On July 14th the first annual  Riga Justice Leaders Forum took place at the House of the Black Heads in Riga, Latvia. FICIL Investment protection and court efficiency work group leader and active members represented the investors’ view on further changes that need to be realised to improve trust in justice system and cooperation among various partners.

Māris Vainvoskis (Eversheds Sutherland Bitāns) who chairs the FICIL Court efficiency work group moderated the first panel on “How to ensure responsiveness of justice sector in unpredictable circumstances – leaders’ responsibility”. Mr. Vainovskis emphasised that when we are speaking about the efficiency of the court system, we should keep the focus on the user experience, experience of people and businesses that encounter the system – that is at the core.

“Currently, the court system faces certain barriers, related to attitude, presumption. In this regard innovation can act as a disruptor to the established status quo. To cross these barriers, we might need some incentive and improved efficiency is a huge incentive” – outlined Māris Vainovskis.

Māris Vainovskis served as the panel leader. Other panel participants included:

  • Aigars Strupišs (Chief Justice, President of the Judicial Council, Latvia)
  • Ramin Garagurbanli (President of the European Commission for efficiency of justice CEPEJ)
  • Elsa Pilichowski (Director of Public Governance OECD)
  • Georg Stawa (Former Judge, Counsellor for Southeast Europe, Federal Ministry of Justice, Austrian Embassy at Belgrade)
  • Rolands Lappuķe (Smart Technology Adviser to the President of Latvia)



During the second part of the Riga Justice Leader Forum 2022, critical factors for successful change were discussed. FICIL Investment protection and court efficiency work group member Daiga Zivtiņa (Ellex Kļaviņš) participated in the session “Management of justice institutions and accessibility of justice services: challenges, best practices, and stories of success. Lifelong learning and research supporting reforms in justice sector – trends and modern perspective.” Daiga Zivtiņa outlined the importance of continued court system digitalisation efforts.

 “Digital transformation is one of the key areas of FICIL work, we are looking at both access to courts and digital capabilities of courts. During the pandemic our practice, experience and attitude have changed significantly. Modernisation of a routine today can lead to innovation, which can correlate with development in the technology sector.”

Mrs. Zivtiņa also mentioned that it looks like we are currently translating existing procedures into digital procedures, but we need more cooperation among legal community, business community and technology community to find a better way to achieve progress. We are looking at speed, simplicity, understanding and predictability of the court system.

This panel was lead by Anda Smiltēna (Deputy State Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Latvia). Participants included:

  • Felix Steffek (Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge)
  • Daniela Piana (Professor of Political Science at the University of Bologna)
  • Chloe Lelievre (Head of Justice Unit, OECD)
  • Daiga Zivtiņa (Representative of FICIL)
  • Kaspars Kauliņš (International Business Development Director at Tilde)

You can watch the full event at the Ministry of Justice of Republic of Latvia YOUTUBE page.