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On the property which used to be possessed by state trade unions

Case No. 40/01

 

THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

RULING

ON THE COMPLIANCE OF THE LEGAL ACTS BY WHICH QUESTIONS OF THE PROPERTY FORMERLY POSSESSED BY TRADE UNIONS WHICH USED TO FUNCTION IN LITHUANIA PRIOR TO THE RESTORATION OF THE INDEPENDENT STATE OF LITHUANIA WITH THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

30 September 2003
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

Saulius Švedas, a consultant to the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas, acting as the representative 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 as well as Paragraph 3 of Article 54 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, on 7 August 2003 and 9 September 2003, in its public hearings considered case No. 40/01 subsequent to the petition of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether the provisions of Item 8 of Article 2 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR [Soviet Socialist Republic]” and Paragraph 5 (wording of 20 July 2000) of Article 3 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions that the Anykščiai rehabilitation centre (former rest-house “Šilelis”) is transferred into the ownership of trade unions, to the extent that also the administrative building was transferred, which is registered in the Real Property Register as property object 2.12, unique No. 34/962-0056-01-0, are not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

The Constitutional Court

has established:

I

The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania, the petitioner, was considering an administrative case under appeal procedure. The said court suspended the consideration of the case by its ruling and applied to the Constitutional Court with the petition requesting an investigation into whether the provisions of Item 8 of Article 2 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 1995, No. 51-1248) and Paragraph 5 (wording of 20 July 2000) of Article 3 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2000, No. 67-2018) that the Anykščiai rehabilitation centre (former rest-house “Šilelis”) is transferred into the ownership of trade unions, to the extent that also the administrative building was transferred, which is registered in the Real Property Register as property object 2.12, unique No. 34/962-0056-01-0, are not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution.

II

The petition of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania, the petitioner, is based on the following arguments.

1. The guarantees of the protection of the rights of ownership as established in Article 23 of the Constitution should be applied not only for protection of the rights of ownership enjoyed by persons: one has also to take account of the said guarantees while protecting the legitimate interests of the persons whose rights of ownership were discontinued by the occupation government. The principle of inviolability of property entrenched in the same article of the Constitution means that the subject of property is guaranteed the right to demand that other persons not violate his rights of ownership. The legislature has a duty to adopt laws which protect the rights of the owner against illegal encroachment. No one may seize property in an arbitrary manner and on the basis of unlawfulness.

2. In the opinion of the petitioner, the rule established in the norms of Item 8 of Article 2 of the Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” and Paragraph 5 (wording of 20 July 2000) of Article 3 of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions under which a building, which, before the nationalisation used to be possessed by a person by right of ownership, which is in the complex of buildings of the Anykščiai rehabilitation centre (former rest-house “Šilelis”), which is registered in the Real Property Register as property object 2.12, unique No. 34/962-0056-01-0, is transferred into the ownership of trade unions of Lithuania, thus, preventing the heirs of the former owner from retrieving the formerly possessed property in kind. It is only permitted that the rights of the heirs of the former owner be restricted in such a manner only in the presence of a concrete and clearly expressed need of society in regard of this object of property. However, the aforesaid laws do not point out any such need of society. Therefore, the petitioner doubts whether the legislature by restricting, by means of a law, the right of the heirs of the former owner to retrieve the formerly possessed property and by transferring the building, which used to be possessed by right of private ownership, to other persons, although there was not any concrete and clearly expressed need of society, did not violate the constitutional right of the heirs of the former owner to inviolability of property and whether it properly discharged its duty to adopt laws protecting the rights of ownership of the owner against illegal encroachment.

III

In the course of the preparation of the case for the Constitutional Court hearing written explanations were received from the representative of the party concerned, the Seimas, who was S. Švedas, a consultant to the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas.

1. The representative of the party concerned asserts that the Seimas, by passing, on 28 June 1995, the Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”, did not have information that one of the buildings of the Anykščiai rehabilitation centre (former rest-house “Šilelis”) had been nationalised, and that until the nationalisation it used to be possessed by right of private ownership by the mother of the claimant in the administrative case. In the archives of the Republic of Lithuania there were no data that the mother of the claimant in the administrative case used to possess by right of private ownership a residential house (villa) which is registered in the Real Property Register as property object 2.12, unique No. 34/962-0056-01-0. Neither the claimant in the administrative case nor his mother had any documents confirming the rights of ownership to the said building. It was only by the 20 November 1998 decision of the Anykščiai District Local Court that a fact of juridical importance was established that before the nationalisation the mother of the claimant in the administrative case possessed by right of private ownership a residential house (villa) which is registered in the Real Property Register as property object 2.12, unique No. 34/962-0056-01-0.

2. S. Švedas noted that the 20 July 2000 Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions was adopted while taking account of the valid Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” by Article 2 whereof the Anykščiai rehabilitation centre was recognised property of trade unions of Lithuania. While adopting the law, the Seimas did not have any information that the rights of ownership to one building (former rest-house “Šilelis”) of the Anykščiai rehabilitation centre was being claimed by the claimant in the administrative case.

3. S. Švedas also pointed out that, although one did not discuss the issue of seizure of the building which is registered in the Real Property Register as property object 2.12, unique No. 34/962-0056-01-0 for the needs of society at the time of the adoption of the impugned provisions, in his opinion, the transference of this building to independent trade unions of Lithuania, voluntary and self-dependent organisations of Lithuanian people, which defend the professional, economic and social rights and interests of employees, was in conformity with a clearly expressed need of society with regard to the said building.

4. In the opinion of the representative of the party concerned, the provisions of Item 8 of Article 2 of the Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” and Paragraph 5 (wording of 20 July 2000) of Article 3 of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions that the Anykščiai rehabilitation centre (former rest-house “Šilelis”) is transferred into the ownership of trade unions, to the extent that also the administrative building was transferred, which is registered in the Real Property Register as property object 2.12, unique No. 34/962-0056-01-0, are not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution.

IV

In the course of the preparation of the case for the judicial consideration, written explanations were received from P. Čėsna, Minister of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania, J. Liaučius, Auditor General of the Republic of Lithuania, and P. Milašauskas, Director General of the state-owned enterprise “Valstybės turto fondas”.

V

At the Constitutional Court hearing which took place on 7 August 2003, the representative of the party concerned, the Seimas, who was S. Švedas, a consultant to the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas, virtually reiterated the arguments set forth in his written explanations.

VI

On 27 August 2003, the Constitutional Court, having established that it was necessary to ascertain new circumstances, to investigate new evidence connected with the change in the legal status of the property possessed by state trade unions that used to function in Lithuania before the restoration of the independent State of Lithuania, its transference to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, to trade unions of Lithuania and/or other entities, adopted a decision on the renewal of the consideration of the case and resolved to summon witnesses to the Constitutional Court hearing and to demand additional documents and material from the Government of the Republic of Lithuania and the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania.

VII

On 8 September 2003, the Constitutional Court received additional written explanations from the representative of the party concerned, the Seimas, who was S. Švedas, a consultant to the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas.

VIII

In its 9 September 2003 hearing, the Constitutional Court heard the representative of the party concerned, the Seimas, who was S. Švedas, a consultant to the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas, who virtually reiterated the arguments set forth in his written explanations. It also questioned the witnesses summoned to the hearing: A. Balsienė, President of the trade union “Solidarumas”, V. Blaževičius, Director of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, K. Kuzminskas, Chairperson of the Labour Federation of Lithuania, A. Kvedaravičius, Vice-chairperson of the Confederation of Trade Unions of Lithuania, L. Radzevičius, former Chairperson of the Labour Federation of Lithuania, A. Sysas, Chairperson of the Confederation of Trade Unions of Lithuania and Chairperson of the Fund for Support of Trade Unions of Lithuania, H. Stankevičius, Director of the public enterprise “Anykščių šilelis”, A. Zvicevičius, former Director of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment.

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

I

1. On 8 June 1995, the Seimas adopted the Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” in Item 8 of Article 2 whereof it is established:

The following objects and the property and funds registered in their balance shall be recognised as property of trade unions of Lithuania and transferred to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment: <…>

8) Anykščiai rehabilitation centre (former rest-house “Šilelis”).”

The Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” was subsequently amended, however, Item 8 of Article 2 thereof has remained unchanged.

2. On 20 July 2000, the Seimas adopted the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions, Paragraph 5 of Article 3 whereof provides: “The Anykščiai rehabilitation centre (former rest-house ‘Šilelis’) and the rest-house ‘Neringos kopos’ (former rest-house ‘Neringa’) shall be transferred, in equal portions, as common shared ownership to the Labour Federation of Lithuania, the Lithuanian Trade Unions Centre, the Workers Union of Lithuania and the Alliance of Trade Unions of Lithuania.”

3. In the complex of buildings of the Anykščiai rehabilitation centre (former rest-house “Šilelis”) indicated in the aforementioned provisions of Item 8 of Article 2 of the Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” and Paragraph 5 of Article 3 of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions (wording of 20 July 2000) there is an administrative building (Vilniaus St. 80, Anykščiai), which is registered in the Real Property Register as property object 2.12, unique No. 34/962-0056-01-0.

4. The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania, the petitioner, in the course of the consideration of the administrative case had doubts as to whether the provision of Item 8 of Article 2 of the Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” that the Anykščiai rehabilitation centre (former rest-house “Šilelis”) is transferred into the ownership of trade unions, to the extent that also the administrative building was transferred, which is registered in the Real Property Register as property object 2.12, unique No. 34/962-0056-01-0 and the provision of Paragraph 5 of Article 3 of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions (wording of 20 July 2000) that the Anykščiai rehabilitation centre (former rest-house “Šilelis”) is transferred into the ownership of trade unions, to the extent that also the administrative building was transferred, which is registered in the Real Property Register as property object 2.12, unique No. 34/962-0056-01-0, are not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution.

5. The Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions was amended by the 22 January 2002 Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Amending the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions and set forth in a new wording (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2002, No. 15-549).

Paragraph 5 of Article 3 of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions (wording of 22 January 2002) provides: “The public enterprise ‘Anykščių šilelis’ (former rest-house ‘Šilelis’) and ‘Neringos kopos’ UAB (former rest-house ‘Neringa’) shall be transferred, in equal portions, as common shared ownership to the Labour Federation of Lithuania, the Lithuanian Trade Unions Centre, the Workers Union of Lithuania and the Alliance of Trade Unions of Lithuania.”

II

1. It is clear from the material of the administrative case which is considered by the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania that the complex of buildings of the Anykščiai rehabilitation centre (former rest-house “Šilelis”) which is at Vilniaus St. 80, Anykščiai, in which there is an administrative building, which is registered in the Real Property Register as property object 2.12, unique No. 34/962-0056-01-0, on the grounds of resolution No. 25 of 27 October 1960 adopted by the Presidium of the Soviet of the Lithuanian Republic Trade Unions, by the conveyance-reception act of 23 November 1960 was transferred to the Resorts Management Soviet of the Lithuanian Republic Trade Unions. On 7 September 1971, the Executive Committee of the Soviet of People’s Deputies of the Anykščiai District of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic adopted decision No. 238 in which it was resolved “to recognise state ownership with regard to the complex of buildings of the rest-house ‘Šilelis’”.

2. It is clear from the material of the considered administrative case that before the nationalisation the aforesaid administrative building belonged by right of private ownership to the parents of the claimant in the administrative case. On 19 December 1997, the claimant in the administrative case, as the heir of the private property possessed by right of private ownership before the nationalisation, filed a request with the Anykščiai town Land Planning Division for restoration of ownership rights. The heir was restored the rights of ownership by ordinance No. 375p of 22 April 1999 issued by the mayor of the Anykščiai district, whereby it was decided “for the house purchased to compensate in cash of LTL 58,000 (market value), since the residential house had been acquired as private ownership by law”. The claimant in the administrative case filed a complaint with the Panevėžys Regional Administrative Court, requesting the returning of the said building in kind and to recognise the registration of the right of ownership as illegal, performed on 7 December 2000 by the Utena branch of the state enterprise the Land and Other Real Property Cadastre and Register in the name of the Labour Federation of Lithuania, the Lithuanian Trade Unions Centre, the Workers Union of Lithuania, the Alliance of Trade Unions of Lithuania, and the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment. The Panevėžys Regional Administrative Court adopted a decision whereby it obligated the Anykščiai district municipality to restore, under the procedure and within the time length established by law, the right of ownership to the aforesaid administrative building to the claimant in the administrative case, but it rejected the complaint in the part concerning the recognition of the registration of the right of ownership as illegal, performed on 7 December 2000 by the Utena branch of the state enterprise the Land and Other Real Property Cadastre and Register as groundless. The petitioner in the administrative case lodged an appeal with the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania, requesting changing the decision of the Panevėžys Regional Administrative Court and restore the said building in kind, also, to recognise the registration of the right of ownership as illegal, performed on 7 December 2000 by the Utena branch of the state enterprise the Land and Other Real Property Cadastre and Register in the name of the Labour Federation of Lithuania, the Lithuanian Trade Unions Centre, the Workers Union of Lithuania, the Alliance of Trade Unions of Lithuania, and the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment.

III

1. While deciding whether the legal provisions impugned by the petitioner are not in conflict with the Constitution, one has to ascertain the status of the property possessed by the trade unions, which had functioned before the restoration of the independent State of Lithuania, after the independent State of Lithuania was restored, also to establish how the issues of the property possessed by these trade unions had been decided before the 25 October 1992 Constitution adopted by the referendum of the Nation went into effect.

2. On 11 March 1990, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania adopted the Act on the Re-establishment of the Independent State of Lithuania. On the same day the Supreme Council adopted the Provisional Basic Law of the Republic of Lithuania in Article 44 whereof it was established that the economy of Lithuania shall be based on the property of the Republic of Lithuania, which shall consist of the private property of its citizens, the property of groups of citizens, and state-owned property.

3. Until the restoration of the independent State of Lithuania, the trade unions which functioned in Lithuania were a part of the system of USSR trade unions, virtually they were a part of the state mechanism of the USSR through which the state discharged certain social and other functions. In the 30 July 1990 Supreme Council Resolution “On the Support for Newly Established Trade Unions and on the Property of Former State Trade Union Organisations” it is emphasised that “the trade unions which functioned in the Lithuanian SSR, while imposing membership fees by force, which was sanctioned by the state, represented the interests of the system of the state party rule, but not those of the Lithuanian people. Such trade unions were state organisations but not public organisations.”

4. Upon the restoration of the independent State of Lithuania, the issues of the property formerly possessed by USSR institutions were also decided. By the 13 March 1990 Supreme Council Resolution “On the Status of the Enterprises, Establishments and Organisations Which are under the Union or the Union-Republic Jurisdiction” it was decided that on the day of the adoption of the said resolution, all state enterprises, establishments and organisations which are under the union or the union-republic jurisdiction come under the jurisdiction of the Republic of Lithuania.

The formula “come under the jurisdiction of the Republic of Lithuania” as employed in the aforesaid 13 March 1990 Supreme Council resolution means that the property of all state enterprises, establishments and organisations which were under the union or the union-republic jurisdiction which are in the territory of the Republic of Lithuania is property of the State of Lithuania (the Constitutional Court’s ruling if 27 May 2002). In the context of the case at issue, it should be noted that the property possessed by the state trade unions which functioned in Lithuania and which were a part of the system of USSR trade unions until the restoration of the independent State of Lithuania is property of the State of Lithuania. One is also to note that it was held in the aforementioned 30 July 1990 Supreme Council Resolution “On the Support for Newly Established Trade Unions and on the Property of Former State Trade Union Organisations” that “from the funds accumulated in the name of these trade unions and state subsidies convalescent homes, sanatoriums were built as well as other property was created. It cannot be property of only one group of people or association, since it belongs to all people of Lithuania. A part of this property is to be transferred to trade unions which are in the process of establishment or newly established ones.”

5. The 30 July 1990 Supreme Council Resolution “On the Support for Newly Established Trade Unions and on the Property of Former State Trade Union Organisations” commissioned the Government to inventory the property of trade unions which functioned in the Lithuanian SSR, by establishing the sources and size of this property. The said Supreme Council Resolution prohibited the then holders of the property of former trade unions from transferring or renting this property in any way to other legal or natural persons and it was held that such transfer of the property is null and void from the moment of conclusion of the transaction.

6. By its Resolution (No. 603) “On Certain Establishments and Organisations of the Former State Trade Unions and Their Property” of 31 December 1991, the Government decided to liquidate the Resorts Management Soviet of the Lithuanian Republic Trade Unions which had been functioning until then. By the said government resolution, the sanatorium-resort establishments of the former Resorts Management Soviet of the Lithuanian Republic Trade Unions were assigned to the sphere of the regulation of the Ministry of Health Care. This ministry was commissioned to discharge the functions of the founder of the said establishments.

7. It needs to be noted that at the time when the issues of the property possessed by the state trade unions which functioned in Lithuania before the restoration of the independent State of Lithuania were being decided, the process of the restitution of the property that had been nationalised or otherwise unlawfully expropriated was taking place as well. While recognising the continuity and restoration of the rights of ownership, on 15 November 1990 the Supreme Council adopted a principle decision and approved these provisions: the continuity of the rights of ownership of citizens of Lithuania is incontestably recognised; citizens of Lithuania have the right, within the limits and procedure defined by law, to retrieve the property in kind, which belonged to them, while in case of absence of such a possibility, to receive compensation.

