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On refusing to interpret the provisions of the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 22 December 2011 and 16 May 2013

 THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

 DECISION

ON THE PETITION OF A MEMBER OF THE SEIMAS OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA REQUESTING THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE RULINGS OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA OF 22 DECEMBER 2011 AND 16 MAY 2013

 27 August 2014, No. KT37-S26/2014
Vilnius

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, composed of the Justices of the Constitutional Court: Elvyra Baltutytė, Vytautas Greičius, Danutė Jočienė, Pranas Kuconis, Gediminas Mesonis, Vytas Milius, Egidijus Šileikis, Algirdas Taminskas, and Dainius Žalimas

The court reporter—Daiva Pitrėnaitė

At its procedural sitting, the Constitutional Court considered the petition of Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, a member of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, the petitioner, requesting the construction of certain provisions of the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 22 December 2011 and 16 May 2013. The petitioner requests the construction of:

1) “whether, in systemically assessing the conclusions of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 22 December 2011 and the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 16 May 2013 <...>, it must be held that, in implementing the aforementioned provisions of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 22 December 2011 and the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 16 May 2013, the legislature has a duty to create the necessary healthcare infrastructure with the establishments rendering healthcare services that are distributed to such an extent and in such a manner, and to establish the legal regulation governing the funding of the health system and the planning and realisation of the training of healthcare specialists that would create preconditions for the state to plan this funding and to distribute the funds in such a way that the high quality of healthcare services and sufficient accessibility of them are realised and ensured, also that the funding is planned and realised after assessing, on the basis of an interinstitutional principle, current actual jobs in healthcare establishments, the supply of, and the need for, healthcare specialists, also by assessing the imbalances in the distribution of healthcare specialists in establishments, their shortage in particular districts and regions of this country, when, subsequent to the requisition of the state in the area of healthcare, such specialists are needed in those districts and regions, and by ensuring the state’s obligation to take care of people’s health, i.e. the performance of the state’s duties in guaranteeing medical aid and the accessibility of medical services, inter alia, the legislature may differentiate and establish the conditions, limitations and duties which, in order to use and distribute available financial resources in a rational and effective manner, would allow to optimise the network of establishments rendering healthcare services, and, equally, constitutional principles would not be violated by establishing exclusive rights and duties for healthcare and pharmaceutical specialists as well as for the institutions that train them, i.e. to establish a special legal regulation, inter alia, a special legal regulation, certain prohibitions and limitations, thereby realising ‘the public need for’ a sufficient number of specialists; whether, in assessing the fact that, under the Constitution, the state forms and carries out higher education policy which must comply with a public interest and the public needs, this policy includes the establishment of the strategic areas (fields) of the development of higher education, the selection of the model of funding higher education that complies with the state’s needs and possibilities, the establishment of the need for specialists, the establishment of measures capable of ensuring the quality of studies, and that the state must assume obligations to fund the training of a certain number of specialists, and such obligations must be announced in advance, comply with the public need and the state’s need for specialists who have acquired education in health activity, as well as the possibilities of the public and the state to fund their training, inter alia, in assessing the aforementioned conclusions of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 16 May 2013, while implementing the aforementioned duties of the state in the area of health, the concept “the requisition of the state” (doctors who undergo training in order to satisfy the state-established need for specialists of relevant areas (fields), as well as services which are funded and/or compensated for in order to satisfy the need for relevant state-established services, etc.) may receive an analogous treatment as the concept of the application and assessment of this notion was formulated by the Constitutional Court in the aforementioned and other conclusions of its ruling of 22 December 2011”;

2) “whether, when, under the Constitution, the state is training the established number of specialists that satisfies its needs and the said number is financed by the funds of the state budget, this means that, in order to satisfy the state-established need and finance this number of places by the funds of the budget, when carrying out, for a certain period of time, the realisation of the requisition of the state, citizens who have agreed to the conditions pre-established by the state and who, while realising the needs of the state in health activity, under the conditions set out in pre-established admission agreements, subsequent to the requisition of the state, as healthcare specialists having completed relevant studies, would perform, for a certain period of time, the duties undertaken, i.e. after acquiring a relevant qualification in health activity, they would assume obligations and ensure the performance of the state functions, i.e. the realisation of the requisition of the state under Paragraph 1 of Article 53 of the Constitution, and such regulation would not be regarded as violating other rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution”;

