Audrius Cininas

Topic of the presentation

Uncertainty in the judicial process. Overcoming superstitions


Vilnius district court is the biggest court in Lithuania. There’re more than 100 judges, the same amount of judge assistants and secretaries of the hearing, working in 50 court halls. The court processes +100K civil and criminal cases a year, hundreds of hearings are held every day. Judges struggle with the lack of halls and human resources, complain about growing back-log of cases, face dissatisfaction of people because of relatively long processes and their breaks.

District courts, regional courts, the Court of Appeals of Lithuania and the Supreme Court of Lithuania are courts of general jurisdiction, hearing civil and criminal cases. District courts function as 1st instance courts. 5 regional courts function as 1st instance courts for some civil and criminal cases attributed to their jurisdiction by law, as well as courts of appellate instance for the judgments of district courts. The Court of Appeals of Lithuania is the court of appellate instance for the judgments of regional courts as 1st instance courts. The Supreme Court is the court of cassation instance, hearing cassation appeals against the appellate judgments of regional courts and the Court of Appeals of Lithuania. It is also responsible for developing of uniform practice of courts of general jurisdiction in interpretation and application of laws.

Audrius Cininas’ presentation will address processing of cases in the 1st instance courts. They are most overloaded as only 4-5% of rulings are appealed what means major cases start and finish exactly here. Lithuanian laws quite strictly regulate deadlines of intermediate stages of judicial process. Orthodoxical point of view of legislators determine courts are forced to focus on meeting the formal intermediate deadlines rather than on the main goal – produce as many as possible quality rulings.

This is the main reason why there’s so little space to implement effective Theory of Constraints or LEAN methodology tools like buffering and focusing on flow to significantly increase the throughput of cases without compromising the quality.

But this is not about excuses. Meanwhile there are a few things left even in the lowest unit (judge, assistant, secretary) level that can be changed by any judge in any country to significantly improve the performance of a judge.

Audrius Cininas will share his own experience on how to better exploit judge’s, a judicial system’s bottleneck, time on hearing for hearing and paperwork for paperwork basis dealing with bad multitasking. He will also show what a significant improvements in personal performance can be achieved by effectively controlling a number of work in progress cases by means of Drum-Buffer-Rope, a method you will find in every successful production line.

Well, if a judge feels kind of a constrained-machine in a court factory, shouldn’t we check how real plants deal with constrained resources?


Orthodoxical legislation is a constraint.

Buffer issue. How much time the new case should be “matured” before pretrial and trial proceedings begin.

Reducing of the waste time of the judges. Hearings versus paperwork.

Are judges really a constraint of the judicial system?

Criteria of efficiency and quality of judicial proceedings and rulings.



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