Civil and criminal penalties in Lithuania





Introduction 3

1. CRIME 4


2.1 Recommendations and suggestions how to solve the problem 5 2.2 Court – place were judge impose the penalties 7 2.3 Lithuania crime 8


3.1 Imprisonment penalty putting into practice in Lithuania in 1991-1994 11













The Aim of project – to analyze tendencies and causes of crime inLithuania; to investigate the effectiveness of ciminalistics and penal andcivil effect measures on criminality in Lithuania. The Main goal: crime, criminal justice activities, penal and civileffect measures for crime control in Lithuania. The Main Tasks of the project – to prepare the concept of theanalysis of criminal tendencies and causes and to prepare the proposals forthe improvement of the Lithuanian penal policy; to investigate an effectivecrime control system of rational punishments and civil legal effectmeasures; to analyze the practice of the application of the criminal codeand criminalities in crime investigation in Lithuania and to prepare theconcept of crime investigation in Lithuania and, on the basis of thisconcept, to prepare concrete proposals for the effectuation of crimeinvestigation in the Republic.


Crimes against foreigners, while usually non-violent, are becomingmore common. Pick pocketing and theft are problems, so personal belongingsshould be well protected at all times. Car thefts, carjacking, and theftfrom cars are increasingly commonplace. Drivers should be wary of personsindicating they should pull over or that something is wrong with their car.Often, a second car or person is following, and when the driver of thetargeted car gets out seeing if there is a problem, the person who has beenfollowing will either steal the driver’s belongings from the vehicle or getin and drive off with the car. Drivers should never get out of the car tocheck for damage without first turning off the ignition and taking thekeys. Valuables also should not be left in plain sight in parked vehicles,as there have been increasing reports of car windows smashed and itemsstolen. Burglary of foreigners’ homes is also prevalent; home alarm systemsshould be used whenever possible. American citizens should avoid walkingalone or in small groups after dark. There have been cases of Americancitizens being drugged in bars and then taken elsewhere to be robbed. Inany public area, one should always be alert to being surrounded by two ormore people at once. Racially motivated verbal, and sometimes physical,harassment of American citizens of non-Caucasian ethnicity has beenreported in major cities. Incidents of racially motivated attacks againstforeigners have been reported in Klaipėda in particular.


While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to thatcountry’s laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly fromthose in the United States and may not afford the protections available tothe individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law in Lithuaniacan be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Personsviolating Lithuanian laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, orimprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugsin Lithuania are strict and convicted offenders can expect jail sentencesand heavy fines.

2.1 Recommendations and suggestions how to solve the problem

Taking into consideration long lasting complicated crimesituation, the conclusions of its statistic analysis and prognoses, it issuggested to concentrate joint efforts of researchers and practical personsto solve these urgent problems of crime control and prevention: 1. The priority should be given to the control and prevention of these forms and types of crimes: crimes against persons life, health, inviolability of person and property; organized, economic and other crimes connected with corruption; control of socially dissipated persons inclined to crime, the creation of their resocialization system; early prevention of under-aged and juvenile violence of law (as the potential reserve and resource for the increase of general

