In accordance with the State Ensured Legal Aid Law and Regulations No 585 “Court Administration Regulation” adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers on 20 September 2022, the Court Administration of the Republic of Latvia manages the funds for the state ensured legal aid.

In a Constitutional Court process, civil matters and certain administrative matters, the state ensured legal aid is available to a person*, who:

  • has obtained the status of a low-income or needy person;
  • suddenly finds itself in a situation and material condition which prevents from ensuring the protection of rights (due to natural disasters, force majeure or other circumstances beyond the control of the person);
  • is fully dependent on the state or municipality.

The partial state ensured legal aid in lawyer's civil matters of certain type (in cases falling under the jurisdiction of the Economic Court, in cases arising from obligation rights, if the amount of claim exceeds EUR 150 000, and in cases regarding the protection of a trade secret against illegal acquisition, use and disclosure) is available to persons:

  • whose income level does not exceed the national minimum monthly wage;
  • whose property condition is appropriate for receiving the legal aid.

A whistle-blower can receive the state ensured legal aid under cases laid down in the State Legal Aid Law without assessing his or her property.

* The state ensured legal aid is available to a citizen of Latvia, a non-citizen of Latvia, a stateless person, a European Union citizen who is not a citizen of the Republic of Latvia, but resides legally in the Republic of Latvia, a third-country national (including a refugee and a person who has been granted the alternative status in the Republic of Latvia) who is not a citizen of a European Union Member State, if he or she legally resides in the Republic of Latvia and has received a permanent residence permit.

The Court Administration of the Republic of Latvia provides legal aid:

1) in civil matters (except where the case is connected with customs or tax matters, it relates to a claim on infringement of honour and dignity, it relates to a claim which is directly related to the person's business activities or the commercial activities or independent professional activities etc.);

2) in administrative matters:

  • within appeal of orphans' court decision on the protection of child's rights and legal interests;
  • in appeal procedures within asylum granting process;
  • within appeal of a decision on contested departure order or decision on contested decision on deportation;
  • in administrative matters in court, where the court (the judge) has decided on granting of the state ensured legal aid pursuant to the case complexity and financial situation of the natural person;

3) In the Constitutional Court proceedings to a person, based on whose constitutional complaint the Constitutional Court has made a decision on refusal to initiate the case by justifying this decision only with the absence of legal grounds or its obvious lack for the claim satisfaction.

Application on legal aid shall be reviewed and decision on granting or refusal to grant legal aid shall be adopted by the Administration within 21 days, but in matters affecting children's rights - within 14 days from the date of receipt of an application for legal aid, as well as in partial legal aid cases, the Legal Aid Administration takes a decision within one month.

In criminal proceedings – for provision defence and representation persons address the person directing the proceedings (investigator, public prosecutor or judge) in cases and under procedure laid down in the Criminal Procedure Law.

In order to receive the state ensured legal aid, the person must submit the following to the Court Administration of the Republic of Latvia:

1) filled-in form of the application for the state ensured legal aid ( along with the copy of document confirming the person's right to request the legal aid, for example, the statement on the status of low-income or needy person;

2) copies of document related to the dispute nature, progress of the case, and the like.

The Cabinet of Ministers Regulations No. 1493 “Regulations Regarding the Amount of State-ensured Legal Aid, the Amount of Payment, Reimbursable Expenses and the Procedures for Payment Thereof” of December 22, 2009 (hereinafter – Regulations No. 1493) provides for the types and extent of legal aid, the amount of payment to be paid to the legal aid providers and the reimbursable expenses arising from the provision of legal aid, as well as the amount and payment procedure thereof. In accordance with Regulations No. 1493, the following shall be covered from the funds allocated for the provision of legal aid: certain types of legal aid (for example provision of legal consultations, drafting an appellate complaint, representation at the court sitting etc.) in criminal matters, civil matters, administrative matters and cross-border dispute matters, as well as in out-of-court dispute matters; furthermore, reimbursable expenses (road (transportation) expenses and hotel expenses) shall also be paid from the aforementioned funds.

The application and also a consultation on filling in of the application and the documents to be enclosed therewith may be received free of charge from the Court Administration of the Republic of Latvia reception centre, or +371 80001801, as well as in social service of local authority.