Long-term programmes:

Challenges in implementation of person’s rights in modern society: interpreting new and evolving rights

2021 – 2026, led by Dr. Agnė Limantė

Modern societies face legal challenges specific to the 21st century. Such challenges are defined by the increasing digitalisation of society, the development of artificial intelligence technologies, changing societal structures, our perception of the need for protection of different social groups, and the continued rise of the migration phenomenon. Digitalisation is having a profound impact on almost all social relations and many basic legal concepts, including human rights, often have to be re-evaluated. The ageing of society calls for attention to the rights of the older generation, the cross-border migration, and mixed families require tailored legal regulation. Moreover, there is a growing awareness that every human being is to be valued and the protection for vulnerable groups should be strengthened. All this prompts the questions on how to ensure and develop the rights of the individual in modern society, so that legal regulation keeps pace with technological and societal changes. This is the main leitmotif of the programme “Challenges in implementation of person’s rights in modern society: interpreting new and evolving rights”.

Programme overall objective
Taking into account that the content of established rights evolves and a new generation of person’s rights emerges, the programme aims to explore the legal challenges faced by modern society, and to make proposals for the further development of the legal system.

Aims of the Programme
The programme aims to assess how the concept and content of human (individual) rights are changing as the society, the perception of the roles of its members, and the demographic structure develops, and what kind of adaptation of the legal framework this requires.

The following research lines would be pursued by the program:

  1. The evolution of human/ person’s rights in the 21st century: the changing content of rights and the emergence of a new generation of rights:  
  1. Protecting person’s rights in the face of demographic and other pressing challenges: 

Research on the forms and measures of effective punishment and other state response forms to criminal offences

2019 – 2023, led by Dr. Simonas Nikartas

The goals of the program are to study punishment and other forms and means of the state’s response to criminal offences from the point of view of their effective implementation and subjectively experienced criminal justice and to create scientifically based assumptions for the improvement of the system of the state’s response to criminal offences and other forms of violations of law (hereinafter referred to as SR). In order to achieve the goal of the program, research is carried out in the following directions:

  1. To investigate the subjective factors of punishment and other measures of the state’s response based on the experiences of participants in the criminal system, and to propose effective, balanced strategies for the application of legal measures that will help to increase the effectiveness of SR and public safety.
  2. To study the trends of relevant criminal policies and identify the state’s response to individual problems of crime types and propose effective problem-solving strategies.

In the implementation of the first task, research is focused on previously little-studied subjective aspects of the SR application, such as the perception of the legitimacy of the BRP from the point of view of the employees of law enforcement institutions, the concept of the legitimacy of the BRP from the perspective of the convicted, and the perception of punishment existing in the entire society. The results of the research will allow determining the measures that will be aimed at the social empowerment of offenders and their effective resocialization, social integration, and at the same time the reinvestment of state funds in non-criminal (administrative, economic, social, educative) measures that are often much more effective than criminal ones.

The second part of the program is focused on specific types and forms of criminal and individual RS (e.g. forms of state response and measures to deal with crimes such as fraud, tax crimes, and drug-related offences, as well as issues of the effectiveness of imprisonment and other punishments).