rss_2.0Baltic Journal of Law & Politics FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Baltic Journal of Law & Politics Journal of Law & Politics Feed from a Human Rights Treaty and Peremptory Norms of International Law: The case of “Belarus 2020”<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The article analyzes the general concept of withdrawal from human rights treaties and addresses a specific case of withdrawal from the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The article argues that the human rights regime, due to its axiological nature, the non-reciprocal character of treaty parties’ relations, and the final beneficiaries´ expectations, needs <italic>lex specialis</italic> provisions on the withdrawal matters. Moreover, the results of analyses of the United Nations’ bodies show that the general clause on withdrawal being requested by a non-democratic state may lead to the denial of access to international justice for indivi duals and jeopardize the entire human rights protection system. Nowadays, however, the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties does not satisfy the needs of the human rights regime. The United Nations and its mandate holders are recommended to request an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice to clarify the compliance of the termination clause of the human rights treaties with the common values of the international society of states as a whole and the principles of the United Nations.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue“Access Denied” – Interpreting the Digital Divide by Examining the Right of Prisoners to Access the Internet in the Case Law of the European Court of Human Rights<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The present paper aims to investigate prisoners’ rights to use and access the Internet, focusing on the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). The study’s principal objective is to assess the fundamental rights aspects of Internet access, particularly within the context of relevant EU legislation, and to interpret how the digital divide impacts prisoners. The study primarily relies on a thorough review of pertinent literature and legal materials, and it incorporates case studies from Estonia, Lithuania and Türkiye to contextualize the literature findings within specific legal jurisdictions. The research findings suggest that prisoners’ Internet access should be evaluated in accordance with fundamental rights, including Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Regarding the digital divide, the study concludes that limiting prisoners’ access to the Internet could exacerbate the already existing societal gap, potentially hindering their reintegration into society. The particular focus on the above three countries stems from the fact that as per the precedent of the ECtHR, only four countries are involved in cases concerning restriction of access to the Internet (Estonia, Lithuania, Türkiye and Russia); however, Russia ceased to be a party of the European Convention on Human Rights, so analyzing the future of the issue of Internet acces there is highly limited. Our research contributes significantly to the literature on the digital divide, particularly in terms of its legal implications. The study’s comprehensive approach, which integrates both theoretical and practical aspects, is beneficial for domestic legal professionals and researchers engaged in interdisciplinary investigations of EU law and fundamental rights.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Criminal Proceedings: The Lithuanian Experience<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Although remote criminal proceedings have existed in Lithuania for some time, they have never been used as extensively as during the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic demonstrated that remote criminal proceedings could help prevent the spread of infectious diseases and at the same time facilitate the criminal justice process by eliminating, for example, the need to spend time travelling to the location of the proceedings or wasting other resources. For this reason, even after the COVID-19 pandemic, remote criminal proceedings remained popular. However, the remote criminal process is not a neutral substitute for the in-person criminal proceedings. It has an impact on the traditional paradigm of criminal proceedings that is not always positive. This article discusses the regulation of remote criminal proceedings in Lithuania by presenting the findings of an empirical study of Lithuanian lawyers’ perspectives on the remote criminal process which surveyed more than 100 Lithuanian lawyers (judges, prosecutors, lawyers, and pre-trial investigation officers). The article discusses the main advantages and disadvantages of remote criminal proceedings noted by the professionals and identifies legal problems caused by such mode of proceedings. The paper seeks to demonstrate that the development of remote criminal proceedings should be carried out with caution, taking into account its impact on the quality of criminal proceedings and the rights of the participants.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Europe Salience and Second-Order Election Theories: 2019 European Parliamentary Elections in Lithuania<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The article assesses the 2019 elections to the European Parliament (EP) in Lithuania and their theoretical relevance. The analysis presents the political stances of parties and the electorate towards the EU. The focus then shifts to information and political campaigns, the parties participating in the EP elections, and the electoral results. These aspects serve to evaluate the theoretical relevance of Second-order election theory and the Europe salience theory, revealing the absence of Eurosceptic, protest, populist, and postmaterial mood in the 2019 EP elections in Lithuania.