Judgment concerning Latvia

Main hearing room of the Human Rights building

In the case of Džibuti and Others v. Latvia and that of Valiullina and Others v. Latvia (delivered on 14 September 2023) the Court held that there had been no violation of the prohibition of discrimination taken together with the right to education.

The case of Valiullina and Others v. Latvia concerned changes to the law in 2018 which had increased the number of subjects that had to be taught through Latvian in public schools, resulting in a decrease in teaching time through Russian. In 2019 the Constitutional Court ruled on the constitutionality of the relevant amendments, finding them to be in accordance with the Constitution.

The case of Džibuti and Others v. Latvia concerned the same changes but for private schools. In that case the Constitutional Court also held that the legislature had ensured a balance between promoting both the use of the State language and the rights of persons belonging to minorities to preserve and develop their identity and culture.

The Court found that the measures taken by the Latvian Government to increase the use of the national language in schools had been proportionate, and necessary to, in particular, ensure unity in the education system and to ensure a sufficient level of Latvian for residents to participate effectively in public life.

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