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On the provision of the Real Property Register information for advocates

Case No. 12/2008-45/2009

THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

RULING

ON THE COMPLIANCE OF ARTICLE 42 OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA LAW ON THE REAL PROPERTY REGISTER (WORDING OF 21 JUNE 2001) WITH THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA AND ON THE COMPLIANCE OF ITEM 88 (WORDING OF 27 FEBRUARY 2007) AND ITEM 97 (WORDINGS OF 27 FEBRUARY 2007, 22 OCTOBER 2008, 3 MARCH 2010, AND 4 MAY 2011) OF THE REGULATIONS OF THE REAL PROPERTY REGISTER APPROVED BY RESOLUTION OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA NO. 1129 “ON THE APPROVAL OF THE REGULATIONS OF THE REAL PROPERTY REGISTER” OF 12 JULY 2002 WITH THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

9 June 2011
Vilnius

 

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

with the secretaries of the hearing—Daiva Pitrėnaitė and Sigutė Brusovienė,

in the presence of the representatives of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, a party concerned, who were Vytautas Gapšys, a Member of the Seimas, and Vidmondas Vėgelis, Advisor of the Civil Law Unit of the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas (who were representing the Seimas in the part of the case subsequent to petition No. 1B-57/2009 of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner),

the representatives of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, a party concerned, who were Juliana Ostrouch, Superior of the Division of Legal Representation of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania, and Sigita Panovienė, Chief Specialist of the Division of Legal Registration and Registers of the Register Department of the Ministry of Justice (who were representing the Government in the part of the case subsequent to petition No. 1B-12/2008 of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner),

pursuant to Articles 102 and 105 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and Article 1 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, in its public hearing on 17 May 2011 heard constitutional justice case No. 12/2008-45/2009 subsequent to the petitions of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

1) Items 88 and 97 (wording of 27 February 2007) of the Regulations of the Real Property Register approved by Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania No. 1129 “On the Approval of the Regulations of the Real Property Register” of 12 July 2002 insofar as, according to the petitioner, these items have established classes of recipients of the data, and law firms have been attributed to the second class, whereas the information, with reference to the code of a natural person, as regards his entire property, is provided only for first-class recipients of the data, are not in conflict with Paragraph 3 of Article 25 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, Item 1 (wording of 18 March 2004) of Article 44 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on the Bar, Paragraph 5 (wording of 15 July 2004) of Article 15 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on State Registers, Paragraph 1 (wording of 21 June 2001) of Article 42 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on the Real Property Register (petition No. 1B-12/2008);

2) Paragraph 3 (wording of 21 June 2001) of Article 42 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on the Real Property Register insofar as, according to the petitioner, it has not established that advocates, having filed a reasoned request, have the right to receive copies of the documents on the grounds of which the Real Property Register registered immovable items, the property rights to these items, restrictions of such rights, and the juridical facts, is not in conflict with the provision “all persons shall be equal before the law” of Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, Paragraph 6 of Article 31 thereof, and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petition No. 1B-57/2009).

By the Constitutional Court decision of 9 May 2011, the said petitions of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, were joined into one case.

The Constitutional Court

has established:

I

1. Petition No. 1B-57/2009 of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, is substantiated by the following arguments.

1.1. Paragraph 3 (wording of 21 June 2001) of Article 42 of the Law on the Real Property Register (hereinafter also referred to as the Law) has entrenched a final list of the subjects that have the right to receive copies of the documents kept in the Real Property Register. Advocates have not been entered into that list. This legal regulation is confirmed also by the existing practice—advocates are issued only extracts from the central databank of the Real Property Register, however, they are not given copies of the documents kept in the Real Property Register.

1.2. Paragraph 1 of Article 42 of the Law (wording of 21 June 2001) provides that the data of the Real Property Register central databank shall be public, with the exception of cases specified by the laws. The procedure for receiving the data was established in the Regulations of the Real Property Register (hereinafter also referred to as the Regulations) approved by Government Resolution No. 1129 “On the Approval of the Regulations of the Real Property Register” of 12 July 2002 (hereinafter also referred to as Government resolution No. 1129 of 12 July 2002); Item 97 (wording of 22 October 2008) of the Regulations inter alia entrenched that the advocates and law and order institutions attributed to the first class may receive all the data about the property held by a person. However, under the legal regulation entrenched in disputed Paragraph 3 of Article 42 of the Law (wording of 21 June 2001), from among these subjects only law and order institutions were granted the right to receive information about the property held by a person, by way of receiving copies of the documents kept in the Real Property Register; no such right was granted to advocates. In the opinion of the petitioner, advocates, being unable to receive information (documents, copies) in the same manner as law and order institutions, are unreasonably discriminated, therefore, the disputed legal regulation could violate the provision “all persons shall be equal before the law” of Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution.

1.3. While invoking the Constitutional Court ruling of 13 December 2004, the petitioner has noted that the constitutional principle of equality of rights is a constituent part of the principle of a state under the rule of law, therefore, it has had doubts whether the disputed legal regulation is not in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

1.4. Paragraph 6 of Article 31 of the Constitution guarantees one’s right to defence as well as one’s right to have an advocate. This right is an absolute one, it may not be denied or restricted under any grounds and conditions. Efficient provision of legal services of an advocate is not an end in itself—it guarantees that the constitutional right of a person to defence will be not sham, but real. The disputed legal regulation entrenched in Paragraph 3 of Article 42 of the Law (wording of 21 June 2001) limits the right of the advocate to receive information in a certain form (copies of documents), therefore, it unreasonably burdens the possibilities of advocates to efficiently provide legal services and, due to this, they can be in conflict with Paragraph 6 of Article 31 the Constitution.

1.5. The constitution principle of a state under the rule of law entrenched in the Constitution implies, along other requirements, also that human rights and freedoms, thus, also the constitutional right of a human being to judicial defence, must be secured. Having doubted regarding the compliance of the disputed legal regulation with Paragraph 6 of Article 31 of the Constitution, the petitioner has doubts whether, due to the same arguments, it is not in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law as well.

2. Petition No. 1B-12/2008 of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, is substantiated by the following arguments.

2.1. The data kept in registers, inter alia the Real Property Register, are to be considered specific information the provision of which may be limited only by means of laws, as it is specified in Paragraph 1 of Article 15 of the Law on State Registers and Paragraph 1 of Article 42 of the Law (wording of 21 June 2001), however, the right of an advocate to receive information about the entire property of the person is limited namely by a sub-statutory legal act—the Regulations approved by Government resolution No. 1129 of 12 July 2002; Items 88 and 97 (wording of 27 February 2007) of the Regulations provide that the entire information as regards the property of the person is provided only for first-class recipients of the data, whereas law firms have been attributed to second-class recipients of the data.

The Government, which approved the Regulations, was granted the right to establish the procedure for provision of public data, i.e. the manner and procedures for provision of the data, however, after the Regulations had established classes (which are not provided for in the Law and the Law on State Registers) of recipients of the data, certain limitations were established upon separate groups of persons, inter alia advocates, to receive information.

2.2. The legislator, having established by the Law (wording of 21 June 2001) that the data in the central databank of the Real Property Register are public, alongside, it has also provided for a possibility, in case of need, to establish limitations only by law. Therefore, in the opinion of the petitioner, Items 88 and 97 (wording of 27 February 2007) (in which classes of recipients of public information are established and different extent of information provided for the groups of persons attributed to these classes is entrenched) of the Regulations of the Real Property Register approved by Government resolution No. 1129 of 12 July 2002 are in conflict with the provisions of the Law and the Law on State Registers.

2.3. The fact that freedom to receive information may not be limited otherwise than by law, if this is necessary to protect the health, honour and dignity, private life, and morals of a human being, or to defend the constitutional order is also entrenched in Paragraph 3 of Article 25 of the Constitution. While invoking the doctrine of the Constitutional Court, the petitioner has noted that certain priority public matters should be regulated only by means of laws; everything related with human rights and freedoms is regulated by law. Thus, the fact that the Government has been granted the right to limit the freedom to receive information, is in conflict with Paragraph 3 of Article 25 of the Constitution.

2.4. In addition, the petitioner has noted that, under Item 1 of Article 44 of the Law on the Bar, a practising advocate is granted the right to receive information from state and municipal institutions, which is necessary to carry out the activities of an advocate. This right of an advocate is limited by the legal regulation established in Items 88 and 97 (wording of 27 February 2007) of the Regulations approved by Government resolution No. 1129 of 12 July 2002, whereby the data about the entire property of the person are provided only for first-class recipients of the data. Since advocates have been attributed to second-class recipients of the data, and the persons belonging to such a class cannot receive all information about real property of the person, the disputed provisions of the sub-statutory act are in conflict with Item 1 of article 44 of the Law on the Bar.