crime rate); prevention of crime relapse. In order to solve the mentioned problems special programs should be created, and already prepared special programs are to be put into life. 2. It is very important to create a complex national program for crime control and prevention. It should cover the system of legal, organizational, political, scientific, informational, analytical and other means: • The strategy – creation of preventive system, complex elimination of crime causes and conditions (especially juvenile delinquency), their neutralization. • It is necessary to improve the detection of crimes of organized criminal groups and the facts of corruption, to ensure the inevitability of responsibility. • Creating and developing the law system it is necessary to take into consideration not only penal laws, but first of all the development of legal regulation (elimination of gaps and collisions) in the economic, commercial, financial, management, educational, cultural, family, protection of children’s rights, social care and other spheres of social activities and life. • Solving the problem of the creation of structural system it is suggested not only to strengthen the law enforcement institutions (structures of “force”), but preventive structures as well (such as revision, audit, control, etc.). • It is necessary to create and strengthen informational analytical and scientific methodical preventive system (accumulation of social, economic, legal, political and other information, systematizing and analyzing of it; detection of shadow economy and other criminal phenomena, their prognosis, organization of special research, preparation of methodic aids, specialists teaching and training). • Crime prevention, especially organized one, and control system is effective if it foresees not only national but regional (Baltic and other countries) and international means of cooperation. • In order to create the system and put it into life, its sufficient financing and material technical maintenance is obligatory. 3. Our country is integrating into the political, economic and legal structures of Europe, therefore, it is urgent to prepare scientific theoretical preconditions for the creation of crime control and prevention national system. Creating and implementing the system it is necessary to take into consideration the prognoses and perspectives of the legal system of Lithuania, social, economic and political development, as well as crime situation. • It is necessary to continue and make more active fundamental and applied, urgent for Lithuania, research into the problems of crime prevention and criminal justice. • In order to make criminal research more effective it is expedient to carry out complex research programs with participation of lawyers. • criminologists of research and educational institutions, sociologists, economists, demographers, philosophers, educators, etc. from different countries; to develop regional and international cooperation in preparing and carrying out such programs. • It is necessary to ensure substantial financing (forming and fulfilling the state budget) of special criminological research programmes, preparation of scientific methodic aids and their publications. Carrying out the research the statistic records of persons, whodid crimes according to the law and social demographic features in 1990-1995 were accumulated and methodized. The interaction between the criminal’s personality andenvironmental factors, which are expressed in the statistic data isanalyzed (1988-1995). Methodized data characterizing the “statistic”inhabitant of Lithuania and crime and criminal personality were preparedfor the deeper analysis according to the mathematics methods. The initialconcept of the criminological data bank was looked through adapting it tothe bank requirements. There was detailed:

• victim logical data; • data on presented applications; • data on actions brought; • data on cases where a person was accused; • data on cases brought into the court, on cases where the judgment for the accused was implemented and etc.

2.2 Court – place were judge impose the penalties

Under the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania of1992 the following court system is established: the Supreme Court, theCourt of Appeal, district courts, and county courts. There are 54 districtcourts in Lithuania. District courts that are located within the territoryof its activities, are the first instance for civil and criminal cases.Cases brought before a district court are heard by a single district courtjudge. County courts (there are 5 county courts) are the first instancefor civil and criminal cases which fall under its jurisdiction inaccordance with law. County courts are also the instance of appeal for thedecisions of district courts. The Court of Appeal of Lithuania is anappellate instance for cases, which have been heard by county courts as thecourts of first instance. The Supreme Court of Lithuania is the onlycassation instance for criminal and civil cases. From 1 May 1999Administrative Tribunals started their activities. Tribunals consider

complaints against administrative misdemeanours. The system of countyadministrative tribunals and the Higher Administrative Tribunal isestablished under the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

County administrative tribunals are the first instance for cases. TheHigher Administrative Tribunal is an appellate instance for cases, whichhave been investigated by county administrative tribunals. The HigherAdministrative Tribunal also investigates appeal cases of district courtsconcerning administering of administrative penalties. The HigherAdministrative Tribunal is the only and the final instance for casesconcerning administrative acts, which have been accepted by the subjects ofcentral state administration. The functioning of the court system isregulated by the Law on Courts.

Criminal Justice System- Law

Lithuania is a parliamentary democracy. The people directly electthe president. The judiciary is separate from the other branches. No personmay be arbitrarily arrested or detained. Police may detain suspects for upto 48 hours based on reliable evidence and with approval by an investigatoror prosecutor. A district judge may prolong that period of detainment from6 to 18 months. The accused has the right to counsel. Bail is available.

Criminal Justice System- Practices

Though, the accused has the right to counsel, there is a shortageof trained advocates. The detention periods have been criticized as beingexcessive. This has been blamed on the slow trial system. The government istrying to remedy this by finding additional qualified judges. Bail is notwidely used. Prison conditions are overcrowded and dangerous. Thegovernment is attempting to remedy the situation with assistance from othernations, but this has been a slow process.

