Number of members:
15 judges, including the President and Vice President of Court (presently one judicial position is vacant).
Recruitment procedures and incompatibilities:
Judges of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania are appointed by the President of the Republic upon advice of the Judicial Council (highest self-governance institution of the judiciary) from among the persons entered into the register of persons seeking judicial promotion for a term until they reach 65 years of age.
When a judge of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania reaches the age of 65, his/her term of office may be extended by the President of the Republic until the age of 70.
The President and the Vice President of the Supreme Administrative Court are appointed by the President of the Republic of Lithuania upon advice of the Judicial Council from among the judges of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania for the term of six years. They may be re-appointed for another term once.
Criteria for the candidates:
General requirements for all judicial positions in Lithuania: nationality of the Republic of Lithuania, high moral character, university degree in law, health certificate, special examination (if the candidate is not exempted from examination according to the Law on Courts of the Republic of Lithuania).
Judge of at least four years standing as a judge of a regional administrative court or a regional court of general jurisdiction, judge of the Court of Appeals of Lithuania without regard to his record of work at the Court of Appeals, a person having Doctor or Habil. Doctor of Social Sciences (Law) degree and of at least eight years' standing as a university professor of law, prosecutor of the Office of the Prosecutor General of at least ten years' standing as a prosecutor as well as advocate of at least ten years' standing as an advocate who has submitted a health certificate may be appointed a judge of the Supreme Administrative Court.
The judge in Lithuania may not hold any other elective or appointed posts, work in business or any other private offices or enterprises, the only exception being teaching or creative activities. The judge may not participate in the activities of political parties and any other political organisations.
Cases at the Supreme Administrative Court are usually heard by a chamber of three justices. For hearing complex cases an expanded chamber of five justices may be formed on the initiative of the President of Court or on the recommendation of the chamber, or the case may be referred to the plenary session of the Court. Plenary session is deemed lawful where it is attended by at least two-thirds of the justices of the Court.
The apparatus of the Supreme Administrative Court is composed of President's Office,
assistants to judges, Department of Judicial Practice, Records Office, Division of Information and
Computer Technologies, Finance division and Economy division.
The Supreme Administrative Court periodically issues its bulletin under the title "Administraciniu teismu praktika" (Practice of Administrative Courts) publishing in it periodically the following:
1) decisions, orders and rulings rendered by the plenary session of the court, decisions handed down by a chamber of three judges or an extended chamber of five judges the publication whereof has been approved by the majority of judges of the Supreme Administrative Court as well as all decisions on lawfulness of regulatory administrative acts;
2) summary reviews of court practice in the application of laws and other legal acts in cases of separate categories and their interpretation in the form of recommendations;
3) other materials the publication of which has been approved by the majority of judges of the Supreme Administrative Court.
Presently the bulletin is issued twice a year.
The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania is the appellate and final instance for cases from decisions, rulings and orders of regional administrative courts as the courts of the first instance.
The Supreme Administrative Court is also the first and final instance for certain categories of
administrative cases assigned to its jurisdiction by law. It includes inter alia:
- cases relating to the lawfulness of regulatory administrative acts adopted by the central entities of
- cases relating to the complaints against the decisions or omission of the Central Electoral
Committee, with the exception of those assigned to the competence of the Constitutional Court.
The Supreme Administrative Court is also responsible for developing of uniform practice of
administrative courts in interpretation and application of laws.
Organisation of the courts system:
The system of administrative courts of Lithuania consists of 5 regional administrative courts and the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania. Regional administrative courts function as 1st instance courts, and the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania - as the appellate instance for cases from decisions, rulings and orders of regional administrative courts as well as the first and final instance for certain categories of administrative cases.
In administrative cases there is no cassation. Rulings of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania are final and not subject to appeal.
Powers of the judge:
Administrative courts consider complaints (applications) against administrative enactments adopted by the entities of public and internal administration and their acts or omission (i.e., neglect to perform their duties). They also hear petitions to review conformity of a regulatory administrative act (or part thereof) with the law or Government regulation.
Administrative courts do not hear cases assigned to the competence of the Constitutional Court, or cases assigned to the courts of general jurisdiction. Investigation of the activities of the President of the Republic, the Seimas (parliament), members of the Seimas, the Prime Minister, the Government (as a collegial body), procedural actions of judges, also of prosecutors, investigators, persons conducting an inquiry and bailiffs, connected with the administration of justice or investigation of a case as well as the execution of decisions are outside the remit of competence of administrative courts.
Upon hearing the case, the administrative court may adopt one of the following decisions:
1) to reject the complaint/petition as unfounded;
2) to meet the complaint/petition and revoke the contested act (part thereof) or to obligate the appropriate entity of administration to remedy the committed violation or carry out other orders of the court;
3) to meet the complaint/petition and to obligate the appropriate entity of municipal administration to accordingly implement the law, the Government resolution or another legal act
4) to meet the complaint and to settle the dispute in any other manner provided for by law;
5) to meet the complaint/petition and to award damages or redressing of a moral wrong caused to a natural person or an organisation by the unlawful acts or omission in the sphere of public administration performed by State or municipal institutions, agencies, services and their employees while discharging of their official functions.
A contested act (or a part thereof) may be annulled if it is:
1) illegal in essence, i.e., conflicting by its contents with legal acts of superior power
2) illegal by reason of being adopted by an entity of administration acting outside the remit of his competence;
3) illegal as it was adopted in violation of the basic procedures, especially the rules which were to ensure objective evaluation of all circumstances and validity of the decision.
4) on other grounds recognised as material by the administrative court.
The annulment of the contested act (action) shall signify restoration in a certain specific case of the status quo which existed before the making of the contested act (action), i.e., the claimant is granted restoration of the infringed rights or lawful interests, however the legal power of another legal act in effect before the annulled act shall not be restored per se.
Having heard the case on the petition for review of legality of a regulatory administrative act, the administrative court shall adopt one of the following decisions:
1) to recognise the legality of the contested regulatory administrative act (or a part thereof) and to reject the petition for the annulment thereof;
2) to recognise the contested regulatory administrative act (or a part thereof) as conflicting with the law or Government regulation and to deem it annulled.
A regulatory administrative act (or a part thereof) as a rule may not be applicable from the day of official announcement of the effective decision of the administrative court on the recognition of the relevant regulatory administrative act (a part thereof) as illegal. Having regard to the specific circumstances of the case and having assessed the possibility of negative legal consequences, the administrative court may establish in its decision that the annulled regulatory administrative act (or a part thereof) may not be applicable from the day of its adoption.
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