The European Court of Human Rights orders the Latvian Government to pay EUR 5,000.00 to our clients. A matter of principle. Congratulations to the majority shareholders of AS Ventbunkers.

16.12.2014.

The decision of 18 November 2014 of the European Court of Human Rights (Application no. 57566/12) in the matter of Yelverton Investments B.V. et al vs. the Republic of Latvia (http://www.echr.coe.int) is a helpful example to understand certain remnants of the Soviet system in the Latvian judicial system. It is not the awarded amount that brings satisfaction. Instead, it is the fact that we have been right about the violation of the European Convention of Human Rights since the beginning of this saga in February 2012.

The very idea of the protest filed by a superior judge with the purpose of quashing binding judgments is alien to Western jurisdictions. Various countries that had been contaminated by this Soviet approach had to change their laws to comply with the European Convention of Human Rights that does not accept the very concept of the “protest”. Latvia is still an embarrassing exception. Until recently such protests were filed by the Chairman of the Civil Department of the Supreme Court and reviewed by his colleagues, which in this particular cases has resulted in an order of EUR 5,000.00 against the Latvian Government. Moreover, the General Prosecutor’s Office are still filing such protests resulting in many binding judgments being quashed.

The case law of the European Court of Human Rights caused the Supreme Court to dismiss the protest and help our clients to keep the protested judgment standing. That is the reason why the European Court of Human Rights did not hear our application on the merits. It is hoped that sooner or later judgments quashed on the basis of a protest filed by the General Prosecutor’s Office would trigger similar proceedings in Strasbourg causing the Latvian Government to end this practice. It should be possible to remedy manifest miscarriage of justice. However, it should be done on the basis of an application of the party concerned rather than on the basis of a protest filed by a public official vested with discretion whether to do it or not.

SIA IAG, Yelverton Investments B.V. et al were represented by Daimars Skutans and Oskars Jonans.