On October 19, within the framework of the project „Supreme Courts as guarantee for effectiveness of judicial system in the European Union”, the representatives of the Supreme Court participated in a meeting in the Lithuanian Supreme Court and for three consecutive days took part in discussions and workshops together with delegations from Lithuanian, Hungarian and Spanish Supreme Courts.

Adviser of the Case-law and Research Division Reinis Markvarts, assistant to the Chair of the Department of Criminal Cases Nora Magone and assistant to the Judge of the Department of Administrative Cases Silvija Kuskina shared their experience with colleagues on three topics –publishing of the Supreme Court rulings and use of case-law data bases, allocation of cases, as well as the Supreme Courts’ cooperation practice with universities.

Participants also visited Lithuanian Court Administration, where Lithuanian Court information system was presented. In Lithuania, according to law, distribution of cases takes place electronically, initially names of judges are placed in the system, as well as their specializations, the departments they belong to, planned vacations etc. Derogations from automated distribution of cases are possible only with special justification and subsequent order. Hungarian Supreme Court also uses electronic distribution of cases, but not in all of the Court’s departments. Discussion also touched upon the filters determining how the cases are sent for judicial proceedings – Lithuania has a special panel, composed of three justices, who evaluate, if the case will be reviewed in the Supreme Court. These justices change every three month. In Spain, there is also a special commission that evaluates appealed cases and recommends, whether to accept the case for examination in the Supreme Court.

Discussion with representatives of Lithuanian universities showed that approximately one third of all the justices have a PhD, as well as are lecturing in universities. It is also a common practice in Lithuania for the Supreme Court to ask universities to provide expert opinions about complicated points of law.

Participants of the exchange visit concluded, that this kind of multilateral meetings  provide a valuable opportunity to compare organisation of the work of courts in various countries and to implement good practices. Best practice guide for organizing Supreme Courts’ work will be published at the end of this project, including also the conclusions reached during this experience exchange visit.

Latvian Supreme Court supervises the project Supreme Courts as Guarantors of the Effectiveness of Legal System in European Union, financed by the Directorate General for Justice; also Lithuanian, Spanish and Hungarian Supreme Courts are participating, as well as Antwerp (Belgium) and Ljubljana (Slovenia) Universities.

 

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