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Response to Drug Distribution Offenses: The Case of Lithuania in the Regional Context<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Drug distribution is considered one of the most serious crimes in general and the most serious drug offense in particular. Drug distribution may cover behavior of very different levels of seriousness, ranging from the social supply of small quantities of illicit drugs in friend circles to international drug trafficking organized by powerful global crime syndicates. The article explores the criminological contexts of less serious drug distribution and penal frameworks of the relevant countries in the Baltic region. The article argues for a more nuanced penal approach to such offenses in the Lithuanian penal law.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue European Elections in Cyprus: An Empirical Exploration of Second-Order Election Effects and Europe Salience<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>By focusing on Cyprus’ constitutional and political system in light of the most recent European elections, this article explores and empirically analyses the second-order election theory and the European salience theory. The study applies these theories to identify key trends in Cypriot voters’ electoral behavior, including their attitudes toward European integration. The contribution starts with a brief preliminary section on the country’s historical background, geopolitical profile, and political landscape. It then provides insights on Cyprus’ electoral system, the political parties’ campaigns, and election results. The findings seek to unveil voter attitudes and political trends in Cyprus, feeding public discussion and academic dialogue on the issue in anticipation of the upcoming 2024 European election. The article aims to clarify the European South’s attitudes toward voting and what to expect in the upcoming 2024 elections, considering challenges, threats, and volatility.<sup>1</sup></p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of (Personal) Data in Armed Conflicts<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Despite the increased attention that was given to data protection laws in national jurisdictions – especially after the adoption of the General Data Protection Regulation by the European Union – international law still does not offer a higher standard of protection to the personal data of civilians in times of armed conflict, where the deletion or manipulation of personal data of the civilian population can have significant harmful effects. This article explains that at the time of the adoption of the relevant international treaties and the development of customary international law, international humanitarian law (IHL) did not protect personal data stored electronically, and even though commentators in contemporary times tend to accept the object status of electronic data, State practice still remains inconclusive, largely excluding computerized personal data from the protective regime of IHL. The article argues further that a stricter protection of personal data regulation could potentially lead to harmful effects for protected persons, such as civilians, therefore it is undesirable. The protective nature of IHL must prevail over the data protection interests.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Possibility of Applying Artificial Intelligence in the Delivery of Justice by Courts<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The article analyses the prospects for the application of artificial intelligence in the delivery of justice by courts. The application of artificial intelligence is increasingly spreading in various different areas of life - both in the daily life of individuals and in the public sector. One of the main areas where artificial intelligence is already being applied is in the area of justice. However, given the complexity and importance of this field, the question arises whether artificial intelligence could really replace the person of the judge. In order to answer this question, the authors first assess what constitutes the delivery of justice. Secondly, the authors analyse the concept of artificial intelligence and the possibilities of its use. Thirdly, the authors assess the potential and risks of artificial intelligence in the delivery of justice. The paper reviews various artificial intelligence models already in use around the world and assesses the application of various technologies (large language models such as ChatGPT) in the court. Finally, conclusions are drawn as to whether artificial intelligence can replace the person of the judge.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Comparative Study of Wartime Rapes: The Experience of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Ukraine<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Despite that they are tacitly accepted by many as an inevitable part of armed conflict, most of the international community condemns wartime rape and aims to prevent it. Although its preventive mechanisms were already developed nationally and internationally, wartime rape was perpetrated in the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992–1995), and is perpetrated in the war in Ukraine. This comparative study identifies patterns of wartime rapes in these two wars, as well as the analysis of the positive criminal codes of these two countries and the legal practice attendant thereto, in order to establish how they were regulated and what the criminal politics towards them is. Particularities of the experience with trialling wartime rapes in Bosnia and Herzegovina will be presented. These are presented as lessons Ukraine can benefit from, to fight against them, prevent them, and achieve justice most efficiently.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Shares with Employees: Tools and Empirical Evidence from Lithuania<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper discloses the situation, specifics, tendencies, and limitations of employers’ adjustment to employee financial participation (sharing shares) in companies in Lithuania. Three main tools are analyzed: the issuance of employee shares (known since 1990); a share granting (effective since 2018); and employee stock options. The empirical part of the paper is based on interviews conducted in 2019 and repeated in 2022–2023 with expert lawyers from Lithuanian law firms, alongside a survey of Lithuanian companies. The following aspects were analyzed: employers’ knowledge of the possibilities of involving employees in company management (activities); instruments used by employers to implement employee financial participation; reasons that prevent successful employee involvement and barriers from the perspective of employees; tax-related issues; and measures that could facilitate greater employee involvement within the company. The research results show that there is a tendency that promotion via shares is becoming more popular and that business culture is slowly evolving. Employee stock options are the most used instrument, surpassing the use of statutory tools to grant shares to employees.