parties - creditors, debtors, etc, information on pledged property and other information on a pledge (commercial, requires subscription).