Lt

On the government decision to concentrate market structures

Case No. 12/2000

 

 

THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF

THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

 

R U L I N G

 

On the compliance of the Decision of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania “On the Request of the Company ‘Danisco Sugar’ A/S to Acquire Certain Shares of Sugar Sector Enterprises” entered into the minutes of the sitting of 22 July 1998 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and on the compliance of the provisions of Articles 3 and 8 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry Into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania

 

Vilnius, 29 November 2001

 

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, composed of the Justices of the Constitutional Court: Egidijus Jarašiūnas, Egidijus Kūris, Zigmas Levickis, Augustinas Normantas, Vladas Pavilonis, Jonas Prapiestis, Vytautas Sinkevičius, Stasys Stačiokas, and Teodora Staugaitienė

The court reporter—Daiva Pitrėnaitė

Seimas members Vytautas Einoris, Petras Gražulis, Juozas Olekas, and the advocate Jonas Masiokas, acting as the representatives of a group of members of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, the petitioner

Rimvydas Pilibaitis, an advisor to the Department of Law and Law Enforcement of the Office of the Government, Rimantas Krasuckas, Director of the Department of Agricultural Development and Food of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Lithuania, and Giedrė Aleknaitė, a senior lawyer at the Legal Division of the state enterprise State Property Fund, acting as the representatives of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, the party concerned

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, pursuant to Paragraph 1 of Article 102 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, on 7 November 2001, in its public hearing, considered case No. 12/2000 subsequent to the petition of a group of members of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into the compliance of the Government Decision “On the Request of the Company ‘Danisco Sugar’ A/S to Acquire Certain Shares of Sugar Sector Enterprises” entered into the minutes of the sitting of 22 July 1998 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania with Paragraphs 1, 4 and 5 of Article 46 and Paragraph 1 of Article 95 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, Articles 6 and 11 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Competition (enacted on 15 September 1992), Article 2 of the Law on the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, and Articles 2 and 8 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry Into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania”.

The Constitutional Court

has established:

I

The minutes of the Government sitting of 22 July 1998 contain the Decision “On the Request of the Company ‘Danisco Sugar’ A/S to Acquire Certain Shares of Sugar Sector Enterprises” whereby the Government approved of the request of the Danish company “Danisco Sugar” A/S to acquire 75 percent of the authorised capital of the joint-stock company “Kėdainių cukrus”, 69.31 percent of the authorised capital of the joint-stock company “Panevėžio cukrus”, 25.25 percent of the authorised capital of the joint-stock company “Marijampolės cukrus” and 29. 64 percent of the authorised capital of the joint-stock company “Pavenčių cukrus” (the decision has not been published in the official gazette Valstybės žinios, the extract from the minutes of the Government sitting of 22 July 1998 was received together with the petition of the group of Seimas members).

The petitioner—a group of Seimas members—requests that the Constitutional Court consider the compliance of the Government Decision “On the Request of the Company ‘Danisco Sugar’ A/S to Acquire Certain Shares of Sugar Sector Enterprises” entered into the minutes of the Government sitting of 22 July 1998 with Paragraphs 1, 4 and 5 of Article 46 and Paragraph 1 of Article 95 of the Constitution, Articles 6 and 11 of the 15 September 1992 Law on Competition (hereinafter referred to as the Law on Competition), Article 2 of the Law on the Government, and Articles 2 and 8 of Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry Into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania”.

II

The petition of the petitioner is based on the following arguments.

1. By means of the impugned governmental decision, an opportunity was created for one economic entity to attain a dominant position in the sugar market. According to the petitioner, this government decision may be in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 46 of the Constitution wherein it is established that Lithuania’s economy shall be based on the right to private ownership, freedom of individual economic activity, and initiative.

2. The Government, by means of its decision approving of the request of the company “Danisco Sugar” A/S to acquire shares of four sugar factories operating in Lithuania, permitted this company to monopolise the sugar production in Lithuania. This conflicts with the prohibition on monopolising production and the market, which is set down in Paragraph 4 of Article 46 of the Constitution. The prohibition on monopolising production and the market along with fair competition are a necessary condition of the functioning of the market economy. This permits distributing economic resources in an optimal manner, promotes economic development and satisfaction of consumers’ interests. The legalisation of the monopoly excludes fair competition in the sugar sector market and creates conditions for the monopolist to exert one-sided decisive influence in the sugar market.

The petitioner maintains that one is not permitted to introduce a monopoly, i.e. one is not permitted to grant exclusive rights by law to an economic entity to operate in a certain economic sector due to which this sector would become monopolised, however, under certain circumstances one is permitted to state in a law the existence of monopoly in a particular area of economic activity. At the time of the adoption of the impugned legal act by the Government, four independent sugar factories operated in the Lithuanian sugar sector, while not a single one dominated in the sugar market. The impugned governmental decision permitted creating a new monopoly.

3. After the Government had adopted the impugned decision, the interests of consumers became restricted. Alongside, the real, legal mechanisms of protection of consumers’ rights have not been established. Therefore, in the opinion of the petitioner, the impugned decision conflicts with Paragraph 5 of Article 46 of the Constitution wherein it is established that the state shall defend the interests of the consumers.

4. The petitioner points out that the powers of the Government shall be defined by the Constitution and laws (Article 2 of the Law on the Government). The petitioner is of the opinion that the Government, while adopting the impugned decision, exceeded the powers granted to it.

4.1. Article 11 of the Law on Competition stipulated that permission to concentrate market structures which had not been approved by the institution of price and competition might be granted by a decision of the Government if the parties involved in the concentration provided substantiation proving that the action in question would result in the increase of economic efficiency of production or competitiveness of goods, which could not be achieved in any other ways other than by the suggested concentration of market structures.

