University of Leicester
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Fair Trial in Lithuania: From European Convention to Realisation

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posted on 2013-08-30, 11:35 authored by Patricia Annette Streeter
This research is an assessment of the level to which the right to a fair trial as enshrined in Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights is available in the Republic of Lithuania. It is also intended to fill a void in the literature on the functioning of human rights protection in contemporary Lithuania. Three aspects of Article 6 are considered: judicial independence; the rights of the parties; and implementation of the Convention. Also considered is the residual effect of Soviet cultural history, which appears to continue its affects on Lithuania’s legal system to the detriment of the right to a fair trial. Although the judiciary appears institutionally independent, its members do not appear independent in fact. Potential parties to litigation may be denied access to a court for some claims. Parties in litigation face the possibility of lengthy proceedings, persons suspected of a crime face potentially lengthy pretrial investigations with indeterminate periods of detention, and targets of criminal investigations can face public opinion assessing guilt, including by political leaders and the prosecution service. The prosecution service also appears institutionally independent, while its members do not appear independent in fact. In considering implementation of the Convention, Lithuania has complied with most of the adverse judgments by the European Court of Human Rights. However, Lithuania’s promise to provide conditions for a fair trial in the national legal order, made when it adopted the Convention, appears in need of substantial improvement. At the most fundamental level there are three areas that would benefit the prospects for a fair trial in Lithuania: increased public education and civic involvement; improve quality of public services by improving legal education and training, including compliance with professional ethics; and developing problem solving techniques focused on improving system functions rather than assigning fault.



Shaw, Malcolm

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University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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