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On the consequences of declaring a legal act in conflict with the Constitution

Case No. 36/2010-37/2010-38/2010-39/2010-41/2010-42/2010-43/2010-62/2010-63/2010-64/2010-65/2010-66/2010-67/2010-68/2010-69/2010-71/2010-72/2010-74/2010-75/2010-78/2010-79/2010-80/2010-91/2010-92/2010-93/2010-103/2010-104/2010-105/2010-108/2010-3/2011

THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

RULING

ON THE COMPLIANCE OF ARTICLE 72 OF THE LAW ON THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA WITH THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

25 October 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 secretary—Daiva Pitrėnaitė,

in the presence of the representative of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, the party concerned, who was Julius Sabatauskas, a Member of the Seimas,

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 4 October 2011, heard constitutional justice case No. 36/2010-37/2010-38/2010-39/2010-41/2010-42/2010-43/2010-62/2010-63/2010-64/2010-65/2010-66/2010-67/2010-68/2010-69/2010-71/2010-72/2010-74/2010-75/2010-78/2010-79/2010-80/2010-91/2010-92/2010-93/2010-103/2010-104/2010-105/2010-108/2010-3/2011 subsequent to the petitions of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

1) Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not establish the legal regulation that would enable to determine whether a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its adoption or from the day of the adoption of the Constitutional Court ruling, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, also whether Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the said law is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petition No. 1B-35/2010);

2) Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not establish the legal regulation that would enable to determine whether a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its adoption or from the day of the adoption of the Constitutional Court ruling, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, also whether Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the said law is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petition No. 1B-36/2010);

3) Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not establish the legal regulation that would enable to determine whether a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its adoption or from the day of the adoption of the Constitutional Court ruling, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, also whether Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the said law is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petition No. 1B-39/2010);

4) Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not establish the legal regulation that would enable to determine whether a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its adoption or from the day of the adoption of the Constitutional Court ruling, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, also whether Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the said law is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petition No. 1B-40/2010);

5) Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not establish the legal regulation that would enable to determine whether a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its adoption or from the day of the adoption of the Constitutional Court ruling, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, also whether Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the said law is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petition No. 1B-43/2010);

6) Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not establish the legal regulation that would enable to determine whether a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its adoption or from the day of the adoption of the Constitutional Court ruling, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, also whether Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the said law is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petition No. 1B-44/2010);

7) Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not establish the legal regulation that would enable to determine whether a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its adoption or from the day of the adoption of the Constitutional Court ruling, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, also whether Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the said law is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petition No. 1B-45/2010);

8) Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not clearly establish what types of decisions are regarded as unexecuted, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petition No. 1B-57/2010);

9) Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not establish the legal regulation that would enable to determine whether a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its adoption or from the day of the adoption of the Constitutional Court ruling, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, also whether Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the said law is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petition No. 1B-58/2010);

10) Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not establish the legal regulation that would enable to determine whether a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its adoption or from the day of the adoption of the Constitutional Court ruling, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, also whether Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the said law is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petition No. 1B-59/2010);

11) Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not clearly establish what types of decisions are regarded as unexecuted, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petition No. 1B-66/2010);

12) Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not establish the legal regulation that would enable to determine whether a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its adoption or from the day of the adoption of the Constitutional Court ruling, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, also whether Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the said law is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petition No. 1B-69/2010);

13) Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not establish the legal regulation that would enable to determine whether a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its adoption or from the day of the adoption of the Constitutional Court ruling, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, also whether Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the said law is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petition No. 1B-70/2010);

14) Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not clearly establish what types of decisions are regarded as unexecuted, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petition No. 1B-77/2010);

15) Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not clearly establish what types of decisions are regarded as unexecuted, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petition No. 1B-78/2010);

16) Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not clearly establish what types of decisions are regarded as unexecuted, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petition No. 1B-81/2010);

17) Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not establish the legal regulation that would enable to determine whether a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its adoption or from the day of the adoption of the Constitutional Court ruling, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, also whether Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the said law is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petition No. 1B-82/2010);

18) Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not clearly establish what types of decisions are regarded as unexecuted, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petition No. 1B-83/2010);

19) Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not establish the legal regulation that would enable to determine whether a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its adoption or from the day of the adoption of the Constitutional Court ruling, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, also whether Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the said law is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petition No. 1B-84/2010);

20) Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not clearly establish what types of decisions are regarded as unexecuted, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petition No. 1B-86/2010);

21) Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not establish the legal regulation that would enable to determine whether a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its adoption or from the day of the adoption of the Constitutional Court ruling, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, also whether Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the said law is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petition No. 1B-92/2010);

22) Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not clearly establish what types of decisions are regarded as unexecuted, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petition No. 1B-93/2010);

23) Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not establish the legal regulation that would enable to determine whether a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its adoption or from the day of the adoption of the Constitutional Court ruling, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, also whether Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the said law is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petition No. 1B-97/2010);

24) Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not clearly establish what types of decisions are regarded as unexecuted, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petition No. 1B-102/2010);

25) Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not establish the legal regulation that would enable to determine whether a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its adoption or from the day of the adoption of the Constitutional Court ruling, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, also whether Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the said law is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petition No. 1B-103/2010);

26) Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not establish the legal regulation that would enable to determine whether a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its adoption or from the day of the adoption of the Constitutional Court ruling, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, also whether Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the said law is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petition No. 1B-108/2010);

27) Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not establish the legal regulation that would enable to determine whether a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its adoption or from the day of the adoption of the Constitutional Court ruling, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, also whether Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the said law is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petition No. 1B-109/2010);

28) Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not establish the legal regulation that would enable to determine whether a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its adoption or from the day of the adoption of the Constitutional Court ruling, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, also whether Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the said law is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petition No. 1B-112/2010);

29) Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not establish the legal regulation that would enable to determine whether a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its adoption or from the day of the adoption of the Constitutional Court ruling, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, also whether Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the said law is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petition No. 1B-117/2010);

30) Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not establish the legal regulation that would enable to determine whether a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its adoption or from the day of the adoption of the Constitutional Court ruling, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, also whether Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the said law is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petition No. 1B-156/2010).

By the Constitutional Court decision of 24 February 2011, the said petitions of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, were joined into one case.

The Constitutional Court

has established:

I

1. The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, was considering the administrative cases regarding the adjudging of an unpaid share of work remuneration to officials of the internal service system. From the material of the said cases considered by the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court it is clear that officials of the internal service system were not paid a share of their additional pay and/or extra pay, as, in calculating work remuneration, one had applied Paragraph 2 (wordings of 23 April 2002 and 7 June 2007) of Article 23 of Chapter VI “Remuneration” of the Republic of Lithuania Law on the State Service, which set the limitation upon the total amount of additional pay and extra pay—the amount of additional pay and extra pay could not exceed 70 percent of the positional salary. The aforementioned chapter, to the corresponding extent, was recognised by the Constitutional Court ruling of 11 December 2009 as being in conflict with the provision “Each human being <...> shall have the right <...> to receive fair pay for work <...>” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

By its decisions, the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, suspended the consideration of the cases and applied to the Constitutional Court with the petitions requesting to investigate whether Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not establish the legal regulation that would enable to determine whether a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its adoption or from the day of the adoption of the Constitutional Court ruling, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, also whether Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the said law is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petitions Nos. 1B-35/2010, 1B-36/2010, 1B-39/2010, 1B-40/2010, 1B-43/2010, 1B-44/2010, 1B-45/2010, 1B-58/2010, 1B-59/2010, 1B-69/2010, 1B-70/2010, 1B-82/2010, 1B-84/2010, 1B-92/2010, 1B-97/2010, 1B-103/2010, 1B-108/2010, 1B-109/2010, 1B-112/2010, 1B-117/2010).

