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On the Law on Telecommunications, the Law on Operational Activities, and the Code of Criminal Procedure

Case No. 34/2000-28/01

 

THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

RULING

ON THE COMPLIANCE OF PARAGRAPH 2 OF ARTICLE 27 OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA’S LAW ON TELECOMMUNICATIONS (WORDING OF 11 JULY 2000), PARAGRAPH 1 OF ARTICLE 2 OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA’S LAW ON THE AMENDMENT OF ARTICLE 27 OF THE LAW ON TELECOMMUNICATIONS, PARAGRAPH 4 OF ARTICLE 57 OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA’S LAW ON TELECOMMUNICATIONS (WORDING OF 5 JULY 2002), ITEM 4 OF PARAGRAPH 3 OF ARTICLE 7 OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA’S LAW ON OPERATIONAL ACTIVITIES (WORDING OF 22 MAY 1997), ITEM 6 OF PARAGRAPH 3 OF ARTICLE 7 OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA’S LAW ON OPERATIONAL ACTIVITIES (WORDING OF 20 JUNE 2002), PARAGRAPH 1 OF ARTICLE 48 (WORDING OF 26 JUNE 1961) AND PARAGRAPH 1 OF ARTICLE 75 (WORDING OF 29 JANUARY 1975) OF THE CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA WITH THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

 

19 September 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

Seimas member Vasilijus Popovas, acting as the representative of a group of members of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, the petitioner

Algirdas Bloznelis, the Head of the Board of the State Security Department of the Republic of Lithuania, Mindaugas Girdauskas, a senior consultant to the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas, Vaidotas Bacevičius, an advisor to the Committee on National Security and Defence of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, acting as the representatives of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, the party concerned

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, pursuant to Articles 102 and 105 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and Article 1 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Constitutional Court, on 22 August 2002, in its public hearing, considered case No. 34/2000-28/01 subsequent to the following petitions:

1) the 3 October 2000 petition of a group of members of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether the second section of Article 1 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications was in compliance with Article 22 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, also whether the second section of Article 1 and Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the same law were in compliance with Article 23 of the Constitution;

2) the 8 May 2001 petition of a group of members of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether the provision “telecommunications operators must <…> under procedure established by the Government, supply information gratis in the scope established by the Government to entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies for restraint, investigation and solution of crimes about objects of operational activities and other subscribers and their telecommunications which are necessary for investigation” of Article 1 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications, the provision “carrying out the preparatory investigations, the investigator shall independently adopt all decisions regarding the course of the investigations and performance of investigatory acts save the cases when the law provides that a sanction from the prosecutor is necessary” of Article 48 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Republic of Lithuania, the provision “the interrogator, investigator, prosecutor <…> shall have the right, in the cases at their command, <…> to demand that the enterprises, establishments, organisations and citizens submit items and documents which might be important in the case, to demand that audits be carried out. These requirements must be carried out by all citizens, enterprises, establishments and organisations” of Article 75 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Republic of Lithuania, the provision of “Item 4 of Paragraph 3 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Operational Activities” that, under the procedure established by the Government, the entities of operational activities shall have the right to make use of information held by enterprises, establishments and organisations, were in compliance with the principles of an open, just, civil society and a state under the rule of law entrenched in the Preamble to the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, Articles 1, 22 and 23 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

By means of its decision of 27 May 2002, the Constitutional Court joined the petitions into one case.

The Constitutional Court

has established:

I

1. On 11 July 2000, the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania enacted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2000, No. 61-1830).

2. On 22 May 1997, the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania enacted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Operational Activities (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 1997, No. 50-1190).

3. On 26 June 1961 the Code of Criminal Procedure was adopted (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 1961, No. 18-148). On 29 January 1975, the impugned provision of Paragraph 1 of Article 75 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 1975, No. 3-22) was changed.

4. The petitioners, groups of the members of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, request an investigation into whether:

the second section of Article 1 of the Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications is in compliance with Article 22 of the Constitution, also whether the second section of Article 1 and Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the same law are in compliance with Article 23 of the Constitution,

the provision “telecommunications operators must <…> under procedure established by the Government, supply information gratis in the scope established by the Government to entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies for restraint, investigation and solution of crimes about objects of operational activities and other subscribers and their telecommunications which are necessary for investigation” of Article 1 of the Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications,

the provision “carrying out the preparatory investigations, the investigator shall independently adopt all decisions regarding the course of the investigations and performance of investigatory acts save the cases when the law provides that a sanction from the prosecutor is necessary” of Article 48 of the Code of Criminal Procedure,

the provision “the interrogator, investigator, prosecutor <…> shall have the right, in the cases at their command, <…> to demand that the enterprises, establishments, organisations and citizens submit items and documents which might be important in the case, to demand that audits be carried out. These requirements must be carried out by all citizens, enterprises, establishments and organisations” of Article 75 of the Code of Criminal Procedure,

the provision of Item 4 of Paragraph 3 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Operational Activities that “under the procedure established by the Government, the entities of operational activities shall have the right to make use of information held by enterprises, establishments and organisations”,

are in compliance with the principles of an open, just, civil society and a state under the rule of law entrenched in the Preamble to the Constitution, Articles 1, 22 and 23 of the Constitution.

II

The petitions of the petitioners are based on the following arguments.

1. The Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications amended Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications and set it forth as follows: “Telecommunications operators must trace all telecommunications events and their participants, ensure and constantly maintain, at their expense and by their facilities, the technical opportunity for entities of operational activities in order to control, under procedure established by law, the content of the information transmitted via telecommunication networks, also, under procedure established by the Government, supply information gratis in the scope established by the Government to entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies for restraint, investigation and solution of crimes about objects of operational activities and other subscribers and their telecommunications which are necessary for investigation. When the entities of operational activities need additional information, if compared with the scope established by the Government, they shall compensate the telecommunications operators the necessary expenditures of supply of such information.” Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications prescribes: “The Government shall finance the acquisition of the facilities, designated to control the content of the information transmitted via the telecommunication networks, for the telecommunications operators which received licences prior to the entry into effect of this Law. The telecommunications operators shall renew the said facilities and maintain their technological capacities at their expense.”

In the opinion of the petitioner (petition of 3 October 2000), under the provision established in the second section of Article 1 of the Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications, the telecommunications operators are obligated to trace all their subscribers. Until the adoption of the impugned law, the telecommunications operators were permitted to accumulate, use and store the data regarding the network subscribers only inasmuch as it was necessary for the service of the subscribers or for the needs of the communication network. According to the petitioner, the Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications obligates telecommunications operators to trace all telecommunications events, meanwhile, taking account of the fact that under the existing GSM 900 and GSM (or DCS) 1800 technologies, the stations of the operators and the mobile telephones continually and regularly send each other the information about their status, the operators, while tracing all telecommunications events, would collect the data about the life of the subscriber, i.e. the information about the private life of the person.

2. The petitioner (petition of 3 October 2000) points out that under Article 22 of the Constitution, the private life of an individual shall be inviolable; personal correspondence, telephone conversations, telegraph messages, and other intercommunications shall be inviolable; information concerning the private life of an individual may be collected only upon a justified court decision and in accordance with the law; the law and the court shall protect individuals from arbitrary or unlawful interference in their private or family life, and from encroachment upon their honour and dignity.

The petitioner asserts that the second section of Article 1 of the Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications obligates telecommunications operators to collect information about the private life of individuals in the absence of a court decision.

3. In the opinion of the petitioner (petition of 8 May 2001), the striving for an open, just and harmonious civil society and state under the rule of law entrenched in the Constitution also implies the security of every individual as well as the entire society from criminal attempts. In the course of their restraint and prosecution, the state institutions of law and order are granted, by law, the rights to apply various specific measures. However, one must combat crime by legal means, they may not violate the constitutional rights and freedoms of a person. The petitioner notes that Article 22 of the Constitution establishes a principal requirement that information concerning the private life of an individual may be collected only upon a justified court decision. Since the Constitution is an integral act, this constitutional human right, in the opinion of the petitioner, must be treated as the consequence of the striving for and principles of an open, just and harmonious civil society and state under the rule of law.

The petitioner (petition of 8 May 2001) asserts that the data about telecommunications, including the telephone number of a person or to whom a telephone number belongs, the numbers of the subscribers who made calls and who were called, the messages sent and received or other information about the rendered services, their time, place and duration, but not confining to them, is information about the private life of a person, therefore, without a court sanction, telecommunications operators do not have the right to supply these data to the entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies about the subscribers and their telecommunications which are necessary for the investigation; in the opinion of the petitioner, the entities of operational activities, only upon receiving a court sanction, have the right to make use of the information held at enterprises, establishments and organisations concerning the private life of a person; the interrogator, investigator and prosecutor, only upon receiving a court sanction, have the right, in the cases at their command, to demand that the enterprises, establishments, organisations and citizens submit documents about the private life of a person.

According to the petitioner, the provision “carrying out the preparatory investigations, the investigator shall independently adopt all decisions regarding the course of the investigations and performance of investigatory acts save the cases when the law provides that a sanction from the prosecutor is necessary” of Article 48 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the provision “the interrogator, investigator, prosecutor <…> shall have the right, in the cases at their command, <…> to demand that the enterprises, establishments, organisations and citizens submit items and documents which might be important in the case, to demand that audits be carried out. These requirements must be carried out by all citizens, enterprises, establishments and organisations” of Article 75 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the provision of Item 4 of Paragraph 3 of Article 7 of the Law on Operational Activities that “under the procedure established by the Government, the entities of operational activities shall have the right to make use of information held by enterprises, establishments and organisations” and the provision “telecommunications operators must <…> under procedure established by the Government, supply information gratis in the scope established by the Government to entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies for restraint, investigation and solution of crimes about objects of operational activities and other subscribers and their telecommunications which are necessary for investigation” of Article 1 of the Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications are not in line with the requirement of the Constitution that information concerning the private life of an individual may be collected only upon a justified court decision.

In the opinion of the petitioner (petition of 8 May 2001), the impugned provisions of the said laws conflict with the principles of an open, just, harmonious civil society and state under the rule of law entrenched in the Preamble to the Constitution as well as Articles 1 and 22 of the Constitution since the information concerning the subscribers and their telecommunications is as inviolable as information concerning the private life of an individual.

4. The petitioner (petition of 3 October 2000) points out that, under Article 23 of the Constitution, property shall be inviolable; the rights of ownership shall be protected by law; property may only be seized for the needs of society according to the procedure established by law and must be adequately compensated for.

The petitioner maintains (petition of 8 May 2001) that the impugned laws also establish a duty for enterprises, establishments, organisations and citizens, in the absence of a court decision, to collect, store and supply the information held by them to respective institutions of law and order, however, no compensation is provided for such restrictions on the right of ownership. Therefore, in the opinion of the petitioner, the impugned laws violate Article 23 of the Constitution, as well as the principles of an open, just, civil society and a state under the rule of law, and Article 1 of the Constitution.