No right can appear on the grounds of unlawfulness. The property nationalised or otherwise unlawfully expropriated by the occupation government did not become state-owned property, it “may be considered as property which is only in fact possessed by the state” (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 27 May 1994 and 4 March 2003).

The state trade unions which functioned in Lithuania before the restoration of the independent State of Lithuania possessed not only the property belonging to the state by rights of ownership, but also property which had been nationalised or otherwise unlawfully expropriated by the occupation government. This property also was not property of these state trade unions.

Thus, the formula “come under the jurisdiction of the Republic of Lithuania” employed in the 13 March 1990 Supreme Council Resolution “On the Status of the Enterprises, Establishments and Organisations Which are under the Union or the Union-Republic Jurisdiction” does not mean that also the property that had been nationalised or otherwise unlawfully expropriated by the occupation government, which had been possessed by the state trade unions which functioned in Lithuania before the restoration of the independent State of Lithuania, belongs to the State of Lithuania by right of ownership.

IV

1. While deciding whether the legal provisions impugned by the petitioner are not in conflict with the Constitution, one has to ascertain also the fact how the issues of the property possessed by the state trade unions which functioned in Lithuania before the restoration of the independent State of Lithuania were decided after the 25 October 1992 Constitution adopted by the referendum of the Nation had gone into effect.

2. Paragraph 2 of Article 5 of the Constitution provides that the scope of power shall be limited by the Constitution. After the Constitution had come into force, the state institutions which have the powers to adopt decisions on the possession, use and disposal of property belonging to the state by right of ownership may do so only while regarding the Constitution.

3. It has been mentioned that the 30 July 1990 Supreme Council Resolution “On the Support for Newly Established Trade Unions and on the Property of Former State Trade Union Organisations” established a provision that part of the property of state trade unions which functioned in Lithuania before the restoration of the independent State of Lithuania is to be transferred to trade unions which are in the process of establishment or newly established ones and a provision that the Government is commissioned to inventory the property of trade unions which functioned in the Lithuanian SSR, by establishing the sources and size of this property.

On 25 May 1993, the Seimas adopted the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” in which it established the “bases and procedure of transfer of the property of former state trade unions of the Lithuanian SSR”. Article 2 of the same law provides that the property of the former state trade unions of the Lithuanian SSR is composed of: (1) property created from the funds of the state and Lithuanian people; (2) property created by the former trade unions; (3) property possessed by the former trade unions, which was returned or must be returned to the owners under the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Procedure and Conditions of Restoring of Citizens’ Rights of Ownership to the Existing Real Property”. It was provided in Article 3 of the aforesaid law that the property of the former state trade unions of the Lithuanian SSR, which had been created from the funds of the state and Lithuanian people, inventoried under the procedure established by the 30 July 1990 Supreme Council Resolution “On the Support for Newly Established Trade Unions and on the Property of Former State Trade Union Organisations”, shall be transferred into the ownership of the following: 1) the state, in order to satisfy the needs of the people, and to the Lithuanian sport society “Žalgiris”; 2) the Lithuanian sport society “Žalgiris” and the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, the regulations of which are approved by the Seimas and which, within 5 years, transfers the property to the functioning trade unions and those in the process of establishment; 3) the former owners under the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Procedure and Conditions of Restoring of Citizens’ Rights of Ownership to the Existing Real Property”. It was established in Article 4 of the 25 May 1993 Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” that the procedure of transfer of the property (and portions thereof) of the former state trade unions of the Lithuanian SSR shall be established by the Seimas Resolution “On the Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law ‘On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR’”, while it was provided in Article 5 of the same law that the procedure of transfer and use of the property of sanatoriums and rest-houses of Lithuania shall be established by means of a separate resolution of the Seimas.

4. On 1 June 1993, the Seimas adopted the Resolution “On the Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law ‘On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR’”. It was held in Item 1 of the said resolution that the property of former state trade unions of the Lithuanian SSR had been inventoried, while Item 2 thereof listed the objects which “constitute the property handed over to the State”. Item 3 of the same Seimas resolution listed the objects which were handed over as ownership to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment. The property handed over to this fund is composed, inter alia, of part of the property of the sanatoriums and rest-houses of trade unions of Lithuania. Item 6 of the Seimas resolution proposed that the Government compensate, within 5 years, trade unions of Lithuania for the objects listed in the same item, which were taken over by the state and privatised, also that it transfer the funds for these object to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment. By Item 4 of the said Seimas resolution it was decided to establish the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment. Item 7 of the Seimas resolution proposed that the Government grant trade unions individual buildings fitting for work by right of ownership as compensation for a building in Vilnius, transferred to the Seimas.

The 1 June 1993 Seimas Resolution “On the Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law ‘On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR’” was amended and supplemented by the 20 July 1994 Seimas Resolution “On the Amendment and Supplement of the Republic of Lithuania Seimas Resolution ‘On the Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”’”, by the 27 June 1995 Seimas Resolution “On the Amendment and Supplement of the Republic of Lithuania Seimas Resolution ‘On the Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”’”, however, the legal regulation established in its subsequent wordings was not changed in essence until 20 July 2000, when the Seimas Resolution “On the Amendment of the Seimas Resolution ‘On the Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”’” was adopted.

5. The Seimas approved, by the 17 February 1994 Resolution “On the Approval of the Regulations of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment”, the Regulations of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment. Under Item 1 of Chapter II of these regulations, the purpose of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment is support of the functioning trade unions and those in the process of establishment. Under Item 2 of Chapter II of the said regulations, the tasks of this fund was to inventory, take over, distribute and hand over as ownership the property listed in Item 3 of the Seimas resolution of 1 June 1993 to the functioning trade unions and those in the process of establishment, also, to establish the part of the property which is transferred to trade unions as shared possession. Under Item 3 of Chapter I of the Regulations of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, this fund is a legal person; the Seimas may liquidate the fund by its resolution (Item 1 of Chapter VI). It is clear from the overall legal regulation established in the regulations that the founder of this fund is the Seimas.

6. On 23 February 1995, the Seimas adopted the Law “On the Amendment and Supplement of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law ‘On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR’” by Article 1 whereof it supplemented the 25 May 1993 Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” with Article 6 in which it was established that that the property transferred to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment may not be privatised or assessed in the value of shares, also it may not be sold or transferred to someone that is not a trade union, and with Article 7 in which it was established that the National Audit Department has the right to control the activities of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment.

On 27 June 1995, the Seimas adopted the Law “On the Amendment and Supplement of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law ‘On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR’”. Article 1 of this law abolished the provision of Item 2 (wording of 25 May 1993) of Article 3 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” under which the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, within 5 years, had to transfer the property to the functioning trade unions and those in the process of establishment, and it was established that the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment shall operate until 1 June 2006. By Article 2 of the 27 June 1995 Law “On the Amendment and Supplement of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law ‘On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR’” Article 5 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” was amended by entering the word “law” instead of the word “resolution”. Thus, Article 5 (wording of 27 June 1995) of Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” provided that the procedure of transfer and use of the property of sanatoriums and rest-houses of Lithuania shall be established by means of a separate law of the Seimas. By Article 3 of this law Article 6 of the 25 May 1993 Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” was amended and supplemented, and it was established that succeeding the date of 1 January 1999 the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must hand over as ownership the property possessed and used by the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment to trade unions of Lithuania, while succeeding the date of 1 January 2006, it must also transfer the funds of this fund as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania.

On 21 December 1998, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Amendment of Article 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”. By Article 1 of this law Paragraph 2 (wording of 27 June 1995) of Article 6 of the 25 May 1993 Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” was amended and it was set forth as follows: “Succeeding the date of 1 July 1999, the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must hand over the property possessed and used by the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania, while succeeding the date of 1 January 2006, it must also transfer to them the funds of the Fund as ownership.”

On 24 June 1999, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Amendment and Supplement of Article 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”. By Article 1 of this law Article 6 (wording of 21 December 1998) of the 25 May 1993 Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” was amended and it was set forth as follows:

The property transferred to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment may not be privatised or assessed in the value of shares, also it may not be sold or transferred otherwise save the cases indicated in Paragraph 2 of this Article.

Succeeding the date of 31 December 1999, the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must hand over the property possessed and used by the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania, while succeeding the date of 1 January 2006, it must also transfer to them the funds of the Fund.

The Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must, until 1 October 1999, take over the property of the former state trade unions of the Lithuanian SSR.”

On 21 December 1999, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Amendment of Article 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”. By Article 1 of this law Paragraph 2 (wording of 24 June 1999) of Article 6 of the 25 May 1993 Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” was amended and it was set forth as follows: “Succeeding the date of 31 May 2000, the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must hand over the property possessed and used by the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania, while succeeding the date of 1 January 2006, it must also transfer to them the funds of the Fund.”

On 23 May 2000, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Amendment of Article 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”. By Article 1 of this law Paragraph 2 (wording of 21 December 1999) of Article 6 of the 25 May 1993 Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” was amended and it was set forth as follows: “Succeeding the date of 31 July 2000, the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must hand over the property possessed and used by the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania, while succeeding the date of 1 January 2006, it must also transfer to them the funds of the Fund.”

7. It has been mentioned that it was established in Article 5 (wording of 25 May 1993) of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” that the procedure of transfer and use of the property of sanatoriums and rest-houses of Lithuania shall be established by means of a separate resolution of the Seimas, while in Article 5 (wording of 27 June 1995) of the same law it was established that the procedure of transfer and use of the property of sanatoriums and rest-houses of Lithuania shall be established by means of a separate law of the Seimas.

On 8 June 1995, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”. By this law it was established which objects and the property recorded in their balance are recognised state-owned property and transferred to the Government (Article 1) and which objects and the property and funds recorded in their balance are recognised property of trade unions of Lithuania and are transferred to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment (Article 2). Under Item 8 of Article 2 of the same law, inter alia, the Anykščiai rehabilitation centre (former rest-house “Šilelis”) (together with the property and funds recorded in its balance) was recognised property of trade unions of Lithuania and was transferred to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment.

It was established in Article 4 of the 8 June 1995 Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” that for the objects, property and funds transferred into the ownership of the state, trade unions of Lithuania shall be compensated on the grounds of the 1 January 1991 data of the inventory conducted by the Government commission, by paying the compensation in equal parts until 1 June 2006; the compensated funds are property of trade unions of Lithuania and shall be transferred to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment.

Article 3 of the said law established that the objects (save hostels) indicated in Article 1 of this law must be utilised for sanatorium-resort therapy, medical and social rehabilitation, as well as rest and tourism, that these objects, upon the end of the initial stage of privatisation, may be privatised by means of a separate Seimas resolution, also, that the hostels pointed out in Article 1 of this law shall be privatised under procedure established by privatisation laws.

On 8 October 1998, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Recognition of Article 3 of the 8 June 1993 Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” as No Longer Valid. By Article 1 of this law, Article 3 of the Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” was recognised as no longer valid.

8. On 20 July 2000, the Seimas adopted the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions. It was held in Article 1 of this law this it is “adopted on the grounds that the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment has not followed the requirements of the Law ‘On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR’ and other legal acts regulating other issues of property of trade unions of Lithuania and that it has not performed the functions commissioned to it”, also, that by the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions “it is attempted to protect the value of the national wealth of Lithuania—buildings and other property which used to belong to the trade unions—to properly possess and use it, and to create an opportunity for trade unions to effectively use this property and funds for the implementation of their aims”.

It was established in Article 2 of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions which objects of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment and the property and funds which are in their balance on 1 August 2000 are transferred to the state enterprise “State Property Fund” in order to sell it; it was also established in this article that the state enterprise “State Property Fund” must sell the said objects in the manner as provided for in the Law on the Privatisation of State-owned and Municipal Property until 1 July 2001; until this property is sold, the state enterprise “State Property Fund” shall possess, use and dispose of it in the manner prescribed by this law.

It was established in Article 3 of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions which objects are transferred by right of ownership to directly indicated entities: the Lithuanian Trade Unions Centre, the Alliance of Trade Unions of Lithuania, the Labour Federation of Lithuania, and the Workers Union of Lithuania. It was established in Paragraph 5 of this article that, inter alia, the Anykščiai rehabilitation centre (former rest-house “Šilelis”) shall be transferred, in equal portions, by right of common shared property, to the Labour Federation of Lithuania, the Lithuanian Trade Unions Centre, the Workers Union of Lithuania, and the Alliance of Trade Unions of Lithuania; inter alia, it was established in Paragraph 11 of this article that the Labour Federation of Lithuania, the Lithuanian Trade Unions Centre, the Workers Union of Lithuania, and the Alliance of Trade Unions of Lithuania must, until 1 September 2000, accept, by right of common shared ownership, the Anykščiai rehabilitation centre (former rest-house “Šilelis”).

The said law established the dates until which the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must transfer the said objects to corresponding trade unions and the State Property Fund. It was also established in the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions that the state enterprise “State Property Fund” must transfer the funds received from the sold property of the trade unions of Lithuania in equal parts to the running accounts of the trade unions which are registered at the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania and which are represented in the Tripartite Council of the Republic of Lithuania, i.e. the Labour Federation of Lithuania, the Workers Union of Lithuania, the Lithuanian Trade Unions Centre, the Alliance of Trade Unions of Lithuania, and the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment (Article 4).

9. It needs to be noted that it was established in Article 5 of the 20 July 2000 Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions that the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment shall be liquidated and the powers of the council of this fund shall be terminated as of 1 July 2001.

10. After the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions had been adopted, in a respective manner the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”, the Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” and the Seimas Resolution “On the Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law ‘On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR’” were amended.

On 20 July 2000, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Amendment of Articles 3 and 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”. By Article 1 of this law, Item 2 (wording of 27 June 1995) of Article 3 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” was amended and it was established that the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment shall operate until 1 July 2001, also, by Article 2 of the same law Paragraph 2 (wording of 23 May 2000) of Article 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” was amended and it was set forth as follows: “The Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must hand over the property as well as the funds possessed and used by the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania under the procedure provided for by the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions.”

On 20 July 2000, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Amendment of Article 4 of the Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”. By Article 1 of this law Paragraph 2 of Article 4 of the Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” was amended and it was set forth as follows: “The compensated funds shall be property of trade unions of Lithuania. They shall be transferred in equal parts to the running accounts of the trade unions which are registered at the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania and which are represented in the Tripartite Council of the Republic of Lithuania, i.e. the Labour Federation of Lithuania, the Workers Union of Lithuania, the Lithuanian Trade Unions Centre, the Alliance of Trade Unions of Lithuania, and the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment.”

On 20 July 2000, the Seimas adopted the Resolution “On the Amendment of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania Resolution ‘On the Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”’. By Article 3 of this resolution Section 2 of Item 6 (wording of 27 June 1995) of the 1 June 1993 Seimas Resolution “On the Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law ‘On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR’” was amended and set forth as follows: “The funds received for the sold property of trade unions of Lithuania, after the state enterprise ‘State Property Fund’ has deducted the expenses of maintenance of the property (objects) and the amount in the size of 5 percent from the amount of the property sold, shall be transferred, in equal portions, to running accounts of the trade unions which are registered at the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania and which are represented in the Tripartite Council of the Republic of Lithuania, i.e. the Labour Federation of Lithuania, the Workers Union of Lithuania, the Lithuanian Trade Unions Centre, the Alliance of Trade Unions of Lithuania, and the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment.”

11. It has been mentioned that, on 22 January 2002, the Seimas adopted the Law on Amending the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions and set it forth in a new wording.

It is pointed out in Article 1 of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions (wording of 22 January 2002) that by this law it is attempted to create an opportunity for trade unions to more efficiently dispose of the property and funds of trade unions.

Article 3 of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions (wording of 22 January 2002) provides as to which objects are transferred by right of ownership to the entities directly indicated in this article: the Lithuanian Trade Unions Centre, the Alliance of Trade Unions of Lithuania, the Labour Federation of Lithuania, and the Workers Union of Lithuania. Paragraph 5 of this article provides, inter alia, that the public enterprise the Anykščiai rehabilitation centre (former rest-house “Šilelis”) shall be transferred in equal parts by right of common shared ownership to the Labour Federation of Lithuania, the Lithuanian Trade Unions Centre, the Workers Union of Lithuania, and the Alliance of Trade Unions of Lithuania.

Article 4 of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions (wording of 22 January 2002) contains a provision that the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment is to be liquidated, while the powers of the council of this fund shall be terminated by means of a separate Seimas resolution, when one has settled up with the obligations of public enterprises established with the funds of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, the property possessed by this fund is transferred into the ownership of individual trade unions or municipalities, or this property is sold and the funds have been transferred to the entities indicated in Paragraph 2 of Article 2 of this law, i.e. the Lithuanian Trade Unions Centre, the Alliance of Trade Unions of Lithuania, the Labour Federation of Lithuania, and the Workers Union of Lithuania.

Under Article 5 of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions (wording of 22 January 2002), the Council of new composition of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment shall be established. According to Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of this law, the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment shall hold, use and dispose of the property handed over to it, save the property indicated in Article 3 of this law, under the procedure established by the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment.

