rss_2.0Baltic Journal of Law & Politics FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Baltic Journal of Law & Politics Journal of Law & Politics Feed Parody Protection in the European Union: CDSM Directive and DSA Regulation Perspective<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This research aims to evaluate the CDSM Directive and DSA regulation effectiveness in protecting the EU copyright exception for parody, caricature, and pastiche set in Article 5 (3)(k) of the InfoSoc Directive and capture quintessential issues of the regulation that make the conditions for potentially reduced ability to disseminate creative parody content in the online content-sharing service platforms in the EU. The subject of this paper is the complex relationship between algorithmic content recognition tools and creative parody content qualification. Based on EU copyright law doctrinal consensus, a legislative move to introduce liability for copyright-infringing content to online content-sharing service providers induces algorithmic content moderation on digital platforms. The triangular challenge to balance EU copyright and exception protection without disrupting the online content-sharing service leads to algorithmic recognition-based parody recognition solutions.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue the West? Domestic Contestation in Bulgarian Foreign Policy From 2014 to 2022<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article addresses the evolution of Bulgarian foreign policy since the start of the Russian Ukrainian crisis of 2014 until 2022 through the prism of domestic contestation of foreign policy choices and decisions. The article reviews four key votes that took place during the period that related to NATO decisions and EU-related decisions towards the situation in Ukraine. This article raises three central questions. First: to what extent were Bulgarian foreign policy decisions related to NATO and the EU increasingly contested and politicized in domestic politics? Second: what is the impact of domestic political dynamics in terms of fragmentation, coalition building and role of smaller fringe extreme right political parties on the growing politicization and contestation of Bulgarian foreign policy towards NATO and the EU? Third: to what extent might such politicization and contestation question Bulgaria’s commitments to both NATO and the EU?</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue on the Basis of Personal Data in Employment: The Case Study of Lithuania<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article examines what kind of personal data disclosure may make it difficult to get employed and what kind of excessive (unlawful) data is collected when selecting candidates in Lithuania. The analysis reveals that there have been a number of justified complaints regarding the selection of employees via recruitment platforms and the provided application forms that specifically requested an excessive amount of information, or situations in which the conditions indicated in job listings were adapted to a specific circle of people, thus eliminating other potential candidates, such as persons of pre-retirement age, young families, persons with children, persons of a particular gender and similar groups of people. The purpose of this article is to identify methods of unlawful collection of personal data, as well as the types of requested personal data, the origin of which may lead to discrimination during the recruitment process in Lithuania. The article analyses the legality of documents requested from candidates, data collected from them by filling out application forms and providing preliminary or additional information during job interviews, or information gathered from former employers or social networks.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and Vulnerabilities Related to Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine: The Emergence of a New Club of Nato and EU Members<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Тhis article compares and contrasts macro- and micro-foundational explanations about disinformation and resilience in Europe as a result of Russia’s war in Ukraine. It presents micro-level data about the shifting public opinion in Europe after Russia’s invasion in Ukraine on Feb 24, 2022 on the topics of NATO and EU support and favorability, sympathy for Ukraine and condemnation of Russia, including support for sanctions against Moscow (Pew Research Center 2021, 2022). The study compares and contrasts traditional macro-level analytical frameworks such as deterrence, institutionalization and adaptation. I argue that a combination of macro- (or institutional) and micro-level factors (associated with the idiosyncrasies of the domestic public opinion) best explain the shifting attitudes since the beginning of the War in Ukraine. Against the backdrop of NATO and the EU’s increased resilience, a new group or sub-club of “vulnerable” allies has emerged among some central and east European nations. The article evaluates different constraints and vulnerabilities and makes recommendations how to reduce misinformation and contestation in these states.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue’s Containment Strategy during Biden’s Presidency and its Implications for the Baltic States: Old Wine in New Bottles?<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>When Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, many experts claimed that in Europe there has not been such an assault on the principles of state sovereignty and territorial integrity since the end of Cold War.“ Moreover, politicians and researchers urged the U.S. to apply a containment strategy towards Russia once again. Meanwhile, the U.S. president Joe Biden made it clear that the U.S. was moving toward Russia’s containment 2.0: he called Putin’s actions “a naked aggression” and vowed to make Russia pay “economically and strategically.” The article examines Russia‘s containment strategy in Biden‘s administration foreign policy and its implications to the Baltic states. What vision about Russia’s containment strategy does the Biden administration have in terms of goals, instruments, and challenges? How does the administration implement its plans? Has the containment strategy been transformed and adapted to the new circumstances of the 21<sup>st</sup> century? What role does the Biden administration foresee for the Baltic States in Russia’s containment strategy? What risks and opportunities does this idea present for the Baltic States? These are the questions that the article addresses.