You can only try to obtain compensation for a violation of your right to a fair trial if you have tried to prevent or rectify that violation during the trial where it was possible. 

If you still think that the violation of your right to a fair trial was not corrected, you might be able to claim compensation.

There are several ways that you can establish whether there has been a violation and claim compensation:

1. Civil court

After you receive a court decision, confirming your right to a fair trial has been violated, you might be able to claim compensation at the civil court.

You can claim compensation for any damage which is a result of an illegal act of a state institution or state agent. For this, you need to apply to the civil court on the basis of Article 26 of the Constitution. This article guarantees that every person whose rights have been violated is entitled to compensation.

Furthermore, on the basis of Article 179 of the Obligations Code, you need to prove that you have suffered legally recognized pecuniary or non-pecuniary damage as a result of the violation. 

You should file the claim against the State Attorney’s Office as the representative of the state. 

important Before initiating any litigation against the state, you need to propose to the State Attorney's Office that the disputed relationship be settled amicably.

2.  Human rights institutions

You can also apply to special human rights institutions whose task it is to establish whether there has been a human rights violation. 

On a national level you can apply to the Ombudsman or in certain cases to the Constitutional Court as well. If the Ombudsman or the Constitutional Court decide that there has been a violation of your right to a fair trial, you should file a compensation claim against the Ministry of Finance of Latvia as the state representative to the court of first instance (court of general jurisdiction). 

On an international level you can apply to the European Court of Human Rights or to the United Nations Human Rights Committee

important Each of the national and international human rights institutions has specific functions and powers. Read more about human rights institutions and see what they can do in your situation.

Claim compensation

If the institution establishing a violation of your rights can also award compensation, you must ask for it when you first submit your complaint. Otherwise you can ask for it separately.  Remember that compensation is not only financial (money). It can also be in the form of an apology or a reversal of the consequences you have suffered due the violation.

Not every institution that can establish a violation of your rights can also award compensation. Bodies that can award compensation are the courts of first instance (courts of general jurisdiction) and the European Court of Human Rights. The Human Rights Committee can only recommend compensation.


Last updated 10/10/2021