True Lithuania

Lithuanian Laws on 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.
Homosexual relations are legal.
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

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 rights

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)

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).

Intellectual property

Software patents are not available.
Copyright lasts throughout the author's life and 70 years after his/her death.

Traffic rules

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).

See also the articles on Lithuanian visa, Lithuanian legal system, Taxes in Lithuania.

Click to learn more about Lithuania: Politics and Law 28 Comments
Comments (28) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Maximum alcohol quotient is 0% for bus, truck drivers and those having licence for under 2 years as of 2015.

  2. Drinking age is now 20.

  3. Drinking age is 20 but Cigarettes are from 18 still. Age of consent is 16, not 14.

    • Corrected the cigarette-buying age.

      16 may be seen as the “main” age of consent, yet it is not absolute. Statutory rape is defined only if “a person over 18 has sex with a person under 16”, and even there an exception is made where the above sex is not considered a statutory rape “if both people are not differing much in age, spiritual or physical maturity”. That is, there may be even situations of sex between e.g. a 20-year-old and a 15-year-old which are not considered statutory rape, if the 15-year-old is more mature than his/her age suggests and/or the 20-year-old is less mature. That is up to the court to evaluate in such cases.

  4. Funny how you can’t question the sovereignty of Lithuania as it hands powers over to the European Union everyday limiting its full sovereignty or having a referendum on it!

  5. Semi automatic rifles are now banned
    Hunting only bolt action rifles are allowed.
    Self defence gun license is only for handguns.

  6. We buy Lithuania and all signs will be in Chinese.
    We ban all guns and big knifes.

    • No, China is a bad country because of diseases and racist people. So you wont buy Lithuania because you’re not in the European Union.

    • Don’t worry, soon the West will invade your yellow nigger country, and we’ll rape all your mothers, sisters and daughters.

  7. Can you clarify where you found that the youngest age of consent was 14? I read through the Lithuanian Criminal Code and could not find anything that specifically prohibited sexual acts for children below 14. The only time the Criminal Code mentioned 14 year olds is that they are responsible for rape if the other person refuses to engage in sexual activity. From what I understand, people below the age of 18 can effectively chose to do it with another person below the age of 18 which seems really weird and I have probably missed something important.

    • Gonna get some pussy next year 😉

    • Edited this now to mention just 16 years.

      In the Lithuanian Criminal Code, Article 151(1) says that a non-minor (i.e. 18+) does a crime called “sexual acts in breach of inviolability or sexual preference of a minor” if he or she has sex with a person of age under 16 (when both partners wish for such sex). However, there is an exception if there is “no major age or maturity difference”, so in some cases, the court could deem sex between e.g. 18-year old and 15-year old to be acceptable (although sex between e.g. 30-year-old and 15-year-old would likely be never deemed acceptable and would always fall under this article).

      There is nothing mentioning 14 years of age indeed. However, according to the article on vaginal rape (149) and anal/oral rape (150) issues which make a sexual act to be considered a rape include not only violence or threats of immediate violence, but also “using the powerlessness of the victim”. This powerlessness may include, for example, cases when the victim is handicapped or drunk, but also arguably may include cases where the victim is of very young age.

      According to the Lithuanian law, minors are separated into two groups: nepilnamečiai (literally “not-full-yeared”) and mažamečiai (literally “small-yeared”), covering ages 14-17 and 0-13 respectively. Mažamečiai are considered to be unable to perform most tasks independently, whereas nepilnamečiai are either able to or may get court permission to be considered as adults.

  8. Why do brutal killers in Lithuania get only 11 years on average?

    • Compared to many other European countries, this is still big punishment. In general, lenient punishments are a tendency all over Europe: indeed, for the same crime in Western Europe, you get a much more lenient punishment than in the USA. Lithuania has been copying Western Europe in nearly everything, so there are suggestions to lower the punishments further from parts of the “elite” that looks westwards for inspiration. While lenient punishments are often promoted using human rights as an excuse, such decisions are typically unpopular with people who often say “why should criminal rights matter more than victim rights?”. That’s why Lithuanian punishments are still stricter than in much of Western Europe.