The State Service for Competition and Protection of Consumer Interests recognised that the intention to monopolise the sugar production market conflicted with the Law on Competition, and, on 14 July 1998, adopted a decision not to allow the company “Danisco Sugar” A/S to acquire some shares of the Lithuanian sugar factories. In the case of the existence of such a decision of the State Service for Competition and Protection of Consumer Interests, the Government was entitled to give its permission to concentrate market structures without exceeding the powers granted to it by Article 11 of the Law on Competition. This permission ought to have been substantiated realistically.

It is pointed out in the minutes of the Government sitting of 22 July 1998 that the permission to implement the concentration of market structures is based on the aim “to attract a big company operating in the European Union market, which might make more investments and repay the debts for the farmers, and which might ensure purchasing sugar beets and their processing in Lithuania”.

It is pointed out in the petition of the petitioner that during the period after the adoption of the impugned governmental decision, the debts for the farmers of the sugar factories under control of the company “Danisco Sugar” A/S have not been repaid, there have been no investments into the sugar factories, and fair competition has practically been eliminated from the sugar production market. This shows that the impugned governmental decision was adopted without a proper prior analysis, and the motives of the decision were not in line with the requirements of Article 11 of the Law on Competition.

4.2. The Government, while adopting the decision on permission to implement sugar production concentration under Article 11 of the Law on Competition, ought to have taken account of Article 6 of the Law on Competition, which prohibited the Government from adopting normative acts or carry out activities which granted privileges to or discriminated against individual economic entities, or which otherwise limited competition.

4.3. The Government, while considering the request of the company “Danisco Sugar” A/S on permission to acquire some shares of the sugar factories, should also have taken account of the fact that that the relations between sugar market participants and state institutions are regulated by the Law on Sugar. The petitioner points out that the monopolisation of the sugar production and market is a prerogative of the legislature but not of the Government. Therefore, the Government, under the commissioning set down in Item 5 of Article 94 of the Constitution, was entitled to draft a supplement to the Law on Sugar and submit it for the Seimas for consideration, so that the monopolisation of sugar production would be legalised in the said law. In the opinion of the petitioner, it is only the Seimas, which, striving to regulate economic activity so that it would serve the general welfare of the nation and the interests of consumers, may introduce the monopoly by law. By means its decision permitting monopolising the sugar market, the Government exceeded the powers granted to it.

In the opinion of the petitioner, as the impugned governmental decision was adopted in violation of Articles 6 and 11 of the Law on Competition and this government decision permitted monopolising the sugar market, while the Seimas had not made respective amendments to the Law on Sugar before, thus, this government decision conflicts with Article 2 of the Law on the Government.

5. The petitioner points out that the Government, while adopting the impugned decision on the request of the company “Danisco Sugar” A/S, violated the procedure of adoption, publication and going into effect of governmental acts, which is established in the Constitution and laws.

Under Article 95 of the Constitution, the Government of the Republic of Lithuania shall resolve the affairs of state administration at its sittings by adopting resolutions which must be passed by majority vote of all members of the Government. The government decision on permission to create the sugar production monopoly, in the case of the disapproving decision of the institution of competition and protection of consumer interests, should be regarded as an affair of state administration. The petitioner maintains that such a decision ought to have been registered officially by government resolution signed by the Prime Minister and the appropriate minister. The impugned governmental decision does not conform to these requirements established in the Constitution.

In the opinion of the petitioner, the impugned legal act, according to its legal meaning, may not be considered a legal act addressed only to one entity—the company “Danisco Sugar” A/S. The permission to create the sugar production monopoly concerns the interests of many more entities, therefore, under Article 2 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry Into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania”, such a government resolution ought to have been published in the official gazette Valstybės žinios, while under Article 8 of the same law, it ought to have come into force following the day, when, having been signed by the Prime Minister or the appropriate minister, it was published in the official gazette Valstybės žinios. The impugned governmental decision conflicts with Article 2 and Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry Into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania”.

III

1. In the course of the preparation of the case for the Constitutional Court hearing, written explanations were received from the representatives of the party concerned—the Government—A. Maziliauskas, R. Pilibaitis and A. Šukys. The following arguments were presented by the representatives of the party concerned.

1.1. By means of its Resolution (No. 228) “On the Approval of the List of Objects Subject to Privatisation” of 23 February 1998, the Government approved the 1998 list of objects subject to privatisation, into which four Lithuanian sugar factories were entered as well. It was decided to sell at that time state-owned 0.72 percent of shares of the joint-stock company “Panevėžio cukrus”, 0.01 percent of shares of the joint-stock company “Kėdainių cukrus”, 20.36 percent of shares of the joint-stock company “Pavenčių cukrus” and 24.89 percent of shares of the joint-stock company “Marijampolės cukrus” by way of a public auction. The Government approved the privatisation programme of the state-owned blocks of shares of sugar factories and the privatisation programmes of the joint-stock companies “Pavenčių cukrus” and “Marijampolės cukrus”, which had been prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry by taking account of suggestions made by the Rural Affairs Committee of the Seimas.

The Government established that a potential purchaser of the enterprise had to be someone who dealt with the processing of sugar beets, i.e. a sugar producer with the yearly European Union sugar production quota of not less than 800 thousand tons; the purchaser had to commit himself to make investments into modernisation of the enterprise as well as into sugar beet growing technologies, to prepare the 1998 programme of debt repayment for sugar beet growers for the sugar beets supplied in 1997, to produce sugar while giving preference to sugar beets grown in Lithuania, and to preserve the traditional sugar beet growing zones. The Government also established that the sugar purchasing and production quotas as well as the minimal margin prices of the purchasing shall be established by the Government or an institution commissioned by the Government.

