Vasiliauskas vs. Lithuania: Battle lost in the war to come?

Justinas Žilinskas


The present article comments on case Vasiliauskas vs. Lithuania in which European Court of Human Rights has found Lithuania in breach of European Convention on Human Rights, Article 7. In this case Lithuania retroactively applied broadened definition of genocide embedded in the national law. Such definition was created with the aim to prosecute persons that carried out soviet repressions in Soviet Union occupied Lithuania after World War Two. However, the ECHR judgement was adopted only by minimal margin, and the dissenting opinions were numerous with criticism upon majority that it chose too formal way and failed to address the justice that soviet repression victims are still craving. Nevertheless, the majority decision could not be easily dismissed neither by Lithuania, nor by any other country that is facing the same historical trend therefore it is necessary to consider what steps Lithuania shall take and how to make it in line with Vasiliauskas decision.


Genocide; War crimes; Crimes against humanity; ECHR Vasiliauskas

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