Ordinary courts. Introduction
In Lithuania, there are 56 courts of general jurisdiction:
- The Supreme Court of Lithuania (Lietuvos Aukščiausiasis Teismas),
- The Court of Appeal of Lithuania (Lietuvos apeliacinis teismas),
- 5 regional courts (apygardos teismai),
- 49 district courts (apylinkės teismai).
The Supreme Court of Lithuania
The Supreme Court of Lithuania is the only court of cassation (last resort) for reviewing effective judgments, decisions, rulings and orders of the courts of general jurisdiction.
The court has developed a uniform court practice for the interpretation and application of laws and other legal acts.
You can find more information on the website of the Supreme Court.
The Court of Appeal of Lithuania
The Court of Appeal offers the right to appeal against judgments of the regional courts (as courts of first instance). It also hears requests regarding the recognition of decisions of foreign or international courts and foreign or international arbitration awards and their enforcement in the Republic of Lithuania. It performs other functions assigned to its jurisdiction by law.
The chair of the Court of Appeal organises and supervises the administrative activities of the district courts and their judges, in accordance with the procedure prescribed by law.
You can find more information on the website of the Court of Appeal.
A regional court is a court of first instance for criminal and civil cases assigned to its jurisdiction by law. It also hears appeals against judgments, decisions, rulings and orders of the district courts.
The chair of a regional court organises and supervises the administrative activities of the district courts and their judges within the jurisdiction of the court, in accordance with the procedure prescribed by law.
The following types of civil cases are heard solely by Vilnius District Court as the court of first instance (Article 28 of the Lithuanian Code of Civil Procedure):
- cases involving disputes under the Lithuanian Patent Act;
- cases involving disputes under the Lithuanian Trademark Act;
- cases relating to adoption involving applications by foreign nationals to adopt a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania who is resident in Lithuania or in a foreign state;
- other civil cases which are heard solely by Vilnius District Court as the court of first instance under applicable law.
A district court is the court of first instance for the following types of cases:
- criminal cases,
- civil cases,
- cases involving administrative offences (assigned to its jurisdiction by law),
- cases assigned to the jurisdiction of mortgage judges,
- cases relating to the enforcement of decisions and sentences.
In addition to other functions assigned to a district court by law, a district court judge also performs the functions of a pre-trial judge and an enforcement judge.
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