3) “whether, under the Constitution, the legislature may choose such a model of regulating the funding of the training of healthcare specialists under which, without violating the provisions consolidated in the Constitution, when the state is satisfying the need for healthcare specialists of relevant areas (fields), the funding, in full or only to a certain extent, of the profession of a specialist who undergoes training (a state-funded student place) would be ensured from the state budget, i.e. whether, in case where the Constitution and the rulings mentioned in the present petition imply the legislature’s right to establish a model of the partial funding of studies, the other part of the funding of a relevant profession could be covered from other sources (e.g., the funds of the Compulsory Health Insurance budget, payments by students themselves, etc.), inter alia, whether the legislature may establish such legal regulation by means of which a certain part of the study basket of a student would be funded by the state and the other part would be funded from other sources (e.g., private funds), also whether the legislature, when forming the requisition of the state in relation to the training of healthcare specialists, may establish specific specialisations of these specialists in order to train a sufficient number of them which satisfies the needs of the state, inter alia, whether the aforementioned provisions of the Constitutional Court should be construed as consolidating the duty of the state to guarantee education (the training of personal healthcare specialists) covered by the funds of its own budget only to those citizens who are trained in order to satisfy the state-established need for specialists of relevant areas (fields), in parallel to establishing compulsory duties for these persons, for failure to perform which the legislature may establish legal restrictions (exactions, fines or other sanctions).”

The Constitutional Court

has established:

  1. On 22 December 2011, in constitutional justice case No. 13/2010-140/2010, the Constitutional Court adopted the Ruling “On the Compliance of the Provisions of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Science and Studies (Wording of 30 April 2009) with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania” (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2011, No. 160-7591; hereinafter referred to as the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 22 December 2011).
  2. On 16 May 2013, in constitutional justice case No. 47/2009-131/2010, the Constitutional Court adopted the Ruling “On the Compliance of Certain Provisions of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on State Social Insurance, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Health Insurance, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance and the Law Amending It with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania” (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2013, No. 52-2604; hereinafter referred to as the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 16 May 2013).
  3. Seimas member V. P. Andriukaitis, the petitioner, requests the construction of the provisions of the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 22 December 2011 and 16 May 2013.

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

I

  1. Article 61 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania consolidates the powers of the Constitutional Court to officially construe its own rulings; under Paragraph 1 of the said article, only the Constitutional Court may officially construe its own ruling at the request of the persons that participated in the case, of other institutions or persons to whom it was sent, or on its own initiative. Since, under Paragraph 1 of Article 31 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, the petitioner is a person participating in the case (his representative to whom the ruling of the Constitutional Court has been sent), therefore, under Paragraph 1 of Article 61 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, he has the right to apply to the Constitutional Court with a petition requesting the construction of a ruling of the Constitutional Court.
  2. A petition requesting the construction of the provisions of the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 22 December 2011 and 16 May 2013 was submitted by Seimas member V. P. Andriukaitis.
  3. P. Andriukaitis was acting as a representative of the groups of members of the Seimas, the petitioners, in the constitutional justice cases after considering which the said rulings of the Constitutional Court were passed.

Thus, Seimas member V. P. Andriukaitis has the right to request that the Constitutional Court construe the provisions of the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 22 December 2011 and 16 May 2013.