2.3 Lithuania crime

View this page with sources or definitions listed for eachstatistic.

|Acquitted: |599 (2000)  [35th of 49] |per capita: || | |0.17 per 1000 ||Burglaries: |9,203 (2000)  [36th of 54] |per capita: || | |2.56 per 1000 ||Car thefts: |5,185 (2000)  [32nd of 55] |per capita: || | |1.44 per 1000 ||Convicted: |20,680 (2000)  [36th of 56] | ||Death penalty – |1998  [6th of 63] | ||abolition date: | | ||Death penalty – last|1995  [1st of 46] | ||executed: | | ||Embezzlements: |703 (2000)  [28th of 44] |per capita: || | |0.2 per 1000 ||Frauds: |1533 (2000)  [39th of 61] |per capita: || | |0.43 per 1000 ||Illicit drugs: |transshipment point for | || |opiates and other illicit | || |drugs from Southwest Asia, | || |Latin America, and Western | || |Europe to Western Europe and | || |Scandinavia; limited | || |production of methamphetamine | || |and ecstasy; susceptible to | || |money laundering | ||Jails: |14 (2000)  [48th of 62] |per capita: || | |0 per 1000 ||Judges and |631 (2000)  [24th of 45] |per capita: ||Magistrates: | |0.18 per 1000 ||Manslaughters: |38 (2000)  [27th of 43] |per capita: || | |0.01 per 1000 ||Murders: |370 (2000)  [29th of 62] |0.1 per 1000 ||Murders with |83 (2000)  [18th of 32] |per capita: ||firearms: | |0.02 per 1000 ||Police: |12,731 (2000)  [32nd of 48] |per capita: || | |3.54 per 1000 ||Prisoners: |9,516 (2000)  [37th of 61] |per capita: || | |2.64 per 1000 ||Rapes: |183 (2000)  [46th of 65] |per capita: || | |0.05 per 1000 ||Robberies: |4,374 (2000)  [30th of 64] |per capita: || | |1.21 per 1000 ||Sentence Length: |25 (2000)  [19th of 34] | ||Total crimes: |82,370 (2000)  [38th of 60] |per capita: || | |22.87 per 1000 |

Lithuania is a signatory to the Council of Europe CriminalConvention on Corruption.  In September 2000, the Lithuanian Parliamentadopted a new Criminal Code, which establishes criminal liability fortrading in influence and extends the concept of civil servants to thosebelonging to international public organizations and foreign states. However, the new Criminal Code will not enter into force until the draftCode of Criminal Procedure, the draft Code of Execution of Punishment, andthe draft Code of Administrative offenses are adopted by Parliament,possibly in 2003. 


Several themes of research are carried out in this type. 1. Reform of the crime penalties being a constituent part of the reform of the law system. While implementing it: o the implementation of probation penalty work in the court practice in Lithuania in the period of 1990-1995 was analysed. The decision was made that this kind of penalty looses its urgency and should not be presented to the new Penal Code of the Lithuanian Republic. Having analysed the public work essence and the way they are implemented in the laws of other states, a new type of penalties is suggested – that is – public work. The first draft of public work is formulated to the new Penal Code of the Lithuanian Republic. o the laws of other countries on depriving the rights to do certain activities or to occupy certain places was analysed. The comparative investigation of laws was done. o the practice of abolishment of penalty in Lithuania, the statistics according to different types of abolishment was analysed; restrictions and obligations which are applied in the courts of Lithuanian Republic for the people being abolished from the penalty were defined, the comparative analysis of the tendencies of the other countries’ laws on the abolishment of penalties was done (mainly the laws of Denmark, Poland, Germany, Sweden). The new draft of the article of the Penal Code law on the

