The amendments to the Law on Courts and the procedural law effective as of 1 July 2018 authorise, subject to a permission by the court, recording, broadcasting, photographing the announcement of the final judicial decision for public information, research and training purposes. To facilitate the use of the new procedure we are hereby providing answers to the seven most frequently asked questions.
1. How and when to submit an application to the court?
A person willing to film and record the announcement of a judicial decision for public information, research or training purposes must submit a request to the court hearing the case no later than five working days before the scheduled date of the announcement of the judicial decision, unless for objective reasons the person was unable to submit the request at the specified time.
The person’s request to issue an authorisation to film and record the announcement of the judicial decision is submitted in writing (at the court or by mail), or by electronic means: via the electronic services portal e.teismas.lt, fax or e-mail.
The form of the request for an authorisation to record the announcement of the judicial decision is available here.
The request submitted to the court shall be signed by the person submitting the request or his/her authorised representative. In case the request is submitted by a person’s representative, the documents supporting the right to represent the person.
In case the announcement of the judicial decision is scheduled within fewer than 5 (five) working days from the end of the proceedings on the subject, the request to the court shall be submitted as early as possible, but not later than within one working day preceding the scheduled decision announcement day.
2. What data are required to be submitted to the court when filing a request?
In order to obtain an authorisation from the court to make an audio or a video recording the announcement of the judicial decision, the request filed to the court shall contain the following data:
1) name and surname, or the name of a legal entity;
2) personal identity code;
3) place of residence (registered office, workplace), e-mail address, telephone and other contact information to receive the court's reply.
In case the applicant provides less data than previously indicated, the person shall indicate the reasons due to which the data cannot be provided.
In addition to the data referred to above the following shall be indicated:
1) the data about the case the announcement of whose decision the applicant seeks to record;
2) the purpose of using technical equipment (filming, photographing or audio recording devices) (as provided for under the law);
3) method of recording the announcement of the judicial decision (filming, photographing, direct broadcasting, etc.);
4) technical equipment intended to be used to record the announcement of the judicial decision, its type;
5) the data of the person who will be recording the announcement of the judicial decision or will participate in recording the announcement of the judicial decision (in case the person is different from the person requesting the court’s authorisation) (name, surname, personal identity number, contact data);
6) methods and terms for the use of the recordings made using the technical equipment (where and how the recordings are intended to be used);
7) whether the results of the use of the technical equipment will be used by other persons, and if so – their data (name and surname, or name of the legal entity, personal identity code, place of residence (registered office), e-mail address, telephone or other contact data).
The announcement of the judicial decision recorded y technical means can be used only by the person(-s), also by means, under the conditions and in the manner specified in the authorisation issued by the court.
3. How will the court inform about the examination of the request?
The person who has submitted a request to the court to issue an authorisation is informed about the results of its examination by electronic communication means, and in case that is not possible – at the contact data specified in the request within no later than 1 (one) working day to the scheduled judicial decision announcement day, except in the cases where the request to issue an authorisation is not subject to a five working days’ term.
4. In which cases the court may refuse to issue an authorisation to make audio or video recording?
Please note that the court does not allow using technical equipment when its use can interfere with the work of the court, demonstrate contempt to court, or is necessary in order to protect the rights or other interests protected by law of other persons.
Furthermore, when deciding regarding the issue of the authorisation the following is taken into account:
1) the importance of ensuring the public confidence in courts and the legal system;
2) the essence of the case and the relation to the objectives, methods and the terms for the recording of the announcement of the judicial decision and the use of its results indicated in the request to issue the authorisation;
3) the necessity to ensure secrecy of private and family life of the persons participating in the proceedings, the rights and the interests of minor persons, protection of the witnesses covered with anonymity, the information constituting state or official secrete, the right of personal portrayal, and the confidential information submitted by the persons participating in the proceedings;
4) the requrements of protection minors from factors producing detrimental effect upon their psychical or physical health, physical, mental, moral or spiritual development set forth in the Law on the Protection of Minors Against Detrimental Effect of Public Information and other legal acts;
5) human and state rights and legitimate interests protected by laws, moral values, the fundamentals of the rules of law, the requirements of public order and calm, respect to courts and other public authorities;
6) the information suggesting that the recorded results of the announcement of the judicial decision may be used not for the purpose of collecting or obtaining public infomation about the activity of court for public information, research and training purposes, but rather to offend, disdain, mock, otherwise undermine a natural person and/or the business reputation of a legal person, the authority of a court or other public authority, to prosecute, to exercise an unlawful effect on the participants of the judicial process and/or judges, court staff, other persons present in the hearing, or other illegitimate purposes;
7) previous conduct of the person requesting an authorisation to record by technical equipment the announcement of a judicial decision in the course of announcement of the judicial decision, or using the results of the recording using the technical equipment;
8) reasons of organisational nature, potentially affecting a proper organisation and management of a court hearing (e.g., the size of the court hearing room, the number of persons present at the hearing, the authorisation to record the announcement of the judicial decision already issued, etc.);
9) other reasons because of which in the discretion of the court the announcement of the judicial decision is not possible.
The court may withdraw the issued authorisation in case the technical equipment is used in violation of the procedure and the requirements set forth in laws.
5. Is it permitted to broadcast, film or photograph all he participants of the proceedings during the announcement of the judicial decision?
In the course of the announcement of the judicial decision the technical equipment can be directed only to the judge announcing the judicial decision. It is prohibited to record other participants of the proceedings, other persons participating in the announcement of the judicial decision, their representatives, their speeches, the desk, procedural or other documents.
With a view to ensuring a proper order of filming, the recording, photographing, audio recording technical equipment used in the course of the announcement of the judicial decision shall not interfere with the work of the court of movement of other persons in the court hearing room.
6. What needs to be done in case the announcement of the judicial decision is postponed?
In case the court decided to postpone the scheduled announcement of the judicial decision to another date, the person who has been issued the authorisation shall be notified thereof at the contact data specified in the request. In case the announcement of the judicial decision is postponed, the applicant does not need to apply repeatedly for an authorisation to record the announcement of the judicial decision.
7. Where are the personal data provided in the request for the authorisation stored?
The requests and the authorisations issue by the court an containing the personal data of the persons not participating in the proceedings are attached to the case file. Having regard to the importance of the requirements for the protection of personal data, the courts are required to take all the measures preventing a publication of the information recorded in relation to the case and relation to personal data, thus ensuring the inviolability and/or security of private life of such persons (for instance, the requests and the authorisations can be filed in a separate section of the case file (in relation to processing the data of other participants of the proceedings (witnesses, victims) in criminal cases), and shall not provide access to such data to the parties of the case or other persons in the course of the proceedings or thereafter.