Administracinio proceso veiksmingumo didinimas: tyrimų būklė ir perspektyvos
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The effectiveness of proceedings in administrative courts is an inevitable necessity of the modern system of justice. This article is intended to discuss the improvement of effectiveness in the administrative process. In order to propose valuable solutions, firstly the authors review researches and studies carried out so far in the field of administrative process. Secondly, they examine the specific proposals (remedies) of its improvement found in the above mentioned studies as well as in the current initiatives undertaken by the legislature. The main attention is given to the proposals and initiatives, which aim to accelerate, simplify and increase the accessibility of administrative proceedings. The authors welcome recent amendment of the Law on Administrative Court Proceedings establishing that the proceedings before the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania as a general rule shall be written. However, attention is drawn that one should use this opportunity with a due care as in some cases oral pleadings are necessary in order not impair the very essence of litigant’s rights. The authors agree that the possibility of written procedure in administrative courts of first instance should be extended, but the way of achieving it as proposed by the Ministry of Justice has some significant drawbacks. Introduction in administrative courts (with some adaptations due to the specific features of administrative process) of payment order that proved to be a success story in the courts of general jurisdiction and increasing number of administrative cases that can be heard by a single judge is discussed and called for further inquiries as they can help to dispose administrative cases more quickly without compromising at the same time fundamental rights of litigants. Due to current rules of jurisdiction of administrative cases most of them are concentrated and heard in one court of first instance, although other administrative courts of first instance are apparently more convenient and effective forum for such cases. Therefore, the authors argue that the rules of jurisdiction in administrative courts must be reviewed and changed accordingly. In addition to a group litigation rules for administrative cases, which are currently under consideration by the legislator, model (test) case proceedings is provided by the authors as a complementary instrument that can help administrative courts to cope with a regularly occurring flood of hundreds and thousands of similar cases. Use of modern information technologies, promotion of peaceful settlement is reviewed in this article too. The advantages, disadvantages and likely issues of application of above-mentioned proposals are analysed. The article also gives some insights on possible directions for future academic research in the area of improving administrative court proceedings and issues of mass litigation before administrative courts plainly are the ones that are worth more thorough examination.
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