2. The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, was considering the administrative cases regarding the adjudging of an unpaid share of work remuneration to officials of the internal service system. From the material of the said cases, which were considered by the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, it is clear that officials of the internal service system were not paid a share of their additional pay and/or extra pay, as, in calculating work remuneration, one had applied Paragraph 2 (wordings of 23 April 2002 and 7 June 2007) of Article 23 of Chapter VI “Remuneration” of the Law on the State Service, which set the limitation upon the total amount of additional pay and extra pay—the amount of additional pay and extra pay could not exceed 70 percent of the positional salary. The aforementioned chapter, to the corresponding extent, was recognised by the Constitutional Court ruling of 11 December 2009 as being in conflict with the provision “Each human being <...> shall have the right <...> to receive fair pay for work <...>” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

By its rulings, the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, suspended the consideration of the cases and applied to the Constitutional Court with the petitions requesting to investigate whether Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not clearly establish what types of decisions are regarded as unexecuted, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petitions Nos. 1B-57/2010, 1B-66/2010, 1B-77/2010, 1B-78/2010, 1B-81/2010, 1B-83/2010, 1B-86/2010, 1B-93/2010, 1B-102/2010).

3. The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, was considering an administrative case regarding annulment of the decisions of the Vilnius Department of the State Social Insurance Fund Board and the State Social Insurance Fund Board under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour as well as obligation to recognise an accident at work as an insured event and to grant and pay a lump sum and periodic insurance payments upon the death of the insured person. From the material of the said case, which was considered by the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, it is clear that, on 20 July 2010, O. G. filed a complaint with the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, requesting inter alia annulment of the decision of the Vilnius Department of the State Social Insurance Fund Board of 21 May 2010 and the decision set forth in the letter of the State Social Insurance Fund Board under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour of 28 June 2010, whereby the accident at work that occurred to R. G. on 28 February 2007 was recognised as an uninsured event, since during the said accident at work R. G. had been inebriated; the said disputed decisions (dated 21 May 2010 and 28 June 2010) were adopted having regard to the provisions of the Constitutional Court ruling of 29 April 2008, i.e. after the entry into force of that Constitutional Court ruling.

By its ruling, the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, suspended the consideration of the case and applied to the Constitutional Court with a petition requesting to investigate whether Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not establish the legal regulation that would enable to determine whether a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its adoption or from the day of the adoption of the Constitutional Court ruling, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, also whether Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the said law is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petition No. 1B-156/2010).

II

1. The petitions (Nos. 1B-35/2010, 1B-36/2010, 1B-39/2010, 1B-40/2010, 1B-43/2010, 1B-44/2010, 1B-45/2010, 1B-58/2010, 1B-59/2010, 1B-69/2010, 1B-70/2010, 1B-82/2010, 1B-84/2010, 1B-92/2010, 1B-97/2010, 1B-103/2010, 1B-108/2010, 1B-109/2010) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, are substantiated by the following arguments.

1.1. Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution does not provide for any exceptions when a ruling of the Constitutional Court could have retroactive power. Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution, Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, other norms of the Constitution and the Law on the Constitutional Court do not directly and clearly provide for any possibility of applying, in a retrospective manner, a ruling of the Constitutional Court whereby a legal act was recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution or laws, nor do they establish any concrete period during which a ruling of the Constitutional Court could be applied ex tunc or other similar rules. According to the petitioner, in cases regarding adjudging of monetary sums or regarding reimbursement for the damage caused by unlawful actions of state institutions the application of Constitutional Court rulings in terms of the time aspect is of particular relevance. Disputes related to requirements of all or a certain group of state servants, as well as disputes arising from the legal relations of social security, are, in all situations, related to “interests of the large groups of society”, therefore, “in all situations the number of corresponding administrative disputes is very large”. Therefore, in the opinion of the petitioner, the ex tunc effect of Constitutional Court rulings ought to be precisely regulated so that the constitutional rights of citizens would be ensured, but at the same time there would be no conditions created to disregard the financial possibilities of the state. In the absence of the aforementioned legal regulation there is no possibility of determining accurately how Constitutional Court rulings are applied in terms of the time aspect, i.e. whether a corresponding legal act is no longer valid from its adoption or from the day of the adoption of the Constitutional Court ruling.

In the opinion of the petitioner, Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not establish the legal regulation that would enable to determine whether a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its adoption or from the day of the adoption of the Constitutional Court ruling, is in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

1.2. The petitioner has had doubts as to whether Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, which establishes that decisions based on legal acts which have been recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution or laws must not be executed if they had not been executed prior to the appropriate Constitutional Court ruling went into effect, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law. According to the petitioner, in the court practise Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court is construed as consolidating an exception to the prospective power of Constitutional Court rulings. Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, which establishes the consequences of recognition of a legal act as conflicting with the Constitution with respect to unexecuted decisions, does not specify in more exact terms as to what types of decisions these are—final or not final, administrative or judicial. Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court does not specify the nature of the decisions, to which the said norm of law is applicable, in terms of the legal consequences caused by them. Nor does Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court specify in more exact terms whether the said norm is applicable to the decisions the execution of which may be enforced by issuing a writ of execution and whether such decisions must not be and may not be executed in an enforced manner in accordance with the procedure for executing court decisions laid down by the Code of Civil Procedure of the Republic of Lithuania, since the decision itself directly creates legal consequences. According to the petitioner, Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court may be construed as consolidating an exception to the prospective power of Constitutional Court rulings.

2. In its petitions (Nos. 1B-112/2010, 1B-117/2010), while substantiating its doubts regarding the compliance (to the corresponding extent) of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court with the Constitution, as well as the compliance of Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of this law with the Constitution, the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, has repeated the essential arguments set forth in the petitions (Nos. 1B-35/2010, 1B-36/2010, 1B-39/2010, 1B-40/2010, 1B-43/2010, 1B-44/2010, 1B-45/2010, 1B-58/2010, 1B-59/2010, 1B-69/2010, 1B-70/2010, 1B-82/2010, 1B-84/2010, 1B-92/2010, 1B-97/2010, 1B-103/2010, 1B-108/2010, 1B-109/2010) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner.

3. The petitions (Nos. 1B-57/2010, 1B-66/2010, 1B-77/2010, 1B-78/2010, 1B-81/2010, 1B-83/2010, 1B-86/2010, 1B-93/2010, 1B-102/2010) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, are substantiated by the following arguments.

Article 72 (wording of 3 February 1993) of the Law on the Constitutional Court conflicts with Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution, the provision of Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution, whereby only laws which are published are valid, as well as the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, an element of the content whereof is the principle of legal clarity meaning that legal acts must be clear, unambiguous and understandable to legal subjects, to the extent that the said article of the law does not clearly establish that in cases of certain types (inter alia cases regarding work remuneration of state servants) “decisions-inactions” should also be regarded as unexecuted decisions (inter alia decisions not to pay work remuneration). Such vague regulation, which is entrenched in Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, not only violates the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law and its aspect—the principle of legal clarity, as well as Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution (since anti-constitutionally vague law may even be treated as being not public), but it also permits one to doubt as to its compliance with Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution.

4. Petition No. 1B-156/2010 of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, is substantiated by the following arguments.

4.1. Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution, Paragraph 1 of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, as well as the constitutional doctrine, confirm that Constitutional Court rulings are effective only prospectively and that they have no retroactive power, save for the exceptions that may be applied upon establishing that by not applying them one would violate the principles of justice and equality of persons before the law.

The petitioner has had doubts as to whether the Law on the Constitutional Court and other legal acts contain such legal regulation on the basis of which it would be possible to determine exceptions to the general rule that Constitutional Court rulings are effective only prospectively, and whether the establishment of these exceptions can be in each case related only to direct application of the Constitution, namely, to application of the aforementioned constitutional principles.

In disputes arising from the legal relations of social security the application of Constitutional Court rulings in terms of the time aspect is of particular relevance. Therefore, it needs to be considered whether the application of Constitutional Court rulings ex tunc ought not to be stated in a law or a concrete Constitutional Court ruling, by taking account of the nature of Constitutional Court rulings and the possible nature of court decisions which will consider the disputes of persons subsequent to the complaints based on the Constitutional Court rulings. It needs to be considered whether one ought not to set a concrete time period during which a Constitutional Court ruling would be effective ex tunc, or retroactively, also whether one ought not to lay down a precise regulation of the ex tunc effect of Constitutional Court rulings, which would ensure the constitutional rights of citizens and would create no conditions to disregard the financial possibilities of the state.

Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution does not provide for any exceptions when a ruling of the Constitutional Court could have retroactive power. Neither the aforementioned, nor other norms of the Constitution and the Law on the Constitutional Court directly and clearly provide for a possibility of applying a Constitutional Court ruling retrospectively due to the fact that the Constitutional Court has ruled to recognise a legal act as being in conflict with the Constitution or laws. As the Constitution and laws do not contain the aforementioned concrete provision, which is, by its content, specific due to the fact that it is related to the retroactive power of a legal act, no special procedure is established for implementing such a provision. For example, no concrete time period is established during which it would be possible to apply a Constitutional Court ruling retrospectively, nor other similar rules, by means of which one would ensure the definiteness and stability of legal relations in the course of implementation of a legal norm related to regulation of the legal relations formed in the past.

In the opinion of the petitioner, Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not establish the legal regulation that would enable to determine whether a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its adoption or from the day of the adoption of the Constitutional Court ruling, is in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

4.2. Petition No. 1B-156/2010 of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requesting to investigate the compliance of Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court with the Constitution is substantiated by the same arguments as the petitioner’s petitions Nos. 1B-35/2010, 1B-36/2010, 1B-39/2010, 1B-40/2010, 1B-43/2010, 1B-44/2010, 1B-45/2010, 1B-58/2010, 1B-59/2010, 1B-69/2010, 1B-70/2010, 1B-82/2010, 1B-84/2010, 1B-92/2010, 1B-97/2010, 1B-103/2010, 1B-108/2010, 1B-109/2010, 1B-112/2010 and 1B-117/2010 requesting to investigate the compliance of Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court with the Constitution.

III

In the course of the preparation of the case for the Constitutional Court hearing written explanations were received from the representatives of the Seimas, the party concerned, who were S. Šedbaras, Chairman of the Committee on Legal Affairs of the Seimas, and J. Sabatauskas, a Member of the Seimas, wherein it is maintained that the disputed provisions of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court are not in conflict with the Constitution. The position of the representatives of the Seimas, the party concerned, is substantiated by the following arguments.

1. Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution unambiguously establishes that legal acts conflicting with the Constitution may not be applied from the day of official promulgation of the Constitutional Court ruling, i.e. they are not applied from the moment of official promulgation of the Constitutional Court ruling, and such non-application is prospective. In the Constitutional Court ruling of 6 June 2006 it is clearly stated that a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution may never be applied anymore, thus, it is held that Constitutional Court rulings have prospective validity.

The petitioner’s presumption that the Law on the Constitutional Court ought to establish that Constitutional Court rulings are effective retroactively, and that in the absence of such regulation one is to hold that there is a legal gap (legislative omission), is wrong, since the provisions of the Constitution not only do not require that such regulation be established, but also imperatively prohibit it, as the said provisions of the Constitution explicitly define the prospective validity of Constitutional Court rulings—from the moment of their promulgation.

In essence, the Law on the Constitutional Court may not include any such legal regulation under which, after a legal act is recognised by the Constitutional Court as being in conflict with the Constitution, it would be possible to determine whether “a legal act is no longer valid from its adoption or from the day of the adoption of the Constitutional Court ruling”, since Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution unambiguously establishes that legal acts recognised by a Constitutional Court decision as being in conflict with the Constitution “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”.

If the regulation proposed by the petitioner were established, in that case, it would not only be in conflict with the provisions of the Constitution, but could also negatively affect the legal system of the state. If such a regulation, which conflicts with the norms of the Constitution, were established, the Constitutional Court would be de facto given the right to destroy the stability of the legal system. Rulings of the Constitutional Court have the same power as laws, thus, they are likewise subject to the principle lex retro non agit, which is related to the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law and under which the power of legal acts is prospective and the retroactive validity of legal acts is not allowed, unless the situation of legal subjects could be alleviated without prejudice to other legal subjects (lex benignior retro agit).

2. In the opinion of the representatives of the party concerned, the petitioner has raised the presumption that Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court is in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution due to the fact that the term “decision” employed in this article is not clear in terms of its application, and “anti-constitutionally vague law may not be regarded as being public law”. The petitioner indicates that the law does not specify in detail what types of decisions are mentioned in the said article—final or not final, administrative or judicial, also the law does not specify the nature of the decisions, to which the said norm of law is applicable, in terms of the legal consequences caused by them.

In the practice of legislation definitions of terms and notions used in laws are provided in the cases where a term or notion in the text of a law is employed in a special or other meaning than that which is used as a rule. In the cases where definitions of notions and terms are not provided, the terms and notions are used and understood in a general sense. A Dictionary of Modern Lithuanian (Dabartinės lietuvių kalbos žodynas) indicates that the word “decision” means an act of an executive authority or that of a court. Thus, under the provisions of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, decisions based on legal acts which have been recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution or laws must not be executed if such decisions had not been executed prior to the appropriate Constitutional Court ruling went into effect, providing that these decisions are acts of an executive authority or a court.

The petitioner maintains that “in the court practise Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, which consolidates that decisions based on legal acts which have been recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution or laws must not be executed if they had not been executed prior to the appropriate Constitutional Court ruling went into effect, is construed as the provision regulating the exceptions to the prospective power of Constitutional Court rulings”. The problem of the compliance of the provisions of the Law on the Constitutional Court with the Constitution, which is being raised by the petitioner, does not in reality exist—the content of the norms and notions of the law is clear, and there is the court practice of their application.

IV

In the course of the preparation of the case for the Constitutional Court hearing a letter of 30 September 2011 was received from the judge Ernestas Spruogis, one of the representatives of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, wherein it is inter alia maintained that Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution means that the power of acts of the Constitutional Court is exclusively prospective (ex nunc). The representative of the petitioner agrees that the Constitutional Court would, at its discretion, decide whether to satisfy the petitions of the petitioner or to dismiss the case.

V

At the Constitutional Court hearing, J. Sabatauskas, a representative of the Seimas, the party concerned, reiterated certain arguments set forth in his written explanations and answered to the questions of the justices.