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Rights-Based Approach to Sanitation: An Analysis with a Particular Focus on a Lithuanian Perspective<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The article analyses the human rights-based approach to sanitation from theoretical and practical perspectives. The first section of the article briefly introduces the path toward a recognition of sanitation as a human right within the international legal framework. In the second section, emphasis is given to the content of the human right of sanitation. The third section examines the state obligations implied by this right. The fourth section focuses on Lithuania and seeks to analyse whether and how the rights-based approach to sanitation is reflected in the Lithuanian legal system.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of Criminal Intelligence: An Evaluation of the Lithuanian Situation in Light of International Practice<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article analyses problems arising in the field of control of criminal intelligence. In order to prevent human rights violations, each state must have a well-functioning mechanism in place to control criminal intelligence actions. The article analyses the activities of the entities responsible for the legality of criminal intelligence activities and, taking into account international practice, reveals the gaps in the legal regulation in Lithuania and the shortcomings in the activities of the institutions responsible for controlling criminal intelligence. Prosecutors, while participating in the process of sanctioning criminal intelligence actions, also examine complaints against these actions, which not only leads to a biased control, but also, as the study has shown, contradicts the case law of the ECtHR. The article also analyses the problems related to the freedom of criminal intelligence entities to choose the court that will hear their applications. The study concludes that the current situation, which restricts a person’s access to information about criminal intelligence actions against him/her, is incompatible with international practice and violates the human right to judicial protection. The article provides suggestions for establishing a specialised independent criminal intelligence control institution in Lithuania.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Workplace Violence Against Older People in Lithuania<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Changes in regulation and legislation place an obligation on employers to provide proper and safe working conditions for employees. In this context, it is important to determine if psychological violence prevention efforts are actually effective and whether the more vulnerable employees, older workers, are exercising their rights to defend themselves against the psychological violence they experience without fear of losing their jobs. This article presents theoretical and empirical data which sheds light on the nature of the psychological violence experienced by older people, the positions of people who exercise psychological violence in the employer’s organization, and the prevalence of, reasons behind, and forms and consequences of this psychological violence. The study behind this article was conducted by giving questionnaires to employers and employee representatives – i.e. trade unions – with identical questions. The responses of employers and employee representatives on the topic of psychological violence experienced by older workers are fundamentally different, which means that there is not enough social dialogue in this area between employees and employers.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Determinants and Impact of Possible Russian Influence in the Western Balkan Countries<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>For Russia, the Western Balkan region holds significant historical, cultural, and religious ties, and while from a historical point of view the Western Balkans represents an area where Russia tries to be a long-time actor, the relationship between Moscow and Western Balkan states also depends on international factors such as EU integration. Additionally, this relationship is further impacted by current international crises. The objective of this article is to confirm the rise of Russian influence in the Western Balkan countries, and to determine how and to what extent it has impacted the region. For this purpose, a qualitative analysis is conducted with secondary data from many sources, including reports and policy events; the analysis also includes a rhetorical review of public appearances by the political leadership of the Western Balkan countries. First, we consider Russia’s pro-active approach manifested through its economic involvement in the region, and second the reactive approach of the Western Balkan countries due to their disillusionment with the EU, and the Covid-19 pandemic. Further, we argue that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a strong catalyst, as it directly affects the relationship of the Western Balkan countries with Russia, the EU, and vice versa.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of Court Decisions: Are Restrictions on the Right to Information in “Accordance with the Law”?<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>In Lithuania rules for the anonymization of court decisions were introduced in 2005. These rules require automatic anonymization of all court decisions, which in the opinion of the authors violates the public interest to know and freedom of expression is unjustifiably restricted on behalf of the right to privacy. This issue covers two diametrically opposed human rights: the right to privacy and the right to information. The first question is how the balance between two equivalent rights could be reached. The second question is whether this regulation is in accordance with the law as it is established in the national Constitution and revealed by the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania and developed by the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights. The authors conclude that the legislator is not empowered to delegate to the Judicial Council issues which are a matter of legal regulation and suggest possible solutions evaluating practice of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Court of Human Rights, and selected EU countries.