Lt

On accepting a petition of the petitioner

 

THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

DECISION

ON ACCEPTING THE PETITION OF THE SEIMAS OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA, THE PETITIONER, SET FORTH IN ITS RESOLUTION (NO. XI-209) “ON THE APPLICATION TO THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA WITH THE PETITION REQUESTING AN INVESTIGATION INTO WHETHER THE PROVISIONS OF THE FIFTH, SIXTH AND EIGHTH PARAGRAPHS OF THE RESOLUTION OF THE SEIMAS OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA ‘ON THE PRINCIPLES OF ORGANISATION OF THE LITHUANIAN ARMED FORCES’ OF 13 MARCH 2008, THE PROVISION OF THE SECOND SENTENCE OF ITEM 18 OF THE CONCEPTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA’S LAW ON MILITARY CONSCRIPTION WITH ITS NEW WORDING AS APPROVED BY THE RESOLUTION OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA (NO. 620) ‘ON APPROVING THE CONCEPTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA’S LAW ON MILITARY CONSCRIPTION WITH ITS NEW WORDING’ OF 18 JUNE 2008, ITEM 2 OF PARAGRAPH 2 OF ARTICLE 3 OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA’S LAW ON ESTABLISHING THE PRINCIPAL STRUCTURE OF THE ARMED FORCES IN 2008, ESTABLISHING THE PLANNED PRINCIPAL STRUCTURE OF THE ARMED FORCES IN 2013 AND APPROVING THE MARGIN NUMBER OF STATUTORY SERVANTS IN THE CIVIL NATIONAL DEFENCE SERVICE AND ITEM 2 OF PARAGRAPH 2 OF ARTICLE 3 OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA’S LAW ON ESTABLISHING THE PRINCIPAL STRUCTURE OF THE ARMED FORCES IN 2009, ESTABLISHING THE PLANNED PRINCIPAL STRUCTURE OF THE ARMED FORCES IN 2014 AND APPROVING THE MARGIN NUMBER OF STATUTORY SERVANTS IN THE CIVIL NATIONAL DEFENCE SERVICE ARE NOT IN CONFLICT WITH THE SECOND PARAGRAPH OF ARTICLE 3, THE SECOND PARAGRAPH OF ARTICLE 5, THE FIRST AND THE SECOND PARAGRAPHS OF ARTICLE 139 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA AND WITH THE CONSTITUTIONAL PRINCIPLE OF A STATE UNDER THE RULE OF LAW” OF 26 MARCH 2009

3 April 2009

Vilnius

 

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, composed of the Justices of the Constitutional Court: Armanas Abramavičius, Toma Birmontienė, Pranas Kuconis, Kęstutis Lapinskas, Zenonas Namavičius, Ramutė Ruškytė, Egidijus Šileikis, Algirdas Taminskas, and Romualdas Kęstutis Urbaitis

