Ellex Klavins has successfully represented Deaflympics athlete Maris Grenins before the Supreme Court of the Republic of Latvia, which on November 5th ruled that the Latvian Cabinet of Ministers had acted improperly in making an unusually low cash award to Grenins following his success in the 2013 Summer Deaflympic Games.
In its decision, the Supreme Court overturned a ruling by the Regional Administrative Court rejecting an application to require the Cabinet of Ministers to increase the award.
The Deaflympics are an International Olympic Committee-sanctioned event for deaf athletes. Unlike the athletes in other IOC-sanctioned events, the Deaflympians cannot be guided by sounds.
According to Ellex Klavins, "at the end of each year the Government of Latvia awards cash prizes to the best athletes who have excelled in sports." The firm reports that, although Grenins won a bronze medal in the 110-meter hurdles at the Summer Deaflympics in 2013, "the prize awarded to [him] was five times lower than the award given to athletes at other sports events."
"According to the regulatory framework, the Summer Deaflympics, the Olympic Games, and the Paralympic Games are to be treated as international competitions of equal importance," explained Ellex Klavins Associate Partner Andris Lazdins, who led the firm's team on the matter. "Therefore, when challenging the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers in court, we asked for equal treatment of all athletes who have achieved success in competitions at this level. This judgment will definitely influence the court's view on other similar cases in the future, eliminate discrimination and promote the principle of equality".