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue Policy Challenges under Conditions of Hybrid War: Some Issues and Solutions from Ukraine<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>This article studies the specifics of national criminal policy implementation under the influence of extraordinary geopolitical factors on it. Such policy will be reviewed with Ukraine serving as an appropriate example. This country has been recently forced to adjust its own ways of implementation of the state policy against crime based on atypical modern challenges and threats. This refers to the special nature of a hybrid war, which has been actively fought on the territory of Ukraine since 2014. The author examines two key areas of criminal policy (definition of the limits of criminal behavior and establishing criminal law consequences of the committed offenses), implemented under the extraordinary circumstances of hybrid war. Symptomatic features of the hybrid form of foreign aggression are defined in the piece. At the same time, options of criminal law in combating and preventing such aggression are researched.</p><p>Special focus is placed on new acts that have been criminalized as well as those that might need further criminalization. Attention is paid to the issues of criminal law protection of national and historical memory, and to the concept of journalism related crimes. The importance of amnesty as an effective tool to resolve conflicts between individual and state is also emphasized in the article.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue Dilemmas of the Biological versus Social Father: The Case of Estonia<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>The current understandings and practices related to biological and social fatherhood raise a crucial legal question about which model of fatherhood determination should be adapted to contemporary society: the model of a biological or social father bearing the rights and obligations related to the child. The general ideologies of being a father and the application of different approaches have been analysed comparatively, also trying to provide the best legal policy to consider when interpreting the rules of parenthood in Estonian Family Law Act and the Estonian legal practice. The paper considers the emerging legal concept of social fatherhood to be an inevitable prerequisite for protection of the interest of the child.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue and Circumstances which Lead to Application to the Court of Justice of the European Union and Adoption of a Preliminary Ruling<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>This article deals with the issues concerning the communication between the national courts of the European Union Member States and the Court of Justice of the European Union via the preliminary ruling procedure. The doctrines of <italic>acte clair</italic> and <italic>acte éclairé</italic> are described briefly in the article. The authors explicitly investigate the national court’s right to apply to the Court of Justice of the European Union and the obligation to apply to the Court of Justice of the European Union for a preliminary ruling. The recent tendencies in the jurisprudence of the national courts of the Republic of Lithuania while applying for preliminary rulings are revealed.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue’s Purposive Interpretation in Law as a Pattern of Constitutional Interpretative Fidelity<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>Political jurisprudence points out that constitutional court judges sometimes act like political actors, and that their decisions are a function of strategic and ideological as much as legal considerations. Consequently, the proper role of the courts, notably in exercising their review of constitutionality, has been one of the most debated issues in modern political and legal theory. Part of the controversy is also how to measure the interpretative fidelity of judges to the constitutional texts, or conversely, the level of their political engagement. This paper argues for the reconsideration of Aharon Barak’s <italic>Purposive Interpretation in Law</italic> in that light. Barak’s work was intended to provide, in the first place, judges and other lawyers with a sort of judicial philosophy – a holistic system of legal reasoning, applying both to the interpretation of will, contract, statute and constitution. Nevertheless, these conventions of legal reasoning, modified and readapted, could well be used also as heuristic tools by the academics in measuring the interpretative fidelity of judges to various sources of law. Accordingly, this paper clings closely to the presentation of Barak’s precepts for the purposive interpretation of constitutions, by focusing on the notions of subjective and objective purpose in interpreting constitutions, and how the potential conflicts between these purposes are resolved.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue as a Value (RE)Construction of the Legal Norm<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>In the context of a normative concretisation of the statute, the term “statute” is not synonymous with the law that can be repeated in light of a concrete case. In this context, the interpreter is the one who (1) “reconstructs” the possibilities contained in the statute, (2) articulates more precisely the contents of these possibilities, and (3) chooses the combination of possibilities that corresponds most closely to the legally relevant features of the life case (which also must be interpreted). Thus the interpreter’s productivity consists in recognizing a legal provision as referring to a <italic>type</italic> of conduct − for example, as recognizing that the statutory signs “exceeding the speed limit” refer to, <italic>inter alia</italic>, a type of behaviour known as driving a car too fast through a town. Moreover, the decision-maker has decided the case just <italic>this</italic> way, which means it is the decision-maker and not the “statutory text” that has excluded the possibility of any other legal solution (e. g. of driving too fast in a state of emergency). The statute refers to cases that will only occur in the future and are at the present moment, in a more or less defined way, envisaged by the legislator. Irrespective of the extent and intensiveness of the envisaging, the interpretation must remain true to the core meaning of the norm and to the semantic possibilities of the statute text.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue Auditors at Fault for the Collapse of Financial Institutions in Lithuania?