Paragraph 2 of Article 2 of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions (wording of 22 January 2002) provides that the funds of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment and the funds received as the result of possession, use and disposal of the property handed over to this fund, shall be transferred to the Fund for Support of Trade Unions. The Lithuanian Trade Unions Centre, the Alliance of Trade Unions of Lithuania, the Labour Federation of Lithuania, and the Workers Union of Lithuania shall have the right to be founders of the Fund for Support of Trade Unions. Provided the Fund for Support of Trade Unions is not founded until 1 May 2002, the funds indicated in this paragraph shall be distributed in equal parts to the Lithuanian Trade Unions Centre, the Alliance of Trade Unions of Lithuania, the Labour Federation of Lithuania, and the Workers Union of Lithuania.

12. After the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions had been set forth in a new wording, the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” was respectively amended. On 22 January 2002, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Amendment of Articles 3 and 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”.

By Article 1 of the 22 January 2002 Law on the Amendment of Articles 3 and 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” Item 2 (wording of 20 July 2000) of Article 3 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” was amended: the words “shall operate until 1 July 2001” were crossed out. Thus, the former provision that the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment shall operate until 1 July 2001 was abolished.

By Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the 22 January 2002 Law on the Amendment of Articles 3 and 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” (wording of 24 June 1999) was recognised as no longer valid, in which it used to be provided that the property transferred to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment may not be privatised or assessed in the value of shares, also it may not be sold or transferred otherwise save the cases indicated in Paragraph 2 of this article; as it has been mentioned, it was established in Paragraph 2 (wording of 20 July 2000) of Article 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” that the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must hand over the property and funds possessed and used by the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania under the procedure established by the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions.

By Paragraph 2 of Article 2 of the 22 January 2002 Law on the Amendment of Articles 3 and 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” Paragraph 2 (wording of 20 July 2000) of Article 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” was amended and set forth as follows: “The Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must, within 2 months of the entry of this Law into effect, establish the procedure for possession, use and disposal of the property handed over to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment and provide how one will settle up for the obligations of public enterprises founded by the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment.”

V

1. It is clear from the legal regulation of the property possessed by state trade unions in Lithuania before the restoration of the independent State of Lithuania that has been adopted after the independent State of Lithuania was restored, that this regulation was notably inconsistent, self-contradictory and ambivalent. The provisions of laws and other legal acts adopted by the Seimas frequently deny each other, the formulations are used in a legally incorrect manner.

2. For example, it has been mentioned that by the 13 March 1990 Supreme Council Resolution “On the Status of the Enterprises, Establishments and Organisations Which are under the Union or the Union-Republic Jurisdiction” it was decided that the property of all state enterprises, establishments and organisations which are under the union or the union-republic jurisdiction which are in the territory of the Republic of Lithuania was property of the State of Lithuania. This provision is also entrenched in the 30 July 1990 Supreme Council Resolution “On the Support for Newly Established Trade Unions and on the Property of Former State Trade Union Organisations” in which it was held that “property of trade unions which function in the Lithuanian SSR” “cannot be property of only one group of people or association, since it belongs to all people of Lithuania”.

Thus, in both of the above acts of the Supreme Council the property of the trade unions which functioned in Lithuania before the restoration of the independent State of Lithuania is recognised property of the State of Lithuania.

Meanwhile, under Article 3 of the 25 May 1993 Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”, part of the property of former state trade unions of the Lithuanian SSR, which, according to the said Supreme Council resolutions of 13 March 1990 and 30 July 1990 had already been recognised property of the State of Lithuania, is handed over to the state as ownership once again, while part of this property is handed over as ownership to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, however, this fund must, within 5 years, transfer this property to the functioning trade unions or those in the process of establishment.

3. Having held that the property of former state trade unions of the Lithuanian SSR had been inventoried, in the 1 June 1993 Seimas Resolution “On the Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law ‘On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR’” particular objects were pointed out which, though recognised as property of the State of Lithuania by the aforesaid Supreme Council resolutions of 13 March 1990 and 30 July 1990, were repeatedly handed over to the State of Lithuania, also particular objects were pointed out, though recognised as property of the State of Lithuania by the aforesaid Supreme Council resolutions of 13 March 1990 and 30 July 1990 as well, were transferred into the ownership of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment. This fund was handed over, inter alia, part of the property of sanatoriums and rest-houses of trade unions of Lithuania, however, it was not precisely pointed out as to which objects and which part of the property of sanatoriums and rest-houses had to be transferred into the ownership of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment. It needs to be noted that the formula “part of property of sanatoriums and rest-houses of trade unions of Lithuania” of Subitem 6 of Item 3 of the Seimas resolution of 1 June 1993 also implies that a certain part, which is not concretely defined, of the property of sanatoriums and rest-houses was treated as property of trade unions of Lithuania, though no legal act had been adopted on the grounds of which the part of the said property of sanatoriums and rest-houses of trade unions of Lithuania would have become property of trade unions. The analogous formula (formula “part of property of sanatoriums and rest-houses of trade unions of Lithuania”) of Subitem 7 of Item 2 of the Seimas resolution of 1 June 1993 implies not only that a certain portion, which is not concretely defined, of sanatoriums and rest-houses was treated as property of trade unions of Lithuania, though, as mentioned before, no legal act had been adopted on the grounds of which the part of the said property of sanatoriums and rest-houses of trade unions of Lithuania would have become property of trade unions, but also that upon the entry of the Seimas resolution of 1 June 1993 into force the sanatoriums and rest-houses were handed over to the state once again, although under the Supreme Council resolutions of 13 March 1990 and 30 July 1990 they had been property of the State of Lithuania.

In addition, a provision was established in the 1 June 1993 Seimas Resolution “On the Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law ‘On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR’” under which it was proposed that the Government compensate the trade unions of Lithuania for certain objects which had been taken over and privatised, although these objects by the aforesaid Supreme Council resolutions of 13 March 1990 and 30 July 1990 had been recognised as property of the State of Lithuania. Thus, in the Seimas resolution of 1 June 1993 a provision was established whereby the state must compensate the trade unions of Lithuania for the property which at that time belonged by right of ownership to the state itself and had never belonged by right of ownership to the trade unions, thus, the latter could not lose it.

Besides, the provision that one must compensate the trade unions of Lithuania for the objects, property and funds handed over as ownership to the state is also entrenched in Article 4 (wordings of 8 June 1995 and 20 July 2000) of the Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”. Thus, Article 4 (wordings of 8 June 1995 and 20 July 2000) of the Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” also established a provision whereby the state must compensate the trade unions of Lithuania for the property which at that time belonged by right of ownership to the state itself and had never belonged by right of ownership to the trade unions, thus, the latter could not lose it.

It has been mentioned that under Article 3 (wording of 25 May 1993) of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” a part of property of former state trade unions of the Lithuanian SSR is handed over as ownership to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment. Thus, under Article 3 (wording of 25 May 1993) of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”, the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment is treated as the owner of the property of the former state trade unions of the Lithuanian SSR.

On the other hand, this article also provides that the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must, within 5 years, transfer this property to the functioning trade unions or those in the process of establishment. Thus, although under Article 3 (wording of 25 May 1993) of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment is treated as the owner of the property of former state trade unions of the Lithuanian SSR which was transferred to it, the obligation established in the same article to transfer this property within 5 years to the existing or newly-established trade unions means that this property was only temporarily handed over to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment.

After Paragraph 2 of Article 3 of the 27 June 1995 Law “On the Amendment and Supplement of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law ‘On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR’” supplemented Article 6 (wording of 23 February 1995) of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” with Paragraph 2 and established the provision “must hand over the property possessed and used by the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania”, one also established the legal regulation under which the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment only temporarily holds and uses the property of former state trade unions of the Lithuanian SSR.

The provision that the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment only temporarily holds and uses the aforementioned property (thus, it is not its owner) is also entrenched in the 21 December 1998 Law on the Amendment of Article 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”, the 24 June 1999 Law on the Amendment and Supplement of Article 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”, the 21 December 1999 Law on the Amendment of Article 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”, the 23 May 2000 Law on the Amendment of Article 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”, the 20 July 2000 Law on the Amendment of Articles 3 and 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”, although the formulation “property of former state trade unions of the Lithuanian SSR <…> shall be transferred into the ownership of the following: <…> 2) <…> the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment” of Article 3 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” was not amended.

Thus, although under Article 3 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” a part of property of former state trade unions of the Lithuanian SSR was given over as ownership to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, it is clear from the overall legal regulation established in this law that the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment was not the owner of the property handed over to it but it only temporarily possessed and used it.

4. It has been mentioned that by the 13 March 1990 Supreme Council Resolution “On the Status of the Enterprises, Establishments and Organisations Which are under the Union or the Union-Republic Jurisdiction” and 30 July 1990 Supreme Council Resolution “On the Support for Newly Established Trade Unions and on the Property of Former State Trade Union Organisations”, the property possessed, until the restoration of the independent State of Lithuania, by state trade unions which functioned in Lithuania, thus, including sanatoriums and rest-houses possessed by them, is property of the State of Lithuania. This provision is also reflected and realised by the Government Resolution (No. 603) “On Certain Establishments and Organisations of the Former State Trade Unions and Their Property” of 31 December 1991, by which it was decided to liquidate the Resorts Management Soviet of the Lithuanian Republic Trade Unions, while the sanatorium-resort establishments managed by this soviet were assigned to the sphere of the regulation of the Ministry of Health Care, and this ministry was commissioned to discharge the functions of the founder of the said establishments. The provision that the sanatoriums and rest-houses possessed, until the restoration of the independent State of Lithuania, by state trade unions which functioned in Lithuania is property of the State of Lithuania is also reflected in the formula “sanatoriums and rest-houses of Lithuania” of the provision of the 25 May 1993 Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” concerning establishment of the procedure of transfer and use of the property of sanatoriums and rest-houses of Lithuania by means of a separate resolution of the Seimas.

Attention should be paid to the fact that Subitem 7 of Item 2 and Subitem 6 of Item 3 of 1 June 1993 Seimas Resolution “On the Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law ‘On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR’” employ the formula “sanatoriums and rest-houses of trade unions of Lithuania” but not “sanatoriums and rest-houses of Lithuania”. Thus, when defining the sanatoriums and rest-houses in Subitem 7 of Item 2 and Subitem 6 of Item 3 of 1 June 1993 Seimas Resolution “On the Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law ‘On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR’”, which are transferred into the ownership of, inter alia, the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, one indicates their different legal status than that established in Article 5 of the 25 May 1993 Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”. The formula “sanatoriums and rest-houses of trade unions of Lithuania” is employed also in Subitem 5 of Item 3 of the aforesaid Seimas resolution (wording of 20 July 1994) and Subitem 6 of Item 1 of Chapter IV and Item 2 of Chapter V of the Regulations of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment approved by the 17 February 1994 Resolution “On the Approval of the Regulations of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment”.

5. It has been mentioned that under Article 3 (wording of 25 May 1993) of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” a part of property of former state trade unions of the Lithuanian SSR (which, by the 13 March 1990 Supreme Council Resolution “On the Status of the Enterprises, Establishments and Organisations Which are under the Union or the Union-Republic Jurisdiction” and 30 July 1990 Supreme Council Resolution “On the Support for Newly Established Trade Unions and on the Property of Former State Trade Union Organisations”, is recognised as property of the State of Lithuania) is handed over as ownership to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment; the said fund must, within 5 years, hand over this property to the functioning trade unions and those in the process of establishment. When this provision was still valid, the Seimas, on 8 June 1995, adopted the Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” in Article 2 whereof it was established which objects and property as well as funds registered in their balance are recognised as property of trade unions of Lithuania and transferred to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment.

Thus, under the valid provisions of one law, a certain part of the property possessed by former state trade unions of the Lithuanian SSR was recognised as property of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, while under another law valid at the same time the same part of property was recognised as property of trade unions of Lithuania but it was handed over to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment.

It must be noted that when the property was recognised as property of trade unions, these trade unions, the subject of the right of ownership, were not named.

VI

1. It has been mentioned that under Article 3 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” “property of former state trade unions of the Lithuanian SSR <…> shall be transferred into the ownership of the following: <…> 2) <…> the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, the regulations of which are approved by the Seimas and which, within 5 years, transfers the property to the existing and newly established trade unions”.

By Item 4 of the 1 June 1993 Seimas Resolution “On the Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law ‘On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR’” it was decided to establish the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment.

The Seimas approved, by the 17 February 1994 Resolution “On the Approval of the Regulations of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment”, the Regulations of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment. Although the said regulations were subsequently amended and supplemented more than once, however, the provisions established therein on the purpose and tasks of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment virtually have remained unchanged: it has always been an institution empowered to take over, distribute and hand over as ownership the property possessed by former state trade unions to the functioning trade unions and those in the process of establishment. It has been mentioned in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that the said property is state-owned property.

2. The legal regulation concerning the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment is also inconsistent, self-contradictory and ambiguous.

It is clear from the overall legal regulation established in the Regulations of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment that the founder of this Fund is the Seimas. This fund may be liquidated by the Seimas by means of its resolution (Item 1 of Chapter VI). The revocation of a member of the council of the fund, the appointment of a new member are also approved by the Seimas (Item 1 of Chapter V). The fund is headed by its council, the composition of which is approved and renewed by the Seimas (Item 1 of Chapter V).

According to the Regulations of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, this fund is a legal person (Item 3 of Chapter I), and a non-profit organisation (Item 2 of Chapter I). Under Item 3 of Chapter III of the said regulations, “representation of the interests of trade unions on property issues of the Fund at institutions of state authority and the executive” is categorised as the competence of the fund, while under Item 2 of Chapter VI, “disputes concerning the activity of the Fund and distribution and hand-over of the property possessed by it to individual trade unions shall be decided under judicial procedure”.

It was provided for in Item 1 of Chapter V (wording of 17 February 1994) of the Regulations of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment that the council of this fund is composed of representatives of the Lithuanian Trade Unions Centre, the Alliance of Trade Unions of Lithuania, the Community of Trade Unions of Lithuania, the Workers Union of Lithuania, the Labour Federation of Lithuania and of non-associated trade unions as well as 6 representatives of the Government and other state institutions. By Item 2 of the 20 July 1994 Seimas Resolution “On the Amendment and Supplement of the Regulations of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment” Chapter V of the said regulations was amended and it was provided in its Item 1, inter alia, that “the Fund shall be headed by the Council of the Fund, composed of fifteen representatives of trade unions”.

It was established in Item 4 of Chapter V of the Regulations of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment that “the executive institution of the Fund shall be financed from the funds of the Fund under the financial expenditures estimate approved by the Council of the Fund”. It needs to be noted that the said fund was funded from the State Budget (the 2 December 1997 Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Approving the Financial Indicators of the 1998 State Budget and Municipal Budgets, the 3 December 1998 Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Approving the Financial Indicators of the 1999 State Budget and Municipal Budgets, the 19 December 2000 Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Approving the Financial Indicators of the 2001 State Budget and Municipal Budgets).

It needs to be noted that, on 4 August 1995, the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment was registered at the then Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania as “a non-profit enterprise”, the main function of which was “health care and social work”.

It is clear from the above-discussed legal regulation of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment that this fund has characteristics of a state institution as well as of a non-governmental organisation. Thus, in the Regulations of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment a legal regulation has been established from which it is impossible to unambiguously decide as for the legal status of this institution.

Such indetermination of the legal status of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment is also conditioned by the fact that, under Article 3 (wording of 25 May 1993) of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”, a part of property of former state trade unions of the Lithuanian SSR was transferred into the ownership of this fund (which, within 5 years, had to hand over this property to the functioning trade unions or those in the process of establishment), while under Paragraph 2 (wording of 27 June 1995) of Article 6 of this law, the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment only temporarily shall possess and use this property, thus, it is not its owner.

3. It has been mentioned that Article 1 (wording of 20 July 2000) of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions held that this law was adopted on the grounds of the fact that the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment had not followed the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” and other requirements of legal acts regulating issues of property of trade unions of Lithuania and that it had not performed the functions assigned to it, also, that by the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions it is attempted to protect the value of the national wealth of Lithuania—buildings and other property which used to belong to the trade unions—to properly possess and use it, and to create an opportunity for trade unions to effectively use this property and funds for the implementation of their aims. It was established in Article 5 (wording of 20 July 2000) of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions that the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment shall be liquidated and the powers of the council of this fund shall be terminated as of 1 July 2001.

It has also been mentioned that by Article 1 of the 20 July 2000 Law on the Amendment of Articles 3 and 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” Item 2 (wording of 27 June 1995) of Article 3 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” was amended. Under Item 2 (wording of 20 July 2000) of Article 3 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”, the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment shall operate until 1 July 2001. By Article 2 of the said Law on the Amendment of Articles 3 and 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” Paragraph 2 (wording of 23 May 2000) of Article 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” was amended and set forth as follows: “The Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must hand over the property as well as the funds possessed and used by the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania under the procedure provided for by the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions.”

Under the above-mentioned laws, as of 1 July 2001 the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment could no longer be operational.

However, the said fund continued its activities de facto also after 1 July 2001. This is confirmed by subsequent legal regulation as well as the testimony of witnesses in this case.

It has been mentioned that by Article 1 of the 22 January 2002 Law on the Amendment of Articles 3 and 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” the provision of Item 2 (wording of 20 July 2000) of Article 3 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” that the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment shall operate until 1 July 2001 was abolished.

