November 2013 Hearings of the joint Seimas-World Lithuanian Commission

Regina Narusis and Patricia Streeter, Members of the Lithuanian-American Bar Association (LABAS) Board of Directors, made presentations at the November 2013 hearings of the joint Seimas-World Lithuanian Commission in Vilnius.

At the session on the rule of law on November 13, 2013, LABAS President Patricia Streeter presented findings from her doctoral research on the topic of fair trial in Lithuania and made recommendations for enhancing Lithuania’s justice system.  Among the deficiencies noted were the poor quality of legal preparation in higher education for all legal professions, including ethics; lack of independence in the functioning of the courts, judges, and prosecutors; lack of  public involvement; and a general lack of awareness of European standards of justice.  These deficiencies are linked to Lithuania’s recent Soviet legal culture and the failure to integrate the public in the democratic process when Lithuania regained its independence.  A key factor contributing to the lack of improvement is the opaque, closed nature of Lithuania’s justice system.  LABAS adopted the recommendations of this study and sponsored the printing of a condensed version of Dr. Streeter’s research, along with a translation into Lithuanian, that were provided to the members of the Commission.

LABAS co-founder and Board Member Regina Narusis presented arguments in favor of allowing citizens of Lithuania to have dual citizenship with other countries as necessary for the continued existence of statehood.   The Lithuanian-American Bar Association supports dual citizenship for those Lithuanian citizens who emigrated from Lithuania after independence in 1990 and who can establish that they are a direct descendent of a person born in Lithuania who was a citizen before June 15, 1940.  The Association further opposes the confiscation or denial of Lithuanian passports or citizenship of those Lithuanian citizens who have traveled abroad without due process of law, whether or not they have taken on citizenship of their host country.


This page last revised on February 3, 2014

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