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On creative activities of members of the Seimas

Case No. 04/04

 

THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

RULING

ON THE COMPLIANCE OF PARAGRAPH 4 OF ARTICLE 15 OF THE STATUTE OF THE SEIMAS OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA (WORDING OF 22 DECEMBER 1998) WITH THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

 

1 July 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

Seimas member Algimantas Salamakinas, acting as the representative of a group of members of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, the petitioner

Jurgita Meškienė, a senior 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 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, in its public hearing, on 31 May 2004, considered case No. 04/04 subsequent to the petition of the petitioner, a group of members of the Seimas, requesting an investigation into whether the provisions of Paragraph 4 of Article 15 of the Statute of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 22 December 1998), which allow members of the Seimas to receive remuneration for educational and scientific activities if they are engaged in them not during the sittings of the Seimas, its committees and commissions, are not in conflict with the provisions of Article 60 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, which prohibit members of the Seimas from receiving any other remuneration, with the exception of remuneration for creative activities.

The Constitutional Court

has established:

I

On 5 October 1993, the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania adopted the Statute of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, and, on 22 December 1998, set it forth in its new wording (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 1999, No 5-97).

A group of members of the Seimas, the petitioner, applied to the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania with the petition requesting an investigation into whether the provisions of Paragraph 4 of Article 15 of the Statute of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 22 December 1998; hereinafter also referred to as the Statute of the Seimas), which allow members of the Seimas to receive remuneration for educational and creative activities if they are engaged in them not during the sittings of the Seimas, its committees and commissions, were not in conflict with the provisions of Article 60 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, which prohibit members of the Seimas from receiving any other remuneration, with the exception of remuneration for creative activities.

II

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

1. Article 59 of the Constitution provides that while in office, members of the Seimas follow the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, the interests of the state, as well as their own consciences, and may not be bound by any mandates. Under Article 60 of the Constitution, the duties of a member of the Seimas, with the exception of his duties in the Seimas, are incompatible with any other duties in state institutions and organisations, as well as with work in business, commercial and other private establishments or enterprises. A member of the Seimas may not receive any remuneration other than the remuneration for creative activities.

In the opinion of the petitioner, if a member of the Seimas performs any duties beyond the limits of the Seimas, he becomes subordinate to the superior officers who then have a possibility of influencing and pressing him as a member of the Seimas.

It is established in Paragraph 4 of Article 15 of the Statute of the Seimas (wording of 22 December 1998) that a member of the Seimas may not receive any remuneration, except remuneration for creative activities—royalties for a piece of art and performance of it, publications and books, material for the radio and television broadcasts, as well as remuneration for educational and scientific activity not during the sittings of the Seimas, its committees and commissions.

2. The petitioner states that the notion of creative activities defined in Article 85 of the Statute of the Seimas (wording of 5 October 1993) comprised educational, scientific and consultative activities of members of the Seimas, who had a scientific degree or an educational (scientific) title, while the impugned Paragraph 4 of Article 15 of the Statute of the Seimas (wording of 22 December 1998) no longer contained a provision that only those members of the Seimas who had a scientific degree or educational (scientific) title may have a possibility of receiving remuneration for educational activities. This means that members of the Seimas may engage in educational activities and receive remuneration for them at any educational establishment (for example, at a school or a pre-school establishment).

3. Paragraph 1 of Article 7 of the Constitution provides that any law or other act, which is inconsistent with the Constitution, is invalid. A principle of superiority of the Constitution is entrenched in this article of the Constitution. Article 60 of the Constitution consolidates a prohibition for a member of the Seimas against receiving any remuneration, with the exception of remuneration for creative activities. Having compared the provisions entrenched in Paragraph 1 of Article 113 of the Constitution with the provisions of Paragraph 3 of Article 60 of the Constitution, the petitioner came to the conclusion that, according to the Constitution, educational activities are separated from creative activities, while the definition of creative activities as per Paragraph 4 of Article 15 of the Statute of the Seimas (wording of 22 December 1998) comprises both educational and scientific activities and, in comparison to the regulation defined in Paragraph 3 of Article 60 of the Constitution, is broadened. Therefore, in the opinion of the petitioner, the provisions of Paragraph 4 of Article 15 of the Statute of the Seimas (wording of 22 December 1998), which permit members of the Seimas to receive remuneration for educational and scientific activity not during the sittings of the Seimas, its committees and commissions, are in conflict with the Constitution.

4. The petitioner also states that some members of the Seimas prior to acquiring a mandate of the representative of the Nation were engaged in agricultural activity; when holding the position of a member of the Seimas, for which they receive remuneration from the State Budget, they get income from agricultural activity as well. The petitioner doubts whether the fact that members of the Seimas may get income from agricultural activity is not in conflict with the provision of Article 60 of the Constitution, which prohibits a member of the Seimas from receiving any other remuneration.

III

In the course of the preparation of the case for the Constitutional Court’s hearing explanations were received from the representatives of the Seimas, the party concerned, who were J. Meškienė and P. Griciūnas, senior consultants to the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas.

1. It is mentioned in the explanations that Article 60 of the Constitution defines one of the ways to ensure the free mandate of a member of the Seimas, it basically regulates the main conditions of work of a member of the Seimas: it specifies a source of remuneration for work, consolidates limitations on holding other positions, engaging in other activities, with the exceptions specified in this article. The prohibition against receiving any other remuneration, with the exception of remuneration for creative activities, should be basically related solely with a prohibition for a member of the Seimas against being a subject to employment or service relations and it should not be construed in a broader sense as if this means a prohibition for a member of the Seimas to have any other income (income from real property owned by him, income from the activity, including agricultural activity, performed by an economic operator owned by him, etc.). Opposite interpretation of this provision of the Constitution could be evaluated then as prohibiting a member of the Seimas from disposal of his property and this would be in conflict with the principle of inviolability of property entrenched in Article 23 of the Constitution.

2. The Constitution is an integral act, its norms and principles comprise a harmonious system, and none of the provisions of the Constitution may be construed without taking account of other provisions of the Constitution. While investigating the compliance of the impugned legal norms with Article 60 of the Constitution, account should also be taken of the fact that according to Paragraph 3 of Article 42 of the Constitution those spiritual and material interests of an author that are related to scientific, technical, cultural, and artistic work are protected and defended by law. In the opinion of J. Meškienė and P. Griciūnas, from Article 60, Paragraph 3 of Article 42 of the Constitution and Paragraph 4 of Article 15 (wording of 22 December 1998) of the Statute of the Seimas follows that the notion “creative activity” should be related with creation of intellectual property at large, i.e. not only with creation of pieces of art (fine art, prose, poetry, etc.) as defined in Paragraph 4 of Article 15 of the Statute of the Seimas, but with the results of human brainwork in general as well.

3. The representatives of the party concerned noted that having set, in Paragraph 4 of Article 60 of the Constitution, a prohibition for a member of the Seimas against receiving any other remuneration, with the exception of remuneration for creative activities, the definition of creative activities and remuneration for them has not been disclosed. Paragraph 4 of Article 15 (wording of 22 December 1998) of the Statute of the Seimas provides a concept of remuneration of the members of the Seimas for creative activities: “Payments made to Seimas members for creative activities shall include royalties for works of art and literature, for radio and television programmes as well as hourly salaries for educational, scientific and consultative work performed by Seimas members not during the sittings of the Seimas, its committees and commissions.” J. Meškienė and P. Griciūnas paid attention to the fact that the prohibition against performing other work or receiving other remuneration as per Constitution and laws is set not only to the members of the Seimas, but to the members of the Government, judges, prosecutors, public servants, as well as the President of the Republic, however, alongside with a general prohibition against performing other work and receiving remuneration for it the exceptions in respect of creative and educational activity and remuneration for it are usually established, too.

4. In the opinion of the representatives of the party concerned, when evaluating the relation of the impugned provision of the Statute of the Seimas with the Constitution, account should be taken of the purpose of the prohibition for a member of the Seimas against performing other work and receiving remuneration for it: the aim is to protect and ensure the free mandate of a member of the Seimas. Therefore, the concept “creative activities” should be construed in a broader sense.

IV

In the course of the preparation of the case for the Constitutional Court’s hearing explanations were received from V. Simulik, the Chairperson of the Committee on Education, Science and Culture of the Seimas, A. Monkevičius, the Minister of Education and Science, G. Švedas, the Vice-Minister of Justice, V. Junokas, the Director of the Special Investigation Service, Prof. Hab. Dr. E. Butkus, the Chairperson of the Board of Science of Lithuania, Assoc. Prof. Dr. V. Nekrošius, the Dean of the Faculty of Law at Vilnius University, Assoc. Prof. Dr. E. Šileikis, Department of the Constitutional and Administrative Law of the same faculty, Prof. Dr. T. Birmontienė, the Head of the Constitutional Law Department at the Faculty of Law of the Law University of Lithuania, and V. Gončys, the Chairperson of the Scientist Association of Lithuania.

V

1. At the Constitutional Court’s hearing, the representative of the petitioner, who was A. Salamakinas, virtually reiterated the arguments set forth in the written explanations. He also presented additional reasoning due to which the impugned provision of the Statute of the Seimas is in conflict with the Constitution. A. Salamakinas stated that the members of the Seimas who receive income from agricultural activities are engaged in the same activities linked with production, sales, etc. of agricultural products, i.e. in a commercial activity, as they did before becoming representatives of the Nation. The representative of the petitioner doubts whether a member of the Seimas—the representative of the Nation—may be engaged in the same commercial, agricultural (economic, commercial) activity as he did before becoming a representative of the Nation.

2. At the Constitutional Court’s hearing, the representative of the party concerned, who was J. Meškienė, virtually reiterated the arguments set forth in the written explanations given by her and J. Griciūnas.

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

I

1. The petitioner requests an investigation into whether the provisions of Paragraph 4 of Article 15 of the Statute of the Seimas (wording of 22 December 1998), which allow members of the Seimas to receive remuneration for educational and scientific activities if they are engaged in them not during the sittings of the Seimas, its committees and commissions, are not in conflict with the provisions of Article 60 of the Constitution, which prohibit members of the Seimas from receiving any other remuneration, with the exception of remuneration for creative activities.

2. Article 15 of the Statute of the Seimas (wording of 22 December 1998) provides:

1. Remuneration for work of a member of the Seimas shall be paid and expenses related to activity of the said person with the parliamentary activity shall be recovered from the State Budget.

2. The amount of salary of a member of the Seimas and the procedure of payment thereof shall be established by the Seimas. A law concerning changes in the salary of a member of the Seimas shall become effective only from the first day of a session of newly elected Seimas.

3. Members of the Seimas, who at the same time hold office at the Seimas, and the leader of the opposition at the Seimas shall be paid salary for the performed work the amount of which shall be established by law.

4. A member of the Seimas may not receive any other salary, with the exception of payment for creative activities. The royalties for a piece of art and performance of it, publications and books, material for the radio and television broadcasts, as well as remuneration for educational and scientific activity not during the sittings of the Seimas, its committees and commissions shall be considered the salary of a member of the Seimas.”