<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>The experience of the global financial crisis revealed that while many financial institutions were allowed to take excessive risks, the auditors failed in their duties to reasonably evaluate those risks as well as to inform the investing public about them. The issues of statutory auditors' liability and their public role are particularly relevant in Lithuania, considering the fact that over just the past few years the third and the fourth largest banks in Lithuania turned out to be insolvent. Analysis of legal actions against auditors of these banks highlighted certain shortcomings in the audit market and auditors' liability regulation, related to the quality and transparency of audit reports, auditors' accountability and independence requirements, and insurance of auditors’ liability.</p><p>In the first part of the paper the case analysis of Ernst &amp; Young Baltic’s responsibility for Snoras bankruptcy as well as Deloitte’s responsibility for Ūkio bankas’ insolvency, and discussion of the cases, are presented. The second part of the paper deals with the changes in regulation of the audit market in Lithuania and Europe, and issues left outside the reform.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue Critical Look at the Subjective and Objective Purposes of Contract in Aharon Barak’s Theory of Interpretation<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>Sometimes parties to a contract agree on the wording of the contract, but disagree about its meaning. In such cases, the goal of purposive interpretation is to identify a legal meaning, within the limits of the language actually used, which best achieves the purpose of the contract in question. This paper presents the main features of Justice Aharon Barak’s theory of purposive interpretation of contracts, and examines his notions of subjective and objective purposes. Barak’s theory demands, at some point along the process of interpretation, that the judge determine the actual joint intent of the parties, as it was at the time of their entering into the contract, and in the situation where the parties themselves disagree over it. This requires a posterior inquiry into the true state of mind of other persons. The past intentions of others are regarded as historical-subjective psycho-biological facts. The author questions what goes on behind this subjective rhetoric, starting from the presumption that the inner reality of another person’s will, i.e. their past or present intentions, cannot be learned as a physical reality, but only as a socially constructed fact. Furthermore, the author examines the seemingly unwanted merging of Barak’s subjective purpose of contract with his objective purposes of contract at the lower levels of abstraction.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue of Evidence in the European Union: Challenges for the European Investigation Order<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>The issue of international cooperation in criminal matters has interested legal theorists and practitioners for decades. In this area of law there are certain challenges that can only be tackled by using the joint efforts of the States, which is different from the national law of the States. For this reason, certain principles of law are specific for international cooperation, and on the basis of these principles States provide legal assistance requests to each other or else create preconditions to ensure the efficient and unimpeded criminal proceedings. It is true that the principles of mutual legal assistance and recognition, and the influence of their alternation are not identical to all segments of international cooperation, including the development of the evidence law in the European Union.</p><p>With regard to the evidence and their admissibility in Member States of the European Union, it should be noted that this issue is still relevant, because the biggest concern of some Member States is the admissibility of evidence, when evidence is collected in one State and the admissibility of them is assessed in the other State. It would seem like a more formalized “concern”, but basically it is a quite significant impulse for searching of new legal instruments in the European Union, which would be able not only ensure the acceptability (admissibility) of evidence that was collected in the foreign State in accordance with the relevant procedural form, and in the court of the State which obtained this evidence, but also the sovereignty of the State, the authenticity of the national law, and the respect for the legal culture and traditions of this State.</p><p>The authors discuss the development of the law of evidence, the separate legal segments of this law, and their strengths and weaknesses in the article. Despite the fact that the effective mechanisms of evidence movement among Member States appear in modern European Union criminal justice, the latest legal instruments lack the clarity and certainty of certain procedural legal guarantees in the context of human rights protection.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue Migration Crisis: Positions, Polarization and Conflict Management of Slovak Political Parties<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>This paper studies the different positions and the polarization among Slovak political elites due to the European migration crisis and the Union´s migration policy. The inability of collective action at the supranational level is first grounded at the national level. From this basis, the authors differentiate the various standpoints of the selected political leaders and parties towards the current migration wave. Based on this cleavage, we seek to demonstrate the patterns of modern day political party leadership in Slovakia and, secondly, to compare the political response and agendas across the Slovak party system.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue as a Factor in Senior Civil Service Reform: Opinions and Attitudes of Senior Executives in Lithuania<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>This article analyses the contextual factors and their impact on the planned creation of senior civil service (henceforth, SCS) within the Lithuanian civil service system since 2008. Based on a survey of Lithuanian senior executives’ conducted in 2014 and qualitative semi-structured interviews, the aim of this article is to reveal and explain incentives and obstacles of SCS reform in Lithuania. Empirical research data clarifies attitudes of senior civil servants and their role perceptions. Senior executives’ attitudes towards the establishment of the SCS system were clearly positive. However, the research data reveals that supportive attitudes depend on the perception of the roles of senior executives. Senior civil servants who perceived themselves firstly as actors in policy formation and policy implementers were much more favourable towards the creation of SCS than senior civil servants with other role identities.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue