Objective 3: ensuring access to effective remedy [page 8-11]

Understanding the importance of the protection of human rights and freedoms, the Government aims for effective protection of human rights and freedoms, and effective reaction regarding offences by the law-enforcement authorities. It also aims at establishing a legal framework that would help in ensuring effective ways for defending human rights, providing different possibilities for interested parties to solve disputes and, in certain circumstances, a provision of an effective state-guaranteed legal aid in judicial proceedings.

To achieve this goal, the Government is implementing the following measures:

A. Implemented measures [page 9]

1. “Improvement of procedures for providing state-guaranteed legal aid. The aim is to improve the procedures for providing state-guaranteed legal aid: to guarantee that legal regulation of state-guaranteed legal aid is carried out with respect to principles of equality, priority of peaceful settlement of disputes, quality and availability.

Measures and results of their implementation: on 1 January 2014, the new Law on State­Guaranteed Legal Aid of the Republic of Lithuania came into force. It grants broader possibilities to choose a lawyer to provide secondary state-guaranteed legal aid; assures a better control of the selected services; implements the ‘one stop’ principle for persons seeking secondary state-guaranteed legal aid; and foresees to ensure conciliatory mediation.”

2. “Improvement of civil proceedings. Continuous analyses and evaluations of the civil procedure aim at creating conditions for an easier and more effective process of settling disputes and implementing EU legal acts.

The provision of the Code of Civil Procedure (hereinafter referred to as the CCP) of the Republic of Lithuania regulating the practice of videoconferencing and teleconferencing in the civil procedure (Article 1752 of the CCP) came into force on l March 2013.

Provisions of the CCP allowing persons to submit procedural documents to court using electronic means of communication (Article 175 1 of the CCP) came into force on 1 July 2013.”

3. “Promotion of mediation system development and effectiveness. The aim is to develop the mediation process and promote peaceful settlement of disputes.

An order No lR-263 On Mediation System Development was adopted by the Minister of Justice on 12 November, 2013. Working groups were created to prepare the concept of the mediation system development and to improve the mediation system in civil, administrative and criminal procedures.”

4. “Introduction of class action institution in civil procedure. The aim is to create conditions to bring and hear class actions in Lithuania thus enforcing the right to judicial protection, providing protection for the weaker party, shortening procedures of civil cases, reducing the costs of civil procedures and ensuring uniform case law with respect to identical or similar cases. It would increase public trust in the judicial system, enhance legal certainty and legitimate expectations.

On 13 March 2014, relevant amendments of the CCP provisions were adopted; following their entry into force, starting from 1 January 2015, the possibility of bringing class actions in civil cases shall be ensured.”

5. “Improvement of collective dispute regulation. The aims is to held discussions with social partners to determine the need for revision of provisions regulating collective bargaining and to encourage parties to establish a mechanism for settling disputes at company level.

An amendment to the Labour Code of the Republic of Lithum1ia was adopted on 15 May 2014 and came into force on 1 July 2014. Labour Code provisions were set in accordance with conclusions provided by the International Labour Organisation’s (hereinafter referred to as ILO) Committee on Freedom of Association on strike regulation with regard to practical problems of dispute settlement. Labour Code provisions regulating suspension of strike action were revised, rules of interpretation of collective agreements were foreseen and strike legitimacy issues were clearly regulated in cases with a collective agreement in action.”

B. Planned measures

1. “Introduction of class action institution in administrative procedure. The aim is to create conditions to bring and hear class actions in Lithuania thus enforcing the right to judicial protection, providing protection for the weaker party, shortening procedures of administrative cases, reducing the costs of administrative procedures aid ensuring uniform case law with respect to identical or similar cases. It would increase public trust in the judicial system, enhance legal certainty and legitimate expectations.

Regarding the adoptions of the CCP amendments on 13 March 2014 that provide for a class action institution in civil procedure, a draft amendment of the Republic of Lithuania Law on Administrative Proceedings (hereinafter referred to as LAP) that introduces the class action institution in administrative procedure is being prepared. It is planned that the LAP draft amendment shall be submitted to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania in the fourth quarter of 2014.”

2. “Evaluation of legal regulation of the institute of pre-trial administrative dispute resolution. The aim is to establish a more explicit and definitive regulation of pre-trial complaint examination process carried out by the Chief Administrative Disputes Commission and public administrative disputes commissions in municipalities by transferring valid regulation from disputes commissions’ work regulations to the Law on Administrative Disputes Commissions.” …

5. “Introduction of the jury institute in courts. The aim is to restore public trust in the legal system.

On 20 June 2012, the Government in principle agreed on the objective to establish on a constitutional level the participation of the jury in the proceedings. Before relevant laws are drawn or amended, the concept of the jury institute in courts is going to be prepared and presented for the public assessment; the concept shall, inter alia, include the basic principles of the legal status of the jury members, the guarantees they would be provided with, responsibilities, procedural rights of the members of jury, their duties. etc.”