Lt

On refusing to consider a petition

Case No. 27/04

 

 

 

THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

 

DECISION

ON THE PETITION OF THE SUPREME ADMINISTRATIVE COURT REQUESTING AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE COMPLIANCE OF ARTICLE 2 OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA’S LAW SUPPLEMENTING THE LAW ON PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS WITH ARTICLE 11 AND SUPPLEMENTING ARTICLE 2 THEREOF WITH THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

 

26 May 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, pursuant to Article 28 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, in its procedural sitting, has considered the petition of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania requesting an investigation into whether Article 2 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Supplementing the Law on Presidential Elections with Article 11 and Supplementing Article 2 Thereof is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 34, Paragraph 1 of Article 78, and Paragraph 1 of Article 79 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

The Constitutional Court

has established:

I

The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania, the petitioner, considered an administrative case. The court suspended the consideration of the case by its ruling and applied to the Constitutional Court with the petition requesting an investigation into whether Article 2 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Supplementing the Law on Presidential Elections with Article 11 and Supplementing Article 2 Thereof (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2004, No. 75-2568; hereinafter also referred to as the Law) is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 34, Paragraph 1 of Article 78, and Paragraph 1 of Article 79 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

The petition of the petitioner has been accepted for the consideration at the Constitutional Court under the 17 May 2004 ordinance (No. 2B-89) of the President of the Constitutional Court.

II

The petition of the petitioner is based on the following arguments.

The Constitution is a legal act of supreme legal force, and no law or other legal act may be in conflict with the Constitution. The petitioner states that the scope of the right to stand for election pursuant to Paragraph 2 of Article 34 of the Constitution and the procedure of its realisation is usually established both in the Constitution, and in the laws on elections. The principle of the supremacy of the Constitution prohibits the establishment, by the laws on elections, any legal regulation that does not comply with the provisions of the Constitution.

Paragraph 1 of Article 78, Paragraph 1 of Article 79, Article 56, and Article 141 of the Constitution provide for the requirements and limitations applied to the candidate for the post of the President of the Republic. No other limitations in respect of the person who seeks to stand for election are directly established in the Constitution. The Constitution does not directly provide for a prohibition on being a candidate for the post of the President of the Republic for a person who has been removed from the office in accordance with the procedure for impeachment proceedings. In the opinion of the petitioner, Article 2 of the Law, which consolidates the provision that a person, who has been removed from office or his mandate of the Seimas member has been revoked by the Seimas in accordance with the procedure for impeachment proceedings, may not stand for election as the President of the Republic if less than 5 years have elapsed since his removal from office or the revocation of his mandate of the Seimas member, consolidates an additional limitation which applies to a person who seeks to stand for election as the President of the Republic.

III

In the course of the preparation of the case for the Constitutional Court’s hearing, written explanations were received from the representatives of the Seimas, the party concerned, who were Julius Sabatauskas, a member of the Seimas, Mindaugas Girdauskas, a senior consultant to the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas, and Girius Ivoška, the chief specialist to the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas, in which it is stated that Article 2 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Supplementing the Law on Presidential Elections with Article 11 and Supplementing Article 2 Thereof is not in conflict with the Constitution.

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

1. On 4 May 2004, the Seimas adopted the Law on Amendment with Article 11 and Amendment to Article 2 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Presidential Elections. It reads:

Article 1. Supplement to the Law with Article 11

To supplement the Law with Article 11:

Article 11. Purposes for Supplementing Article 2 of this Law

Pursuant to the principles of an open, just, and harmonious civil society and state under the rule of law enshrined in the Preamble to the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, as well as Articles 6, 34 and 74 of the Constitution, the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania adopts this Law.”

Article 2. Supplement of Article 2 with Paragraph 2

1. To supplement Article 2 with new Paragraph 2:

A person, who has been removed from office or his mandate of the Seimas member has been revoked by the Seimas in accordance with the procedure for impeachment proceedings, may not stand for election as the President of the Republic if less than 5 years have elapsed since his removal from office or the revocation of his mandate of the Seimas member.”

2. To consider former Paragraph 2 of Article 2 as Paragraph 3.”

2. The petitioner requests an investigation into whether Article 2 of the Law is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 34, Paragraph 1 of Article 78, and Paragraph 1 of Article 79 of the Constitution.

3. The petitioner requests an investigation into the compliance of entire Article 2 the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Supplementing the Law on Presidential Elections with Article 11 and Supplementing Article 2 Thereof with the Constitution, however, the petition of the petitioner shows that he has no doubts as to whether the provision “to consider former Paragraph 2 of Article 2 as Paragraph 3” of Paragraph 2 of this article is not in conflict with the Constitution.

