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On accepting a petition of the petitioner

 THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

 DECISION

ON ACCEPTING THE PETITION SET FORTH IN THE 10 APRIL 2014 RESOLUTION (NO. XII-819) “ON THE APPLICATION TO THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA FOR AN INVESTIGATION INTO WHETHER ARTICLE 14 OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA’S LAW ON REFERENDUMS IS NOT IN CONFLICT WITH THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA” OF THE SEIMAS OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA, THE PETITIONER

 17 April 2014, No. KT15-S10/2014
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, and Dainius Žalimas

The court reporter—Daiva Pitrėnaitė

At its procedural sitting, the Constitutional Court considered the petition set forth in the 10 April 2014 Resolution (No. XII-819) “On the Application to the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania for an Investigation into Whether Article 14 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Referendums Is Not in Conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania” of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into “whether Article 14 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Referendums (No. IX-929), as adopted on 4 June 2002 (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2002, No. 64-2570), insofar as it does not provide for the right of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania to decide on calling a referendum after it receives the conclusion from a group of experts that the text of the decision submitted in the citizens’ petition to call the referendum may not be in line with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, is not in conflict with the first paragraph of Article 6 and the first paragraph of Article 7 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law”.

The Constitutional Court

has established:

  1. On 10 April 2014, the Seimas, the petitioner, passed the Resolution (No. XII-819) “On the Application to the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania for an Investigation into Whether Article 14 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Referendums Is Not in Conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania”, in Article 1 whereof, the Seimas set forth its petition requesting an investigation into whether Article 14 of the Law on Referendums, insofar as it does not provide for the right of the Seimas to decide on calling a referendum after it receives the conclusion from a group of experts that the text of the decision submitted in the citizens’ petition to call the referendum may not be in line with the Constitution, is not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 6 and Paragraph 1 of Article 7 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  2. The aforesaid petition of the Seimas, the petitioner, was officially published in the Register of Legal Acts on 15 April 2014 (Register of Legal Acts, 15-04-2014, No. 2014-04452); the petition was received at the Constitutional Court on 16 April 2014.

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

1. According to Paragraph 1 of Article 102 and Paragraph 1 of Article 105 of the Constitution, investigation into the compliance of laws and other acts adopted by the Seimas with the Constitution is assigned to the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court.2. Under Paragraph 1 of Article 106 of the Constitution, the Government, not less than 1/5 of all the members of the Seimas, and the courts, have the right to apply to the Constitutional Court concerning the conformity of the acts specified in Paragraph 1 of Article 105, i.e., laws and other legal acts adopted by the Seimas, with the Constitution.Under Paragraph 4 of Article 106 of the Constitution, a resolution of the Seimas asking for an investigation into the conformity of an act with the Constitution suspends the validity of that act.A systemic construction of these provisions makes it possible to hold that the Seimas in corpore has the constitutional powers to apply, by means of its resolution, to the Constitutional Court and to request an investigation into the compliance of laws and other legal acts adopted by the Seimas with the Constitution.3. Under Paragraph 1 of Article 26 (wording of 28 October 2003) of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, in the cases where the Constitutional Court receives a resolution of the Seimas requesting an investigation into whether a law is in compliance with the Constitution, a preliminary investigation into that material must be carried out within 3 days, and the issue of whether to accept the petition for consideration at the Constitutional Court must be settled during its procedural sitting.The decision of the Constitutional Court on accepting the aforementioned petition neither approves nor denies the arguments on which the Seimas, the petitioner, grounds its position; in the course of adopting the aforesaid decisions, the fact whether the petition of the petitioner is grounded on legal reasoning is of essential significance (the Constitutional Court’s decisions of 15 December 2006, 8 January 2008, 8 October 2008, 3 April 2009, and 13 November 2013).

  1. The petition set forth in the 10 April 2014 Resolution (No. XII-819) “On the Application to the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania for an Investigation into Whether Article 14 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Referendums Is Not in Conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania” of the Seimas, the petitioner, is grounded on legal reasoning.

5. It has been mentioned that, under Paragraph 4 of Article 106 of the Constitution, a resolution of the Seimas asking for an investigation into the conformity of an act with the Constitution suspends the validity of that act. Under Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution, a law (or part thereof) of the Republic of Lithuania or any other act (or part thereof) of the Seimas and an act (or part thereof) of the Government may not be applied from the day of the official publication of the decision of the Constitutional Court that the act in question (or part thereof) is in conflict with the Constitution. A systemic construction of these provisions makes it possible to hold that the decision of the Constitutional Court to accept a petition set forth in the resolution of the Seimas requesting an investigation into whether the provisions of the laws or other acts of the Seimas or the provisions of the acts of the Government comply with the Constitution suspends the validity of the respective provisions.

Under Paragraph 2 (wording of 6 November 2012) of Article 26 (wording of 28 October 2003) of the Law on the Constitutional Court, if the Constitutional Court adopts the decision to accept a petition for consideration, the President of the Constitutional Court immediately announces about that on the Internet website of the Constitutional Court and sends the announcement to the Manager of the Register of Legal Acts. In this announcement, the President of the Constitutional Court states the exact title of the impugned act, the date of its adoption, and that, in accordance with Article 106 of the Constitution, the validity of the aforementioned act is suspended as from the day of the official publication of this announcement in the Register of Legal Acts until the ruling of the Constitution Court concerning this case is published. The announcement of the President of the Constitutional Court received by the Manager of the Register of Legal Acts is immediately published in the Register of Legal Acts.

Under Paragraph 3 of Article 26 (wording of 28 October 2003) of the Law on the Constitutional Court, in the cases where the Constitutional Court, having considered a case, issues the ruling that the impugned act (or part thereof) is not in conflict with the Constitution, the President of the Constitutional Court immediately makes an official announcement about it under the procedure established in Paragraph 2 of this article; in the said announcement, the President of the Constitutional Court states the exact title of the impugned act, the date of its adoption, the substance of the ruling of the Constitutional Court concerning this issue, the date of its adoption, and that the validity of the suspended act (part thereof) is restored from the day that this ruling is published.

Conforming to Paragraph 1 of Article 105 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and Articles 26, 28, and 63 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 accept the petition set forth in the 10 April 2014 Resolution (No. XII-819) “On the Application to the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania for an Investigation into Whether Article 14 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Referendums Is Not in Conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania” of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, requesting an investigation into whether Article 14 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Referendums, insofar as it does not provide for the right of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania to decide on calling a referendum after it receives the conclusion from a group of experts that the text of the decision submitted in the citizens’ petition to call the referendum may not be in line with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, is not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 6 and Paragraph 1 of Article 7 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

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
                                                                                             Dainius Žalimas