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue An Underrated Retaliatory Measure Against Malign Cyber Operations<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The articles discusses the application of the concept of retorsion in relation to defensive measures against hostile cyber operations. Retorsion is a concept not regulated by international law, which gives the victim state a high degree of flexibility in its use. However, its limits are formed by the rules of international law (retorsion is an unfriendly act not prohibited by international law). The paper is divided into three main parts. The first part discusses the concept of retorsion in general terms and its relation to cyber operations, the second part defines the relationship between retorsion, countermeasures, plea of necessity and the right of self-defence, and the third part consists of in-depth analysis of states’ practice. The analysis of states’ practices includes both the actual measures that states have taken in response to cyber operations (e.g. expulsion of diplomats, economic sanctions, travel bans) and official statements on the issue that have been published, particularly in the period 2019–2022. Attention is also paid to the possibilities of using retorsion against cyber operations carried out by non-state actors.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Concept of Corruption in the Healthcare Sector: A Practical Analysis of Theoretical Aspects and the Lithuanian Context<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Corruption in the healthcare sector is one of the concepts for which it is difficult to find one universal definition or to list all possible forms. However, the scientific literature presents both various definitions of corruption and typologies of forms of corruption in healthcare system. But in the presence of great diversity, the choice of one particular classification, without evaluating it in the context of other classifications, poses the risk that certain corrupt acts may not fall under the concept of corruption. As a result, this study presents the most important elements of the concept of corruption in the healthcare sector and proposes a corruption identification plan that would allow for the identification of more complex cases of corruption in the healthcare system, while at the same time helping to select more appropriate prevention measures. The articles analyses how corruption and the forms of corruption in healthcare system are described in legal acts of selected Lithuanian healthcare institutions, in order to determine the practical relevance of improving the identification of corruption in the healthcare sector. Having determined that there is a considerable variety of definitions in the legal acts of institutions, as well as minor gaps, it can be concluded that there is a need to develop the concept of corruption in the healthcare sector. Thus, concluding recommendations include not only further attention to the issues involved, but determining simpler and clearer methods of identifying corruption in the healthcare system.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Integration of Kosovo: Analysis of the Kosova Constitutional Provisions that Require Harmonization with EU Law<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper investigates the constitutional adjustments Kosovo should make in the EU accession process. Because European integration may necessitate fundamental changes in the constitutional principles, the paper will address them by offering concrete solutions to issues such as the primacy of EU law and the transfer of sovereignty. Issues related to human rights, such as the right to vote and to stand as a candidate at municipal elections and the right to freedom of movement. The path followed by other countries in the process of adapting their constitutions to EU law represents a very rich constitutional experience; therefore, this article clarifies concrete issues presented by the Kosovo Constitution.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Rhetoric to Reality: Lithuania’s Total Defence Response to Russian Threats<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This research delves into Lithuania’s response to the perceived threat from Russia and the practical implementation of its total defence approach. Key political figures, including the President, Prime Minister, Minister of National Defence, and Chairman of the National Security and Defence Committee, are scrutinized using securitization theory. The study explores how these actors frame total defence as an urgent response to an existential threat and analyses both their discourse and tangible actions from 2020 onwards. Distinct approaches among political figures emerge, with the President prioritizing communication, the Minister of Defence emphasizing tangible improvements, and the Chairman of the NSDC acting as a driving force. Despite increased military spending, the involvement of society in national defence—integral to the total defence strategy—remains limited. Factors contributing to this limitation include unclear leadership, insincere rhetoric, bureaucratic obstacles, and the initial unpreparedness of the Armed Forces to integrate civilians. The study underscores the critical need for genuine commitment and leadership to achieve meaningful breakthroughs in Lithuania’s total defence approach. While politicians employ securitization and public discourse to align with public sentiment and present themselves as problem solvers, the actual progress in engaging the public and the private sector remains limited. The discrepancy between discourse and material implementation suggests that a more substantial commitment is essential for effective societal involvement in national defence, making it clear that symbolic gestures fall short of achieving impactful results in Lithuania’s total defence approach.