II

  1. In its acts, the Constitutional Court has held on more than one occasion that the purpose of the institute of the construction of its rulings and other final acts is to disclose the content and meaning of certain provisions of a ruling or another final act of the Constitutional Court more broadly and in more detail, if it is necessary, in order that the proper execution of that ruling or another final act of the Constitutional Court would be ensured and the said ruling or another final act of the Constitutional Court would be followed (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s decisions of 22 December 2010, 23 February 2011, 5 September 2011, and 29 November 2012).
  2. In its decision of 29 November 2012, the Constitutional Court emphasised that the purpose of the construction of a ruling or another final act of the Constitutional Court is to explain more comprehensively those provisions and formulations of the Constitutional Court’s ruling or its another final act due to the meaning of which there have been some uncertainties but not to explain how to implement the said ruling or another final act in a concrete situation, inter alia, in the area of the application of law. The Constitutional Court has also held that, under the Law on the Constitutional Court, the Constitutional Court gives legal advice neither to the persons that participated in the case nor to any other persons (the Constitutional Court’s decision of 6 April 2004).
  3. Paragraph 3 of Article 61 of the Law on the Constitutional Court prescribes that the Constitutional Court must construe its ruling without changing its content. The Constitutional Court has held on more than one occasion that, while construing its ruling, the Constitutional Court is bound by the content of both the operative part and reasoning part of its ruling. It has also been held on more than one occasion that the said provision of Paragraph 3 of Article 61 of the Law on the Constitutional Court means, among other things, that, while construing its ruling, the Constitutional Court may not construe the content of the ruling in such a way that the meaning of its provisions, inter alia, the notional entirety of the elements constituting the content of the ruling, and the arguments and reasons upon which that ruling of the Constitutional Court is based would be changed, also that the Constitutional Court may not construe what it did not investigate in the constitutional justice case in which the ruling, the construction of which is requested, was adopted. The consideration of a petition requesting the construction of a ruling or another final act of the Constitutional Court does not imply any new constitutional justice case (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s decisions of 3 May 2010, 5 September 2011, and 16 April 2014).
  4. The powers of the subjects, specified in Article 61 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, to apply to the Constitutional Court with a petition requesting the construction of a ruling of the Constitutional Court mean that the Constitutional Court has to be requested to construe the provisions of the Constitutional Court’s ruling in question that are indicated precisely (the Constitutional Court’s decisions of 14 March 2006 and 3 May 2010).

III

  1. Seimas member V. P. Andriukaitis, the petitioner, requests the construction of the following provisions of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 22 December 2011:

– the provision “[w]hile establishing a preliminary number of state-funded student places <...>, one takes account of the <...> criterion, established <...> for <...> state-funded student places <...>—state funding established by the Government for each study field, taking into account the needs of the national economic, social and cultural development and financial possibilities of the state” of the first paragraph of Item 4.3.1 of Section XIV of the reasoning part;

– the provision “[t]hus, essentially Paragraph 3 <...> regulates the requisition by the state for schools of higher education to train specialists of certain areas (fields): while taking into account the needs of the national economic, social and cultural development and financial possibilities of the state, a preliminary number of state-funded student places <...> is established at schools of higher education in each study area or a set of study fields” of the second paragraph of Item 4.3.1 of Section XIV of the reasoning part;

– the provision “<...> the Constitution guarantees higher education covered by the funds of the state budget not to all citizens <...>, no matter under what conditions they were admitted to such schools <...>, but only to those who are trained in order to satisfy the state-established need for specialists of relevant areas (fields); it is namely for the financing of their studies that one has to provide the necessary funds in the state budget” of the second paragraph of Item 4.6.3 of Section XIV of the reasoning part.

The construction of the following provisions of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 16 May 2013 is also requested:

– the provision “<...> the state takes care of people’s health, <...> the protection of people’s health is a constitutionally important objective, a public interest, whereas looking after people’s health is a state function” of the second paragraph of Item 1.1 of Section IV of the reasoning part;

– the provision “<...> that the state takes care of people’s health expresses the constitutional principle <...>. Upon this principle the entire state activity related to people’s health must be grounded” of the third paragraph of Item 1.1 of Section IV of the reasoning part;

– the provision “[w]hile carrying out this constitutional function, the state institutions that form and implement state health policy, must, among other things: take measures in order to satisfy the public need for a sufficient number of healthcare and pharmaceutical specialists of high professional qualification, inter alia, predict how many of them will be needed in the future and allocate the necessary state funds for their training; create the conditions so that healthcare services would be actually accessible by everyone, i.e. so that the necessary infrastructure would be created and that it would operate so that establishments (including the state-owned ones) rendering various healthcare services and pharmacies could be distributed in a manner that would enable the timely rendering of efficient medical aid and other healthcare services; <...>” of the second paragraph of Item 1.3 of Section IV of the reasoning part. 2. The provisions (the construction of which is requested by Seimas member V. P. Andriukaitis, the petitioner) of the first and second paragraphs of Item 4.3.1 and of the second paragraph of Item 4.6.3 of Section XIV of the reasoning part of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 22 December 2011 are a part of the broader text set forth in the said items of the ruling.

