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COBALT successfully represents client in a court dispute with state security authorities regarding access to classified information

2020-07-24

COBALT successfully represented a client before the administrative court in a dispute with state security authorities regarding access to the classified information. Unfavourable decision of the Prosecutor General was overruled. The judgment is final and is not subject to appeal.

COBALT argued that the client was declined access to classified information based on formal reasons determined by applicable law, without properly considering the actual impact of the discovered facts.

The court agreed to COBALT, that the institution shall not only formally implement the regulation, but also shall achieve the fairest possible outcome of the case. Even if the regulation of the law mandates the institution to deny access, each case shall be assessed individually and provisions of the law shall be interpreted according to their intended legal objective. The court ruled that the state security institutions and Prosecutor General acted disproportionally and caused infringement to legal interests of the individual. Thus, it was neither equitable nor useful.

This is one of the few cases where the court assessed the legality of the refusal to grant access to classified information and satisfied the applicant’s claim.

The client was represented before the Administrative Regional Court by COBALT Associate Inese Greķe.

The right to appeal a refusal to grant access to classified information was recognised by the Constitutional Court in its judgment of 10 February 2017, in case No. 2016-06-01, in which the Constitutional Court ruled that the legislator shall provide the possibility to appeal the decision of Prosecutor General before an independent legitimate institution. In 2018, based on the aforementioned judgment the legislator amended the Law “On State Secret information” prescribing that the decision of Prosecutor General can be appealed before the Administrative Regional Court with the ensuing judgment being final and not subject to appeal.

The team responsible for preparing the constitutional complaint and representing the client before the Constitutional Court was led by the Managing Partner of COBALT Lauris Liepa.