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

I

1. The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner (petitions Nos. 1B-35/2010, 1B-36/2010, 1B-39/2010, 1B-40/2010, 1B-43/2010, 1B-44/2010, 1B-45/2010, 1B-58/2010, 1B-59/2010, 1B-69/2010, 1B-70/2010, 1B-82/2010, 1B-84/2010, 1B-92/2010, 1B-97/2010, 1B-103/2010, 1B-108/2010, 1B-109/2010, 1B-112/2010, 1B-117/2010 1B-156/2010), requests that the Constitutional Court investigate whether Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court (wording of 3 February 1993) (therein it is provided: “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 ruling of the Constitutional Court that the act (or part thereof) in question is in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania. The same consequences shall arise when the Constitutional Court passes a ruling that an act of the President of the Republic or act (or part thereof) of the Government is in conflict with laws” (Paragraph 1); “Rulings passed by the Constitutional Court shall have the power of law and shall be binding to all State institutions, courts, all enterprises, establishments, and organisations as well as officials and citizens” (Paragraph 2); “All State institutions as well as their officials must revoke the sub-statutory acts or provisions thereof which they have adopted and which are based on an act which has been recognised as unconstitutional” (Paragraph 3); “Decisions based on legal acts which have been recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution or laws must not be executed if they had not been executed prior to the appropriate Constitutional Court ruling went into effect” (Paragraph 4); “The power of the Constitutional Court to recognise a legal act or part thereof as unconstitutional may not be overruled by a repeated adoption of a like legal act or part thereof” (Paragraph 5)), insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not establish the legal regulation that would enable to determine whether a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its adoption or from the day of the adoption of the Constitutional Court ruling, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

Although the petitioner requests investigation into the compliance of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as, according to the petitioner, it does not establish the legal regulation that would enable to determine whether a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its adoption or from the day of the adoption of the Constitutional Court ruling, with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, from the petitions of the petitioner (the arguments provided therein) it is clear that it has had doubts as to the compliance of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it does not establish that a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its entry into force, with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

2. The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner (petitions Nos. 1B-35/2010, 1B-36/2010, 1B-39/2010, 1B-40/2010, 1B-43/2010, 1B-44/2010, 1B-45/2010, 1B-58/2010, 1B-59/2010, 1B-69/2010, 1B-70/2010, 1B-82/2010, 1B-84/2010, 1B-92/2010, 1B-97/2010, 1B-103/2010, 1B-108/2010, 1B-109/2010, 1B-112/2010, 1B-117/2010 1B-156/2010), requests that the Constitutional Court also investigate whether Paragraph 4 (wording of 3 February 1993) of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, which provides that decisions based on legal acts which have been recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution or laws must not be executed if they had not been executed prior to the appropriate Constitutional Court ruling went into effect, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

Although the petitioner requests investigation into the compliance of the entire Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court (wording of 3 February 1993) with the Constitution, from the arguments of its petitions it is clear that this paragraph is being disputed as to its compliance with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law only to the extent that it does not explicitly establish what types of decisions are entrenched in the formulations “decisions <...> must not be executed” and “if they had not been executed”.

3. The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner (petitions Nos. 1B-57/2010, 1B-66/2010, 1B-77/2010, 1B-78/2010, 1B-81/2010, 1B-83/2010, 1B-86/2010, 1B-93/2010, 1B-102/2010), requests that the Constitutional Court investigate whether Article 72 (wording of 3 February 1993) of the Law on the Constitutional Court, insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not clearly establish as to what decisions are regarded as unexecuted, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law. In the opinion of the petitioner, Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court does not clearly establish that in cases of certain types (inter alia cases regarding work remuneration of state servants) “decisions-inactions” (inter alia decisions not to pay work remuneration) should also be regarded as unexecuted decisions.

The formulations “decisions <...> must not be executed” and “if they had not been executed” are employed only in Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court: “Decisions based on legal acts which have been recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution or laws must not be executed if they had not been executed prior to the appropriate Constitutional Court ruling went into effect.”

Although the petitioner requests investigation into the compliance of the entire Article 72 (to the corresponding extent) of the Law on the Constitutional Court (wording of 3 February 1993) with the Constitution, from its petitions it is clear that the petitioner is disputing Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court (wording of 3 February 1993) as to its compliance with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law to the extent that it does not explicitly establish what types of decisions are entrenched in the formulations “decisions <...> must not be executed” and “if they had not been executed”.

4. Thus, subsequent to the petitions of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, in the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court will investigate whether:

Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it does not establish that a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its entry into force, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it does not explicitly establish what types of decisions are entrenched in the formulations “decisions <...> must not be executed” and “if they had not been executed”, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

II

1. In the constitutional justice case at issue one is disputing the compliance of the legal regulation established in Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court (in the aspect of the consequences of recognising a legal act as being in conflict with the Constitution) with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution prescribes: “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 of the Republic of Lithuania.”

2. The Constitutional Court has noted that Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution is to be construed as meaning that every legal act (or part thereof) passed by the Seimas, the President of the Republic, or the Government, or adopted by referendum, which is recognised as being in conflict with any legal act of higher power, inter alia (and, first of all) with the Constitution, is removed from the Lithuanian legal system for good, as it may never be applied anymore (Constitutional Court rulings of 30 May 2003, 28 March 2006 and 6 June 2006). The Constitutional Court has held that, while deciding constitutional justice cases subsequent to corresponding petitions of petitioners, the Constitutional Court has the constitutional powers to annul the legal power of the corresponding legal acts (parts thereof) if they are in conflict with legal acts of higher power, inter alia (and, first of all) with the Constitution (Constitutional Court ruling of 6 June 2006). In this respect the legal power of such a legal act is abolished (Constitutional Court decisions of 8 August 2006 and 1 February 2008).

The Constitutional Court has also held that a constitutional duty arises to a corresponding law-making subject—the Seimas, the President of the Republic, or the Government—to recognise such a legal act (part thereof) as no longer valid or (if it is impossible to do without the corresponding legal regulation of the social relations in question) to change it so that the newly established legal regulation is not in conflict with legal acts of higher power, inter alia (and, first of all) the Constitution (Constitutional Court decisions of 8 August 2006 and 1 February 2008).

Under the Constitution, after the Constitutional Court recognises a law (or part thereof) or other act (or part thereof) of the Seimas, act (or part thereof) of the President of the Republic, or act (or part thereof) of the Government to be in conflict with the Constitution, the institutions which have issued the corresponding act—the Seimas, the President of the Republic, and the Government—under the Constitution, are prohibited from repeatedly establishing, by adopting corresponding laws and other legal acts afterwards, the legal regulation that has been recognised to be in conflict with the Constitution (Constitutional Court ruling of 30 May 2003 and decision of 8 August 2006). The legal regulation established in Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 107 of the Constitution also means that the power of a decision (ruling) of the Constitutional Court may not be overcome by a repeated adoption of laws or other acts of the Seimas, acts of the President of the Republic, and acts of the Government (Constitutional Court ruling of 30 May 2003).

3. The Constitutional Court has also held that the provision of Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution, whereby a legal act (or part thereof) 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, means that, until the Constitutional Court has not adopted a decision that the act in question (or part thereof) is in conflict with the Constitution, it is presumed that such a legal act (part thereof) is in compliance with the Constitution and that the legal effects that have appeared on the basis of the act in question (part thereof) are legitimate (Constitutional Court rulings of 30 December 2003 and 22 December 2010).

Consequently, under Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution, until the official promulgation of the decision of the Constitutional Court that the act in question (or part thereof) is in conflict with the Constitution, it is presumed that such a legal act (part thereof) is in compliance with the Constitution and that the legal consequences (as, for instance, when, under a corresponding decision of an institution, which was adopted by following the act in question (or part thereof), a person has acquired certain rights or a certain legal status, or when, under a corresponding decision of an institution, a person has not been granted certain rights or a certain legal status), which have appeared on the basis of the act in question (part thereof), are legitimate.

Under Article 107 of the Constitution, the power of Constitutional Court decisions as regards the conformity of legal acts with the Constitution is prospective (Constitutional Court decision of 13 May 2003).

In its other final act, the ruling of 30 December 2003, the Constitutional Court held: “A general rule has been established in Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution that the power of Constitutional Court decisions is prospective. This rule, however, is not an absolute one.”

It needs to be noted that from Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution, whereby inter alia an act (or part thereof) of the Seimas 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 of the Republic of Lithuania, no duty arises for the Seimas to establish such legal regulation under which the power of Constitutional Court decisions regarding the compliance of legal acts with the Constitution would be directed retroactively rather than prospectively.

In its decision of 13 May 2003, after holding that, under Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution, the power of Constitutional Court decisions regarding the compliance of legal acts with the Constitution is prospective, the Constitutional Court also noted that, under the Constitution, this does not mean that the legislator may not, on the whole, regulate the relations occurring prior to the day of official promulgation of the Constitutional Court decision whereby a corresponding law was recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution.

Consequently, the Constitution, inter alia the provision of Paragraph 1 of Article 107 thereof, whereby inter alia an act (or part thereof) of the Seimas 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, does not deny the right of the Seimas to establish such a new legal regulation under which one would remove the negative legal consequences that had arisen in the course of application of the legal act (part thereof) that was recognised by the Constitutional Court, by means of its decision, as being in conflict with the Constitution, i.e. to apply a new legal regulation also to the relations that had occurred prior to the day when the said Constitutional Court decision was officially promulgated. The said legal regulation must pay heed to the Constitution; it may not violate the public interest and must fulfil inter alia the requirements of the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law: it may not create preconditions for denying justice, legal certainty and legal security, and it must protect the honestly acquired rights of other persons.

In this context it needs to be mentioned that, in its ruling of 29 November 2007, the Constitutional Court held that there is the relationship between the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law and the principle lex retro non agit, under which the power of legal acts is prospective and the retroactive validity of legal acts is not allowed, unless the situation of legal subjects could be alleviated without prejudice to other legal subjects (lex benignior retro agit). Neither laws nor sub-statutory legal acts may establish such legal regulation that would interfere with the legal relations that are already over. Such regulation, which could change the legal norms after the regulated relations have already ended, would create preconditions for denying legitimate expectations of persons, legal certainty and legal security, as well as the constitutional principle of justice.

Alongside, it needs to be noted that, while construing the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, the Constitutional Court has held in its acts more than once that the imperative of legal certainty and clarity implies certain obligatory requirements for the legal regulation: it must be clear and harmonious, legal norms must be formulated precisely, and they may not contain any ambiguities (Constitutional Court rulings of 30 May 2003, 26 January 2004, 24 December 2008 and 22 June 2009, decision of 20 April 2010 and ruling of 13 May 2010).

III

1. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue one is to mention the legal regulation of certain foreign countries, which consolidates the legal power of decisions adopted by the Constitutional Courts in terms of the time aspect, inter alia as to when decisions of the Constitutional Court are effective retroactively (ex tunc); one is also to mention the practice formed with respect to the said aspect by constitutional courts of certain foreign countries.

2. Constitutions of certain foreign countries consolidate the legal regulation regarding the legal power of decisions adopted by the constitutional courts in terms of the time aspect, inter alia as to when decisions of the Constitutional Court are effective retroactively (ex tunc).

2.1. For instance, Paragraph 3 of Article 282 of the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic provides that rulings in cases that have already been tried shall stand, save when the Constitutional Court rules to the contrary in relation to rules that concerned penal or disciplinary matters or administrative offences and their contents were less favourable to the defendant.

2.2. Paragraph 7 of Article 140 of the Federal Constitutional Law of the Republic of Austria inter alia prescribes: the law shall continue to apply to the circumstances affected before the rescission, the case in point excepted, unless the Constitutional Court in its rescissory judgement decides otherwise; if the Constitutional Court has in its rescissory judgement set a deadline, the law shall apply to all the circumstances affected, the case in point excepted, till the expiry of this deadline.

2.3. Paragraph 4 of Article 190 of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland prescribes that a judgment of the Constitutional Tribunal on the non-conformity to the Constitution, an international agreement or statute, of a normative act on the basis of which a legally effective judgment of a court, a final administrative decision or settlement of other matters was issued, shall be a basis for reopening proceedings, or for quashing the decision or other settlement in a manner and on principles specified in provisions applicable to the given proceedings.

2.4. Article 161 of the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia inter alia prescribes that if the Constitutional Court establishes that a law is unconstitutional, it abrogates such law in whole (or in part) (Paragraph 1); the legal consequences of Constitutional Court decisions shall be regulated by law (Paragraph 3).

While construing the said provisions of Article 161 of the Constitution, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia held that the Constitutional Court may abrogate statutes but in no case with retroactive effect (decision No. U-I-105/91 of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia of 23 April 1992).

3. In certain foreign countries the legal power of decisions of the constitutional courts in terms of the time aspect is regulated by law, inter alia as to when decisions of the Constitutional Court are effective retroactively (ex tunc).

3.1. For instance, under Article 44 of the Constitutional Court Act of the Republic of Slovenia, the abrogation of a law or a part thereof by the Constitutional Court applies to relations that had been established before the day such abrogation took effect, if by that day such relations had not been finally decided. Paragraph 2 of Article 45 of this law inter alia provides that the Constitutional Court annuls regulations or general acts that are unconstitutional or unlawful when it determines that it is necessary to remedy harmful consequences arising from such unconstitutionality or unlawfulness; such annulment has retroactive effect. Article 46 of the same law inter alia prescribes: any person who suffers harmful consequences due to an unconstitutional or unlawful sub-statutory legal act, which has been annulled from its adoption, is entitled to request that such consequences be remedied; if such consequences occurred as a result of an individual act adopted on the basis of the sub-statutory legal act or general legal act, which has been annulled from its adoption, entitled persons have the right to request that the authority, which adopted the individual act, annul or change such individual act from its adoption (Paragraph 1); entitled persons may request a change or annulment of the individual act referred to in Paragraph 1 within three months of the day of the publication of the Constitutional Court decision, provided no more than one year elapsed from the service of the individual act to the lodging of the petition or request (Paragraph 2); if the consequences occurred directly on the basis of a regulation or other general act issued for the exercise of public authority which was annulled by the Constitutional Court, the authority which issued such regulation or general act issued for the exercise of public authority is required to remedy such consequences; the entitled person lodges a request within the periods of time referred to in Paragraph 2 of this article (Paragraph 3).

3.2. Article 78 of the Law on the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany provides that, if the Federal Constitutional Court comes to the conclusion that Federal law is incompatible with the Basic Law or that Land law is incompatible with the Basic Law or other Federal law, it shall declare the law to be null and void.

The Federal Constitutional Court of Germany does not recognise a law as null and void where it is necessary to avoid a legal gap which is impermissible, i.e. where, as a result of recognition of a law as being null and void, there would emerge a legal situation which would be yet more incompatible with the Basic Law. In that case, the Federal Constitutional Court only declares the law in question to be not conforming to the Basic Law (ruling of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany of 3 November 1982 (No. 620/78, 1335/78, 1104/79, 363/80) and decision of 10 November 1998 (No. 1057/91, 1226/91, 980/91)).

The legislator has the obligation to retroactively establish such a legal situation that would conform to the Basic Law and would extend, in principle, to the entire period during which the law declared incompatible with the Basic Law was in force and would cover all the decisions based on the law recognised as conflicting with the Basic Law which are not yet final (decision of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany of 4 December 2002 (No. 400/98, 1735/00)). In cases concerning the provisions of laws on taxes that are significant to the budget the Federal Constitutional Court has held more than once that continuing application of anti-constitutional provisions to a taxable period which has not ended yet is justified by the fact that one needs reliable fiscal and budgetary planning as well as smooth administrative activities (decision of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany of 6 March 2002 (No. 17/99)).

3.3. Paragraph 1 of Article 40 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of Spain prescribes that judgements that declare the unconstitutionality of laws or other legal acts shall not provide grounds for review of proceedings concluded by means of a judgement having force of res judicata in which anti-constitutional laws or other legal acts were applied, save in the case of criminal proceedings or administrative litigation concerning a sanction procedure where the nullity of the rule applied would entail a reduction of the penalty or sanction or exclusion, exemption or limitation of liability.

