Latvijas Vēstnesis is the Official Publisher of the Republic of Latvia that:
- provides access to official publications and laws and regulations,
- develops legal ideas,
- promotes legal proficiency.
The websites maintained by Latvijas Vēstnesis – vestnesis.lv, likumi.lv, lvportals.lv – and the magazine, Jurista Vārds / juristavards.lv form a platform for state, civil and legal information:*
- vestnesis.lv – Official publication of the Republic of Latvia
- likumi.lv – Database of laws and regulations: systematized and up-to-date information
- lvportals.lv – Assistant for understanding laws and regulations and a discussion room for the development of Latvia
- juristavards.lv – Weekly magazine and portal for discussions of legal scholars and practitioners
Operation of Latvijas Vēstnesis is determined by the Law On Official Publications and Legal Information (OPTIL).
Tasks Delegated by the State
The Official Publisher of the Republic of Latvia implements state policy in the area of systematization of official publications and information contained therein and, by promoting the understanding of individuals about the rights and duties set forth by laws and regulations as well as public participation and the quality of laws and regulations, ensures a unified platform of state, civic and legal information (Part 2 of Section 14 of OPTIL):
- issues the official gazette, Latvijas Vēstnesis, and ensures its availability on the website vestnesis.lv;
- systematizes laws and regulations and ensures their availability on the website likumi.lv;
- maintains the LV portal – a state and legal information and civic education portal, “Cilvēks. Valsts. Likums” (Person. State. Law), on the website lvportals.lv;
- issues the specialised journal of rights policy, application of law, and further legal education, “Jurista Vārds”, and maintains its website juristavards.lv;
- maintains the official publication and Legal Information System and also ensures the archiving of the information included therein;
- disseminates the state operational information during an emergency situation and in other cases if necessary;
- issues printed publications, organises events, and performs other necessary activities in order to ensure the fulfilment of the tasks referred to in this section.
The activities of Latvijas Vēstnesis are related to the implementation of Section 90 of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia "Everyone has the right to know about his or her rights" – only a person who knows his/her rights is able to effectively exercise them and defend them in case of unjustified infringement.
Overall Strategic Objective
The Official Publisher maintains and develops its activities in accordance with the mission set forth by OPTIL and the long-term strategic objective** set forth by the Cabinet of Ministers.
- To ensure the operation of a sustainable, universally accessible, and unified information platform:
- to provide the public with relevant and high-quality state, civic and legal information,
- to promote public understanding of the rights and duties of individuals specified in laws and regulations.
- To ensure quality public discussion by maintaining feedback between the public and the state.
Institute of the Official Publisher
The Institute of the Official Publisher in Latvia was established shortly after the establishment of the Latvian state in 1918 as part of the foundations of a democratic state governed by the rule of law. It plays an important role in informing the people about the laws and regulations and various important issues, and publishes an official gazette, which is understood as a ‘voice’ of a democratic state governed by the rule of law.
The official gazette is an institute of law that is fundamental to the existence of any democratic state governed by the rule of law. Laws and regulations (laws, Cabinet regulations, etc.) enter into force and become generally binding only after their promulgation in the official gazette.
The State Limited Liability Company Latvijas Vēstnesis
The Official Publisher, Latvijas Vēstnesis, is a state-owned capital company, all shares of which are held by the Latvian state. The holder of the state-owned shares is the Ministry of Justice.
The State Limited Liability Company (VSIA) Latvijas Vēstnesis is managed by the Board. The shares of Latvijas Vēstnesis are state property and cannot be privatized, alienated, or otherwise encumbered.
Latvijas Vēstnesis has integrated the principles of two ISO standards into its management system:
- ISO 9001:2015 (quality management);
- ISO 27001:2013 (information security).
The quality management system and the information security management system complement each other and collectively form the integrated management system.
Latvijas Vēstnesis participates in several professional organizations, including the annual representation of Latvia in the European Forum of Official Gazettes.
The first official edition in the form of a newspaper, Pagaidu Valdības Vēstnesis, was published on 14 December 1918 (the decision to establish it was taken by the Provisional Government on 7 December of the same year), but since 1919 the official edition has been entitled Valdības Vēstnesis.
The first source of state and legal information is considered to be the forerunner of the modern official publisher, Latvijas Vēstnesis.
Latvijas Vēstnesis was established as a state-owned company on 2 February 1993. The first issue of the official gazette, Latvijas Vēstnesis, was published on 25 February 1993. Its content is an official publication - publicly credible and binding. Since 2013, the official gazette in Latvia is in electronic format only.
More information available in the section History, there is also a study on the official gazette in Latvia.
* Service synergy and efficiency are in the indivisibility and integrity of the platform. At the heart of the platform is the official publication (vestnesis.lv) and its systematization (likumi.lv), while providing the following unique segments of legal and civic education information:
- The mission of the LV portal (lvportals.lv) is to promote civic education and trust in the rule of law by strengthening the rule of law in Latvia;
- The mission of the magazine, Jurista Vārds / juristavards.lv is to promote the quality of legislation and application of law, to promote the quality of legal education and further education by maintaining the discussion of legal policy makers, legal scholars, and practitioners about the Latvian legal system.
** On 18 August 2020, the Cabinet of Ministers supported the solution proposed in the information report On the Performance of the Function of Providing Official Publication and Legal Information, which sets forth the general strategic objective of the official publisher, Latvijas Vēstnesis. (Minutes of the Cabinet meeting 2020No. 49, 38.§, p.7)