Types of Offices Conducting Law Enforcement Functions and the Place of the Court in the System of these Institutions

Gintautas Danišauskas


The article addresses problems associated with the structure of the offices conducting law enforcement functions. In the course of the study, analysis is carried out on the structural element – the law enforcement institution. The conceptual and characteristic features of law enforcement institutions are presented. According to these features, the study examines the place of judicial power in the system of law enforcement institutions. There is an attempt to identify the role of courts in the said system, including the courts of general competence and specific competence of the Republic of Lithuania, as well as the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania.
In order to provide a general outline of law enforcement institutions on the grounds of legal arguments, the article examines the role of offices conducting law enforcement activities both with and without the status of state institutions, their legal purpose, competence and problems of constitutional legitimacy. In the course of the study, it is reasoned that due to the present status of such offices and the scope of functions attributed them, not all of offices conducting law enforcement can be considered to be law enforcement institutions. In the course of the analysis of legal acts which regulate the activities of particular institutions, an attempt is made to argue that some offices, even those specifically created to perform law enforcement functions should not be referred to as law enforcement institutions due to their temporary and possibly politically motivated status.
In the process of creating a rule of law state and improving the work of its institutions aimed at more efficient protection of human rights, the general concept of law enforcement institutions, which have different legal status, constitutional legitimacy, legal purpose as well as different law enforcement functions, should be legally defined with precision. In the course of the investigation and analysis of the activities of institutions which are authorized to apply law and help the courts with the implementation of justice in other ways, both in practice and in theory, a more precise definition would help differentiate between law enforcement institutions and other offices conducting law enforcement functions, i.e. which institutions and according to which criteria could be called law enforcement institutions.


law enforcement; law enforcement functions; law enforcement institutions; implementation of law; judicial power

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"Societal studies" ISSN online 2029-2244 / ISSN print 2029-2236