Baudžiamoji atsakomybė kaip kraštutinė priemonė (ultima ratio): teorija ir realybė
The modern Lithuanian legal doctrine recognises that criminal liability is a last resort (ultima ratio) protecting the society from various law violations. This idea has got deep roots in criminology and is obviously based on the position of rational approach towards the state criminal policy. However, it is not clear whether it is of obligatory legal status to the legislature and the courts. This article attempts to present the idea of a last resort as a concept based on the constitutional principles of the rule of law, justice, proportionality and rationality in the legislation and case law. The author concludes that the main precursors of the ultima ratio principle are the German legal doctrine of protection of legal goods (Rechtsgüterschutz) and Harm principle respected in the common law tradition, as well as the need for protection of human rights in the democratic world. These concepts raise the duty of the legislator to justify the act of criminalisation by legitimate purpose and to comply with certain constitutional limits of application of criminal law. The idea of criminal liability as a last resort is recognised both in the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court (obiter dictum) and in the practice of the Supreme Court of Lithuania reasoning particular decisions in criminal cases, especially delimiting criminal and other types of legal liability. The author concludes that the fact of discrepancy of criminal law to ultima ratio test can be one of the arguments in support of its objection to the Constitution and even the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. At the same time, the author of the article has found that many norms of the Criminal Code are in conflict with the idea of a last resort.
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