Lietuvos prokuratūros organizavimas ir veikla 1918-1940 metais.
This article reveals a complicated process of establishment of the Lithuanian prosecutor’s office, which has been closely related to the history of formation of the State of Lithuania, which declared independence in 1990, as well as to laying of legal foundations. The first provisional constitutional acts did not deal with the institutions of the prosecutor’s office or the state defence lawyer, but specified that the laws which had been valid before the entry into force of the said acts and which were in compliance with the Act of the Provisional Constitution, remained effective. The legal basis for establishment of the prosecutor’s office was provided by the 1918 Provisional Law on Courts of Lithuania and Arrangement of their Business; the main functions and powers of regional courts and state defence lawyers of the Supreme Tribunal and their assistants were laid down by the Law on Criminal Procedure, inherited from Russia. In order to ensure the quality state defence lawyers’ and their assistants’ work, which guarantees legality in the state, the Minister of Defence adopted instructions on arrangement of their work.In 1925 on the initiative of the Seimas the positions of the state defence lawyer and his assistants were established in the Panevezys regional court. This marked the end of the first stage of formation of the prosecutor’s office system. It should be noted that under the Convention of 1923, signed by Lithuania and the Triple Entente countries regarding the Klaipeda territory, in the prosecutor’s office of the Klaipeda region the institution of the state defence lawyer of the Klaipeda region had the exceptional autonomous rights, because, unlike the major part of Lithuania, it acted in compliance with the laws which were effective only in that region. After the Minister of Justice adopted in 1928 the instruction for state defence lawyers and their assistants in regional courts, the functions of the state defence lawyers and their assistants were incorporated from different valid laws into one legal act, which specified their rights, duties, limits of powers, organisational structure, liability and accountability, their relations with courts, the police, interrogation, clerical work requirements, recommendations for their direct work, and other important matters. Although provisional constitutional acts and the Constitutions of Lithuania of 1922 and 1928 did not set out the status of the institution of state defence lawyer, basically the totality of the valid laws and other regulations ensured the independence of the prosecutor’s office in performance of its direct duties in courts, supervision of interrogators and investigators, and safeguarding of the constitutional rights of citizens. The second stage of the prosecutor’s office, which may be called its reform, began in 1933 after the adoption of a new Law on the Court System, laying down a four-level court system, which inevitably determined the reform of the prosecutor’s office system. All state defence lawyers and their assis¬tants became prosecutors and assistant prosecutors. An additional link was created - the prosecutor’s office of the House of Appeals and a distinctly established hierarchy in which the Minister of Justice was named Chief Prosecutor of the Republic. This Law laid down explicit qualification, professional and moral requirements for persons who wished to become prosecutors or their assistants, because more and more lawyers in the country acquired university legal education. The prosecutor’s office was also granted additional rights and duties when participating in disciplinary proceedings of lawyers or providing assistance to bailiffs. No more significant modifications were made in the field of the prosecutor’s office within the period from the adoption of this Law, which reformed the system of the prosecutor’s office and distinctly defined its functions, rights and duties, until the year 1940.
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