After the provision that the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment shall operate until 1 July 2001 had been abolished, a legal situation was created that allegedly there had not been any legal regulation established by means of a law under which the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment had been liquidated, and preconditions were created to believe that the said fund had never been liquidated, that it was also operational at the time of the adoption of the said Law on the Amendment of Articles 3 and 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”, i.e. on 22 January 2002. Thus, the legislature confirmed a retroactive provision by which it was attempted to retroactively restore the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment which had been liquidated by law, and, thus, by backdating, to legalise its activities which had not been discontinued de facto.

It is established in Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions (wording of 22 January 2002) that the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment shall hold, use and dispose of the property handed over to it, save the property indicated in Article 3 of this law, under the procedure established by the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, while Paragraph 2 of this article provides that the funds of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment and the funds received as the result of possession, use and disposal of the property handed over to this fund, shall be transferred to the Fund for Support of Trade Unions. Article 5 of the same law provides that the Council of new composition of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment shall be established, while Article 4 thereof contains a provision that the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment is to be liquidated, while the powers of the council of this fund shall be terminated by means of a separate Seimas resolution, when one has settled up with the obligations of public enterprises established with the funds of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, the property possessed by this fund is transferred into the ownership of individual trade unions or municipalities, or this property is sold and the funds have been transferred to the entities indicated in Paragraph 2 of Article 2 of this law, i.e. the Lithuanian Trade Unions Centre, the Alliance of Trade Unions of Lithuania, the Labour Federation of Lithuania, and the Workers Union of Lithuania.

Thus, also by the legal regulation established in the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions (wording of 22 January 2002) a legal situation (identical to the one mentioned above) was created that allegedly there had not been any legal regulation established by means of a law under which the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment had been liquidated, and preconditions were created to believe that the said fund had never been liquidated, that it was also operational at the time of the adoption of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions of a new wording, i.e. on 22 January 2002. Thus, also in this case the legislature confirmed retroactive provisions by which it was attempted to retroactively restore the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment which had been liquidated by law, and, thus, by backdating, to legalise its activities which had not been discontinued de facto.

VII

1. According to the Constitution, the state is a subject of the right of ownership. Different property may belong to the state by right of ownership. On the other hand, certain property can belong by right of ownership only to the state. Paragraph 1 of Article 47 of the Constitution establishes that the right of exclusive ownership of the subterranean, as well as internal waters, forests, parks, roads, historical, archaeological and cultural objects of state importance shall belong to the Republic of Lithuania.

The state is an organisation of the entire society. The property that belongs to it by right of ownership has to be possessed in such a way that it would serve the common welfare of the nation, and the general interest of the whole society. The state-owned property is one of the means for guaranteeing the public interest and social harmony. It needs to be noted that institutions of state authority and other state institutions which are empowered to adopt decisions concerning the possession, use and disposal of the property which belongs to the state by right of ownership, are not themselves the owners of that property—it belongs to the entire state.

Therefore, all state institutions which have the powers to adopt decisions concerning the possession, use and disposal of the property that belongs to the state by right of ownership, must observe the norms and principles of the Constitution. Under the Constitution, the property of the state may not be possessed, used and disposed of in such a manner that it would satisfy the interests or needs of only one social group or separate persons, if this does not comply with the public interest and needs of the society.

2. Paragraph 2 of Article 128 of the Constitution provides that the procedure concerning the possession, use, and disposal of state-owned property shall be established by law.

The Constitution shall be an integral act (Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Constitution). The Constitutional Court in its rulings has held more than once that the principles and norms of the Constitution comprise a harmonious system (rulings of 18 October 2000, 25 November 2002, 4 July 2003), that there exists a balance between the values which are consolidated in the Constitution (rulings of 23 October 2002, 4 March 2003). No provision of the Constitution may be construed so that the content of another constitutional provision would be distorted or denied, since, thus, the essence of the whole constitutional regulation would be distorted and the balance of values consolidated in the Constitution would be disturbed.

The content of the provisions of Paragraph 2 of Article 128 of the Constitution should be construed in a systemic manner, while taking account, in the context of the entire constitutional regulation, inter alia, of Paragraph 2 of Article 23 of the Constitution according to which the rights of ownership shall be protected by law, Paragraph 1 of Article 46 which provides that Lithuania’s economy shall be based on the right of private ownership and individual freedom of economic activity and initiative, Paragraph 3 of the same article which establishes that the state shall regulate economic activity so that it serves the general welfare of the nation, Paragraph 4 of the same article which consolidates that the law shall prohibit monopolisation of production and the market and shall protect freedom of fair competition, provisions of Article 47 of the Constitution which consolidate the right of exclusive ownership of the state of certain objects as well as establish what objects may belong to foreign subjects by right of ownership, and the provision of Paragraph 1 of Article 134 of the Constitution that the National Audit Office shall supervise the lawfulness of the possession and use of state property and the execution of the State Budget.

The provisions of Paragraph 2 of Article 128 of the Constitution are inseparable from the provisions of the Constitution which consolidate such constitutional values as independence of the state and integrity of its territory, security of the state, welfare of the nation, public order and justice. They are also inseparable from the provisions of the Constitution which entrench various constitutional obligations of the state: the state shall protect and take care of family, motherhood, fatherhood, and childhood (Article 38 of the Constitution); the state shall take care of families that are raising and bringing up children at home and shall render them support in accordance with the procedure established by law (Article 39 of the Constitution); education at state and municipal schools of general education, vocational schools and schools of further education shall be free of charge (Paragraph 2 of Article 41 of the Constitution); citizens who study well shall be guaranteed education at state schools of higher education free of charge (Paragraph 3 of Article 41 of the Constitution); the state shall support culture and science and shall protect Lithuanian historical, art, and cultural monuments and other culturally valuable objects (Paragraph 2 of Article 42 of the Constitution); the state shall render support to ethnic communities (Paragraph 2 of Article 45 of the Constitution); the state shall guarantee the right of citizens to receive old age and disability pensions, as well as social assistance in the event of unemployment, sickness, widowhood, loss of breadwinner, and other cases provided for in laws (Article 52 of the Constitution); the state shall look after the health of the people and shall guarantee medical aid and services for the human being in the event of sickness (Paragraph 1 of Article 53 of the Constitution); the state shall promote physical culture of the society and shall support sport (Paragraph 2 of Article 53 of the Constitution); the state shall look after the protection of the natural environment, its fauna and flora, individual objects of nature and districts of particular value, and shall supervise that natural resources be used moderately and that they be restored and augmented (Paragraph 1 of Article 54 of the Constitution); the state shall take care of and provide for servicemen who lost their health during military service, as well as for the families of servicemen who lost their lives or died during military service (Paragraph 1 of Article 146); the state shall also provide for citizens who lost their health while defending the state, and for the families of citizens who lost their lives or died while defending the state (Paragraph 2 of Article 146 of the Constitution), as well as other provisions of the Constitution.

Paragraph 2 of Article 128 of the Constitution should be construed while taking account also of the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law and the provision of Paragraph 2 of Article 5 of the Constitution that the scope of power shall be limited by the Constitution.

3. Ownership includes obligations (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 21 December 2000 and 14 March 2002). This constitutional imperative should be addressed not only to the subjects of the private ownership right, but also to the state and self-government institutions and officials that have the powers to adopt decisions concerning the possession, use and disposal of the property which belongs to the state by right of ownership. Consequently, it is not permitted to establish such legal regulation according to which the property that belongs to the state by right of ownership would be possessed, used and disposed of in such a manner that the interests of only one social group or separate persons would be satisfied and this property would not serve the public interest, need of society, welfare of the nation. This welfare may not be understood only in the material (or financial) sense (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 13 February 1997 and 6 October 1999).

State-owned property is not an end in itself, it must render benefit for the society. The social function of state-owned property has to be emphasised. While acting in the interests of the society, state institutions must serve the common well of the nation. According to Paragraph 1 of Article 134 of the Constitution, state-owned property must be possessed and used lawfully; this is supervised by the National Audit Office.

In the context of the case at issue, it needs to be noted that the provision of Paragraph 2 of Article 23 of the Constitution that the rights of ownership shall be protected by law also means that the laws must protect the rights of all owners, therefore, the right of ownership of the state as the organisation of the entire society as well.

The requirement to treasure state-owned property and not to waste it follows from the striving for an open, harmonious and just civil society which is consolidated in the Preamble of the Constitution, the constitutional principle that ownership includes obligations, Paragraph 2 of Article 23 of the Constitution according to which the rights of ownership shall be protected by law, the provision of Paragraph 2 of Article 128 of the Constitution that the procedure concerning the possession, use, and disposal of state-owned property shall be established by law, and from other provisions of the Constitution. Such property has to be possessed rationally.

Under the Constitution, the legislature is obligated to establish by law such legal regulation for the possession, use and disposal of the state-owned property so that this property would be used for the needs of the society, would serve the public interest, and the welfare of the nation. While establishing this legal regulation, the legislature must observe the Constitution and not violate the constitutional rights of the state as the subject of the right of ownership, nor those of other persons.

4. The fact that, under the Constitution, the state-owned property must be treasured and not wasted does not mean that it may not be transferred into the ownership of other subjects (except the objects which belong to the Republic of Lithuania by right of exclusive ownership).

The transfer of property (also including its privatisation), which belongs by right of ownership to the state, into the ownership of other subjects may be constitutionally justifiable only if it renders more benefit to society, when by this transfer significant, constitutionally grounded needs/interests of society are sought to be satisfied. Such transfer, both repayable and gratuitous, would be constitutionally unjustifiable if it caused evident harm to the society and violated the rights of other persons.

The provision of Paragraph 2 of Article 128 of the Constitution that the procedure concerning the possession, use, and disposal of state-owned property shall be established by law means that the transfer of the property which belongs by right of ownership to the state as ownership to other subjects must be based on the law, the laws must, inter alia, establish the state institutions which have the powers to adopt decisions concerning the transfer of the property which belongs by right of ownership to the state as ownership to other subjects, and the powers of these institutions to transfer the said property, as well as the conditions and procedure of this transfer of the property. It is not permitted to establish such legal regulation according to which the property that belongs to the state by right of ownership would be transferred into the ownership of other subjects in order to satisfy the interests or needs of only one social group or individual persons, if this does not comply with the need of society, the public interest, or does not serve the welfare of the nation. On the other hand, the legal regulation of the transfer of state-owned property as ownership to other subjects may not be such, according to which the limitation on the right of state institutions to dispose of this property would interfere with the implementation of functions established to them.

It also needs to be noted that the legislature, while observing the Constitution and taking account of various factors, may establish the regime (conditions and procedure of the use) of the property which is being transferred into the ownership of other subjects in order to further safeguard the interests of the society, the welfare of the nation, and to implement the values which are entrenched in the Constitution.

5. It has been mentioned that the requirement to treasure, not waste and rationally possess state-owned property follows from the Constitution.

It needs to be noted that the situations may occur when the state for certain reasons temporarily in fact possesses and uses the property which does not belong to it by right of ownership.

Therefore, in case there objectively occurs a situation, when the state temporarily in fact holds and uses property which does not belong to it by right of ownership, this property must also be possessed and used observing the same constitutional requirements while possessing and using the property which belongs to the state by right of ownership, i.e. it has also to be treasured, not wasted and rationally possessed.

This constitutional imperative is also to be applied to the property which is temporarily in fact possessed and used by the state, which was illegally nationalised or expropriated in other unlawful ways by the occupation government and in regard of which the rights of ownership may be restored according to the law.

VIII

It has been mentioned that the petitioner requests an investigation into whether the provision of Item 8 of Article 2 of the Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” that the Anykščiai rehabilitation centre (former rest-house “Šilelis”) is transferred into the ownership of trade unions, to the extent that also the administrative building was transferred, which is registered in the Real Property Register as property object 2.12, unique No. 34/962-0056-01-0, and the provision of Paragraph 5 (wording of 20 July 2000) of Article 3 of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions that the Anykščiai rehabilitation centre (former rest-house “Šilelis”) is transferred into the ownership of trade unions, to the extent that also the administrative building was transferred, which is registered in the Real Property Register as property object 2.12, unique No. 34/962-0056-01-0, are not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution.

The petitioner doubts the constitutionality of the legal regulation whereby the said building has been transferred into the ownership of trade unions but has not been returned to heirs of the owner of the property.

It has been held in this Ruling that the aforesaid building is part of the complex of buildings of the Anykščiai rehabilitation centre (former rest-house “Šilelis”). The Anykščiai rehabilitation centre (former rest-house “Šilelis”) is a sanatorium-resort (healthcare) establishment, at present the owners of the complex of buildings of which are the trade union “Solidarumas”, the Labour Federation of Lithuania, and the Confederation of Trade Unions of Lithuania. Under Item 8 of Article 2 of the Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” and Paragraph 5 (wording of 20 July 2000) of Article 3 of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions, not an individual building but the entire complex of buildings of the said sanatorium-resort (healthcare) establishment was transferred into the ownership of these trade unions.

In this ruling it has also been held that the transfer of property (also including its privatisation), which belongs by right of ownership to the state, into the ownership of other subjects may be constitutionally justifiable only if it renders more benefit to the society, when by this transfer significant, constitutionally grounded needs/interests of society are sought to be satisfied, also that such transfer, both repayable and gratuitous, would be constitutionally unjustifiable if it caused evident harm to the society and violated the rights of other persons.

2. It has been held that upon the restoration of the independent State of Lithuania, the issues of property of Lithuania, which until then had been possessed by USSR institutions, thus, also that of state trade unions which had functioned in Lithuania, which had been possessed by them prior to the restoration of the independent State of Lithuania, were decided. Until the restoration of the independent State of Lithuania, the trade unions which functioned in Lithuania were a part of the system of USSR trade unions, virtually they were a part of the state mechanism of the USSR through which the state discharged certain social and other functions.

Only after the restoration of the independent State of Lithuania there appeared legal pre-conditions for development of a civil society, for unfolding of people’s social activity, thus, also for the formation of free trade unions, one of the elements of a civil society. Free trade unions may establish themselves and function only in an independent democratic state. It needs to be noted that after the restoration of the independence of the Republic of Lithuania, soon legal acts began to be adopted by which one attempted to create pre-conditions for establishment and functioning of independent trade unions, and to render them material support at the initial stage of their formation and activities.

It has been mentioned that, on 30 July 1990, the Supreme Council adopted the Resolution “On the Support for Newly Established Trade Unions and on the Property of Former State Trade Union Organisations” in which it is provided that part of the property of state trade unions which functioned in Lithuania before the restoration of the independent State of Lithuania “is to be transferred to trade unions which are in the process of establishment or newly established ones”.

Thus, at the same time an intention was stated to support the independent trade unions which were in the process of establishment or newly established ones by rendering them part of the property of state trade unions which used to function in Lithuania before the restoration of the independent State of Lithuania, i.e. property which belonged to the State of Lithuania by right of ownership.

This intention to support the independent trade unions which were in the process of establishment or newly established ones by rendering them part of the property of former state trade unions, stated in the 30 July 1990 Supreme Council Resolution “On the Support for Newly Established Trade Unions and on the Property of Former State Trade Union Organisations”, was implemented after the Constitution adopted in the 25 October 1992 Referendum of the Nation had gone into effect, by the Seimas adopting laws and other legal acts, among them the laws whose provisions are impugned in the case at issue.

3. Article 50 of the Constitution provides:

Trade unions shall be freely established and shall function independently. They shall defend the professional, economic, and social rights and interests of employees.

All trade unions shall have equal rights.”

Article 50 of the Constitution formulates the basic principles of the status and activities of trade unions and indicates the functions of trade unions.

While interpreting these provisions of the Constitution, the Constitutional Court held in its ruling of 14 January 1999 that trade unions are voluntary and independent organisations of employees. The employees join trade unions in order to defend their rights in an organised way. A person who joins a trade union, of his own free will chooses this organisation as one of the forms of the protection of his labour rights and interests. Article 50 of the Constitution is linked with Article 35 of the Constitution which guarantees the right of citizens to freely form societies, political parties, and associations, provided that the aims and activities thereof are not inconsistent with the Constitution and laws.

The status and principles of activities of trade unions established in the Constitution together with the striving for an open, just, and harmonious civil society and state under the rule of law and the democratic character of the State of Lithuania established in the Constitution imply the principle of autonomy of trade unions with regard to the state and its institutions.

In this context it should be noted that the provision of Paragraph 1 of Article 50 of the Constitution that trade unions shall be freely established and shall function independently means, inter alia, that trade unions are independent of state authority and other state institutions, of employers and their organisations as well as of other organisations. Only the freely united trade unions which are functioning independently of state authority and other state institutions, of employers and their organisations as well as of other organisations can protect the professional, economic and social rights and interests of employees. Under the Constitution, there may be no such legal regulation which would restrict or deny the constitutional right of trade unions to establish themselves freely and to function independently while defending the professional, economic, and social rights and interests of employees.