The court reporter—Daiva Pitrėnaitė

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, in its procedural sitting, considered the petition of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, the petitioner, set forth in its Resolution (No. XI-209) “On the Application to the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania with the Petition Requesting an Investigation into Whether the Provisions of the Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Paragraphs of the Resolution of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania ‘On the Principles of Organisation of the Lithuanian Armed Forces’ of 13 March 2008, the Provision of the Second Sentence of Item 18 of the Conception of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Military Conscription with Its New Wording as Approved by the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 620) ‘On Approving the Conception of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Military Conscription with its New Wording’ of 18 June 2008, Item 2 of Paragraph 2 of Article 3 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Establishing the Principal Structure of the Armed Forces in 2008, Establishing the Planned Principal Structure of the Armed Forces in 2013 and Approving the Margin Number of Statutory Servants in the Civil National Defence Service and Item 2 of Paragraph 2 of Article 3 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Establishing the Principal Structure of the Armed Forces in 2009, Establishing the Planned Principal Structure of the Armed Forces in 2014 and Approving the Margin Number of Statutory Servants in the Civil National Defence Service are not in Conflict with the Second Paragraph of Article 3, the Second Paragraph of Article 5, the First and the Second Paragraphs of Article 139 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, and with the Constitutional Principle of a State under the Rule of Law” of 26 March 2009 (hereinafter referred to as Seimas resolution No. XI-209 of 26 March 2009) requesting an investigation into whether the provision “it is expedient to switch to the Lithuanian armed forces organised on the grounds of professional and volunteer military service” of the Seimas Resolution “On the Principles of Organisation of the Lithuanian Armed Forces” of 13 March 2008, the provision of the sixth paragraph thereof to the extent that it provides to retain the obligatory military service only in case of mobilisation and to reconsider the need of the obligatory initial military service every year by approving the margin numbers of soldiers by a Seimas decision, the provision of the eighth paragraph thereof to the extent that it proposes that the Government present the Seimas the margin numbers of soldiers for approval, established after having taken account of the needs of switching to the armed forces organised on the grounds of professional and volunteer military service, the provision “shall establish the additional new grounds for the postponement of the obligatory initial military service which will provide that the obligatory initial military and alternative service of the national defence may be postponed for all the conscripts if the law which regulates the principal structure of the armed forces of the corresponding year provides that the margin number of soldiers of the obligatory initial military service is 0” of Item 18 of the Conception of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Military Conscription with Its New Wording as approved by the Government Resolution (No. 620) “On Approving the Conception of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Military Conscription with Its New Wording” of 18 June 2008, Item 2 of Paragraph 2 of Article 3 of the Law on Establishing the Principal Structure of the Armed Forces in 2008, Establishing the Planned Principal Structure of the Armed Forces in 2013 and Approving the Margin Number of Statutory Servants in the Civil National Defence Service, as well as Item 2 of Paragraph 2 of Article 3 of the Law on Establishing the Principal Structure of the Armed Forces in 2009, Establishing the Planned Principal Structure of the Armed Forces in 2014 and Approving the Margin Number of Statutory Servants in the Civil National Defence Service are not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 3, Paragraph 2 of Article 5 and Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 139 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

The Constitutional Court

has established:

1. On 26 March 2009, the Seimas, the petitioner, adopted resolution No. XI-209, in Article 1 of which it set forth the petition requesting an investigation into whether the provision “it is expedient to switch to the Lithuanian armed forces organised on the grounds of professional and volunteer military service” of the fifth paragraph of the Seimas Resolution “On the Principles of Organisation of the Lithuanian Armed Forces” of 13 March 2008, the provision of the sixth paragraph thereof to the extent that it provides to retain the obligatory military service only in case of mobilisation and to reconsider the need of the obligatory initial military service every year by approving the margin numbers of soldiers by a Seimas decision, the provision of the eighth paragraph thereof to the extent that it proposes that the Government present the Seimas the margin numbers of soldiers for approval, established after having taken account of the needs of switching to the armed forces organised on the grounds of professional and volunteer military service, the provision “shall establish the additional new grounds for the postponement of the obligatory initial military service which will provide that the obligatory initial military and alternative service of the national defence may be postponed for all the conscripts if the law which regulates the principal structure of the armed forces of the corresponding year provides that the margin number of soldiers of the obligatory initial military service is 0” of Item 18 of the Conception of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Military Conscription with Its New Wording as approved by the Government Resolution (No. 620) “On Approving the Conception of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Military Conscription with Its New Wording” of 18 June 2008, Item 2 of Paragraph 2 of Article 3 of the Law on Establishing the Principal Structure of the Armed Forces in 2008, Establishing the Planned Principal Structure of the Armed Forces in 2013 and Approving the Margin Number of Statutory Servants in the Civil National Defence Service, as well as Item 2 of Paragraph 2 of Article 3 of the Law on Establishing the Principal Structure of the Armed Forces in 2009, Establishing the Planned Principal Structure of the Armed Forces in 2014 and Approving the Margin Number of Statutory Servants in the Civil National Defence Service are not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 3, Paragraph 2 of Article 5 and Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 139 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

2. This petition of the Seimas, the petitioner, was officially published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” on 2 April 2009 (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 36-1377); it was registered at the Constitutional Court on 1 April 2009.