2.1. In Item 4.3.1 (the construction of the provisions of the first and second paragraphs of which is requested by the petitioner) of Section XIV of the reasoning part of the aforementioned Constitutional Court’s ruling, it is stated that:

“Paragraph 5 of Article 70 of the Law on Science and Studies should also be construed while taking account of Paragraph 3 of the same article; the latter paragraph regulates the establishment of a preliminary number of state-funded student places of the first cycle and integrated studies in each study area or a set of study fields: this number is announced by the Ministry of Education and Science not later than by 16 February of each year. A preliminary number of state-funded student places of the first cycle and integrated studies in each study area or a set of study fields is established prior to students’ acceptance to such studies, i.e. when the choice among schools of higher education made by enrolling persons is still unknown. While establishing a preliminary number of state-funded student places of the first cycle and integrated studies in each study area or a set of study fields, one takes account of the aforesaid second criterion, established in Paragraph 2 of Article 70 of the Law on Science and Studies, for distributing state-funded student places according to study programmes of the first cycle and integrated study programmes among schools of higher education—state funding established by the Government for each study area, taking into account the needs of the national economic, social and cultural development and financial possibilities of the state.

Thus, Paragraph 3 of Article 70 of the Law on Science and Studies essentially regulates the requisition by the state for schools of higher education to train specialists of certain areas (fields): while taking into account the needs of the national economic, social and cultural development and financial possibilities of the state, a preliminary number of state-funded student places of the first cycle and integrated studies is established at schools of higher education in each study area or a set of study fields. It needs to be noted that a preliminary number of state-funded student places of the first cycle and integrated studies at schools of higher education is a general one for all schools of higher education, i.e. preliminary numbers of state-funded student places of the first cycle and integrated studies are not established separately for state and non-state schools of higher education.”

2.2. In Item 4.6.3 (the construction of the provisions of the second paragraph of which is requested by the petitioner) of Section XIV of the reasoning part of the aforementioned Constitutional Court’s ruling, it is stated that:

“It needs to be noted that the provision ‘[c]itizens who are good at their studies shall be guaranteed education at state schools of higher education free of charge’ of Paragraph 3 of Article 41 of the Constitution implies the right of citizens who are good at their studies, namely at state schools of higher education, to receive higher education free of charge and it implies the corresponding duty of the state to provide for the funds in the state budget necessary to guarantee free-of-charge education for citizens who are good at their studies, namely at state schools of higher education.

In addition, the Constitution guarantees higher education covered by the funds of the state budget not to all citizens who are good at their studies at state schools of higher education, no matter under what conditions they were admitted to such schools (i.e. not to all those citizens who are good at their studies, who, however, in the course of admittance to a particular state school of higher education were not admitted to the places whose number announced in advance conforms to the obligation of the state to fund the training of a certain number of specialists, and who were admitted to study at that state school of higher education at their own expense), but only to those who are trained in order to satisfy the state-established need for specialists of relevant areas (fields); it is namely for the financing of their studies that one has to provide the necessary funds in the state budget (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 20 March 2008).

On the other hand, the Constitution does not contain any prohibitions for the state to undertake higher financial obligations, in accordance with its possibilities, to citizens studying at schools of higher education (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 14 January 2002).”

2.3. It should be noted that the cited Items 4.3.1 and 4.6.3 (the construction of the provisions of which is requested by the petitioner) of Section XIV of the reasoning part of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 22 December 2011 were formulated when deciding on whether the fact that, while regulating, in Paragraphs 2 and 5 of Article 70 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Science and Studies, the distribution of state-funded student places of the first cycle studies and integrated studies among schools of higher education, the rule of priority for state schools of higher education made on the requisition of the state had not been established, i.e. the fact that non-state schools of higher education could receive such state-funded student places only in cases where specialists of certain areas (fields) cannot be trained at state schools of higher education due to objective circumstances was not in conflict with the Constitution.

Thus, in the aforementioned ruling, the Constitutional Court construed the provisions of Article 70 of the Law on Science and Studies which entrench the general principles of the requisition by the state for all schools of higher education to train specialists of certain areas (fields), however, it did not consider the aspects of the requisition by the state to train specialists of a particular area (inter alia, healthcare), inter alia, the conditions for concluding study agreements with such specialists who undergo training.