5. The petitioner (petition of 3 October 2000) maintains that after one established the provision in Article 1 of the Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications that the telecommunications operators must, under procedure established by the Government, supply information gratis in the scope established by the Government to entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies for restraint, investigation and solution of crimes about objects of operational activities and other subscribers and their telecommunications which are necessary for investigation, as well as after one consolidated the provision in Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the same law that the telecommunications operators shall renew the facilities designated to control the content of the information transmitted via the telecommunication networks and maintain their technological capacities at their expense, one established seizure of the funds of the operators for the needs of society.

III

In the course of the preparation of the case for the judicial investigation, written explanations were received from the representatives of the Seimas, the party concerned, Algirdas Bloznelis, the Head of the Board of the State Security Department, M. Girdauskas, a senior consultant to the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas, and Vaidotas Bacevičius, an advisor to the Seimas Committee on National Security and Defence.

1. The representative of the party concerned A. Bloznelis maintains that the Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications regulated in a new manner the relations of content control of the information transmitted via telecommunications network. In the opinion of A. Bloznelis, the previously effective provision of the law concerning reception of compensation by telecommunications operators had to be altered as it conflicted with the fundamental principle of law and order regarding the obligation of persons to render gratis all the information prescribed by law about a committed or prepared violation of law.

A. Bloznelis notes that effective Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications is a compromise solution of three trends: (1) capabilities of the state to ensure the sufficient financing of the activities of the institutions of law and order; (2) preparation and maintenance of the telecommunications operators operating in the market in the course of their performance of their obligations to society, connected with the ensuring of security of society; (3) creation of non-discriminatory conditions for new operators.

2. The representative of the party concerned M. Girdauskas explained that the provision “carrying out the preparatory investigations, the investigator shall independently adopt all decisions regarding the course of the investigations and performance of investigatory acts save the cases when the law provides that a sanction from the prosecutor is necessary” of Article 48 of the Code of Criminal Procedure is a norm of a general character, regulating the powers of the investigator. In itself, this provision does not grant the right to the investigator to collect information about the private life of an individual, also without the sanction of the court (judge). The legitimate conditions of collection of information are established by other, special norms of the Code of Criminal Procedure, individually regulating the performance of investigatory actions, for example, Articles 188, 196 and 1982 of the Code of Criminal Procedure link the lawfulness of the search, sequester and seizure of post-telegraph correspondence, the tapping of telephone conversations performed by the investigator with the existence of a corresponding sanction of the judge. Therefore, in the opinion of the representative of the party concerned, the said provision of Article 48 of the Code of Criminal Procedure may not be regarded as being not in line with the provision of Article 22 of the Constitution that information concerning the private life of an individual may be collected only upon a justified court decision.

M. Girdauskas maintains that Paragraph 3 of Article 22 of the Constitution requires a court decision as to the collection of information concerning the private life of an individual only. Therefore, the impugned provisions of Article 75 of the Code of Criminal Procedure are in compliance with the said paragraph to the extent that it grants the right to the interrogator, investigator and prosecutor to demand items and documents that do not reflect the private life of the individual.

The representative of the party concerned notes that the right to the inviolability of private life is not absolute. For instance, a person committing criminal and other deeds which are contrary to law does not have and may not expect privacy. The limits of the protection of the private life of the individual end at the point when he, by his actions in a criminal manner or otherwise in an unlawful manner, infringes the interests protected by law, inflicts damage on individual persons, society and the state. The opportunity to limit the right of the person to the inviolability of the private life in the course of collecting information about him is also established in Article 22 of the Constitution. M. Girdauskas notes that establishments of power may and have the right to collect information about the persons who are about to commit or who have committed criminal deeds. Therefore, the provisions of Article 75 of the Code of Criminal Procedure providing for the ways of the collecting of information of significance to the case, i.e. for investigation and consideration of criminal cases, may not be regarded as conflicting with Article 22 of the Constitution to the entire extent providing for the right to demand items and documents reflecting the private life of the person.

M. Girdauskas maintains that the legislature, while establishing the powers for the establishments of law and order to collect information, including that on the private lives of persons, may not overstep the limits established in the Constitution. Therefore, in the opinion of the representative of the party concerned, it should be considered whether the provision “the interrogator, investigator, prosecutor <…> shall have the right, in the cases at their command, <…> to demand that the enterprises, establishments, organisations and citizens submit items and documents which might be important in the case, to demand that audits be carried out. These requirements must be carried out by all citizens, enterprises, establishments and organisations” of Article 75 of the Code of Criminal Procedure is in compliance with Article 22 of the Constitution to the extent that it does not require that the documents and items the content of which is information about the private life of the person, be collected in the presence of a justified court decision only.

M. Girdauskas notes that it should be considered whether the impugned provision of the Law on Operational Activities is in compliance with Article 22 of the Constitution not to its entire extent but to the extent that it does not establish that the entities of operational activities shall have the right to make use of information about the private life of the person which is held by enterprises, establishments and organisation only upon a court decision.

In the opinion of the representative of the party concerned, information about objects of operational activities and other subscribers and their telecommunications which are necessary for investigation may include information about the private lives of persons, therefore, it should be considered whether the impugned provision of Article 1 of the Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications is in compliance with Article 22 of the Constitution not to its entire extent but to the extent that it does not establish that telecommunications operators must supply all information about the private lives of persons to entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies only upon a justified court decision.

M. Girdauskas maintains that the provisions of Article 1 of the Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications impose a limitation on the right of telecommunications operators to ownership, however, the said right is not absolute. The striving for an open, just and harmonious civil society and state under the rule of law enshrined in the Preamble to the Constitution and the general interest expressed in Article 28 of the Constitution require that one should bar the way to crimes, that the crimes committed be solved and that the culprits be brought to responsibility. Telecommunications operators render telecommunications services to other persons, which create the conditions to intercommunicate during the preparation for and in the course of commission of crimes as well as their concealment. In the absence of the conditions to intercept the telecommunications, in certain cases it would be too complicated or even impossible to implement the said general interest. Therefore, the law may provide for an obligation for the telecommunications operators to contribute to the prevention of possible negative effects of their activities.

In the opinion of the representative of the party concerned, while establishing the scope of such an obligation, one should take account of the fact that telecommunications operators attempt to get income from their activities, in other words, from their property rights. However, according to the principle of the unity of rights and obligations, the reception of rights is inseparable from reception of obligations. In other words, the state may establish certain conditions for the persons who wish to engage in certain business. The activity of the telecommunications operators may create conditions for violating the said general interest, therefore, an obligation may be established for the operators to take measures also so that the general interest would not be violated. This obligation may include the obligation to install and maintain the facilities designated to store the information about the subscribers and their telecommunications, which is necessary to implement the obligation to provide the information to the institutions of law and order, which is provided for in the impugned provision of Article 1 of the Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications. However, in the opinion of M. Girdauskas, taking account of the principle of proportionality conditioned by the principles of a state under the rule of law and justice, which are enshrined in the Constitution, it should be considered whether the impugned provision of the law is in compliance with the Constitution to the extent that it provides for an obligation of the telecommunications operators to cover all the expenses necessary to implement it. In this respect, it should be considered whether a reasonable conformity between such limitation on the scope of the right of ownership of the telecommunications operators and the objectives of the general interest sought by this was retained.

The representative of the party concerned M. Girdauskas maintains that the question of the compliance of Articles 48 and 75 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, Item 4 of Paragraph 3 of Article 7 of the Law on Operational Activities, Article 1 of the Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications with the principles of an open, just, civil society and a state under the rule of law entrenched in the Preamble to the Constitution and Article 1 of the Constitution may be considered after one has established at least one case of conflict of the impugned laws with Articles 22 and 23 of the Constitution.

3. The representative of the party concerned V. Bacevičius, while assessing the compliance of the impugned provisions of the Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications with Article 22 of the Constitution, notes that the operators rendering telecommunications services used to trace all telecommunications sessions and their participants, the time and duration of telecommunications sessions, other parameters (data) also prior to the entry into effect of the impugned law, however, to collect data about the participants of telecommunications sessions in such a manner is necessary for the operators rendering telecommunications services, therefore, this may not be treated as violation of the private life of the individual. In the opinion of V. Bacevičius, the adopted law does not obligate the telecommunications operators to spy on their subscribers (entities of telecommunications events), while the information which is required to be supplied (the surname of the person, the subscription number etc.) does not violate the privacy of the person since it is not connected with the control over the content of telecommunications. In addition, V. Bacevičius emphasises that the information connected with a violation of law (crime) being committed or committed is supplied while taking into consideration the public interest, i.e. in an attempt to prevent the violation of law or to solve it and this is in line with the provisions of Articles 48 and 75 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The interests of ensuring the state security (public interest) require that one should be able, under procedure established by law, to limit the rights and freedoms of individual persons, to guarantee public order, to apprehend a criminal, to save the life, health or property of the individual.

In the opinion of the representative of the party concerned, the principles are entrenched in the Constitution that the rights and freedoms of the person may be limited by law only, when it is necessary for the safeguard of the health, honour and dignity, private life, or morals of an individual, or for the protection of constitutional order. Under Article 28 of the Constitution, while exercising their rights and freedoms, persons must observe the Constitution and the laws of the Republic of Lithuania, and must not impair the rights and freedoms of other people, i.e. they may not commit criminal actions. Thus, the person who has committed a criminal deed, does not enjoy the complete inviolability of the personal life, and, in the course of the investigation of his criminal deeds under procedure established by law, his rights and freedoms may be subject to limitation.

V. Bacevičius maintains that the provisions of the Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications do not provide for alienation of such technical facilities installed at the expense of the operators, therefore, there are no grounds to maintain that the requirements of Article 23 of the Constitution are violated. These obligations of the telecommunications operators should be linked with the specific nature of the licensed activity and the rights of the state to establish rules for carrying out the licensed commercial-economic activity. In the opinion of the representative of the party concerned, the telecommunications operators do not conduct the telecommunications content control: they merely create opportunities for an institution empowered by the Government to do so, therefore, it is purposeless to raise the question of compensation for the telecommunications operators for the services rendered.

In the opinion of the representative of the party concerned, the Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications has taken account of the provisions of the Constitution which guarantee the inviolability of the private life of an individual and protection of ownership, the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms which was ratified by the Republic of Lithuania, as well as the interests of society, in an attempt to protect the general interest, the security of the state, to ensure the protection of society and bar the way to violations of public order and crimes, also, while taking into consideration to protect the health and lives of people, the rights and freedoms of persons. Therefore, in the opinion of V. Bacevičius, the impugned provisions of the law are in compliance with Article 23 of the Constitution.

