On December 19, FICIL Investment Protection and Court Efficiency work group met with Legal Policy Adviser to the President of Latvia Mr. Jānis Pleps and Economic Policy Adviser Ms. Alise Pīka at Riga Castle to discuss improvements in court system and legislation quality.

Head of the FICIL work group Mr. Māris Vainovskis commended the progress in establishing a specialised court for economic affairs. Investors and State President’s advisors agreed that appointing a strong team of judges will be crucial to the functioning of the new court, and therefore great attention has to be paid to their selection.

FICIL work group members stressed the importance of predictability of the business environment and quality of legislation process. Sudden changes in tax rates without comprehensive discussions with affected stakeholders, as seen in the adoption process of state budget for 2020, significantly undermine investor confidence and impedes new investment decisions.

Mr. Pleps agreed that the approval process of the state budget is relatively unpredictable. Moreover, in increasingly many occasions policy makers disregard the opinions of legal services, which is a worrying sign. Mr. Vainovskis pointed out that significant improvements in quality of legislation process can be achieved by approving the amendments in Saeima Rules of Procedure, which are currently being discussed in Saeima Legal Committee.

Other topics were also discussed, such as the necessity to review the amount of State duty (fee), developments regarding insolvency proceedings, restructuring practice of companies, which are under legal protection, and necessary improvements in public procurement procedures.

FICIL Investment Protection and Court Efficiency work group recommendations to the Government of Latvia are available here.