1.2. The representatives of the party concerned point out that the Government attempted to attract a big company operating in the European Union which might be interested and would be able to invest into the increase of production, to repay the debts for sugar beet growers, which would guarantee the purchasing of sugar beets and their processing in Lithuania, and which would protect not only the interests of consumers but also those of sugar beet growers. Thereby it was attempted to realise the principle of freedom of individual economic activity and initiative entrenched in Article 46 of the Constitution, as well as the constitutional provisions that the “State shall support economic efforts and initiative which are useful to the community”, and that the “State shall regulate economic activity so that it serves the general welfare of the Nation”.

The representatives of the party concerned are of the opinion that due to the aforementioned arguments the impugned governmental decision is in compliance with Paragraph 1 of Article 46 of the Constitution.

1.3. The representatives of the party concerned emphasise that the Government did not grant any exceptional market advantages to the foreign investor, and a new monopoly was not created. Conforming to Article 11 of the Law on Competition and attempting to protect consumers’ interests, the Government permitted the company “Danisco Sugar” A/S, upon the accomplishment by the said company of most of the conditions pointed out in the decision, to concentrate part of the market only. This government decision did not violate the requirements of the Law on Competition as the said law prohibited such activities of economic entities having a dominant position in the market which limited or might limit competition by infringing interests of the overall economy. In the question at issue the aforesaid company merely gained the right to dispose of part of the capital of other economic entities.

According to the representatives of the party concerned, in case one regarded the government decision as monopolisation of the market, it could not be in conflict with Paragraph 4 of Article 46 of the Constitution, as the Government, conforming to the Law on Sugar and other legal acts, makes great demands of sugar producers so that the interests of both sugar beet growers and sugar consumers may be protected. Even if an opportunity was created to attain a dominant position in the market by this government decision, it would be impossible to regard it as monopolisation of the production and the market, as the Government had warned the foreign investors in advance that the state would not grant any exclusive rights in the purchasing and processing of sugar beets, and that it would control this market by way of adopting legal acts guaranteeing the economic protection of sugar beet growing, purchasing, and processing quotas.

1.4. The representatives of the party concerned point out that the Government, in an attempt to protect the interests of sugar beet growers and consumers, established strict conditions of sugar and those of privatisation of sugar factories, therefore, the impugned governmental decision is in conformity with Paragraph 5 of Article 46 of the Constitution.

1.5. The representatives of the party concerned point out that the Government, conforming to Paragraph 2 of Article 11 of the Law on Competition, adopted the decision in an attempt to attract a big and strong company, which might invest into the modernisation of production, acquisition of new facilities, and which might eliminate the critical situation which had arisen in the Lithuanian sugar market. By the decision of the Government, an opportunity was created to increase the economic efficiency of production, therefore, the decision is in compliance with Paragraph 2 of Article 11 of the Law on Competition.

The representatives of the party concerned maintain that the Government did not violate Article 6 of the Law on Competition either, wherein bodies of state authority and government are prohibited from adopting normative acts or carrying out activities which grant privileges to or discriminate against individual economic entities, or which otherwise limit competition. According to the representatives of the party concerned, the said provision of the law is not applicable in cases when concentration permissions are issued in an attempt to increase economic efficiency of production and competitiveness of goods. Article 6 of the Law on Competition is applicable in cases when competition is limited in other ways.

The representatives of the party concerned note that the impugned governmental decision attempted to neutralise the influence of the excess and subsidised sugar export from the European Union and world markets on the Lithuanian sugar sector, and it was virtually attempted to attract a credible foreign capital strategic investor useful to the Lithuanian economy without resorting to the means of market monopolisation. The Government did not have to propose amendments to the Law on Competition before the adoption of the said decision, as this decision permitted the company “Danisco Sugar” A/S to concentrate the sugar market but not to monopolise it.

According to the representatives of the party concerned, the Government, while adopting the impugned decision, did not exceed the powers granted to it, therefore, this government decision is in conformity with Article 2 of the Law on the Government.

1.6. The representatives of the party concerned point out that the provision of Paragraph 1 of Article 95 of the Constitution that “the Government of the Republic of Lithuania shall resolve the affairs of State administration at its sittings by adopting resolutions which must be passed by majority vote of all members of the Government” is particularised in laws. Article 41 of the Law on the Government provides that resolutions and decisions of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania shall be passed at the Government sittings by majority vote of all Government members. Under Paragraph 2 of Article 11 of the Law on Competition, a written decision was necessary for concentration of the market, while the said law did not point out in a commanding manner that government decisions of such nature had to be made official in the form of a resolution.

Item 5 of the Government Work Regulation approved by the Government Resolution (No. 728) “On the Approval of the Government Work Regulation” of 11 August 1994 provides that joint decisions of the Government for which it is not necessary to adopt resolutions shall be made official by corresponding records in the minutes. Implementing the powers granted to it by Items 1, 2 and 7 of Article 94 of the Constitution and exercising the right granted to it by the Law on Competition to permit by the written decision to concentrate market structures, the Government made its decision official by the form of a protocol decision under the then procedure established by the Government Work Regulation. In the opinion of the representatives of the party concerned, this is in compliance with Paragraph 1 of Article 95 of the Constitution.

1.7. According to the representatives of the party concerned, the impugned governmental decision created the rights and obligations for one company only, i.e. “Danisco Sugar” A/S, but not for all participants in the sugar market. This is a legal act of an individual character, it is of extraordinary applicability, and it is devoid of the signs of a normative legal act. Under Article 2 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry Into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania”, only normative legal acts are to be published. As the impugned decision of the Government is not a normative legal act, it was not necessary to publish it in the official gazette Valstybės žinios, while the date of its entry into force is not to be linked with the date of its official publication in the official gazette Valstybės žinios.