abolition from the penalty was prepared. o continuing the research of 1994, the tendencies of forfeiture of assets was developed. The suggestion to supplement the existing article 35 of the Penal Code was made. o the documents from the European Council, concerning the questions on inflicting the punishment has been analysed further on. The comparative analysis of the tendencies of the inflicting the penalty in the laws of the other states (England, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Finland) was made, the practice of the inflicting the penalties in the courts of Lithuania was analysed, the criteria and principles of the formulation of sanctions of the law which would be the basis of the sanctions construction in the new Penal Code were prepared. o methods, giving the possibility to determine the extenuating and aggravating circumstances of the responsibility and the influence of the other data which characterise the committer of a crime in the laws, were created to choose and inflict the concrete penalty. o the analysis of the empirical, standard material and special literature on the theme “Compensation of the harm done by a crime. Civil Aspect” is done. The draft of the law on the harm compensation done by a crime to victims is being prepared. While doing the research on “Scientific methodical preconditionsfor the creation of balanced system of penal and administrative influencemeans”, developing the methods of research, it is defined more exactly howto compare sanctions provided by the Penal Code, data of the courtspractice and results of the questionnaires of the experts, doing balancedsanctions system. The schemes of the numbers of the sanctions of the PenalCode were designed for the comparison of the data of the courts practiceand of the results of the questionnaires of the experts:

3.1 Imprisonment penalty putting into practice in Lithuania in 1991-1994

Paragraph (parts of them) of the Penal Code according which theimprisonment penalty was not put into practice in 1991-1994; The frames of the quantity of the imprisonment sanctions suggestedby the experts for the most important specific crimes. Defining more exactly the conception of the balanced sanctionsystem the main factors (value – the object of attempt, the circumstancesof doing the deed, the degree of guilty), which condition the heaviness ofa crime was analyzed and the evaluation criteria of the factors wereformed. The method of putting value criterion into practice was detailed.The suggestion was made to classify the crimes associated with the samevalue, firstly, by the circumstances by which a deed was done and itsdegree of completeness. These circumstances predetermine the heaviness of acrime from the point of view of that value as these circumstances definethe value’s violation scale, character and other aspects of a deed. Takinginto account this criterion, crimes associated by one and the same valueare suggested to classify into 3 groups according to their heaviness.Dependence to one group defines relative heaviness of the crime from thepoint of view of value. Developing the methods of comparative analysis of penal andadministrative codes norms, the analysis of several competing articles ofthe penal and administrative laws was made (crimes and administrativeviolations against property, managing order and finance). Having analyzed the sanctions of the existing penal law from thepoint of view of value criterion, it is ascertained that the average of thespecified crimes sanctions do not reflect the real meaning of the valuesprotected by the Penal Law. In addition, imprisonment penalty for differenttypes of crimes in the frame of specific crimes are not balanced, becausethe system of values of the specific crimes is confused and discordant.Three drafts of the Penal Code’s articles, according to values systemsuggested by the working group were prepared and the preliminarygeneralization of them was made. Classification of the circumstances whichmake the influence to the defining of sanctions have begun and is continuedfurther on. Having analyzed, evaluated and worked up the results of theexperts’ questionnaire, the conclusion should be made that: • as a matter of fact, experts attach great importance to all elements of traditional composition of a crime (object, objective part, subject and subjective part); • in the opinion of experts premeditated crimes are evaluated 2.5 times heavier than imprudent crimes; • experts think that a part of articles of the present Penal Code must be decriminalized; • in some positions the opinion of experts is not very reliable,

therefore it is expedient to do an additional questionnaire.


On its way towards the European Union the Republic of Lithuania isfacing the challenge to harmonize legislation with the across-Europeacknowledged standards and international conventions. Under a pressure ofpainful transformational processes Lithuania carries out economic reforms,strengthens free market foundations, establishes democratic and civicsociety, which is in itself far from being easy, since in many instancespeople’s mentality has to be changed and new yardstick for both evil andgood is to be found. Nowadays quite a number of European politicians carefully followthese changes in Lithuania, including changes in legal, law and order andlaw enforcement system. Many of them visit our country and take with themback impressions contrary to the beforehand established opinion. One can often hear a question whether Lithuania has alreadyliquidated the last relics oh the authoritarian system, and whether deathpenalty is abolished. This question which is now broadly discussed inLithuania and the society is not always likely to find a general answer tothe solution of this problem. This packager of documents is the official opinion of the state ofLithuania. Herein you will find results of the opinion poll of our peopleon this very issue. Being aware of a difficult struggle of the postcommunist states face to face with the wave of criminality, the readerswill able to understand better the problems of The Republic of Lithuaniaand the policy it pursues.


