Res judicata principo įgyvendinimo grupės ieškinių procese problemos.
The purpose of the article is to raise and analyze urgent and unsolved implementation problems of res judicata principle in group action procedure in Lithuania, and suggest possible directions for their solution, referring to the practice of foreign countries in this area. The Code of Civil Procedure of the Republic of Lithuania establishes group action institute for the defense of public interest, though problems for applying the res judicata principle in group action procedures, still remain unsolved, since article 266 of the Code of Civil Procedure of the Republic of Lithuania prohibits establishing rights and duties of not included in a case persons in the court ruling. And the essence of the group action is that res judicata power of the court ruling, passed in group action case, is expanded for the whole group. Peculiarities of applying res judicata principle in group actions reveal in setting particular limits to the action of this principle. It is necessary to try to protect members of the group from dishonest and incompetent representation while determining dependence of the court ruling’s res judicata power from the outcome of the case. Res judicata power of court ruling in class actions, differently from the traditional civil procedure doctrine, should involve the persons who have not participated in the case. Systematically interpreting the Code of Civil Procedure of the Republic of Lithuania it can be considered that such an attitude is possible. This thought is observed in article 182, subsection 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure, which releases the persons participating in the case from the duty to prove the circumstances, set according to the passed court ruling in the previous case, in which they have not participated, however, the relation of article 182 of the Code of Civil Procedure to article 49, part 5 is not obvious enough, therefore there is no clear answer if prejudicial power of court ruling in group actions would also involve the persons not participating in the case. Despite the gaps and obscurities, the provision of the Code of Civil Procedure regarding res judicata power of court ruling for persons not participating in the case is suitable for the substantiation of group action concept and consolidation of group action procedure and could be applied in court rulings, rendered in group action procedures. However, the current formulation of article 266 of the Code of Civil Procedure is completely inappropriate for group action procedure, which forbids without any exceptions to set the rights and duties of persons, not included in participation in a case, in the court ruling, therefore the problem of use of res judicata principle in group action procedures is still not settled in the Code of Civil Procedure. 64
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