2. In the course of the preparation of the case for the Constitutional Court hearing, a written note was also received from the representatives of the party concerned—the Government—R. Krasuckis and G. Aleknaitė, wherein they pointed out that they agree with the arguments set down in the written explanations by the representatives of the party concerned—the Government—A. Maziliauskas, R. Pilibaitis and A. Šukys.

IV

In the course of the preparation of the case for the Constitutional Court hearing, written explanations were received from R. Stanikūnas, Chairman of the Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania, as well as from the European Law Department under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania, and from the specialists Prof. Habil. Dr. A. Pajuodis, Prof. Habil. Dr. A. Poviliūnas, Prof. Habil. Dr. V. Vengrauskas, Assoc. Prof. Dr. N. Balčiūnas and Assoc. Prof. Dr. V. Kinduris, all they work at the Faculty of Economics, Vilnius University, and from the specialists R. Šimašius and R. Vilpišauskas, experts from the Lithuanian Free Market Institute.

V

At the Constitutional Court hearing, the representatives of the petitioner—a group of Seimas members—V. Einoris, P. Gražulis, J. Olekas and the advocate J. Masiokas virtually reiterated the arguments set down in the petition.

At the Constitutional Court hearing, the representatives of the party concerned—the Government—R. Pilibaitis, R. Krasuckis and G. Aleknaitė virtually reiterated the arguments set down in the written explanations presented to the Constitutional Court.

At the Constitutional Court hearing, explanations were also presented by R. Stanikūnas, Chairman of the Competition Council, and R. Šimašius, a specialist.

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

I

1. The Decision “On the Request of the Company ‘Danisco Sugar’ A/S to Acquire Certain Shares of Sugar Sector Enterprises” was entered into the minutes of the Government sitting of 22 July 1998:

Conforming to Article 11 of the 15 September 1992 Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Competition and in an attempt to attract a big company operating in the European Union market, which might make more investments and repay the debts for the farmers, and which would ensure the purchasing of sugar beets and their processing in Lithuania, to approve of the request of the Danish company ‘Danisco Sugar’ A/S to acquire 75 percent of the authorised capital of the joint-stock company ‘Kėdainių cukrus’, 69.31 percent of the authorised capital of the joint-stock company ‘Panevėžio cukrus’, 25.25 percent of the authorised capital of the joint-stock company ‘Marijampolės cukrus’, and 29.64 percent of the authorised capital of the joint-stock company ‘Pavenčių cukrus’, if the said company fulfils the following conditions:

The said company presents, under the procedure established by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, the documents conforming to the requirements for the privatisation programme in order to take part in the public auction on the acquisition of the shares owned by the state by right of ownership of the joint-stock company ‘Pavenčių cukrus’ and those of the joint-stock company ‘Marijampolės cukrus’ and subsequently takes part in the said auction held by the state enterprise State Property Fund;

In case the said company wins the auction on the acquisition of the shares owned by the state by right of ownership of the joint-stock company ‘Pavenčių cukrus’ and those of the joint-stock company ‘Marijampolės cukrus’, it signs, under established procedure, an agreement of sale and purchase of the aforesaid shares and pays the shares’ acquisition price fixed at the auction.”

It was also entered into the minutes of the Government sitting that all the members participating in the sitting approved of this decision.

2. In the opinion of the petitioner, the Decision “On the Request of the Company ‘Danisco Sugar’ A/S to Acquire Certain Shares of Sugar Sector Enterprises” entered into the minutes of the Government sitting of 22 July 1998 conflicts with Paragraph 1 of Article 95 of the Constitution according to its form, the procedure of its adoption and signing, while according to the procedure of its publication and entry into force, the said decision conflicts with Articles 2 and 8 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry Into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania”.

In the opinion of the petitioner, the aforementioned government decision also conflicts with Paragraphs 1, 4 and 5 of Article 46 of the Constitution, Articles 6 and 11 of the Law on Competition which were in force then, as well as with Article 2 of the Law on the Government.

II

1. The Government is an institution of the executive power of the state. The Government is jointly responsible to the Seimas for the general activities of the Government. The Government exercises the function of state administration according to the powers granted to it.

2. Article 94 of the Constitution provides:

The Government of the Republic of Lithuania shall:

1) administer the affairs of the country, protect the inviolability of the territory of the Republic of Lithuania, and ensure State security and public order;

2) implement laws and resolutions of the Seimas concerning the implementation of laws, as well as the decrees of the President of the Republic;

3) coordinate the activities of the ministries and other governmental establishments;

4) prepare a draft budget of the State and submit it to the Seimas; execute the State Budget and report on the fulfilment of the budget to the Seimas;

5) draft bills and submit them to the Seimas for consideration;

6) establish diplomatic relations and maintain relations with foreign countries and international organisations; and

7) discharge other duties prescribed to the Government by the Constitution and other laws.”

The powers of the Government are also established in Item 3 of Article 84, Paragraph 1 of Article 123, Paragraph 1 of Article 128 of the Constitution as well as in its other articles.

3. The powers of the Government arise out of the Constitution and laws. Everything that the Government performs, while implementing the powers established for it in the Constitution and laws, is resolving the affairs of state administration.

4. Article 95 of the Constitution provides:

The Government of the Republic of Lithuania shall resolve the affairs of State administration at its sittings by adopting resolutions which must be passed by majority vote of all members of the Government. The Auditor General may also participate in the sittings of the Government.

Governmental resolutions shall be signed by the Prime Minister and the appropriate Minister.”

4.1. While construing the norm “the Government of the Republic of Lithuania shall resolve the affairs of State administration at its sittings by adopting resolutions which must be passed by majority vote of all members of the Government” of Paragraph 1 of Article 95 of the Constitution, in its ruling of 23 November 1999 the Constitutional Court held that the aforesaid norm establishes the organisational form of the activity of the Government (i.e. questions are decided in Government sittings), it is indicated therein as to what kind of majority vote is necessary in order to adopt a resolution (i.e. it must be passed by majority vote of all members of the Government), and the type of the legal act to be adopted by the Government is established therein (i.e. state administration affairs are decided by adopting a resolution of the Government).

