With 96 votes in favor and 3 abstentions, Lithuania’s parliament adopted the draft Law on the Ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on Access to Official Documents, the office of the Seimas said in a press release, reports ELTA. By adopting this law, Lithuania ratifies the Council of Europe Convention on Access to Official Documents signed in Tromso, Norway, on June 18, 2009. The Convention is the first international treaty to recognize the universal right to access official documents that are at the disposal of public institutions. As highlighted in the explanatory note to the draft law, the right of persons to access official documents is already stipulated in Lithuanian legislation. By ratifying the Convention, Lithuania contributes to the attempts of the international community to determine common standards on the implementation of the right of persons to access official documents and on the application of the information transparency principle.
The Ministry of Justice prepared amendments to the Republic of Lithuania Criminal Code (the CC) suggesting sthe imposition of criminal sanctions for cases of piracy and instigating riots, reports ELTA. The Seimas has already ratified the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which defines piracy. However, not all the actions are punishable according to Lithuanian CC. Therefore, the Convention has not been fully and properly implemented. Lithuania is not always able to arrest and prosecute individuals suspected of piracy in the open sea or areas beyond national jurisdiction, said the Ministry of Justice on July 5. It is suggested that in order to coordinate the provisions, the most severe penalty - life imprisonment - can be imposed for those involved in piracy. The project also proposes to provision criminal proceedings for the instigation of rioting. It is suggested that such a crime should be punished by a fine, restriction of freedom, detention or imprisonment for up to two years.