As one of Europe’s fastest-growing economies, Latvia recognises the importance of delivering effective legal and justice services to citizens and businesses to foster inclusive growth.

Despite the significant socio-economic challenges the country faced during the 2008-10 economic recession, Latvia made remarkable progress in the justice sector by implementing legal and structural reforms that create a climate that is conducive to doing business and building trust in public institutions. The country joins the trend among OECD countries of adopting a broader strategy to reinforce the justice system and public services based on user needs, thereby stimulating economic development and well-being. This trend entails more business-friendly administrations and lower administrative burdens. In pursuing administrative modernisation and simplification, Latvia is focused on making infrastructure responsive to business needs through more efficient and accessible public services and dispute resolution mechanisms.

Sustaining these efforts will be crucial to achieving Latvia’s objectives in terms of sustainable development and economic growth.

Over the past twenty years, in an effort to strengthen the rule of law and the institutional foundations of economic development, policy makers and researchers alike have drawn considerable attention to the performance of the justice sector. Indeed, effective access to justice is increasingly seen as a key condition for creating a positive business and investment climate as well as a compelling means of tackling inequality. In this context, the OECD work on access to legal and justice services supports member and partner countries in designing and delivering responsive justice and legal services. This work also helps countries meet their commitments under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and implement the Inclusive Growth Agenda.

This report highlights not only the multiple strengths of Latvia’s justice system, its legal and regulatory framework for commercial activities and service delivery for business, but also associated challenges. It provides recommendations to help the country realize its ambitions.

The report is also a testament to the Ministry of Justice’s commendable consultation culture. During the consultations, stakeholders expressed their satisfaction with the openness of Latvian state institutions to consider their concerns. The assessment and recommendations presented here are based on a comprehensive review carried out by the OECD Secretariat as part of Latvia’s accession process in 2014 as well as up-to-date information collected during fact-finding missions in June and October 2017. In addition, an online survey among businesses operating in Latvia was carried out in 2017. Final stakeholder consultations were conducted in March 2018 to validate the preliminary findings of this report.

We look forward to continue supporting Latvia on this path and to develop a truly accessible and effective justice system for Latvian citizens and businesses.

Marcos Bonturi


OECD Public Governance Directorate