The impugned by the petitioner provisions of Paragraph 4 of Article 15 of the Statute of the Seimas (wording of 22 December 1998), which permit members of the Seimas to receive remuneration for educational and scientific activity performed not during the sittings of the Seimas, its committees and commissions, constitute a part of the legal regulation established in this paragraph. It needs to be noted that the legal regulation consolidated in Paragraph 4 of Article 15 of the Statute of the Seimas (wording of 22 December 1998) is single, all the provisions of this paragraph are inseparably linked to each other.

3. Article 60 of the Constitution provides:

The duties of a member of the Seimas, with the exception of his duties in the Seimas, shall be incompatible with any other duties in State institutions and organisations, as well as with work in business, commercial and other private establishments or enterprises. During their term in office, members of the Seimas shall be exempt from the duty to perform national defence service.

A member of the Seimas may be appointed only either as Prime Minister or a Minister.

The work as well as all expenses connected with parliamentary activities of a member of the Seimas shall be remunerated from the State Budget. A member of the Seimas may not receive any other remuneration, with the exception of remuneration for creative activities.

The duties, rights and guarantees of the activities of the member of the Seimas shall be established by law.”

The indicated by the petitioner provisions of Article 60 of the Constitution, which prohibit members of the Seimas from receiving any other remuneration, with the exception of remuneration for creative activities, are set forth in Paragraph 3 of this article.

It should be noted that the indicated by the petitioner provisions of Paragraph 3 of Article 60 of the Constitution, which prohibit members of the Seimas from receiving any other remuneration, with the exception of remuneration for creative activities, are inseparably linked with the other provisions of the Constitution that establish the constitutional status of a member of the Seimas (rights and duties of a member of the Seimas, guarantees of his work at the Seimas and other parliamentary activity, limitations applied to a member of the Seimas, etc.).

4. When investigating, subsequent to the petition of the petitioner, whether the provisions of Paragraph 4 of Article 15 of the Statute of the Seimas (wording of 22 December 1998), which permit members of the Seimas to receive remuneration for educational and scientific activity not during the sittings of the Seimas, its committees and commissions, are not in conflict with the Constitution, an investigation into the compliance of the entire legal regulation established in Paragraph 4 of Article 15 (wording of 22 December 1998) of the Statute of the Seimas with the Constitution is necessary due to the fact that all the provisions consolidated in Paragraph 4 of Article 15 of the Statute of the Seimas (wording of 22 December 1998) are linked with one another and that the provisions of Paragraph 3 of Article 60 of the Constitution, which prohibit members of the Seimas from receiving any other remuneration, with the exception of remuneration for creative activities, are inseparably linked with other provisions of the Constitution, which consolidate the constitutional status of a member of the Seimas.

II

1. Article 4 of the Constitution provides that the Nation executes its supreme sovereign power either directly or through its democratically elected representatives. Paragraph 1 of Article 33 of the Constitution provides that citizens have the right to participate in the government of the State both directly and through their democratically elected representatives, as well as the right to enter into the State service of the Republic of Lithuania under equal conditions. Pursuant to Article 5 of the Constitution in Lithuania, the Seimas, the President of the Republic and the Government, and the Judiciary, execute state power (Paragraph 1); the scope of power is limited by the Constitution (Paragraph 2); state institutions serve the people (Paragraph 3).

2. State officials, who perform their functions while exercising state power, bear respective authorities. The Constitutional Court in its ruling of 25 May 2004 held that in case state officials perform their duties according to the Constitution, law, act in the interest of the Nation and the State of Lithuania, they must be protected from pressure and unreasonable interference in their activity, when fairly exercising their duties, they must not suffer threat against their person, their rights and freedoms.

The Constitution is the supreme law which limits state power. The Constitution consolidates the principle of responsible governing.

The fact that under the Constitution the Nation exercises its supreme sovereign power directly or through its democratically elected representatives, that the scope of power is limited by the Constitution and that State institutions serve the people, implies that State officials who perform their functions while exercising state power, and all the persons who make decisions important to the society and the state, must follow the Constitution, law, the interests of the Nation and the State of Lithuania. The civil Nation, which has entrusted the management of common matters as well as representation of the Nation and the state to the persons who make decisions important to the society and the state due to the office they hold or the mandate they have acquired, must be protected from arbitrariness of state officials, from their actions based on their personal or group interests instead of the interests of the Nation and the State of Lithuania, from the use of their status for their own, their close relatives’ or other persons’ private benefit. In its ruling of 25 May 2004 the Constitutional Court held that “in order that the citizens—the state community—could reasonably trust the state officials, that it would be possible to ascertain that all the state institutions and all the state officials follow the Constitution as well as law and obey them, while those who do not obey the Constitution and law would not hold the office for which the confidence of the citizens—the state community—is needed, a public democratic control over the activity of the state officials comprising, inter alia, a possibility of removing from office the state officials who violate the Constitution and law, who bring their personal interests or the interests of the group above the public interests, or who disgrace state power by their actions, is needed.”

According to the Constitution, the legislature has a duty to establish by legal acts such legal regulation which would ensure that state officials, who perform their functions while exercising state power, and all the persons, who make decisions important to the society and the state, are able to properly execute their power, so that contraposition of public and private interests would be avoided, that no legal conditions would be created for state officials, who perform their functions while exercising state power, and all the persons, who make decisions important to the society and the state, to act in the private interests or interests of a group, instead of the interests of the Nation and the State of Lithuania, and to use their status for the benefit of their own, their close relatives or other persons, so that it might be possible to effectively control how state officials, who perform their functions while exercising state power, and all the persons, who make decisions important to the society and the state, follow the said requirements, and that the above-mentioned state officials and other persons be held liable pursuant to the Constitution and law in case they do not follow these requirements.

3. Under the Constitution only the Seimas is the representative of the Nation. The Seimas, as the representative of the Nation, through which the Nation exercises its supreme sovereign power, acts according to the powers pursuant to the Constitution vested in it by the Nation.

The constitutional nature of the Seimas as the representative of the Nation determines its special place within the system of institutions of state power, as well as its functions and powers necessary for performing the functions of the Seimas. When exercising its constitutional powers, the Seimas performs classical functions of a parliament of a democratic state under the rule of law: the Seimas passes laws (legislative function), exercises the parliamentary control over the institutions of executive power and other institutions (except courts) (controlling function), establishes state institutions, appoints their heads and other state officials and removes them from office (establishment function), adopts the State Budget and supervises its implementation (budgetary function), etc. (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 13 May 2004).

4. The Constitution establishes the organisation of state power where each institution of state power performs its functions incessantly. Under the Constitution, no legal situation may occur where any institution exercising state power fails to function.

In its ruling of 24 February 1994, the Constitutional Court held that the Seimas must always ensure that its powers established in the Constitution are performed incessantly and that in any situation the representative of the Nation should be able to constructively, efficiently and incessantly implement the supreme sovereign power of the Nation.

The continuity of action of the Seimas, as the incessantly acting representation of the Nation, is ensured, inter alia, by the provisions of Article 59 of the Constitution, which provide that the term of office of members of the Seimas begins to be counted from the day that the newly-elected Seimas convenes for the first sitting and that the period of the powers of the previously elected members of the Seimas expires at the beginning of the sitting.

5. The Seimas is comprised of members of the Seimas—representatives of the Nation. Each member of the Seimas represents the entire Nation. When exercising his constitutional duty to represent the Nation, a member of the Seimas participates in performing all the constitutional functions of the Seimas and exercises all the powers of a member of the Seimas.

The continuity of the activity of the Seimas implies the continuity of the activity of a member of the Seimas as a representative of the Nation. Under the Constitution, legal acts should establish such a structure and procedure of work of the Seimas, as well as the legal status of a member of the Seimas, which would provide for an opportunity for each member of the Seimas to execute his constitutional duty to constantly participate at the work of the Seimas, the representation of the Nation, to incessantly perform his constitutional powers, as a representative of the Nation.

It should be noted that the Constitution treats a member of the Seimas as a professional politician, i.e. as a representative of the Nation, whose work at the Seimas is his professional activity.

6. Paragraph 2 of Article 55 of the Constitution provides that the Seimas is deemed elected when not less than 3/5 of the members of the Seimas have been elected. According to the Constitution, the Seimas is comprised of 141 member. Thus, the Seimas is deemed elected when at least 85 members of the Seimas have been elected. It is established in Article 65 of the Constitution that the President of the Republic summons the first sitting of the newly-elected Seimas which must be held within 15 days of the Seimas election; if the President of the Republic fails to summon the Seimas, the members of the Seimas assemble by themselves the day following the expiration of the 15-day period. Paragraph 2 of Article 66 of the Constitution provides that the first sitting of the Seimas after its election shall be opened by the eldest member of the Seimas; it should be held that this is the only provision of the Constitution, which expressis verbis consolidates the power at the Seimas of one—the eldest—elected member of the Seimas, who enjoys this power prior to gaining all the powers of a representative of the Nation.

It needs to be noted that according to the Constitution election of a member of the Seimas in itself does not mean that the elected member of the Seimas gets all the rights of a representative of the Nation. The gaining of all rights of a representative of the Nation as per Constitution is linked with the oath of a member of the Seimas, which must be taken by the elected member of the Seimas at a sitting of the Seimas. Paragraph 2 of Article 59 of the Constitution provides that a member of the Seimas acquires all the rights of a representative of the Nation only after taking an oath in the Seimas to be faithful to the Republic of Lithuania. This constitutional provision also means that a member of the Seimas does not enjoy all the rights of a representative of the Nation until he takes an oath—such an elected member of the Seimas is not a representative of the Nation yet, he does not have powers of a member of the Seimas and may not exercise them yet.

The constitutional provisions that the period of the powers of a member of the Seimas begins to be counted from the day that the newly-elected Seimas convenes for the first sitting and that the period of the powers of the previously elected members of the Seimas expires at the beginning of the sitting, which are construed in the context of the principle of continuity of the Seimas’ activity as entrenched in the Constitution, implies that the newly-elected Seimas as the fully-fledged representation of the Nation must begin functioning namely from the beginning of this sitting. Since a member of the Seimas, under the Constitution, gains all the rights of a representative of the Nation only after taking an oath in the Seimas to the faithful to the Republic of Lithuania, the elected members of the Seimas, under the Constitution, must take an oath at the first sitting of the newly-elected Seimas. According to the Constitution, the legislature must establish a procedure of taking an oath of a member of the Seimas, so that all the members of the Seimas take oath namely at the first sitting of the newly-elected Seimas. An exemption could be made to the elected members of the Seimas who are not able to arrive at the first sitting of the newly-elected Seimas only due to especially important and justifiable reasons (for example, illness); under the Constitution, such an elected member of the Seimas must take an oath at the next earliest sitting of the Seimas after the end of existence of the especially important and justifiable reason due to which the elected member of the Seimas was not able to take the oath at the first sitting of the newly-elected sitting of the Seimas.