IV

In the course of the preparation of the case for the Constitutional Court hearing, written explanations were received from M. Laurinkus, Director General of the State Security Department of the Republic of Lithuania, J. Ūsas, Director of the Communications Department of the Ministry of Communications of the Republic of Lithuania, O. Jakštaitė, Director of the State Inspectorate of Data Protection, V. Valeckaitė, Acting Director of the Institute of Law, and T. Birmontienė, Director of the Lithuanian Centre for Human Rights.

V

1. At the Constitutional Court hearing, V. Popovas, the representative of the group of Seimas members, the petitioner, virtually reiterated the arguments set forth in the petition.

2. At the Constitutional Court hearing, V. Bacevičius, A. Bloznelis and M. Girdauskas, the representatives of the Seimas, the party concerned, virtually reiterated the arguments set forth in their written explanations to the Constitutional Court.

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

I

1. The first petitioner, a group of Seimas members, requests, by means of its petition of 3 October 2000, an investigation into whether the second section of Article 1 of the Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications is in compliance with Article 22 of the Constitution, also whether the second section of Article 1 and Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the same law are in compliance with Article 23 of the Constitution.

The second petitioner, a group of Seimas members, requests, by means of its petition of 8 May 2001, an investigation into whether the provision “telecommunications operators must <…> under procedure established by the Government, supply information gratis in the scope established by the Government to entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies for restraint, investigation and solution of crimes about objects of operational activities and other subscribers and their telecommunications which are necessary for investigation” of Article 1 of the Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications, the provision “carrying out the preparatory investigations, the investigator shall independently adopt all decisions regarding the course of the investigations and performance of investigatory acts save the cases when the law provides that a sanction from the prosecutor is necessary” of Article 48 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the provision “the interrogator, investigator, prosecutor <…> shall have the right, in the cases at their command, <…> to demand that the enterprises, establishments, organisations and citizens submit items and documents which might be important in the case, to demand that audits be carried out. These requirements must be carried out by all citizens, enterprises, establishments and organisations” of Article 75 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the provision of Item 4 of Paragraph 3 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Operational Activities that under the procedure established by the Government, the entities of operational activities shall have the right to make use of information held by enterprises, establishments and organisations, are in compliance with the principles of an open, just, civil society and a state under the rule of law entrenched in the Preamble to the Constitution, Articles 1, 22 and 23 of the Constitution.

2. On 11 July 2000, the Seimas enacted the Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications by Article 1 whereof Paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications were altered and set forth as follows:

2. Telecommunications operators must trace all telecommunications events and their participants, ensure and constantly maintain, at their expense and by their facilities, the technical opportunity for entities of operational activities in order to control, under procedure established by law, the content of the information transmitted via telecommunication networks, also, under procedure established by the Government, supply information gratis in the scope established by the Government to entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies for restraint, investigation and solution of crimes about objects of operational activities and other subscribers and their telecommunications which are necessary for investigation. When the entities of operational activities need additional information, if compared with the scope established by the Government, they shall compensate the telecommunications operators the necessary expenditures of supply of such information.

3. An institution empowered by the Government—an entity of operational activities—shall organise and, under procedure established by the Government, create the technical opportunities for every entity of operational activities to independently conduct the control of the content of information transmitted via telecommunications networks.”

Article 2 titled “The Implementation of the Law” of the Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications provides:

1. The Government shall finance the acquisition of the facilities, designated to control the content of the information transmitted via the telecommunication networks, for the telecommunications operators which received licences prior to the entry into effect of this Law. The telecommunications operators shall renew the said facilities and maintain their technological capacities at their expense.

2. All the telecommunications facilities the exploitation of which began after this law went into effect must comply with the requirements of Article 1 of this Law.”

2.1. The first petitioner (petition of 3 October 2000) requests an investigation into whether the second section of Article 1 of the Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications is in compliance with Article 22 of the Constitution, also whether the second section of Article 1 and Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the same law are in compliance with Article 23 of the Constitution. The second petitioner (petition of 8 May 2001) requests an investigation into whether the provision “telecommunications operators must <…> under procedure established by the Government, supply information gratis in the scope established by the Government to entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies for restraint, investigation and solution of crimes about objects of operational activities and other subscribers and their telecommunications which are necessary for investigation” of Article 1 of the Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications is in compliance with the principles of an open, just, civil society and a state under the rule of law entrenched in the Preamble to the Constitution, Articles 1, 22 and 23 of the Constitution.

Although the first petitioner (petition of 3 October 2000) requests an investigation into whether the second section of Article 1 of the Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications is in compliance with Articles 22 and 23 of the Constitution, however, it is clear from the reasoning of the petitioner that he doubts whether the provision “telecommunications operators must trace all telecommunications events and their participants, ensure and constantly maintain, at their expense and by their facilities, the technical opportunity for entities of operational activities in order to control, under procedure established by law, the content of the information transmitted via telecommunication networks, also, under procedure established by the Government, supply information gratis in the scope established by the Government to entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies for restraint, investigation and solution of crimes about objects of operational activities and other subscribers and their telecommunications which are necessary for investigation” of Article 1 of the aforementioned law is in compliance with Articles 22 and 23 of the Constitution.

It has been mentioned that the first petitioner (petition of 3 October 2000) doubts as to the compliance of the aforesaid provision of Article 1 of the Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications with Articles 22 and 23 of the Constitution, while the second petitioner (petition of 8 May 2001) doubts as to the compliance of the provision of Article 1 of the Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications with the principles of an open, just, civil society and a state under the rule of law entrenched in the Preamble to the Constitution, Articles 1, 22 and 23 of the Constitution.

Thus, the 3 October 2000 petition of a group of Seimas members to consider the compliance of the second section of Article 1 of the Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications with Article 22 of the Constitution also encompasses the 8 May 2001 petition of the second petitioner, a group of Seimas members, to consider the compliance of the impugned provision of Article 1 of the Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications with the Constitution.

2.2. On 5 July 2002, the Seimas enacted the Republic of Lithuanian Law on the Amendment of the Law on Telecommunications (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2002, No. 75-3215) whereby the Law on Telecommunications was amended and set forth in a new wording. The Law on the Amendment of the Law on Telecommunications was published in Valstybės žinios on 26 July 2002. Article 2 of the said law provides that this Law on Telecommunications shall go into effect as of 1 January 2003. Thus, Article 2 of the Law on the Amendment of the Law on Telecommunications sets the date of the commencement of the application of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 5 July 2002) which is 1 January 2003.

2.3. Under Article 105 of the Constitution, the Constitutional Court shall consider and adopt decisions concerning the conformity of laws and other legal acts adopted by the Seimas with the Constitution. Article 7 of the Constitution prescribes that only laws which are published shall be valid.

The formula “laws and other legal acts adopted by the Seimas” employed in Paragraph 1 of Article 105 of the Constitution means that the Constitutional Court has the powers to consider the compliance of the laws and other acts (parts thereof) adopted by the Seimas and officially published with the Constitution irrespective of the established date of the commencement of the application of such laws or other acts (parts thereof).

2.4. Paragraph 4 of Article 57 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 5 July 2002) provides: “Telecommunications operators and providers of telecommunications services must, under procedure established by legal acts, trace telecommunications events and their participants, ensure and constantly maintain, at their expense and by their facilities, the technical opportunity for entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies, in order to control, under procedure established by law and upon a sanction issued by court, the content of the information transmitted via telecommunication networks, also, under procedure established by the Government, supply, gratis, the information established by the Government to entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies for restraint, investigation and solution of crimes about objects of operational activities and other subscribers and their telecommunications which are necessary for investigation. When the entities of operational activities need additional information, if compared with that established by the Government, they shall compensate the telecommunications operators the necessary expenditures of supply of such information.”

2.5. Comparing Paragraph 4 of Article 57 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 5 July 2002) with Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000), it should be held that their formulations are different in that Paragraph 4 of Article 57 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 5 July 2002) employs the word “established” instead of the words “the scope established”, it does not contain the word “all”, it contains the words “and providers of telecommunications services”, “under procedure established by legal acts”, “interrogative and investigating bodies”, “upon a sanction issued by court”. The indicated differences do not change in essence the content of the provisions impugned by the petitioners. Thus, the impugned provision of Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000) is virtually repeated in Paragraph 4 of Article 57 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 5 July 2002).

2.6. Taking account of the fact that, under Article 105 of the Constitution, the Constitutional Court shall consider and adopt decisions concerning the conformity of laws and other legal acts adopted by the Seimas with the Constitution irrespective of what date of the commencement of their application is established, the Constitutional Court has the powers to consider the compliance of the provisions of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 5 July 2002) the date of commencement of the application whereof is 1 January 2003 irrespective of the fact that at the time of the consideration of the case at issue the said law is not applicable yet.

3. On 22 May 1997, the Seimas enacted the Law on Operational Activities (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 1997, No. 50-1190) Item 4 of Paragraph 3 of Article 7 whereof provides that, under the procedure established by the Government, the entities of operational activities shall have the right to make use of information held by enterprises, establishments and organisations.

One of the petitioners (petition of 8 May 2001) requests an investigation into whether the provision “under the procedure established by the Government, the entities of operational activities shall have the right <…> to make use of information held by enterprises, establishments and organisations” of “Item 4 of Paragraph 3 of the Law on Operational Activities” is in compliance with the principles of an open, just, civil society and a state under the rule of law entrenched in the Preamble to the Constitution, Articles 1, 22 and 23 of the Constitution. The petitioner does not indicate what article of the Law on Operational Activities contains the provision impugned by him. The provision impugned by the petitioner is in Item 4 of Paragraph 3 of Article 7 of the Law on Operational Activities.

3.1. On 20 June 2002, the Seimas enacted a new Law on Operational Activities (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, No. 65-2633) which went into effect on 28 June 2002. Upon the entry into effect of the said law, the 22 May 1997 Law on Operational Activities became null and void. Item 6 of Paragraph 3 of Article 7 of the Law on Operational Activities (wording of 20 June 2002) provides that, under the procedure established by the Government or the institutions empowered by the latter, the entities of operational activities shall have the right to receive the information from enterprises, establishments and organisations which is necessary for operational activities.

3.2. Comparing Item 6 of Paragraph 3 of Article 7 of the Law on Operational Activities (wording of 20 June 2002) with Item 4 of Paragraph 3 of Article 7 of the Law on Operational Activities (wording of 22 May 1997), it should be held that their formulations differ in that Item 6 of Paragraph 3 of Article 7 of the Law on Operational Activities (wording of 20 June 2002) employs the word “receive” instead of the words “make use of”, the word “held” is absent, it contains the words “or the institutions empowered by the latter” and “which is necessary for operational activities”. The indicated differences in essence do not change the content of the provision impugned by the petitioner. Thus, the impugned provision of Item 4 of Paragraph 3 of Article 7 of the Law on Operational Activities (wording of 22 May 1997) is virtually repeated in Item 6 of Paragraph 3 of Article 7 of the Law on Operational Activities (wording of 20 June 2002).

4. Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (wording of 26 June 1961) provides, inter alia, that, while carrying out the preparatory investigations, the investigator shall independently adopt all decisions regarding the course of the investigations and performance of investigatory acts save the cases when the law provides that a sanction from the prosecutor is necessary; Paragraph 1 of Article 75 of the same code (wording of 29 January 1975) provides, inter alia, that the interrogator, investigator, prosecutor shall have the right, in the cases at their command, to demand that the enterprises, establishments, organisations and citizens submit items and documents which might be important in the case, to demand that audits be carried out, and that these requirements must be carried out by all citizens, enterprises, establishments and organisations.

4.1. On 14 March 2002, the Seimas enacted the Law on the Approval, Entry into Effect and Implementation of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2002, No. 37-1341, see corrections Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, No. 46, p. 127). Article 2 of the said law provides that the date of the entry into effect of the new Code of Criminal Procedure will be established by a separate law.

4.2. The Code of Criminal Procedure (wording of 14 March 2002) provides for virtually new rules of investigation of crimes. For instance, one has introduced the institute of the judge of pre-trial investigation, this judge is granted the powers to impose and sanction the application of procedural forcible measures, to accomplish certain procedural actions, to approve certain decisions of the prosecutor etc. It is clear from the total legal regulation established in the Code of Criminal Procedure (wording of 14 March 2002) that it does not repeat the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 (wording of 26 June 1961) and Paragraph 1 of Article 75 (wording of 29 January 1975) of the Code of Criminal Procedure which are impugned by the petitioner: the said provisions have undergone qualitative changes.

5. It has been mentioned that one of the petitioners (petition of 8 May 2001) requests an investigation into whether the impugned provisions of Article 1 of the Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications, Articles 48 and 75 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, Item 4 of Paragraph 3 of Article 7 of the Law on Operational Activities are in compliance with the principles of an open, just, civil society and a state under the rule of law entrenched in the Preamble to the Constitution and Article 1 of the Constitution.

5.1. The Preamble of the Constitution proclaims the striving for an open, just, harmonious civil society and a state under the rule of law. The Constitution shall be an integral act (Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Constitution). The values and strivings enshrined in the Constitution are expressed in the constitutional norms and principles (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 11 July 2002). Thus, the striving for an open, just, harmonious civil society and a state under the rule of law should be construed inseparably from the norms and principles of the Constitution, including the principle of a state under the rule of law.

The constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law is a universal one upon which the whole Lithuanian legal system as well as the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania itself are based (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 23 February 2000). This constitutional principle also embodies the striving for an open, just, harmonious civil society and a state under the rule of law entrenched in the Preamble to the Constitution.

Therefore, the Constitutional Court will consider, whether the impugned provisions of the laws pointed out by the petitioner (petition of 8 May 2001) are in compliance with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

5.2. Article 1 of the Constitution provides: “The State of Lithuania shall be an independent and democratic republic.”

In Article 1 of the Constitution the fundamental principles of the Lithuanian State are established: the Lithuanian State is free and independent; the republic is the form of governance of the Lithuanian State; the state authority must be organised in a democratic way, and there must be a democratic political regime in this country (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 23 February 2000).

It is clear from the reasoning of the petitioner (petition of 8 May 2001) that he doubts whether the impugned provisions of the aforementioned laws are in compliance with the provision of Article 1 of the Constitution that the State of Lithuania shall be democratic.

Therefore, the Constitutional Court will consider whether the impugned provisions of the laws pointed out by the petitioner are in compliance with the provision of Article 1 of the Constitution that the State of Lithuania shall be democratic.

6. Subsequent to the petitions of the petitioners, groups of Seimas members, the Constitutional Court will consider whether:

1) the provision “telecommunications operators must trace all telecommunications events and their participants, ensure and constantly maintain, at their expense and by their facilities, the technical opportunity for entities of operational activities in order to control, under procedure established by law, the content of the information transmitted via telecommunication networks, also, under procedure established by the Government, supply information gratis in the scope established by the Government to entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies for restraint, investigation and solution of crimes about objects of operational activities and other subscribers and their telecommunications which are necessary for investigation” of Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000) is in compliance with the provision of Article 1 of the Constitution that the State of Lithuania shall be democratic, Articles 22 and 23 of the Constitution, and the principle of a state under the rule of law;

2) Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications is in compliance with Article 23 of the Constitution;

3) the provision “telecommunications operators and providers of telecommunications services must, under procedure established by legal acts, trace telecommunications events and their participants, ensure and constantly maintain, at their expense and by their facilities, the technical opportunity for entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies, in order to control, under procedure established by law and upon a sanction issued by court, the content of the information transmitted via telecommunication networks, also, under procedure established by the Government, supply, gratis, the information established by the Government to entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies for restraint, investigation and solution of crimes about objects of operational activities and other subscribers and their telecommunications which are necessary for investigation” of Paragraph 4 of Article 57 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 5 July 2002) with the provision of Article 1 of the Constitution that the State of Lithuania shall be democratic, Articles 22 and 23 of the Constitution, and the principle of a state under the rule of law;

4) the provision of Item 4 of Paragraph 3 of Article 7 of the Law on Operational Activities (wording of 22 May 1997) that, under the procedure established by the Government, the entities of operational activities shall have the right to make use of information held by enterprises, establishments and organisations was in compliance with the provision of Article 1 of the Constitution that the State of Lithuania shall be democratic, Articles 22 and 23 of the Constitution, and the principle of a state under the rule of law;

5) the provision of Item 6 of Paragraph 3 of Article 7 of the Law on Operational Activities (wording of 20 June 2002) that, under the procedure established by the Government or the institutions empowered by the latter, the entities of operational activities shall have the right to receive the information from enterprises, establishments and organisations which is necessary for operational activities is in compliance with the provision of Article 1 of the Constitution that the State of Lithuania shall be democratic, Articles 22 and 23 of the Constitution, and the principle of a state under the rule of law;

6) the provision “carrying out the preparatory investigations, the investigator shall independently adopt all decisions regarding the course of the investigations and performance of investigatory acts save the cases when the law provides that a sanction from the prosecutor is necessary” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (wording of 26 June 1961) is in compliance with the provision of Article 1 of the Constitution that the State of Lithuania shall be democratic, Articles 22 and 23 of the Constitution, and the principle of a state under the rule of law;

7) the provision “the interrogator, investigator, prosecutor <…> shall have the right, in the cases at their command, <…> to demand that the enterprises, establishments, organisations and citizens submit items and documents which might be important in the case, to demand that audits be carried out. These requirements must be carried out by all citizens, enterprises, establishments and organisations” of Paragraph 1 of Article 75 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (wording of 29 January 1975) is in compliance with the provision of Article 1 of the Constitution that the State of Lithuania shall be democratic, Articles 22 and 23 of the Constitution, and the principle of a state under the rule of law.

II

On the compliance of Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000), Paragraph 4 of Article 57 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 5 July 2002), Item 4 of Paragraph 3 of Article 7 of the Law on Operational Activities (wording of 22 May 1997), Item 6 of Paragraph 3 of Article 7 of the Law on Operational Activities (wording of 20 June 2002), Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (wording of 26 June 1961) and Paragraph 1 of Article 75 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (wording of 29 January 1975) with Article 22 of the Constitution.

1. Article 22 of the Constitution provides:

The private life of an individual shall be inviolable.

Personal correspondence, telephone conversations, telegraph messages, and other intercommunications shall be inviolable.

Information concerning the private life of an individual may be collected only upon a justified court decision and in accordance with the law.

The law and the court shall protect individuals from arbitrary or unlawful interference in their private or family life, and from encroachment upon their honour and dignity.”

2. The private life of an individual is the personal life of an individual, i.e. the way of life, marital status, living surroundings, relations with other persons, the views, convictions, habits of the individual, his physical and psychological state, his health, honour, dignity etc.

The Constitution establishes the inviolability of the private life of an individual from which stems the right of a person to privacy. In its ruling of 21 October 1999, the Constitutional Court held that right of the person to privacy encompasses private, family and house life, the physical and psychological inviolability of individuals, his honour and reputation, the secrecy of personal facts and the prohibition on publicising received or acquired confidential information etc.

The provision “information concerning the private life of an individual may be collected only upon a justified court decision and in accordance with the law” of Paragraph 3 as well as the provision “the law and the court shall protect individuals from arbitrary or unlawful interference in their private or family life, and from encroachment upon their honour and dignity” of Paragraph 4 of Article 22 of the Constitution are some of the most important guarantees of the inviolability of the private life of a person. By the said provisions the private life of the individual is protected against unlawful interference by the state, other institutions, their officers and other persons.

3. Article 28 of the Constitution provides that “while exercising their rights and freedoms, persons must observe the Constitution and the laws of the Republic of Lithuania, and must not impair the rights and freedoms of other people”.

Under the Constitution, it is permitted to impose limitations on the constitutional rights and freedoms of the individual in case the following conditions are observed: this is done by law; the limitations are necessary in a democratic society in an attempt to protect the rights and freedoms of other persons and the values entrenched in the Constitution as well as the constitutionally important objectives; the limitations do not deny the nature and essence of the rights and freedoms; the constitutional principle of proportionality is followed.

4. Article 8 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms provides that “there shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others”.

In the context of the case at issue, it is noteworthy that the European Court of Human Rights held in the Malone case (European Court of Human Rights, Malone Case judgment of 2 August 1984, series A vol. 82) that the interference with the private life of an individual must be grounded on domestic law, however, the domestic law must be in line with the principle of supremacy of law in a democratic state.

The Constitutional Court noted that the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights as a source of construction of law is also important to construction and applicability of Lithuanian law (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 8 May 2000).

5. Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000) provides: “Telecommunications operators must trace all telecommunications events and their participants, ensure and constantly maintain, at their expense and by their facilities, the technical opportunity for entities of operational activities in order to control, under procedure established by law, the content of the information transmitted via telecommunication networks, also, under procedure established by the Government, supply information gratis in the scope established by the Government to entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies for restraint, investigation and solution of crimes about objects of operational activities and other subscribers and their telecommunications which are necessary for investigation.”

5.1. In the opinion of the petitioner (petition of 3 October 2000), under the provision established in Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000), the telecommunications operators are obligated to trace all their subscribers. Until the adoption of the said law, the telecommunications operators were permitted to accumulate, use and store the data regarding the network subscribers only inasmuch as it was necessary for the service of the subscribers or for the needs of the communication network. In the opinion of the petitioner, the Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications obligates telecommunications operators to trace all telecommunications events, meanwhile, taking account of the fact that under the existing GSM 900 and GSM (or DCS) 1800 technologies, the stations of the operators and the mobile telephones continually and regularly send each other the information about their status, the operators, while tracing all telecommunications events, would collect the data about the life of the subscriber, i.e. the information about the private life of the person.

