Right to mediation

In cases involving petty crimes or less serious crimes, such as threats, petty damage, non-aggravate thefts, non-aggravated assaults and many others, the laws allow the injured party (victim) and the culprit to get to settlement and thus to terminate the case. The settlement can be reached at any moment of pre-trial investigation or trial.

Please note that it creates no formal obligation for the prosecutor or a judge to terminate the pre-trial investigation or the trial. However usually criminal legal procedures are terminated after a settlement between the injured party (victim) and the culprit is reached.

It is not so easy to get into open communication with the culprit who has harmed you. Therefore, a special kind of services called mediation are created and are worth to use in many cases. Mediation is a procedure for solving disputes where parties of the dispute are helped to communicate between themselves by specially trained mediators.

The easiest way to request a mediation is to approach the pre-trial investigation officer or a prosecutor leading your case (or a judge in the trial stage of the procedure) and to tell them that you would be interested in mediation. Then the aforementioned officials would contact the Probation Service of Lithuania and this institution would suggest you a qualified mediator.

It is also possible to invite a mediator directly, without talking to the pre-trial officer, a prosecutor, or a judge first. You can find a qualified mediator in the lists provided by the State Guaranteed Legal Aid Service or Lithuanian Chamber of Mediators. When selecting a mediator yourself you should take into account that they specialize in different fields of law, thus it would be best to get in touch with someone who has experience in criminal justice issues.

However, please note that when you involve a mediator yourself, his or her services shall be borne by you or together with the culprit. Vice versa, if a mediator employed by the Probation Service of Lithuania is involved with a help of pre-trial investigation officer, a prosecutor, or a judge, his or her services are covered by the state, and you do not have to pay for them. This option is also more feasible because (as it was mentioned above), the settlement reached through mediation creates no obligation for a prosecutor or a judge to terminate criminal procedure, they can hold an opinion that general interests of justice require to reach the final sentence. Thus an involvement of state officials that must take the final decision in the early stages of mediation provides a more solid ground to believe that they will take a decision to terminate the case if you manage to reach the settlement with the culprit.

I was a victim of crime: consequences and reactions The rights of victims of crime Criminal proceedings Who’s who in criminal proceedings


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