Teismo precedentas Lietuvos teisės sistemoje: 11 metų patirtis ir siūlomo tarėjų instituto iššūkiai
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This article examines the meaning and purpose assigned to the doctrine of precedent introduced 11 years ago in the law of Lithuania. In addition, the article examines how well the doctrine of precedent functions – in other words, whether the courts always apply the precedent properly, whether the lawyer is able to identify the precedent applicable in a case brought to court, whether the cassation instance court functions properly as an institute of revision in determining deviation from unified court practice, and how the proposed lay judges’ institute may affect the functioning of the doctrine of precedent. The article proposes that precedent plays an important role in Lithuania’s legal system, acting not only as a means for establishing unified court practice, but also as a measure for ensuring a general principle of national and EU law – the principle of legal certainty. The establishment of a doctrine of precedent is an important step that helps to ensure proper implementation of the principle of legal certainty and its elements: the stability of regulation of social relations, and the predictability and continuity of judicial jurisprudence. The proposed lay judges’ institute for certain civil and criminal cases does not preclude the opportunity to properly implement the principle of legal certainty. However, the analysis of case law in this article leads to a conclusion that the functioning of the doctrine of precedent in Lithuania (as a measure for establishing unified court practice and ensuring the principle of legal certainty) is not as effective as it could be. It is proposed that the Supreme Court of Lithuania might strengthen its practice in highlighting the interpretation and application of certain rules as precedent, because this would enhance the efficiency of precedent.
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