LAW & MAJOR ISSUES
These are the stances of Lithuanian law on the legal issues that divide the world:
Drugs, alcohol, and food
Recreational drugs are illegal (and this is enforced).
Alcohol is legal.
Minimal legal age for buying alcohol is 20.
Minimal legal age for buying cigarettes is 18.
Smoking is banned in public building interiors (including restaurants, cafes) and public transport.
Pork is legal.
Sexual and marriage matters
Prostitution is illegal.
Pornography is illegal.
Age of consent is 14 (any sex under that is statutory rape), but 16 if the partner is over 18.
Marriage is between a single husband and a single wife, both at least 18 years old (but this age may be lowered to 16 by a court of law).
Divorce is allowed.
Guns and national defense
Guns are legal to own for self-defense, but only non-automatic (i.e. pistols), only for concealed carry and a local permit is needed (getting one involves having a safe, passing psychological and physical evaluations).
Conscription is practiced.
Gambling is legal although the types permitted are limited.
Legal age for gambling is 21.
Lotteries are legal but have charity obligations.
Killing and punishments
Euthanasia is illegal (albeit punished less than some other types of murder).
Abortion is legal (but limited for older babies).
Capital punishment is not practiced.
Caning is not practiced.
Torturing is banned.
Corporal punishment of children banned.
Freedoms of religion, language, speech, etc.
Practicing any religion is free (both in private and in public), and this includes wearing any religious clothing.
Official language is Lithuanian. Other languages are permitted broadly in minority institutions (including as medium of instruction at schools) and signage for tourists (but not for official signs, e.g. town and street names).
Freedom of speech is generally respected, but voicing negative opinions on certain groups may lead to accusations of “promoting hatred” (which is a crime). Gross disrespect to the national flag, coat of arms, anthem and the European Union flag is also a crime. Communist and Nationalsocialist symbols and the denial of their 20th-century crimes are banned.
Political system is democratic, but the Communist and Nationalsocialist parties are not permitted to be established.
Requirements to exercise political rights are at least 18 years old to vote, at least 21 to be elected to a municipality council, at least 25 to be elected to parliament, 40 to 80 to be elected president. There are no gender, ethnic, religious, property or other requirements. Only citizens could vote in all elections save for municipality councils.
Voting is not mandatory.
Referendums are severely restricted (300 000 people must call for one (~13% of total voters) for it to be held, 50%+ turnout is then required for the referendum to be recognized, in some cases 50%+ of total voters voting “YES” are required for the proposition to pass, and referendum is not permitted to question transfers of sovereignty to the European Union).
Labor, business rights, and social benefits
Private enterprise is legal as long as one pays taxes. Some forms of business require a license.
Labor strikes are permitted.
Lockouts are illegal.
Discrimination (sexual, racial, ethnic, religious, social, etc.) is banned (so-called “positive discrimination” is not practiced either). A few forms of gender discrimination against men are sanctioned, however: for instance, men have to work until a longer age than women before they are entitled to social benefits.
Free (taxpayer-funded) education is available to every Lithuanian citizen until the age of ~18 (i.e. before university) but only to the better half of students afterward.
Free (taxpayer-funded) healthcare is available to nearly every Lithuanian citizen for the more serious diseases and health checks.
Citizenship (Nationality) is acquired by ius sanguini (if at least one parent is a Lithuanian citizen) or by naturalization (10 years of legal residence and a language/culture exam). Furthermore, the members of Lithuanian diaspora are permitted to “restore [forefather’s] citizenship” or gain citizenship on a simplified process.
Dual citizenship (nationality) is not permitted save for a few special cases (e.g. people who fled Lithuania avoiding the Soviet Russian or German Nationalsocialist genocides).
Software patents are not available.
Copyright lasts throughout the author’s life and 70 years after his/her death.
Speed limits are 50 km/h (urban), 70 km/h (dirt/gravel roads), 90 km/h (most roads), 110/120 km/h (lower class motorways, winter/summer), 110/130 km/h (upper class motorways, winter/summer).
Car lights must be on day and night.
Maximum alcohol quotient is 0,04% for car drivers, 0% for bus, truck, motorcycle drivers and those having a license for under 2 years.
Driver’s license may be acquired at 18 for most cars (16 for micro-cars and 20-23 for various buses and trucks).