Lithuania: conscription suspended


On 1 July 2009, the last conscripts left the Armed Forces of Lithuania. This completes the transition of the Lithuanian Armed Forces to a volunteer force. On 13 March 2008, the Lithuanian Parliament passed a new law “On the Principles of Organisation of the Lithuanian Armed Forces”, which provides for parliament to set the number of conscripts to be recruited on a year by year bases, with the aim to suspend conscription (a 'zero' quota). On 26 March 2008, Parliament asked the Constitutional Court to investigate whether this is constitutional, and the Constitutional Court decided on 3 April 2009 that this procedure does not conflict with the Lithuanian constitution.

Conscription has in fact been suspended on 15 September 2008.

While conscription has now been suspended, Lithuania still does not recognise the right to conscientious objection for professional soldiers.

Sources: War Resisters' International: Country report and updates: Lithuania, 22 September 2009; Ministry of National Defence of Lithuania: Compulsory basic military service discontinued, 15 September 2008


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