Implementation of central concepts

AuthorDavulis, Tomas
3 Implementation of central concepts
3.1 General (legal) context
3.1.1 Surveys on the definition, implementation and limit s of central concepts of gender
equality law
No such surveys were conducted in Lithuania.
3.1.2 Other issues
In defining maj or concepts, the Lit huanian legislator has tried to remain in line with
relevant European directives. There are only a small number of slight language differences
in transposing the central definitions of the directives, but they are rathe r insignificant.
For example, the Equal Opportunities Act (EOA) provides for the definition of direct
discrimination (Article 2(7) of the EOAWM, Article 2(9) of the EOA). It defines
discrimination as ‘behaviour with the person where ...’ (‘elgesys su asmeniu, kai’ in
Lithuanian) whereas the Lithuanian translation of the Directive reads ‘Discrimination – it
is when ...’. The national definition further takes the wording from the Art icle 2(1)(a) of
Directive 2006/54/EC. In the definition of ‘indirect discrimination’ ( Article 2(4) of the
EOAWM, Article 2(5) of the EOA) the wording ‘behaviour with the person’ (as in ca se of
direct discrimination) is not used, but instead, the formulation ‘action and inaction, legal
provision or criterion of assessment, apparently neutral provision or practice’ is used. The
legislator further clarifies that they should formally be the same but in the course of their
implementation an actual restriction of rights occurs o r may occur. These verbal
deviations from th e directives have not yet been subject to thoroug h assessment by the
3.1.3 General overview of national acts
In Lithuania the equality legislation, which in fa ct has the specific purpose of transposing
the European legislation, plays the major role in providing the central concepts in the field
of non-discrimination. Therefore, the Labour Code explicitly mentions only the principle of
equality and non-discrimination but leaves it for the equality legislation to define the major
concepts. This situation also leads to some lack of clarity in relation to wh at the outcome
of potential conflict between the Labour Code (which says it shall be considered lex
posteriori and primus inter pares) and equ ality legislation (which ought to transpose EU
directives) could be. For example, the scope of application and the formulation of
exceptions may be regulated differently in those two acts.
3.1.4 Political and societal debate and pending legislative proposals
Currently, there is no political or societal debate and there are no pending legislative
proposals on the central concepts of gender equality.
3.2 Sex/gender/transgender
3.2.1 Definition of gender and sex
The notions ‘gender’ and ‘sex’ are not specifically defined in national legislation. Th ere is
also no case law on the meaning of gender and sex.
Moreover, the notion gender has no equivalent in the Lithuanian language. The word ‘sex’
is translated as lytis (sex) but the word gender has no specific t ranslation. Instead, th e

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