You must not be excluded from the procedure where decisions are made about you. You have various basic rights in the procedure where a judge is deciding whether to place you in a mental health care institution for a forensic psychiatric assessment. 

Presence and participation

You have the right to be present in person at the hearing where the investigative judge or the court is deciding on your placement in a mental health care institution for a forensic psychiatric assessment. In some cases an expert may advise the investigative judge or the court that participation is not good for you because of your mental state. In such a case you will have a representative who must be present at this hearing. You (if your health condition permits) and your attorney-at-law have the right to express your opinion during the hearing.

Attorney-at-law

You have the right to have your attorney-at-law present at the hearing. If you don’t have the financial resources, an attorney-at-law will be provided and paid for by the state.

Language

If you do not understand and/or speak Latvian, the investigative judge or the court has a duty to arrange a state paid translator during the hearing. You also have the right to receive a translation of the decision in the language you understand without delay. 

Appeal

You have the right to appeal the decision on your placement in a mental health care institution for an assessment. You can submit the appeal if you believe that there is a fault in the facts or in the legal reasoning, or if any of your fundamental rights were not respected. The procedure for how to appeal is explained in the Criminal Procedure Law. It is very important to observe the time limits allowed for appeals. The decision of the investigative judge or the court can be appealed within the deadlines specified in the decision. 

Reasoned decision

The investigative judge or the court has to examine all the facts that would speak for and against your placement in a mental health care institution for an assessment. Special diligence should be exercised in doing this. The investigative judge must issue a well-reasoned decision, especially if he or she has decided to grant the placement for an assessment. It means that the grounds on which you will be placed in a mental health care institution must be very clearly explained and why it is necessary in your case specifically. The reasons cannot be superficial and generic. 

What human rights violation may there be?

If your rights in the decision making process are not respected, it may result in an unlawful or arbitrary placement in a mental health care institution and violate the right to liberty and the security of a person.  

Human Rights Guide

A European platform for human rights education