5.2. In the course of the investigation whether the provisions of Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000) are in compliance with Article 22 of the Constitution, it needs to be noted that the following duties of the telecommunications operators are established in this article: (1) to trace all telecommunications events and their participants; (2) to ensure and constantly maintain the technical opportunity for entities of operational activities in order to control, under procedure established by law, the content of the information transmitted via telecommunication networks; 3) under procedure established by the Government, supply information in the scope established by the Government to entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies for restraint, investigation and solution of crimes about objects of operational activities and other subscribers and their telecommunications which are necessary for investigation.

5.2.1. Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000) establishes the duty for telecommunications operators to “trace all telecommunications events and their participants”.

Under Article 2 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000), telecommunications are transmission, sending, receiving of signs, signals, written texts, images and sounds or other information via wire, radio, optical, and other electromagnetic systems. The said information circulates among the persons who use telecommunications services. The law refers to such persons as subscribers, consumers, recipients and users of telecommunications services. Thus, on the basis of the overall legal regulation of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000), a telecommunications event should be described as a fact of the transmitting, sending and receiving of information via telecommunications networks, while a participant of telecommunications—as a person who makes use of telecommunications services.

It needs to be noted that it is necessary to trace certain telecommunications events in order to ensure the management of accounting of telecommunications services, computation of payment for the services rendered, solution of the settling accounts disputes, payment of taxes to the state budget etc. Thus, certain data concerning telecommunications participants are collected because this is necessary to ensure the economic activity of the telecommunications operators as well as to ensure the rights of consumers of telecommunications services.

The impugned provision of Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000) is contained in the article “Extraordinary Circumstances”. This means that this article is designated to regulate not the economic activity of the telecommunications operators but the relations which occur in certain extraordinary circumstances.

The formula “must trace all telecommunications events and their participants” of Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000) means that a duty has been established for telecommunications operators to trace not only something which is necessary to ensure their economic activity but all telecommunications events and their participants in general, i.e. something more than necessary to ensure the economic activity of the telecommunications operators. After the duty to trace more information than necessary to ensure the economic activity had been established, conditions were created to collect information also concerning the private life of an individual without a justified court decision.

As it has been mentioned, under Article 22 of the Constitution, information concerning the private life of an individual may be collected only upon a justified court decision and in accordance with the law only.

Taking account of the arguments set forth, it should be concluded that the provision “telecommunications operators must trace all telecommunications events and their participants” of Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000) to the extent that it establishes a duty for telecommunications operators to trace the telecommunications events and their participants more than it is necessary to ensure the economic activity of the telecommunications operators, thus interfering with the private life of an individual, conflicts with Article 22 of the Constitution.

5.2.2. Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000) establishes the duty for telecommunications operators to ensure and constantly maintain the technical opportunity for entities of operational activities in order to control, under procedure established by law, the content of the information transmitted via telecommunication networks. This means that the telecommunications operators must always take care of the technical state of the facilities held by them so that in case of need the entities of operational activities, under procedure established by law, might be able to control the content of the information transmitted via telecommunications networks. The duty of the telecommunications operators, which is established in the impugned provision, to ensure and constantly maintain the technical opportunity for entities of operational activities in order to control, under procedure established by law, the content of the information transmitted via telecommunication networks does not mean that the telecommunications operators have the right or duty to collect information about the private life of an individual.

The formula “under procedure established by law” implies that the content of the information transmitted via telecommunications networks may be controlled by law only and upon a justified court decision only.

Taking account of the arguments set forth, it should be concluded that the provision “telecommunications operators must <…> ensure and constantly maintain <…> the technical opportunity for entities of operational activities in order to control, under procedure established by law, the content of the information transmitted via telecommunication networks” of Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000) is in compliance with Article 22 of the Constitution.

5.2.3. It has been mentioned that under Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000), “telecommunications operators must <…> under procedure established by the Government, supply <…> information in the scope established by the Government to entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies for restraint, investigation and solution of crimes about objects of operational activities and other subscribers and their telecommunications which are necessary for investigation”.

Paragraphs 3 and 4 of Article 22 of the Constitution provide:

Information concerning the private life of an individual may be collected only upon a justified court decision and in accordance with the law.

The law and the court shall protect individuals from arbitrary or unlawful interference in their private or family life, and from encroachment upon their honour and dignity.”

These constitutional provisions mean, inter alia, that the legislature has the duty to establish by law a procedure of collection of information about the private life of an individual, while the law must provide that information concerning the private life of an individual may be collected upon a justified court decision only.

According to the impugned provision of the law, the scope of information to be supplied to entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies, as well as the procedure of its supplying, is established by the Government. The formula “telecommunications operators must <…> under procedure established by the Government, supply <…> information in the scope established by the Government to entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies for restraint, investigation and solution of crimes about objects of operational activities and other subscribers and their telecommunications which are necessary for investigation” means that the Government has the powers to establish the scope of the information to be supplied, including that concerning the private life of an individual, as well as the procedure of its supplying. By such legal regulation the requirements of Article 22 of the Constitution are violated.

Taking account of the arguments set forth, it should be concluded that the provision “telecommunications operators must <…> under procedure established by the Government, supply <…> information in the scope established by the Government to entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies for restraint, investigation and solution of crimes about objects of operational activities and other subscribers and their telecommunications which are necessary for investigation” of Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000) to the extent that it establishes that the Government has the powers to establish the scope of information to be supplied also about the private life of a person, as well as the procedure of its supplying, conflicts with Article 22 of the Constitution.

6. Paragraph 4 of Article 57 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 5 July 2002) provides, inter alia, that telecommunications operators and providers of telecommunications services must: (1) under procedure established by legal acts, trace telecommunications events and their participants; (2) ensure and constantly maintain the technical opportunity for entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies, in order to control, under procedure established by law and upon a sanction issued by court, the content of the information transmitted via telecommunication networks; (3) under procedure established by the Government, supply, gratis, the information established by the Government to entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies for restraint, investigation and solution of crimes about objects of operational activities and other subscribers and their telecommunications which are necessary for investigation.

6.1. It has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that:

1) the provision “telecommunications operators must trace all telecommunications events and their participants” of Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000) to the extent that it establishes a duty for telecommunications operators to trace the telecommunications events and their participants more than it is necessary to ensure the economic activity of the telecommunications operators, thus interfering with the private life of an individual, conflicts with Article 22 of the Constitution;

2) the provision “telecommunications operators must <…> ensure and constantly maintain <…> the technical opportunity for entities of operational activities in order to control, under procedure established by law, the content of the information transmitted via telecommunication networks” of Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000) is in compliance with Article 22 of the Constitution;

3) the provision “telecommunications operators must <…> under procedure established by the Government, supply <…> information in the scope established by the Government to entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies for restraint, investigation and solution of crimes about objects of operational activities and other subscribers and their telecommunications which are necessary for investigation” of Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000) to the extent that it establishes that the Government has the powers to establish the scope of information to be supplied also about the private life of a person, as well as the procedure of its supplying conflicts with Article 22 of the Constitution.

6.2. It has been mentioned that the impugned provision of Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000) is virtually repeated in Paragraph 4 of Article 57 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 5 July 2002).

6.3. Taking account of the arguments set forth, it should be concluded that:

1) the provision “telecommunications operators and providers of telecommunications services must, under procedure established by legal acts, trace telecommunications events and their participants” of Paragraph 4 of Article 57 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 5 July 2002) to the extent that it establishes a duty for telecommunications operators and providers of telecommunications services to trace the telecommunications events and their participants more than it is necessary to ensure the economic activity of the telecommunications operators, thus interfering with the private life of an individual, conflicts with Article 22 of the Constitution;

2) the provision “telecommunications operators and providers of telecommunications services must <…> ensure and constantly maintain <…> the technical opportunity for entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies, in order to control, under procedure established by law and upon a sanction issued by court, the content of the information transmitted via telecommunication networks” of Paragraph 4 of Article 57 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 5 July 2002) is in compliance with Article 22 of the Constitution;

3) the provision “telecommunications operators and providers of telecommunications services must <…> under procedure established by the Government, supply, gratis, the information established by the Government to entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies for restraint, investigation and solution of crimes about objects of operational activities and other subscribers and their telecommunications which are necessary for investigation” of Paragraph 4 of Article 57 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 5 July 2002) to the extent that it establishes that the Government has the powers to establish the scope of information to be supplied also about the private life of a person, as well as the procedure of its supplying, conflicts with Article 22 of the Constitution.

7. It was provided in Item 4 of Paragraph 3 of Article 7 of the Law on Operational Activities (wording of 22 May 1997) that, under the procedure established by the Government, the entities of operational activities shall have the right to make use of information held by enterprises, establishments and organisations.

One of the petitioners (petition of 8 May 2001) requests an investigation into whether this provision is in compliance with Article 22 of the Constitution.

It needs to be noted that the information held by enterprises, establishments and organisations which is mentioned in Item 4 of Paragraph 3 of Article 7 of the Law on Operational Activities (wording of 22 May 1997) may also include information about the private life of a person. The impugned provision that, under the procedure established by the Government, the entities of operational activities shall have the right to make use of information held by enterprises, establishments and organisations means that, under the procedure established by the Government, the entities of operational activities have the right to make use of information held by enterprises, establishments and organisations concerning the private life of a person also. The formula “information held by enterprises, establishments and organisations” employed in the impugned provision also includes collection of such information.

It has been mentioned, that under the Constitution, information concerning the private life of a person may be collected only upon a justified court decision and in accordance with the law.

Taking account of the arguments set forth, the conclusion should be drawn that the provision of Item 4 of Paragraph 3 of Article 7 of the Law on Operational Activities (wording of 22 May 1997) that, under the procedure established by the Government, the entities of operational activities shall have the right to make use of information held by enterprises, establishments and organisations, to the extent that it established that information may be collected under the procedure established by the Government also about the private life of a person, conflicted with Article 22 of the Constitution.

8. Item 6 of Paragraph 3 of Article 7 of the Law on Operational Activities (wording of 20 June 2002) provides that, under the procedure established by the Government or the institutions empowered by the latter, the entities of operational activities shall have the right to receive the information from enterprises, establishments and organisations which is necessary for operational activities.

It has been mentioned that the impugned provision of Item 4 of Paragraph 3 of Article 7 of the Law on Operational Activities (wording of 22 May 1997) is virtually repeated in Item 6 of Paragraph 3 of Article 7 of the Law on Operational Activities (wording of 20 June 2002).

It has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that the provision of Item 4 of Paragraph 3 of Article 7 of the Law on Operational Activities (wording of 22 May 1997) that, under the procedure established by the Government, the entities of operational activities shall have the right to make use of information held by enterprises, establishments and organisations, to the extent that it established that information may be collected under the procedure established by the Government also about the private life of a person, conflicted with Article 22 of the Constitution.

