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Litigation in Lithuania

Updated on Friday 05th June 2015


What are the types of Courts in Lithuania?
The Lithuanian Constitutional Court is formed by 9 justices appointed for a not renewable term of office. The particularity of the system is that after the initial appointment of the justices, three of them are appointed for a three-year term of office, three for a six-year period of time and three for a nine-year period of time and after three years, one-third of the Constitutional Court is reconstituted.
The Supreme Court of Lithuania is composed of 37 judges assisted in their activity by the 87 state servants and other 43 persons employed under labor contracts. 
The Appellate Court of Vilnius is considered the second instance court of Lithuania while in the past was having the same attributions as the nowadays Supreme Court.
In Lithuania there are five regional courts located in Kaunas, Klaipeda, Paneve, Vilnius and Iauliai.
The number of first instance courts (district courts) is much higher than the one of regional courts. There are 54 district courts all over Lithuania.
The administrative cases are heard by the system of administrative courts formed by the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania and five regional administrative courts, located in Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipeda, Siauliai and Panevėzys.
What are the responsibilities of the Courts in Lithuania?
The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania makes sure that the Constitution’s regulations are respected within the legal system and also checks if the laws and other legal acts adopted by the Seimas are constitutional. Also the acts adopted by the President or the Government of the Republic must be compliant with the Constitution.
The Supreme Court of Lithuania is the court of cassation which is responsible for reviewing judgments and rulings taken by the first and appeal instances hearing criminal cases and civil cases. For the individuals repressed by judiciary authorities issues the certificates on the restoration of civil rights. It is also deciding in disputes over jurisdiction of a court of general jurisdiction and an administrative court.
The Appellate Court located in Vilnius hears appeals brought to decisions taken by the regional courts and also decides the recognition of the decisions of foreign courts, international courts and arbitration awards. 
Certain criminal and civil cases are heard by the regional courts which also hear cases already disputed in the district court.
The minor criminal and civil cases are heard by the district courts which also hear cases related to administrative offences, cases related to the enforcement of decisions.
The cases related to the public and internal administration sphere are heard by the Administrative Supreme Court. In its decisions, the Court must take into consideration the rules of the Law on Administrative Proceedings and other laws included in the administrative sphere. Smaller cases involving administrative acts are heard by the administrative courts.
The National Audit Office is hearing all the cases involving the spending of public funds. In assures the financial audit of the institutions financial statements.
What are the responsibilities of the Arbitrary Court in Lithuania?
The Arbitration Court from Vilnius is the result of the reorganization of the Arbitration Court Association International Chamber of Commerce Lithuania and the Vilnius International Commercial Arbitration.
The arbitration process is applicable only if the involved parties have signed an arbitration agreement which is stipulating that the commercial disputes can be decided by the Arbitration Court. This method if often chose because of the rapidity of the process and because the arbitrators can be chose by the parties.
Two parties which haven’t signed an arbitration agreement in the beginning of their collaboration can do it later before taking the case in the Court.
How long does Litigation in Lithuania take?
The litigation duration can be influenced by many factors such as the chosen court, the possibility of contesting the initial decision, the complexity of the case.