      Still, they arguably grew more lenient over time since independence. For example, capital punishment always had popular support in Lithuania, however, it was abolished by the Constitutional Court (rather than through referendum or through a law) using extremely dubious legal arguments – most likely because retaining it would have prevented EU integration.

  9. Is there a law in Lithuania that prohibits them from talking to Asian people or that prevents Asians from going into the country or Lithuanians going to Asian countries?

  10. Why is porn illegal?

    • Many of such laws date to the Soviet occupation. While Soviet Union was a far left regime, it was also what would be today called “socially conservative to an extreme”. Some of the examples from Soviet Union era, besides the pornography ban:
      *Male homosexual sex was banned.
      *Couples were not allowed to share the same hotel room unless married (this used to be checked).
      *Prostitution was banned.
      *Gambling was banned.

      There even used to be an ironic saying “There is no sex in the Soviet Union”.

      After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the countries (including Lithuania) did away with many of these laws. However, while e.g. homosexual sex was quickly legalized, some other limitations had less lobbying to change them, and so they remained. That said, the pornography ban is actually dead in the online era – nobody cares about it, nobody tries to enforce it (with the exception of child pornography). That said, there is no pornography industry either (unlike in some other ex-communist-ruled European countries) as the law would probably be enforced against it, making it too much of a risk.

      In some other ex-Soviet countries even the most stringent Soviet limitations still apply (e.g. in Azerbaijan we were asked multiple times in the hotels to prove that we are married to be allowed to stay together).

  11. Hello.

    How free is speech in Lithuania? Countries like Germany and Netherlands claim to have free speech, but they only mean speech that the government approves of (or they call it “hate speech” and ban it.

    Can people say what they like (no matter how unpopular) in Lithuania?

    • After the independence from the Soviet Union (1900), the speech suddenly became completely free: there were nothing that you could say that would land you in jail, get you a fine, make you lose job, etc.

      At that time, Lithuanians emerged from the “informational prison” they were into, suddenly gaining access to information from all over the world. Some people had then eagerly explored and voiced various ideas considered radical by the majority at the time (e.g. racism, anarchism, gay rights, transsexual rights, nazism, communism, religious cults), but these people were not anyhow persecuted or “cancelled” for those ideas (except that Nazi or Communist parties were not allowed to be established as political parties – but that did not mean that one would have been punished for promoting even these ideas e.g. in protests, in newspaper articles, in art, etc.).

      That said, Lithuania was especially peaceful: despite some people voicing such ideas (e.g. some bands creating songs that glorified violence against groups they disagreed with), none of these ideas were actually “put to action” (things such as ethnically, racially or religiously based violence were almost unknown in Lithuania of 1990s-2000s, compared to Western Europe). Needless to say, any such action (e.g. violence) was always illegal, only the speech was generally unlimited, and people respected that.

      After Lithuania has joined the European Union (2004), free speech became somewhat eroded in the way you mention (perhaps starting in some 2009). As time passed, “political correctness” (an unknown term in Lithuania before the early 2010s) slowly engulfed it. There are now ways to get “punished” for politically incorrect speech, and some political forces seek to expand laws against “hate speech”.

      Still, arguably, Lithuania is still significantly more tolerant for unpopular speech and ideas than is Western Europe. The experience of the Soviet Union makes Lithuanians, especially the generations born before 1980s, very well aware of where speech limitations may lead to. Younger generations are more likely to just “imitate the affluent West”, including the Western-European-style freedom of speech limitations.

      You may read more about intergenarational relations in Lithuania here: Generations in Lithuania.

  12. So it means that 18+ cannot have sex with 16- but. Let’s say 14 and 15 year olds could?

  13. The age of consent in Lithuania is 16, as specified by the Lithuanian Criminal Code 151.1, introduced by the bill of 2 July 2010.

    • The age of consent in Lithuania is 16, as specified by the Lithuanian Criminal Code 151.1, introduced by the bill of 2 July 2010. Previously the age of consent was set to 14 according to the Lithuanian Criminal Code §153 prohibiting any sexual molestation or sexual relationships with a minor under 14 years.


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