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

1. Under Paragraph 1 of Article 102 and Paragraph 1 and Item 2 of Paragraph 2 of Article 105 of the Constitution, an investigation into the compliance of laws and other legal acts adopted by the Seimas, as well as acts of the Government, shall be assigned to the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court.

2. Under Paragraph 1 of Article 106 of the Constitution, the Government, not less than 1/5 of all the members of the Seimas, and courts, shall have the right to apply to the Constitutional Court concerning the conformity of the acts specified in the First Paragraph of Article 105, i.e. the laws and other legal acts adopted by the Seimas, with the Constitution. Under Paragraph 3 of this article, not less than 1/5 of all the members of the Seimas, courts, as well as the President of the Republic, shall have the right to apply to the Constitutional Court concerning the conformity of acts of the Government with the Constitution. Under Paragraph 4 of the same article, the resolution of the Seimas asking for an investigation into the conformity of an act with the Constitution shall suspend the validity of the act.

While construing these provisions in a systemic manner, it needs to be held that the Seimas in corpore has the constitutional powers to apply, by means of a resolution, to the Constitutional Court and request an investigation into the compliance of laws and other legal acts adopted by the Seimas, as well as acts of the Government, with the Constitution.

3. Under Paragraph 1 of Article 26 (wording of 28 October 2003) of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Constitutional Court, in cases when the Constitutional Court receives a resolution of the Seimas wherein it is requested to investigate whether a law is in compliance with the Constitution, the preliminary investigation of that material must be carried out not later than within 3 days, and the issue of whether to accept the petition for consideration in the Constitutional Court must be settled during its organisational sitting.

The corresponding decision of the Constitutional Court neither approves of nor denies the arguments on which the Seimas, the petitioner, grounds its position; when adopting such decisions, the fact of essential significance is whether the petition of the petitioner is grounded on legal reasoning (the Constitutional Court’s decisions of 15 December 2006, 8 January 2008, and 8 October 2008).

4. The petition set forth in Seimas resolution No. XI-209 of 26 March 2009 is grounded on legal reasoning.

5. It has been mentioned that, under Paragraph 4 of the Article 106 of the Constitution, the resolution of the Seimas asking for an investigation into the conformity of an act with the Constitution shall suspend the validity of the act. Under Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution, a law (or part thereof) of the Republic of Lithuania or another act (or part thereof) of the Seimas, an act of the President of the Republic, an act (or part thereof) of the Government may not be applied from the day of official publication of the decision of the Constitutional Court that the act in question (or part thereof) is in conflict with the Constitution. While construing these provisions in a systemic manner, it needs to be held that the decision of the Constitutional Court to accept a petition set forth in the Seimas resolution requesting an investigation into whether the provisions of laws, other acts of the Seimas and acts of the Government comply with the Constitution suspends the validity of the corresponding provisions.

Under Paragraph 2 of Article 26 (wording of 28 October 2003) of the Law on the Constitutional Court, if the Constitutional Court adopts a decision to accept a petition for consideration, the President of the Constitutional Court shall immediately give an official announcement about it in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” as well as on the Internet website of the Constitutional Court. In this announcement, the President of the Constitutional Court must state the exact title of the impugned act, the date of its adoption, and that, in accordance with Article 106 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, the validity of the aforementioned act (part thereof) is suspended from the day of this official announcement until a ruling of the Constitution Court concerning this case is published.