Taking account of the arguments set forth, it should be concluded that the provision of Item 6 of Paragraph 3 of Article 7 of the Law on Operational Activities (wording of 20 June 2002) that, under the procedure established by the Government or the institutions empowered by the latter, the entities of operational activities shall have the right to receive the information from enterprises, establishments and organisations which is necessary for operational activities, to the extent that it provides that information may be collected under the procedure established by the Government or the institutions empowered by the latter also about the private life of a person, conflicts with Article 22 of the Constitution.

9. In the case at issue, the Constitutional Court has considered the provision of the Law on Operational Activities (wording of 22 May 1997) that, under the procedure established by the Government, the entities of operational activities shall have the right to make use of information held by enterprises, establishments and organisations and the provision of Law on Operational Activities (wording of 20 June 2002) that, under the procedure established by the Government or the institutions empowered by the latter, the entities of operational activities shall have the right to receive the information from enterprises, establishments and organisations which is necessary for operational activities, only from the aspect pointed out by the petitioner, i.e. that of inviolability and protection of the private life, which is entrenched in the Constitution. The Constitutional Court has not considered whether, under the Constitution, the Government may, in general, be granted the powers to establish a procedure under which the entities of operational activities might receive or make use of the information (not only about the private life of a person) held by enterprises, establishments and organisations.

10. Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (wording of 26 June 1961) provides that, while carrying out the preparatory investigations, the investigator shall independently adopt all decisions regarding the course of the investigations and performance of investigatory acts save the cases when the law provides that a sanction from the prosecutor is necessary.

One of the petitioners (petition of 8 May 2001) requests an investigation into whether the said provision is in compliance with Article 22 of the Constitution.

While deciding whether the impugned provision of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (wording of 26 June 1961) is in compliance with Article 22 of the Constitution, it needs to be noted that this provision does not provide for a justified court decision. Although some articles (for instance Articles 188, 196, 1982) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, in which individual actions of the investigator are regulated, provide for a court sanction, however, the formula of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (wording of 26 June 1961) that, while carrying out the preparatory investigations, the investigator shall independently adopt all decisions regarding the course of the investigations and performance of investigatory acts save the cases when the law provides that a sanction from the prosecutor is necessary, also means that the investigator adopts, either independently or with a sanction of the prosecutor, but in the absence of a justified court decision, certain investigatory actions whereby the private life of the person is interfered with, too.

It has been mentioned that, under Article 22 of the Constitution, information concerning the private life of a person may be collected upon a justified court decision only and in accordance with the law only.

Taking account of the arguments set forth, it should be concluded that the provision “while carrying out the preparatory investigations, the investigator shall independently adopt all decisions regarding the course of the investigations and performance of investigatory acts save the cases when the law provides that a sanction from the prosecutor is necessary” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (wording of 26 June 1961) to the extent that it establishes the powers for the investigator to adopt the decisions regarding the investigatory acts whereby the private life of the person is interfered with in the absence of a justified court decision conflicts with Article 22 of the Constitution.

11. Paragraph 1 of Article 75 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (wording of 29 January 1975) prescribes that “the interrogator, investigator, prosecutor <…> shall have the right, in the cases at their command, <…> to demand that the enterprises, establishments, organisations and citizens submit items and documents which might be important in the case, to demand that audits be carried out. These requirements must be carried out by all citizens, enterprises, establishments and organisations”.

One of the petitioners (petition of 8 May 2001) requests an investigation into whether the said provision is in compliance with Article 22 of the Constitution.

While deciding whether the impugned provision of Paragraph 1 of Article 75 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (wording of 29 January 1975) is in compliance with Article 22 of the Constitution, it needs to be noted that the said article of the Code of Criminal Procedure is set forth in the Chapter “General Provisions” and that the said article establishes, in the most general sense, ways of collection of the evidence necessary for investigation of crimes and investigation of the criminal case. Individual ways of evidence collection and the procedure of collection thereof are particularised in other articles of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

It needs to be noted that, under the Constitution, the legislature has a duty to establish, by law, such ways and procedure of evidence collection that one would demand items or documents having information about the private life of the person only upon a justified court decision.

The impugned provision of Paragraph 1 of Article 75 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (wording of 29 January 1975) does not mean that the interrogator, investigator or prosecutor have the powers to demand that the enterprises, establishments, organisations and citizens submit items and documents which have information about the private life of a person in the absence of a justified court decision.

Taking account of the arguments set forth, it should be concluded that the provision “the interrogator, investigator, prosecutor <…> shall have the right, in the cases at their command, <…> to demand that the enterprises, establishments, organisations and citizens submit items and documents which might be important in the case, to demand that audits be carried out. These requirements must be carried out by all citizens, enterprises, establishments and organisations” of Paragraph 1 of Article 75 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (wording of 29 January 1975) is in compliance with Article 22 of the Constitution.

III

On the compliance of Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000), Paragraph 4 of Article 57 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 5 July 2002), Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications, Item 4 of Paragraph 3 of Article 7 of the Law on Operational Activities (wording of 22 May 1997), Item 6 of Paragraph 3 of Article 7 of the Law on Operational Activities (wording of 20 June 2002), Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (wording of 26 June 1961) and Paragraph 1 of Article 75 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (wording of 29 January 1975) with Article 23 of the Constitution.

1. Article 23 of the Constitution provides:

Property shall be inviolable.

The rights of ownership shall be protected by law.

Property may only be seized for the needs of society according to the procedure established by law and must be adequately compensated for.”

2. The inviolability and protection of ownership entrenched in Article 23 of the Constitution mean that the owner has the right to possess, use and dispose of the property that belongs to him, also the right to demand that other persons not violate his rights, while the state has a duty to defend and safeguard ownership from unlawful encroachment upon it. One may not establish any legal regulation whereby a constant duty for non-state ownership entities is established to use their property to fulfil the state functions which ought to be financed by state funds.

Ownership includes obligations (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 21 December 2000 and 14 March 2002): this provision expresses a social function of ownership. The owner who has the right to possess, use and dispose of his property, may not violate laws and the rights of other persons. The social function of ownership also implies that a duty may be established for non-state ownership entities to contribute by means of their property to the satisfaction of extraordinary needs of society inasmuch as such a duty to contribute to the satisfaction of these needs under extraordinary circumstances follows from the Constitution.

It also needs to be noted that, under the Constitution, the right of ownership is not absolute also in the respect that it may be limited by law in connection with the nature of an object of property, deeds committed against law and/or a need which is necessary for society and which is constitutionally justified.

Thus, under the Constitution, limitations on the right of ownership are not impossible, however, in all cases one must follow these conditions: the right of ownership is limited by law only; the limitations are necessary in a democratic society in an attempt to protect the rights and freedoms of other persons, the values entrenched in the Constitution and/or constitutionally important objectives; one follows the proportionality principle under which the measures provided for in laws must be in line with the sought objectives which are necessary to society and which are constitutionally justified. Under the Constitution, by means of any limitation on ownership one may not deny the essence of the right of ownership. In its ruling of 18 April 1996, the Constitutional Court held that if a right were limited so that reasonable limits were exceeded, or its legal protection were not ensured, in that case there would be grounds to assert that the essence itself of such a right is violated, which would be equivalent to the denial of this right.

The seizure of property for the needs of society only according to the procedure established by law and with adequate compensation as provided for in Article 23 of the Constitution means, inter alia, that it is not permitted to seize property from the owner if such seizure is not provided for in the law. In its ruling of 2 April 2001, the Constitutional Court held that the needs of society, for which property may be seized according to the procedure established by law and must be adequately compensated for indicated in Paragraph 3 of Article 23 of the Constitution are interests of either the whole or part of society which the state, while implementing its functions, is constitutionally obligated to secure and satisfy; when property is seized for the needs of society, one must strive for the balance between various legitimate interests of society and its members; the needs of society for which property is seized are always particular and clearly expressed needs of society for a concrete object of property; it is permitted to seize property (by adequately compensating for) only for such public needs which would not be objectively met if a certain concrete object of property were not seized; the person whose property is being seized for the needs of society has the right to demand that the established compensation be equivalent in value for the property seized.

3. In the opinion of the petitioners, the impugned provision of Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000) conflicts with Article 23 of the Constitution because: (1) it is at their expense and by their facilities that telecommunications operators must ensure and constantly maintain the technical opportunity for entities of operational activities in order to control, under procedure established by law, the content of the information transmitted via telecommunication networks; (2) telecommunications operators must, under procedure established by the Government, supply information gratis in the scope established by the Government to entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies for restraint, investigation and solution of crimes.

3.1. Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000) establishes a duty for telecommunications operators to ensure and constantly maintain the technical opportunity for entities of operational activities in order to control, under procedure established by law, the content of the information transmitted via telecommunication networks and to do this at their expense and by their facilities.

Telecommunications activity is economic activity, while telecommunications operators are entities of economic activity.

One categorises also such facilities as the facilities to ensure and constantly maintain the technical opportunity to control the content of the information transmitted via telecommunication networks which are pointed out in Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000) which are used in the economic activity of the telecommunications operators and must be maintained at the expense of the telecommunications operators, and also the facilities which are not necessary in the economic activity of the telecommunications operators and which, should a duty for telecommunications operators were not established to ensure and constantly maintain the technical opportunity to control the content of the information transmitted via telecommunication networks for entities of operational activities at their own expense and by their own facilities, would not be maintained at the expense of the telecommunications operators.

Thus, Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000) establishes a duty for telecommunications operators—entities of economic activity—to ensure and constantly maintain, at their expense, the technical opportunities of such facilities necessary to control the content of information transmitted via telecommunications networks which is necessary not in the economic activity of the telecommunications operators, but to ensure and constantly maintain the opportunity for entities of operational activities to control the content of information transmitted via telecommunications network.

It is clear from the legal regulation established in Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000) that the content of information transmitted via telecommunications networks is controlled under procedure established by law in an attempt to restrain, investigate and solve crimes. The restraint, investigation and solution of crimes is a constant function of the state, which must be financed by state funds.

It has been mentioned that the inviolability and protection of property entrenched in Article 23 of the Constitution also means that it is not permitted to establish such legal regulation whereby a constant duty for non-state ownership entities would be established to use their property to fulfil the state functions which ought to be financed by state funds; a duty may be established for non-state ownership entities to contribute by means of their property to the satisfaction of extraordinary needs of society inasmuch as such a duty to contribute to the satisfaction of these needs under extraordinary circumstances follows from the Constitution.

Thus, under the Constitution, a duty may be established for telecommunications operators—non-state property entities—to ensure and constantly maintain the technical opportunities of the facilities necessary to control, under procedure established by law, the content of information transmitted via telecommunications networks for entities of operational activities, however, it is not permitted to establish a duty to maintain the technical opportunities of such facilities which are not necessary in the economic activity of the telecommunications operators at their expense.

Taking account of the arguments set forth, it should be concluded that the provision “telecommunications operators must <…> ensure and constantly maintain, at their expense and by their facilities, the technical opportunity for entities of operational activities in order to control, under procedure established by law, the content of the information transmitted via telecommunication networks” of Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000) to the extent that a duty is established for telecommunications operators—non-state property entities—to ensure and constantly maintain, at their expense, the technical opportunities of the facilities necessary to control the content of information transmitted via telecommunications networks, but which are not necessary in the economic activity of the telecommunications operators, conflicts with Article 23 of the Constitution.

3.2. Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000) establishes a duty for telecommunications operators to supply, under procedure established by the Government, information gratis in the scope established by the Government to entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies for restraint, investigation and solution of crimes about objects of operational activities and other subscribers and their telecommunications which are necessary for investigation.

It needs to be noted that the information transmitted via telecommunications networks is not property of the telecommunications operators.

Under the Constitution, the state must ensure the security of society and public order. It has been mentioned, that the restraint, investigation and solution of crimes is a public interest, therefore, to ensure the normal activities of the institutions of law and order that are performing the said functions, the necessary information must be supplied gratis. This is also implied by the constitutional striving for an open, just and harmonious civil society and a state under the rule of law.

Taking account of the arguments set forth, it should be concluded that the provision “telecommunications operators must <…> under procedure established by the Government, supply information gratis in the scope established by the Government to entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies for restraint, investigation and solution of crimes about objects of operational activities and other subscribers and their telecommunications which are necessary for investigation” of Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000) is in compliance with Article 23 of the Constitution.

4. Paragraph 4 of Article 57 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 5 July 2002) provides, inter alia, that telecommunications operators and providers of telecommunications services: (1) must ensure and constantly maintain, at their expense and by their facilities, the technical opportunity for entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies, in order to control, under procedure established by law and upon a sanction issued by court, the content of the information transmitted via telecommunication networks; (2) must, under procedure established by the Government, supply, gratis, the information established by the Government to entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies for restraint, investigation and solution of crimes about objects of operational activities and other subscribers and their telecommunications which are necessary for investigation.

4.1. It has been mentioned that the impugned provision of Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000) is virtually repeated in Paragraph 4 of Article 57 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 5 July 2002).

4.2. Having held that the provision “telecommunications operators must <…> ensure and constantly maintain, at their expense and by their facilities, the technical opportunity for entities of operational activities in order to control, under procedure established by law, the content of the information transmitted via telecommunication networks” of Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000) to the extent that a duty is established for telecommunications operators—non-state property entities—to ensure and constantly maintain, at their expense, the technical opportunities of the facilities necessary to control the content of information transmitted via telecommunications networks, but which are not necessary in the economic activity of the telecommunications operators, conflicts with Article 23 of the Constitution, one is also to hold that the provision “telecommunications operators and providers of telecommunications services must <…> ensure and constantly maintain, at their expense and by their facilities, the technical opportunity for entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies, in order to control, under procedure established by law and upon a sanction issued by court, the content of the information transmitted via telecommunication networks” of Paragraph 4 of Article 57 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 5 July 2002) to the extent that a duty is established for telecommunications operators and providers of telecommunications services—non-state property entities—to ensure and constantly maintain, at their expense, the technical opportunities of the facilities necessary to control the content of information transmitted via telecommunications networks, but which are not necessary in the economic activity of the telecommunications operators, conflicts with Article 23 of the Constitution.

4.3. Having held that that the provision “telecommunications operators must <…> under procedure established by the Government, supply information gratis in the scope established by the Government to entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies for restraint, investigation and solution of crimes about objects of operational activities and other subscribers and their telecommunications which are necessary for investigation” of Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000) is in compliance with Article 23 of the Constitution, one is also to hold that the provision “telecommunications operators and providers of telecommunications services must <…> under procedure established by the Government, supply, gratis, the information established by the Government to entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies for restraint, investigation and solution of crimes about objects of operational activities and other subscribers and their telecommunications which are necessary for investigation” of Paragraph 4 of Article 57 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 5 July 2002) is in compliance with Article 23 of the Constitution.

5. Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications prescribes: “The Government shall finance the acquisition of the facilities, designated to control the content of the information transmitted via the telecommunication networks, for the telecommunications operators which received licences prior to the entry into effect of this Law. The telecommunications operators shall renew the said facilities and maintain their technological capacities at their expense.”

It needs to be noted that Article 2 of the Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications Paragraph 1 whereof is impugned by one of the petitioners is titled “Implementation of the Law” and the provisions thereof are inseparably linked with the provisions of Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000).

Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications establishes a duty for telecommunications operators—non-state property entities—to ensure and constantly maintain, at their expense, also the technical opportunities of such facilities which are necessary not in the economic activity of the telecommunications operators, but in order that the opportunity be ensured for the entities of operational activities to control the content of information transmitted via telecommunications networks.

It has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that the provision “telecommunications operators must <…> ensure and constantly maintain, at their expense and by their facilities, the technical opportunity for entities of operational activities in order to control, under procedure established by law, the content of the information transmitted via telecommunication networks” of Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000) to the extent that a duty is established for telecommunications operators—non-state property entities—to ensure and constantly maintain, at their expense, the technical opportunities of the facilities necessary to control the content of information transmitted via telecommunications networks, but which are not necessary in the economic activity of the telecommunications operators, conflicts with Article 23 of the Constitution. Alongside, it should be held that the provision “the telecommunications operators shall renew the said facilities and maintain their technological capacities at their expense” of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications to the extent that a duty is established for telecommunications operators—non-state property entities—to ensure and constantly maintain, at their expense, the technical opportunities of the facilities necessary to control the content of information transmitted via telecommunications networks, but which are not necessary in the economic activity of the telecommunications operators, conflicts with Article 23 of the Constitution.

6. One of the petitioners (petition of 8 May 2001) doubts whether the provision of Item 4 of Paragraph 3 of Article 7 of the Law on Operational Activities (wording of 22 May 1997) that, under the procedure established by the Government, the entities of operational activities shall have the right to make use of information held by enterprises, establishments and organisations is in compliance with Article 23 of the Constitution.

The impugned provisions of the said law regulated different relations from those of Article 23 of the Constitution, therefore, it should be concluded that the provision of Item 4 of Paragraph 3 of Article 7 of the Law on Operational Activities (wording of 22 May 1997) that, under the procedure established by the Government, the entities of operational activities shall have the right to make use of information held by enterprises, establishments and organisations was in compliance with Article 23 of the Constitution.

7. Item 6 of Paragraph 3 of Article 7 of the Law on Operational Activities (wording of 20 June 2002) provides that, under the procedure established by the Government or the institutions empowered by the latter, the entities of operational activities shall have the right to receive the information from enterprises, establishments and organisations which is necessary for operational activities.

It has been mentioned that the impugned provision of Item 4 of Paragraph 3 of Article 7 of the Law on Operational Activities (wording of 22 May 1997) is virtually repeated in Item 6 of Paragraph 3 of Article 7 of the Law on Operational Activities (wording of 20 June 2002).

Having held that the provision of Item 4 of Paragraph 3 of Article 7 of the Law on Operational Activities (wording of 22 May 1997) that, under the procedure established by the Government, the entities of operational activities shall have the right to make use of information held by enterprises, establishments and organisations was in compliance with Article 23 of the Constitution, one is also to hold that the provision of Item 6 of Paragraph 3 of Article 7 of the Law on Operational Activities (wording of 20 June 2002) that, under the procedure established by the Government or the institutions empowered by the latter, the entities of operational activities shall have the right to receive the information from enterprises, establishments and organisations which is necessary for operational activities is in compliance with Article 23 of the Constitution.

8. One of the petitioners (petition of 8 May 2001) doubts whether the provision “while carrying out the preparatory investigations, the investigator shall independently adopt all decisions regarding the course of the investigations and performance of investigatory acts save the cases when the law provides that a sanction from the prosecutor is necessary” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (wording of 26 June 1961) is in compliance with Article 23 of the Constitution.

The impugned provisions of the said law regulate different relations from those of Article 23 of the Constitution, therefore, it should be concluded that the provision “while carrying out the preparatory investigations, the investigator shall independently adopt all decisions regarding the course of the investigations and performance of investigatory acts save the cases when the law provides that a sanction from the prosecutor is necessary” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (wording of 26 June 1961) is in compliance with Article 23 of the Constitution.

9. One of the petitioners (petition of 8 May 2001) doubts whether the provision “the interrogator, investigator, prosecutor <…> shall have the right, in the cases at their command, <…> to demand that the enterprises, establishments, organisations and citizens submit items and documents which might be important in the case, to demand that audits be carried out. These requirements must be carried out by all citizens, enterprises, establishments and organisations” of Paragraph 1 of Article 75 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (wording of 29 January 1975) is in compliance with Article 23 of the Constitution.

The impugned provisions of the said law regulate different relations from those of Article 23 of the Constitution, therefore, it should be concluded that the provision “the interrogator, investigator, prosecutor <…> shall have the right, in the cases at their command, <…> to demand that the enterprises, establishments, organisations and citizens submit items and documents which might be important in the case, to demand that audits be carried out. These requirements must be carried out by all citizens, enterprises, establishments and organisations” of Paragraph 1 of Article 75 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (wording of 29 January 1975) is in compliance with Article 23 of the Constitution.

IV

On the compliance of Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000), Paragraph 4 of Article 57 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 5 July 2002), Item 4 of Paragraph 3 of Article 7 of the Law on Operational Activities (wording of 22 May 1997), Item 6 of Paragraph 3 of Article 7 of the Law on Operational Activities (wording of 20 June 2002), Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (wording of 26 June 1961) and Paragraph 1 of Article 75 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (wording of 29 January 1975) with the provision of Article 1 of the Constitution that the State of Lithuania shall be democratic and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

1. Article 1 of the Constitution provides that the State of Lithuania shall be an independent and democratic republic. The provision that the State of Lithuania shall be democratic means that in the state one must ensure the supremacy of the Constitution, the protection of human rights and freedoms, the equality of all persons before the law and the court, the right to judicial defence, free and periodical elections, the separation and balance of powers, the responsibility of authority before the citizens, the democratic process of decision-making, political pluralism, opportunities for development of a civil society, etc. It needs to be noted that the provision that the State of Lithuania shall be democratic is a constitutional obligation not to deviate from the requirements of democracy, which is applicable to all state institutions, including the legislature.

By means of laws or other legal acts that conflict with the Constitution, one violates the principle of supremacy of the Constitution as well as other constitutional values, and by means of such aforesaid laws and legal acts one might also encroach upon the elements of democracy entrenched in the Constitution. However, in itself the statement that a law or other legal act conflicts with the Constitution does not mean that the provision of Article 1 of the Constitution that the State of Lithuania shall be democratic is violated. The Constitutional Court must assess in every individual case whether the legal regulation recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution does not deny the provision of Article 1 of the Constitution that the State of Lithuania shall be democratic.

