Judgment No SKA-576/2007

(Prisons – Work)
Supreme Court of the Republic of Latvia
7 November 2007

Facts

The applicant, Mr. B., was serving a prison sentence. He requested to be transferred to a prison which would ensure that he has an opportunity to provide him with paid work during his imprisonment.

Complaint

The applicant considered that the prison administration has violated Article 106 of the Constitution of Latvia by not providing him with paid work.

Court's ruling

The Court pointed out that Article 106 of the Constitution of Latvia only means that a person can freely choose whether and where to work – it does not impose an obligation on the state to ensure that everyone has a job. According to Latvian law the prisoners may have an opportunity to work on certain maintenance jobs for prison, in prison factories or to be employed by a private employer if such positions are available.

However all prisoners were not entitled to work nor did the state have an obligation to provide them with paid work. The binding norms of international law also did not put such obligation on the state or the prison administration. Therefore the Court found no infringement of the applicant’s right to work. 

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Last updated 08/11/2023