Dysfunctional legal system – a sign of weak social politics

Vytautas Šlapkauskas


The present article analyzes the value patterns of the current legal system in Lithuania. The legal system here is described as a broader definition than that of the system of law. The legal system is understood as a social formation of the legal environment which represents the unity of the legal consciousness, system of law and legal practice of any social group.
Law is one of the most important ways in which modern civic societies function. On the one hand, society’s legal system is an instrument of social politics through which decisions are exercised and their consequences are evaluated. On the other hand, social processes have a direct impact on the changes within the legal system itself.
The current legal system in Lithuania does not live up to the ideals of the emerging civic society. This has been conditioned by the behavioral models which have started appearing during the transition from totalitarianism to democracy and which have not conformed to the society’s expectations of social justice. An aggressive implementation of these models has brought Lithuanian society to a moral crisis.
The analysis of this process has shown that to protect their interests, government elites have been consistently making use of legal nihilism and the breaches in the system of law. The power of the non– transparent agreements between political and business groups has become a significant phenomenon in shaping a negative legal environment. The negativity and obscurity of the current legal environment have become the main factors of the social disorganization in Lithuania.


legal system; juridical phenomena; legal environment; civic society; juridical nihilism; social disorganization

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789