Paragraph 3 of Article 59 of the Constitution provides that the member of the Seimas who either does not take an oath in accordance with the procedure established by law, or who takes a conditional oath, shall lose the mandate of a member of the Seimas; the Seimas shall adopt a corresponding resolution thereon. It needs to be stressed that the Constitution does not tolerate a situation where the elected members of the Seimas fail to gather to the first sitting of the newly-elected Seimas or where they gather to the sitting but fail to take the oath. Such behaviour of the elected member of the Seimas, where he fails to arrive at the first sitting of the newly-elected Seimas without especially important and justifiable reasons or arrives at the sitting but fails to take the oath, should be evaluated as a refusal of the elected member of the Seimas to take the oath and should result in the legal consequences provided for in Paragraph 3 of Article 59 of the Constitution—loss of the mandate of a member of the Seimas. The behaviour where the elected member of the Seimas fails to take an oath at the next earliest sitting of the Seimas after the end of existence of the especially important and justifiable reason due to which the elected member of the Seimas was not able to take the oath at the first sitting of the newly-elected sitting of the Seimas should be evaluated in the same way and it should result in the same legal consequences. The Seimas must adopt a corresponding resolution thereon.

The oath of a member of the Seimas is not a mere formal or symbolic act (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 25 May 2004). It is not only a solemn utterance of words of the oath and signing the act of the oath. In its ruling of 25 May 2004, the Constitutional Court held that the act of the oath of a member of the Seimas is constitutionally legally important: when taking the oath, the elected member of the Seimas publicly and solemnly accepts an obligation to act in line with the obligations of the oath and to breach the oath under no circumstances; from the moment of taking the oath his duty emerges to act only in the way he is obliged by the oath taken and to breach this oath under no circumstances.

The text of the oath of a member of the Seimas is established in Article 5 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Procedure of Entry Into Effect of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania”, which is a constituent part of the Constitution. A member of the Seimas accepts an obligation to be faithful to the Republic of Lithuania; to respect and execute its Constitution and laws and to protect the integrity of its lands, to strengthen, to the best of his ability, the independence of Lithuania, and to conscientiously serve the Homeland, and the welfare of the people of Lithuania. Paragraph 4 of Article 59 of the Constitution provides that while in office, members of the Seimas follow the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, the interests of the state, as well as their own consciences, and may not be bound by any mandates. Thus, the oath of a member of the Seimas obligates him in his activity to follow the Constitution, the interests of the state and his conscience, and not to be bound by any mandates. His duty to respect and execute the Constitution and laws, and to conscientiously exercise the duties of a representative of the Nation in a manner he is obliged to by the Constitution originates from the oath of a member of the Seimas. In its ruling of 25 May 2004, the Constitutional Court held that the Constitution implies the notion of discretion and conscience of a member of the Seimas, according to which no gap should exist between the discretion of the member of the Seimas and the conscience of the member of the Seimas, and the requirements of the Constitution, as well as values entrenched in and protected by the Constitution: according to the Constitution the discretion of a member of the Seimas and his conscience should be oriented towards the Constitution, and the interests of the Nation and the State of Lithuania.

7. Paragraph 4 of Article 59 of the Constitution consolidates one of the major elements of the constitutional legal status of a member of the Seimas—the free mandate of a member of the Seimas as a representative of the Nation. The Constitution consolidates the free mandate of a member of the Seimas and prohibits the imperative mandate.

The essence of the free mandate of a member of the Seimas is the right of the representative of the Nation to exercise the rights given and duties imposed on him while not limiting this freedom by mandating by the voters, and political requirements of the parties or organisations which nominated him. The free mandate of a member of the Seimas also means that the voters have no right to revoke a member of the Seimas. Revocation of a member of the Seimas prior to the expiry of the term of office would constitute one of the elements of the imperative mandate. Democratic states do not recognise the imperative mandate of a member of the parliament, and, therefore, a possibility of revoking a member of the parliament from office prior to the expiry of the term (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 26 November 1993, 9 November 1999, 25 January 2001, and 30 May 2003).

The free mandate of a member of the Seimas entrenched in the Constitution discloses the essence of the constitutional legal status of a member of the Seimas as a representative of the Nation, and is inseparably linked with the equality of members of the Seimas. Under the Constitution, each member of the Seimas represents the entire Nation. All the members of the Seimas are equal, and they should have the same opportunities to participate in the activity of the Seimas. In case the rights of a member of the Seimas were differentiated in a way that in fact an unequal opportunities for them to participate in the Seimas’ work are established, the basic principle of this representative institution, the equality of members of the parliament, would be violated, and, thus, members of the Seimas would not have equal opportunities to represent the Nation at the Seimas, and to express the interests of the entire Nation. The principles of the free mandate of a member of the Seimas and equality of members of the Seimas should be followed when setting the internal structure of the Seimas as well. The free mandate of a member of the Seimas entrenched in the Constitution is one of guarantees of independency of activities and equality of Seimas members (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 26 November 1993, 9 November 1999, and 25 January 2001).

It should also be noted that the free mandate of a member of the Seimas entrenched in the Constitution may not be understood as a permission to act only at one’s own discretion, to act only according to one’s own conscience, and to ignore the Constitution (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 25 May 2004). As mentioned before, the Constitution implies the notion of discretion and conscience of a member of the Seimas, according to which no gap should exist between the discretion of a member of the Seimas and the conscience of a member of the Seimas, and the requirements of the Constitution, as well as the values entrenched in and protected by the Constitution. The free mandate of a member of the Seimas is not a privilege of a representative of the Nation, it is rather one of the legal measures ensuring that the Nation will be properly represented in its democratically elected representation, the Seimas, and that the representation of the Nation, the Seimas, will act only in the interests of the Nation and the State of Lithuania. Therefore, the free mandate of a member of the Seimas may not be used in the interests other than those of the Nation and the State of Lithuania. It may not be used for the private benefit of a member of the Seimas, his close relatives or other persons, for their personal interests or the interests of a group, in the interests of political parties or political organisations, public or other organisations, and other persons, which nominated or supported the candidate to the office of a member of the Seimas, territorial communities, voters of the constituency in which that member of the Seimas is elected, i.e. it may not be used for particular interests. Under the Constitution, a member of the Seimas is not a representative of political parties or political organisations, public or other organisations, interest groups, territorial communities or voters of the constituency in which that member of the Seimas is elected, but he represents the entire Nation.

The constitutional consolidation of the free mandate of a member of the Seimas, as well as the essence of the Seimas as the representation of the Nation, implies the constitutional duty of the Seimas to set by legal acts the legal regulation, which would provide no conditions for using the free mandate of a member of the Seimas in the interests other than the interests of the Nation and the State of Lithuania, i.e. for the private benefit of a member of the Seimas, his close relatives or other persons, for their personal interests or the interests of a group, in the interests of political parties or political organisations, public or other organisations, and other persons, which nominated or supported the candidate to the office of a member of the Seimas, territorial communities, and voters of the constituency in which that member of the Seimas is elected. The legislature should set the legal regulation which would ensure that a member of the Seimas work only for the Nation and the State of Lithuania, and avoid the confrontation of the interests of the Nation and the State of Lithuania with private interests of a member of the Seimas, his close relatives or other persons (personal interests or the interests of a group), interests of political parties or political organisations, public or other organisations, and other persons, which nominated or supported the candidate to the office of a member of the Seimas, territorial communities, and voters of the constituency in which that member of the Seimas is elected. Alongside, the activity of a member of the Seimas should be legally regulated in the manner so that it would be possible to efficiently control whether such confrontation does not exist, whether a member of the Seimas does not use his free mandate in the interests other than the interests of the Nation and the State of Lithuania. In case he disregards the aforementioned requirements of the Constitution, the member of the Seimas should be held liable pursuant to the Constitution and laws.

8. The most important rights of a member of the Seimas as a representative of the Nation are expressis verbis or implicitly consolidated in the Constitution itself. Some constitutional rights are exercised by a member of the Seimas as a single person. For example, a member of the Seimas has the right of legislative initiative at the Seimas (Paragraph 1 of Article 68 of the Constitution); he also has the right to submit an inquiry to the Prime Minister, the Ministers, and the heads of other State institutions formed or elected by the Seimas, and the said persons must respond orally or in writing at the session of the Seimas in accordance with the procedure established by the Seimas (Paragraph 1 of Article 61 of the Constitution). A member of the Seimas also has the constitutional right to aspire to an office at the Seimas; this right comprises the right to hold the office at the Seimas, which is directly specified in the Constitution, i.e. the office of the Speaker of the Seimas or his deputy, as well as to hold other offices at the Seimas, which are provided for in the Statute of the Seimas, which, under the Constitution, establishes the structure and procedure of activities of the Seimas, and has the force of a law (Article 76 of the Constitution). A member of the Seimas exercises other rights set forth in the Constitution together with other members of the Seimas. For example, not less than a group of 1/4 of the members of the Seimas has the right to present to the Seimas a proposal to alter or supplement the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania (Paragraph 1 of Article 147 of the Constitution); a group of not less than 1/5 of the members of the Seimas may interpellate the Prime Minister or a Minister (Paragraph 2 of Article 61 of the Constitution), and apply to the Constitutional Court (Paragraph 1 of Article 106 of the Constitution); a group of members of the Seimas may initiate the impeachment procedure against the President of the Republic, the President and justices of the Constitutional Court, the President and justices of the Supreme Court, the President and judges of the Court of Appeal, as well as members of the Seimas (Article 74 of the Constitution, the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 15 April 2004). Members of the Seimas have the right on equal basis to participate when the Seimas, as the representation of the Nation, exercises its powers of the representation of the Nation established in Article 67 of the Constitution, other articles of the Constitution, and the laws. The free mandate of a member of the Seimas entrenched in the Constitution constitutes a compulsory condition of exercising the constitutional duty of a member of the Seimas to represent the entire Nation.

According to Paragraph 4 of Article 60 of the Constitution, the rights of a member of the Seimas are established by law. Thus, the Constitution provides for two levels of legal regulation of the rights of a member of the Seimas: the rights established in the Constitution itself, and the rights established in laws by the legislature. The aforementioned provision of Paragraph 4 of Article 60 of the Constitution implies the duty of the Seimas to provide in laws the rights of a member of the Seimas, which would ensure the possibility for members of the Seimas for exercising their constitutional duty as the one of representatives of the Nation in a fully-fledged manner. When establishing this, the legislature must pay heed to the norms and principles of the Constitution; for example, it, may not establish any such guarantees that would unreasonably grant priorities to members of the Seimas, since the requirement of, inter alia, Paragraph 2 of Article 29 of the Constitution that a person may not be granted privileges due to his social status would be ignored.

In this context it needs to be noted that, as already mentioned above, under Article 76 of the Constitution, the structure and procedure of activities of the Seimas is established by the Statute of the Seimas. It is obvious that the legal regulation of the structure and procedure of activities of the Seimas is linked with the establishment of the rights of a member of the Seimas and, therefore, the aforementioned provisions of Paragraph 4 of Article 60 of the Constitution and Article 76 of the Constitution may not be opposed to each other. For example, in its ruling of 13 May 2004, the Constitutional Court held that the abovementioned provision of Article 76 of the Constitution may not be construed only linguistically. It was also held in the same ruling of the Constitutional Court that in order that it could properly discharge its constitutional functions, the Seimas may require to form also such structural subunits, which would enjoy powers in regard of various state and municipal institutions, their officials, and other persons, and that in case the powers of authority of a structural subunit of the Seimas in regard to institutions beyond the accountability to the Seimas, their officials, and other persons needs to be established, such powers of a structural subunit of the Seimas should be established by law. In the same way, where the rights of the member of the Seimas comprise certain powers of the member of the Seimas in regard to institutions beyond the accountability to the Seimas, their officials, and other persons, then, under the Constitution, such powers should be established by law. However, to the extent that the rights of the member of the Seimas are linked only with the activity of the member of the Seimas at the Seimas, i.e. the structure and procedure of activities of the Seimas itself, they may be established in the Statute of the Seimas.