4. Laws of certain foreign countries consolidate the right of the constitutional courts to establish, to a certain extent, the consequences of decisions adopted by them.

4.1. Under Paragraph 3 of Article 43 of the Act on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Hungary, the Constitutional Court orders the review of the criminal proceedings concluded with a non-appealable verdict based on an unconstitutional law or normative decision, normative order if the convict has not been exempted from all adverse consequences and the nullity of the provision applied in the proceedings would result in the reduction or waiver of the measure or in the exemption from or limitation of, liability. Paragraph 2 of Article 43 of the same law provides that apart from the case set forth in Paragraph 3 of this article, the annulment of the law or the normative decision, normative order does not affect the legal relationships originating on the day or before the resolution was published and the rights and obligations resulting therefrom. In its decision No. 10/1992 of 25 February 1992 the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Hungary held that the chief rule is invalidation ex nunc. As an exception from this rule, Paragraph 4 of Article 43 of the Act on the Constitutional Court renders possible for the Constitutional Court to invalidate a legal rule ex tunc, i.e. retroactively, or even to determine invalidation as being effective from a future date.

4.2. Under Paragraph 4 of Article 51 of the Code Concerning the Special Highest Court of Greece (the Special Highest Court was established under Article 100 of the Constitution of the Republic of Greece), the Special Court may decide, by reasoned decision with effect erga omnes, that the provisions held unconstitutional are invalid even in respect of the period up to the publication of the decision. Paragraph 5 of Article 51 of this code prescribes that where a decision retroactively declaring a law unconstitutional is taken in accordance with Paragraph 4 of this article, an application for review may be made in respect of any irrevocable judicial decision taken during that period and founded on provisions held unconstitutional; such application may be made by any party within six months as from the publication of the Special Highest Court’s decision.

4.3. Paragraph 3 of Article 32 of the Constitutional Court Law of the Republic of Latvia provides that a legal norm (act) that the Constitutional Court has declared as non-compliant with the norm of a higher legal force shall be regarded as not in effect from the day of publication of the Constitutional Court judgment, if the Constitutional Court has not determined otherwise. Determining the exact moment from which the impugned provisions lose validity, the Constitutional Court, on the basis of its previous practice, would consider whether the invalidation of the impugned provisions with retrospective effect is required for the protection of fundamental rights of the applicants, or whether there are any considerations due to which the impugned provisions would have to be invalidated with retrospective effect only in relation to the applicants (judgement of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Latvia of 21 December 2009 (No. 2009-43-01)).

5. While summing up the discussed legal regulation of foreign countries and the practice of their constitutional courts, it needs to be noted that in some of the states the provisions establishing in concrete cases the legal power of decisions of the constitutional courts in terms of the time aspect, inter alia as to when decisions of the Constitutional Court are effective retroactively (ex tunc), are expressis verbis entrenched in the Constitution (Austria, Poland, Portugal), while in other states this is also regulated by the Law on the Constitutional Court (Spain, Slovenia, Germany), and in some of these countries the right to establish, to a certain extent, as to when decisions of the Constitutional Court are effective retroactively (ex tunc) is conferred, by a law, on the courts executing constitutional control (Greece, Slovenia, Hungary).

IV

On the compliance of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, insofar as it does not establish that a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its entry into force, also Paragraph 4 of the same article, insofar as it does not explicitly establish what types of decisions are entrenched in the formulations “decisions <...> must not be executed” and “if they had not been executed”, with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

1. Article 72 “Consequences of the Recognition of a Legal Act as Being in Conflict with the Constitution” of the Law on the Constitutional Court prescribes:

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 ruling of the Constitutional Court that the act (or part thereof) in question is in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania. The same consequences shall arise when the Constitutional Court passes a ruling that an act of the President of the Republic or act (or part thereof) of the Government is in conflict with laws.

Rulings passed by the Constitutional Court shall have the power of law and shall be binding to all State institutions, courts, all enterprises, establishments, and organisations as well as officials and citizens.

All State institutions as well as their officials must revoke the sub-statutory acts or provisions thereof which they have adopted and which are based on an act which has been recognised as unconstitutional.

Decisions based on legal acts which have been recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution or laws must not be executed if they had not been executed prior to the appropriate Constitutional Court ruling went into effect.

The power of the Constitutional Court to recognise a legal act or part thereof as unconstitutional may not be overruled by a repeated adoption of a like legal act or part thereof.”

2. While construing the legal regulation established in this article, in the context of the constitutional justice case at issue it is clear that this article regulates the relations, inter alia connected with the consequences arising upon recognition of a law as being in conflict with the Constitution, and that of a sub-statutory act—with the Constitution and/or law. Paragraph 1 of this article lays down the prohibition against application of legal acts after a ruling of the Constitutional Court is officially announced that a corresponding act (or part thereof) is in conflict with the Constitution, and Paragraph 3 consolidates an obligation for all state institutions as well as their officials to revoke the sub-statutory acts or provisions thereof which they have adopted and which are based on the act recognised as unconstitutional.

Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court regulates the relations connected with execution of decisions adopted prior to the entry into force of the Constitutional Court ruling whereby a corresponding legal act (part thereof) is recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution. The said paragraph consolidates a requirement to discontinue the execution of unexecuted decisions, which are based on the legal acts recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution or laws, where such decisions had not been executed until the entry into force of the corresponding Constitutional Court ruling, i.e. a prohibition against execution of unexecuted decisions.

The aforementioned provision consolidates that, on the one hand, the said decisions must be adopted until the entry into force of the Constitutional Court ruling, and on the other hand, the execution of these decisions must be not completed until the entry into force of the Constitutional Court ruling. Thus, the legal regulation entrenched in Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court covers such legal situations where decisions based on the legal acts that were subsequently recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution were adopted but, due to certain circumstances, were not executed until the entry into force of the corresponding Constitutional Court ruling.

The legal regulation established in Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court consolidates a prohibition against execution of such decisions that were, at the time of their adoption, based on the legal acts that were not yet recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution and, due to this, it was presumed that these decisions were lawful, and which may no longer be executed at the time following the entry into force of the Constitutional Court ruling whereby the said legal acts were recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution. Thus, Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court consolidates a prohibition against execution of such decisions that meet the following conditions: they had been adopted on the basis of a legal act before that act was recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution, at the time of their adoption they were based on the legal acts not yet recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution and, due to this, it was presumed that they were lawful, and they had not been executed by the time when the ruling of the Constitutional Court, whereby the said legal acts were recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution, came into force.

The legal regulation entrenched in Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court does not extend to such legal situations where decisions, although being based on the legal acts subsequently recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution, have been executed by the day of coming into force of the Constitutional Court ruling.

Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, as well as other paragraphs of this article, does not provide for any cases where the power of Constitutional Court decisions is directed retroactively rather than prospectively.

3. It has been mentioned that in the constitutional justice case at issue (petitions Nos. 1B-35/2010, 1B-36/2010, 1B-39/2010, 1B-40/2010, 1B-43/2010, 1B-44/2010, 1B-45/2010, 1B-58/2010, 1B-59/2010, 1B-69/2010, 1B-70/2010, 1B-82/2010, 1B-84/2010, 1B-92/2010, 1B-97/2010, 1B-103/2010, 1B-108/2010, 1B-109/2010, 1B-112/2010, 1B-117/2010 1B-156/2010) the petitioner doubts as to whether Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it does not establish that a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its entry into force, is not in conflict with inter alia Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution.

