A victory over ‘Viktorija’ – Viktoria’s name accepted in court

Article 2.20 part 1 of the Civil Code of Lithuania establishes that every person has the right to a name. It includes the right to have a surname, first name(s), and a pseudonym.  However, as has been already established several times before, the existing legal framework is not sufficient to meet the rights and needs…

European Foundation of Human Rights draws attention to the funding of minority media

In 2020 January 15th there was information published online that the Press, Radio and Television Sponsorship Foundation (hereafter – the Foundation) tendered allocation of 2020 state support for designing public information providers. As stated on the Foundation’s website, 439 applications were submitted for the competition. The amount requested for assistance from the Foundation was €…

10 Cases of Hate Crime in Lithuania in 2019 submitted to ODIHR

A total of ten hate-driven incidents appeared in a report compiled by the European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) for the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). The list comprises key information about those hate crimes that were committed in Lithuania in 2019 and were reported in the public media. Due to…

Vilnius City District Court Allows for Original Spelling of Malgorzata

Article 2.20 part 1 of the Civil Code of Lithuania establishes that every person has the right to a name. Also, it includes the right to have a surname, first name (s) and a pseudonym.  However, the existing legal framework is not sufficient to meet the rights and needs of the individuals. This conclusion was…

Regional Court Dismisses Appeal in Hate Crime Case

On 14th October 2019, Vilnius Regional Court dismissed E. Lukašavičius’ appeal in the case of violence against an Ecuadorian national, Fabian Sanchez. Earlier this year, E. Lukašavičius and J. Malinovski were found guilty of causing a public nuisance and inciting hatred towards a person of other nationality after they physically attacked Mr Sanchez. During the…

EFHR publishes translations of the CERD recommendations

May 10, 2019, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has issued its Concluding observations on the combined 9th and 10th periodic reports of Lithuania (concluding observations). The document opens with positive changes in Lithuanian legal and policy frameworks, in particular, the accreditation of the Seimas Ombudsman’s Office, adoption of three action plans (integration…

Court: Existing legal regulation is not sufficient to guarantee the rights of individuals

On April 12, 2019 Panevėžys District Court has decided that the civil status record may contain a surname with the letter “x”. In 2018 the applicant married a Belgian national and chose the spouse’s name. However, when registering a marriage in Lithuania, Panevėžys Registrar’s Office did not satisfy the applicant’s request to enter her surname…

The CERD Alternative Report was submitted by EFHR and LCHR

The European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) and the Lithuanian Centre for Human Rights (LCHR) have submitted their Alternative Report for the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) was ratified by Lithuania in 1998. This “shadow report” aims to provide alternative…

Is the slogan “Lithuania for Lithuanians” – a hate crime?

April 9, 2019, the District Court of Vilnius City issued a judgment in the case, which became a cause célèbre and concerned a hate crime committed against Fabian Sanchez, a citizen of Ecuador. The Court found J.Malinovski and E.Lukasevicius guilty of causing a public nuisance under the rule of Article 284 of the Criminal Code of Republic of Lithuania (Criminal Code) and…

First court decision in Klaipeda: Letter ‘W’ allowed

On the 3rd of April this year Klaipeda District Court issued a decision about the original spelling of a letter „w“ in a marriage certificate. Whereas the European Foundation of Human Rights has won over 40 cases in Lithuanian courts, it is the first court ruling in Klaipeda. In 2018 applicant got married to a…

The „w” letter wins again

On March 15 this year Vilnius District Court made a decision to allow spelling of the surname of a Lithuanian citizen with „w” letter in the marriage certificate. The case concerned the wife of a journalist of Radio Znad Wilii and Polish Radio Kamil Zalewski. The Court stated, that the applicant lives with her husband…

Signs of gender discrimination still appear in job offers

European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) constantly monitors job advertisements online and together with the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman’s Office have been fighting against discriminatory job offers. Unfortunately, no positive changes have been noted – still some of the employers discriminate on the basis of gender or age, which significantly decreases potential candidates’ chances for employment.…

Courts still close loopholes caused by legislature

In 2014, the Constitutional Court noted that in some cases non-Lithuanian names and surnames can be registered not only by means of Lithuanian language characters but also by using characters of the Latin alphabet. Nevertheless, the current legislation states that in the official documents of citizens of Lithuania names and surnames are to be spelled…

Beginning of 2019 with Another ‘W’ in Marriage Certificate

On the 8th of January this year, the District Court of Vilnius City issued a decision regarding the original spelling of names and surnames. Judita Zavadzka, the Applicant, who at the beginning of 2018 has married Polish citizen, has turned to the Court after rejection from The Vilnius Registrar’s Office regarding the change of the…

Courts decision: “x” eligible for marriage certificate

On 8th of December 2018 District Court of Vilnius City issued a decision regarding the original spelling of names and surnames. The Applicant married a citizen of Lichtenstein and took his surname “Marxer”. However, The Vilnius Registrar’s Office (USC) rejected the addition of the surname with “x” to the records. In the decision, the Court…

Decision by the french court on the original spelling of personal names

An appeals court in Brittany (France) ruled that personal identification documents may contain the name Fañch’s original spelling – with the symbol ñ, overturning an earlier decision that the name could not be officially registered because the letter did not exist in French. Although the Breton language has no status of an official language, while…

Court decided – “Jacquet” instead of “Žakė”

After examining the case of the records of surnames of a children with dual citizenship in the records of civil status, Vilnius city District Court has decided to oblige the Civil Registry Office to change the surnames of children from “Žakė” to its original surname “Jacquet”, and to issue a birth certificate. In the French…