8. The Official Constitutional Doctrine and Penal Legislation

  • Jonas Prapiestis
  • Darius Prapiestis
Keywords: Constitutional doctrine, principle of the rule of law, the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, penal legal act, the Criminal Code of the Republic of Lithuania, penal legislation, Department of Criminal Justice.


The article discloses the most striking breaches of the constitutional requirements; these are the constitutional doctrine requirements to be met by the penal legislation. While working on the article, the authors analyzed some legal acts adopted by the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania and signed into law by the President of the Republic as of the year 2009. In the authors’ opinion, in case of the penal legislation, the most often breached requirements are the ones deriving from the principle of the rule of law, such as: legal acts shall be clearly understandable so that the subjects of legal relationship are able to understand what requirements they have to meet according to the law; legal rules shall be stable and ensure legal certainty as well as predictability of legal decisions; the force of legal acts shall be directed to the future; the principle of equality shall be respected and the court shall have a possibility to personalize a sentence or penalty in every individual case, etc. In addition, the article provides insight into some objective and subjective factors which cause essential insufficiencies in penal legislation and considers possibilities of improving the quality of penal legal acts.