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Situation of Young People’s Political Participation in Albania<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The right to participate in political life – especially for youth – is very important for an inclusive society. Although the population under the age of 30 represents about 40% of the total population in Albania, the participation of young people in the political, social, and economic spheres remains low. Under current conditions, the youth in Albania tend to remain uninvolved in policy-making, and thus unable to influence their social and economic status. This article points analyzes the economic, social, and political situation of Albanian youth with some recommendations for policy makers related to each area. The institutional and legal structures for young people and the participation of young people in politics are not well developed in Albania. There is a need to review and strengthen the country’s institutional/legal framework at all levels, in order to make young people a more important factor in the society.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue an Employment Contract at the Employer’s Will: Does Expensive and Simple Mean Safe? Lithuanian Model<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper aims to reveal the nature, specifics and limits of application of one of the legal grounds for termination of employment relationships established in the labour law of the Republic of Lithu ania – termination of the employment contract at the employer’s will. The analysis tests the hypothesis that the goal of increasing flexibility by simplifying the termination of employment relations, which was set at the initiation of the reform of the legal regulation, was not achieved. The presumption is put forward that this ground for terminating the employment contract is neither new nor safely applicable, and the benefits of relatively simplified procedural requirements do not outweigh increased financial burden. To reveal the impact of statutory amendments in question on the regulation of termination of employment relations in Lithuania, the historical background and the impact of obligations established in international documents on it are assessed, key indicators (such as legal grounds, procedural requirements, burden of proof and order of its distribution, etc.) are identified, and the relevant case law is examined.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Measures as a Way of Preventing Domestic Violence: The Experience of Ukraine<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article elucidates the meaning and indicators of restrictive measures applied to individuals who have committed domestic violence, as well as the peculiarities of their implementation during wartime conditions. Additionally, it provides a comparative legal characterization of restrictive measures in Ukraine in various jurisdictions based on the categorization of legal systems. The article provides the authors’ interpretation of the “restrictive measures” concept, outlining its characteristics and types, and evaluating its efficacy in Ukraine.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Defence Policy: Between Functionalism, National Interests, and Transatlantic Realities<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Existing insights into recent defence integration, including against the backdrop of Russia’s war, largely stem from EU governance studies. Although these studies might not explicitly delve into the EU’s politico-strategic role, when combined with the broader framework of International Relations (IR), they imply the EU’s effective progression, at least relatively, as a defence actor. However, a closer analysis of certain key developments and transatlantic dynamics suggests a persistent lack in the political and strategic dimensions of EU defence policy. This disparity arises when IR concepts are tailored to fit the EU context in integration studies.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and Liability in Medicine: The Case of Assistive-Diagnostic AI<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>As the prevalence of assistive-diagnostic artificial intelligence (AI) grows, so too will the legal controversies surrounding its use continue to grow. Consequently, determining liability in cases where patients experience harm due to the use of assistive-diagnostic AI in personal healthcare services requires a re-evaluation of existing civil liability regulations. This article proposes a framework for addressing liability in these situations by exploring medical malpractice, organisational negligence by healthcare institutions, and producer liability.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Leader as an Asset of Soft Power: The Ratings of National Leaders and their Countries Abroad<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The original concept of soft power embraced the belief that culture, values and foreign policy practice are the basic resources upon which this type power is based. This article argues that popular national leaders can also – maybe even more so – be treated as soft power resources as their popularity and trustworthiness go hand in hand with the positive public opinion about their countries abroad. This hypothesis is tested against survey data collected from all over the globe by the U.S.-based polling institute Pew Research Center over the last two decades. The data shows a strong positive correlation between the public confidence in a leader and the view of their country abroad in almost every case that was examined. The view of a country among foreign audiences often changes with the change of its top leadership. The results of this reseach cast doubt on whether national culture and values rather than national leaders are the preeminent source of soft power of any given country in international politics.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue