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On refusing to accept a petition for consideration

 

THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

DECISION

ON THE PETITION OF A GROUP OF SEIMAS MEMBERS REQUESTING AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE COMPLIANCE OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA’S LAW ON THE AMENDMENT OF THE LAW ON INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS, MILITARY EXERCISES AND OTHER MILITARY EVENTS WITH THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

 

24 April 2002

Vilnius

 

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, composed of the Justices of the Constitutional Court: Armanas Abramavičius, Egidijus Jarašiūnas, Egidijus Kūris, Kęstutis Lapinskas, Zenonas Namavičius, Augustinas Normantas, Jonas Prapiestis, Vytautas Sinkevičius, and Stasys Stačiokas

The court reporter—Daiva Pitrėnaitė

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, in its procedural sitting, considered the report made by Justice Kęstutis Lapinskas on the preliminary investigation of the petition by a group of members of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, dated 19 April 2002, requesting an investigation into whether the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Amendment of the Law on International Operations, Military Exercises and Other Military Events was in compliance with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the Republic of Lithuania’s Constitutional Act on the Non-Alignment of the Republic of Lithuania to Post-Soviet Eastern Unions.

The Constitutional Court

has established:

On 15 January 2002, the Seimas enacted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Amendment of the Law on International Operations, Military Exercises and Other Military Events (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2002, No. 13-465). On 19 April 2002, a group of Seimas members applied to the Constitutional Court with a petition requesting an investigation into whether Paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 of Article 5, Paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 of Article 6, Paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of Article 10 and Paragraphs 2, 3 and 5 of Article 14 of the said law were in compliance with Paragraph 2 of Article 5, Item 20 of Article 67, Item 16 of Article 84, Article 142 of the Constitution and Item 3 of the substantive provisions of the Republic of Lithuania’s Constitutional Act on the Non-alignment of the Republic of Lithuania to Post-Soviet Eastern Unions.

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

Under Article 106 of the Constitution, not less than one-fifth of the members of the Seimas, i.e. not less than 29 members of the Seimas, shall have the right to address the Constitutional Court. The will of the Seimas members to address the Constitutional Court must be expressed clearly and in no uncertain terms.

The aforesaid petition was signed by 40 members of the Seimas, however, the names of 9 members of the Seimas together with the signatures were expunged. Below all these signatures there is an entry “I certify the authenticity of the signatures” signed by A. Paulauskas, Speaker of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania. There is no indication therein as to how many signatures of the Seimas members are certified and when this is done. The Constitutional Court received the petition of the group of the Seimas members on 19 April 2002. On the same day, the Constitutional Court received letter No. 010-387 of 18 April 2002 from A. Paulauskas, Speaker of the Seimas, which said that “in the light of new circumstances, the members of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania J. Budrevičius, V. Popovas and R. Sinkevičius have annulled their signatures in the petition to the Constitutional Court concerning Law No. IX-703—Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Amendment of the Law on International Operations, Military Exercises and Other Military Events”. The request of 18 April 2002 of the Seimas members addressed to E. Klumbys, a Seimas member, the representative of the group of Seimas members, requesting the annulment of their signatures in the petition to the Constitutional Court on the compliance of the said law with the Constitution was attached to the above-mentioned letter.

It needs to be noted that in deciding whether the petition has been filed by the entity that is entitled to address the Constitutional Court under Article 106 of the Constitution, one must determine whether the petition has been signed by so many Seimas members as provided for in Article 106 of the Constitution.

In the petition filed with the Constitutional Court on 19 April 2002, there were only 28 members of the Seimas who expressed their will clearly and in no uncertain terms, i.e. less than 1/5 of all Seimas members. This is not in conformity with the requirement established in Article 106 of the Constitution. Under Item 1 of Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, the fact that the petition was signed and filed by less than 1/5 of Seimas members constitutes grounds for refusal to accept such a petition for consideration.

The Constitutional Court notes that, under Paragraph 2 of Article 66 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, the signatures of the Seimas members must be confirmed by the signature of the Speaker or Deputy Speaker of the Seimas. This provision of the Law on the Constitutional Court also means that the Speaker or Deputy Speaker of the Seimas, while confirming the signatures of the Seimas members, must indicate the number of the signatures confirmed as well as the date of the confirmation of the signatures. The list of the names of Seimas members together with the signatures must be neat and it must contain no deletions or corrections.

Conforming to Item 1 of Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania adopts the following

decision:

To refuse to accept the petition of a group of members of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania of 19 April 2002 for consideration, requesting to determine whether Paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 of Article 5, Paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 of Article 6, Paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of Article 10 and Paragraphs 2, 3 and 5 of Article 14 the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Amendment of the Law on International Operations, Military Exercises and Other Military Events are in compliance with Paragraph 2 of Article 5, Item 20 of Article 67, Item 16 of Article 84, Article 142 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and Item 3 of the substantive provisions of the Republic of Lithuania’s Constitutional Act on the Non-alignment of the Republic of Lithuania to Post-Soviet Eastern Unions.

Justices of the Constitutional Court:                                                  Armanas Abramavičius

Egidijus Jarašiūnas

Egidijus Kūris

Kęstutis Lapinskas

Zenonas Namavičius

Augustinas Normantas

Jonas Prapiestis

Vytautas Sinkevičius

Stasys Stačiokas