4. The provision of Paragraph 1 of Article 50 of the Constitution that trade unions shall be freely established and shall function independently draws the limits of the interaction between the state and trade unions. Alongside, the constitutional limits of support rendered by the state to trade unions are drawn. Without violating the provisions of the Constitution and taking account of the fact that, under the Constitution (Paragraph 2 of Article 50), all trade unions shall have equal rights, at the initial stage of the establishment and activities of free trade unions the state could render material (also financial) support to the trade unions which were in the process of establishment or the newly-established trade unions (their alliances) of Lithuania so that they might start their activities and independently discharge the functions of trade unions entrenched in the Constitution. This state support cannot be permanent. At this initial stage the state support rendered to trade unions should be linked not with the discharging of functions by the trade unions which, according to the Constitution, act independently, but with the establishment and beginning of activities of trade unions as one of elements of a civil society. Under the Constitution, no legal regulation is permitted under which the state would render such support to trade unions, or that it would render it in such ways so that legal preconditions might be created for violating the independence of activities of trade unions, and making them dependent on the state and, thus, restricting the opportunities of trade unions to defend the professional, economic, and social rights and interests of employees. Also, it is not permitted to establish any such legal regulation under which the state would render such support to trade unions, or that it would render it in such ways, so that the equality of trade unions could be violated.

It follows from Paragraph 1 of Article 50, Paragraph 2 of Article 23, Paragraph 2 of Article 128 of the Constitution, the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law as well as other provisions of the Constitution that the state was permitted to support the trade unions which were in the process of establishment or which were established at that time only with such property (premises etc.) belonging to the state by right of ownership which was necessary for the trade unions to establish themselves and start their activities.

The state, while supporting trade unions which are in the process of establishment, cannot absolutely freely transfer to them any property. State institutions, which have powers to adopt decisions on the possession, use and disposal of the property belonging to the state by right of ownership, while deciding the issue of hand-over of property belonging to the state as ownership to trade unions, are bound by the Constitution.

It has been mentioned that while transferring state-owned property as ownership to other entities, one must take account of the fact that it is not permitted to establish such legal regulation according to which the property that belongs to the state by right of ownership would be transferred into the ownership of other subjects in order to satisfy the interests or needs of only one social group or individual persons, if this does not comply with the need of society, the public interest, or does not serve the welfare of the nation.

It has also been mentioned that under the Constitution state-owned property must be treasured, not wasted and possessed rationally, and that this constitutional imperative is also to be applied to the property which is temporarily in fact possessed and used by the state, which was illegally nationalised or expropriated in other unlawful ways by the occupation government and in regard of which the rights of ownership may be restored according to the law.

5. It has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that the intention to support the independent trade unions which were in the process of establishment or newly established ones by rendering them part of the property of former state trade unions, stated in the 30 July 1990 Supreme Council Resolution “On the Support for Newly Established Trade Unions and on the Property of Former State Trade Union Organisations”, was implemented after the Constitution adopted in the 25 October 1992 Referendum of the Nation had gone into effect. It needs to be noted that this intention was expressed at the time when the state had recently regained its independence, while the civil society was only coming into being. Establishment of free trade unions should be regarded as one of the pre-conditions of the constitutional striving for an open, just, and harmonious civil society. The principle decision taken at that time that the state will support the trade unions which were in the process of establishment or the established ones virtually was in line with the constitutional striving for an open, just, and harmonious civil society and state under the rule of law.

Also, it should be noted that the state support for the trade unions which were in the process of establishment or the established ones, i.e. transfer of state-owned property to them, was determined by the fact that after the restoration of the independent State of Lithuania new and free trade unions were establishing themselves, which are one of the elements of a civil society. At present free trade unions already exist in Lithuania. At the initial stage of their establishment and activities the state was permitted to transfer its property belonging to it by right of ownership to trade unions only in order that conditions might be created for free trade unions to establish themselves and start their activities. This initial stage is over now.

6. It needs to be noted that under the Constitution trade unions, in order that they might discharge their functions, can possess various property by right of ownership. However, this does not mean that state institutions can transfer as ownership enterprises, establishments and organisations belonging to the state by right of ownership to trade unions: trade unions are not economic organisations, they establish themselves not for economic activities or public administration. By such transfer one would violate Paragraph 2 of Article 128, Paragraph 1 of Article 50, Paragraph 2 of Article 23 of the Constitution, as well as Paragraph 2 of Article 5 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

IX

1. It has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that at the time when the issues of the property possessed by the state trade unions which functioned in Lithuania before the restoration of the independent State of Lithuania were being decided, the process of the restitution of the property that had been nationalised or otherwise unlawfully expropriated had started and was taking place as well.

2. After the occupation government had carried out nationalisation in 1940 and later as well as after private property had been expropriated in other unlawful ways, the innate human right to possess private property was denied. On the basis of such arbitrary acts of the occupation government, lawful state or public property could not appear and it did not appear, since no right can appear on the grounds of unlawfulness. In its rulings of 27 May 1994 and 4 March 2003 the Constitutional Court held that the property taken from people in such a way may be considered property which is only in fact possessed by the state.

On 15 November 1990, while recognising the succession and restoration of rights of ownership, the Supreme Council adopted a principle decision and confirmed these provisions: succession of the rights of ownership of citizens of Lithuania is unquestionably recognised; citizens of Lithuania have the right to retrieve in kind, within the limits and procedure defined by law, the property that belonged to them, while in the absence of an opportunity to retrieve it, to be compensated for.

It was impossible to restore by means of the laws valid at that time the rights of ownership which had been violated by unlawfully expropriating private property. For this, it was necessary to establish a special (ad hoc) legal regulation. While regulating, by law, the restoration of the rights of ownership which had been denied, one had to take account of the fact that during the occupation years different property, social and economic relations of people appeared, there occurred other objective circumstances due to which it was impossible to completely restore the rights of ownership (to go back to the initial situation).

On 18 June 1991, the Supreme Council adopted the Law “On the Restoration of the Rights of Ownership of Citizens to the Existing Real Property”, in which it was provided as to what persons, what property and under what conditions the rights of ownership had to be restored. It is clear from the legal regulation established in this law that limited restitution was chosen, but not restitutio in integrum. The said law was later amended and/or supplemented many a time, but the principle that restitution is limited has remained.

3. Under Article 2 (wording of 18 June 1991) of the Law “On the Restoration of the Rights of Ownership of Citizens to the Existing Real Property”, only the former owner of the existing real property himself was permitted to have his rights to the said property restored, provided that he was a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania under the laws of the Republic of Lithuania and permanently resided in Lithuania, also, in the event that the former owner of the property was no longer living, the children (adopted children), parents (foster parents), or spouse of the former owner, provided they were citizens of the Republic of Lithuania under the laws of the Republic of Lithuania and permanently resided in Lithuania.

The provision of the Law “On the Restoration of the Rights of Ownership of Citizens to the Existing Real Property” that only citizens of Lithuania had an opportunity to restore their rights of ownership to the existing real property, who permanently resided in the Republic of Lithuania, remained during the whole time of the validity of this law.

4. Under Paragraph 2 (wording of 18 June 1991) of Article 8 of the Law “On the Restoration of the Rights of Ownership of Citizens to the Existing Real Property”, the procedure and terms of the returning of residential houses (or parts thereof) shall be established by the Government on the basis, inter alia, of the provision that the residential houses are returned in kind when they have been reconstructed into non-residential premises (Item 1).

It is impossible to assess Article 8 (wording of 18 June 1991) of the Law “On the Restoration of the Rights of Ownership of Citizens to the Existing Real Property” separately from Article 14 (wording of 18 June 1991) of the same law, in which it was established that residential houses shall be purchased by the state from persons specified in Article 2 of this law if they, in the opinion of the Government, are indispensable for state necessities or if: (1) they have been expanded, rebuilt, or reconstructed into non-residential premises and if they have not been given to scientific, medical, cultural, educational or communications establishments; (2) it is a wooden residential house which has been substantially improved, or if the house has been augmented, rebuilt, or reconstructed, thereby increasing the gross floor area by more than 1/3, in a manner which makes it impossible to separate the additional gross floor area from the original one.

The provision that residential houses if they have been expanded, rebuilt, or reconstructed into non-residential premises and if they have not been given to scientific, medical, cultural, educational or communications establishments are to be returned in kind remained during the whole time of the validity of the Law “On the Restoration of the Rights of Ownership of Citizens to the Existing Real Property”.

On 3 July 1995, the Seimas adopted the Law “On the Amendment and Supplement of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law ‘On the Procedure and Conditions of Restoration of the Rights of Ownership of Citizens to the Existing Real Property’” whereby Article 14 (wording of 18 June 1991) of the Law “On the Procedure and Conditions of Restoration of the Rights of Ownership of Citizens to the Existing Real Property” was abolished, while Article 8 (wording of 18 June 1991) of the same law was supplemented with the words “and have not been transferred to scientific, health care, cultural, educational and communications establishments”.

5. Under Paragraph 1 of Article 10 (wording of 18 June 1991) of the Law “On the Procedure and Conditions of Restoration of the Rights of Ownership of Citizens to the Existing Real Property”, persons defined in Article 2 of this law may file requests to reclaim the existing real property, or for the compensation thereof, with the boards of the town or district in which the existing real property is located, prior to 31 December 1991. Subsequently this term was prolonged for several times; the final established term was 30 April 1994.

6. The Law “On the Procedure and Conditions of Restoration of the Rights of Ownership of Citizens to the Existing Real Property” became no longer valid upon the entry into effect of the Law on the Restoration of the Rights of Ownership of Citizens to the Existing Real Property, which was adopted by the Seimas on 1 July 1997. It was provided in Article 2 of this law that ownership rights to the real property shall be restored to the following citizens of Lithuania: (1) the owner of the property; (2) the persons to whom the dead owner of the property left his property by will, irrespective of the fact that there is no evidence of the fact of devise of land or other real property; (3) the spouse, parents (foster parents), children (adopted children) of the owner of the property who died without making a will—to a portion of the existing real property they are entitled whereto; and (4) the spouse, children (adopted children) of the child (adopted child) of the owner of the property—to a portion of the existing real property the deceased is entitled whereto. Under this legal regulation the requirement of permanent residence in the Republic of Lithuania is no longer applied to the citizens claiming restoration of their rights of ownership to the existing real property.

Later Article 2 (wording of 1 July 1997) of the Law on the Restoration of the Rights of Ownership of Citizens to the Existing Real Property was amended and/or supplemented more than once, however, it did not establish the condition that citizens must permanently reside in the Republic of Lithuania so that their rights of ownership to the existing real property might be restored.

7. A provision was established in Paragraph 1 (wording of 1 July 1997) of Article 8 of the Law on the Restoration of the Rights of Ownership of Citizens to the Existing Real Property that ownership rights to residential houses, portion thereof, flats shall be restored to citizens by returning them in kind, except the residential houses, portion thereof, flats which are subject to the state purchase pursuant to Article 15 of this law. Although Article 8 of the same law was subsequently amended, however, the said provision remained unchanged.

It is impossible to assess Article 8 (wording of 1 July 1997) of the Law on the Restoration of the Rights of Ownership of Citizens to the Existing Real Property separately from Article 15 (wording of 1 July 1997) of the same law, in which it was established:

Residential houses, parts thereof, flats shall be purchased by the State from the citizens specified in Article 2 of this Law and it shall be compensated for them according to Article 16 of this Law, provided:

1) they have been reconstructed into non-residential premises and used for educational, health care, cultural, scientific needs, and by communal care residences. The list of these premises shall be approved by the Government;

2) they have been substantially reconstructed to such an extent that more than 60 percent of the main constructions have been altered and it is impossible to separate the newly created gross floor area from the former one, if the gross floor area exceeds the former by 30 per cent;

3) one has acquired private ownership thereof according to laws.”

In its ruling of 27 October 1998, the Constitutional Court recognised that the provision “more than 60 percent of the main constructions have been altered” of Article 15 (wording of 1 July 1997) of the Law on the Restoration of the Rights of Ownership of Citizens to the Existing Real Property was in conflict with the Constitution.

Although Article 15 of the said law was amended and/or supplemented more than once, however, the established principle that certain property is purchased by the state and one is compensated for it in the manner provided for in the law has always persisted.

8. It was established in Paragraph 2 (wording of 1 July 1997) of Article 10 of the Law on the Restoration of the Rights of Ownership of Citizens to the Existing Real Property that the citizens, who were not entitled to the restoration of the rights of ownership according to Law “On the Procedure and Conditions of Restoration of the Rights of Ownership of Citizens to the Existing Real Property” and who had acquired such right according to the Law on the Restoration of the Rights of Ownership of Citizens to the Existing Real Property, shall file applications for the restoration of the rights of ownership to the existing real property with the institution authorised by the Government prior to 31 December 1997. The rights of ownership of the said citizens to the existing real property shall be restored, provided that the rights of ownership to this existing real property have not been restored to other persons specified in Article 2 of this law.

It was established in Paragraph 1 (wording of 3 August 2001) of Article 10 of the Law on the Restoration of the Rights of Ownership of Citizens to the Existing Real Property that ownership rights shall be restored to citizens whose requests to restore the rights of ownership to the real property had been filed within the time period established in the Law “On the Procedure and Conditions of Restoration of the Rights of Ownership of Citizens to the Existing Real Property” and under procedure established in this law prior to 31 December 2001. The citizens who failed to hand in their requests within the established time period lost the right to the restoration of ownership rights under this law.

9. It is clear from the discussed legal regulation of the restoration of ownership rights to the existing real property that the provision of the Law “On the Procedure and Conditions of Restoration of the Rights of Ownership of Citizens to the Existing Real Property” that only the citizens of Lithuania had an opportunity to restore their rights of ownership to the existing real property, who permanently resided in the Republic of Lithuania, remained during the whole time of the validity of this law. Besides, under the same law, the subjects who had an opportunity to restore their rights of ownership to the existing real property had to apply to state institutions within the time period and under the procedure established by law. The provision that residential houses if they have been expanded, rebuilt, or reconstructed into non-residential premises and if they have not been given to scientific, medical, cultural, educational or communications establishments are to be returned in kind also remained during the whole time of the validity of the Law “On the Restoration of the Rights of Ownership of Citizens to the Existing Real Property”.

After the Law on the Restoration of the Rights of Ownership of Citizens to the Existing Real Property had gone into effect, the content of the legal regulation of restitution of the unlawfully nationalised property was changed and the circle of subjects who could claim the restoration of the rights of ownership to the existing real property was widened.

X

On the compliance of Item 8 of Article 2 of the Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” and Paragraph 5 of Article 3 of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions (wording of 20 July 2000) with Article 23 of the Constitution.

1. The petitioner requests an investigation into whether the provision of Item 8 of Article 2 of the Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” that the Anykščiai rehabilitation centre (former rest-house “Šilelis”) is transferred into the ownership of trade unions, to the extent that also the administrative building was transferred, which is registered in the Real Property Register as property object 2.12, unique No. 34/962-0056-01-0, and the provision of Paragraph 5 (wording of 20 July 2000) of Article 3 of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions that the Anykščiai rehabilitation centre (former rest-house “Šilelis”) is transferred into the ownership of trade unions, to the extent that also the administrative building was transferred, which is registered in the Real Property Register as property object 2.12, unique No. 34/962-0056-01-0, are not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution.

2. Taking account of the fact that in the case at issue, one impugns the legal provisions under which the administrative building registered in the Real Property Register as property object 2.12, unique No. 34/962-0056-01-0 is part of the complex of buildings of the Anykščiai rehabilitation centre (former rest-house “Šilelis”) (Vilniaus St. 80, Anykščiai), also of the fact that prior to the restoration of the independent State of Lithuania the Anykščiai rehabilitation centre (former rest-house “Šilelis”) was possessed by state trade unions which functioned in Lithuania, also of the fact that by Item 8 (wording of 8 June 1995) of Article 2 of the Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” the Anykščiai rehabilitation centre (former rest-house “Šilelis”) was recognised as property of trade unions of Lithuania and transferred to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, while by Paragraph 5 of Article 3 of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions (wording of 20 July 2000) it was transferred, in equal portions, as common shared ownership to the Labour Federation of Lithuania, the Lithuanian Trade Unions Centre, the Workers Union of Lithuania and the Alliance of Trade Unions of Lithuania, it is possible to investigate the compliance of the provisions of the impugned laws with the Constitution only if before one investigates whether the provisions of the laws and Seimas resolutions under which the property of sanatorium-resort establishments possessed by state trade unions which functioned in Lithuanian before the restoration of the independent State of Lithuania was transferred to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment and individual trade unions of Lithuania are not in conflict with the Constitution.

3. On 25 May 1993, the Seimas adopted the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” in Article 3 whereof it was established, inter alia, that the property of former state trade unions of the Lithuanian SSR, which had been created from the funds of the state and Lithuanian people, “shall be transferred into the ownership of the following: <…> 2) <…> the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, <…> which, within 5 years, transfers the property to the functioning trade unions and those in the process of establishment”.

3.1. On 27 June 1995, the Seimas adopted the Law “On the Amendment and Supplement of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law ‘On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR’”. Article 1 of this law abolished the provision of Item 2 (wording of 25 May 1993) of Article 3 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” under which the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, within 5 years, had to transfer the property to the functioning trade unions and those in the process of establishment, and it was established that the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment shall operate until 1 June 2006.

On 20 July 2000, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Amendment of Articles 3 and 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” by Article 1 whereof Item 2 (wording of 27 June 1995) of Article 3 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” was amended by entering the word and numbers “1 July 2001” instead of the word and numbers “1 June 2006”.

On 22 January 2002, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Amendment of Articles 3 and 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” by Article 1 whereof the words “shall operate until 1 July 2001” were crossed out from Item 2 (wording of 20 July 2000) of Article 3 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”.