Thus, under Paragraph 1 of Article 95 of the Constitution, all questions of state administration which are assigned to the powers of the Government by the Constitution and laws, are decided by adoption of resolutions. A government resolution is a legal act whereby the Government resolves the affairs of state administration. The affairs of state administration may not be decided by the Government adopting an act of a different type.

4.2. The Constitution employs not only the notion “governmental resolutions” but also the notions “legal acts of the Government” (e.g. Articles 105 and 106 of the Constitution), “decisions of the Government” (e.g. Article 123 of the Constitution). The notion employed in the Constitution “decisions of the Government”, as well as the notion “legal acts of the Government”, is a common one: it does not define the type of governmental legal acts but means a statement of the will of the Government in its exercise of the powers entrusted to it. Only one type of legal acts of the Government that it is entitled to adopt, while resolving the affairs of state administration, is established in the Constitution, which is a resolution.

4.3. A government resolution is a substatutory legal act. Under Paragraph 2 of Article 95 of the Constitution, governmental resolutions shall be signed by the Prime Minister and the appropriate Minister.

4.4. The principle of a state under the rule of law is entrenched in the Constitution. One of the elements of the principle of a state under the rule of law is that the power of legal acts is prospective. In its ruling of 16 March 1994, the Constitutional Court held: “The power of a law or other legal act is prospective. It is not possible to require from the person to keep to the rules that did not exist in the time of his activities and, therefore, he was not likely to know future requirements.” Also, an essential element of the principle of a state under the rule of law is that only published legal acts are effective. Law may not be non-public. The constitutional requirements that only published legal acts be effective and that they be published are an important precondition of legal certainty. Under the Constitution, the Government, while resolving affairs of state administration, must always adopt resolutions, and they must be published regardless of whether the legal acts adopted by the Government are normative or individual, as well as regardless of the fact as to what entities or circles of entities they are meant.

The procedure of the publication of government resolutions and their entry into force is established by law.

III

1. The petitioner points out that by the Decision “On the Request of the Company ‘Danisco Sugar’ A/S to Acquire Certain Shares of Sugar Sector Enterprises” entered into the minutes of the 22 July 1998 Government sitting the affairs of state administration were being resolved, therefore, under Article 95 of the Constitution, a government resolution ought to have been adopted, which should have been signed by the Prime Minister and the appropriate Minister.

The representatives of the party concerned point out that the provision of Paragraph 1 of Article 95 of the Constitution that the Government shall resolve the affairs of state administration at its sittings by adopting resolutions which must be passed by majority vote of all members of the Government is particularised in laws. Article 41 of the Law on the Government provides that resolutions and decisions of the Government shall be passed at the Government sittings by majority vote of all Government members. Under Paragraph 2 of Article 11 of the Law on Competition, the Government was entitled to give its permission for concentration of the market by its written decision, while the said law did not point out in a commanding manner that government decisions of such nature had to be made official in the form of a resolution.

2. While considering whether the impugned Decision “On the Request of the Company ‘Danisco Sugar’ A/S to Acquire Certain Shares of Sugar Sector Enterprises” adopted by the Government is in conformity with Article 95 of the Constitution, one has to assess whether by the said decision an affair of state administration was being resolved.

3. It was entered into the minutes of the Government sitting of 22 July 1998, that the Government Decision “On the Request of the Company ‘Danisco Sugar’ A/S to Acquire Certain Shares of Sugar Sector Enterprises” was adopted on the grounds of Article 11 of the Law on Competition.

By Paragraph 2 of Article 11 of the Law on Competition which was in force at the time of the adoption of the impugned governmental decision, the Government, if there existed the conditions pointed out in the law, was entitled to give its permission to concentrate market structures by its written decision.

Article 2 of the Law on Competition defined the notion “market concentration” as a merger of two or more economic entities or the acquisition by one economic entity of the right to have either all or part of the total capital of another economic entity at its disposal, as well as the conclusion of contracts which have influence over the managing decisions made by one of the economic entities, due to which a dominant position in the market is attained and competition is limited.

4. Paragraph 1 of Article 10 of the Law on Competition provided that, if by virtue of agreement or acquisition of a controlling interest the maximum concentration of market structures, which was established by the Competition Council, was exceeded, the party or parties involved in the concentration had to notify the institution of price and competition before undertaking any steps which might alter the permanent market structure and the degree of its concentration. At the time of the adoption of the impugned governmental decision, the State Service for Competition and Protection of Consumer Interests was such an institution.

5. Paragraph 2 of Article 11 of the Law on Competition provided: “Permission to concentrate market structures which has not been approved by the Institution of Price and Competition may be granted by the written decision of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania. Such permission may be granted if the parties involved in the concentration provide substantiation proving that this action will result in the increase of economic efficiency of production or competitiveness of goods, which cannot be attained in any ways other than by the suggested concentration of market structures.”

6. On 3 July 1998, the company “Danisco Sugar” A/S applied to the State Service for Competition and Protection of Consumer Interests and informed it about prospective concentration of the sugar market structures by way of acquisition of certain shares of four sugar factories operating in Lithuania.

On 14 July 1998, the State Service for Competition and Protection of Consumer Interests decided not to give its permission for the aforementioned company to acquire up to 75 percent of shares of the joint-stock company “Kėdainių cukrus”, up to 69.31 percent of shares of the joint-stock company “Panevėžio cukrus”, up to 25.25 percent of shares of the joint-stock company “Marijampolės cukrus”, and up to 29.64 percent of shares of the joint-stock company “Panevėžio cukrus”. The State Service for Competition and Protection of Consumer Interests pointed out: “The aforesaid enterprises occupy rather significant sectors of the sugar market, however, there is not a distinct dominant economic entity. Upon assessment of all the presented data, the prospective concentration would cover 90 percent of the sugar market. <…> The prospective concentration is held to be horizontal in the sugar market. The degree of the sugar market concentration may be changed significantly, i.e. a dominant position may be attained in the sugar market.”

