|Abstract: ||2006 m. kovo 28 d. Lietuvos Respublikos Konstitucinis Teismas priėmė nutarimą, kuriame pasisakė, kad tokios pat (analogiškos) bylos turi būti sprendžiamos taip pat, t.y. jos turi būti sprendžiamos ne sukuriant naujus teismo precedentus, konkuruojančius su esamais, bet paisant jau įtvirtintų. Šiame nutarime suformuluoti teiginiai turėjo įtakos visai Lietuvos teismų sistemai, nes teismai turi atsižvelgti ne tik į įstatymą, bet ir į anksčiau buvusius analogiškus teismų priimtus sprendimus panašaus pobūdžio bylose.
Priimant teismo nutartis atsiranda poreikis akcentuoti teisinės sistemos teisingumą ir priimti sprendimus, kurie patenkintų teismo subjektų poreikius. Todėl teismo procese vis didesnę reikšmę įgauna vienodų teismo sprendimų priėmimas nagrinėjant panašaus pobūdžio bylas. Tačiau Lietuvoje teisminis precedentas nebuvo taikomas kaip kitose Europos valstybėse, todėl teisminio precedento taikymas Lietuvoje neseniai pradėtas, kas turi įtakos šio elemento privalumo taikymo analizei.
Šio darbo tikslas - išanalizavus teismo precedento esmę ir veikimą, aptarti teisminio precedento ryšį su pamatiniais teisės principais, precedento taikymo galimybes Lietuvoje po LR Konstitucinio teismo 2006 m. kovo 28 d. nutarimo, pagrindžiant teismų praktikos pavyzdžiais.
Siekiant tikslo buvo keliami šie uždaviniai: pateikti teisės šaltinio sampratą ir aptarti teisės šaltinio istorinę raidą; išanalizuoti teisminio precedento apibrėžtį ir aptarti jo istorinę raidą; išsiaiškinti stare decisis doktrinos esmę ir jos taikymo teismo procesuose ypatumus; įvertinti LR Konstitucinio teismo nutarimus dėl teismo precedento pripažinimo ir taikymo Lietuvos teisinėje sistemoje; išanalizuoti teismų patirtį dėl teisminio precedento taikymo priimant teismines nutartis.
Darbe taikyti šie tyrimo metodai: mokslinės literatūros analizė, dokumentų analizė, sisteminimas, lyginimas, apibendrinimas, interviu, turinio analizė.
Tyrime kelta hipotezė, kad teismo precedentas padarė įtaką dabartinei teisės šaltinių sistemai Lietuvoje. Ši hipotezė pasitvirtino, nes atlikta teismų praktikos analizė parodė, kad Lietuvoje yra vadovaujamasi teismo precedentu ir siekiama pritaikyti panašaus pobūdžio bylose.|
On March 28, 2006 The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania adopted a resolution, which urged that the same (analogous) cases must be addressed the same, i.e., they must be solved not by creating new precedents of the Court, competing with the existing ones, but respecting the already enshrined. Claims formulated in this decree affected the entire judicial system in Lithuania, because the courts must take into account not only the law, but also the decisions taken by the courts in the past in cases of a similar nature.
While making an official court decision there is a need to put emphasis on the rightfulness of legal system and to make decisions which meet the needs of operators of the Court. Therefore, in the process of court making identical court decisions while hearing very similar cases is more and more significant. In Lithuania, however, judicial precedent did not apply the same as in other European countries; therefore the application of judicial precedent in Lithuania launched recently and has an effect on analysis of merit of this element.
The purpose of this work is after analyzing the essence and functioning of court precedent to discuss the relation of precedent with fundamental principles of law, the option of applying the precedent in Lithuania after LR Constitutional court decision made on March 28th 2006 giving examples of court practice.
The aim was to meet the following objectives: to provide the source of the concept of law and discuss the historical evolution of the source of law; to complete an analysis of the definition of judicial precedent and to discuss its historical development; to find out the essence of stare decisis doctrine and its application characteristics in judicial proceedings; to asses LR constitutional court rulings concerning the acceptance of court precedent and application of it in Lithuanian court system; to analyze the experience of the courts on the application of judicial precedent while making court rulings.
These research methods were used in this work: analysis of scientific literature, document analysis, structuring, summarizing, comparison, interviews and content analysis.
The hypothesis raised in this research was that court precedent had an effect on current law sources system in Lithuania. This hypothesis was confirmed, because after completing court practice analysis it was seen that in Lithuania while ruling court cases of similar nature the rulings are based on court precedent.
After completing the analysis of court precedent and experience in Lithuania these conclusions have been made:
1. The definition of source of law in legal and scientific literature is ambiguous, however essentially it is understood that the source of law is reasoned, limited act of law, based on which the public problems are dealt with. It is mandatory to obey the decisions made on the basis of sources of law. In today's Lithuania a solid legislative framework exists. It consists of Constitution of Lithuania, the highest degree of law and the foundation of the entire law system, including all not contradictory laws, international contracts and other acts of law. Legislations adopted by Parliament of Republic of Lithuania, President of Republic of Lithuania decrees, the Government of Republic of Lithuania rulings, ministers, the Government institutions, directors of other institutions ruled by the state and collegial institutions regulatory acts of law and others). It should be noted that there is no valid act of law or enactment contradicting the Constitution. There is no globally accepted definition of source of law. In scientific literature, source of law is perceived as an official way of representing and introducing legislations. It is a choice by every individual country to decide what form of source of law should be used (only laws, customs of law, principles, norms, precedents, etc.). The biggest influence on this is the court system, on the basis of which a specific countries law is formulated, civil law or traditions of general law.
2. Precedent can be described as the application of the previously formulated rules for subsequent decisions of the Court in cases of a similar nature. But it must be noted that not all countries have formed a precedent of the Court as the source of the concept of source of law and it is not considered to be the primary source of law. There are requirements raised for the court precedent: obligatory existence of factual circumstances and court proceedings. Therefore according to the definition given in scientific literature it can be stated that based on common features it is evaluated as a rule created in practice, which is applied when dealing with later occasions and to base a ruling on. The birthplace of court precedent is England, where the acceptance of court precedent is being highlighted for many years and is considered as a primary source of law in modern law practice, which grants the court precedent a special place in the hierarchy of sources of law. Lithuanian court precedent was not accepted as an essential source of law because laws of other countries did not allow the reception.
3. The application of court precedent doctrine stare decisis principle in court practice gives an impression that a court ruling is repeating previous court rulings, However, there is always an option to apply this principle while considering other circumstances, which can have an effect on making a court decision.
4. Analysis of court practice revealed that in the practice of Supreme Court of Lithuania one has to be careful while relying on court precedents. The power of precedent is only given to previous court rulings that were created in analogous cases which factual circumstances are identical or very similar to the factual circumstances that are found in cases where the precedent was created and cases in which the same law was applied as in the case in which the precedent was created. It is also necessary to pay attention to other important circumstances: the time of precedent creation, precedent reflects the court practice that is already formed or it is an isolated occasion; persuasiveness of argumentation of a precedent; economic, social and other important changes that occurred after accepting specific court ruling which had importance on the precedent. It is also obligatory to follow basic criteria of justice, reasonableness and honesty.
5. The doctrine established by Lithuanian Constitutional court is important because with this ruling court practice uniformity and predictability principles were established because it shows that the state, which court system can be evaluated as systematic and stable, its rulings are based on analogous decisions it can strongly be held as a state of law, in which principles of justice and rights equality are being respected, established in the main law of the state Constitution. It is important to note that, according to the stare decisis principle acceptance of analogous decisions is ensured which ensures effectiveness of legislation.