II

1. In the course of the preparation of the case for the Constitutional Court hearing, written explanations were received from the representatives of the Seimas, a party concerned, who were V. Gapšys, a Member of the Seimas, and V. Vėgelis, Advisor of the Civil Law Unit of the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas (who were representing the Seimas, a party concerned, in the part of the case subsequent to petition No. 1B-57/2009 of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner), wherein it is maintained that the disputed legal regulation is not in conflict with the Constitution. The position of the representatives of the Seimas is substantiated by the following arguments.

1.1. The disputed legal regulation does not grant the right to advocates, unlike law and order institutions, to receive copies of documents kept in the Real Property Register, even though the doctrine of legal science often attributes advocates to law and order institutions, which have such a right.

1.2. Although the legislator has not provided a clear definition of the notion of law and order institutions, it is clear from an analysis of norms of legal acts that law and order institutions are understood as special state institutions securing protection of law and its proper implementation, therefore advocates are not attributed to them.

Under the legal regulation entrenched in Paragraphs 1 and 3 of Article 42 of the Law (wording of 21 June 2001), unequal rights have been provided for law and order institutions and advocates to receive data about property held by the person: advocates may not receive copies of documents kept in the Real Property Register, whereas law and order institutions may receive them. Still, in the opinion of the representatives of the Seimas, the legal regulation entrenched in Item 1 of Article 44 of the Law on the Bar, whereby advocates are granted the right to receive information held or controlled in state and municipal institutions, secures sufficient pre-conditions for advocates to receive the needed information, which is related with the services rendered by them, therefore the disputed legal regulation is not in conflict with the Constitution.

2. In the course of the preparation of the case for the Constitutional Court hearing written explanations were received from the representatives of the Government, a party concerned, who were J. Ostrouch, Superior of the Division of Legal Representation of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania, and S. Panovienė, Chief Specialist of the Division of Legal Registration and Registers of the Register Department of the Ministry of Justice (who were representing the Government, a party concerned, in the part of the case subsequent to petition No. 1B-12/2008 of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner), wherein it is maintained that the disputed legal regulation was not in conflict with Paragraph 3 of Article 25 of the Constitution, Paragraph 1 of Article 42 of the Law (wording of 21 June 2001), Paragraph 5 of Article 15 of the Law on State Registers (wording of 15 July 2004), and Item 1 of Article 44 of the Law on the Bar (wording of 18 March 2004), however, Item 97 (wording of 27 February 2007) of the Regulations to the extent that law firms were attributed to second-class recipients of the data, was in conflict with all aforesaid provisions. The position of the representatives of the Government is substantiated by these arguments.

2.1. The legal regulation entrenched in the Regulations approved by Government resolution No. 1129 of 12 July 2002 was established while taking account of the principles, requirements and criteria of lawful processing entrenched in the Republic of Lithuania Law on Legal Protection of Personal Data. The classes of recipients of personal data were established while seeking to secure lawful use of personal data processed in the Real Property Register, to protect the data of this register from intentional and unintentional use for illegal purposes and to avoid violation of the rights of the persons (related with items of the register) to personal data and inviolability of the private life of a human being, as well as to avoid excessive provision of data of the register. Thus, the legal regulation entrenched in the Regulations, whereby classes of recipients of the data have been established, is a fair one, since the Law on Legal Protection of Personal Data obligates one to limit the provision of personal data processed in the Real Property Register.

2.2. The legal regulation entrenched in the Regulations does not create any new legal norms, but only specifies the persons who have the right to receive the data that are not public (the data about entire real property of a person), and the persons who have the right to receive the data that are public (the data about concrete real property). If the data of the Real Property Register were provided without any limitations, the rights and legitimate interests of the persons related to items of this register would be violated, therefore, all data of the register subsequent to the personal code may be provided only in some situations established by laws.

2.3. It is doubtful whether the recipients of the data of the Real Property Register have been properly grouped into classes, since advocates are attributed to second-class recipients of the data, whereas the persons attributed to such a class do not have the right to receive data subsequent to the code of the natural person. In the course of establishment of such legal regulation, one failed to take account of special laws, inter alia the Law on the Bar. Article 44 of the Law on the Bar has established the rights which can be used by an advocate while performing his professional activity, therefore, having attached the evidence confirming the fact of rendition of legal services to the claimant, the fact of institution of the case in a court and having indicated the purpose of the requested data, he should receive the data of the Real Property register subsequent to the code of the natural person as well.

2.4. Any limitation of the data of the Real Property Register is a matter of regulation by laws, but not by sub-statutory legal act; a sub-statutory act (the Regulations) can only particularise and give more detail to the limitations established by laws upon provision of the data of this register. Paragraph 1 of Article 15 of the Law on State Registers creates pre-conditions for competition between the norms of the law and the sub-statutory legal act inasmuch as the said paragraph provides that the data of the Real Property Register shall be provided to recipients of the data of this register under the procedure and to the extent as established by laws and the Regulations. The imprecise formulation of the provision of law has determined the erroneous concept of limitation upon provision of the data of the register, whereby the limitation is perceived only as refusal to provide the data, but not as provision thereof under certain procedure and to certain extent.

2.5. The legislator established in Paragraph 1 of Article 42 of the Law (wording of 21 June 2001) that the Real Property Register data shall be public, whereas the limitations upon provision of these data may be established only by law or laws. While taking account of the fact that not all data of the Real Property Register are public, therefore, only such data may be provided without restriction, the search of which is carried out subsequent to the number and/or unique code of the immovable item. The data regarding entire real property of a person are not public, since they are directly related to personal data (personal code) and may not be provided to anyone without limitations. These data may be provided only for the persons who have been granted the right by laws to use the code of the natural person or to receive the data about entire real property of the person. Advocates have been granted such a right under Item 1 of Article 44 of the Law on the Bar, therefore, Item 97 (wording of 27 February 2007) of the Regulations, whereby advocates were attributed to second-class recipients of data, is not in line with Item 1 of Article 44 of the Law on the Bar.

2.6. Paragraph 3 of Article 25 of the Constitution provides that freedom to express convictions, to receive and impart information may not be limited otherwise than by law. However, the Constitution does not define the extent of the limitation of freedom of information, therefore, in the opinion of the representatives of the Government, it is within the prerogative of the legislator to choose and establish the extent of limitation. While establishing the limitations upon reception of the information kept at the Real Property Register, the legislator was seeking to protect those persons whose data are stored in this register, therefore, the limitations are reasonable.

III

1. In the course of the preparation of the case for the Constitutional Court hearing written explanations were receive from Dr. Algirdas Kunčinas, Director of the State Data Protection Inspectorate of the Republic of Lithuania.

2. In the course of the preparation of the case for the Constitutional Court hearing, the specialists—Vilma Andziulevičienė, an authorised agent for data protection of the state enterprise (SE) Centre of Registers, Donatas Spurga, chief jurisconsult of the Leal Division of SE Centre of Registers, Rita Vaitkevičienė, Deputy Director of the State Data Protection Inspectorate, and Daiva Paulikienė, Head of the Law Division of the State Data Protection Inspectorate.

IV

At the Constitutional Court hearing, V. Gapšys and V. Vėgelis, the representatives of the Seimas, a party concerned, and J. Ostrouch and S. Panovienė, the representatives of the Government, a party concerned, virtually reiterated the arguments set forth in their written explanations and answered to questions of the justices.

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

I

1. In the constitutional justice case at issue the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, had doubts regarding the compliance of Paragraph 3 (wording of 21 June 2001) of Article 42 of the Law insofar as it has not established that advocates, having filed a reasoned request, have the right to receive copies of the documents on the grounds of which the Real Property Register registered immovable items, the property rights to these items, restrictions of such rights, and the juridical facts, with the provision “all persons shall be equal before the law” of Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution, Paragraph 6 of Article 31 thereof, and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, also it had doubts regarding the compliance of Items 88 and 97 (wording of 27 February 2007) of the Regulations approved by Government resolution No. 1129 of 12 July 2002 insofar as, according to the petitioner, these items have established classes of recipients of the data, and law firms have been attributed to the second class, whereas the information, with reference to the code of a natural person, as regards his entire property, is provided only for first-class recipients of the data, with inter alia Paragraph 3 of Article 25 of the Constitution.

2. Paragraph 3 of Article 25 of the Constitution prescribes: “Freedom to express convictions, to receive and impart information may not be limited otherwise than by law, if this is necessary to protect the health, honour and dignity, private life, and morals of a human being, or to defend the constitutional order.”

2.1. The Constitutional Court has held more than once in its acts that freedom of information is not absolute, also, that the Constitution does not permit to establish any such legal regulation whereby, by entrenching the guarantees of implementation of freedom of information, pre-conditions would be created to violate other constitutional values and their balance (inter alia the Constitutional Court ruling of 15 May 2007).

2.2. The Constitutional Court has held that it is clear from the content of Article 25 of the Constitution that two conditions must be followed, when restricting human rights to seek, obtain, and disseminate information: they may be limited only by law and only when the values enumerated in Paragraph 3 of Article 25 must be protected and defended (Constitutional Court ruling of 19 December 1996). One must especially emphasise the duty arising from Constitution not to violate the human right to inviolability of private life (Constitutional Court ruling of 19 September 2005).

The Constitutional Court has also held that any limitations upon freedom of information must be reasoned by the same constitutional criteria as in case of limitation upon other basic human rights and freedoms: it is permitted to limit freedom of information provided this is done by law, provided the limitations are necessary in a democratic society in attempt to protect the rights and freedoms of other persons and the values entrenched in the Constitution as well as the constitutionally important objectives, provided the limitations do not deny the nature and essence of this freedom, and provided the constitutional principle of proportionality is followed (Constitutional Court rulings of 23 October 2002 and 26 January 2004).

2.3. Constitutional freedom of information is an innate freedom of a human being. In its rulings the Constitutional Court has held more than once that that everything that is linked with human rights and freedoms must be regulated by means of laws; such laws must be in compliance with the Constitution. Therefore, the legal regulation defining the limits on the implementation of freedom of information must be established by means of a law (Constitutional Court ruling of 19 September 2005).

2.4. Under the Constitution, the legislator has a duty to legislatively regulate the relations linked with seeking, obtaining and dissemination of information so that, on the one hand, one of innate human rights, freedom of information, would be ensured and that, on the other hand, in the course of implementation of freedom of information one would not violate constitutional values, that they would be protected and defended (Constitutional Court ruling of 19 September 2005).

2.5. It is worth noticing that the Constitution does not prevent regulation of certain relations linked with obtaining and dissemination of information, including the relations linked with supervision and control of the prohibitions, established by means of laws, to disseminate information and/or limitations on dissemination of information also by sub-statutory legal acts, inter alia Government resolutions. The Government, while regulating the aforesaid relations by means of its resolutions, cannot establish any such legal regulation which is not based on the Constitution and laws, nor any such legal regulation which competes with that established by laws (Constitutional Court ruling of 19 September 2005).

3. Paragraph 3 of Article 25 of the Constitution, wherein it is inter alia entrenched that freedom to receive information may be limited by law if this is necessary to protect private life of a human being, is closely related to the provisions of Article 22 of the Constitution, in which inviolability of the private life of a human being is entrenched.

3.1. The inviolability of the private life of a human being consolidated in the norms of Article 22 of the Constitution implies the right of a person to privacy. The right of a human being to privacy encompasses the inviolability of private, family and domestic life, of honour and reputation, physical and psychological inviolability of persons, secrecy of personal facts and prohibition to publicise obtained or collected confidential information etc. (Constitutional Court rulings of 21 October 1999, 8 May 2000, 19 September 2002, and 23 October 2002).

3.2. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue it needs to be noted that from the provisions of the Constitution, inter alia from Article 22 and Paragraph 3 of Article 25 thereof, a duty arises to the legislator to establish such legal regulation whereby, in the course of provision of information held by state and municipal institutions, inviolability of the private life of a human being and other values protected by the Constitution would be secured.

4. It has been mentioned that the petitioner requests to investigate the compliance of the disputed legal regulation with the Constitution with inter alia Paragraph 6 of Article 31 of the Constitution.

5. Paragraph 6 of Article 31 of the Constitution prescribes: “A person suspected of the commission of a crime and the accused shall be guaranteed, from the moment of their detention or first interrogation, the right to defence as well as the right to an advocate.”

The Constitutional Court has held that he right to defence, as well as the right to have an advocate, is one of the fundamental human rights helping to secure the person’s freedom and inviolability as well as protection of other constitutional rights and freedoms (Constitutional Court ruling of 10 July 1996). The right of persons to defence as well as the right to have an advocate, which is provided for in Paragraph 6 of Article 31 of the Constitution, is absolute: it may not be denied nor restricted on any grounds and under any conditions (Constitutional Court ruling of 12 February 2001).

6. The right to have an advocate as a condition of efficient implementation of the right to judicial defence arises not only from Paragraph 6 of Article 31 of the Constitution, but also from Paragraph 1 of Article 30 thereof, wherein it is established that “The person whose constitutional rights or freedoms are violated shall have the right to apply to court”.

6.1. The Constitutional Court, while construing the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 30 of the Constitution, has held that by these provisions the right of a person to judicial defence of his violated rights and freedoms is established and that every person has such a right (Constitutional Court ruling of 8 May 2000).

The right of a person to apply to court is an absolute one (inter alia Constitutional Court rulings of 30 June 2000, 17 August 2004, 29 December 2004, 7 February 2005, 16 January 2006, and 9 May 2006). The right of a person to apply to court may not be limited or denied, since this would give rise to a threat for one of the most important values of a state under the rule of law. The rights of the person must be defended not formally, but in reality and effectively from unlawful actions of both private persons and state institutions or officials (inter alia Constitutional Court rulings of 1 October 1997, 8 May 2000, 12 July 2001, 17 August 2004, and 29 December 2004).

6.2. The Constitutional Court has also held that the guarantee of the protection of the rights and freedoms of persons is a guarantee of procedural nature, and that it is an essential element of the constitutional institute of rights and freedoms of persons (Constitutional Court ruling of 30 June 2000), a necessary condition of implementation of justice, an inseparable element of the content of the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (Constitutional Court rulings of 17 August 2004, 29 December 2004, and 16 January 2006).

6.3. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue it needs to be held that the right of a person to apply to court and the requirement arising from the Constitution, inter alia the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 30 and Paragraph 6 of Article 31 thereof, to defend the rights of a person not formally, but in reality and in an efficient manner inter alia means that the legislator must establish such legal regulation, which would create preconditions for effective legal assistance rendered by an advocate, which the person can use in the course of protection of his violated rights and legitimate interests, inter alia while applying to court.

7. The Constitutional Court has held that the activities of advocates constitute certain independent professional activities of a person that are related with rendering of corresponding legal services (Constitutional Court ruling of 14 February 2011).

7.1. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue it needs to be noted that an advocate, while performing an independent professional activity and rendering legal assistance to a person, whose rights and legitimate interests have been violated, helps to implement the constitutional right of the person to judicial defence. Thus, the right of the person to have an advocate is one of the conditions for effective implementation of the right of the person to judicial defence.

7.2. The Constitutional Court has held that from the right to defence and the right to have an advocate entrenched in Paragraph 6 of Article 31 of the Constitution stems the obligation of the legislator to particularise by laws the implementation of this constitutional right of a person. Establishing such legal regulation, the legislator is bound by the Constitution. From the constitutional right to defence, as well as the right to have an advocate, stems the obligation of state institutions to ensure real opportunities for implementation of these rights (Constitutional Court ruling of 12 February 2001).

7.3. It needs to be noted that from the constitutional right to judicial defence, as well as the right to have an advocate, which are entrenched in the Constitution, inter alia the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 30 and Paragraph 6 of Article 31 thereof, arises a duty for the legislator to establish such legal regulation, whereby pre-conditions would be created for a person, who is defending his violated rights and legitimate expectations, to make use of the legal assistance rendered by an advocate, inter alia the legislator should provide for such rights of advocates, which would enable them to perform their professional activity and to render effective legal assistance. It needs to be noted that provision of the rights of advocates is not an end in itself—it is necessary to provide for them so that advocates could effectively perform their professional activity and, having used all legitimate measures of defence, they could help to secure the implementation of the right of the person to judicial defence, inter alia that of the right to apply to court.

7.4. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue it needs to be noted that, while seeking to secure the right of the person to have an advocate as one of the conditions for effective implementation of the right to judicial defence, the legislator must establish inter alia such legal regulation, whereby the advocate could receive all information held by state and municipal institutions, which is necessary for implementing this right of the person.

On the other hand, under the Constitution, inter alia Article 22 and 25 Paragraph 3 of Article thereof, it is not allowed to establish any such legal regulation on provision of information held by state and municipal institutions to advocates, which would create pre-conditions to violate the values protected by the Constitution, inter alia inviolability of the private life of a human being.

7.5. It also needs to be noted that from the right to have an advocate entrenched in the Constitution, inter alia the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 30 and Paragraph 6 of Article 31 thereof, a duty arises for the legislator to establish not only certain rights of advocates, which are necessary in order to render effective legal assistance, but also their corresponding duties as well, inter alia the duty of confidentiality, which means that the advocate must safeguard the information, which was entrusted to him, and which was necessary for rendering legal assistance, and not to disclose it, as well as a duty not to use the received information for purposes contrary to law; alongside, it needs to be noted that liability of advocates must also be provided for, inter alia that for illegal use of received information.

8. It has been mentioned that the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, doubts regarding the compliance of the disputed legal regulation with inter alia Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution.

9. Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution prescribes: “All persons shall be equal before the law, the court, and other State institutions and officials.”

While construing the provisions of Article 29 of the Constitution 29, in its rulings the Constitutional Court has held more than once that in Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution formal equality of all persons is entrenched; the constitutional principle of equality of all persons before the law requires that in law the main rights and duties be established equally to all; this principle does not in itself deny an opportunity to establish diverse and differentiated legal regulation by means of legislation with respect to certain persons that belong to different categories, if there are differences between these persons of such a character that objectively justify such differentiated regulation; the constitutional principle of equality of all persons before the law would be violated when a certain group of people to which the legal norm is ascribed, if compared to other addressees of the same legal norm, were treated differently, even though there are not any differences in their character and extent between these groups that such an uneven treatment would be objectively justified; while assessing whether an established different legal regulation is a grounded one, particular legal circumstances must be taken into account; first of all, differences of the legal situation of subjects and objects to which different legal regulation is applied must be assessed.

10. It has been mentioned that the petitioner doubts as to the compliance of the disputed legal regulation with inter alia the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, which is a universal principle upon which the entire legal system of Lithuania and the Constitution itself are grounded.

10.1. In its rulings the Constitutional Court has held more than once that the principle of a state under the rule of law entrenched in the Constitution implies, along other requirements, also that human rights and freedoms must be secured (inter alia Constitutional Court rulings of 11 December 2009, 22 March 2010, 14 December 2010, and 22 December 2010).

10.2. One of the elements of the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law is the constitutional principle of proportionality (Constitutional Court rulings of 29 December 2004, and 29 September 2005), whereby the measures established and applied by legal acts must be proportionate to the objective sought, they must not limit the rights of a person more than necessary in order to achieve the legitimate, generally significant and constitutionally grounded objective (Constitutional Court rulings of 5 July 2007, 27 March 2009, 3 February 2010, and 6 January 2011).

10.3. The Constitutional Court has also held in its acts more than once that the principle of a state under the rule of law entrenched in the Constitution implies the hierarchy of legal acts as well, inter alia the fact that sub-statutory legal acts may not be in conflict with laws, constitutional laws and the Constitution, that sub-statutory legal acts must be adopted on the basis of laws, that a sub-statutory legal act is an act of application of norms of the law, irrespective of whether the act is of one-time (ad hoc) application, or permanent validity.

The duty of the Government to adopt sub-statutory acts which are necessary so as to implement laws stems directly from the Constitution, while in case there is a commissioning by the Seimas to do so, it also stems from the laws and Seimas resolutions concerning implementation of laws; it is important that the Government adopt sub-statutory legal acts without exceeding its powers and that these legal acts be not in conflict with the Constitution and laws (Constitutional Court rulings of 18 December 2001, 5 March 2004, 31 May 2006, and 13 August 2007). The Constitutional Court has held more than once that if the legal regulation established in the Government resolutions were not grounded on the laws, not only the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law and Item 2 of Article 94 of the Constitution, whereby the Government inter alia shall execute laws and resolutions of the Seimas on the implementation of the laws, but also Paragraph 2 of Article 5 of the Constitution, in which it is established that the scope of power shall be limited by the Constitution, would be violated.

11. It has been mentioned that the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requests investigation into whether inter alia Paragraph 3 of Article 42 (wording of 21 June 2001) of the Law, insofar as it has not established that advocates, having filed a reasoned request, have the right to receive copies of the documents on the grounds of which the Real Property Register registered immovable items, the property rights to these items, restrictions of such rights, and the juridical facts, is not in conflict with the Constitution.

Thus, the petitioner does not dispute the legal regulation established in the Law (wording of 21 June 2001), but it disputes something that is not established in this law, which, however, in the opinion of the petitioner, ought to be established therein; thus, in this situation the issue of legislative omission is raised, i.e. such a gap in the legal regulation, which is prohibited by the Constitution.

12. The Constitutional Court has held more than once that a legal gap, inter alia legislative omission, always means that the legal regulation of corresponding social relations is established neither explicitly, nor implicitly, neither in the said legal act (part thereof), nor any other legal acts, even though there exists a need for legal regulation of these social relations, while the said legal regulation, in case of legislative omission, must be established, while heeding the imperatives of the consistency and inner uniformity of the legal system stemming from the Constitution and taking account of the content of these social relations, precisely in that legal act (precisely in that part thereof), since this is required by a certain legal act of higher power, inter alia the Constitution itself (Constitutional Court decisions of 8 August 2006, 5 November 2008, rulings of 2 March 2009 and 22 June 2009).

The detection of legislative omission par excellence in a legal act (part thereof) of lower power is, if it is necessary because of the logic of the investigated constitutional justice case, sufficient grounds to recognise that legal act (part thereof) to be in conflict (to corresponding extent, i.e. to the extent that the legal act (part thereof) does not consolidate the legal regulation required by legal acts of higher power, inter alia (and, first of all) with the Constitution) with the Constitution (other legal act of higher power) (Constitutional Court decision of 8 August 2006 and ruling of 2 March 2009).

The Constitutional Court has also held that the elimination of legal gaps (without excluding legislative omission) is a matter of competence of respective (competent) law-making subject; it is possible to completely remove legal gaps only when the law-making institutions issue respective legal acts (Constitutional Court decision of 8 August 2006).

13. In addition, the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights (hereinafter referred to as the ECHR) as a source of construction of law is also important to construction and application of Lithuanian law. The ECHR has recognised more than once that the opportunity to have a lawyer is one of the conditions for effective implementation of the right to apply to court (the 21 February 1975 judgment in the case Gordon v The United Kingdom, No. 4451/70; the 8 February 1996 judgment in the case John Murray v The United Kingdom, No. 18731/91; the 6 June 2000 judgment in the case Averill v The United Kingdom, No. 36408/97; the 9 October 2003 judgment in the case Ezeh and Connors v The United Kingdom, Nos. 39665/98 and 40086/98; the 12 May 2005 judgment in the case Öcalan v Turkey, No. 46221/99 etc.). The ECHR has also considered the peculiarities of the legal profession more than once. In the case Bigaeva v Greece the ECHR noted that representatives of the legal profession participate in the process of administration of justice; the legal profession is a free profession, whose representatives alongside serve the public interest (the 28 May 2009 judgment in the case Bigaeva v Greece, No. 26713/05, Items 31, 39). Although lawyers have been granted an exclusive right to defend a person in a court, their conduct must be discreet, honest and dignified (the 24 February 1994 judgment in the case Casado v Spain, No. 15450/89, Item 46).

II

On the compliance of Paragraph 3 of Article 42 of the Law on the Real Property Register (wording of 21 June 2001) with the provision “All persons shall be equal before the law” of Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution, Paragraph 6 of Article 31 thereof, and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

1. It has been mentioned that the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requests investigation into whether inter alia Paragraph 3 of Article 42 (wording of 21 June 2001) of the Law, insofar as it has not established that advocates, having filed a reasoned request, have the right to receive copies of the documents on the grounds of which the Real Property Register registered immovable items, the property rights to these items, restrictions of such rights, and the juridical facts, is not in conflict with the provision “All persons shall be equal before the law” of Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution, Paragraph 6 of Article 31 thereof, and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

2. On 24 September 1996, the Seimas adopted the Law on the Real Property Register, which came into force on 1 April 1997. By this law the Real Property Register was established to register immovable items, the ownership rights and other property rights to these items, restrictions on these rights, to register the juridical facts established by laws, and to provide official information about the data accumulated in the register.

The said law has been amended and/or supplemented more than once.

3. On 21 June 2001, the Seimas adopted the Law on the Amendment of the Law on the Real Property Register, which came into force on 1 July 2001; by this law the Law on the Real Property Register (wording of 24 September 1996 (with amendments)) was set forth in a new wording.

Article 42 “The Right to Use the Real Property Register Data” of the Law (wording of 21 June 2001), Paragraph 3 whereof is disputed by the petitioner, provides:

1. The data of the Real Property Register central databank shall be public, with the exception of cases specified by the laws. The data are provided under procedure established by this Law and the Regulations of the Real Property Register.

2. In case of a dispute between persons relating to the real property and the rights to which it is subject as registered in the Real Property Register, no one may plead ignorance of the Real Property Register data.

3. Copies of the documents, on the grounds of which immovable items, the property rights to these items, restrictions of such rights, and the juridical facts, were registered in the Real Property Register, while following a reasoned request, shall be submitted only to:

1) holders of the rights—the persons specified in these documents;

2) subjects of administration of taxes;

3) courts and law and order institutions;

4) persons who have the right to inherit the property rights of a deceased person to an immovable item.”

4. Thus, the legal regulation entrenched in Article 42 of the Law (wording of 21 June 2001) is designated for regulation of use of the information stored in the Real Property Register, inter alia provision of such information.

4.1. Paragraph 1 of Article 42 of the Law (wording of 21 June 2001) has established the principle that the information of the Real Property Register central databank is public: it has been established that the data of the Real Property Register central databank shall be public, with the exception of cases specified by the laws.

Paragraph 3 (which is disputed by the petitioner) of Article 42 of the Law (wording of 21 June 2001) established four groups of the subjects who have the right to receive copies of the documents, on the grounds of which immovable items, the property rights to these items, restrictions of such rights, and the juridical facts, were registered in the Real Property Register, and the necessary condition which must be observed by these subjects: the request for reception of copies must be a reasoned one. Paragraph 3 of Article 42 of the Law (wording of 21 June 2001) does not specify advocates among those who have the right to receive copies of the documents, on the grounds of which immovable items, the property rights to these items, restrictions of such rights, and the juridical facts, were registered in the Real Property Register.

4.2. It needs to be noted that, although under Paragraph 1 of Article 42 of the Law (wording of 21 June 2001) the provision of the data stored in the Real Property Register central databank may be limited by laws, however, the limitations upon provision of such data have been established neither in the provisions of Article 42 of the Law (wording of 21 June 2001), nor in other articles of the Law.

Alongside, it needs to be noted that after one had established in Paragraph 3 of Article 42 of the Law (wording of 21 June 2001) the four groups of the subjects and having entrenched that the persons attributed only to these groups have the right to receive copies of the documents, on the grounds of which immovable items, the property rights to these items, restrictions of such rights, and the juridical facts, were registered in the Real Property Register, one established limitations on provision of the information contained in the said documents.

5. The legal regulation entrenched in Article 42 of the Law (wording of 21 June 2001) is to be construed also in the context of other provisions of this law:

the Real Property Register is established to register immovable items, the ownership rights and the property rights to these items, restrictions on these rights, to register the juridical facts established by laws, and to provide official information about the data accumulated in the register (Article 2);

the procedure for entering the data into the central databank shall be established by the Regulations of the Real Property Register; the latter shall be approved by the Government (Article 3);

a request to register real property must be filed together with the documents confirming the emergence of the property rights to the items, restrictions of such rights, and the juridical facts, the registration of which is requested (Paragraph 2 of Article 23);

the documents, on the grounds whereof the registration is requested, must contain the names, surnames, appellations, addresses and codes of the persons related to the registration, as well as the unique number of the immovable item related to the registration (Paragraph 4 of Article 23);

the documents confirming the emergence of the property right to the immovable item and the juridical facts, on the grounds of which these rights, restrictions thereof, and the juridical facts are registered in the Real Property Register are the marriage certificate of the owner of the immovable item, the certificate of divorce, that of change of name or surname, and that of death; certificate of the right of inheritance; written transactions; agreement (act) of sale of the immovable item in an auction; documents of cadastres and registers of other states; other documents established by laws (Article 22);

copies from the Real Property Register central databank or other documents prepared on the grounds of the data of this databank are the only official information proving the fact of registration of an immovable item, the property rights to this immovable item, restrictions of these rights and the juridical facts in the Real Property Register (Paragraph 2 of Article 37).

6. While summing up the said provisions of the Law (wording of 21 June 2001) in the aspect of the legal regulation disputed by the petitioner, it needs to be noted that in the Real Property Register central databank there are accumulated data not only as regards immovable items, the ownership rights as well as other property rights to these items, restrictions of such rights and the juridical facts, i.e. the data for accumulation and registration of which the Real Property Register was established, but also there are data about concrete persons—holders of the rights to real property—i.e. personal codes of the owners of property or those of other holders of the rights, etc.

6.1. It also needs to be noted that the Law (wording of 21 June 2001), inter alia Article 23 thereof, prescribes that the data of the Real Property Register central databank, the provision of which is regulated by Paragraph 1 of Article 42 of the Law (wording of 21 June 2001), are registered on the grounds of the documents confirming the emergence of the property rights, restrictions of such rights and the juridical facts, the registration of which is requested. The provision of copies of these documents is regulated by Paragraph 3 of Article 42 of the Law, which is disputed by the petitioner. Thus, the provisions of Article 42 of the Law (wording of 21 June 2001) regulating the use of the information stored in the Real Property Register, inter alia provision of such information, are interrelated.

6.2. When the legal regulation established in Paragraph 1 of Article 42 of the Law (wording of 21 June 2001), whereby the data of the Real Property Register are provided under procedure established by the Law and the Regulations of the Real Property Register, is construed together with other provisions of the Law, it needs to be held that the Government was commissioned to approve the Regulations of the Real Property Register, wherein the procedure for provision of data of the Real Property Register would be established.

7. While construing the legal regulation established in Paragraph 3 of Article 42 of the Law (wording of 21 June 2001) in the aspect disputed in the constitutional justice case at issue, one is to take account of inter alia these provisions of the institute of representation entrenched in the Code of Civil Proceedings of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 28 February 2002):

advocates, assistants of advocates who have a written permission of the advocate in charge of their practice to be a representative in a concrete case, may act as representatives by assignment (Items 1 and 2 of Paragraph 1 of Article 56);

the rights of a representative by assignment must be expressed in a proxy document issued and formalised under procedure established by laws (Paragraph 1 of Article 57);

the rights and duties of the advocate or the assistant of the advocate as well as the extent thereof are confirmed by written agreement concluded with the client or by an extract thereof (Paragraph 3 of Article 57);

representation by proxy in a court grants the right to the representative to perform all procedural actions on behalf of the represented person, save the exceptions specified in the proxy document (Paragraph 1 of Article 59).

In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue it needs to be noted that although Paragraph 3 of Article 42 of the Law (wording of 21 June 2001) does not specify advocates among those who have the right to receive copies of the documents, on the grounds of which immovable items, the property rights to these items, restrictions of such rights, and the juridical facts, were registered in the Real Property Register, however, an advocate, who is representing an interested person by assignment and who is performing actions necessary for carrying out the assignment, may receive copies of the documents, where the person represented by him has the right to receive copies of such documents under Paragraph 3 of Article 42 of the Law (wording of 21 June 2001). Consequently, under the legal regulation established in Paragraph 3 (wording of 21 June 2001) of Article 42 of the Law, an advocate does not have the right to receive copies of those documents on the grounds of which the Real Property Register registered immovable items, the property rights to these items, restrictions of such rights, and the juridical facts, if the person represented by him does not have the right to receive such copies.

8. The legal regulation established in Article 42 of the Law (wording of 21 June 2001) is to be construed while taking account of inter alia the provisions of the Republic of Lithuania Law on Legal Protection of Personal Data (wording of 1 February 2008) that regulates personal data processing in order to secure the inviolability of the private life of a human being.

8.1. Article 2 of the Law on Legal Protection of Personal Data (wording of 1 February 2008) prescribes:

– “personal data” shall mean any information relating to a natural person, the data subject, who is identified or who can be identified directly or indirectly by reference to such data as a personal identification number or one or more factors specific to his physical, physiological, mental, economic, cultural or social identity (Paragraph 1);

– “provision of data” shall mean disclosure of personal data by transmission or making them available by other means (Paragraph 3);

– “data processing” shall mean any operation, which is performed with personal data such as collection, recording, accumulation, storage, classification, grouping, combining, alteration (supplementing or rectifying), disclosure, making available, use, logical and/or arithmetic operations, retrieval, dissemination, destruction or any other operation or a set of operations (Paragraph 4).

8.2. Article 3 (wording of 12 May 2011) “Requirements for Personal Data Processing” of the Law on Legal Protection of Personal Data (wording of 1 February 2008) prescribes:

1. The data controller must ensure that personal data are:

1) collected for defined and legitimate purposes and later are not processed for purposes incompatible with the purposes determined before the personal data concerned are collected;

2) processed accurately, fairly and lawfully;

3) accurate and, where necessary, for purposes of personal data processing, routinely kept up to date; inaccurate or incomplete data must be rectified, supplemented, erased or their further processing must be suspended;

4) identical, adequate and not excessive in relation to the purposes for which they are collected and further processed;

5) kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than it is necessary for the purposes for which the data were collected and processed;

6) processed according to clear and transparent requirements (established in this Law and other laws regulating the corresponding activity) of processing personal data.

2. Personal data collected for other purposes may be processed for statistical, historical or scientific research purposes only in the cases laid down in laws, provided that adequate data protection measures are laid down in laws.”

8.3. Summing up the quoted provisions of the Law on Legal Protection of Personal Data (wording of 1 February 2008), one is to note that personal data are to be regarded as specific information related to the subject of the data, whose identity may be directly or indirectly established by making use of such data (personal code, etc.), for processing of which, inter alia provision of which, corresponding requirements are raised in order to protect the inviolability of the private life of a human being.

8.4. In the course of construction of the provisions of the Law (wording of 21 June 2001) in the context of the quoted provisions of the Law on Legal Protection of Personal Data, it needs to be noted that part of the information in the Real Property Register is to be regarded as personal data, by making use of which the identity of the person may be directly or indirectly established (e.g., by using the personal code or the features of economic nature which are characteristic of the person in question). Such information in the Real Property Register must be processed, inter alia provided, according to clear and transparent requirements (which must be established in a law) for personal data processing, inter alia provision thereof.

9. While construing the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 42 of the Law (wording of 21 June 2001), which regulate the provision of information stored in the central databank of the Real Property Register, and the provisions of Paragraph 3 of the same article, which regulate the provision of copies of documents kept in the Real Property Register, together with the provisions of Article 3 (wording of 12 May 2011) of the Law on Legal Protection of Personal Data (wording of 1 February 2008), one is to draw a conclusion that not all information stored in the central databank of the Real Property Register is public, but only that related to immovable items, to the ownership and other property rights to these items and restrictions of these rights. The information stored in the central databank of the Real Property Register about holders of the rights to real property, as well as the data about other persons, which are in documents kept in the Real Property Register, on the grounds of which the Real Property Register registered immovable items, the property rights to these items, restrictions of such rights, and the juridical facts, is not public and must be processed in accordance with the requirements (established by the legislator) for processing personal data.

10. It has been mentioned that that the petitioner doubts whether Paragraph 3 of Article 42 (wording of 21 June 2001) of the Law, insofar as it has not established that advocates, having filed a reasoned request, have the right to receive copies of the documents on the grounds of which the Real Property Register registered immovable items, the property rights to these items, restrictions of such rights, and the juridical facts, is not in conflict with the provision “All persons shall be equal before the law” of Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution, Paragraph 6 of Article 31 thereof, and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

11. In the opinion of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, the legal regulation, which does not establish that advocates, having filed a reasoned request, have the right to receive copies of the documents on the grounds of which the Real Property Register registered immovable items, the property rights to these items, restrictions of such rights, and the juridical facts, burdens the possibilities of advocates to effectively render legal assistance, therefore, it is in conflict with Paragraph 6 of Article 31 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law. According to the petitioner, the disputed legal regulation unreasonably discriminates advocates, who are unable to receive information (documents, copies) in the same manner as law and order institutions, therefore, such regulation violates the provision “all persons shall be equal before the law” of Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution.

12. It has been mentioned that the provisions of Article 42 of the Law (wording of 21 June 2001) regulating the use of the information stored in the Real Property Register, inter alia provision of such information, are interrelated. Therefore, while taking account of the arguments of the petitioner, in the constitutional justice case at issue, the Constitutional Court will investigate whether Article 42 of the Law (wording of 21 June 2001) is not in conflict with the provision “All persons shall be equal before the law” of Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution, Paragraph 6 of Article 31 thereof, and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

13. While assessing whether the legal regulation established in Article 42 of the Law (wording of 21 June 2001) is not in conflict with Paragraph 6 of Article 31 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, it needs to be noted that the legislator, while establishing the groups of subjects, the persons attributed to which may receive copies of the documents on the grounds of which the Real Property Register registered immovable items, the property rights to these items, restrictions of such rights, and the juridical facts, limited a possibility to persons, inter alia advocates, who had not been attributed to the said groups, to receive such information.

14. It has been mentioned that from the Constitution, inter alia from Article 22 and Paragraph 3 of Article 25 thereof, a duty arises to the legislator to establish, by means of laws, such legal regulation whereby, in the course of provision of information held by state and municipal institutions, inviolability of private life of a human being and other values protected by the Constitution would be secured.

Thus, the legislator, while paying heed to the aforesaid provisions of the Constitution, must establish such legal regulation on provision of information stored in the Real Property Register, inter alia establish such limitations on provision of information stored in the Real Property Register, so that while providing one with the information stored in this register the inviolability of the private life of a human being and other values protected by the Constitution would be secured.

15. It has also been mentioned that an advocate, while performing an independent professional activity and rendering legal assistance to a person, whose rights and legitimate interests were violated, helps to implement the constitutional right of the person to judicial defence; it has also been mentioned that the right of the person to have an advocate is one of the conditions for effective implementation of the right of the person to judicial defence and that, from the constitutional right of a person to judicial defence, as well as the right to have an advocate, which are entrenched in the Constitution, inter alia the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 30 and Paragraph 6 of Article 31 thereof, arises a duty for the legislator to provide for such rights of advocates, which would enable them to perform their professional activity and to render effective legal assistance.

In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue it needs to be noted that advocates, assisting in implementing the right of a person to judicial defence, must in certain situations refer to information held by state and municipal institutions, inter alia the information which cannot be obtained by the person whom the advocate is representing, nor by the advocate as the representative of such a person.

For instance, while assisting a person to defend his rights, which have been violated by a fraudulent debtor in concluding transactions with third parties, and while seeking to achieve that such transactions be recognised as invalid by application of the norms constituting the actio Pauliana institute, which was borrowed from Roman law, and which is widespread in civil law and entrenched in Lithuanian laws, an advocate must inevitably have a possibility to receive certain necessary information about such transactions, inter alia the information about the compensation in such transactions, the parties thereof, whereas without such information the right to apply to court cannot be implemented at all.

16. It needs to be noted that, as mentioned, under the Constitution, inter alia Article 22 and Paragraph 3 of Article 25 thereof, the legislator, while establishing the right of an advocate to receive information held by state and municipal institutions, which is necessary in order to effectively implement the right of a person to judicial defence, may not establish any such legal regulation creating pre-conditions to violate the values protected by the Constitution, inter alia the inviolability of the private life of a human being.

17. It has been mentioned that from the Constitution, inter alia the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 30 and Paragraph 6 of Article 31 thereof, in which the right of the person to judicial defence is entrenched, as well as the right to have an advocate, a duty arises for the legislator to establish inter alia such legal regulation whereby the advocate might be able to receive the information which is held by state and municipal institutions and which is necessary in order to implement this right of the person.

It has also been mentioned that, under the constitutional principle of proportionality, which is one of the elements of the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, the measures established and applied by legal acts must be proportionate to the objective sought, they must not limit the rights of a person more than necessary in order to achieve the legitimate, generally significant and constitutionally grounded objective.

18. Under the Constitution, inter alia Paragraph 1 of Article 30, Paragraph 6 of Article 31 thereof, and under the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, in Article 42 of the Law (wording of 21 June 2001) the legislator should have established the legal regulation whereby advocates, having filed a reasoned request, would have the right to receive the information stored in the Real Property Register, which is necessary for effective implementation of the right of a person to judicial defence.

19. It needs to be held that having not established by the legal regulation entrenched in Article 42 of the Law (wording of 21 June 2001) that advocates, upon filing a reasoned request and upon substantiating the relation of the requested information to concrete rendition of legal assistance to a person, may receive the information which is stored in the Real Property Register and which is necessary for effective implementation of the right of a person to judicial defence, one has created pre-conditions for violating the requirements arising from the Constitution, inter alia the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 30 and Paragraph 6 of Article 31 thereof, to ensure the effective implementation of the right of a person to defence, as well as that of the right to have an advocate, and one also created pre-conditions for violating the proportionality imperative arising from the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, whereby the rights of a person should not be limited more than necessary in order to reach the constitutionally grounded objective.

20. Taking account of the arguments set forth, one is to draw a conclusion that Article 42 of the Law (wording of 21 June 2001) insofar as it has not established that advocates, having filed a reasoned request, have the right to receive the information stored in the Real Property Register, which is necessary for effective implementation of the right of a person to judicial defence, is in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 30 and Paragraph 6 of Article 31 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

21. Having held this, in the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court will not further investigate whether Article 42 of the Law (wording of 21 June 2001) is not in conflict with the provision “All persons shall be equal before the law” of Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution.

III

On the compliance of Items 88 and 97 (wording of 27 February 2007) of the Regulations of the Real Property Register approved by Government Resolution No. 1129 “On the Approval of the Regulations of the Real Property Register” of 12 July 2002 with the Constitution, Paragraph 1 of Article 42 of the Law on the Real Property Register (wording of 21 June 2001), Paragraph 5 of Article 15 of the Law on State Registers (wording of 15 July 2004), and Item 1 of Article 44 of the Law on the Bar (wording of 18 March 2004).

1. It has been mentioned that the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requests that the Constitutional Court investigate into whether inter alia Items 88 and 97 (wording of 27 February 2007) of the Regulations approved by Government resolution No. 1129 of 12 July 2002 insofar as, according to the petitioner, these items have established classes of recipients of the data, and law firms have been attributed to the second class, whereas the information, with reference to the code of a natural person, as regards his entire property, is provided only for first-class recipients of the data, are not in conflict with Paragraph 3 of Article 25 of the Constitution, Paragraph 1 of Article 42 of the Law on the Real Property Register (wording of 21 June 2001), Paragraph 5 of Article 15 of the Law on State Registers (wording of 15 July 2004), and Item 1 of Article 44 of the Law on the Bar (wording of 18 March 2004).

2. On 12 July 2002, the Government adopted Resolution No. 1129 “On the Approval of the Regulations of the Real Property Register” which came into force on 18 July 2002. By this resolution, the Government, while invoking the Law (wording of 21 June 2001), approved the Regulations, in which, while implementing the Law (wording of 21 June 2001), it is established inter alia the Procedure for Provision of the Data Kept in the Real Property Register.

The Regulations approved by Government resolution No. 1129 of 12 July 2002 have been amended and/or supplemented more than once.

3. On 27 February 2007, the Government adopted Resolution No. 240 “On Amending Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania No. 1129 ‘On the Approval of the Regulations of the Real Property Register’ of 12 July 2002”, which came into force on 11 March 2007; by Item 1.40 of this resolution Item 88 (wording of 12 July 2002) of the Regulations was amended, whereas by Item 1.42 thereof Item 97 (wording of 12 July 2002) of the Regulation was amended.

3.1. Item 88 (wording of 27 February 2007) of the Regulations, which is being disputed by the petitioner, prescribes:

The data about the entire property held by the person shall be provided only upon request of first-class recipients of the data. The request must specify the purpose of use of the data and a pledge not to disclose such data to third parties. The data identifying the holders of property rights may be provided only for these recipients of the data. The data identifying the holders of property rights shall be provided while following the Republic of Lithuania Law on Legal Protection of Personal Data.”

3.2. Item 97 (wording of 27 February 2007) of the Regulations, which is also being disputed by the petitioner, prescribes:

In order to ensure the lawful use of personal data, the first, second, and third classes of recipients of the data shall be established.

Data about real property shall be provided to first-class recipients of the data according to the address of the property, property identifier (unique code), the appellation of the natural or legal person and the identifier (personal code) of the natural or legal person. The following recipients shall be attributed to the first-class recipients of the data: state law and order institutions and state institutions ensuring national security, credit establishments, banks’ vindications’ services, enterprises for exaction of debts, insurance companies, notaries, bailiffs and the persons who have the right, which is established by laws, to receive data about the property held by persons, upon reception of a request by the former, in which the purpose of the use of the data must be indicated and it must contain a pledge not to disclose these data to third parties.

Data about real property and the rights to such property shall be provided to second-class recipients of the data according to the address of the property and/or property identifier (the number of register of the immovable item and/or the unique code) and the appellation and code of the legal person. The following recipients shall be attributed to the second-class recipients of the data: state and municipal institutions, representatives of mass media, law firms, services of the legal assistance guaranteed by the state, real estate agencies, and other persons, save first-class and third-class recipients of the data.

The data shall be given to third-class recipients of the data according to special inquiries. Third-class data recipients can be the institutions which in a general manner discharge the functions of scientific research and social planning, improvement of governance and statistical analysis.

Lists of recipients of the data of the databank shall be made according to the classes of recipients of the data.”

3.3. While construing the legal regulation disputed by the petitioner, it needs to be noted that Items 88 and 97 (wording of 27 February 2007) of the Regulations established the first, the second and the third classes of recipients of the data; the recipients of the data, which are attributed to these classes, are given different extent information stored in the central databank of the Real Property Register. Thus, with regard to some groups of persons (the persons attributed to second- and third-class recipients of the data) such legal regulation established a certain limitation upon reception of information stored in the central databank of the Real Property Register.

4. It is clear from the arguments of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, that it doubts as to the compliance of Items 88 and 97 (wording of 27 February 2007) of the Regulations with Paragraph 3 of Article 25 of the Constitution, Paragraph 1 of Article 42 of the Law on the Real Property Register (wording of 21 June 2001), Paragraph 5 of Article 15 of the Law on State Registers (wording of 15 July 2004) insofar as the limitation upon giving information stored in the Real Property Register is established in a sub-statutory legal act—the Regulations approved by Government resolution No. 1129 of 12 July 2002.

5. In this ruling of the Constitutional Court it has been mentioned that, under Paragraph 3 of Article 25 of the Constitution, freedom to express convictions, to receive and impart information may be limited only by law; constitutional freedom of information is an innate freedom of a human being, whereas everything that is linked with human rights and freedoms must be regulated by means of laws, therefore, the legal regulation defining the limits on the implementation of freedom of information must be established by means of a law; any limitations upon freedom of information must be reasoned by the same constitutional criteria as in case of limitation upon other basic human rights and freedoms: it is allowed to limit freedom of information if it is done by law.

6. It has also been mentioned that the principle of a state under the rule of law entrenched in the Constitution implies the hierarchy of legal acts as well, inter alia the fact that substatutory legal acts may not be in conflict with laws, constitutional laws and the Constitution, that substatutory legal acts must be adopted on the basis of laws, that a substatutory legal act is an act of application of norms of the law, irrespective of whether the act is of one-time (ad hoc) application, or permanent validity; it is important that the Government adopt sub-statutory legal acts without exceeding its powers and that these legal acts be not in conflict with the Constitution and laws. If the legal regulation established in the Government resolutions were not grounded on the laws, not only the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law and Item 2 of Article 94 of the Constitution but also Paragraph 2 of Article 5 of the Constitution would be violated.

7. It has been mentioned that the Regulations were adopted while implementing the Law (wording of 21 June 2001), Paragraph 1 of Article 42 whereof provides that the data of the Real Property Register central databank shall be public and are provided under procedure established by the Law and the Regulations, with the exception of cases specified by the laws.

It has been held in this Constitutional Court ruling that, although under Paragraph 1 of Article 42 of the Law (wording of 21 June 2001) the provision of the data stored in the Real Property Register central databank may be limited by laws, however, the limitations upon provision of such data have been established neither in the provisions of Article 42 of the Law (wording of 21 June 2001), nor in other articles of the Law.

Neither have such limitations been established in the Law on Legal Protection of Personal Data (wording of 1 February 2008), inter alia in Article 3 (wording of 12 May 2011) thereof.

Thus, the provisions of Article 42 of the Law (wording of 21 June 2001), those of Article 3 (wording of 12 May 2011) of the Law on Legal Protection of Personal Data (wording of 1 February 2008), and those of other laws may not be regarded as the grounds under the law to entrench the legal regulation in a sub-statutory legal act—the Regulations approved by Government resolution No. 1129 of 12 July 2002—whereby the first, the second, and the third classes of recipients of the data were established in order that one might receive the information stored in the Real Property Register, whereas the said information is provided in different extents for the recipients attributed to such classes.

8. It needs to be held that after Items 88 and 97 (wording of 27 February 2007) of the Regulations had established the first, second, and third classes of recipients of the data (information is provided in different extents for the recipients attributed to such classes), the limitation upon reception of the information stored in the Real Property Register for some groups of persons (the persons attributed to the second- and third-class recipients of the data) was (and is) established only by sub-statutory legal act—Government resolution No. 1129 of 12 July 2002.

9. Thus, the legal regulation entrenched in Item 88 (wording of 27 February 2007) of the Regulations is not, whereas the legal regulation entrenched in Item 97 (wording of 27 February 2007) of the Regulations was not in line with the requirement, arising from Paragraph 3 of Article 25 of the Constitution, to limit the freedom to receive information only by means of a law, not in line with the requirement, arising from Item 2 of Article 94 of the Constitution, whereby the Government shall inter alia execute laws and resolutions of the Seimas on the implementation of the laws, and from the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law that a sub-statutory legal act may not be in conflict with a law, and not in line with the imperative arising from Paragraph 2 of Article 5 of the Constitution that the scope of power shall be limited by the Constitution.

10. Taking account of the arguments set forth it needs to be held that Item 88 (wording of 27 February 2007) of the Regulations is in conflict, whereas Item 97 (wording of 27 February 2007) of the Regulations was in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 5, Paragraph 3 of Article 25 and Item 2 of Article 94 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

11. Having held that Item 88 (wording of 27 February 2007) of the Regulations is in conflict, whereas Item 97 (wording of 27 February 2007) of the Regulations was in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 5, Paragraph 3 of Article 25 and Item 2 of Article 94 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, in the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court will not further investigate whether Item 88 (wording of 27 February 2007) of the Regulations is in conflict, whereas Item 97 (wording of 27 February 2007) of the Regulations was in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 42 of the Law (wording of 21 June 2001), Paragraph 5 of Article 15 of the Law on State Registers (wording of 15 July 2004), and Item 1 of Article 44 of the Law on the Bar (wording of 18 March 2004).

12. On 22 October 2008, the Government adopted Resolution No. 1080 “On Amending Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania No. 1129 ‘On the Approval of the Regulations of the Real Property Register’ of 12 July 2002”, by Items 1.6 and 1.7 whereof the second and third sections of Item 97 (wording of 27 February 2007) (which is being disputed in the constitutional justice case at issue) of the Regulations were amended and set forth as follows:

Data about real property shall be provided to first-class recipients of the data according to the address of the property, property identifier (unique code), the appellation of the natural or legal person and the identifier (personal code) of the natural or legal person. The following recipients shall be attributed to the first-class recipients of the data: state law and order institutions and state institutions ensuring national security, credit establishments, banks’ vindications’ services, enterprises for exaction of debts, insurance companies, notaries, bailiffs, services of the legal assistance guaranteed by the state, advocates, after they have specified a lawful and definite purpose for the use of the data, and the persons who have the right, which is established by laws, to receive data about the property held by persons, upon reception of a request by the former, in which the purpose of the use of the data must be indicated and it must contain a pledge not to disclose these data to third parties.