The outlook upon the death penalty in Lithuania during differenthistorical periods. The author states, that according to the outlook uponthe death penalty or its execution, several different periods might bedistinguished. The first one is the period time when Lithuania was not yeta centralized state, and the customary law norms were applied. The secondperiod is the time when centralized state of Lithuania was being formed andwritten codes of law came into force. This period lasted till the adoptionof the First Statute of the Great Duchess of Lithuania in 1529. The thirdperiod covers the years of the First Statute validity and lasts till themiddle of XIX century. Tsar Russian punishment laws started the fourthperiod. The years of independent Lithuania between the two world wars wouldbe the fifth period. The sixth period covers of soviet occupation.Renovation of the independence of Lithuania started the seventh period. Looking through the evolution of the death penalty in Lithuania,the following conclusion might be drawn: every time period, except years ofsoviet occupation, the ways of solving the death penalty question weregetting more and more progressive. Bearing in mind the facts, investigatedin the article, as well as the death penalty position in the presentlegislation, we can state the abolishment of the death penalty in Lithuaniawould be logical and natural event.


Lithuanian-British public opinion and market research company“Baltic Surveys Ltd.”, the member of Gallup Worldwide and GallupInternational Association and ESOMAR, in its regular national studies hasasked Lithuanian population about its opinion on death penalty severaltimes since 1991. Do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?Would you say, you agree strongly, agree somewhat, disagree somewhat ordisagree strongly that… “Baltic Surveys Ltd.”, April – May, 1993.

…some crimes should be punishable by death.

This survey results show, that Lithuanian population is consistentin its opinion and still strongly supports the necessity for death penalty: There are a lot of discussions nowadays about the death penalty.In your opinion, should be some crimes be punishable by death in Lithuania,or the death penalty should not be used in Lithuania?

“Baltic Surveys Ltd.” 1996.


The statistic chronicles of 1924 – 1926, 1927 – 1928, 1929 – 1930,1931, 1932, 1933 hold no data on the number of the persons sentenced todeath. 7 persons were sentenced to death in 1935 (5 – for the betrayal ofthe country, 1 – for resistance against public authorities, 1 – formurder). 21 convict – sentenced to death in 1936. 5 convicts – sentenced to death in 1937. 3 persons sentenced to death in 1938 (1 – for betrayal of thecountry, 2 – for the resistance against public authorities). Death penalty imposed for 1 convict in 1991, in 1992 for 1, in 1993 for 2, in 1994 for 2, in 1995 for 1 convict. In 1991 – 1996 totally 7 convicts were sentenced to death, and thedeath penalty was changed into imprisonment for life for 29 persons. Until 1991 no data on the fulfilment of death penalty or sentence

to death is available.


1. Laws of the historic Lithuania (XIII – XIX c) Application of the capital punishment in Lithuania was introducedby regulations set up in Kazimieras’ Code of 1468 which was in power until1529. It inflicted death penalty by hanging for huge thefts. Detailed regulations on capital punishment were laid down in 1529Statute of Lithuania, as well as in 1566 and 1588 Statutes. The latter wasin force up to 1840 after Russia occupied Lithuania in 1795. Within the whole range of various punishments the death penaltymade up 10 %. It was usually applied for the rebellion against the state orthe head of state, for war crimes, use of weapon in a sovereign’s palace,for the assaults on dominions of the nobility, in the circumstances ofmurder of the nobility, rape, extensive burglary and robbery, counterfeitof money. The most usual case was by hanging of the accused, less commoncases were by shooting, beheading and tearing into pieces, by burning. Dataon the number of death penalties and how many of them were carried outwithin this time period is not available. 2. Republic of Lithuania (1918.II.16 – 1940.IV.15) After Lithuania re-established its independence in 1918, thecapital punishment set in the Criminal Statute of 1903 was substituted on16 January 1919 for the imprisonment with hard labour, it was renewed on 5March 1919 according to the special security regulations of the state forthe crimes in those parts of the country where the state of belligerencewas announced (after the intervention of the neighbouring states and thestart of the struggle for independence). The capital punishment was carriedout for rebellion, instigation against the state, espionage and damage oftransportation facilities, robbery, murder and some of the war crimes. InMay 1920, the execution of the capital punishment was suspended, and it wasabolished on 12 June. However, after the foreign states advanced theirintervention, death penalty was reintroduced on 18 July of the same year.From 17 August 1922 it was carried out only in the army involved inmilitary actions and in the Lithuanian railway area, while from 2 July 1926it was applied on the territory which was then in the state of belligerenceand within one kilometre from the demarcation border. After the state ofbelligerence was announced on 21 December 1926 the capital punishment wascarried out throughout the whole territory of Lithuania. This penaltyremained in force after the Soviet Union occupied Lithuania on 14 June1940.