4. Taking account of the fact that, under Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Supplementing the Law on Presidential Elections with Article 11 and Supplementing Article 2 Thereof, Article 2 (wording of 19 September 1996) of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Presidential Elections was supplemented with new Paragraph 2, the fact that the petitioner has no doubts as to whether Paragraph 2, which changed the sequence of the paragraphs of Article 2 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Presidential Elections, of Article 2 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Supplementing the Law on Presidential Elections with Article 11 and Supplementing Article 2 Thereof is not in conflict with the Constitution, it should be held that the petitioner doubts whether Paragraph 2 (wording of 4 May 2004) of Article 2 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Presidential Elections is not in conflict with the Constitution.

5. On 18 May 2004, the Constitutional Court in its public hearing considered case No. 24/04 subsequent to the petition of the petitioner, a group of members of the Seimas, requesting an investigation into whether the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Supplementing the Law on Presidential Elections with Article 11 and Supplementing Article 2 Thereof was not in conflict with the Constitution, and, on 25 May 2004, adopted the Ruling “On the Compliance of Article 11 (wording of 4 May 2004) and Paragraph 2 (wording of 4 May 2004) of Article 2 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Presidential Elections with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania” (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2004, No. 85-3094), which ruled:

1. To recognise that Paragraph 2 (wording of 4 May 2004) of Article 2 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Presidential Elections, which prescribes that a person, who has been removed from office or his mandate of the Seimas member has been revoked by the Seimas in accordance with the procedure for impeachment proceedings, may not stand for election as the President of the Republic, except the provision that ‘if less than 5 years have elapsed since his removal from office or the revocation of his mandate of the Seimas member’, and the provision that a person, who has been removed from office or his mandate of the Seimas member has been revoked by the Seimas in accordance with the procedure for impeachment proceedings for the commission of a crime by which the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania has not been grossly violated or the oath has not been breached, is not in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

2. To recognise that the provision of Paragraph 2 (wording of 4 May 2004) of Article 2 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Presidential Elections, which reads ‘if less than 5 years have elapsed since his removal from office or the revocation of his mandate of the Seimas member’ is in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 34, Paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 59, Article 74, Paragraph 1 of Article 82, Paragraph 2 of Article 104, and Paragraph 6 of Article 112 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, Article 5 of the Law ‘On the Procedure of the Entry into Effect of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania’, as well as the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

3. To recognise that Paragraph 2 (wording of 4 May 2004) of Article 2 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Presidential Elections to the extent that it provides that a person, who has been removed from office or his mandate of the Seimas member has been revoked by the Seimas in accordance with the procedure for impeachment proceedings for the commission of a crime by which the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania has not been grossly violated or the oath has not been breached may not stand for election as the President of the Republic, is in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 34, Paragraph 2 of Article 56, Article 74, and Paragraph 1 of Article 78 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.”

6. The Constitutional Court’s Ruling “On the Compliance of Article 11 (wording of 4 May 2004) and Paragraph 2 (wording of 4 May 2004) of Article 2 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Presidential Elections with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania” of 25 May 2004 became effective as of 26 May 2004.

7. The issue of the compliance of Paragraph 2 (wording of 4 May 2004) of Article 2 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Presidential Elections, the compliance of which with the Constitution is subject to the doubt of the petitioner, the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania, has been solved in the Constitutional Court’s Ruling “On the Compliance of Article 11 (wording of 4 May 2004) and Paragraph 2 (wording of 4 May 2004) of Article 2 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Presidential Elections with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania” of 25 May 2004.

8. Item 3 of Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Law on the Constitutional Court provides that, by a decision, the Constitutional Court shall refuse to consider petitions requesting an investigation into the compliance of a legal act with the Constitution, if the compliance of the legal act with the Constitution indicated in the petition has already been investigated by the Constitutional Court and the ruling on this issue adopted by the Constitutional Court is still in force.

Conforming to Article 28, Item 3 of Paragraph 1 and Paragraph 2 of Article 69 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania adopts the following

decision:

To refuse to investigate the petition of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania requesting an investigation into whether Article 2 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Supplementing the Law on Presidential Elections with Article 11 and Supplementing Article 2 Thereof is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 34, Paragraph 1 of Article 78, and Paragraph 1 of Article 79 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

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

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

Justices of the Constitutional Court:                                                  Armanas Abramavičius

Egidijus Jarašiūnas

Egidijus Kūris

Kęstutis Lapinskas

Zenonas Namavičius

Augustinas Normantas

Jonas Prapiestis

Vytautas Sinkevičius

Stasys Stačiokas