  1. The provisions (the construction of which is requested by Seimas member V. P. Andriukaitis, the petitioner) of the second and third paragraphs of Item 1.1 and of the second paragraph of Item 1.3 of Section IV of the reasoning part of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 16 May 2013 are also a part of the broader text set forth in the said items of the ruling.

3.1. In Item 1.1 (the construction of the provisions of the second and third paragraphs of which is requested by the petitioner) of Section IV of the reasoning part of the aforementioned Constitutional Court’s ruling, it is stated that:

“The constitutional grounds for health protection are consolidated in Paragraph 1 of Article 53 of the Constitution, which prescribes: ‘The state shall take care of people’s health and shall guarantee medical aid and services for the human being in the event of sickness. The procedure for providing medical aid to citizens free of charge at state medical establishments shall be established by law.’

The health of a human being and of society is one of the most important values of society (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 11 July 2002, 29 September 2005, and 21 June 2011). While construing the constitutional provision that the state takes care of people’s health, the Constitutional Court has held on more than one occasion that the protection of people’s health is a constitutionally important objective, a public interest, whereas looking after people’s health is a state function (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 26 January 2004, 29 September 2005, and 21 June 2011).

The provision of Paragraph 1 of Article 53 of the Constitution that the state takes care of people’s health expresses the constitutional principle that is also reflected in various aspects in the other provisions of the Constitution (first of all, in those of the same paragraph, but also in those beyond that paragraph). Upon this principle the entire state activity related to people’s health must be grounded.”

3.2. In Item 1.3 (the construction of the provisions of the second paragraph of which is requested by the petitioner) of Section IV of the reasoning part of the aforementioned Constitutional Court’s ruling, it is stated that:

“In order to implement the constitutional obligation of the state to take care of people’s health, inter alia, where the state must ensure the medical aid and services for the human being in the event of sickness, one must create an efficient system of health protection and proper conditions for its operation. The Constitutional Court has noted that the state has the duty to protect human beings from threats to health (to reduce dangers to health and, in certain cases, as far as possible, to prevent them) and to improve the ability of a person and society to overcome dangers to health, and to ensure access to medical services in the event of illness (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 2 September 2009). Thus, the state must create legal and organisational preconditions for the operation of the system of health protection that would ensure quality healthcare (not only the expressis verbis guaranteed medical aid and services for the human being in the event of sickness, inter alia, medical aid to citizens free of charge at state medical establishments, but also other healthcare services for persons and society) accessible by everyone, as well as other health activity (as, for instance, pharmaceutical activity) that is necessary so that it would be possible to implement, in reality and efficiently, the innate human right to the best possible health.

While carrying out this constitutional function, the state institutions that form and implement state health policy must, among other things: take measures in order to satisfy the public need for a sufficient number of healthcare and pharmaceutical specialists of high professional qualification, inter alia, predict how many of them will be needed in the future and allocate the necessary state funds for their training; create the conditions so that healthcare services would actually be accessible by everyone, i.e. so that the necessary infrastructure would be created and that it would operate so that establishments (including the state-owned ones) rendering various healthcare services and pharmacies could be distributed in a manner that would enable the timely rendering of efficient medical aid and other healthcare services; supervise health activity, exercise control over the quality of healthcare services and medicines; create the healthcare funding system that would ensure the financial accessibility to (affordability of) the necessary healthcare services and the indispensable medicines.”

3.3. It should be noted that Section IV (the construction of Items 1.1 and 1.3 of which is requested by the petitioner) of the reasoning part of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 16 May 2013 decided on whether the provisions of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Health Insurance that entrench the duty of persons to pay compulsory health insurance contributions, the period of the entry into force of, and the discontinuance of, the said insurance, are (were) not in conflict with the Constitution, but it did not consider the aspects related to the training (inter alia, the funding thereof) of healthcare specialists.

