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



















The Aim of project – to analyze tendencies and causes of crime in

Lithuania; to investigate the effectiveness of ciminalistics and penal and

civil effect measures on criminality in Lithuania.

The Main goal: crime, criminal justice activities, penal and civil

effect measures for crime control in Lithuania.

The Main Tasks of the project – to prepare the concept of the

analysis of criminal tendencies and causes and to prepare the proposals for

the improvement of the Lithuanian penal policy; to investigate an effective

crime control system of rational punishments and civil legal effect

measures; to analyze the practice of the application of the criminal code

and criminalities in crime investigation in Lithuania and to prepare the

concept of crime investigation in Lithuania and, on the basis of this

concept, to prepare concrete proposals for the effectuation of crime

investigation in the Republic.


Crimes against foreigners, while usually non-violent, are bbecoming

more common. Pick pocketing and theft are problems, so personal belongings

should be well protected at all times. Car thefts, carjacking, and theft

from cars are increasingly commonplace. Drivers should be wary of persons

indicating 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 the

targeted car gets out seeing if there is a problem, the person who has been

following will either steal the driver’s belongings from the vehicle oor get

in and drive off with the car. Drivers should never get out of the car to

check for damage without first turning off the ignition and taking the

keys. Valuables also should not be left in plain sight in parked vehicles,

as there have been increasing reports of car windows smashed and items

stolen. Burglary of foreigners’ homes is also prevalent; home alarm systems

should be used whenever possible. American citizens should avoid walking

alone or in small groups after dark. There have been cases of American

citizens being drugged in bars and then taken elsewhere to be robbed. In

any public area, one should always be alert to being surrounded by two or

more people at once. Racially motivated verbal, and sometimes physical,

harassment of American citizens of non-Caucasian ethnicity has been

reported in major cities. Incidents of racially motivated attacks against

foreigners have been reported in Klaipėda in particular.


While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that

country’s laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from

those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to

the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law in Lithuania

can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons

violating Lithuanian laws, eeven unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or

imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs

in Lithuania are strict and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences

and heavy fines.

2.1 Recommendations and suggestions how to solve the problem

Taking into consideration long lasting complicated crime

situation, the conclusions of its statistic analysis and prognoses, it is

suggested to concentrate joint efforts of researchers and practical persons

to 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


• 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 iinto 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, pphilosophers, 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


Carrying out the research the statistic records of persons, who

did crimes according to the law and social demographic features in 1990-

1995 were accumulated and methodized.

The interaction between the criminal’s personality and

environmental factors, which are expressed in the statistic data is

analyzed (1988-1995). Methodized data characterizing the „statistic“

inhabitant of Lithuania and crime and criminal personality were prepared

for the deeper analysis according to the mathematics methods. The initial

concept of the criminological data bank was looked through adapting it to

the 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 ccases 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 of

1992 the following court system is established: the Supreme Court, the

Court of Appeal, district courts, and county courts. There are 54 district

courts in Lithuania. District courts that are located within the territory

of its activities, are the first instance for civil and criminal cases.

Cases brought before a district court are heard by a ssingle district court


County courts (there are 5 county courts) are the first instance

for civil and criminal cases which fall under its jurisdiction in

accordance with law. County courts are also the instance of appeal for the

decisions of district courts. The Court of Appeal of Lithuania is an

appellate instance for cases, which have been heard by county courts as the

courts of first instance. The Supreme Court of Lithuania is the only

cassation instance for criminal and civil cases. From 1 May 1999

Administrative Tribunals started their activities. Tribunals consider

complaints against administrative misdemeanours. The system of county

administrative tribunals and the Higher Administrative Tribunal is

established under the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

County administrative tribunals are the first instance for cases. The

Higher Administrative Tribunal is an appellate instance for cases, which

have been investigated by county administrative tribunals. The Higher

Administrative Tribunal also investigates appeal cases of district courts

concerning administering of administrative penalties. The Higher

Administrative Tribunal is the only and the final instance for cases

concerning administrative acts, which have been accepted by the subjects of

central state administration. The functioning of the court system is

regulated by the Law on Courts.

