Lithuania urged to implement ECHR rulings on sex change and ousted president

European Court of Human Rights
Reuters/Scanpix

“In this respect, it is extremely important for all state institutions concerned to focus their efforts on efficient and high-quality drafting and implementation of new legislative initiatives in connection to the ECHR rulings in cases of L. vs. Lithuania and Paksas vs. Lithuania,” Bubnytė said in the report, which the government should discuss at its meeting on Monday.

The Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers, which monitors the implementation of Strasbourg rulings, last year criticized Lithuania for the continued sex change ban and called for adoption of Constitutional amendments that would allow Paksas to run for parliament.

Due to lengthy refusal to implement the decisions in the two cases, Lithuania was subjected to the so-called “enhanced supervision procedure”.

Lithuania’s Civil Code, adopted more than a decade ago, does allow sex change, but the provision is ineffective, as the parliament has failed to adopt further legislation that would regulate such procedure. Lithuania lost a case at the European Court of Human Rights because of this back in 2007.

The Strasbourg court ruled back in 2011 that Lithuania’s life-long ban for Paksas to run for parliament violated his rights. He was impeached as president in 2004 for gross violation of the constitution, after which the Constitutional Court ruled that he could not run for any post that would require giving an oath.

In the report, Bubnytė also noted that the court’s key findings should be translated into the Lithuanian language. The Cabinet of ministers will Monday instruct a special task force to look into the possibility.

Last year, the European Court of Human Rights received fewer petitions against Lithuania, as compared with 2013. Some 387 petitions were filed in 2014, down from 428 the year before, the Justice Ministry said.

Out of the five cases involving Lithuania, the court found convention violations in three.

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