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On accepting part of a petition and refusing to consider part of the petition

 

THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

 DECISION

ON THE PETITION OF THE VILNIUS REGIONAL COURT, THE PETITIONER, REQUESTING AN INVESTIGATION INTO WHETHER THE DECREE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA (NO. 164) “ON RELEASING JUDGES OF LOCAL COURTS AND PRESIDENTS OF COURTS FROM OFFICE” OF 22 JULY 2003 TO THE EXTENT THAT IT PROVIDES THAT PALMIRA LINKEVIČIENĖ IS RELEASED FROM THE OFFICE OF A JUDGE OF THE BIRŽAI DISTRICT LOCAL COURT AS WELL AS FROM THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE SAME COURT IS NOT IN CONFLICT, AS TO ITS CONTENT AND THE PROCEDURE OF THE ADOPTION ESTABLISHED IN THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA, WITH THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA, THE PROVISIONS OF THE CONVENTION FOR THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS AND THOSE OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA’S LAW ON COURTS, AND WHETHER PARAGRAPH 8 OF ARTICLE 90 OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA’S LAW ON COURTS IS NOT IN CONFLICT WITH THE CONSTITUTION AND THE CONVENTION FOR THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS

 

7 April 2004

Vilnius

 

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

The court reporter—Daiva Pitrėnaitė

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, in its procedural sitting, has considered the petition of the Vilnius Regional Court requesting an investigation into “whether the Decree of the President of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 164) “On Releasing Judges of Local Courts and Presidents of Courts from Office” of 22 July 2003 to the extent that it provides that Palmira Linkevičienė is released from the office of a judge of the Biržai District Local Court as well as from the office of the President of the same court subsequent to Item 5 of Article 115 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania is not in conflict, as to its content and the procedure of the adoption established in the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, with the principles of a just civil society and state under the rule of law which are entrenched in the Preamble to the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution, consolidating the principle of equality of all persons before the law, Paragraph 1 of Article 31 of the Constitution and Paragraph 2 of Article 6 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, consolidating the principle of the presumption of innocence of the person, Article 155 of the Constitution to the extent that judges are released from office under procedure established by law, also the procedure established in Articles 83, 84, 85, Paragraphs 6 and 7 of Article 90 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Courts; whether Paragraph 8 of Article 90 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Courts is in compliance with Paragraph 2 of Article 31 of the Constitution and Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, consolidating the right of the person to an impartial court, and with the principle of a state under the rule of law entrenched in the Preamble to the Constitution”.

The Constitutional Court

has established:

The Vilnius Regional Court, the petitioner, considered a civil case. By its ruling of 9 March 2004, it suspended the consideration of the case and applied to the Constitutional Court with the petition requesting an investigation into “whether the Decree of the President of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 164) “On Releasing Judges of Local Courts and Presidents of Courts from Office” of 22 July 2003 to the extent that it provides that Palmira Linkevičienė is released from the office of a judge of the Biržai District Local Court as well as from the office of the President of the same court subsequent to Item 5 of Article 115 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania is not in conflict, as to its content and the procedure of the adoption established in the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, with the principles of a just civil society and state under the rule of law which are entrenched in the Preamble to the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution, consolidating the principle of equality of all persons before the law, Paragraph 1 of Article 31 of the Constitution and Paragraph 2 of Article 6 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, consolidating the principle of the presumption of innocence of the person, Article 155 of the Constitution to the extent that judges are released from office under procedure established by law, also the procedure established in Articles 83, 84, 85, Paragraphs 6 and 7 of Article 90 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Courts; whether Paragraph 8 of Article 90 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Courts is in compliance with Paragraph 2 of Article 31 of the Constitution and Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, consolidating the right of the person to an impartial court, and with the principle of a state under the rule of law entrenched in the Preamble to the Constitution”.

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

1. Under Paragraph 1 of Article 102 of the Constitution, the Constitutional Court shall decide whether the laws and other acts of the Seimas are not in conflict with the Constitution and whether acts of the President of the Republic and the Government are not in conflict with the Constitution or laws.

2. Paragraph 3 of Article 138 of the Constitution provides:

International treaties which are ratified by the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania shall be a constituent part of the legal system of the Republic of Lithuania.”

While construing this provision of the Constitution, the Constitutional Court has held that it means that the treaties ratified by the Seimas acquire the power of the law (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 17 October 1995).

Under the Constitution, the Constitutional Court does not investigate the compliance of a law with an act having the force of a law (the Constitutional Court’s decision of 25 April 2002).

Conforming to Article 28 and Item 2 of Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania adopts the following

decision:

1. To accept the petition of the Vilnius Regional Court requesting an investigation into whether the Decree of the President of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 164) “On Releasing Judges of Local Courts and Presidents of Courts from Office” of 22 July 2003 to the extent that it provides that Palmira Linkevičienė is dismissed from the office of a judge of the Biržai District Local Court as well as from the office of the President of the same court subsequent to Item 5 of Article 115 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania is not in conflict, as to its content and the procedure of the adoption established in the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, with the principles of a just civil society and state under the rule of law which are entrenched in the Preamble to the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, Paragraph 1 of Article 29, Paragraph 1 of Article 31 of the Constitution, Paragraph 2 of Article 6 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, Article 155 of the Constitution, and Articles 83, 84, 85, Paragraphs 6 and 7 of Article 90 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Courts, also whether Paragraph 8 of Article 90 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Courts is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 31 of the Constitution and the principle of a state under the rule of law entrenched in the Preamble to the Constitution.

2. To refuse to consider the petition of the Vilnius Regional Court requesting an investigation into whether Paragraph 8 of Article 90 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Courts is in compliance with Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

Justices of the Constitutional Court:                                                   Armanas Abramavičius

Egidijus Jarašiūnas

Egidijus Kūris

Kęstutis Lapinskas

Zenonas Namavičius

Augustinas Normantas

Jonas Prapiestis

Vytautas Sinkevičius

Stasys Stačiokas