Criminal Justice System- Law

Lithuania is a parliamentary democracy. The people directly elect

the president. The judiciary is separate ffrom the other branches. No person

may be arbitrarily arrested or detained. Police may detain suspects for up

to 48 hours based on reliable evidence and with approval by an investigator

or prosecutor. A district judge may prolong that period of detainment from

6 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 shortage

of trained advocates. The detention periods have been criticized as being

excessive. This has been blamed on the slow trial system. The government is

trying to remedy this by finding additional qualified judges. Bail is not

widely used. Prison conditions are overcrowded and dangerous. The

government is attempting to remedy the situation with assistance from other

nations, but this has been a slow process.

2.3 Lithuania crime

View this page with sources or definitions listed for each


|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 Criminal

Convention on Corruption.  In September 2000, the Lithuanian Parliament

adopted a new Criminal Code, which establishes criminal liability for

trading in influence and extends the concept of civil servants to those

belonging to international public organizations and foreign states. 

However, the new Criminal Code will not enter into force until the draft

Code of Criminal Procedure, the draft Code of Execution of Punishment, and

the 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 oof 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 aare 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 aabolishment 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


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 preconditions

for the creation of balanced system of penal and administrative influence

means“, developing the methods of research, it is defined more exactly how

to compare sanctions provided by the Penal Code, data of the courts

practice and results of the questionnaires of the experts, doing balanced

sanctions system. The schemes of the numbers of the sanctions of the Penal

Code were designed for the comparison of the data of the courts practice

and 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 the

imprisonment penalty was not put into practice in 1991-1994;

The frames of the quantity of the imprisonment sanctions suggested

by the experts for the most important specific crimes.

Defining more exactly the conception of the balanced sanction

system the main factors (value – the object of attempt, the circumstances

of doing the deed, the degree of guilty), which condition the heaviness of

a crime was analyzed and the evaluation criteria of the factors were


The method of putting value criterion into practice was detailed.

The suggestion was made to classify the crimes associated with the same

value, firstly, by the circumstances by which a deed was done and its

degree of completeness. These circumstances predetermine the heaviness of a

crime from the point of view of that value as these circumstances define

the value’s violation scale, character and other aspects of a deed. Taking

into account this criterion, crimes associated by one and the same value

are suggested to classify into 3 groups according to their heaviness.

Dependence to one group defines relative heaviness of the crime from the

point of view of value.

Developing the methods of comparative analysis of penal and

administrative codes norms, the analysis of several competing articles of

the penal and administrative laws was made (crimes and administrative

violations against property, managing order and finance).

Having analyzed the sanctions of the existing penal law from the

point of view of value criterion, it is ascertained that the average of the

specified crimes sanctions do not reflect the real meaning of the values

protected by the Penal Law. In addition, imprisonment penalty for different

types of crimes in the frame of specific crimes are not balanced, because

the system of values of the specific crimes is confused and discordant.

Three drafts of the Penal Code’s articles, according to values system

suggested by the working group were prepared and the preliminary

generalization of them was made. Classification of the circumstances which

make the influence to the defining of sanctions have begun and is continued

further on.

Having analyzed, evaluated and worked up the results of the

experts’ 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 is

facing the challenge to harmonize legislation with the across-Europe

acknowledged standards and international conventions. Under a pressure of

painful transformational processes Lithuania carries out economic reforms,

strengthens free market foundations, establishes democratic and civic

society, which is in itself far from being easy, since in many instances

people’s mentality has to be changed and new yardstick for both evil and

good is to be found.

Nowadays quite a number of European politicians carefully follow

these changes in Lithuania, including changes in legal, law and order and

law enforcement system. MMany of them visit our country and take with them

back impressions contrary to the beforehand established opinion.

One can often hear a question whether Lithuania has already

liquidated the last relics oh the authoritarian system, and whether death

penalty is abolished. This question which is now broadly discussed in

Lithuania and the society is not always likely to find a general answer to

the solution of this problem.

