The Strasbourg-based court ruled that Lithuania violated the European Convention on Human Rights, prohibiting cruel and inhumane behavior, and ordered to pay the woman EUR 5,000 in non-pecuniary damages.
In February, 2001 the woman turned to the city district court to bring a private prosecution against her partner, saying that she had been abused by her partner. In February, 2002, the court ordered prosecutors to launch a pre-trial investigation and suspicions were brought against the man.
Later on, the investigation was suspended several times and eventually dropped in June, 2005 on the grounds that a prosecution in respect of minor bodily harm should have been brought by the victim in private capacity. The city district court upheld that decision in September 2005, noting that a prosecutor „had a right, but not an obligation, to open an investigation.“
„The Court found that the authorities’ application of the code of criminal procedure in the woman's case had not provided her with adequate protection against acts of domestic violence,“ the ruling reads.
The panel of seven judges ruled that the Lithuanian authorities had received sufficient information from the woman to raise a suspicion that a crime had been committed. As of that moment, they had therefore been under an obligation to act upon her criminal complaint.