9. The Constitution is an integral act (Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Constitution). When construing this provision of the Constitution, the Constitutional Court has held more than once that all the provisions of the Constitution are interrelated and compose a harmonious system, that a balance exists between the values consolidated in the Constitution, that it is not permitted to construe any provision of the Constitution literally, that no provision of the Constitution may be construed so that the content of another constitutional provision could be distorted or denied, since the essence of the whole constitutional regulation would thus be distorted and the balance of the constitutional values would thus be disturbed.

The free mandate of a member of the Seimas is entrenched in the Constitution, as well as the constitutional duty of a member of the Seimas to represent the Nation, and his powers are to be construed with regard to the whole constitutional legal regulation. On the one hand, the constitutional legal status of a member of the Seimas and its separate elements (the rights and duties of a member of the Seimas, the guarantees of his work at the Seimas and other parliamentary activities, limitations applied in respect to a member of the Seimas, etc.) are to be construed not in isolation from each other but as a whole system, since each element of the constitutional legal status of a member of the Seimas may be constitutionally correctly understood only if linked with the other elements of the constitutional legal status of a member of the Seimas and evaluated as a part of a single system—the constitutional legal status of a member of the Seimas. On the other hand, the constitutional legal status of a member of the Seimas and its separate elements are to be construed in the context of other constitutional institutes as well, inter alia, in the context of the entrenched in the Constitution personal rights and freedoms—the right of ownership, inviolability of property, and protection of the rights of ownership (Article 23 of the Constitution), the right to freely choose a job and business (Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution), freedom of economic activity and initiative (Paragraph 1 of Article 46 of the Constitution), the citizens’ right to freely form societies, political parties, and associations (Article 35 of the Constitution), the employees’ right to establish trade unions aimed at protection of their professional, economic, and social rights and interests (Article 50 of the Constitution), etc. In the context of the case at issue it needs to be noted that provisions of the Constitution, which consolidate the constitutional legal status of a member of the Seimas, may not be construed in such a way that the aforementioned as well as other constitutional rights and freedoms of a person would be violated. Still, not of the less importance is the fact that provisions of the Constitution, which consolidate the said and other personal rights and freedoms, may not be construed in a way, which would deny or distort the content of the constitutional legal status of the member of the Seimas as a representative of the Nation, i.e. they may not be interpreted so that conditions would be created for confronting the public and private interests of a member of the Seimas, for non-performance or non-due performance of his constitutional duty to represent the entire Nation, to act in the interests of the Nation and the State of Lithuania, to use the free mandate of a member of the Seimas for the private benefit of a member of the Seimas, his close relatives or other persons, for their personal interests or the interests of a group, in the interests of political parties or political organisation, public or other organisations, and other persons, which nominated or supported the candidate to the office of a member of the Seimas, territorial communities, and voters of the constituency in which that member of the Seimas is elected, rather than the interests of the Nation and the State of Lithuania. Therefore, neither the provisions of the Constitution which consolidate the constitutional legal status of a member of the Seimas, nor its provisions, in which the person’s rights and freedoms are entrenched, may be construed only literally, by applying only the linguistic (verbal) method and ignoring other constitutional provisions and their links with, inter alia, the provisions of the Constitution which consolidate the constitutional status of a member of the Seimas and/or a person’s rights and freedoms, while ignoring the interrelation of the content of these constitutional provisions, the balance of the constitutional values, and the essence of the constitutional legal regulation, as a single whole.

The Constitutional Court officially construes the Constitution (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 30 May 2003, 29 October 2003, and 13 May 2004). When examining the compliance of the laws and other legal acts (parts thereof) with the Constitution, the Constitutional Court develops the concept of provisions of the Constitution, which is presented in its previous rulings and other acts, and discloses new aspects of the regulation consolidated in the Constitution, which are necessary for the investigation of a particular case (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 30 May 2003). The official constitutional doctrine discloses, inter alia, the interrelation of various constitutional provisions, the relationship of their content, the balance between the constitutional values, and the essence of the constitutional legal regulation as a single whole. Under the Constitution, the Constitutional Court, which investigates the compliance of laws and other legal acts (parts thereof) with the Constitution, is assigned with the task to disclose within its jurisprudence also the relationship between the content of the provisions of the Constitution establishing the constitutional legal status of a member of the Seimas and the content of the provisions of the Constitution establishing a person’s rights and freedoms, and the relationship between the constitutional protection of the public interest embodied in the free mandate of a member of the Seimas and the constitutional protection of the private interests of the person who bears a mandate of a member of the Seimas.

It needs to be stressed that it would be basically impossible to disclose the interrelation between various constitutional provisions, the relationship between their content, the balance of the constitutional values, the essence of the constitutional legal regulation as a single whole, if one ignores the aims of the constitutional regulation, including, inter alia, also the aims constituting the basis of functions of each construed constitutional provision, and the purpose in regard to the overall constitutional regulation.

10. In order that a member of the Seimas would be able to incessantly perform his duties, as a representative of the Nation, the Constitution itself establishes not only certain rights, but the duties of a member of the Seimas, too. Some duties of a member of the Seimas are formulated in the Constitution expressis verbis. The other duties of a member of the Seimas are not expressis verbis formulated in the Constitution, but they are entrenched implicitly—they are derived from the constitutional legal status of a member of the Seimas as a representative of the Nation. Still, some other duties of a member of the Seimas are established not in the Constitution, but in legal acts of lower legal force—laws and the Statute of the Seimas.

The Constitution expressis verbis consolidates only some duties of a member of the Seimas. For example, a member of the Seimas must follow the taken oath of the member of the Seimas, which obligates him to be faithful to the Republic of Lithuania, to respect and execute its Constitution and laws and to protect the integrity of its lands, to strengthen, to the best of his ability, the independence of Lithuania, and to conscientiously serve the Homeland, and the welfare of the people of Lithuania (Paragraph 2 of Article 59 of the Constitution, Article 5 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Procedure of Entry Into Effect of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania”). Paragraph 4 of Article 59 of the Constitution provides for a duty of a member of the Seimas, when he is in office, to follow the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, the interests of the state, as well as his own conscience, and not to be bound by any mandates.

The other constitutional duties of a member of the Seimas are formulated in the Constitution as a certain limitations applied in regard to a member of the Seimas—incompatibility of the office of a member of the Seimas with other offices or a job, except the cases established in the Constitution, and the prohibition for a member of the Seimas against receiving other remuneration, save the exceptions established in the Constitution (Article 60 of the Constitution); these limitations in regard to members of the Seimas are established in the Constitution in order to ensure the free mandate of a member of the Seimas as a representative of the Nation, and the continuity of his work at the Seimas and engaging in other parliamentary activities.

The members of the Seimas who hold the offices at the Seimas, which are directly specified in the Constitution, i.e. the Speaker of the Seimas and his deputy, beyond their duties of a member of the Seimas as representatives of the Nation also have other duties and respective rights expressis verbis specified in the Constitution. For example, the Speaker of the Seimas has a duty (and the right by the same) to sign the adopted law on an alteration of the Constitution if the President of the Republic does not sign it during the indicated time (Paragraph 2 of Article 149 of the Constitution), to sign the laws adopted by the Seimas if they are not signed and referred back by the President of the Republic to the Seimas for reconsideration within the period indicated in the Constitution (Paragraphs 2 and 4 of Article 72 of the Constitution), to sign other acts adopted by the Seimas and the Statute of the Seimas (Paragraph 2 of Article 70 of the Constitution), to temporarily hold the office of the President of the Republic in the cases provided for in the Constitution (Paragraph 1 of Article 89 of the Constitution), or to temporarily substitute the President of the Republic (Paragraph 2 of Article 89 of the Constitution), to be a member of the State Defence Council (Paragraph 1 of Article 140 of the Constitution), upon the motion of not less than one-third of all the members of the Seimas to convene extraordinary session of the Seimas (Paragraph 2 of Article 64 of the Constitution), to propose three candidates for justices of the Constitutional Court (Paragraph 1 of Article 103 of the Constitution). The Speaker of the Seimas and his deputy also has the duty (by the same—the right) to preside over sittings of the Seimas (Paragraph 1 of Article 66 of the Constitution).

It needs to be noted that certain constitutional duties of a member of the Seimas are not expressis verbis formulated in the Constitution, however, they are inseparably linked with activities of the member of the Seimas at the Seimas and other parliamentary activity. For example, the constitutional purpose of the Seimas as the representation of the Nation, as well as the constitutional legal status of a member of the Seimas as a representative of the Nation, implies the constitutional duty of a member of the Seimas to represent the Nation, thus, also his duty to participate in the sittings of the Seimas, and activity of the structural subunits, a member of which he is.

Under Paragraph 4 of Article 60 of the Constitution, the duties of a member of the Seimas are established by law. Thus, the Constitution provides for two levels of the legal regulation of the duties of members of the Seimas: the duties established in the Constitution itself and the duties established in laws by the legislature. The said provision of Paragraph 4 of Article 60 of the Constitution implies the duty of the Seimas to establish in laws such duties of a member of the Seimas which would ensure that members of the Seimas will exercise their constitutional duty as the one of representatives of the Nation in a fully-fledged manner. When establishing the aforementioned provisions, the legislature is bound by the Constitution.

As mentioned before, under Article 76 of the Constitution, the structure and procedure of activities of the Seimas are established by the Statute of the Seimas. The legal regulation of the structure and of procedure of activities of the Seimas is linked with the establishment of the duties of a member of the Seimas as well. Under the Constitution, the duties of a member of the Seimas, which are not related to the work of a member of the Seimas at the Seimas, i.e. with the structure and procedure of activities of the Seimas, must be established by law. However, to the extent that the duties of a member of the Seimas are linked only with the work of a member of the Seimas at the Seimas, i.e. with the structure and procedure of activities of the Seimas, they may be established in the Statute of the Seimas.

11. One of the elements of the constitutional legal status of a member of the Seimas is the guarantees of the work of a member of the Seimas at the Seimas and other parliamentary activity. When evaluating the entirety of the entrenched in the Constitution guarantees of the work of a member of the Seimas at the Seimas and other parliamentary activity, it should be held that in this regard the legal status of a member of the Seimas, a representative of the Nation, is different in essence from the constitutional legal status of other citizens and other state officials.

11.1. A system of guarantees of the work of a member of the Seimas at the Seimas and other parliamentary activity comprises, inter alia, the immunities of a member of the Seimas. Article 62 of the Constitution provides that the person of a member of the Seimas is inviolable (Paragraph 1), a member of the Seimas may not be held criminally liable, arrested, or have his freedom otherwise restricted without the consent of the Seimas (Paragraph 2).