This packager of documents is the official opinion of the state of

Lithuania. Herein you will find results of the opinion poll of our people

on this very issue. Being aware of a difficult struggle of the post

communist states face to face with the wave of criminality, the readers

will able to understand better the problems of The Republic of Lithuania

and the policy it pursues.


The outlook upon the death penalty in Lithuania during different

historical periods. The author states, that according to the outlook upon

the death penalty or its execution, several different periods might be

distinguished. The first one is the period time when Lithuania was not yet

a centralized state, and the customary law norms were applied. The second

period is the time when centralized state of Lithuania was being formed and

written codes of law came into force. This period lasted till the adoption

of the First Statute of the Great Duchess of Lithuania in 1529. The third

period covers the years of the First Statute validity and lasts till the

middle of XIX century. Tsar Russian punishment laws started the fourth

period. The years of independent Lithuania between the two world wars would

be 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 of

soviet occupation, the ways of solving the death penalty question were

getting more and more progressive. Bearing in mind the facts, investigated

in the article, as well as the death penalty position in the present

legislation, we can state the abolishment of the death penalty in Lithuania

would be logical and natural event.


Lithuanian-British public opinion and market research company

“Baltic Surveys Ltd.”, the member of Gallup Worldwide and Gallup

International Association and ESOMAR, in its regular national studies has

asked Lithuanian population about its opinion on death penalty several

times since 1991.

Do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?

Would you say, you agree strongly, agree somewhat, disagree somewhat or

disagree strongly that.

“Baltic Surveys Ltd.”, April – May, 1993.

.some crimes should be punishable by death.

This survey results show, that Lithuanian population is consistent

in its opinion and still strongly supports tthe 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 to


7 persons were sentenced to death in 1935 (5 – for the betrayal of

the country, 1 – for resistance against public authorities, 1 – for


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 the

country, 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 the

death 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 introduced

by regulations set up in Kazimieras’ Code of 1468 which was in power until

1529. It inflicted death penalty by hanging for huge thefts.

Detailed regulations on capital punishment were laid down in 1529

Statute of Lithuania, as well as in 1566 and 1588 Statutes. The latter was

in force up to 1840 after Russia occupied Lithuania in 1795.

Within the whole range of various punishments the death penalty

made up 10 %. It was usually applied for the rebellion against the state or

the 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 of

murder of the nobility, rape, extensive burglary and robbery, counterfeit

of money. The most usual case was by hanging of the accused, less common

cases were by shooting, beheading and tearing into pieces, by burning. Data

on the number of death penalties and how many of them were carried out

within this time period is not available.

2. Republic of Lithuania (1918.II.16 – 1940.IV.15)

After Lithuania re-established its independence in 1918, the

capital punishment set in the Criminal Statute of 1903 was

substituted on

16 January 1919 for the imprisonment with hard labour, it was renewed on 5

March 1919 according to the special security regulations of the state for

the crimes in those parts of the country where the state of belligerence

was announced (after the intervention of the neighbouring states and the

start of the struggle for independence). The capital punishment was carried

out for rebellion, instigation against the state, espionage and damage of

transportation facilities, robbery, murder and some of the war crimes. In

May 1920, the eexecution of the capital punishment was suspended, and it was

abolished on 12 June. However, after the foreign states advanced their

intervention, death penalty was reintroduced on 18 July of the same year.

From 17 August 1922 it was carried out only in the army involved in

military actions and in the Lithuanian railway area, while from 2 July 1926

it was applied on the territory which was then in the state of belligerence

and within one kilometre from the demarcation border. After the state of

belligerence wwas announced on 21 December 1926 the capital punishment was

carried out throughout the whole territory of Lithuania. This penalty

remained in force after the Soviet Union occupied Lithuania on 14 June



Crime is categorised as a part of public law. The law is

regulating the relations between citizens and the state. Crimes can be

thought of as acts, which the state considers being wrong and which can be

punished by state. There are some acts, which are crimes in one country but

not 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 from

his own country.


