Latest developments in 2019

AuthorSabatauskait?, Birut?
12.1 Legislative amendments
Legal amendments to the Law on Equal Treatment came into force on 1 July 2019,
broadening its aim to include the monitoring of compliance with the UN CRPD361 (Article 1
LET) and the competence of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson including the
monitoring of the CRPD (Article 17(4)).
For the purpose of mon itoring the CRPD, the Commission of People with Disabilities was
established alongside the Office of th e Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson (Article s 1 and
15-1). The Commission of People with Disabilities is supposed to comprise five members,
four of them representi ng associations of people with disabilities and one being a
representative of the Off ice of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson. Article 15-1
elaborates on the appointment procedure for the Commission, it s working principles, and
its role in monitoring compliance with the CRPD and rights. The Commission also sets
duties for other legal persons, organisations and institutions to analyse its
recommendations and respond regarding the results. It was a pparent from the
Ombudspersons annual report that no funding was granted in 2019 to carry out the work
of the Commission. However, this funding was granted for 2020 under the law allocating
the budget.
The draft Law on Equal Treatment, which introduces a number of changes, was
registered in the Parliament in 2019, and the procedure for its consideration has begun,
however it has not yet b een voted on. The law would broaden the list of discrimination
grounds, expand the competen ce of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson, introduce a
longer list of decisions that the Ombudsperson may take after analysing a complaint
regarding discrimination-based violations, add an exception of discrimination and allow
the Ombudsperson to address the administrative courts, as well as calling upon the
Parliament to address the Constitutional Court.362
12.2 Case law
A few cases were brought to the court in 2019, some of which questi oned decisions taken
by the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson. Cases with some significance for the
interpretation of the principle of equal treatment are mention ed below.
Name of the court: Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania
Date of decision: 11 January 2019
Name of the parties: The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania, Th e Parliament of
the Republic of Lithuania
Reference number: KT3-N1/2019
Brief summary: The Constitutional Court was referred a case by the Administrative
Court, in which a same-sex couple was seeking a residence permit for a third-country
national, who was the spouse of an EU citizen. The Administrative Court referred th e case
to the Constitutional Court regardi ng the compliance of the Law on the Legal Status of
Aliens. In its 2019 conclusion, the Constitutional Cou rt repeated its previous conclusion s
that the Constitution is an integral enactment that cannot be interpreted literally. The
Court also stated that, even though sexual orientation and gender identity are not
361 Law amending the Law on Equal Treatment, No. IX-1826, Articles 1, 16 and 17 , and introducing Article 15-1
(Lietuvos Respublikos lygi galimybi statymo Nr. IX-1826 1, 16 ir 17 straipsni pakeitimo ir statymo
papildymo 15-1 straipsniu statymas), 11 December 2018, available in Lithuanian at: https://ww w.e-
362 Draft Law on Equal Opportunities, No. IX-1826 (Lygi galimybi statymo Nr. IX-1826 pakeitimo statymo
projektas (nauja redakcij a)), 30 May 2019, No. XIIIP-3512, available in Lithuanian at: https://e- f082b411e98a8298567570d639?jfwid=rmpk3gwww.

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