  1. The questions formulated by Seimas member V. P. Andriukaitis, the petitioner, make it clear that they seek the elucidation of certain aspects of the training of healthcare specialists financed from state funds, namely:

– whether the legislature, after assessing current actual jobs in healthcare establishments, the supply of, and the need for, healthcare specialists, the imbalances of the distribution of healthcare specialists in establishments, and the shortage of these specialists in particular districts and regions of this country, may establish a special legal regulation for healthcare and pharmaceutical specialists as well as for the institutions that train them which entrenches certain prohibitions, and limitations, and, thereby satisfy “the public need for” a sufficient number of healthcare specialists;

– whether the requisition by the state to train healthcare specialists must be understood as “the requisition by the state” is understood in the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 22 December 2011;

– whether the legal regulation under which healthcare specialists who have completed relevant studies and whose training was financed by state funds, while fulfilling the requisition of the state, would assume obligations, under the pre-defined conditions in admission agreements, to perform duties, for a certain period of time, in order to ensure the implementation of the state functions under Paragraph 1 of Article 53 of the Constitution, would not be in conflict with the Constitution;

– whether the legislature may choose such a model of funding the training of healthcare specialists where part of this funding is ensured from the state budget and the other part is ensured from other sources (including the budget of the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund);

– whether the state, when seeking to train a sufficient number of healthcare specialists which satisfies the state’s needs, may establish specific specialisations of these specialists by assuming obligations to guarantee education covered by the funds of the state budget only to those citizens who are trained in order to satisfy the state-established need for specialists of relevant areas (fields), and, in parallel, by establishing duties (restrictions) for them ensured by sanctions.

  1. It should be noted that the provisions (the construction of which is requested by the petitioner) of Items 1.1 and 1.3 of Section IV of the reasoning part of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 16 May 2013 were formulated while construing Paragraph 1 of Article 53 of the Constitution, which establishes the grounds for health protection, whilst the provisions (the construction of which is requested by the petitioner) of Item 4.6.3 of Section XIV of the reasoning part of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 22 December 2011 were formulated while construing Paragraph 3 of Article 41 of the Constitution, which consolidates the right of citizens who are good at their studies to free-of-charge higher education at state schools of higher education.

Thus, when requesting a systemic construction of the provisions of the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 22 December 2011 and 16 May 2013, the petitioner essentially relates Paragraph 1 of Article 53 of the Constitution, which establishes the grounds for health protection, with Paragraph 3 of Article 41 of the Constitution, which consolidates the right of citizens who are good at their studies to free-of-charge higher education at state schools of higher education.

In this context, it should be noted that, while construing the provisions of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 16 May 2013, subsequent to an earlier petition of Seimas member V. P. Andriukaitis, the petitioner, in its decision of 26 February 2013, the Constitutional Court held that: “the Constitutional Court, while construing Paragraph 1 of Article 53 of the Constitution, which establishes the grounds for health protection, did not relate it to Paragraph 3 of Article 41 of the Constitution, which consolidates the right of citizens who are good at their studies to free-of-charge higher education at state schools of higher education”.

  1. It should also be noted that, in the first and second paragraphs (the construction of the provisions of which is requested by the petitioner) of Item 4.3.1 of Section XIV of the reasoning part of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 22 December 2011, the Constitutional Court construes the legal regulation that is established in Paragraphs 2, 3, and 5 of Article 70 of the Law on Science and Studies and is related to the distribution of state-funded student places according to study programmes of the first cycle and integrated study programmes among schools of higher education.

Paragraphs 2, 3, and 5 of Article 70 of the Law on Science and Studies prescribe:

“2. State-funded student places according to study programmes of the first cycle and integrated study programmes shall be allocated to schools of higher education in accordance with the choice among schools of higher education made by enrolling persons who have completed the secondary education programme with the best results, without exceeding state funding established for each study area. Distribution of funding for study areas shall be established by the Government, taking into account the needs of the national economic, social and cultural development and financial possibilities of the state.

  1. A preliminary number of state-funded student places of the first cycle and integrated studies in each study area or a set of study fields shall be announced by the Ministry of Education and Science not later than by 16 February of each year.

<...>

  1. The final number of state-funded student places of the first cycle and integrated studies as well as their distribution among schools of higher education and study areas shall be approved by the Ministry of Education and Science after the results of admission to schools of higher education are made known and study agreements are signed.”

Thus, the said provisions of the Law on Science and Studies, which are construed in the provisions (the construction of which is requested by the petitioner) of Item 4.3.1 of Section XIV of the reasoning part of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 22 December 2011, entrench a general legal regulation, it does not expressis verbis establish any special norms related specifically to the training of healthcare specialists in order to satisfy the state-established need for these specialists.