In many legal systems it is an important principle that a person

cannot be considered guilty of a crime until the state proves he committed

it. The suspect himself need not prove anything, although he will of course

help himself if hhe can show evidence of his innocence. The state must prove

his guilt according to high standards, and for each crime there are precise

elements, which must be proven. In codified systems, these elements are

usually recorded in statutes. In common law systems, the elements of some

crimes are detailed in statutes; others, known as “common law crimes”, are

still described mostly in case law. Even where there is a precise statute,

the case law interpreting the statute may be very important since the

circumstances of each ccrime 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


In Anglo – American law these are known by the Latin terms of (1.)

Actus Reus and (2.) Mens Rea. The differences between these can be

explained by using the crime of murder.

Malice aforethought refers to the mens rea of the crime and is a

way of saying that the murderer intended to commit a crime. Of course, the

court can never know exactly what was in the head of the killer at the time

of 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. In

murder, however, it is interesting that the defendant need not have

intended to kill, but just to wound someone seriously. He need not even

have had a direct intention; in some cases, a defendant has been found

guilty if he killed someone because of recklessness – not caring about the

dangers. Several recent cases have considered the problem of whether

recklessness means acting even though yyou know there is a high risk of

danger or acting without thinking about risks which a reasonable person

ought to consider. In other crimes, it is enough to have been negligent or

careless without any clear intention or even recklessness.

The rest of the murder definition refers to the actus reus. The

prosecution must show that the suspect did in fact cause the death of


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. A

time limit is specified in order to avoid the difficulties of proving a

connection between an act and a death that takes place much later. This may

be especially relevant in the case of victim who has been kept alive for

many month on a hospital life support machine.

In deciding if the defendant’s act caused death, the court must be

sure that the act was a substantial cause of the result.

In general, if the prosecution fails to prove either actus or

mens, 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 be



If actus and mens have bbeen proved, a defendant may still avoid

guilt if he can show he has a defence – a reason the court should excuse

his act. Different systems of law recognise different and usually limited

sets of defences.

For example, duress may be used as a defence against the charge of

murder as a secondary party (helping the murderer), but is not available if

the defendant is charged as the principal murderer.

Another defence is that of insanity. In most countries a person

cannot be found guilty of crime if in a doctor’s opinion he cannot have

been responsible for his actions because of mental illness. But this

defence requires careful proof. If it is proven the defendant will not be

sent to a prison, but instead to mental hospital.

It might be argued that a person is not responsible for his

actions if he is intoxicated – drunk or under the influence of drugs. In

fact, an intoxicated person may not even know what he is doing and thus

lacks mens rea. However, in many countries, there is a general principle

that people who knowingly get themselves intoxicated must be held

responsible 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 for

injuring someone if he can convince the court that the force he used was

reasonable to protect himself in the circumstances. In some other

countries, 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 of

mitigation – reasons your punishment should not be harsh. If a person has a

defence, the court finds him not guilty. IIt is only after being found

guilty that a defendant may try to mitigate his crimes by explaining the

specific circumstances at the time of the crime.

Although most criminal laws in the world refer to acts of violence

or 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 aa form of

behaviour and passing a new law to deal with it. In most industrialised

countries exiting theft laws were not adequate to deal with computer crimes

where complex kinds of information are stolen, altered or used to deceive

other, and, thus, new llaws have been passed.



This paragraph analyses issues of regulation of criminal

liability of minors. Its main concern is the establishment of the age limit

at which a person is criminally liable and until which lighter penal norms

should be imposed. It is also concerned with the improvement of the system

of punitive and educational measures.

