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Last week, the 14th Bīriņi Constitutional Policy Seminar on Participatory Democracy took place at Bīriņi Castle and lasted for three days. Along with the participatory democracy, the system of local government was another topic of this year.

As usual, experts related to the area of Latvian law gathered in Bīriņi. Professionals like Ineta Ziemele, Professor at Riga Graduate School of Law and President of the Constitutional Court, Egils Levits, Honorary Professor at Riga Graduate School of Law and Judge of the Court of Justice of the European Union, Ivars Ījabs, political scientist, Lauris Liepa, Guest Lecturer at Riga Graduate School of Law and Managing Partner of the Law Office “COBALT”, Laila Medina, Deputy State Secretary for Legal Policy, Viesturs Celmiņš, social anthropologist and doctoral student at the University of Cambridge, Edvards Kušners, Member of the Council of the Bank of Latvia, Jānis Citkovskis, Director of the State Chancellery, and Inese Druviete, Director of Bachelor Programmes at Riga Graduate School of Law, participated at the seminar.

Inese Druviete said: “Bīriņi seminar brings together the leading experts of constitutional law and other thinkers who hold the idea of a strong state of Latvia dear and by exchanging opinions on various aspects of policy they have created one of the most significant forums for exchange of ideas in Latvia. Different matters important for the development of state are considered in the discussions of specialists from different sectors and often the discussions last until the morning light. A number of matters important for Latvia have been solved during Bīriņi seminar, therefore Riga Graduate School of Law is proud that many participants are from the RGSL Family and that our school is able  to contribute to these discussions.”

This summer, a joint conversation between law science and other social sciences (social anthropology, political science, communication science and economics) on improvement and promotion of participatory democracy was the key element of the seminar. The discussion highlighted the necessity to implement inter-disciplinary research and study methods that have not been completely comprehended in Latvia.

Ineta Ziemele, Professor at Riga Graduate School of Law and President of the Constitutional Court, shares her opinion on this matter: “Riga Graduate School of Law is one of the few institutions of higher education that operates in the area of law science, implementing inter-disciplinary study programmes and is not afraid to seek and experiment in this area. This was pointed at also during the seminar in Bīriņi.”

The seminar is organised by the Public Law Institute, founded in 2000 as an open public fund, and re-registered in 2005 as a society. The society has been operating as an informal group (known for the name Dišlers Society) since 1995, frequently gathering to discuss matters of the national law. Riga Graduate School of Law is proud to support Bīriņi forum for exchange of views.

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