ICCPR Case Digest

CCPR/C/126/D/2670/2015

Communication

2670/2015

Submission: 2015.02.05

View Adopted: 2019.07.24

Gintaras Jagminas v. Lithuania

Violation of right to equality of arms and to participate in public service in Lithuania

Substantive Issues
  • Access to public services
  • Fair trial
  • Presumption of innocence
Relevant Articles
  • Article 14.1
  • Article 14.2
  • Article 25 (c)
Full Text

Facts

The author is a national of Lithuania who claimed that the state party had violated his rights under articles 14(1), and (2) and 25(c) of the Covenant. 

The author was appointed head of a cordon of the border state service in April 2006, however he was dismissed in October without being informed of any reason. He appealed the dismissal order, however it was revealed that there was a lawful authorisation to revoke his position. He argues that he was subject to no proceedings nor able to defend himself against the surveillance measures taken. 

Complaint

The author considered that the state party had violated not only the principle of equality of arms, however also the presumption of innocence in violation of article 14. Further, the author submits that the right of equal access to public service under article 25(c) of the Covenant encompasses the right to not be arbitrarily dismissed from public service.

Admissibility

The Committee considered that the Supreme Administrative Court, by collecting additional evidence on its own initiative and by requesting the competent authorities to declassify it, remedied the omission of the court of first instance. On this basis, the Committee considered the claim under article 14(1) inadmissible.

Further, the Committee considered the authors claim under article 14(2) as incompatible ratione materiae and therefore inadmissible.

Merits

The Committee noted that the state party failed to demonstrate that there were any guarantees against the abuse of the impugned regulation that would preclude the possibility of launching secret surveillance of certain officials on an arbitrary basis and removing them from their positions without any reasonable justification.

Therefore, the Committee considers that the State party failed to respect the author’s right to have access, on general terms of equality, to public service. Consequently, there has been a violation of article 25 (c) of the Covenant.

Recommendations

Pursuant to article 2(3) (a) of the Covenant, the State party is under an obligation to provide the authors with an effective remedy, including making full reparation to individuals whose Covenant rights have been violated, including full and adequate compensation. Accordingly, the State party is obligated to take all steps necessary to prevent similar violations from occurring in the future. 

Implementation

The Committee requested that the state party provide an update outlining measures taken to give effect to the Committee's views within 180 days, or prior to 24 January 2020.

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