It needs to be noted that in the Constitution the legal mechanisms of its protection are established, which are designated to protect the Constitution itself as well as the provision of Article 1 thereof that the State of Lithuania shall be democratic. An institute of constitutional control has been established in the Constitution, which permits removing the laws and other acts which conflict with the Constitution from the legal system. The fact is also of essential importance that the judicial protection of the rights and freedoms is established in the Constitution. Article 30 of the Constitution provides that any person whose constitutional rights or freedoms are violated shall have the right to appeal to court.

2. While deciding whether the provisions impugned by the petitioner (petition of 8 May 2001) are in compliance with the provision of Article 1 of the Constitution that the State of Lithuania shall be democratic, it needs to be noted that the said provisions do not deny the democratic essence of the State of Lithuania, the right of a person to appeal to court on the defence of the violated rights, therefore, it should be concluded that they are in compliance with the provision of Article 1 of the Constitution that the State of Lithuania shall be democratic.

3. The principle of a state under the rule of law entrenched in the Constitution also implies, along with the other requirements, that human rights and freedoms must be ensured, that all institutions exercising state authority as well as other state institutions must act on the basis of law and in compliance with law, that the Constitution has the supreme legal power and that the laws, resolutions of the Government as well as other legal acts must be in conformity with the Constitution.

3.1. It has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that:

the provision “telecommunications operators must trace all telecommunications events and their participants” of Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000) to the extent that it establishes a duty for telecommunications operators to trace the telecommunications events and their participants more than it is necessary to ensure the economic activity of the telecommunications operators, thus interfering with the private life of an individual, conflicts with Article 22 of the Constitution,

the provision “telecommunications operators must <…> under procedure established by the Government, supply <…> information in the scope established by the Government to entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies for restraint, investigation and solution of crimes about objects of operational activities and other subscribers and their telecommunications which are necessary for investigation” of Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000) to the extent that it establishes that the Government has the powers to establish the scope of information to be supplied also about the private life of a person, as well as the procedure of its supplying, conflicts with Article 22 of the Constitution,

the provision “telecommunications operators and providers of telecommunications services must, under procedure established by legal acts, trace telecommunications events and their participants” of Paragraph 4 of Article 57 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 5 July 2002) to the extent that it establishes a duty for telecommunications operators and providers of telecommunications services to trace the telecommunications events and their participants more than it is necessary to ensure the economic activity of the telecommunications operators, thus interfering with the private life of an individual, conflicts with Article 22 of the Constitution,

the provision “telecommunications operators and providers of telecommunications services must <…> under procedure established by the Government, supply, gratis, the information established by the Government to entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies for restraint, investigation and solution of crimes about objects of operational activities and other subscribers and their telecommunications which are necessary for investigation” of Paragraph 4 of Article 57 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 5 July 2002) to the extent that it establishes that the Government has the powers to establish the scope of information to be supplied also about the private life of a person, as well as the procedure of its supplying, conflicts with Article 22 of the Constitution,

the provision “telecommunications operators must <…> ensure and constantly maintain, at their expense and by their facilities, the technical opportunity for entities of operational activities in order to control, under procedure established by law, the content of the information transmitted via telecommunication networks” of Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000) to the extent that a duty is established for telecommunications operators—non-state property entities—to ensure and constantly maintain, at their expense, the technical opportunities of the facilities necessary to control the content of information transmitted via telecommunications networks, but which are not necessary in the economic activity of the telecommunications operators, conflicts with Article 23 of the Constitution,

provision “telecommunications operators and providers of telecommunications services must <…> ensure and constantly maintain, at their expense and by their facilities, the technical opportunity for entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies, in order to control, under procedure established by law and upon a sanction issued by court, the content of the information transmitted via telecommunication networks” of Paragraph 4 of Article 57 of the Law on Telecommunications (wording of 5 July 2002) to the extent that a duty is established for telecommunications operators and providers of telecommunications services—non-state property entities—to ensure and constantly maintain, at their expense, the technical opportunities of the facilities necessary to control the content of information transmitted via telecommunications networks, but which are not necessary in the economic activity of the telecommunications operators, conflicts with Article 23 of the Constitution,

the provision of Item 4 of Paragraph 3 of Article 7 of the Law on Operational Activities (wording of 22 May 1997) that, under the procedure established by the Government, the entities of operational activities shall have the right to make use of information held by enterprises, establishments and organisations, to the extent that it established that information may be collected under the procedure established by the Government also about the private life of a person, conflicted with Article 22 of the Constitution,

the provision of Item 6 of Paragraph 3 of Article 7 of the Law on Operational Activities (wording of 20 June 2002) that, under the procedure established by the Government or the institutions empowered by the latter, the entities of operational activities shall have the right to receive the information from enterprises, establishments and organisations which is necessary for operational activities, to the extent that it provides that information may be collected under the procedure established by the Government or the institutions empowered by the latter also about the private life of a person, conflicts with Article 22 of the Constitution,

the provision “while carrying out the preparatory investigations, the investigator shall independently adopt all decisions regarding the course of the investigations and performance of investigatory acts save the cases when the law provides that a sanction from the prosecutor is necessary” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (wording of 26 June 1961) to the extent that it establishes the powers for the investigator to adopt the decisions regarding the investigatory acts whereby the private life of the person is interfered with in the absence of a justified court decision conflicts with Article 22 of the Constitution.

3.2. Having held that the aforementioned provisions (to the extent pointed out) infringe the inviolability and protection of the private life of a person, as well as the protection and inviolability of ownership, which are enshrined in the Constitution, it should also be held that the aforementioned provisions (to the extent pointed out) conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

3.3. The other provisions of the laws the compliance of which with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law is impugned by the petitioner (petition of 8 May 2001) and which are not recognised as conflicting with Article 22 and/or Article 23 of the Constitution are in compliance with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

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

ruling:

To recognise that:

1. The provision “telecommunications operators must trace all telecommunications events and their participants” of Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000) to the extent that it establishes a duty for telecommunications operators to trace the telecommunications events and their participants more than it is necessary to ensure the economic activity of the telecommunications operators, thus interfering with the private life of an individual, conflicts with Article 22 the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

2. The provision “telecommunications operators must <…> under procedure established by the Government, supply <…> information in the scope established by the Government to entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies for restraint, investigation and solution of crimes about objects of operational activities and other subscribers and their telecommunications which are necessary for investigation” of Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000) to the extent that it establishes that the Government has the powers to establish the scope of information to be supplied also about the private life of a person, as well as the procedure of its supplying, conflicts with Article 22 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

3. The provision “telecommunications operators must <…> ensure and constantly maintain, at their expense and by their facilities, the technical opportunity for entities of operational activities in order to control, under procedure established by law, the content of the information transmitted via telecommunication networks” of Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Telecommunications (wording of 11 July 2000) to the extent that a duty is established for telecommunications operators—non-state property entities—to ensure and constantly maintain, at their expense, the technical opportunities of the facilities necessary to control the content of information transmitted via telecommunications networks, but which are not necessary in the economic activity of the telecommunications operators, conflicts with Article 23 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

4. The provision “the telecommunications operators shall renew the said facilities and maintain their technological capacities at their expense” of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on the Amendment of Article 27 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Telecommunications to the extent that a duty is established for telecommunications operators—non-state property entities—to ensure and constantly maintain, at their expense, the technical opportunities of the facilities necessary to control the content of information transmitted via telecommunications networks, but which are not necessary in the economic activity of the telecommunications operators, conflicts with Article 23 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

5. The provision “telecommunications operators and providers of telecommunications services must, under procedure established by legal acts, trace telecommunications events and their participants” of Paragraph 4 of Article 57 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Telecommunications (wording of 5 July 2002) to the extent that it establishes a duty for telecommunications operators and providers of telecommunications services to trace the telecommunications events and their participants more than it is necessary to ensure the economic activity of the telecommunications operators, thus interfering with the private life of an individual, conflicts with Article 22 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

6. The provision “telecommunications operators and providers of telecommunications services must <…> under procedure established by the Government, supply, gratis, the information established by the Government to entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies for restraint, investigation and solution of crimes about objects of operational activities and other subscribers and their telecommunications which are necessary for investigation” of Paragraph 4 of Article 57 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Telecommunications (wording of 5 July 2002) to the extent that it establishes that the Government has the powers to establish the scope of information to be supplied also about the private life of a person, as well as the procedure of its supplying, conflicts with Article 22 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

7. The provision “telecommunications operators and providers of telecommunications services must <…> under procedure established by the Government, supply, gratis, the information established by the Government to entities of operational activities, interrogative and investigating bodies for restraint, investigation and solution of crimes about objects of operational activities and other subscribers and their telecommunications which are necessary for investigation” of Paragraph 4 of Article 57 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Telecommunications (wording of 5 July 2002) to the extent that a duty is established for telecommunications operators and providers of telecommunications services—non-state property entities—to ensure and constantly maintain, at their expense, the technical opportunities of the facilities necessary to control the content of information transmitted via telecommunications networks, but which are not necessary in the economic activity of the telecommunications operators, conflicts with Article 23 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

8. The provision of Item 4 of Paragraph 3 of Article 7 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Operational Activities (wording of 22 May 1997) that, under the procedure established by the Government, the entities of operational activities shall have the right to make use of information held by enterprises, establishments and organisations, to the extent that it established that information may be collected under the procedure established by the Government also about the private life of a person, conflicted with Article 22 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

9. The provision of Item 6 of Paragraph 3 of Article 7 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Operational Activities (wording of 20 June 2002) that, under the procedure established by the Government or the institutions empowered by the latter, the entities of operational activities shall have the right to receive the information from enterprises, establishments and organisations which is necessary for operational activities, to the extent that it provides that information may be collected under the procedure established by the Government or the institutions empowered by the latter also about the private life of a person, conflicts with Article 22 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

10. The provision “while carrying out the preparatory investigations, the investigator shall independently adopt all decisions regarding the course of the investigations and performance of investigatory acts save the cases when the law provides that a sanction from the prosecutor is necessary” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 26 June 1961) to the extent that it establishes the powers for the investigator to adopt the decisions regarding the investigatory acts whereby the private life of the person is interfered with in the absence of a justified court decision conflicts with Article 22 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

11. The provision “the interrogator, investigator, prosecutor <…> shall have the right, in the cases at their command, <…> to demand that the enterprises, establishments, organisations and citizens submit items and documents which might be important in the case, to demand that audits be carried out. These requirements must be carried out by all citizens, enterprises, establishments and organisations” of Article 75 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 29 January 1975) is in compliance with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

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

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

Justices of the Constitutional Court:                                                  Armanas Abramavičius

Egidijus Jarašiūnas

Egidijus Kūris

Kęstutis Lapinskas

Zenonas Namavičius

Augustinas Normantas

Jonas Prapiestis

Vytautas Sinkevičius

Stasys Stačiokas