11.2. Paragraph 3 of Article 60 of the Constitution provides that a member of the Seimas may not be persecuted for his vote or speeches in the Seimas, and he may be held liable in accordance with the common procedure only for personal insult or slander.

11.3. The Constitution also provides for a special procedure of revoking the mandate of a member of the Seimas: under Article 74 of the Constitution, the Seimas may, by a 3/5 majority vote of all the members of the Seimas, revoke the mandate of a member of the Seimas who has grossly violated the Constitution, breached the oath, or committed a crime.

11.4. Paragraph 1 of Article 60 of the Constitution provides, inter alia, that during his term in office, a member of the Seimas shall be exempt from the duty to perform national defence service.

11.5. According to Paragraph 3 of Article 60 of the Constitution, the work of a member of the Seimas shall be remunerated from the State Budget. When construing this constitutional provision, in its ruling of 9 November 1999, the Constitutional Court held that the salary of a Seimas member must be of sufficient size, paid regularly, as well as the fact that it is not permitted that during the term of office of the Seimas the salary of a Seimas member is decreased from what it was at the beginning of the Seimas’ term of office by establishing it by law. Such constitutional regulation of the salary of a Seimas member is established so that a Seimas member might properly perform his duties of a representative of the Nation.

11.6. The Constitution also consolidates the guarantee of parliamentary activities of a member of the Seimas, which ensures that the expenses connected with parliamentary activities of a member of the Seimas are remunerated from the State Budget (Paragraph 3 of Article 60 of the Constitution).

11.7. Under Paragraph 4 of Article 60 of the Constitution, the guarantees of activities of a member of the Seimas are established by law. Thus, the Constitution sets forth two levels of legal regulation of the system of guarantees of the work of a member of the Seimas at the Seimas and other parliamentary activities: the guarantees established in the Constitution itself, and the guarantees established in laws by the legislature. It needs to be stressed that the aforementioned provision of Paragraph 4 of Article 60 of the Constitution implies the duty of the Seimas to provide in laws the system of guarantees of the work of a member of the Seimas at the Seimas and other parliamentary activities, which would ensure the possibility for members of the Seimas for exercising their constitutional duty as the one of representatives of the Nation in a fully-fledged manner. When establishing this, the legislature must pay heed to the norms and principles of the Constitution; it, inter alia, may not establish any such guarantees that would unreasonably grant priorities to members of the Seimas, since the requirement of Paragraph 2 of Article 29 of the Constitution that a person may not be granted privileges due to his social status would be disregarded.

As already mentioned above, according to Article 76 of the Constitution, the structure and procedure of activities of the Seimas is established by the Statute of the Seimas. The legal regulation of the structure and procedure of activities of the Seimas is linked also with the establishment of the guarantees of the work of a member of the Seimas at the Seimas and other parliamentary activities. If the guarantees of the parliamentary activity of a Seimas member are related to the duties, which arise out of this, to institutions beyond the accountability to the Seimas, their officials, and other persons, such guarantees, according to the Constitution, must be established by law. However, to the extent that the guarantees of the work of a member of the Seimas at the Seimas and other parliamentary activities are linked only with the activity of a member of the Seimas at the Seimas, i.e. the structure and procedure of activities of the Seimas itself, they may be established in the Statute of the Seimas.

11.8. As already mentioned above, the activity of the Seimas as the representation of the Nation and of members of the Seimas as representatives of the Nation is incessant. Paragraph 1 of Article 64 of the Constitution provides that every year the Seimas convenes for two regular sessions—one in spring and one in autumn; the spring session begins on March 10th and ends on June 30th, and the autumn session begins on September 10th and ends on December 23rd; the Seimas may decide to prolong a session. Paragraph 2 of Article 64 of the Constitution provides for extraordinary sessions: extraordinary sessions are convened by the Speaker of the Seimas upon the motion of not less than one-third of all the members of the Seimas, and in cases provided for in the Constitution, by the President of the Republic.

According to the parliamentary tradition of the democratic states, a parliamentary session comprises sittings of the parliament and sittings of the parliamentary committees and other structural subunits held in between them. A form of sessions of the Seimas is sittings of the Seimas and sittings of structural subunits of the Seimas held in between them. It was held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that the participation at the sittings of the Seimas is a constitutional duty of a member of the Seimas. According to the Constitution the Seimas has a duty to establish the legal regulation and act in the way which ensures the performance of the constitutional duty of members of the Seimas—the duty to participate at the sittings of the Seimas. This means that the Seimas, inter alia, has to establish such legal regulation which would provide that a Seimas member’s non-participation at the sittings of the Seimas is possible only in case of especially important and justifiable reasons. It should be stressed that the behaviour of a member of the Seimas when he does not participate at the sittings of the Seimas without an especially important and justifiable reason should be evaluated as a failure to perform the constitutional duty of a member of the Seimas, a representative of the Nation; under the Constitution, such non-participation at the sittings of the Seimas cannot but result in respective legal consequences (legal liability) in regard to the member of the Seimas who does not participate at the sittings of the Seimas without an especially important and justifiable reason. The constitutional purpose of the Seimas as the representation of the Nation, the constitutional duty of a member of the Seimas to represent the Nation, and the constitutional legal status of a member of the Seimas also imply that the legal regulation should be established which would facilitate the ensuring of efficient control over the participation of members of the Seimas at the sittings of the Seimas, constant and systematic provision of information to the public (the voters) about the participation of members of the Seimas at the sittings of the Seimas and their public votes on the issues discussed by the Seimas.

On the other hand, sessions of the Seimas are not a single form of activity of the Seimas, and participation at sessions of the Seimas is not a single form of the work of a Seimas member at the Seimas or his parliamentary activity. As already mentioned above, according to the Constitution, the activity of a member of the Seimas as a representative of the Nation is incessant; each member of the Seimas should have an opportunity to exercise his constitutional duty to constantly participate at the work of the Seimas, the representation of the Nation, and incessantly perform his constitutional powers as the ones of a representative of the Nation. Therefore, according to the Constitution, members of the Seimas perform their duties as representatives of the Nation beyond sessions of the Seimas as well. The constitutional principle of continuity of activity of the Seimas as the representation of the Nation implies that a period of time between sessions of the Seimas is not vacation of members of the Seimas, nor their other time for rest. It needs to noted that the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Working Conditions of a Member of the Seimas provides that the duration of working hours of a member of the Seimas is not limited (Article 3). In addition, no other legal acts provide for any vacation of a member of the Seimas at all. In this context it needs to be stressed that from Paragraph 1 of Article 49 of the Constitution, which provides that each working human being has the right to rest and leisure, as well as annual paid holidays, and from Paragraph 4 of Article 60 of the Constitution, which provides that the duties, rights and guarantees of the activities of a member of the Seimas are established by law, stems the duty of the legislature to establish the duration of annual paid holidays of a member of the Seimas and other conditions by law. It should also be noted that establishment of holidays of a member of the Seimas by law would also ensure the absence of the preconditions for treating, in a constitutionally unreasonable manner, the time between sessions of the Seimas as the time equal to holidays or other time for rest of a member of the Seimas.

11.9. The social guarantees of persons, who are former members of the Seimas, are also an element of the constitutional legal status of a member of the Seimas, the essence of which is disclosed by the free mandate of a member of the Seimas as a representative of the Nation. The Constitutional norms and principles must also be followed when establishing such guarantees by law.

12. It has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that certain constitutional duties of a member of the Seimas are formulated in the Constitution as certain limitations applied in regard to a member of the Seimas—incompatibility of the duties of a member of the Seimas with other duties or a job, save the exceptions established in the Constitution, and the prohibition for a member of the Seimas against receiving other remuneration, except the cases established in the Constitution; these limitations are meant to ensure the free mandate of a member of the Seimas as a representative of the Nation, and the continuity of his work at the Seimas and other parliamentary activities. When evaluating the entirety of limitations entrenched in the Constitution in regard to a member of the Seimas, it should be held that in this respect the constitutional legal status of a member of the Seimas, a representative of the Nation, is different in essence from the constitutional legal status of other citizens and it determines particularities of implementation of particular rights of a person entrenched in the Constitution, which a member of the Seimas enjoys as a human being and citizen.

As already mentioned above, under Article 60 of the Constitution, the duties of a member of the Seimas are incompatible with any other duties in State institutions and organisations, as well as with work in business, commercial and other private establishments or enterprises (Paragraph 1); a member of the Seimas may be appointed only either as Prime Minister or a Minister (Paragraph 2); a member of the Seimas may not receive any remuneration, with the exception of remuneration for creative activities (Paragraph 3).

It was mentioned also that the Constitution is an integral act, that all its provisions are interrelated and constitute a harmonious system, that no provision of the Constitution may be construed only literally, that no provision of the Constitution may be construed so that the content of another constitutional provision should be distorted or denied, since the essence of the whole constitutional regulation would thus be distorted and the balance of the constitutional values would thus be disturbed. Therefore, the provision of Paragraph 1 of Article 60 of the Constitution that the duties of a member of the Seimas are incompatible with any other duties in state institutions and organisations, as well as with work in business, commercial and other private establishments or enterprises should be interpreted while taking account of the provision of this paragraph that a member of the Seimas may hold office at the Seimas, the provision of Paragraph 2 of this article that a member of the Seimas may be appointed only either as Prime Minister or a Minister, and the integral constitutional legal regulation, thus, of all the constitutional provisions entrenching the constitutional status of a member of the Seimas (the rights and duties of a member of the Seimas, guarantees of his work at the Seimas and other parliamentary activities, limitations applied in regard to a member of the Seimas, etc.), of the constitutional provisions entrenching the rights of a person, as well as the purposes of the constitutional regulation, which comprise, inter alia, the purposes on which the functions of legal regulation established in Paragraph 1 of Article 60 of the Constitution are based, the purposes of this regulation in regard to the entire integral constitutional legal regulation, of the provision of Paragraph 1 of Article 60 of the Constitution that a member of the Seimas may hold office at the Seimas, of the provision of Paragraph 2 of this article that a member of the Seimas may be appointed only either as Prime Minister or a Minister, and also of the entire integral constitutional legal regulation in general; the purposes of the constitutional regulation should be taken account of when interpreting the provision of Paragraph 3 of Article 60 of the Constitution that a member of the Seimas may not receive any remuneration, with the exception of remuneration for creative activities also.

The purpose of the legal regulation established in Paragraph 1 of Article 60 of the Constitution is to ensure the free mandate of a member of the Seimas as a representative of the Nation, and continuity of his work at the Seimas and other parliamentary activities, to guarantee that a member of the Seimas shall act in the interests of the Nation and the State of Lithuania rather than their personal interests or the interests of a group, or the interests of political parties or political organisation, public or other organisations, and other persons, which nominated or supported the candidate to the office of a member of the Seimas, territorial communities, and voters of the constituency in which that member of the Seimas is elected, that a member of the Seimas will not use his status and the free mandate for the private benefit or the benefit of his close relatives or other persons, that each member of the Seimas will have an opportunity to exercise his constitutional duty to constantly participate at the work of the Seimas, the representation of the Nation, to incessantly perform his constitutional powers, as a representative of the Nation. This purpose would never be reached or conditions preventing the accomplishment of this purpose would be created if a member of the Seimas had an opportunity to hold another office to be engaged in other work, with the exception of the offices expressis verbis specified in the Constitution, as well as the offices which may be held upon the implication of the Constitution; this purpose would never be reached or conditions preventing the accomplishment of this purpose would also be created if a member of the Seimas received remuneration other than that specified in the Constitution.