Under Paragraph 3 of Article 26 (wording of 28 October 2003) of the Law on the Constitutional Court, in cases when the Constitutional Court, having considered a case, adopts the ruling that the impugned act or part thereof is not in conflict with the Constitution, the President of the Constitutional Court shall immediately make an official announcement about it under procedure established in Paragraph 2 of this article. In this announcement, the President of the Constitutional Court shall state the exact title of the impugned act, the date of its adoption, the essence of the ruling of the Constitutional Court concerning this issue, the date of its adoption, and that the validity of the suspended act (part thereof) shall be restored from the day that this ruling is published.

Conforming to Paragraph 1 and Item 2 of Paragraph 2 of Article 105 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and Articles 26, 28 and 63 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania adopts the following

decision:

To accept the petition set forth in the Resolution of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania (No. XI-209) “On the Application to the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania with the Petition Requesting an Investigation into Whether the Provisions of the Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Paragraphs of the Resolution of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania ‘On the Principles of Organisation of the Lithuanian Armed Forces’ of 13 March 2008, the Provision of the Second Sentence of Item 18 of the Conception of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Military Conscription with Its New Wording as Approved by the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 620) ‘On Approving the Conception of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Military Conscription with its New Wording’ of 18 June 2008, Item 2 of Paragraph 2 of Article 3 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Establishing the Principal Structure of the Armed Forces in 2008, Establishing the Planned Principal Structure of the Armed Forces in 2013 and Approving the Margin Number of Statutory Servants in the Civil National Defence Service and Item 2 of Paragraph 2 of Article 3 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Establishing the Principal Structure of the Armed Forces in 2009, Establishing the Planned Principal Structure of the Armed Forces in 2014 and Approving the Margin Number of Statutory Servants in the Civil National Defence Service are not in Conflict with the Second Paragraph of Article 3, the Second Paragraph of Article 5, the First and the Second Paragraphs of Article 139 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, and with the Constitutional Principle of a State under the Rule of Law” of 26 March 2009 requesting an investigation into whether the provision “it is expedient to switch to the Lithuanian armed forces organised on the grounds of professional and volunteer military service” of the fifth paragraph of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania Resolution “On the Principles of Organisation of the Lithuanian Armed Forces” of 13 March 2008, the provision of the sixth paragraph thereof to the extent that it provides to retain the obligatory military service only in case of mobilisation and to reconsider the need of the obligatory initial military service every year by approving the margin numbers of soldiers by a Seimas decision, the provision of the eighth paragraph thereof to the extent that it proposes that the Government present the Seimas the margin numbers of soldiers for approval, established after having taken account of the needs of switching to the armed forces organised on the grounds of professional and volunteer military service, the provision “shall establish the additional new grounds for the postponement of the obligatory initial military service which will provide that the obligatory initial military and alternative service of the national defence may be postponed for all the conscripts if the law which regulates the principal structure of the armed forces of the corresponding year provides that the margin number of soldiers of the obligatory initial military service is 0” of Item 18 of the Conception of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Military Conscription with Its New Wording as approved by the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 620) “On Approving the Conception of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Military Conscription with Its New Wording” of 18 June 2008, Item 2 of Paragraph 2 of Article 3 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Establishing the Principal Structure of the Armed Forces in 2008, Establishing the Planned Principal Structure of the Armed Forces in 2013 and Approving the Margin Number of Statutory Servants in the Civil National Defence Service, as well as Item 2 of Paragraph 2 of Article 3 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Establishing the Principal Structure of the Armed Forces in 2009, Establishing the Planned Principal Structure of the Armed Forces in 2014 and Approving the Margin Number of Statutory Servants in the Civil National Defence Service are not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 3, Paragraph 2 of Article 5 and Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 139 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

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

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

Justices of the Constitutional Court: Armanas Abramavičius
                                                                     Toma Birmontienė
                                                                     Pranas Kuconis
                                                                     Kęstutis Lapinskas
                                                                     Zenonas Namavičius
                                                                     Ramutė Ruškytė
                                                                     Egidijus Šileikis
                                                                     Algirdas Taminskas
                                                                     Romualdas Kęstutis Urbaitis