E. Dobrovolska: Lithuania will seek to strengthen the protection of victims of crime, prevent intellectual property violations and develop digitalisation

Date

2021 02 22

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At the meeting of EU Ministers of Justice Ms. Dobrovolska stressed that EU Member States must guarantee the optimal protection of the interests of vulnerable adults in the field of civil law, focus their attention on the fight against illegal actions related to intellectual property and on digitalization processes.

“Lithuania is for the harmonization of rules for all EU Member States to ensure the effective protection of adult individuals. These rules could provide for the possibility to refuse to recognise foreign judicial decisions and include measures to ensure closer and more effective cooperation between national authorities. We would not oppose the initiative to join the Hague Convention on the International Protection of Adults as this would improve the protection of vulnerable victims even further”,  says E. Dobrovolska. 

According to the Minister, vulnerable victims of crime must be granted the right to a lawyer who specialises in providing legal aid to such victims, must receive adequate information on the criminal case, and the participation of a psychologist or an accompanying person must be ensured as well as other relevant measures necessary during pre-trial proceedings.

Moreover, Ms. Dobrovolska identified the protection of IP rights as a priority item on the Justice Agenda. 

“We must seek urgent solutions to prevent illegal actions in the field of intellectual property, particularly to limit the influence of organised crime. The scale and danger of counterfeiting has become especially evident during the Covid-19 pandemic. There is an increased flow of disinformation and fake news, so Member States need common rules to define such crimes and sanctions for them”, – stressed E. Dobrovolska.

According to the Minister, aspects related to public education, proper media communication, responsibility of social networks and the promotion of civic initiatives are very important, as well as the implementation of codes of conduct for online platforms. 

E. Dobrovolska also presented to EU ministers the National Initiative “Demaskuok” (Eng. Denounce) a tool to unite civil society representatives, the media and the government in the fight against fake news. This highly advanced AI technology is instrumental in detecting and preventing the spread of false news.

Participants of the meeting also shared insights on the importance of digitalisation in the field of justice. According to the Minister, Lithuania will continue to expand remote-based activities of courts and other institutions and improve Internet access to include every group of society. 

According to the Minister, Lithuania supports the European Commission's aim to present a proposal for the transformation of digital cross-border judicial cooperation at the end of this year, and closely follows the discussions on the future regulation of the use of artificial intelligence. It is also ready for a constructive discussion on the establishment and use of IT systems facilitating the functioning of courts at the EU level.

Back in December, the Minister also discussed the importance of judicial and law enforcement activities in the virtual space with Didier Reynders, the EU Commissioner for Justice.

The informal meeting of EU Justice Ministers was organised remotely.