Crime is categorised as a part of public law. The law isregulating the relations between citizens and the state. Crimes can bethought of as acts, which the state considers being wrong and which can bepunished by state. There are some acts, which are crimes in one country butnot in another. A visitor to a foreign country can be sure that stealing,physically attacking someone or damaging their property will be unlawful.But the way of dealing with people suspected of crime may be different fromhis own country.


In many legal systems it is an important principle that a personcannot be considered guilty of a crime until the state proves he committedit. The suspect himself need not prove anything, although he will of coursehelp himself if he can show evidence of his innocence. The state must provehis guilt according to high standards, and for each crime there are preciseelements, which must be proven. In codified systems, these elements areusually recorded in statutes. In common law systems, the elements of somecrimes are detailed in statutes; others, known as “common law crimes”, arestill described mostly in case law. Even where there is a precise statute,the case law interpreting the statute may be very important since thecircumstances of each crime may be very different. There are usually two important elements to a crime: 1. The criminal act itself; 2. The criminal state of mind of the person when he committed the act. In Anglo – American law these are known by the Latin terms of (1.)Actus Reus and (2.) Mens Rea. The differences between these can beexplained by using the crime of murder. Malice aforethought refers to the mens rea of the crime and is away of saying that the murderer intended to commit a crime. Of course, thecourt can never know exactly what was in the head of the killer at the timeof killing, so it has the difficult task of deciding what his intentions

must have been. There is a different definition of mens rea for each crime.Sometimes the defendant must have intended to do a particular thing. Inmurder, however, it is interesting that the defendant need not haveintended to kill, but just to wound someone seriously. He need not evenhave had a direct intention; in some cases, a defendant has been foundguilty if he killed someone because of recklessness – not caring about thedangers. Several recent cases have considered the problem of whetherrecklessness means acting even though you know there is a high risk ofdanger or acting without thinking about risks which a reasonable personought to consider. In other crimes, it is enough to have been negligent orcareless without any clear intention or even recklessness. The rest of the murder definition refers to the actus reus. Theprosecution must show that the suspect did in fact cause the death ofsomeone. There are some kinds of killing, which the state considers lawful– for example, when a soldier kills an enemy soldier in a time of war. Atime limit is specified in order to avoid the difficulties of proving aconnection between an act and a death that takes place much later. This maybe especially relevant in the case of victim who has been kept alive formany month on a hospital life support machine. In deciding if the defendant’s act caused death, the court must besure that the act was a substantial cause of the result. In general, if the prosecution fails to prove either actus ormens, the court must decide there was no crime and the case is over.However, there are a small number of crimes for which no mens rea need beproved.