13. One of the limitations imposed on a member of the Seimas by Article 60 of the Constitution is the incompatibility of the duties of a member of the Seimas with other offices and work, save the exception expressis verbis established or implicitly set down in the Constitution.

13.1. The formula “the duties of a member of the Seimas, with the exception of his duties in the Seimas” is used in Paragraph 1 of Article 60 of the Constitution. Under the Constitution, a member of the Seimas may hold certain other offices in the Seimas as well.

The offices in the Seimas directly specified in the Constitution, which may be taken by a member of the Seimas, are the office of the Speaker of the Seimas and his deputy.

As already mentioned above, under Article 76 of the Constitution, the structure and procedure of activities of the Seimas are established by the Statute of the Seimas. Therefore, the Statute of the Seimas may establish other offices in the Seimas, which may be taken by certain members of the Seimas, the offices in the governing body of the Seimas, as well as the offices of the heads of structural subunits of the Seimas and other offices in the Seimas, which may be held by a member of the Seimas only; the Statute of the Seimas may also provide for an opportunity for a member of the Seimas to take certain offices in inter-parliamentary and other international institutions, which may only be taken by a member of the Seimas—the formula “his duties in the Seimas” of Article 60 of the Constitution comprises these offices as well.

Thus, the formula “his duties in the Seimas” of Article 60 of the Constitution comprises: (1) the office of the Speaker of the Seimas, Deputy Speaker of the Seimas; (2) the offices of a member of the Seimas at the Seimas, which are taken by a member of the Seimas pursuant to the Statute of the Seimas in the governing body of the Seimas or when leading a structural subunit of the Seimas, as well as other offices, which may be taken in the Seimas only by a member of the Seimas; (3) the offices of a member of the Seimas in inter-parliamentary and other international institutions, which may only be taken by a member of the Seimas.

13.2. According to the Constitution a member of the Seimas, who is the Speaker of the Seimas, ex officio is a member of the State Defence Council (Article 140 of the Constitution); in the event that the President of the Republic dies, resigns or is removed from office in accordance with the procedure for impeachment proceedings, or in cases when the Seimas decides that the state of health of the President of the Republic does not permit him to hold office, his office is temporarily held by the Speaker of the Seimas (Paragraph 1 of Article 89 of the Constitution); the Speaker of the Seimas substitutes for the President of the Republic when the latter is temporarily abroad or has fallen ill and by reason thereof is temporarily unable to hold office (Paragraph 2 of Article 89 of the Constitution).

13.3. It was already stated that according to Paragraph 2 of Article 60 of the Constitution a member of the Seimas may be appointed only either as Prime Minister or a Minister. Thus, according to the Constitution a member of the Seimas may at the same time hold the office of the Prime Minister or a Minister.

In its rulings the Constitutional Court has held more than once that the Constitution consolidates the principle of the separation of powers. The constitutional principle of the separation of powers means, inter alia, that persons performing their functions in implementation of one branch of state power may not at the same time perform the functions of the implementation of another branch of state power, i.e. the persons performing the functions in the implementation of the legislative, executive or judicial branches may not at the same time perform the functions in the implementation of both the executive and judicial branches, or both the legislative and judicial branches, or both the legislative and executive branches respectively, save the exceptions provided for in the Constitution. It needs to be noted that the provision of Paragraph 2 of Article 60 of the Constitution that a member of the Seimas may be appointed only either as Prime Minister or a Minister is an exception established in the Constitution where the same person may perform the functions both of the legislative (as a member of the Seimas) branch and the executive (as a member of the Government—the Prime Minister or a Minister) branch.

13.4. It should be noted that incompatibility of duties of a member of the Seimas with other duties or work in various aspects is expressis verbis consolidated in other articles of the Constitution as well. For example, under the Constitution, the duties of a member of the Seimas are incompatible with the office of the President of the Republic (Paragraph 1 of Article 83 of the Constitution), with military service or alternative service, as well as with being an officer, a non-commissioned officer or re-enlistee of the national defence system, of the police and the Interior, or being a paid official of paramilitary and security service (Article 141 of the Constitution), with the office of a judge as well as a justice of the Constitutional Court (Paragraph 1 of Article 113, Paragraph 3 of article 104 of the Constitution), the office of a member of a municipal council (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 24 December 2002, 30 May 2003).

13.5. The constitutional norms and principles may not be construed on the basis of acts adopted by the legislature or other law-making subjects, as the supremacy of the Constitution in the legal system would thus be denied (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 12 July 2001).

It needs to be stressed that concepts “duties” and “work” used in Paragraph 1 of Article 60 of the Constitution are constitutional concepts, they bear the constitutional content and may not be construed only following the definition of similar concepts in laws and other legal acts (for example, legal acts regulating employment or public service relations). In this regard the duties and work specified in Paragraph 1 of Article 60 of the Constitution are not to be linked with employment or similar contracts or agreements.

13.6. The notion “duties” used in the formula “duties in State institutions and organisations” in Paragraph 1 of Article 60 of the Constitution and the notion “work” used in the formula “work in business, commercial and other private establishments or enterprises” in this paragraph should be construed with regard to the purpose of the constitutional legal regulation established in this article, and all the other constitutional provisions consolidating the constitutional status of a member of the Seimas. It should be noted that taking an office implies that the person who takes the said office must perform certain work, fulfil certain other functions, perform certain other tasks, etc., while performing work implies that a person must take certain office, fulfil certain other functions, perform certain other tasks, etc. The notion “duties” used in the formula “duties in State institutions and organisations” in Paragraph 1 of Article 60 of the Constitution and the notion “work” used in the formula “work in business, commercial and other private establishments or enterprises” in this paragraph mean activity. Therefore, in the context of the whole constitutional integral regulation these concepts may not be confronted, and they may not be construed literally, by ignoring their correlations.

The notion “duties” used in the formula “duties in State institutions and organisations” in Paragraph 1 of Article 60 of the Constitution comprises any activity in a Lithuanian state, municipal, foreign or international establishment, enterprise or organisation, or representing such an establishment, enterprise or organisation, if this activity is linked with taking office, performing work, holding the office, fulfilment of other functions, performing other tasks, holding a so-called office of honour, etc. (including participation in collegial management, control and other bodies), irrespective of whether this activity is of permanent, temporary, or one-off (episodic) type, whether this activity is remunerated in any payment or other form, or not, whether this activity is referred to in legal acts as offices or any other term, whether this activity is duties of a leader or not, whether the person is elected or appointed to the office, whether this activity is registered by any legal contract or other legal act, or performed without any legal contract or legal act, save the exceptions expressis verbis established or implicitly provided for in the Constitution. The notion “work” used in the formula “work in business, commercial and other private establishments or enterprises” in Paragraph 1 of Article 60 of the Constitution in its turn comprises any activity in a Lithuanian, foreign or international private establishment, enterprise or organisation, or representation of such an establishment, enterprise or organisation, if this activity is linked with performing work, taking the office, performing service, fulfilment of other functions, performing other tasks, holding a so-called office of honour, etc. (including participation in collegial management, control and other bodies), irrespective of whether this activity is of permanent, temporary, or one-off (episodic) type, whether this activity is remunerated in any payment or other form, or not, whether this activity is referred to in legal acts as work or any other term, whether or not any other persons engaged in any activity in this establishment, enterprise or organisation exist, whether this activity is duties of a leader or not, whether the person is elected or appointed to the office, whether the activity is registered by any legal contract or other legal act, or performed without any legal contract or legal act; the notion “work” used in the formula “work in business, commercial and other private establishments or enterprises” of Paragraph 1 of Article 60 of the Constitution also comprises any other private profit-making activity, as well as any profit-making activity engaged in without establishing an enterprise, establishment or organisation.

13.7. As mentioned before, the constitutional legal status of a member of the Seimas, a representative of the Nation, is different in essence from the constitutional legal status of other citizens and determines particularities of exercising certain rights of a person entrenched in the Constitution, which a member of the Seimas enjoys as a human being and citizen.

13.7.1. The legal regulation established in Paragraph 1 of Article 60 of the Constitution should be construed with regard to the provisions of Articles 46 and 48 of the Constitution.

Paragraph 1 of Article 46 of the Constitution stipulates that Lithuania’s economy is based on the right of private ownership and individual freedom of economic activity and initiative. Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution stipulates, inter alia, that each human being may freely choose a job and business.

The constitutional legal status of a member of the Seimas, a representative of the Nation, comprising, inter alia, the limitations established in Paragraph 1 of Article 60 of the Constitution, determines particularities of the exercising of the person’s rights consolidated in Article 46 and 48 of the Constitution, which are enjoyed by him as any other human being. It needs to be noted that the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 60 of the Constitution, with regard to the purpose of the legal regulation established in this paragraph, mean also that the member of the Seimas who is a founder, owner, co-owner or shareholder of a private enterprise, establishment or organisation, may not take an office, perform work, perform service, fulfil other functions, perform other tasks, hold a so-called office of honour, etc. (including participation in collegial management, control and other bodies) in the said establishment, enterprise or organisation, or represent it. This is incompatible with the constitutional legal status of a member of the Seimas: having acquired all the rights of the representative of the Nation, the member of the Seimas decides that he will be a representative of the Nation and will not be engaged in business, commerce or other profit-making private activity.

As mentioned before, under the Constitution, a member of the Seimas, a representative of the Nation, must properly fulfil his constitutional duty to represent the whole Nation, and to act only in the interests of the Nation and the State of Lithuania, and that the activity of a member of the Seimas, a representative of the Nation, is incessant. The member of the Seimas must use his mandate of a representative of the Nation only in the interests of the Nation and the State of Lithuania rather than a private benefit of his own or his close relatives or other persons. From incompatibility of the duties of a member of the Seimas, established in Paragraph 1 of Article 60 of the Constitution, with work at business, commercial or other private establishments or enterprises, as well as work at establishments or enterprises the founder, owner, co-owner or shareholder of which the member of the Seimas is, originates the prohibition on engaging, in any form, in business, commerce or other profit-making private activity. When deciding whether a certain activity of the member of the Seimas is engagement in business, commerce, etc., every time account should be taken of the content of the activity and all the other circumstances.

13.7.2. The legal regulation established in Paragraph 1 of Article 60 of the Constitution should be construed with regard to the provisions of Article 23 of the Constitution as well.

Article 23 of the Constitution provides that property is inviolable (Paragraph 1), that the rights of ownership are protected by law (Paragraph 2), that property may only be seized for the needs of society in accordance with the procedure established by law and is justly compensated for (Paragraph 3).