  1. It has been mentioned that Items 4.3.1 and 4.6.3 (the construction of the provisions of which is requested by the petitioner) of Section XIV of the reasoning part of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 22 December 2011 were formulated while deciding on whether the fact that, when regulating, in the provisions of the Law on Science and Studies, the distribution of state-funded student places of the first cycle studies and integrated studies, the rule of priority for state schools of higher education made on the requisition of the state was not established, was not in conflict with the Constitution. It has also been mentioned that Section IV (the construction of Items 1.1 and 1.3 of which is requested by the petitioner) of the reasoning part of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 16 May 2013 decided on whether the provisions of the Law on Health Insurance that entrench the duty of persons to pay compulsory health insurance contributions, the period of the entry into force of, and the discontinuance of the validity of, the said insurance, were not (had not been) in conflict with the Constitution.

Thus, the first and second paragraphs (the construction of the provisions of which is requested by the petitioner) of Item 4.3.1 and the second paragraph (the construction of the provisions of which is requested by the petitioner) of Item 4.6.3 of Section XIV of the reasoning part of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 22 December 2011 as well as the second and third paragraphs (the construction of the provisions of which is requested by the petitioner) of Item 1.1 and the second paragraph (the construction of the provisions of which is requested by the petitioner) of Item 1.3 of Section IV of the reasoning part of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 16 May 2013 do not address the questions that are related to the training of healthcare specialists in order to satisfy the state-established need for these specialists and that are raised by the petitioner in his petition.

It needs to be emphasised that, in the aforementioned rulings of 22 December 2011 and 16 May 2013, the Constitutional Court did not consider the aspects of the training (inter alia, funding thereof) of healthcare specialists.

  1. As mentioned before, the Constitutional Court has held on more than one occasion that it may not construe what it did not investigate in the constitutional justice case in which the ruling, the construction of which is requested, was adopted (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s decisions of 28 March 2006, 21 November 2006, 1 February 2008, 6 November 2009, and 5 September 2011). This would imply a matter for a separate investigation (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s decisions of 17 December 1998 and 5 September 2011).

Consequently, the Constitutional Court may not construe the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 22 December 2011 and 16 May 2013 in the aspects specified by the petitioner.

  1. In addition, it should be noted that Seimas member V. P. Andriukaitis, the petitioner, requests a systemic construction of the provisions (specified by him) of the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 22 December 2011 and 16 May 2013, however, he does not specifically indicate any formulations, the content and meaning of which are unclear to him. The petition of the petitioner makes it clear that he has faced uncertainties not about the content and meaning of the specific formulations of the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 22 December 2011 and 16 May 2013, but about the fact of whether, “in implementing the aforementioned provisions of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 22 December 2011 and the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 16 May 2013”, it is possible to adopt specific decisions that are indicated by the petitioner and related to the training of healthcare specialists in order to satisfy the state-established need for these specialists.

As mentioned before, the purpose of the construction of a ruling or another final act is to explain more comprehensively those provisions and formulations of the Constitutional Court’s ruling or its another final act due to the meaning of which there have been some uncertainties but not to explain how to implement the said ruling or another final act in a concrete situation.

  1. Under Item 2 of Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, the Constitutional Court, by its decision, refuses to consider petitions requesting an investigation into the compliance of a legal act with the Constitution if the consideration of the petition does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court.

The Constitutional Court has held that the said provision is also applicable mutatis mutandis to the petitions, provided for in Article 61 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, requesting the construction of the Constitutional Court’s acts (the Constitutional Court’s decisions of 20 November 2006 and 5 September 2011).

  1. Taking account of the arguments set forth, the Constitutional Court will not construe, subsequent to the petition of Seimas member V. P. Andriukaitis, the petitioner, the provisions of the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 22 December 2011 and 16 May 2013.

Conforming to Article 102 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and Articles 1 and 61 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania adopts the following

decision:

To refuse to construe, subsequent to the petition of Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, a member of the Seimas, the provisions of the 22 December 2011 and 16 May 2013 rulings of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania.

This decision of the Constitutional Court is final and not subject to appeal.

Justices of the Constitutional Court:                                       Elvyra Baltutytė
                                                                                                           Vytautas Greičius
                                                                                                           Danutė Jočienė
                                                                                                           Pranas Kuconis
                                                                                                           Gediminas Mesonis
                                                                                                           Vytas Milius
                                                                                                           Egidijus Šileikis
                                                                                                           Algirdas Taminskas
                                                                                                           Dainius Žalimas