3.2. The provision “shall be transferred into the ownership of the following: <…> 2) <…> the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, <…> which, within 5 years, transfers the property to the existing and newly established trade unions” of Article 3 (wording of 25 May 1993) of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”, the provision “shall be transferred into the ownership of the following: <…> 2) <…> the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, <…> which shall operate until 1 June 2006” of this article (wording of 27 June 1995), the provision “shall be transferred into the ownership of the following: <…> 2) <…> the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, <…>, which shall operate until 1 July 2001” of this article (wording of 20 July 2000) and the provision “shall be transferred into the ownership of the following: <…> 2) <…> the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment” of this article (wording of 22 January 2002) mean that the state decided to transfer as ownership the property belonging to it by right of ownership to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment.

3.3. Article 4 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” provides: “The procedure of transfer of the property (and parts thereof) of the former state trade unions of the Lithuanian SSR shall be established by the Seimas Resolution ‘On the Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR.”’”

3.4. Article 5 (wording of 25 May 1993) of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” used to provide: “The procedure of transfer and use of the property of sanatoriums and rest-houses of Lithuania shall be established by means of a separate resolution of the Seimas.”

By Article 2 of the 27 June 1995 Law “On the Amendment and Supplement of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law ‘On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR’” Article 5 (wording of 25 May 1993) of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” was amended by entering the word “law” instead of the word “resolution”. Thus, Article 5 (wording of 27 June 1995) of Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” provided: “The procedure of transfer and use of the property of sanatoriums and rest-houses of Lithuania shall be established by means of a separate law of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania.”

3.5. In Articles 4 and 5 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” it was not established expressis verbis that it was decided to transfer the property indicated therein to the functioning trade unions and those which were in the process of establishment, however, when construing the legal regulation established in these articles in the context of other provisions of the same law, it should be concluded that under Articles 4 and 5 of this law it was decided to transfer the said property to the functioning trade unions and those which were in the process of establishment.

3.6. The legal regulation established in Article 4 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” means that, through a separate Seimas resolution, property belonging to the state by right of ownership could be transferred into the ownership of functioning trade unions or those which were in the process of establishment.

The legal regulation established in Article 5 (wordings of 25 May 1993 and 27 June 1995) of the same law means that, by means of a separate Seimas resolution, and later—by means of a law, property belonging to the state by right of ownership, i.e. property of sanatoriums and rest-houses of Lithuania, could be transferred into the ownership of functioning trade unions or those which were in the process of establishment.

3.7. On 23 February 1995, the Seimas adopted the Law “On the Amendment and Supplement of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law ‘On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR’” by Article 1 whereof it supplemented the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” by new Article 6 in which it was established that the property transferred to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment may not be privatised or assessed in the value of shares, also it may not be sold or transferred to someone that is not a trade union.

On 27 June 1995, the Seimas adopted the Law “On the Amendment and Supplement of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law ‘On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR’” by Article 3 whereof Article 6 (wording of 23 February 1995) of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” was amended and supplemented, and it was established that succeeding the date of 1 January 1999 the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must hand over the property possessed and used by the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania, while succeeding the date of 1 January 2006, it must also transfer the funds of this fund as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania.

On 21 December 1998, the Seimas adopted the Law on the Amendment of Article 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”. By Article 1 of this law Paragraph 2 (wording of 27 June 1995) of Article 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” was amended by entering the date “1 July 1999” instead of the date “1 January 1999”.

On 24 June 1999, the Seimas adopted the Law on the Amendment and Supplement of Article 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”. By Article 1 of this law Article 6 (wording of 21 December 1998) of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” was amended and it was set forth as follows:

The property transferred to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment may not be privatised or assessed in the value of shares, also it may not be sold or transferred otherwise save the cases indicated in Paragraph 2 of this Article.

Succeeding the date of 31 December 1999, the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must hand over the property possessed and used by the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania, while succeeding the date of 1 January 2006, it must also transfer to them the funds of the Fund as ownership.

The Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must, until 1 October 1999, take over the property of the former state trade unions of the Lithuanian SSR.”

On 21 December 1999, the Seimas adopted the Law on the Amendment of Article 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”. By Article 1 of this law Paragraph 2 (wording of 24 June 1999) of Article 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” was amended by entering the date “31 May 2000” instead of the date “31 May 1999”.

On 23 May 2000, the Seimas adopted the Law on the Amendment of Article 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”. By Article 1 of this law Paragraph 2 (wording of 21 December 1999) of Article 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” was amended by entering the date “31 July 2000” instead of the date “31 May 2000”.

On 20 July 2000, the Seimas adopted the Law on the Amendment of Articles 3 and 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” by Article 2 whereof Paragraph 2 (wording of 23 May 2000) of Article 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” was amended and it was set forth as follows: “The Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must hand over the property as well as the funds possessed and used by the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania under the procedure provided for by the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions.”

On 22 January 2002, the Seimas adopted the Law on the Amendment of Articles 3 and 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” by Paragraph 1 of Article 2 whereof Paragraph 1 (wording of 24 June 1999) of Article 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” was recognised as no longer valid, while by Paragraph 2 (wording of 20 July 2000) of Article 2 of the same law Paragraph 2 of Article 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” was amended and set forth as follows: “The Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must, within 2 months of the entry of this Law into effect, establish the procedure for possession, use and disposal of the property handed over to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment and provide how one will settle up for the obligations of public enterprises founded by the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment.”

3.8. In the provision “the property transferred to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment” of Article 6 (wording of 23 February 1995) of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”, the provision “the property transferred to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment” of Paragraph 1 (wording of 27 June 1995) of the same article, the provision “<…> the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must hand over the property possessed and used by the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania, <…> it must also transfer the funds of the Fund as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania” of Paragraph 2 (wording of 27 June 1995) of the same article, the provision “<…> the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must hand over the property possessed and used by the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania, <…> it must also transfer the funds of the Fund as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania” of Paragraph 2 (wording of 21 December 1998) of the same article, the provision “the property transferred to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment” of Paragraph 1 (wording of 24 June 1999) of the same article, the provision “<…> the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must hand over the property possessed and used by the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania, <…> it must also transfer the funds of the Fund as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania” of Paragraph 2 (wording of 24 June 1999) of the same article, the provision “the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must <…> take over the property of the former state trade unions of the Lithuanian SSR” of Paragraph 3 (wording of 24 June 1999) of the same article, the provision “<…> the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must hand over the property possessed and used by the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania, <…> it must also transfer to them the funds of the Fund” of Paragraph 2 (wording of 21 December 1999) of the same article, the provision “<…> the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must hand over the property possessed and used by the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania, <…> it must also transfer to them the funds of the Fund” of Paragraph 2 (wording of 23 May 2000) of the same article, the provision “the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must hand over the property and funds possessed and used by the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania” of Paragraph 2 (wording of 20 July 2000) of the same article, the provision “the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must <…> establish the procedure for possession, use and disposal of the property handed over to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment” of Paragraph 2 (wording of 22 January 2002) of the same article such legal regulation was established under which it was decided to transfer property belonging to the state by right of ownership or this property is transferred to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, while the latter transfers as ownership the said property belonging to the state by right of ownership to trade unions of Lithuania.

3.9. It has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that the property possessed by the state trade unions which functioned in Lithuania until the restoration of the independent State of Lithuania, which were a part of the system of USSR trade unions, is property of the State of Lithuania.

It has also been held that the requirement to treasure state-owned property, not to waste it and possess it rationally follows from the striving for an open, harmonious and just civil society which is consolidated in the Preamble of the Constitution, from the constitutional principle that ownership includes obligations, from Paragraph 2 of Article 23 of the Constitution according to which the rights of ownership shall be protected by law, the provision of Paragraph 2 of Article 128 of the Constitution that the procedure concerning the possession, use, and disposal of state-owned property shall be established by law, and from other provisions of the Constitution. Under the Constitution, laws must protect the rights of all owners, thus, including the right of ownership of the state as the organisation of the entire society.

It has also been held that it is not permitted to establish such legal regulation according to which the property that belongs to the state by right of ownership would be possessed, used or disposed of in such a manner so that the interests or needs of only one social group or individual persons are satisfied and that this property does not serve the public interest, the need of society, and the welfare of the nation, or that this property belonging to the state by right of ownership would be transferred into the ownership of other subjects in order to satisfy the interests or needs of only one social group or individual persons, if this does not comply with the need of society, the public interest, or does not serve the welfare of the nation.

It has also been mentioned that at the initial stage of establishment and activities of trade unions or newly established trade unions the state support rendered to trade unions should be linked not with the discharging of functions by the trade unions which, according to the Constitution, act independently, but with the establishment and beginning of activities of trade unions as one of elements of a civil society, also, that the state might support the trade unions which were in the process of establishment or which had been established at that time only with such property (premises etc.) belonging to the state by right of ownership which was necessary for the trade unions to establish themselves and start their activities.

3.10. By means of the provision “shall be transferred into the ownership of the following: <…> 2) <…> the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, <…> which, within 5 years, transfers the property to the existing and newly established trade unions” of Article 3 (wording of 25 May 1993) of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”, the provision “shall be transferred into the ownership of the following: <…> 2) <…> the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, <…> which shall operate until 1 June 2006” of this article (wording of 27 June 1995), the provision “shall be transferred into the ownership of the following: <…> 2) <…> the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, <…>, which shall operate until 1 July 2001” of this article (wording of 20 July 2000) and the provision “shall be transferred into the ownership of the following: <…> 2) <…> the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment” of this article (wording of 22 January 2002), as well as the legal regulation established in Articles 4 and 5 (wordings of 25 May 1993 and 27 June 1995) of the said law, the provision “the property transferred to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment” of Article 6 (wording of 23 February 1995) of the said law, the provision “the property transferred to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment” of Paragraph 1 (wording of 27 June 1995) of the same article, the provision “<…> the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must hand over the property possessed and used by the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania, <…> it must also transfer the funds of the Fund as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania” of Paragraph 2 (wording of 27 June 1995) of the same article, the provision “<…> the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must hand over the property possessed and used by the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania, <…> it must also transfer the funds of the Fund as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania” of Paragraph 2 (wording of 21 December 1998) of the same article, the provision “the property transferred to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment” of Paragraph 1 (wording of 24 June 1999) of the same article, the provision “<…> the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must hand over the property possessed and used by the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania, <…> it must also transfer to them the funds of the Fund” of Paragraph 2 (wording of 24 June 1999) of the same article, the provision “the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must <…> take over the property of the former state trade unions of the Lithuanian SSR” of Paragraph 3 (wording of 24 June 1999) of the same article, the provision “<…> the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must hand over the property possessed and used by the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania, <…> it must also transfer to them the funds of the Fund” of Paragraph 2 (wording of 21 December 1999) of the same article, the provision “<…> the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must hand over the property possessed and used by the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania, <…> it must also transfer to them the funds of the Fund” of Paragraph 2 (wording of 23 May 2000) of the same article, the provision “the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must hand over the property and funds possessed and used by the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania” of Paragraph 2 (wording of 20 July 2000) of the same article, and the provision “the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must <…> establish the procedure for possession, use and disposal of the property handed over to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment” of Paragraph 2 (wording of 22 January 2002) of the same article legal pre-conditions were created to transfer as ownership also the property belonging to the state by right of ownership to other entities, functioning trade unions or those that were in the process of establishment, or such property was transferred to the latter, which was not necessary for the trade unions in order to establish themselves and begin their activities.

By such legal regulation the requirements of protection of property belonging to the state by right of ownership which are established in Paragraph 2 of Article 23 and Paragraph 2 of Article 128 of the Constitution as well as the constitutional status of trade unions established in Paragraph 1 of Article 50 of the Constitution are disregarded. Alongside, Paragraph 2 of Article 5 of the Constitution, which provides that the scope of power shall be limited by the Constitution, and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law are violated.

3.11. Taking account of the arguments set forth, it should be concluded that the provision “shall be transferred into the ownership of the following: <…> 2) <…> the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, <…> which, within 5 years, transfers the property to the existing and newly established trade unions” of Article 3 (wording of 25 May 1993) of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”, the provision “shall be transferred into the ownership of the following: <…> 2) <…> the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, <…> which shall operate until 1 June 2006” of this article (wording of 27 June 1995), the provision “shall be transferred into the ownership of the following: <…> 2) <…> the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, <…>, which shall operate until 1 July 2001” of this article (wording of 20 July 2000) and the provision “shall be transferred into the ownership of the following: <…> 2) <…> the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment” of this article (wording of 22 January 2002), as well as the legal regulation established in Articles 4 and 5 (wordings of 25 May 1993 and 27 June 1995) of the said law, the provision “the property transferred to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment” of Article 6 (wording of 23 February 1995) of the said law, the provision “the property transferred to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment” of Paragraph 1 (wording of 27 June 1995) of the same article, the provision “<…> the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must hand over the property possessed and used by the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania, <…> it must also transfer the funds of the Fund as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania” of Paragraph 2 (wording of 27 June 1995) of the same article, the provision “<…> the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must hand over the property possessed and used by the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania, <…> it must also transfer the funds of the Fund as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania” of Paragraph 2 (wording of 21 December 1998) of the same article, the provision “the property transferred to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment” of Paragraph 1 (wording of 24 June 1999) of the same article, the provision “<…> the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must hand over the property possessed and used by the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania, <…> it must also transfer to them the funds of the Fund” of Paragraph 2 (wording of 24 June 1999) of the same article, the provision “the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must <…> take over the property of the former state trade unions of the Lithuanian SSR” of Paragraph 3 (wording of 24 June 1999) of the same article, the provision “<…> the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must hand over the property possessed and used by the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania, <…> it must also transfer to them the funds of the Fund” of Paragraph 2 (wording of 21 December 1999) of the same article, the provision “<…> the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must hand over the property possessed and used by the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania, <…> it must also transfer the funds of the Fund as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania” of Paragraph 2 (wording of 23 May 2000) of the same article, the provision “the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must hand over the property and funds possessed and used by the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania” of Paragraph 2 (wording of 20 July 2000) of the same article, and the provision “the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must <…> establish the procedure for possession, use and disposal of the property handed over to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment” of Paragraph 2 (wording of 22 January 2002) of the same article are in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 5, Paragraph 2 of Article 23, Paragraph 1 of Article 50, Paragraph 2 of Article 128 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

4. On 1 June 1993, the Seimas adopted the Resolution “On the Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law ‘On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR’” in Item 3 whereof it was established, inter alia, the following: “The property transferred into the ownership of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment shall be composed of: <…> 6) share of the property of sanatoriums and rest-houses of trade unions of Lithuania”.

4.1. On 20 July 1994, the Seimas adopted the Resolution “On the Amendment and Supplement of the Republic of Lithuania Seimas Resolution ‘On the Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”’” by Item 1 whereof it recognised Subitem 5 of Item 3 of the 1 June 1993 Seimas Resolution “On the Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law ‘On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR’” as no longer valid, while by Item 2 it decided to regard Subitems 6-13 of Item 3 of the 1 June 1993 Seimas Resolution “On the Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law ‘On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR’” as Subitems 5-12 accordingly. Thus, Subitem 6 (wording of 1 June 1993) of Item 3 of the 1 June 1993 Seimas Resolution “On the Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law ‘On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR’” became Subitem 5 (wording of 20 July 1994) of Item 3 of this resolution.

4.2. The provision “the property transferred into the ownership of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment shall be composed of: <…> 6) share of the property of sanatoriums and rest-houses of trade unions of Lithuania” of Item 3 (wording of 1 June 1993) of the 1 June 1993 Seimas Resolution “On the Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law ‘On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR’” and the provision “the property transferred into the ownership of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment shall be composed of: <…> (5) share of the property of sanatoriums and rest-houses of trade unions of Lithuania” of Item 3 (wording of 20 July 1994) of the same Seimas resolution establish the legal regulation whereby property belonging to the state by right of ownership, also property, which is temporarily in fact possessed and used by the state, but which was unlawfully nationalised or expropriated in other unlawful ways by the occupation government and to which, under the law, the rights of ownership may be restored, i.e. part of the property of sanatoriums and rest-houses, which is regarded as part of property of trade unions of Lithuania and transferred into the ownership of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, which, under the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”, transfers as ownership the aforesaid property belonging to the state by right of ownership as well as the property, to which the rights of ownership may be restored, to trade unions of Lithuania.

4.3. It has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that the property possessed by the state trade unions which functioned in Lithuania until the restoration of the independent State of Lithuania, which were a part of the system of USSR trade unions, is property of the State of Lithuania.

It has also been held that the requirement to treasure state-owned property, not to waste it and possess it rationally follows from the striving for an open, harmonious and just civil society which is consolidated in the Preamble of the Constitution, the constitutional principle that ownership includes obligations, Paragraph 2 of Article 23 of the Constitution according to which the rights of ownership shall be protected by law, the provision of Paragraph 2 of Article 128 of the Constitution that the procedure concerning the possession, use, and disposal of state-owned property shall be established by law, and from other provisions of the Constitution. It has also been mentioned that, under the Constitution, laws must protect the rights of all owners, thus, including the right of ownership of the state as the organisation of the entire society.