If actus and mens have been proved, a defendant may still avoidguilt if he can show he has a defence – a reason the court should excusehis act. Different systems of law recognise different and usually limitedsets of defences. For example, duress may be used as a defence against the charge ofmurder as a secondary party (helping the murderer), but is not available ifthe defendant is charged as the principal murderer. Another defence is that of insanity. In most countries a personcannot be found guilty of crime if in a doctor’s opinion he cannot havebeen responsible for his actions because of mental illness. But thisdefence requires careful proof. If it is proven the defendant will not besent to a prison, but instead to mental hospital. It might be argued that a person is not responsible for hisactions if he is intoxicated – drunk or under the influence of drugs. Infact, an intoxicated person may not even know what he is doing and thuslacks mens rea. However, in many countries, there is a general principlethat people who knowingly get themselves intoxicated must be heldresponsible for their acts. Consequently, intoxication is not a defence. Nearly every system of law recognises the defence of self –defence. For example, in English law, a defendant can avoid guilt forinjuring someone if he can convince the court that the force he used wasreasonable to protect himself in the circumstances. In some othercountries, shooting an unarmed burglar would be recognised as self –defence, but in order it might be considered unreasonable force. The concept of defence should not be confused with that ofmitigation – reasons your punishment should not be harsh. If a person has adefence, the court finds him not guilty. It is only after being foundguilty that a defendant may try to mitigate his crimes by explaining thespecific circumstances at the time of the crime. Although most criminal laws in the world refer to acts of violenceor theft, there are laws regulating almost every kinds of human behaviour. For example: ❖ what we do with our land; ❖ what we say and write; ❖ how we run our businesses; ❖ what we wear. Sometimes governments “create new crimes” by identifying a form ofbehaviour and passing a new law to deal with it. In most industrialisedcountries exiting theft laws were not adequate to deal with computer crimeswhere complex kinds of information are stolen, altered or used to deceiveother, and, thus, new laws have been passed.



This paragraph analyses issues of regulation of criminalliability of minors. Its main concern is the establishment of the age limitat which a person is criminally liable and until which lighter penal normsshould be imposed. It is also concerned with the improvement of the systemof punitive and educational measures. In essence, the article is in favor of the draft Penal Codesubmitted by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania to theGovernment of the Republic of Lithuanian in July 1998. The Draft suggeststhat in the future the Penal Code should establish only exceptionalcriminal liability of minors, and that the peculiarities of the liabilitybe set forth in a separate chapter of the Penal Code Peculiarities of theCriminal Liability of Minors. This new chapter of the Penal Code wouldprovide for a special system of punitive and educational measures as wellas rules of their imposition, grounds and conditions for the exemption fromcriminal liability and penalties, which would be in line with theinstruments of international law. discusses the following educational measures: (1) warning; (2)repairing material damage; (3) non-paid works; (4) placing the minor underthe upbringing and guardianship of his/her patents or other persons; (5)restricting the behaviour of the minor; (6) placing the minor in a specialeducational-disciplinary institution. Depending on the legal evaluation of the act done by the minor,educational measures may have the following legal value: • a part of a penalty, when they are imposed together with the penalty not involving imprisonment; • an alternative to criminal punishment, when the minor commits a misdemeanor or a petty offence; • Educational or correctional measure, when the minor is exempt from criminal liability. In the opinion of the author, in reforming the system of punitiveand educational measures applied to minors, first of all the legislator hasto seek that all the measures of administering justice provided for in thepenal laws should be based not only on the “revenge” for the act done butalso on help and support for the minor, the principles of sympathy andeducation.


Murder under aggravating circumstances

Murder: 1) of one’s mother or father; 2) of two or more persons; 3) of a pregnant woman; 4) under circumstances dangerous for many people; 5) in a particularly cruel way; 6) while committing other serious crime; 7) with a view to conceal another serious crime; 8) subject to selfish motives; 9) subject to hooligan motives; 10) subject to murder of the person on public or civil duty; 11) if the crime was committed by a particularly dangerous recidivist.

Death penalty is the key and exceptional punishment. Death penaltymay be inflicted for a murder under aggravating circumstances.

Article no. 24 Death penalty

Death penalty is the key and exceptional punishment. Death penaltymay be inflicted for a murder under aggravating circumstances. Death penalty is executed by shooting. Death penalty may not be imposed and if it is imposed, it may notbe executed for 1) Women and 2) Persons, who at the moment of the committing the crime, were under 18. If the court inflicts death penalty to thr convict, it may changecapital punishment into imprisonment for life also subject to the right formercy. Convicts, for whom death penalty was changed into imprisonment forlife, shall be imprisoned.