Article 2 of the Law on Competition contained the following definition of the notion “dominant position”: “dominant position”—the position of an economic entity in the market which allows for the opportunity to unilaterally and decisively influence that market. The economic entity cannot be considered to have a dominant position if its market share of certain goods is not more than 40 percent.

7. After the State Service for Competition and Protection of Consumer Interests had not approved of the concentration of the sugar market structures, the company “Danisco Sugar” A/S appealed to the Government for the permission to concentrate the sugar market structures and presented a substantiation of the concentration expediency.

In its sitting of 22 July 1998, the Government approved of the request of the company “Danisco Sugar” A/S for permission to acquire certain shares of the four sugar factories operating in Lithuania. It was entered into the minutes of the Government sitting that such a decision was adopted in order to attract a big company operating in the EU market, which might make more investments and repay the debts to the farmers, as well as guarantee the purchasing and processing of sugar beets in Lithuania.

8. By its Decision “On the Request of the Company ‘Danisco Sugar’ A/S to Acquire Certain Shares of Sugar Sector Enterprises”, the Government permitted the concentration of the sugar market. The regulation established in the said government decision exerts influence on the overall sugar market of this country, while the entities of the sugar market are, along with the company “Danisco Sugar” A/S at the request of which the issue of the concentration of sugar market structures was decided, the joint-stock enterprises listed in the decision, other entities of the sugar market, the entities preparing public auctions, the institutions supervising the processes of concentration of market structures, as well as the consumers. The existence of a dominant position in the market obligates the state to ensure an opportunity of fair competition in the concentrated market, and to provide for the measures so that the interests of the consumers may be protected against an imposition of unfavourable conditions in their respect by the economic entity occupying the dominant position. The government decision on sugar market concentration is linked with an entire complex of affairs of state administration. Thus, from the constitutional aspect, by the government decision of 22 July 1998 whereby it was permitted to concentrate the sugar market, the affairs of state administration were being resolved.

9. It has been mentioned that, according to the representatives of the party concerned—the Government, under Paragraph 2 of Article 11 of the Law on Competition which was in force at the time of the adoption of the impugned governmental decision and under Paragraph 1 of Article 41 of the Law on the Government, the Government was entitled to give its permission by a written decision for the market concentration, as the said laws did not contain a requirement to adopt a government resolution on this issue.

9.1. Paragraph 1 of Article 37 of the Law on the Government (wording of 28 April 1998) provides: “The Government of shall resolve the affairs of state administration at its sittings by majority vote of all Government members.”

The aforementioned provision of the Law on the Government repeats the provision of Paragraph 1 of Article 95 of the Constitution that the Government, while resolving the affairs of state administration, adopts only the legal acts pointed out in this article of the Constitution, which are resolutions.

Paragraph 1 of Article 41 of the Law on the Government (wording of 28 April 1998) provides: “Resolutions and decisions of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania shall be passed at the Government sittings by majority vote of all Government members.”

If one compares the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 37 and Paragraph 1 of Article 41 of the Law on the Government, the conclusion should be drawn that under the Law on the Government, the Government, while resolving the affairs of state administration, may adopt only resolutions but never legal acts of different types.

9.2. As it has been mentioned, Paragraph 2 of Article 11 of the Law on Competition provided that in the cases when permission to concentrate market structures which had not been approved by the institution of price and competition might be granted by the written decision of the Government.

Regulation of the market concentration is an affair of state administration. Under Article 95 of the Constitution, the Government, while resolving the affairs of state administration, adopts resolutions. Therefore, the formula “written decision” employed in the Law on Competition means that a government resolution on the market concentration ought to have been adopted. Such a legal act passed by the Government should have been signed by the Prime Minister and the appropriate minister.

10. The Government Decision “On the Request of the Company ‘Danisco Sugar’ A/S to Acquire Certain Shares of Sugar Sector Enterprises” does not conform to the form of a government resolution. It was entered into the minutes of the Government sitting. The minutes of the sitting were signed by the Prime Minister. This is not in line with Article 95 of the Constitution, under which, the Government, while resolving the affairs of state administration, must adopt resolutions, and they must be signed by the Prime Minster and the appropriate minister.

11. On the grounds of the arguments set forth, it should be concluded that, according to its form and the procedure of its signing, the Decision “On the Request of the Company ‘Danisco Sugar’ A/S to Acquire Certain Shares of Sugar Sector Enterprises” entered into the minutes of the Government sitting of 22 July 1998 conflicts with Article 95 of the Constitution.

12. Under the Constitution, the procedure of the publication and entry into force of government resolutions must be established by law.

The procedure of the publication and entry into force of government resolutions is established by the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry Into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 1993, No. 12-296; 1996, No. 67-1604, No. 125-2894; 1999, No. 48-1524, No. 60-1949; 2000, No. 52-1483; 2001, No. 82-2831).

13. Under Article 1 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry Into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania”, the publication of the laws and other legal acts in the official gazette Valstybės žinios shall constitute their official publication.

13.1. The petitioner is of the opinion that, under the procedure of its publication, the Decision “On the Request of the Company ‘Danisco Sugar’ A/S to Acquire Certain Shares of Sugar Sector Enterprises” entered into the minutes of the Government sitting of 22 July 1998 conflicts with Article 2 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry Into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” wherein it is established that government resolutions must be published in the official gazette Valstybės žinios.

According to the representatives of the party concerned, under the procedure of its publication, the impugned governmental decision is in conformity with Article 2 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry Into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania”. They base their statement upon the provision of Article 3 of the said law whereby the government resolutions in which legal norms are not established, amended or acknowledged as no longer valid may, in the estimation of the persons who have signed them, remain unpublished in the official gazette Valstybės žinios.

13.2. Article 3 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry Into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 4 July 1996 in force at the time of the adoption of the impugned governmental decision) provided that the government resolutions in which legal norms are not established, amended or acknowledged as no longer valid may, in the estimation of the persons who have signed them, remain unpublished in the official gazette Valstybės žinios.

The petitioner does not request an investigation into the compliance of the Decision “On the Request of the Company ‘Danisco Sugar’ A/S to Acquire Certain Shares of Sugar Sector Enterprises” with Article 3 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry Into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania”; he requests an investigation into the compliance of the impugned governmental decision with Article 2 of the aforesaid law according to the procedure of the publication of the former.

It needs to be noted that the provision of Article 2 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry Into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” that government resolutions must be published in the official gazette Valstybės žinios is inseparably linked with the provision of Article 3 of the said law under which the government resolutions in which legal norms are not established, amended or acknowledged as no longer valid may, in the estimation of the persons who have signed them, remain unpublished in the official gazette Valstybės žinios.

It has already been held in this Constitutional Court Ruling, that the Government, while resolving the affairs of state administration, must always adopt resolutions, and they must be published regardless of whether the legal acts adopted by the Government are normative or individual, as well as regardless of the fact as to what entities or circles of entities they are meant. Under the aforementioned provision of Article 3 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry Into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania”, government resolutions may remain unpublished officially.

13.3. The provision of Article 3 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry Into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 4 July 1996) whereby the government resolutions in which legal norms are not established, amended or acknowledged as no longer valid may, in the estimation of the persons who have signed them, remain unpublished in the official gazette Valstybės žinios is in conflict with the requirement of a state under the rule of law entrenched in the Constitution whereby only the legal acts which are published are valid.

13.4. By the 18 May 1999 Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Amendment of Articles 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry Into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania”, Supplement of Article 101 Thereto and Recognition of Article 7 Thereof as Null and Void (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 1999, No. 48-1524) Article 3 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry Into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” was amended, however, the provision that it had contained before whereby the government resolutions in which legal norms are not established, amended or acknowledged as no longer valid may, in the estimation of the persons who have signed them, remain unpublished officially was unchanged. Thus, the now in force provision of the same content of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry Into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 18 May 1999) is also in conflict with the requirement of a state under the rule of law entrenched in the Constitution whereby only the legal acts which are published are valid.

13.5. Under Article 105 of the Constitution, the Constitutional Court shall consider and adopt decisions concerning the conformity of legal acts with the Constitution. Thus, the Constitutional Court administers constitutional justice. Administration of constitutional justice implies that a legal act (part thereof) which conflicts with the Constitution must be removed from the legal system. Therefore, after it has established that a law, the compliance of which with the Constitution is not challenged by the petitioner but upon which the impugned substatutory act is based conflicts with the Constitution, the Constitutional Court must state so. Such a duty of the Constitutional Court arises out of the Constitution, and this way the supremacy of the Constitution is ensured.

13.6. On the grounds of the arguments set forth, it should be concluded that the provision of Article 3 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry Into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” whereby the government resolutions in which legal norms are not established, amended or acknowledged as no longer valid may, in the estimation of the persons who have signed them, remain unpublished officially conflicts with the principle of a state under the rule of law entrenched in the Constitution.

14. Article 8 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry Into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” provides for the procedure of the entry into force of government resolutions.

14.1. In the opinion of the petitioner, the Decision “On the Request of the Company ‘Danisco Sugar’ A/S to Acquire Certain Shares of Sugar Sector Enterprises” entered into the minutes of the Government sitting of 22 July 1998 conflicts with Article 8 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry Into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania”.

According to the representatives of the party concerned, the impugned governmental decision is in compliance with Article 8 of the aforesaid law as the former is an individual legal act and it, therefore, came into force under the procedure established in Paragraph 2 of Article 8 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry Into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania”.

14.2. Article 8 of the aforesaid law (wording of 6 April 1993 which was valid at the time of the adoption of the impugned governmental decision) provided:

The resolutions by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, by which legal norms are established, amended or acknowledged as no longer valid, shall come into force following the day, when signed by the Prime Minister or the appropriate minister, they shall be published in the official gazette Valstybės žinios.

The resolutions by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, by which legal norms are not established, amended or acknowledged as no longer valid, also the Prime Minister’s decrees shall come into force on the day of their signing, provided a later date of their entry into force has not been established in the resolutions and decrees themselves.”

Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 8 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry Into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” provided for a different procedure of the entry into force of government resolutions, depending on whether the government resolution is a normative legal act or an individual one. Paragraph 2 of the said article contained the provision that the government resolutions by which legal norms are not established, amended or acknowledged as no longer valid may come into force without their official publication.

14.3. While assessing this legal regulation established in the law, one must emphasise once again that under Paragraph 1 of Article 95 of the Constitution, the Government, while resolving the affairs of state administration, adopts resolutions. All government resolutions, regardless of whether they are normative or individual legal acts must be published officially.

As it has been mentioned, one of the elements of the principle of a state under the rule of law is that the power of legal acts is prospective. The norms established in legal acts are applied to the facts and effects occurring after their going into effect. The requirement that published legal acts be prospective is an essential element of the principle of a state under the rule of law and an important precondition of legal certainty. Thus, under the principle of a state under the rule of law entrenched in the Constitution, one must follow the common rule that all government resolutions come into force after they are published.