As it is maintained by the petitioner, Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court and other norms of the Law on the Constitutional Court do not directly and clearly provide for any possibility of applying a ruling of the Constitutional Court, whereby a legal act has been recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution or laws, in a retroactive manner, neither do they establish any concrete period during which a ruling of the Constitutional Court could be applied ex tunc, nor other similar rules. As mentioned, the petitioner has had doubts as to whether the Law on the Constitutional Court and other legal acts consolidate such legal regulation on the basis of which it would be possible to establish exceptions to the general rule whereby Constitutional Court rulings are effective only prospectively. According to the petitioner, it needs to be considered whether one ought not to set a concrete time period during which a ruling of the Constitutional Court would be effective ex tunc, or retroactively, also whether one ought not to lay down a precise regulation of the ex tunc effect of Constitutional Court rulings, which would ensure the constitutional rights of citizens and create no conditions to disregard the financial possibilities of the state.

4. As mentioned, Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitutionthe compliance of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court (to the corresponding extent) with which is being disputed by the petitioner in the constitutional justice case at issueprescribes: “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 of the Republic of Lithuania.”

It has been mentioned that, as it has been held more than once in Constitutional Court rulings, the provision of Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution, whereby a legal act (or part thereof) 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, means that, until the Constitutional Court has not adopted a decision that the act in question (or part thereof) is in conflict with the Constitution, it is presumed that such a legal act (part thereof) is in compliance with the Constitution and that the legal consequences that appeared on the basis of the act in question (part thereof) are legitimate.

It has also been mentioned that the legal regulation established in Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court lays down the prohibition against application of legal acts after a ruling of the Constitutional Court is officially announced that a corresponding act (or part thereof) is in conflict with the Constitution and that it consolidates the obligation for all state institutions as well as their officials to revoke the sub-statutory acts or provisions thereof which they have adopted and which are based on an act recognised as unconstitutional. Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court consolidates a prohibition against execution of such decisions that meet the following conditions: they had been adopted on the basis of a legal act before that act was recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution, at the time of their adoption they were based on the legal acts not yet recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution and, due to this, it was presumed that they were lawful, and they had not been executed by the time when the ruling of the Constitutional Court, whereby the said legal acts were recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution, came into force.

It has been mentioned that, as it has been held by the Constitutional Court, Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution consolidates the general rule that the power of Constitutional Court decisions regarding the compliance of legal acts with the Constitution is prospective. It has been mentioned that, as it has been held in this ruling, from Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution no obligation arises for the legislator to establish the legal regulation under which the power of Constitutional Court decisions regarding the compliance of legal acts with the Constitution is directed retroactively rather than prospectively.

It has also been mentioned that Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court does not provide for any cases where the power of Constitutional Court decisions is directed retroactively rather than prospectively.

As it is clear from Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, the compliance of which with the Constitution, to the corresponding extent, is being doubted by the petitioner in the constitutional justice case at issue, by means of this article one implements the provision of Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution.

It has been mentioned that the petitioner has had doubts as to whether the Law on the Constitutional Court and other legal acts consolidate such legal regulation on the basis of which it would be possible to establish exceptions to the general rule whereby Constitutional Court rulings are effective only prospectively. As it has been mentioned in this ruling, the general rule entrenched in Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution, whereby the power of Constitutional Court decisions regarding the compliance of legal acts with the Constitution is prospective, is not an absolute one.

In this context it needs to be noted that Paragraph 1 of Article 67 of the Law on the Constitutional Court prescribes that provided that there are grounds to believe that a law or other legal act which should be applied in a concrete case is in conflict with the Constitution, the court (judge) suspends the consideration of the case and, taking account of the competence of the Constitutional Court, applies to it with a petition to decide whether the law or other legal act in question is in compliance with the Constitution.

Thus, Paragraph 1 of Article 67 of the Law on the Constitutional Court consolidates one of the exceptions to the prospective power of Constitutional Court rulings, which, according to the petitioner, is not, even though, in its opinion, should have been provided for in Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court.

5. Consequently, contrary to what is being maintained by the petitioner, from Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution no obligation arises for the legislator to consolidate in Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court the legal regulation establishing that a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its entry into force.

6. Thus, there is no ground to maintain that Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it does not establish that a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its entry into force, is in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution.

7. It has been mentioned that the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requests investigation into whether Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it does not establish that a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its entry into force, is not in conflict with inter alia Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution prescribes: “Only laws which are published shall be valid.” The doubts of the petitioner regarding the compliance of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court with the said paragraph of Article 7 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law are substantiated in essence on the same arguments as the petitioner’s doubts regarding the compliance of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court with Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution. In the opinion of the petitioner, under Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution, Constitutional Court rulings are effective only prospectively and they have no retroactive validity save for the exceptions that may be applied upon establishing that by not applying them one would violate the principles of justice and equality of persons before the law. The doubts of the petitioner regarding the compliance of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, to the corresponding extent, with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law are substantiated by the fact that this article does not clearly provide for a possibility of applying a ruling of the Constitutional Court, whereby a legal act has been recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution or laws, in a retrospective manner.

8. It has been mentioned that, under Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution, the power of Constitutional Court decisions regarding the compliance of legal acts with the Constitution is prospective. It has also been mentioned that from Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution, which consolidates the general rule that the power of Constitutional Court decisions is prospective, no obligation arises for the legislator to establish the legal regulation under which the power of Constitutional Court decisions regarding the compliance of legal acts with the Constitution is directed retroactively rather than prospectively.

9. Thus, there is no ground to maintain that Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, insofar as it does not establish that a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its entry into force, is in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

10. Taking account of the arguments set forth, one is to draw a conclusion that Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it does not establish that a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its entry into force, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

11. It has been mentioned that in the constitutional justice case at issue, subsequent to the petitions (Nos. 1B-35/2010, 1B-36/2010, 1B-39/2010, 1B-40/2010, 1B-43/2010, 1B-44/2010, 1B-45/2010, 1B-57/2010, 1B-58/2010, 1B-59/2010, 1B-66/2010, 1B-69/2010, 1B-70/2010, 1B-77/2010, 1B-78/2010, 1B-81/2010, 1B-82/2010, 1B-83/2010, 1B-84/2010, 1B-86/2010, 1B-92/2010, 1B-93/2010, 1B-97/2010, 1B-102/2010, 1B-103/2010, 1B-108/2010, 1B-109/2010, 1B-112/2010, 1B-117/2010) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, one is investigating inter alia whether Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it does not explicitly establish what types of decisions are entrenched in the formulations “decisions <...> must not be executed” and “if they had not been executed”, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

As mentioned, according to the petitioner, Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, which establishes the consequences of recognition of a legal act as being in conflict with the Constitution with respect to unexecuted decisions, does not specify in more exact terms as to what types of decisions these are—final or not final, administrative or judicial. According to the petitioner, Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court does not specify the nature of the decisions, to which the said norm of law is applicable, in terms of the legal consequences caused by these decisions, neither does this paragraph specify in more exact terms whether the said norm is applicable to the decisions the execution of which may be enforced by issuing a writ of execution and whether such decisions must not be and may not be executed in an enforced manner in accordance with the procedure for executing court decisions laid down by the Code of Civil Procedure, since the decision itself directly creates legal consequences. It has also been mentioned that, as it is believed by the petitioner, the disputed provision of the law does not clearly provide that in cases of certain types “decisions-inactions” should also be regarded as unexecuted decisions.

12. As mentioned, Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court prescribes: “Decisions based on legal acts which have been recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution or laws must not be executed if they had not been executed prior to the appropriate Constitutional Court ruling went into effect.”

It has been mentioned that Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court consolidates a prohibition against execution of such decisions that meet the following conditions: they had been adopted on the basis of a legal act before that act was recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution, at the time of their adoption they were based on the legal acts not yet recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution and, due to this, it was presumed that they were lawful, and they had not been executed by the time when the ruling of the Constitutional Court, whereby the said legal acts were recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution, came into force.

The content of the formulations “decisions <...> must not be executed” and “if they had not been executed” employed in the said paragraph of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, which, as it is evident from the petitions of the petitioner, is unclear to the petitioner, is disclosed neither in this, nor other articles of the Law on the Constitutional Court.

The notion “decision” employed in Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, when construed in the context of Paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of the same article, means such an act of volition that is passed on the basis of a legal act and which creates various legal consequences, as, for instance: establishment of, change in, denial (limitation) or revocation of the rights, duties or legal status of a concrete person.

13. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue it needs to be noted that, when construing Paragraph 2 of Article 102 of the Constitution, wherein it is prescribed that the status of the Constitutional Court and the procedure for the execution of its powers is established by the Law on the Constitutional Court, in its ruling of 28 March 2006 the Constitutional Court held that, under the Constitution, the legislator has the duty to regulate by the law all the relations related to the status, forming, execution of powers (activity), and guarantees of the Constitutional Court, the status of the justices of the Constitutional Court, as well as execution of Constitutional Court decisions; the title of this law is expressis verbis consolidated in the Constitution—the Law on the Constitutional Court. The Constitutional Court also noted that such constitutional legal regulation in itself does not mean that certain relations connected with the aforementioned relations may not be regulated altogether by other laws as well.

In the context of the legal regulation laid down in Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court it needs to be noted that the relations connected with execution of decisions are also regulated by the legal norms entrenched in other laws, inter alia the Code of Civil Procedure, the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Republic of Lithuania, the Code of Execution of Punishments of the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Lithuania Law on the Proceedings of Administrative Cases, in the context of the case under investigationinter alia the Labour Code of the Republic of Lithuania (as, for instance, in Paragraph 1 of Article 201 and Article 202 thereof), the Republic of Lithuania Law on Social Insurance of Accidents at Work and Occupational Diseases, and the provisions of the Regulations Concerning Social Insurance Payments for Accidents at Work and Occupational Diseases as approved by the Government.

14. Thus, different laws and sub-statutory legal acts regulate the relations connected with execution of decisions (inter alia those of administration subjects, courts), and the provisions of these laws are applied in the execution process by various jurisdictional and other law-applying institutions.

Whether a decision, in terms of Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, has not been executed yet or has already been executed, in each concrete case is determined by jurisdictional and other law-applying institutions in the course of application of the corresponding legal norms that regulate the relations connected with the execution of the decision and which are entrenched in laws and sub-statutory legal acts.

15. The Constitutional Court has held more than once that, under the Constitution and the Law on the Constitutional Court, the Constitutional Court does not decide the questions concerning application of legal acts, also that such questions are decided by the institution that has the powers to apply legal acts (Constitutional Court decisions of 23 September 2002, 20 November 2006, 16 November 2010 and 5 September 2011). The Constitutional Court has also held that the questions of application of law that have not been decided by the legislator are the matter of judicial practice (Constitutional Court ruling of 9 July 1998, decisions of 20 November 2006 and 16 November 2011); thus, the questions of application of law that have not been decided by the legislator may be decided by courts, when they consider disputes regarding the application of corresponding legal acts (parts thereof) (Constitutional Court decisions of 20 November 2006 and 16 November 2011). The construction of the essence of a legal norm is the duty of the state institution which applies the law (Constitutional Court decision of 11 July 1994). The petitions requesting to construe as to how the provisions of a law (other legal act) are to be applied are not within the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court (Constitutional Court decisions of 23 September 2002, 20 November 2006 and 16 November 2011).

16. Under Item 2 of Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, by a decision, the Constitutional Court refuses to consider petitions to investigate the compliance of a legal act with the Constitution if consideration of the petition is not within the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court, whereas under Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, in the event that the grounds for refusal to consider a petition have been established after the commencement of the investigation of the case during the hearing of the Constitutional Court, a decision to dismiss the case is adopted.

17. Taking account of the arguments set forth, the part of this constitutional justice case subsequent to the petitions of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requesting to investigate whether Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it does not explicitly establish what types of decisions are entrenched in the formulations “decisions <...> must not be executed” and “if they had not been executed”, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, is to be dismissed.

18. It needs to be noted that, as it has been mentioned in this ruling, in one administrative case of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, wherein a ruling to apply to the Constitutional Court was adopted (petition No. 1B-156/2010), the court was considering a legal dispute regarding annulment of the decisions of the Vilnius Department of the State Social Insurance Fund Board and the State Social Insurance Fund Board under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour as well as obligation to recognise an accident at work as an insured event and to grant and pay a lump sum and periodic insurance payments upon the death of the insured person.

From the material of the said case, which was considered by the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, it is clear that, on 20 July 2010, O. G. filed a complaint with the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, requesting inter alia annulment of the decision of the Vilnius Department of the State Social Insurance Fund Board of 21 May 2010 and the decision set forth in the letter of the State Social Insurance Fund Board under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour of 28 June 2010. These disputed decisions (dated 21 May 2010 and 28 June 2010) were adopted by taking account of the provisions of the Constitutional Court ruling of 29 April 2008, i.e. after the entry into force of that Constitutional Court ruling.

It has been mentioned that Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court regulates the relations connected with execution of decisions adopted prior to the entry into force of the Constitutional Court ruling whereby a corresponding legal act (part thereof) is recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution.

Thus, Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court does not regulate the relations connected with execution of decisions adopted after the entry into force of a Constitutional Court ruling.

Taking account of the circumstances set forth, one is to draw a conclusion that in the administrative case regarding annulment of the decisions of the Vilnius Department of the State Social Insurance Fund Board and the State Social Insurance Fund Board under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour as well as obligation to recognise an accident at work as an insured event and to grant and pay a lump sum and periodic insurance payments upon the death of the insured person, which was considered by the petitioner, Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court should not be applied.

Consequently, in the administrative case the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, adopted the ruling to suspend the consideration of the case and apply to the Constitutional Court regarding inter alia Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court which should not be applied in the administrative case in question.

Under the Constitution and the Law on the Constitutional Court, no court has locus standi to apply to the Constitutional Court with a petition requesting to investigate whether such a law (part thereof) or another legal act (part thereof) that should not (could not) be applied in the case considered by the court is not in conflict with the Constitution (Constitutional Court decisions of 22 May 2007, 27 June 2007, 5 July 2007, ruling of 24 October 2007, decision of 29 October 2009, and ruling of 2 September 2011).

Under Item 1 of Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, by a decision, the Constitutional Court shall refuse to consider petitions to investigate the compliance of a legal act with the Constitution, if the petition was filed by an institution or person who does not have the right to apply to the Constitutional Court, whereas under Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, in the event that the grounds for refusal to consider a petition have been established after the commencement of the investigation of the case during the hearing of the Constitutional Court, a decision to dismiss the case shall be adopted.

Taking account of the arguments set forth, the part of this constitutional justice case subsequent to the said petition of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requesting to investigate whether Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court (wording of 3 February 1993), insofar as it does not explicitly establish what types of decisions are entrenched in the formulations “decisions <...> must not be executed” and “if they had not been executed”, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, is to be dismissed.

Conforming to Articles 102 and 105 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and Articles 1, 53, 54, 55, 56 and 69 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania has passed the following

ruling:

1. To recognise that Article 72 (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 1993, No. 6-120) of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, insofar as it does not establish that a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its entry into force, is not in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

2. To dismiss the part of the case regarding the petitions of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requesting to investigate whether Paragraph 4 (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 1993, No. 6-120) of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, insofar as it does not explicitly establish what types of decisions are entrenched in the formulations “decisions <...> must not be executed” and “if they had not been executed”, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

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