Tendencies in the Development of Laws in the Republic of Latvia after the Renewal of Independence in 1990–1991


  • Jānis Lazdiņš University of Latvia


independence of a state, continuity of a state, trends in the development of law, renouncing the Soviet law, family of continental law, family of Romano-German law, de iure and de facto


The article is a review of the development of laws in the Republic of Latvia after the restoration of independence in 1990–1991. The theses advanced in the article hold that Latvia, in renouncing the Soviet law, has gradually returned to the family of continental European law. Within the continental European understanding of law, a preference has been given to the experience of the family of Romano-Germanic law. This has been of a particular importance in private law. Preparing for the accession to the European Union and joining it on 1 May 2004 sped up this process. Furthermore, the author has proposed the following theses in relation to this matter:

  1. Not just legal, but also psychological aspects must be taken into account when assessing the way in which a country moves from the legal system of a totalitarian state to one that is appropriate for a democratic country;
  2. The rejection of Soviet law and a return to the legal community of continental Europe took longer than the restoration of Latvia’s statehood as such;
  3. During the transition from a planned to a market economy, the doctrine of natural law, as well as various ideas from the history of law are of importance;
  4. The judicature of Latvian courts was of particular consequence in the process of renouncing the Soviet law.

Author Biography

Jānis Lazdiņš, University of Latvia

Dr. iur. 
Faculty of Law, University of Latvia
Professor at the Department of Legal Theory and History




How to Cite

Lazdiņš, J. (2015). Tendencies in the Development of Laws in the Republic of Latvia after the Renewal of Independence in 1990–1991. Journal of the University of Latvia. Law, (8), 43–67. Retrieved from https://journal.lu.lv/jull/article/view/187

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