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On refusing to consider a petition

 THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

 DECISION

ON THE PETITION OF A GROUP OF MEMBERS OF THE SEIMAS OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA, THE PETITIONER, REQUESTING TO INVESTIGATE THE COMPLIANCE OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE MANAGEMENT PLAN OF CURONIAN SPIT NATIONAL PARK, AS APPROVED BY RESOLUTION OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA NO. 702 “ON THE APPROVAL OF THE MANAGEMENT PLAN OF CURONIAN SPIT NATIONAL PARK” OF 6 JUNE 2012, WITH THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA AND OTHER LEGAL ACTS

 30 October 2012

Vilnius

 

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, composed of the Justices of the Constitutional Court Egidijus Bieliūnas, Pranas Kuconis, Gediminas Mesonis, Egidijus Šileikis, Algirdas Taminskas, Romualdas Kęstutis Urbaitis, and Dainius Žalimas,

with the secretary—Daiva Pitrėnaitė,

in a procedural sitting of the Constitutional Court considered a petition (No. 1B-24/2012) of a group of Members of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, the petitioner.

The Constitutional Court

has established:

On 11 October 2012, a petition (No. 1B-24/2012) of a group of Members of the Seimas, the petitioner, requesting to investigate the compliance of the provisions of the Management Plan of Curonian Spit National Park, as approved by Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania No. 702 “On the Approval of the Management Plan of Curonian Spit National Park” of 6 June 2012, with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and other legal acts, was received at the Constitutional Court.

 

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

  1. The group of Members of the Seimas, the petitioner, requests investigation into whether the part of the Management Plan of Curonian Spit National Park, as approved by Government Resolution No. 702 “On the Approval of the Management Plan of Curonian Spit National Park” of 6 June 2012, which is related to the lawfulness (legalisation) of the existing structures of the Preila boatel, is not in conflict with the provisions of Articles 53 and 54 and Paragraph 3 of Article 138 of the Constitution, the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, the provision “the effect of such violations of law cannot be made lawful (legalised) under any bases nor any circumstances by means of decisions later adopted by certain institutions or officials” of the Constitutional Court ruling of 14 March 2006, the ruling of the Court of Appeal of Lithuania of 19 October 2009, the ruling of the Supreme Court of Lithuania of 28 April 2010 in civil case No. 3K-3-143/2010, Article 9 of the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, insofar as it consolidates the obligation of Lithuania to ensure the right of the public concerned to challenge any decisions of authorities relating to the environment, as well as with “the international obligation of Lithuania concerning the inclusion in the UNESCO and the protection of the Curonian Spit”.
  2. From the resolution part of the petition of the petitioner it is clear that the petition was signed by nine Members of the Seimas.
  3. Under Paragraph 3 of Article 106 of the Constitution and Item 3 of Article 65 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, the right to file a petition with the Constitutional Court concerning the compliance of acts of the Government with the Constitution and laws is vested in, inter alia a group consisting of not less than 1/5 of all Members of the Seimas.
  4. Paragraph 1 of Article 55 of the Constitution inter alia stipulates that the Seimas consists of representatives of the Nation—141 Members of the Seimas.
  5. Item 85 of the Rules of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania prescribes: “The provision that 1/5 of all the Members of the Seimas may apply to the Constitutional Court is consolidated in Paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of Article 106 of the Constitution. The specified group of ‘1/5 of all the Members of the Seimas’ comprises not less than 29 Members of the Seimas”.

Thus, Paragraph 3 of Article 106 of the Constitution and Item 3 of Article 65 of the Law on the Constitutional Court inter alia consolidate the right of a group consisting of not less than 1/5 of all Members of the Seimas, i.e. a group consisting of not less than 29 Members of the Seimas, to apply to the Constitutional Court with a petition requesting to investigate whether acts of the Government are not in conflict with the Constitution and laws.

