Apylinkės teismo teisėjų darbo krūvio normavimas - svarbi teisingumo vykdymo sąlyga.
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The paper analyses the problem of workload quotas for district court judges in relation to the standard statutory work time duration. The problem is set against the general tendency of increase in the number of cases brought before courts each year. District courts as the courts of first instance are faced with an ever growing flow of cases. With regard to civil cases, the numbers are increasing especially in the field of the law of obligations (disputes in relation to sale, loan, credit, consumer credit, lease contracts, as well as contracts for theprovision of services, etc.). As far as criminal cases are concerned, the numbers are increasing especially in the fields of robbery, theft, in particular car theft, disturbance of public order and other crimes. In these circumstances, it is extremely important to conduct the analysis of the activity of courts in order to obtain a picture of the current situation with regard to the workload of courts and judges. District courts deserve special attention.Uneven distribution of workload among courts and judges is often the reason for the increase of the number of cases where a final decision (judgement) is reached later than 6 months after the start of proceedings. This was pointed out in the Overview of Activities of the Lithuanian Courts and their Self-Governance Institutions (2009–2010), as well as in the report of the National Courts Administration (2010). Those documents underline the importance to analyse the workload of district court judges for the purposes of optimising work organisation, setting the number of judges, distribution of resources, evaluation of judges’ activity, etc. The said analysis is crucial in order to avoid exceeding working time quotas and excessive workload of judges. At present, the workload of district court judges is calculated in accordance with the regulation adopted by the Courts Council in 2004 (as amended in 2005) and it reflects the number of standard cases (civil, criminal cases and cases of administrative offences) as well as other types of procedural documents dealt with by a judge within a period of one month. However, there are no quotas set for judge’s workload with regard to the duration of the statutory work time. The quotas for separate procedural stages (preparation for hearings, hearings, adoption of decision (judgement), other procedural actions that a judge performs while administering justice) are inexistent. The calculation does not take into account whether those standard cases are heard by a single judge or by a panel of judges, the complexity of a particular case is neither reflected. Establishing quotas for district court judges and other court clerks (judge assistants, secretaries, etc.) should consist of legal, organisational-procedural and technical-economical activity. The Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania, the National Courts Administration, the Courts Council as well as chairmen and experienced judges of district courts should play an active part in the process of establishing quotas. A special role should be assumed by the General Assembly of Judges.
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