14.4. The provision of Paragraph 2 of Article 8 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry Into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993) whereby the government resolutions by which legal norms are not established, amended or acknowledged as no longer valid may come into force without their official publication is not in line with the principle of a state under the rule of law entrenched in the Constitution whereby all government resolutions come into force after they are published.

14.5. Paragraph 2 of Article 8 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry Into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” was amended by 18 May 1999 Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Amendment of Articles 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry Into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania”, Supplement of Article 101 Thereto and Recognition of Article 7 Thereof as Null and Void. The said paragraph provides: “The resolutions by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, by which legal norms are not established, amended or acknowledged as no longer valid, also the Prime Minister’s decrees shall come into force on the day of their signing even though they have been published in the official gazette Valstybės žinios, provided the later date of their entry into force has not been established in the resolutions and decrees themselves.”

Paragraph 2 of Article 8 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry Into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (now in force wording of 18 May 1999), like the former wording of the same article (6 April 1993), does not link the time of the entry into force of government resolutions with their publication in the official gazette Valstybės žinios. Thus, the provision of Paragraph 2 of Article 8 of the said law (wording of 18 May 1999) whereby the government resolutions by which legal norms are not established, amended or acknowledged as no longer valid may come into force without their official publication is also not in line with the principle of a state under the rule of law entrenched in the Constitution whereby legal acts come into force after they are published.

14.6. On the grounds of the arguments set forth, it should be concluded that the provision of Paragraph 2 of Article 8 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry Into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wordings of 6 April 1993 and 18 May 1999) that the government resolutions by which legal norms are not established, amended or acknowledged as no longer valid may come into force without their official publication conflicts with the principle of a state under the rule of law which is entrenched in the Constitution.

15. It has been mentioned that the Decision “On the Request of the Company ‘Danisco Sugar’ A/S to Acquire Certain Shares of Sugar Sector Enterprises” entered into the minutes of the Government sitting of 22 July 1998 was adopted within the frame of Government’s resolving of the state affairs. Under the requirements of the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, such an act of state administration ought to have been published and ought to have come into force after its publication regardless of whether such an act was a normative or individual legal act, as well as regardless of the fact as to what entities or circles of entities it was meant.

15.1. Article 1 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry Into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” provided that publication of the laws and other legal acts in the official gazette Valstybės žinios shall constitute their official publication. The impugned governmental decision has not been published in the official gazette Valstybės žinios, nor is the time of its entry into force linked with the date of its publication.

15.2. On the grounds of the arguments set forth, it should be concluded that, under the procedure of its publication and entry into force, the Decision “On the Request of the Company ‘Danisco Sugar’ A/S to Acquire Certain Shares of Sugar Sector Enterprises” entered into the minutes of the Government sitting of 22 July 1998 conflicts with the principle of a state under the rule of law entrenched in the Constitution.

16. After it has held that, according to its form and the procedure of its signing, the Decision “On the Request of the Company ‘Danisco Sugar’ A/S to Acquire Certain Shares of Sugar Sector Enterprises” entered into the minutes of the Government sitting of 22 July 1998 conflicts with Article 95 of the Constitution, while under the procedure of its publication and entry into force it conflicts with the principle of a state under the rule of law entrenched in the Constitution, as well as that the provision of Article 3 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry Into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wordings of 4 July 1996 and 18 May 1999) whereby the government resolutions in which legal norms are not established, amended or acknowledged as no longer valid may, in the estimation of the persons who have signed them, remain unpublished officially and that the provision of Paragraph 2 of Article 8 of the same law (wordings of 6 April 1993 and 18 May 1999) whereby the government resolutions by which legal norms are not established, amended or acknowledged as no longer valid may come into force without their official publication conflict with the principle of a state under the rule of law entrenched in the Constitution, the Constitutional Court will not consider the compliance of the Decision “On the Request of the Company ‘Danisco Sugar’ A/S to Acquire Certain Shares of Sugar Sector Enterprises” entered into the minutes of the Government sitting of 22 July 1998 with Paragraphs 1, 4 and 5 of Article 46 of the Constitution pointed out by the petitioner, as well as with Articles 6 and 11 of the Law on Competition (enacted on 15 September 1992), Article 2 of the Law on the Government, and Articles 2 and 8 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry Into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania”, all of which were pointed out by the petitioner.

Conforming to Article 102 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and Articles 53, 54, 55 and 56 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania gives the following

ruling:

1. To recognise that, according to its form and the procedure of its signing, the Decision of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania “On the Request of the Company ‘Danisco Sugar’ A/S to Acquire Certain Shares of Sugar Sector Enterprises” entered into the minutes of the sitting of 22 July 1998 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania conflicts with Article 95 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, while under the procedure of its publication and entry into force it conflicts with the principle of a state under the rule of law entrenched in the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

2. To recognise that the provision of Article 3 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry Into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wordings of 4 July 1996 and 18 May 1999) whereby the resolutions of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania in which legal norms are not established, amended or acknowledged as no longer valid may, in the estimation of the persons who have signed them, remain unpublished officially conflicts with the principle of a state under the rule of law entrenched in the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

3. To recognise that the provision of Paragraph 2 of Article 8 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry Into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wordings of 6 April 1993 and 18 May 1999) whereby the resolutions of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania by which legal norms are not established, amended or acknowledged as no longer valid may come into force without their official publication conflicts with the principle of a state under the rule of law entrenched in the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

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

The ruling pronounced in the name of the Republic of Lithuania.

Justices of the Constitutional Court:

 

Egidijus Jarašiūnas      Egidijus Kūris     Zigmas Levickis

 

Augustinas Normantas      Vladas Pavilonis     Jonas Prapiestis

 

Vytautas Sinkevičius      Stasys Stačiokas     Teodora Staugaitienė