Functionality Problems of Collegial Government Institutions During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Solutions for the Future [PDF]

Dr. iur. Ringolds Balodis
Faculty of Law, University of Latvia
Professor at the Department of State Law

Dr. iur. Edvīns Danovskis
Faculty of Law, University of Latvia
Docent at the Department of State Law

This article analyses the ways for ensuring continuity of operation of the state collegial decisionmaking authorities – the Saeima [the Parliament of the Republic of Latvia], the Cabinet and the local government councils during Covid-19 pandemic. The work of the parliament, the government and local government in the emergency situation is examined, mainly focusing on the initiated form of remote work. Notably, in this respect, Latvia’s experience is unique since the Saeima’s e-platform is one of the first instances in the world where the parliament fully operated in the virtual environment. The article also analyses the role of the Cabinet as the crisis management centre during the emergency situation, focusing also on accessibility and other problematic issues in the remote proceedings of the local government councils and committees. The article concludes that successful solutions were found for the parliament’s work in the virtual environment within the existing legal framework. In the emergency situation, the local government councils and their structural units also had to try the forms of remote work. Additionally, the authors of the article have tried to provide assessment to determine which digital solutions employed during the pandemic should be used in post-crisis situations.

Keywords: remote decision making, crisis management, COVID-19.

pp. 197–215

Juridiskā zinātne / Law, No. 14, 2021

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Editor-in-Chief Prof. Jānis Lazdiņš, University of Latvia
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Journal of the University of Latvia “Law”
ISSN 1691-7677

© University of Latvia, 2021