It has also been held that it is not permitted to establish such legal regulation according to which the property that belongs to the state by right of ownership would be possessed, used or disposed of in such a manner so that the interests or needs of only one social group or individual persons are satisfied and that this property does not serve the public interest, the need of society, and the welfare of the nation, or that this property belonging to the state by right of ownership would be transferred into the ownership of other subjects in order to satisfy the interests or needs of only one social group or individual persons, if this does not comply with the need of society, the public interest, or does not serve the welfare of the nation.

It has been mentioned that in case there objectively occurs a situation, when the state temporarily in fact holds and uses property which does not belong to it by right of ownership, this property must also be possessed and used observing the same constitutional requirements while possessing and using the property which belongs to the state by right of ownership, i.e. it has also to be treasured, not wasted and rationally possessed, and that this constitutional imperative is also to be applied to the property which is temporarily in fact possessed and used by the state, which was illegally nationalised or expropriated in other unlawful ways by the occupation government and in regard of which the rights of ownership may be restored according to the law.

It has also been mentioned that at the initial stage of establishment and activities of trade unions or newly established trade unions the state support rendered to trade unions should be linked not with the discharging of functions by the trade unions which, according to the Constitution, act independently, but with the establishment and beginning of activities of trade unions as one of elements of a civil society, also, that the state might support the trade unions which were in the process of establishment or which had been established at that time only with such property (premises etc.) belonging to the state by right of ownership which was necessary for the trade unions to establish themselves and start their activities.

4.4. The provision “the property transferred into the ownership of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment shall be composed of: <…> 6) share of the property of sanatoriums and rest-houses of trade unions of Lithuania” of Item 3 (wording of 1 June 1993) of the 1 June 1993 Seimas Resolution “On the Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law ‘On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR’” and the provision “the property transferred into the ownership of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment shall be composed of: <…> 5) share of the property of sanatoriums and rest-houses of trade unions of Lithuania” of Item 3 (wording of 20 July 1994) of the same Seimas resolution also created the legal pre-conditions for transferring the property belonging to the state by right of ownership into the ownership of other entities, functioning trade unions or those that were in the process of establishment, which was not necessary for the trade unions in order to establish themselves and begin their activities, or the property that is temporarily in fact possessed and used by the state, which was unlawfully nationalised or expropriated in other unlawful ways by the occupation government and to which, under the law, the rights of ownership may be restored.

By such legal regulation the requirements of protection of property belonging to the state by right of ownership which are established in Paragraph 2 of Article 23 and Paragraph 2 of Article 128 of the Constitution as well as the constitutional status of trade unions established in Paragraph 1 of Article 50 of the Constitution are disregarded. Alongside, Paragraph 2 of Article 5 of the Constitution, which provides that the scope of power shall be limited by the Constitution, and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law are violated.

4.5. Taking account of the arguments set forth, the conclusion should be drawn that the provision “the property transferred into the ownership of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment shall be composed of: <…> 6) share of the property of sanatoriums and rest-houses of trade unions of Lithuania” of Item 3 (wording of 1 June 1993) of the 1 June 1993 Seimas Resolution “On the Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law ‘On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR’” and the provision “the property transferred into the ownership of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment shall be composed of: <…> 5) share of the property of sanatoriums and rest-houses of trade unions of Lithuania” of Item 3 (wording of 20 July 1994) of the same Seimas resolution are in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 5, Paragraph 2 of Article 23, Paragraph 1 of Article 50, Paragraph 2 of Article 128 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

5. On 17 February 1994, the Seimas adopted the Resolution “On the Approval of the Regulations of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment”. Item 1 of Chapter IV of the Regulations of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment which was approved by the said resolution provides: “Property of the Fund shall be composed of: <…> 6) share of the property of sanatoriums and rest-houses of trade unions of Lithuania.”

5.1. On 27 June 1995, the Seimas adopted the Resolution “On the Amendment and Supplement of the Regulations of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment” by Item 2 whereof it amended Item 1 (wording of 17 February 1994) of Chapter IV of the 17 February 1994 Resolution “On the Approval of the Regulations of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment”, however, the provision “property of the Fund shall be composed of: <…> 6) share of the property of sanatoriums and rest-houses of trade unions of Lithuania” remained unchanged.

5.2. The provision “property of the Fund shall be composed of: <…> 6) share of the property of sanatoriums and rest-houses of trade unions of Lithuania” of Item 1 (wording of 17 February 1994) of Chapter IV of the Regulations of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment approved by the 17 February 1994 Resolution “On the Approval of the Regulations of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment” and the provision “property of the Fund shall be composed of: <…> 6) share of the property of sanatoriums and rest-houses of trade unions of Lithuania” of this item (wording of 27 June 1995) establish the legal regulation under which property belonging to the state by right of ownership, including the property which is temporarily in fact possessed and used by the state, but which was unlawfully nationalised or expropriated in other unlawful ways by the occupation government and to which, under the law, the rights of ownership may be restored, i.e. the share of property of sanatoriums and rest-houses which is considered to belong by right of ownership to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment which, under the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”, transfers as ownership the said property to trade unions of Lithuania, including that to which, under the law, the rights of ownership may be restored.

5.3. It has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that the property possessed by the state trade unions which functioned in Lithuania until the restoration of the independent State of Lithuania, which were a part of the system of USSR trade unions, is property of the State of Lithuania.

It has also been held that the requirement to treasure state-owned property, not to waste it and possess it rationally follows from the striving for an open, harmonious and just civil society which is consolidated in the Preamble of the Constitution, the constitutional principle that ownership includes obligations, Paragraph 2 of Article 23 of the Constitution according to which the rights of ownership shall be protected by law, the provision of Paragraph 2 of Article 128 of the Constitution that the procedure concerning the possession, use, and disposal of state-owned property shall be established by law, and from other provisions of the Constitution. It has also been mentioned that, under the Constitution, laws must protect the rights of all owners, thus, including the right of ownership of the state as the organisation of the entire society.

It has also been held that it is not permitted to establish such legal regulation according to which the property that belongs to the state by right of ownership would be possessed, used or disposed of in such a manner so that the interests or needs of only one social group or individual persons are satisfied and that this property does not serve the public interest, the need of society, and the welfare of the nation, or that this property belonging to the state by right of ownership would be transferred into the ownership of other subjects in order to satisfy the interests or needs of only one social group or individual persons, if this does not comply with the need of society, the public interest, or does not serve the welfare of the nation.

It has been mentioned that in case there objectively occurs a situation, when the state temporarily in fact holds and uses property which does not belong to it by right of ownership, this property must also be possessed and used observing the same constitutional requirements while possessing and using the property which belongs to the state by right of ownership, i.e. it has also to be treasured, not wasted and rationally possessed, and that this constitutional imperative is also to be applied to the property which is temporarily in fact possessed and used by the state, which was illegally nationalised or expropriated in other unlawful ways by the occupation government and in regard of which the rights of ownership may be restored according to the law.

It has also been held that at the initial stage of establishment and activities of trade unions or newly established trade unions the state support rendered to trade unions should be linked not with the discharging of functions by the trade unions which, according to the Constitution, act independently, but with the establishment and beginning of activities of trade unions as one of elements of a civil society, also, that the state might support the trade unions which were in the process of establishment or which had been established at that time only with such property (premises etc.) belonging to the state by right of ownership which was necessary for the trade unions to establish themselves and start their activities.

5.4. The provision “property of the Fund shall be composed of: <…> 6) share of the property of sanatoriums and rest-houses of trade unions of Lithuania” of Item 1 (wording of 17 February 1994) of Chapter IV of the Regulations of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment approved by the 17 February 1994 Resolution “On the Approval of the Regulations of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment” and the provision “property of the Fund shall be composed of: <…> 6) share of the property of sanatoriums and rest-houses of trade unions of Lithuania” of this item (wording of 27 June 1995) also created the legal pre-conditions for transferring the property belonging to the state by right of ownership into the ownership of other entities, functioning trade unions or those that were in the process of establishment, which was not necessary for the trade unions in order to establish themselves and begin their activities, or such property, which is temporarily in fact possessed and used by the state, but which was unlawfully nationalised or expropriated in other unlawful ways by the occupation government and to which, under the law, the rights of ownership may be restored.

By such legal regulation the requirements of protection of property belonging to the state by right of ownership which are established in Paragraph 2 of Article 23 and Paragraph 2 of Article 128 of the Constitution as well as the constitutional status of trade unions established in Paragraph 1 of Article 50 of the Constitution are disregarded. Alongside, Paragraph 2 of Article 5 of the Constitution, which provides that the scope of power shall be limited by the Constitution, and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law are violated.

5.5. Taking account of the arguments set forth, the conclusion should be drawn that the provision “property of the Fund shall be composed of: <…> 6) share of the property of sanatoriums and rest-houses of trade unions of Lithuania” of Item 1 (wording of 17 February 1994) of Chapter IV of the Regulations of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment approved by the 17 February 1994 Seimas Resolution “On the Approval of the Regulations of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment” and the provision “property of the Fund shall be composed of: <…> 6) share of the property of sanatoriums and rest-houses of trade unions of Lithuania” of this item (wording of 27 June 1995) are in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 5, Paragraph 2 of Article 23, Paragraph 1 of Article 50, Paragraph 2 of Article 128 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

6. On 8 June 1995, the Seimas adopted the Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”.

6.1. It was provided in Article 2 of the said law:

The following objects and the property and funds registered in their balance shall be recognised as property of trade unions of Lithuania and transferred to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment:

1) rest-house “Trakai”;

2) Lampėdžiai rest-house;

3) state enterprise “Neringos kopos” (former rest-house “Neringa”);

4) auto-transport vehicles, spare parts and inventory of the car park of the resort establishments of Druskinininkai;

5) Druskininkai sanatorium “Nemunas”;

6) Palanga sanatorium “Jūratė” (save the hostels recorded in its balance);

7) Palanga healthcare chamber;

8) Anykščiai rehabilitation centre (former rest-house “Šilelis”);

9) Druskininkai centre for therapeutic physical culture and ambulatory treatment.”

6.2. Article 2 of the Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” establishes the legal regulation under which the objects indicated in this article—enterprises, establishments, organisations and the property as well as funds which is recorded in their balance—which belong to the state by right of ownership, also the property which is or may be in these objects which is in fact temporarily possessed and used by the state, which was unlawfully nationalised or expropriated in other unlawful ways by the occupation government and to which, under the law, the rights of ownership may be restored, are recognised as property of trade unions of Lithuania and transferred to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, which, under the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” transfers as ownership the said property belonging to the state by right of ownership also the property which is or may be in these objects which is in fact temporarily possessed and used by the state to which, under the law, the rights of ownership may be restored, to trade unions of Lithuania.

6.3. It has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that the property possessed by the state trade unions which functioned in Lithuania until the restoration of the independent State of Lithuania, which were a part of the system of USSR trade unions, is property of the State of Lithuania.

It has also been held that the requirement to treasure state-owned property, not to waste it and possess it rationally follows from the striving for an open, harmonious and just civil society which is consolidated in the Preamble of the Constitution, the constitutional principle that ownership includes obligations, Paragraph 2 of Article 23 of the Constitution according to which the rights of ownership shall be protected by law, the provision of Paragraph 2 of Article 128 of the Constitution that the procedure concerning the possession, use, and disposal of state-owned property shall be established by law, and from other provisions of the Constitution. It has also been mentioned that, under the Constitution, laws must protect the rights of all owners, thus, including the right of ownership of the state as the organisation of the entire society.

It has also been held that it is not permitted to establish such legal regulation according to which the property that belongs to the state by right of ownership would be possessed, used or disposed of in such a manner so that the interests or needs of only one social group or individual persons are satisfied and that this property does not serve the public interest, the need of society, and the welfare of the nation, or that this property belonging to the state by right of ownership would be transferred into the ownership of other subjects in order to satisfy the interests or needs of only one social group or individual persons, if this does not comply with the need of society, the public interest, or does not serve the welfare of the nation.

It has been mentioned that in case there objectively occurs a situation, when the state temporarily in fact holds and uses property which does not belong to it by right of ownership, this property must also be possessed and used observing the same constitutional requirements while possessing and using the property which belongs to the state by right of ownership, i.e. it has also to be treasured, not wasted and rationally possessed, and that this constitutional imperative is also to be applied to the property which is temporarily in fact possessed and used by the state, which was illegally nationalised or expropriated in other unlawful ways by the occupation government and in regard of which the rights of ownership may be restored according to the law.

It has also been held that at the initial stage of establishment and activities of trade unions or newly established trade unions the state support rendered to trade unions should be linked not with the discharging of functions by the trade unions which, according to the Constitution, act independently, but with the establishment and beginning of activities of trade unions as one of elements of a civil society, also, that the state might support the trade unions which were in the process of establishment or which had been established at that time only with such property (premises etc.) belonging to the state by right of ownership which was necessary for the trade unions to establish themselves and start their activities.

It has also been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that, under the Constitution, trade unions, in order that they might discharge their functions, can possess various property by right of ownership, however, trade unions are not economic organisations, they establish themselves not for economic activities of public administration, therefore, state institutions may not transfer as ownership enterprises, establishments and organisations belonging to the state by right of ownership to trade unions.

6.4. By the legal regulation established in Article 2 of the Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” legal pre-conditions were created to transfer as ownership also the property belonging to the state by right of ownership to other entities, functioning trade unions or those that were in the process of establishment, which was not necessary for the trade unions in order to establish themselves and begin their activities, also the property that is or may be in the objects indicated in this article, which is temporarily in fact possessed and used by the state, but which was unlawfully nationalised or expropriated in other unlawful ways by the occupation government and to which, under the law, the rights of ownership may be restored.

By the legal regulation established in Article 2 of the Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” the requirements of protection of property belonging to the state by right of ownership which are established in Paragraph 2 of Article 23 and Paragraph 2 of Article 128 of the Constitution as well as the constitutional status of trade unions established in Paragraph 1 of Article 50 of the Constitution are disregarded. Alongside, Paragraph 2 of Article 5 of the Constitution, which provides that the scope of power shall be limited by the Constitution, and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law are violated.

6.5. Article 4 (wording of 8 June 1995) of the Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” provided:

For the objects, property and funds transferred into the ownership of the state and trade unions of Lithuania shall be compensated on the grounds of the 1 January 1991 data of the inventory conducted by the Government commission, by paying the compensation in equal parts until 1 June 2006.

The compensated funds are property of trade unions of Lithuania and shall be transferred to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment.

The size of the compensation cannot exceed 0.5 percent of the non-indexed balance value of the objects. The procedure of the compensation shall be established by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania.”

6.6. On 20 July 2000, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Amendment of Article 4 of the Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” by Article 1 whereof Paragraph 2 of Article 4 (wording of 8 June 1995) of the Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” was amended and it was set forth as follows: “The compensated funds shall be property of trade unions of Lithuania. They shall be transferred in equal parts to the running accounts of the trade unions which are registered at the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania and which are represented in the Tripartite Council of the Republic of Lithuania, i.e. the Labour Federation of Lithuania, the Workers Union of Lithuania, the Lithuanian Trade Unions Centre, the Alliance of Trade Unions of Lithuania, and the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment.”

6.7. It has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that Article 4 (wordings of 8 June 1995 and 20 July 2000) of the Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” established the legal regulation under which whereby the state must compensate the trade unions of Lithuania for the property which at that time belonged by right of ownership to the state itself and had never belonged by right of ownership to the trade unions, thus, the latter could not lose it.

6.8. By the legal regulation established in Article 4 (wordings of 8 June 1995 and 20 July 2000) of the Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” the requirements of protection of property belonging to the state by right of ownership which are established in Paragraph 2 of Article 23 and Paragraph 2 of Article 128 of the Constitution as well as the constitutional status of trade unions established in Paragraph 1 of Article 50 of the Constitution are disregarded. Alongside, Paragraph 2 of Article 5 of the Constitution, which provides that the scope of power shall be limited by the Constitution, and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law are violated.

6.9. Taking account of the arguments set forth, the conclusion should be drawn that Article 2 and Article 4 (wordings of 8 June 1995 and 20 July 2000) of the Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” are in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 5, Paragraph 2 of Article 23, Paragraph 1 of Article 50, Paragraph 2 of Article 128 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

7. On 20 July 2000, the Seimas adopted the Law on the Amendment of Articles 3 and 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”.

7.1. It was established in Paragraph 1 of Article 5 of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions: “The Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment shall be liquidated and the powers of the Council of Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment shall be terminated as of 1 July 2001.”

7.2. By Article 1 of the 20 July 2000 Law on the Amendment of Articles 3 and 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”, Item 2 (wording of 27 June 1995) of Article 3 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” was amended by entering the words and numbers “shall operate until 1 July 2001” instead of the words and numbers “shall operate until 1 June 2006”.

Thus, in Item 2 (wording of 20 July 2000) of Article 3 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” it was established, inter alia, the following: “to <…> the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, <…>, which shall operate until 1 July 2001”.

7.3. By Paragraph 1 of Article 5 of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions and Item 2 of Article 3 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment was liquidated and the powers of its council were terminated on 1 July 2001.

It has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that although according to the aforementioned laws the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment could no longer function as of 1 July 2001, however, it continued its activities de facto also after the said date.

7.4. On 22 January 2002, the Seimas adopted the Law on the Amendment of Articles 3 and 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” by Article 1 whereof Item 2 (wording of 20 July 2000) of Article 3 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” was amended by crossing out the words “shall operate until 1 July 2001”.