In essence, the article is in favor of the draft Penal Code

submitted by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania to the

Government of the Republic of Lithuanian in July 1998. The Draft suggests

that in the future the Penal Code should establish only exceptional

criminal liability of minors, and that the peculiarities of the liability

be set forth in a separate chapter of the Penal Code Peculiarities of the

Criminal Liability of Minors. This new chapter of the Penal Code would

provide for a special system of punitive and educational measures as well

as rules of their imposition, grounds and conditions for the exemption from

criminal liability and penalties, which would be in line with the

instruments of international law.

discusses the following educational measures: (1) warning; (2)

repairing material damage; (3) non-paid works; (4) placing the minor under

the uupbringing and guardianship of his/her patents or other persons; (5)

restricting the behaviour of the minor; (6) placing the minor in a special

educational-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 punitive

and educational measures applied to minors, first of all the legislator has

to seek that all the measures of administering justice provided for in the

penal laws should be based not only on the „revenge“ for the act done but

also on help and support for the minor, the principles of sympathy and



Murder under aggravating circumstances


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 cconceal 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 penalty

may be inflicted for a murder under aggravating circumstances.

Article no. 24 Death penalty

Death penalty is the key and exceptional punishment. Death penalty

may 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 not

be 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 change

capital punishment into imprisonment for life also subject to the right for


Convicts, for whom death penalty was changed into imprisonment for

life, shall be imprisoned.



In the process of integration into the European Union Lithuania

will have to harmonize its laws with the laws of the European Community.

That’s the reason why the approach towards death penalty should be changed

as well.

Until 1991 death penalty was applied in 30 cases, from January

1991 this punishment was imposed only for one crime – for murder under

aggravating circumstances. Death penalty is not allowed to be imposed

neither for women not for children. In the process of criminal trials and

in case the convict appeals, sentence to death may be changed into the

imprisonment 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 the

punishment (75% of Lithuanians hold a positive attitude towards to practice

death penalty). Basic decisions regarding this issue must be taken

gradually, may be, at first, it would be reasonable to announce the

Memorandum of Death Penalty. At present the Criminal Code of the Republic

of 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 for

which death may be imposed – murder under aggravating circumstances (CC,

Article 105). It should be noted that from 3 December 1991 according to the

CC even 31 crime for which death penalty might have been imposed. Article

24 of the CC does not

allow imposing death penalty neither on woman nor on

the persons who prior to committing the crime were under the age of 18.

Capital penalty applied for the convict who is irresponsible after the

verdict has been announced.

It should be noted that the court announcing death sentence tom

convict may after it into imprisonment for life. The Instances of the Court

of Appeal and Cassation have the analogous right. Moreover, by right of

mercy The President of the republic of Lithuania may change the capital

punishment iinto the imprisonment.

No doubt the Government of the Republic oh Lithuania comprehend s

the concern of the international community regarding death penalty in

Lithuania (during 1992 – 1996 for January 1 seven capital punishment were

executed), however it takes into account a rather unfavorable criminal

situation- 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 the

capital punishment (80% for death penalty).

On the second hand the Government ssupports the draft of the law on

the suspension of execution of death penalty of the Minister of Justice

prepared under the instructions or the President of Lithuania. If under the

instructions pf the President the draft of the law is passed in tthe Seimas,

then the execution of death penalty would be suspended until the adoption

of the new Criminal Code. T5he final; regarding death penalty should be

passed by the Seimas by adopting the new Criminal Code.


Civil and criminal penalties in Lithuania are very similar to

other countries penalties system, except death penalty, because Lithuania

has joined to the convention. These countries are against applying the

death penalty.

There are many penalties in Lithuania which can stop criminals

from making new offences.

Crime is categorized as a part of public law. The law is

regulating the relations between citizens and the state. Crimes can be

thought of as acts, which the state considers being wrong and which can be

punished by state. There are some acts, which are crimes iin one country but

not 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 from

his own country.

Penalties for breaking the law in Lithuania can be more severe

than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating

Lithuanian laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or

imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs

in Lithuania are sstrict and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences

and heavy fines.

Lithuania’s government can stop criminals by imposing more and

more harsh penalties.


1. The Lithuania policy on death penalty.- Vilnius, 1996,


2. The Encyclopedia britanica Volume 21.- London , 1926, 625p.

3. English Dictionary for Speakers of Lithuanian.- Vilnius,


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.