Data about real property and the rights to such property shall be provided to second-class recipients of the data according to the address of the property and/or property identifier (the number of register of the immovable item and/or the unique code) and the appellation and code of the legal person. The following recipients shall be attributed to the second-class recipients of the data: state and municipal institutions, representatives of mass media, persons rendering the initial legal assistance guaranteed by the state, real estate agencies, and other persons, save first-class and third-class recipients of the data.”

After the legal regulation established in Item 97 (wording of 22 October 2008) of the Regulations is compared with that established in Item 97 (wording of 27 February 2007) of the Regulations, it becomes clear that the legal regulation established therein underwent the following changes: advocates were attributed to the first-class recipients of the data (the persons who belong to this group have the right to receive all data about the real property held by a person, inter alia subsequent to the code of a natural person); the legal regulation entrenched in Item 97 (wording of 22 October 2008) of the Regulations insofar as classes of recipients of the data are established, and insofar as it is established that data about real property, inter alia subsequent to the identifier (personal code) of a natural person, are provided only for first-class recipients of the data, remained unchanged.

Thus, Item 97 (wording of 22 October 2008) of the Regulations continued to prescribe that reception of information stored in the central databank of the Real Property Register is limited to a certain extent for some groups of persons (the subjects attributed to the second- and third-class recipients of the data).

13. Having held in the constitutional justice case at issue that Item 97 (wording of 27 February 2007) of the Regulations was in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 5, Paragraph 3 of Article 25 and Item 2 of Article 94 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, on the grounds of the same arguments one is to hold that Item 97 (wording of 22 October 2008) of the Regulations was also in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 5, Paragraph 3 of Article 25 and Item 2 of Article 94 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

14. On 3 March 2010, the Government adopted Resolution No. 219 “On Amending Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania No. 1129 ‘On the Approval of the Regulations of the Real Property Register’ of 12 July 2002”, by Item 1.19 whereof Item 97 (wording of 22 October 2008) of the Regulations was amended: after the words “the appellation of the natural or legal person and” the word “/or” was entered, after the words “state institutions ensuring national security” the words “municipal institutions, institutions of administration of taxes” were entered, the words “and municipal” were crossed out.

It needs to be noted that Item 97 (wording of 3 March 2010) of the Regulations continued to prescribe that reception of information stored in the central databank of the Real Property Register is limited to a certain extent for some groups of persons (the subjects attributed to the second- and third-class recipients of the data). Thus, in the constitutional justice case at issue the legal regulation established in Item 97 (wording of 3 March 2010) of the Regulations in the aspect under investigation remained unchanged.

15. Having held in the constitutional justice case at issue that Item 97 (wordings of 27 February 2007 and 22 October 2008) of the Regulations was in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 5, Paragraph 3 of Article 25 and Item 2 of Article 94 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, on the grounds of the same arguments one is to hold that Item 97 (wording of 3 March 2010) of the Regulations was also in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 5, Paragraph 3 of Article 25 and Item 2 of Article 94 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

16. On 4 May 2011, the Government adopted Resolution No. 527 “On Amending Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania No. 1129 ‘On the Approval of the Regulations of the Real Property Register’ of 12 July 2002”, by Item 1.20 whereof Item 97 (wording of 3 October 2010) of the Regulations was amended: after the words “(professional communities of advocates)” the words “National Land Service under the Ministry of Agriculture” were entered.

It needs to be noted that Item 97 (wording of 4 May 2011) of the Regulations continued to prescribe that reception of information stored in the central databank of the Real Property Register is limited to a certain extent for some groups of persons (the subjects attributed to the second- and third-class recipients of the data). Thus, in the constitutional justice case at issue the legal regulation established in Item 97 (wording of 4 May 2011) of the Regulations in the aspect under investigation remained unchanged.

17. Having held in the constitutional justice case at issue that Item 97 (wordings of 27 February 2007, 22 October 2008 and 3 March 2010) of the Regulations was in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 5, Paragraph 3 of Article 25 and Item 2 of Article 94 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, on the grounds of the same arguments one is to hold that Item 97 (wording of 4 May 2011) of the Regulations is also in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 5, Paragraph 3 of Article 25 and Item 2 of Article 94 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

IV

1. Under Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution, a law (or part thereof) of the Republic of Lithuania or other act (or part thereof) of the Seimas, act of the President of the Republic, act (or part thereof) of the Government may not be applied from the day of official promulgation of the decision of the Constitutional Court that the act in question (or part thereof) is in conflict with the Constitution.

After the official promulgation of this Constitutional Court ruling, from the day of its official publishing, Items 88 and 97 of the Regulations which, in this Constitutional Court ruling, have been recognised to be in conflict with the Constitution, may not be applied.

Consequently, certain relations related with provision of the information stored in the Real Property Register will remain unregulated after the official publishing of the Constitutional Court ruling.

2. As it has been held by the Constitutional Court, “under the Constitution, the Constitutional Court, having inter alia assessed what legal situation might appear after a Constitutional Court ruling becomes effective, may establish a date when this Constitutional Court ruling is to be officially published; the Constitutional Court may postpone the official publishing of its ruling if it is necessary to give the legislator certain time to remove the lacunae legis which would appear if the relevant Constitutional Court ruling was officially published immediately after it had been publicly announced in the hearing of the Constitutional Court and if they constituted preconditions to basically deny certain values defended and protected by the Constitution. The said postponement of official publishing of the Constitutional Court ruling (inter alia a ruling by which a certain law (or part thereof) is recognised as contradicting to the Constitution) is a presumption arising from the Constitution in order to avoid certain effects, unfavourable to the society and the state as well as the human rights and freedoms, which might appear if the relevant Constitutional Court ruling was officially published immediately after its official announcement in the hearing of the Constitutional Court and if it became effective on the same day after it had been officially published” (Constitutional Court rulings of 19 January 2005 and 23 August 2005). Thus, the Constitutional Court enjoys the constitutional powers to establish also a later date of the official publishing (thus, also of entry into force) of its ruling, whereby a certain legal act (part thereof) was recognised as being in conflict with legal acts of higher legal power, inter alia (and, first of all) the Constitution, where, in case the Constitutional Court ruling after its adoption was immediately officially published, the vacuum or other indeterminacies might appear in the legal regulation due to which certain values entrenched in and defended and protected by the Constitution could be violated in essence (Constitutional Court rulings of 24 December 2002, 19 January 2005 and 23 August 2005).

3. Under the Constitution and the Law on the Constitutional Court, a Government resolution (or part thereof) may not be applied from the day of official promulgation of the Constitutional Court ruling that the Government resolution in question (or part thereof) is in conflict with the Constitution, therefore, it needs to be emphasised that if the Constitutional Court ruling in this case were officially published immediately after its public announcement at the Constitutional Court hearing, there would emerge indeterminacy of the legal regulation, which would in essence disturb the procedure for provision of the data kept at the Real Property Register, and for removal of which a certain time period is necessary.

Taking account of this, this Constitutional Court ruling is to be officially published in the Official Gazette Valstybės žinios on 22 December 2011.

Conforming to Articles 102 and 105 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and Articles 1, 53, 54, 55, and 56 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania has passed the following

ruling:

1. To recognise that Article 42 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on the Real Property Register (wording of 21 June 2001, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2001, No. 55-1948) insofar as it has not established that advocates, having filed a reasoned request, have the right to receive the information stored in the Real Property Register, which is necessary for effective implementation of the right of a person to judicial defence, is in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 30 and Paragraph 6 of Article 31 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

2. To recognise that Item 88 (wording of 27 February 2007, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2007, No. 30-1101) of the Real Property Register approved by Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania No. 1129 “On the Approval of the Regulations of the Real Property Register” of 12 July 2002 is in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 5, Paragraph 3 of Article 25, and Item 2 of Article 94 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

3. To recognise that Item 97 (wording of 27 February 2007, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2007, No. 30-1101; wording of 22 October 2008, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 126-4808, correction Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 131; wording of 3 March 2010, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2010, No. 28-1325) of the Real Property Register approved by Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania No. 1129 “On the Approval of the Regulations of the Real Property Register” of 12 July 2002 was in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 5, Paragraph 3 of Article 25, and Item 2 of Article 94 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

4. To recognise that Item 97 (wording of 4 May 2011 Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2007, No. 55-2650) of the Real Property Register approved by Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania No. 1129 “On the Approval of the Regulations of the Real Property Register” of 12 July 2002 is in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 5, Paragraph 3 of Article 25, and Item 2 of Article 94 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

5. This ruling of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania must be officially published in the Official Gazette Valstybės žinios on 22 December 2011.

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

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

Justices of the Constitutional Court: Egidijus Bieliūnas
                                                                      Toma Birmontienė
                                                                      Pranas Kuconis
                                                                      Gediminas Mesonis
                                                                      Ramutė Ruškytė
                                                                      Egidijus Šileikis
                                                                      Algirdas Taminskas
                                                                      Romualdas Kęstutis Urbaitis
                                                                      Dainius Žalimas