Thus, Article 3 (wording of 22 January 2002) of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” provides: “Property of former state trade unions of the Lithuanian SSR <…> shall be transferred into the ownership of the following: <…> 2) <…> the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, the regulations of which are approved by the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania.”

7.5. It has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that after the provision that established the date (1 July 2001) of the liquidation of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment and of the termination of the powers of the council of the said fund had been abolished, a legal situation was created that allegedly there had not been any legal regulation established by means of a law under which the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment had been liquidated, and preconditions were created to believe that the said fund had never been liquidated, that it was also operational at the time of the adoption of the said Law on the Amendment of Articles 3 and 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”, i.e. on 22 January 2002. Thus, the legislature confirmed a retroactive provision by which it was attempted to retroactively restore the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment which had been liquidated by law, and, thus, by backdating, to legalise its activities which had not been discontinued de facto.

7.6. On 22 January 2002, the Seimas adopted the Law on Amending the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions by Article 1 whereof it set forth the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions in a new wording.

Article 4 of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions (wording of 22 January 2002) provides: “The Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment is to be liquidated, while the powers of the Council of this Fund shall be terminated by means of a separate Seimas resolution, when one has settled up with the obligations of public enterprises established with the funds of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, the property possessed by this Fund is transferred into the ownership of individual trade unions or municipalities, or this property is sold and the funds have been transferred to the entities indicated in Paragraph 2 of Article 2 of this Law.”

Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions (wording of 22 January 2002) provides: “The Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment shall hold, use and dispose of the property handed over to it, save the property indicated in Article 3 of this Law, under the procedure established by the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment.”

Paragraph 2 of the same article provides, inter alia, that “the funds of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment and the funds received as the result of possession, use and disposal of the property handed over to this Fund, shall be transferred to the Fund for Support of Trade Unions”.

Article 5 of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions (wording of 22 January 2002) provides: “The Council of new composition of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment shall be established.”

7.7. It has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that also by this legal regulation, i.e. the one established in the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions (wording of 22 January 2002), the aforesaid legal situation was created that allegedly there had not been any legal regulation established by means of a law under which the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment had been liquidated, and preconditions were created to believe that the said fund had never been liquidated, that it was also operational at the time of the adoption of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions of the new wording, i.e. on 22 January 2002. Thus, also in this case the legislature confirmed a retroactive provision by which it was attempted to retroactively restore the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment which had been liquidated by law, and, thus, by backdating, to legalise its activities which had not been discontinued de facto.

7.8. Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution provides: “Only laws which are published shall be valid.”

While construing this norm of the Constitution, the Constitutional Court held in its ruling of 11 January 2001:

This constitutional norm means that laws are not valid and may not be applied unless they are officially published. The official publishing of laws in pursuance with the procedure established in the Constitution and laws is a necessary condition so that laws be valid and that subjects of legal relations should know as to what laws are valid, what their content is, and that they might follow these laws. There may not be not published laws in a democratic state.

Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution also reflects the legal principle that the validity of published laws is directed to the future and that these laws are not retroactively valid (lex retro non agit). Thus, laws are applied to the facts and effects which take place after these laws go into effect. The requirement that the validity of published laws be directed to the future and that these laws should not be retroactively valid is an important precondition of legal certainty and an essential element of the rule of law and of a state under the rule of law.”

7.9. After Article 1 of the 22 January 2002 Law on the Amendment of Articles 3 and 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” had abolished the provision establishing the date (1 July 2001) of the liquidation of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment and of the termination of the powers of the council of this fund, and after the provision “Property of former state trade unions of the Lithuanian SSR <…> shall be transferred into the ownership of the following: <…> 2) <…> the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, the regulations of which are approved by the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania” of Article 3 (wording of 22 January 2002) of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”, had been established also after it had been established in Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions (wording of 22 January 2002), which was adopted on the same day, that “the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment shall hold, use and dispose of the property handed over to it, save the property indicated in Article 3 of this Law, under the procedure established by the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment”, after it had been, inter alia, established in Paragraph 2 of the same article that “the funds of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment and the funds received as the result of possession, use and disposal of the property handed over to this Fund, shall be transferred to the Fund for Support of Trade Unions”, after it had been established in Article 4 that “the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment is to be liquidated, while the powers of the Council of this Fund shall be terminated by means of a separate Seimas resolution, when one has settled up with the obligations of public enterprises established with the funds of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, the property possessed by this Fund is transferred into the ownership of individual trade unions or municipalities, or this property is sold and the funds have been transferred to the entities indicated in Paragraph 2 of Article 2 of this Law”, and after it had been established in Article 5 that “the Council of new composition of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment shall be established”, a legal situation was created when the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, which had been liquidated by law, continued its activities without being re-established.

It also needs to be noted that, under the Constitution, it was not permitted that by such legal regulation the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment be re-established and it has not been re-established.

By such legal regulation one gives the retroactive power to the aforesaid norms of the laws and disregards the constitutional principle lex retro non agit.

7.10. Taking account of the arguments set forth, it should be concluded that Article 1 of the 22 January 2002 Law on the Amendment of Articles 3 and 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” to the extent that Item 2 (wording of 20 July 2000) of Article 3 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” was amended and that the words “and which shall operate until 1 July 2001” were crossed out and the provision “the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, the regulations of which are approved by the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania” was established in this item (wording of 22 January 2002), the provision “property of former state trade unions of the Lithuanian SSR <…> shall be transferred into the ownership of the following: <…> 2) <…> the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, the regulations of which are approved by the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania” of Article 3 (wording of 22 January 2002) of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”, Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions (wording of 22 January 2002), the provision “the funds of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment and the funds received as the result of possession, use and disposal of the property handed over to this Fund, shall be transferred to the Fund for Support of Trade Unions” of Paragraph 2 of the same article, as well as Articles 4 and 5 of the same law are in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

8. It was held in Article 1 of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions (wording of 20 July 2000) that it is “adopted on the grounds that the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment has not followed the requirements of the Law ‘On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR’ and other legal acts regulating other issues of property of trade unions of Lithuania and that it has not performed the functions commissioned to it”, also, that by the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions “it is attempted to protect the value of the national wealth of Lithuania—buildings and other property which used to belong to the trade unions—to properly possess and use it, and to create an opportunity for trade unions to effectively use this property and funds for the implementation of their aims”.

8.1. It was established in Paragraph 5 of Article 3 of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions (wording of 20 July 2000): “The Anykščiai rehabilitation centre (former rest-house ‘Šilelis’) and the rest-house ‘Neringos kopos’ (former rest-house ‘Neringa’) shall be transferred, in equal portions, as common shared ownership to the Labour Federation of Lithuania, the Lithuanian Trade Unions Centre, the Workers Union of Lithuania and the Alliance of Trade Unions of Lithuania.”

8.2. After the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions had been amended by the Law on Amending the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions, it was established in Paragraph 5 of Article 3 of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions (wording of 22 January 2002): “The public enterprise “Anykščių šilelis” (former rest-house ‘Šilelis’) and ‘Neringos kopos’ UAB (former rest-house ‘Neringa’) shall be transferred, in equal portions, as common shared ownership to the Labour Federation of Lithuania, the Lithuanian Trade Unions Centre, the Workers Union of Lithuania and the Alliance of Trade Unions of Lithuania.”

8.3. It was established in Paragraph 11 of Article 3 of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions (wording of 20 June 2000): “The Labour Federation of Lithuania, the Lithuanian Trade Unions Centre, the Workers Union of Lithuania, and the Alliance of Trade Unions of Lithuania must, until 1 September 2000, accept, by right of common shared ownership, the Anykščiai rehabilitation centre (former rest-house ‘Šilelis’) and the rest-house ‘Neringos kopos’ (former rest-house ‘Neringa’).”

8.4. It has been mentioned that Article 2 (wording of 8 June 1995) of the Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” indicates the objects—enterprises, establishments, organisations and the property as well as funds which is recorded in their balance—which belong to the state by right of ownership, also the property which is or may be in these objects which is in fact temporarily possessed and used by the state, which was unlawfully nationalised or expropriated in other unlawful ways by the occupation government and to which, under the law, the rights of ownership may be restored, are recognised as property of trade unions of Lithuania and are transferred to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, which, under the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” transfers as ownership the said property belonging to the state by right of ownership to trade unions of Lithuania, including the property which is or may be in these objects which is in fact temporarily possessed and used by the state to which, under the law, the rights of ownership may be restored.

It has also been mentioned that by the legal regulation established in this article legal pre-conditions were created to transfer as ownership also the property belonging to the state by right of ownership to other entities, functioning trade unions or those that were in the process of establishment, which was not necessary for the trade unions in order to establish themselves and begin their activities, also the property that is or may be in the objects indicated in this article, which is temporarily in fact possessed and used by the state, but which was unlawfully nationalised or expropriated in other unlawful ways by the occupation government and to which, under the law, the rights of ownership may be restored.

It has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that such legal regulation established in Article 2 (wording of 8 June 1995) of the Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” is in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 5, Paragraph 2 of Article 23, Paragraph 1 of Article 50, and Paragraph 2 of Article 128 of the Constitution, as well as the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

Article 2 (wording of 8 June 1995) of the Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”, inter alia, points out the objects, i.e. former rest-house “Šilelis” and the former rest-house “Neringa”, which are indicated also in Paragraphs 5 and 11 of Article 3 of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions (wording of 20 June 2000) and Paragraph 5 of Article 3 of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions (wording of 22 January 2002).

8.5. Having held that Article 2 of the Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” is in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 5, Paragraph 2 of Article 23, Paragraph 1 of Article 50, and Paragraph 2 of Article 128 of the Constitution, as well as the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, it should also be held that Paragraphs 5 and 11 of Article 3 of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions (wording of 20 June 2000) and Paragraph 5 of Article 3 of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions (wording of 22 January 2002) are in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 5, Paragraph 2 of Article 23, Paragraph 1 of Article 50, and Paragraph 2 of Article 128 of the Constitution, as well as the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

9. It has been mentioned that the petitioner requests an investigation into whether Item 8 of Article 2 of the Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” to the extent that also the administrative building was transferred, which is registered in the Real Property Register as property object 2.12, unique No. 34/962-0056-01-0, and provisions of Paragraph 5 of Article 3 of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions (wording of 20 July 2000) that the Anykščiai rehabilitation centre (former rest-house “Šilelis”) is transferred into the ownership of trade unions, to the extent that also the administrative building was transferred, which is registered in the Real Property Register as property object 2.12, unique No. 34/962-0056-01-0, are not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution.

9.1. It has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that Item 8 of Article 2 of the Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” and Paragraph 5 of Article 3 of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions (wording of 20 June 2000) are in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 5, Paragraph 2 of Article 23, Paragraph 1 of Article 50, and Paragraph 2 of Article 128 of the Constitution, as well as the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

9.2. Having held that Item 8 of Article 2 of the Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” and Paragraph 5 of Article 3 of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions (wording of 20 June 2000) are in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 5, Paragraph 2 of Article 23, Paragraph 1 of Article 50, and Paragraph 2 of Article 128 of the Constitution, as well as the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, it should be held that Item 8 of Article 2 of the Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” and Paragraph 5 of Article 3 of the Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions (wording of 20 June 2000) also to the extent pointed out by the petitioner are in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 5, Paragraph 2 of Article 23, Paragraph 1 of Article 50, and Paragraph 2 of Article 128 of the Constitution, as well as 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:

1. To recognise that the following listed below is in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 5, Paragraph 2 of Article 23, Paragraph 1 of Article 50, and Paragraph 2 of Article 128 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, as well as the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law:

1.1. the provision “shall be transferred into the ownership of the following: <…> 2) <…> the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, <…> which, within 5 years, transfers the property to the existing and newly established trade unions” of Article 3 (wording of 25 May 1993) of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”;

1.2. the provision “shall be transferred into the ownership of the following: <…> 2) <…> the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, <…> which shall operate until 1 June 2006” of Article 3 (wording of 27 June 1995) of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”;

1.3. the provision “shall be transferred into the ownership of the following: <…> 2) <…> the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, <…>, which shall operate until 1 July 2001” of Article 3 (wording of 20 July 2000) of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”;

1.4. Article 4 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”;

1.5. Article 5 (wording of 25 May 1993) of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”;

1.6. Article 5 (wording of 27 June 1995) of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”;

1.7. the provision “the property transferred to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment” of Article 6 (wording of 23 February 1995) of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”;

1.8. the provision “the property transferred to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment” of Paragraph 1 (wording of 27 June 1995) of Article 6 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”;

1.9. the provision “the property transferred to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment” of Paragraph 1 (wording of 24 June 1999) of Article 6 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”;

1.10. the provision “<…> the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must hand over the property possessed and used by the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania, <…> it must also transfer the funds of the Fund as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania” of Paragraph 2 (wording of 27 June 1995) of Article 6 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”;

1.11. the provision “<…> the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must hand over the property possessed and used by the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania, <…> it must also transfer the funds of the Fund as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania” of Paragraph 2 (wording of 21 December 1998) of Article 6 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”;

1.12. the provision “<…> the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must hand over the property possessed and used by the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania, <…> it must also transfer to them the funds of the Fund” of Paragraph 2 (wording of 24 June 1999) of Article 6 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”;

1.13. the provision “<…> the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must hand over the property possessed and used by the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania, <…> it must also transfer to them the funds of the Fund” of Paragraph 2 (wording of 21 December 1999) of Article 6 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”;

1.14. the provision “<…> the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must hand over the property possessed and used by the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania, <…> it must also transfer to them the funds of the Fund” of Paragraph 2 (wording of 23 May 2000) of Article 6 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”;

1.15. the provision “the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must hand over the property and funds possessed and used by the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment as ownership to trade unions of Lithuania” of Paragraph 2 (wording of 20 July 2000) of Article 6 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”;

1.16. the provision “the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must <…> establish the procedure for possession, use and disposal of the property handed over to the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment and provide how one will settle up for the obligations of public enterprises founded by the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment” of Paragraph 2 (wording of 22 January 2002) of Article 6 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”;

1.17. the provision “the Council of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment must <…> take over the property of the former state trade unions of the Lithuanian SSR” of Paragraph 3 (wording of 24 June 1999) of Article 6 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”;

1.18. Article 2 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”;

1.19. Article 4 (wording of 8 June 1995) of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”;

1.20. Article 4 (wording of 20 July 2000) of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Establishment of the Property of the Sanatorium-Resort Establishments and Rest-Houses Which Used to Be Possessed by Former Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR”;

1.21. Paragraph 5 of Article 3 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions (wording of 20 July 2000);

1.22. Paragraph 11 of Article 3 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions (wording of 20 July 2000);

1.23. Paragraph 5 of Article 3 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions (wording of 22 July 2002);

1.24. the provision “the property transferred into the ownership of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment shall be composed of: <…> 6) share of the property of sanatoriums and rest-houses of trade unions of Lithuania” of Item 3 (wording of 1 June 1993) of the 1 June 1993 Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania Resolution “On the Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law ‘On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR’”;

1.25. the provision “the property transferred into the ownership of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment shall be composed of: <…> 5) share of the property of sanatoriums and rest-houses of trade unions of Lithuania” of Item 3 (wording of 20 July 1994) of the 1 June 1993 Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania Resolution “On the Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law ‘On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR’”;

1.26. the provision “property of the Fund shall be composed of: <…> 6) share of the property of sanatoriums and rest-houses of trade unions of Lithuania” of Item 1 (wording of 17 February 1994) of Chapter IV of the Regulations of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment approved by the 17 February 1994 Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania Resolution “On the Approval of the Regulations of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment”;

1.27. the provision “property of the Fund shall be composed of: <…> 6) share of the property of sanatoriums and rest-houses of trade unions of Lithuania” of Item 1 (wording of 27 June 1995) of Chapter IV of the Regulations of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment approved by the 17 February 1994 Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania Resolution “On the Approval of the Regulations of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment”.

2. To recognise that the following is in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law:

2.1. Article 1 of the 22 January 2002 Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Amendment of Articles 3 and 6 of the Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” to the extent that Item 2 (wording of 20 July 2000) of Article 3 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” was amended and that the words “and which shall operate until 1 July 2001” were crossed out and the provision “the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, the regulations of which are approved by the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania” was established in this item (wording of 22 January 2002);

2.2. Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions (wording of 22 January 2002);

2.3. the provision “the funds of the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment and the funds received as the result of possession, use and disposal of the property handed over to this Fund, shall be transferred to the Fund for Support of Trade Unions” of Paragraph 2 of Article 2 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions (wording of 22 January 2002);

2.4. Article 4 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions (wording of 22 January 2002);

2.5. Article 5 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Distribution of Property of Trade Unions (wording of 22 January 2002);

3. To recognise that the provision “property of former state trade unions of the Lithuanian SSR <…> shall be transferred into the ownership of the following: <…> 2) <…> the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment, the regulations of which are approved by the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania” of Article 3 (wording of 22 January 2002) of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Property of Former State Trade Unions of the Lithuanian SSR” is in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution of Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, while the part “shall be transferred into the ownership of the following: <…> 2) <…> the Special Fund for Support of the Functioning Trade Unions and Those in the Process of Establishment” of the same provision is also in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 5, Paragraph 2 of Article 23, Paragraph 1 of Article 50, and Paragraph 2 of Article 128 of 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