In its rulings the Constitutional Court has held more than once that the inviolability of property and its protection entrenched in Article 23 of the Constitution mean, inter alia, that the owner has the right to possess the property owned by him, to use it, and to dispose of it, as well as the right to demand that other persons not violate his aforementioned rights, and the state has a duty to defend and protect the property form unlawful encroachment.

The legal regulation established in Paragraph 1 of Article 60 of the Constitution may not be construed in the way denying the essence of the consolidated in Article 23 of the Constitution right of ownership, enjoyed by a member of a Seimas as well. Thus, the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 60 of the Constitution, consolidating the incompatibility of the duties of a member of the Seimas with, inter alia, engaging in business, commerce or other profit-making private activity, may not be construed as the ones meaning the prohibition for a member of the Seimas against using his property, getting income from it, possessing the property owned by him, etc., as well as from concluding contracts related hereto also. However, such an activity of a member of the Seimas, when he uses his property, gets income from it, possesses the property owned by him, etc., as well as concludes contracts related hereto, according to the Constitution, may not take a form of business, commerce or other profit-making private activity, as this would violate the prohibition consolidated in Paragraph 1 of Article 60 of the Constitution for a member of the Seimas against engaging, in any form, in business, commerce or other profit-making private activity.

13.7.3. It needs to be noted that the activity of a member of the Seimas, when he uses his property, gets income from it, possesses the property owned by him, etc., and concludes contracts related hereto, in each area may have certain specific features. The legislature, while paying heed to the Constitution, has a duty to establish by law such regulation, wherefrom one could decide in each case, what activity of the member of the Seimas constitutes only the use of his property, getting income from it, management of the property owned by him, and concluding contracts related hereto, i.e. the activity, which the member of the Seimas is not prohibited from by the Constitution, and what activity already constitutes business, commerce or other profit-making private activity, i.e. the activity, which the member of the Seimas is prohibited from by the Constitution.

It should be noted that in order to ensure that the established in Paragraph 1 of Article 60 of the Constitution prohibition for a member of the Seimas against engaging in business, commerce or other profit-making private activity, the duty of the legislature originates from the Constitution to establish the legal regulation which would provide an opportunity in each case to verify whether the use of the property of a member of the Seimas, getting income from it, management of the property owned by him, and concluding contracts related hereto is not business, commerce or other profit-making private activity. Such control should be efficient, public, permanent rather than of a one-off type.

When establishing by law the constitutionally necessary legal regulation, the legislature must also establish the ways of providing legal conditions of preventing the origination of incompatibility of the duties of a member of the Seimas with engaging in business, commerce or other profit-making private activity. Such legal regulation would also create pre-conditions for avoiding the use of the mandate of a member of the Seimas in the interests of private benefit of certain persons, i.e. particular interests, rather than the interests of the Nation and the State of Lithuania, and confrontation of the private interests of a member of the Seimas with the interests of the Nation and the State of Lithuania, i.e. public interests; this would strengthen the Nation’s trust in members of the Seimas as representatives of the Nation and the Seimas as the representation of the Nation. Such control is an important condition of implementation of the provision of Item 7 of Article 63 of the Constitution, under which the powers of a member of the Seimas become terminated if he takes up, or does not resign from, employment which is incompatible with the duties of a member of the Seimas.

Attention should be drawn to the fact that various methods of ensuring the incompatibility of the duties of a member of the parliament and engagement in business and control over it are established in foreign democratic states under the rule of law, for example trust of possession of property of a member of the parliament or other compulsory transfer to other persons, anonymous possession of such property, control over agreements concluded between the enterprises, the founder, owner, co-owner or a shareholder of which is a member of the parliament, and establishments, enterprises, and organisations of the public sector, etc.

13.8. The established in the Constitution principle of incompatibility of duties of a member of the Seimas with other offices and work, as well as the prohibition for a member of the Seimas against receiving any other remuneration, save the exceptions provided for in the Constitution, should be construed in the context of rights and freedoms of persons, entrenched in the Constitution, inter alia, the right of citizens to freely form societies, political parties, and associations (Article 35 of the Constitution), and the employees’ right to establish trade unions (Article 50 of the Constitution).

13.8.1. Article 35 of the Constitution provides:

Citizens shall be guaranteed the right to freely form societies, political parties, and associations, provided that the aims and activities thereof are not inconsistent with the Constitution and laws.

No one may be forced to belong to any society, political party, or association.

The establishment and activities of political parties and other political and public organisations shall be regulated by law.”

13.8.2. Article 35 of the Constitution consolidates one of the basic rights of a citizen of a democratic state—the right of union, or freedom of association. The right of union is one of the guarantees of civil and political action. In its ruling of 21 December 2000, the Constitutional Court held that the constitutional right to freely form societies, political parties and associations is manifold, its content is composed of the right to form societies, political parties and associations, the right to join them and take part in their activities, as well as the right not to be a member of any societies, political parties or associations, and the right to leave such unions; the Constitution guarantees the right to decide of one’s own free will whether to belong or not to belong to a certain society, political party or association; an individual either implements or does not implement this right of his own free will; and the free will is a fundamental principle of membership in various societies, political parties, and associations.

The unions provided for in the Constitution are based on free-will membership and are found and act in the interests of their members. The basic element of the constitutional legal status of the unions provided for in the Constitution is their autonomy in regard to the state governing bodies, and other state or municipal institutions, in other words—public power. Only being autonomous in regard to the state governing bodies, and other state and municipal institutions the unions may efficiently act as an important element of the civil society, be a form of self-expression of citizens of a democratic state and a guarantee of public activity. The autonomy of unions in regard to public power implies, inter alia, their right, while following laws, to independently regulate by their own acts (articles of association, statutes, etc.) their internal order.

13.8.3. The notions “society”, “political party”, “association” consolidated in Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 35 of the Constitution, as well as the notion “other political and public organisations” consolidated in Paragraph 3 of the same article, express diversity of unions which are founded on a voluntary basis in order to meet the needs of their members in the political, economic, cultural, social areas and other spheres of life (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 21 December 2000). The Constitution recognises and supports diversity of unions as publicly acting institutionalised groups of interests. Separate legal regulation is consolidated in the Constitution for certain types of unions, for example trade unions.

13.8.4. The constitutional right to freely form unions is linked with an opportunity to take various offices in such associations; the said opportunity is a derivative from the constitutional right to freely form unions. The procedure of taking the said offices in unions is established not by the state, but by acts regulating the internal order (articles of association, statutes, etc.) of the union itself (which, according to the Constitution, is autonomous in regard to public power, as it has been already mentioned).

Under the Constitution, no legal regulation artificially or unreasonably restricting the freedom of forming unions and their activity may be established as this would violate the constitutional value—the right of union (freedom of association). Therefore, under the Constitution, the legislature may not establish any such legal regulation which would limit the right of a member of the Seimas to be a member of the union specified in the Constitution and to take office in it, as in regard to the said person this would violate the constitutional value—the right of union, or freedom of association.

13.9. In conclusion, it should be held that the principle of incompatibility of the duties of a member of the Seimas with other offices or work means that the duties of a member of the Seimas are incompatible with any other activity (taking office, performing work, performing service, fulfilment of other functions, performing other tasks, holding a so-called office of honour) in a state establishment, enterprise, organisation of Lithuania, or a municipal establishment, enterprise, organisation, or an international establishment, enterprise, organisation, or a private establishment, enterprise, organisation, or representing such an establishment, enterprise, organisation, with the exception of the duties expressis verbis or implicitly set down in the Constitution: (1) the duties of a member of the Seimas specified in Paragraph 1 of Article 60 of the Constitution, which comprise the office of the Speaker of the Seimas and the Deputy Speaker of the Seimas, the office of a member of the Seimas in the Seimas, which are taken by a member of the Seimas pursuant to the Statute of the Seimas in the governing body of the Seimas or when leading a structural subunit of the Seimas, as well as other offices, which may be taken in the Seimas only by a member of the Seimas, also offices of a member of the Seimas in inter-parliamentary and other international institutions, which may only be taken by a member of the Seimas; (2) the office of Prime Minister or a Minister specified in Paragraph 2 of Article 60 of the Constitution; (3) offices in the unions specified in the Constitution, which are linked with his membership in a respective union.

14. Another limitation imposed on a member of the Seimas by Article 60 of the Constitution is the prohibition for a member of the Seimas against receiving other remuneration, save the exceptions expressis verbis established or implicitly provided for in the Constitution.

14.1. It needs to be stressed that the notion „remuneration” used in Paragraph 3 of Article 60 of the Constitution is a constitutional notion, it bears the constitutional content and may not be construed only following the definition of analogous notions in laws and other legal acts (for example, legal acts regulating employment or public service relations). In this regard the remuneration specified in Paragraph 3 of Article 60 of the Constitution is not to be linked only with remuneration paid under employment or similar contracts or agreements; the content of the notion “remuneration” used in Paragraph 3 of Article 60 of the Constitution is much broader, this notion comprises monetary payments of various types and provision of other material benefit to a member of the Seimas.

14.2. As mentioned before, the Constitution treats a member of the Seimas as a professional politician, i.e. the representative of the Nation whose work at the Seimas is his professional activity. It has also been mentioned that, under Paragraph 3 of Article 60 of the Constitution, the work as well as all expenses connected with parliamentary activities of a member of the Seimas are remunerated from the State Budget.

Under Paragraph 3 of Article 60 of the Constitution, a member of the Seimas enjoys the right to receive the remuneration of a member of the Seimas. It was held that in order to facilitate a due exercise of the Seimas member’s duty as the one of a representative of the Nation, the remuneration of a Seimas member must be of sufficient size, paid regularly, as well as it is not permitted that during the term of office of the Seimas the remuneration of a Seimas member is decreased from what it was at the beginning of the Seimas’ term of office by establishing it by law.

As mentioned before, under Paragraph 3 of Article 60 of the Constitution, the expenses incurred by a member of the Seimas and connected with parliamentary activities of a member of the Seimas are remunerated from the State Budget. In this context it needs to be noted that such funds may be used only for the purpose specified in the Constitution, i.e. parliamentary activity of a member of the Seimas. The legislature must establish the legal regulation which would provide an opportunity each time to verify whether these funds are used for their actual purpose.

14.3. As mentioned before, a member of the Seimas may also take other offices in the Seimas, including the office of the Speaker of the Seimas and the Deputy Speaker of the Seimas, the office of a member of the Seimas in the Seimas, which is taken by a member of the Seimas pursuant to the Statute of the Seimas in the governing body of the Seimas or when leading a structural subunit of the Seimas, as well as the office in inter-parliamentary and other international institutions, which may only be taken by a member of the Seimas.

It should be held that the constitutional right of a member of the Seimas to take such offices in the Seimas implies the right to receive additional remuneration for taking such offices, which is established by law.