In the process of integration into the European Union Lithuaniawill have to harmonize its laws with the laws of the European Community.That’s the reason why the approach towards death penalty should be changedas well. Until 1991 death penalty was applied in 30 cases, from January1991 this punishment was imposed only for one crime – for murder underaggravating circumstances. Death penalty is not allowed to be imposedneither for women not for children. In the process of criminal trials andin case the convict appeals, sentence to death may be changed into theimprisonment far life. Today in Lithuania the number of heinous crimes is rather high,therefore it is difficult to change the society’s point of view and ban thepunishment (75% of Lithuanians hold a positive attitude towards to practicedeath penalty). Basic decisions regarding this issue must be takengradually, may be, at first, it would be reasonable to announce theMemorandum of Death Penalty. At present the Criminal Code of the Republicof Lithuania is being drafted and, as I know, there will be an offer to ban

death penalty.


The Criminal Code of Republic of Lithuania establishes only forwhich death may be imposed – murder under aggravating circumstances (CC,Article 105). It should be noted that from 3 December 1991 according to theCC even 31 crime for which death penalty might have been imposed. Article24 of the CC does not allow imposing death penalty neither on woman nor onthe persons who prior to committing the crime were under the age of 18.Capital penalty applied for the convict who is irresponsible after theverdict has been announced. It should be noted that the court announcing death sentence tomconvict may after it into imprisonment for life. The Instances of the Courtof Appeal and Cassation have the analogous right. Moreover, by right ofmercy The President of the republic of Lithuania may change the capitalpunishment into the imprisonment. No doubt the Government of the Republic oh Lithuania comprehend sthe concern of the international community regarding death penalty inLithuania (during 1992 – 1996 for January 1 seven capital punishment wereexecuted), however it takes into account a rather unfavorable criminalsituation- the number of murders increased from 143 in 1991 to 523 in 1994,and the society’s point of view which at the moment is clearly for thecapital punishment (80% for death penalty). On the second hand the Government supports the draft of the law onthe suspension of execution of death penalty of the Minister of Justiceprepared under the instructions or the President of Lithuania. If under theinstructions pf the President the draft of the law is passed in the Seimas,then the execution of death penalty would be suspended until the adoptionof the new Criminal Code. T5he final; regarding death penalty should bepassed by the Seimas by adopting the new Criminal Code.


Civil and criminal penalties in Lithuania are very similar toother countries penalties system, except death penalty, because Lithuaniahas joined to the convention. These countries are against applying thedeath penalty. There are many penalties in Lithuania which can stop criminalsfrom making new offences. Crime is categorized as a part of public law. The law isregulating the relations between citizens and the state. Crimes can bethought of as acts, which the state considers being wrong and which can bepunished by state. There are some acts, which are crimes in one country butnot in another. A visitor to a foreign country can be sure that stealing,physically attacking someone or damaging their property will be unlawful.But the way of dealing with people suspected of crime may be different fromhis own country. Penalties for breaking the law in Lithuania can be more severethan in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violatingLithuanian laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, orimprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugsin Lithuania are strict and convicted offenders can expect jail sentencesand heavy fines. Lithuania’s government can stop criminals by imposing more andmore harsh penalties.


1. The Lithuania policy on death penalty.- Vilnius, 1996, March.-78p. 2. The Encyclopedia britanica Volume 21.- London , 1926, 625p. 3. English Dictionary for Speakers of Lithuanian.- Vilnius, 2000 4. O.Armalyte, L Pazusis. English – Lithuanian Law Dictionary.- Vilnius, 1998. 5. P. Darbyshire “Eddey on the English Legal System”.- London, 1998 p. 102-106. 6. F. Russell and Ch. Locke “English Law and Language” – London, 2000 p. 11-15. 7. R. Powell. Law today.- England. 1996, p.45-51. 8. INTERNET INFORMATION: