The Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania provides that courts shall have the exclusive right to administer justice. While administering justice, judges and courts shall be independent. While investigating cases, judges shall obey only the law. They may not apply laws that contradict the Constitution.
On 1 May 2002, upon the entry into force of the new version of the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Courts and the Law on the National Courts Administration, the National Courts Administration commenced its activities.
The key activity of this institution is to assist institutions of judicial autonomy in exercising their functions.
The General Meeting of Judges is the highest body of judicial autonomy involving all the judges of Lithuania.
The Council of Courts is an executive body of judicial autonomy composed of 24 members.
The Judicial Court of Honour is an institution of judicial autonomy hearing disciplinary cases of judges and petitions of judges against defamation.
is first instance for criminal, civil cases and cases of administrative offences (assigned to its jurisdiction by law), cases assigned to the jurisdiction of mortgage judges, as well as cases relating to the enforcement of decisions and sentences. Judges of a district court also perform the functions of a pre-trial judge, an enforcement judge, as well as other functions assigned to a district court by law.
is first instance for criminal and civil cases assigned to its jurisdiction by law, and appeal instance for judgements, decisions, rulings and orders of district courts.
The Chairman of a regional court organises and controls the administrative activities of the district courts and their judges within the territory of his activities in accordance with the procedure prescribed by law.
is appeal instance for the cases heard by regional courts as courts of first instance. It also hears requests for the recognition of decisions of foreign or international courts and foreign or international arbitration awards and their enforcement in the Republic of Lithuania, as well as performs other functions assigned to the jurisdiction of this court by law.
The Chairman of the Court of Appeals organises and controls the administrative activities of the regional courts and their judges in accordance with the procedure prescribed by law.
is the only court of cassation instance for reviewing effective judgements, decisions, rulings and orders of the courts of general jurisdiction. It develops a uniform court practice in the interpretation and application of laws and other legal acts.
are courts of special jurisdiction established for hearing complaints (petitions) in respect of administrative acts and acts of commission or omission (failure to perform duties) by entities of public and internal administration. Regional administrative courts hear disputes in the field of public administration, deal with issues relating to the lawfulness of regulatory administrative acts, tax disputes, etc. Before applying to an administrative court, individual legal acts or actions taken by entities of public administration provided by law may be disputed in the pre-trial procedure. In this case disputes are investigated by municipal public administrative disputes commissions, regional administrative disputes commissions and the Chief Administrative Disputes Comisión.
is first and final instance for administrative cases assigned to its jurisdiction by law. It is appeal instance for cases from decisions, rulings and orders of regional administrative courts, as well as for cases involving administrative offences from decisions of district courts. The Supreme Administrative Court is also instance for hearing, in cases specified by law, of petitions on the reopening of completed administrative cases, including cases of administrative offences.
The Supreme Administrative Court develops a uniform practice of administrative courts in the interpretation and application of laws and other legal acts.
Last update: 13-07-2006