14.4. As mentioned before, under the Constitution a member of the Seimas may take the office of Prime Minister or a Minister at the same time as well. In its ruling of 9 November 1999, the Constitutional Court held that the constitutional right of a Seimas member to work as Prime Minister or a minister presupposes the right to receive remuneration for this work; this is confirmed by Article 99 of the Constitution wherein it is prescribed that the Prime Minister and ministers receive remuneration for their work in the Government. It was also held in the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 9 November 1999 that for a member of the Seimas, who is appointed either Prime Minister or a Minister, different remuneration from that of other Seimas members may be established for his activities as a Seimas member. However, under the Constitution, the Seimas, while having discretion to establish by law different remuneration for the member of the Seimas who is appointed either Prime Minister or a Minister, than that of other Seimas members, is bound by the constitutional requirement that in this case the size of remuneration for a member of the Seimas should also be sufficient, so that the member of the Seimas would be able to properly perform his duty as the one of a representative of the Nation.

14.5. It was held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that, according to the Constitution, a member of the Seimas may take office in the unions specified in the Constitution, which are linked with his membership in a respective union. It should be noted that the established in the Constitution prohibition for a member of the Seimas against receiving other remuneration, save the exceptions provided for in the Constitution itself, means that under the Constitution a member of the Seimas may not receive any remuneration for his offices or other activity in societies, political parties or associations, and other unions.

As mentioned before, the content of the notion “remuneration” used in Paragraph 3 of Article 60 of the Constitution is broad, that it comprises monetary payments of various types or provision of other material benefit to a member of the Seimas. Therefore, under the Constitution, a member of the Seimas, who takes certain office in a union, has no right to receive from such unions either remuneration for taking the duties, or any other monetary payments, and other material benefit.

14.6. As mentioned before, pursuant to the Constitution a member of the Seimas is not prohibited from receiving remuneration for creative activities.

14.6.1. When construing the constitutional notion of creative activities, it needs to be noted that Paragraph 1 of Article 42 of the Constitution provides that culture, science and research, and teaching are free, and Paragraph 3 of this article provides that the law shall protect and defend those spiritual and material interests of an author that are related to scientific, technical, cultural, and artistic work. According to the Constitution, creative activities are activities in the area of science, technology, culture or art, aimed at creating a certain result, i.e. qualitatively new, original and specific material or spiritual values of science, technology, culture or art, which have never existed before. Creative activities may be continuous, professional, and of a one-off type (episodic).

14.6.2. The notion of creative activities, which is established in the Constitution, is integral and its content does not depend, inter alia, upon a person who is engaged in them. In this regard there is no difference between creative activities of a member of the Seimas and creative activities of any other human being.

14.6.3. It has been mentioned that the constitutional legal status of a member of the Seimas, a representative of the Nation, determines particularities of implementation of certain rights of a person entrenched in the Constitution, which a member of the Seimas enjoys as a human being and citizen.

It has also been held in this ruling that according to the Constitution the duties of a member of the Seimas are incompatible with any other activity (taking offices, performing work, performing service, fulfilment of other functions, performing other tasks, holding a so-called office of honour) in a Lithuanian state, municipal, foreign or international establishment, enterprise, or organisation, as well as a private establishment, enterprise, organisation; or representing such an establishment, enterprise, organisation, with the exception of the duties of a member of the Seimas specified in Paragraph 1 of Article 60 of the Constitution, the office of Prime Minister or a Minister specified in Paragraph 2 of Article 60 of the Constitution and the office in the societies, political parties or associations, other unions, which are linked with his membership in a respective association.

When systemically construing the provisions of Article 42 and Article 60 of the Constitution it should be held that creative activities of a member of the Seimas are separated from employment, service or similar relations, from holding office in any establishment, enterprise or organisation.

Therefore, one of specific features of freedom of creative activities of a member of the Seimas is that a Seimas member exercises this freedom not as a subject to employment, service or similar relations.

14.6.4. Remuneration may be paid to an author for his creative activities. It is generally recognised that remuneration for creative activities is regulated by the norms of the copyright law.

14.6.5. In the context of the case at issue it needs to be noted that the concept of creative activities is used not only in Paragraph 3 of Article 60 of the Constitution, but in other articles (parts thereof) as well. For example, Paragraph 1 of Article 83 of the Constitution provides that the President of the Republic, inter alia, may not receive any remuneration other than the remuneration established for the President of the Republic as well as remuneration for creative activities; Article 99 of the Constitution provides that the Prime Minister and Ministers, inter alia, may not receive any remuneration other than that established for their respective Government offices and payment for creative activities; Paragraph 1 of Article 113 of the Constitution provides that the judge, inter alia, may not receive any remuneration other than the remuneration established for the judge and payment for educational or creative activities

The formula “payment for educational or creative activities” in Paragraph 1 of Article 113 of the Constitution shows that the constitutional concepts of educational and creative activities are not identical, and that each of them has its own independent content. These concepts may not be identified, they are not synonyms, and none of them comprises the other. Educational activities in the Constitution are separated from creative activities: educational activities are linked with education, teaching and training at the educational and teaching establishments (including higher schools), meanwhile, creative activities, as already mentioned above, are activities aimed at creating a piece of science, technology, culture or art.

14.7. In conclusion, it should be held that the established in the Constitution prohibition for a member of the Seimas against receiving any remuneration other than that of a member of the Seimas, means that a member of the Seimas may not receive any other remuneration, with the exception of the remuneration expressis verbis specified or implicitly provided for in the Constitution: (1) remuneration for the duties of a member of the Seimas, which comprise the office of the Speaker of the Seimas and the Deputy Speaker of the Seimas, the office of a member of the Seimas in the Seimas, which are taken by a member of the Seimas pursuant to the Statute of the Seimas in the governing body of the Seimas or when leading a structural subunit of the Seimas, other offices which may be taken in the Seimas only by a member of the Seimas, as well as offices in inter-parliamentary and other international institutions, which may only be assumed by a member of the Seimas; 2) remuneration for holding the office of Prime Minister or a Minister; 3) remuneration for creative activities engaged by him not as by a subject to employment, service or similar relations.

15. The Constitution provides the legal regulation, according to which the incompatibility of the duties of a member of the Seimas with any other offices or work (save the exceptions provided for in the Constitution), which comprises the incompatibility of the duties of a member of the Seimas with engaging in business, commerce, or other profit-making private activity, and the prohibition for a member of the Seimas against receiving any other remuneration (save the exceptions provided for in the Constitution), become applied in regard to a member of the Seimas from the moment when he acquires all the rights of a representative of the Nation, i.e. when he takes the oath. The Constitution does not provide that after taking the oath a member of the Seimas may for a certain period of time hold any other office, perform any other work (save the exceptions provided for in the Constitution), engage in business, commerce, or other profit-making private activity, and receive any other remuneration (save the exceptions provided for in the Constitution). A different construction of the Constitution, that, purportedly, a member of the Seimas, having taken the oath, for certain period of time still may hold another office or perform other work, which is incompatible with the duties of a member of the Seimas (save the exceptions provided for in the Constitution), engage in business, commerce, or other profit-making private activity, would be unreasonable as the prohibitions established in the Constitution applicable to a member of the Seimas and specified in this ruling of the Constitutional Court would be disregarded; this would be in violation of the Constitution.

16. From the established in the Constitution incompatibility of the duties of a member of the Seimas with any other duties or work (save the exceptions provided for in the Constitution), as well as the prohibition for a member of the Seimas against receiving any other remuneration (save the exceptions provided for in the Constitution), arises the duty of the legislature to establish by law the legal regulation which would provide an opportunity to verify whether the limitations established in regard to a member of the Seimas by Article 60 of the Constitution are followed. Such control must be efficient, public, and constant instead of a one-off type.

According to Item 7 of Article 63 of the Constitution, the powers of a member of the Seimas become terminated if he does not resign from employment which is incompatible with the duties of a member of the Seimas.

III

1. As mentioned before, the petitioner requests an investigation into whether provisions of Paragraph 4 of Article 15 of the Statute of the Seimas (wording of 22 December 1998), which allow members of the Seimas to receive remuneration for educational and scientific activities if a person is engaged in them not during the sittings of the Seimas, its committees and commissions, are not in conflict with the provisions of Article 60 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, which prohibit members of the Seimas from receiving any other remuneration, with the exception of remuneration for creative activities.

2. As mentioned before, Paragraph 4 of Article 15 of the Statute of the Seimas (wording of 22 December 1998) provides that a member of the Seimas may not receive any remuneration, except remuneration for creative activities; remuneration of a member of the Seimas for creative activities is royalties for a piece of art and performance of it, publications and books, material for the radio and television broadcasts, as well as remuneration for educational and scientific activity not during the sittings of the Seimas, its committees and commissions.

3. The provision of Paragraph 4 of Article 15 of the Statute of the Seimas (wording of 22 December 1998) that a member of the Seimas may not receive any other remuneration, with the exception of remuneration for creative activities, repeats the provision of Paragraph 3 of Article 60 of the Constitution that a member of the Seimas may not receive any other remuneration, with the exception of remuneration for creative activities. This provision of Paragraph 4 of Article 15 of the Statute of the Seimas (wording of 22 December 1998) is not in conflict with the Constitution.

4. The provision of Paragraph 4 of Article 15 of the Statute of the Seimas (wording of 22 December 1998) that a member of the Seimas may receive royalties for a piece of art and performance of it, publications and books, material for the radio and television broadcasts should be evaluated as the one that complies with the concept of remuneration of a member of the Seimas for creative activities.

5. The provision of Paragraph 4 of Article 15 of the Statute of the Seimas (wording of 22 December 1998) that a member of the Seimas may receive remuneration for educational and scientific activities should be evaluated differently.

5.1. It was held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that the constitutional concepts of educational and creative activities are not identical, and that each of them has its own independent content, that they are not synonyms, and none of them comprises the other.

By the legal regulation established in Paragraph 4 of Article 15 of the Statute of the Seimas (wording of 22 December 1998), educational activities are identified with creative activities. This means that according to Paragraph 4 of Article 15 of the Statute of the Seimas (wording of 22 December 1998) a member of the Seimas may receive remuneration not only for creative, but for educational activities as well. This is not in line with the provision “a member of the Seimas may not receive any other remuneration, with the exception of remuneration for creative activities” of Paragraph 3 of Article 60 of the Constitution.

5.2. According to Paragraph 4 of Article 15 of the Statute of the Seimas (wording of 22 December 1998), remuneration of a member of the Seimas for creative activities constitutes remuneration for his scientific activities, too. This provision will correspond to the constitutional concept of creative activities of a member of the Seimas only if such remuneration is paid for the activity of a member of the Seimas, engaged in by the member of the Seimas without employment, service or similar relations with any establishment, enterprise or organisation. Only such interpretation of the provision of Paragraph 4 of Article 15 of the Statute of the Seimas (wording of 22 December 1998) is not in conflict with the Constitution.

6. Having taken account of the aforementioned arguments, the conclusion should be drawn that Paragraph 4 of Article 15 of the Statute of the Seimas (wording of 22 December 1998), to the extent that it provides that remuneration of a member of the Seimas for educational activities is considered to be remuneration for creative activities, is in conflict with Paragraph 3 of Article 60 of the Constitution.

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

ruling:

To recognise that Paragraph 4 of Article 15 of the Statute of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 22 December 1998), to the extent that it provides that remuneration of a member of the Seimas for educational activities is considered to be remuneration for creative activities, is in conflict with Paragraph 3 of Article 60 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