  1. It has been mentioned that the group consisting of nine Members of the Seimas filed the petition with the Constitutional Court concerning the compliance of the provisions of the Government resolution with the Constitution and other legal acts.

Since the right to apply to the Constitutional Court concerning inter alia the compliance of acts of the Government with the Constitution and laws, as it has already been mentioned, is vested in a group consisting of not less than 1/5 of all Members of the Seimas, i.e. a group consisting of not less than 29 Members of the Seimas, it needs to be held that in this case the petition with the Constitutional Court was filed by the subject not fulfilling the established requirements. Thus, the group consisting of nine Members of the Seimas had no right to apply to the Constitutional Court.

  1. Under Item 1 of Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, by its decision, the Constitutional Court shall refuse to consider a petition to investigate the compliance of a legal act with the Constitution, if the petition is filed by an institution or a person who has no right to apply to the Constitutional Court.
  2. The petitioner also requests that, until the decision of the Constitutional Court concerning the compliance of the impugned legal act with the Constitution is adopted, the provisional protection measures be applied and the validity of the part of the impugned normative legal act be suspended, in this way precluding the Government and the owners of the structures of Preila boatels to conclude a peace agreement on the legalisation of the structures in question.

In this context it needs to be noted that, under Paragraph 4 of Article 106 of the Constitution, the validity of the act concerning the compliance whereof with the Constitution one has applied to the Constitutional Court, is suspended in cases where the presentation by the President of the Republic or the resolution of the Seimas (requesting for an investigation into the conformity of the said act with the Constitution) is filed with the Constitutional Court.

It also needs to be mentioned that, under Article 26 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, upon the application of the aforementioned subjects to the Constitutional Court, the validity of the impugned legal act is suspended only if the Constitutional Court adopts a decision to accept the petition for consideration.

  1. 9. Taking account of the arguments set forth, one needs to refuse to consider the petition of the group of Members of the Seimas, the petitioner, requesting to investigate and “recognise the part of the Management Plan of Curonian Spit National Park, as a decision of authorities relating to the environment and approved by Government resolution No. 702 of 6 June 2012, which is related to the lawfulness (legalisation) of the existing structures of the Preila boatel, as being in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, the provisions of Articles 53 and 54 and Paragraph 3 of Article 138 of the Constitution, the provision ‘the effect of such violations of law cannot be made lawful (legalised) under any bases nor any circumstances by means of decisions later adopted by certain institutions or officials’ of the Constitutional Court ruling of 14 March 2006, the ruling of the Court of Appeal of Lithuania of 19 October 2009, the ruling of the Supreme Court of Lithuania of 28 April 2010, also with the international obligation of Lithuania under Article 9 of the Aarhus Convention to ensure the right of the public concerned to challenge any decisions of authorities relating to the environment, and the international obligation of Lithuania concerning the inclusion in the UNESCO and the protection of the Curonian Spit, as well as encouraging the corrupt actions and legal nihilism in supreme institutions of the state through which one would attempt legalising the construction recognised by courts as unlawful”.

Conforming to Paragraphs 3 and 4 of Article 22, Article 28, Item 1 of Paragraph 1 and Paragraph 2 of Article 69 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania has passed the following

decision:

To refuse to consider the 2 October 2012 petition (No. 1B-24/2012) of the group of Members of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, the petitioner, requesting to investigate the compliance of the provisions of the Management Plan of Curonian Spit National Park, as approved by Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania No. 702 “On the Approval of the Management Plan of Curonian Spit National Park” of 6 June 2012, with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and other legal acts.

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

The decision is promulgated in the name of the Republic of Lithuania.

Justices of the Constitutional Court:                         Egidijus Bieliūnas

                                                                                             Pranas Kuconis

                                                                                             Gediminas Mesonis

                                                                                             Egidijus Šileikis

                                                                                             Algirdas Taminskas

                                                                                             Romualdas Kęstutis Urbaitis

                                                                                             Dainius Žalimas