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Defence lawyers: criminal proceedings would benefit from adversarial elements

2016 / 02 / 15 Tags:

Human Rights Monitoring Institute (HRMI) introduced its research on pre-trial detention (PTD) in Lithuania to criminal lawyers, who also actively engaged in the discussion held after the presentation. The lawyers unanimously agreed that one of the biggest shortcomings of the criminal proceedings is the absence of adversarial elements, especially in the pre-trial stage.

According to the participants of the discussion, such situation makes almost impossible to ensure the effective protection of the rights of the suspected person.

The lawyers also shared their insights on HRMI’s PTD research and discussed the changes brought by the recent PTD legal reform. It was noted that detention rulings often still lack specific and individual reasoning as well clear identification of supporting evidence. Moreover, the decisions often merely repeat prosecution’s arguments ignoring the defense’s position altogether.

The participants of the event pointed out limited access to the case material, the media and the public’s influence on the judiciary, causing pressure against taking unpopular decisions.

The participating lawyers also discussed European Arrest Warrant, Directive on the Right to Information and the case of Mironovas and others v. Lithuania, where ECHR has decided that the current compensations in Lithuania are not sufficient to redeem violations of rights.

Full text of research report can be found here.