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On dismissing legal proceedings in a case

Case No. 27/07

THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

DECISION

ON THE DISMISSAL OF THE LEGAL PROCEEDINGS IN THE CASE SUBSEQUENT TO THE PETITION OF A GROUP OF MEMBERS OF THE SEIMAS OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA, THE PETITIONER, REQUESTING AN INVESTIGATION INTO WHETHER THE PROVISION OF PARAGRAPH 6 OF ARTICLE 2 OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA’S LAW “ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) NO. 2201/2003 OF 27 NOVEMBER 2003 CONCERNING JURISDICTION AND THE RECOGNITION AND ENFORCEMENT OF JUDGMENTS IN MATRIMONIAL MATTERS AND THE MATTERS OF PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY, REPEALING REGULATION (EC) NO. 1347/2000” IS NOT IN CONFLICT WITH THE CONSTITUTIONAL PRINCIPLE OF A STATE UNDER THE RULE OF LAW

14 December 2009
Vilnius

 

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

The court reporter—Daiva Pitrėnaitė

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, in its procedural sitting, considered the petition of a group of members of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether the provision “Cassation is not possible in cases of return of a child” of Paragraph 6 of Article 2 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No. 2201/2003 of 27 November 2003 Concerning Jurisdiction and the Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in Matrimonial Matters and the Matters of Parental Responsibility, Repealing Regulation (EC) No. 1347/2000” is not in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

The Constitutional Court

has established:

1. A group of members of the Seimas, the petitioner, applied to the Constitutional Court with the petition requesting an investigation into whether the provision “Cassation is not possible in cases of return of a child” of Paragraph 6 of Article 2 of the Law “On the Implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No. 2201/2003 of 27 November 2003 Concerning Jurisdiction and the Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in Matrimonial Matters and the Matters of Parental Responsibility, Repealing Regulation (EC) No. 1347/2000”, which was adopted on 21 April 2005, is not in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

This petition was received at the Constitutional Court on 21 September 2007.

2. By the 28 September 2007 ordinance (No. 2B-91) of the President of the Constitutional Court, subsequent to the petition of a group of members of the Seimas, the petitioner, the preparation of case No. 27/07 for the Constitutional Court hearing commenced.

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

1. On 21 April 2005, the Seimas adopted the Law “On the Implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No. 2201/2003 of 27 November 2003 Concerning Jurisdiction and the Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in Matrimonial Matters and the Matters of Parental Responsibility, Repealing Regulation (EC) No. 1347/2000” (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2005, No. 58-2004), which came into force on 7 May 2005.

2. Paragraph 6 of Article 2 of the Law “On the Implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No. 2201/2003 of 27 November 2003 Concerning Jurisdiction and the Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in Matrimonial Matters and the Matters of Parental Responsibility, Repealing Regulation (EC) No. 1347/2000” inter alia, prescribed: “Cassation is not possible in cases of return of a child”.

3. On 13 November 2008, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania Law on the Implementation of Legal Acts of the European Union and International Legal Acts that Regulate Civil Procedure (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 137-5366), which came into force on 29 November 2008. Article 33 of this law provides: “After this law comes into force, the following shall become no longer effective: <…> 2) the Republic of Lithuania’s Law ‘On the Implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No. 2201/2003 of 27 November 2003 Concerning Jurisdiction and the Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in Matrimonial Matters and the Matters of Parental Responsibility, Repealing Regulation (EC) No. 1347/2000’; <...>.“

Thus, upon the adoption of the Law on the Implementation of Legal Acts of the European Union and International Legal Acts that Regulate Civil Procedure that came into force on 29 November 2008, the legal regulation, which is consolidated in Paragraph 6 of Article 2 of the Law “On the Implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No. 2201/2003 of 27 November 2003 Concerning Jurisdiction and the Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in Matrimonial Matters and the Matters of Parental Responsibility, Repealing Regulation (EC) No. 1347/2000” and which is impugned by a group of members of the Seimas, the petitioner, became no longer valid.

4. Paragraph 4 of Article 69 of the Law on the Constitutional Court provides that the annulment of an impugned legal act shall be grounds for adopting the decision to dismiss the instituted legal proceedings. If this becomes clear before the beginning of the judicial hearing, the Constitutional Court shall decide this question in the deliberation room.

In its acts the Constitutional Court has held more than once that the formula “shall be the grounds <...> to dismiss the instituted legal proceedings” of Paragraph 4 of Article 69 of the Law on the Constitutional Court should be construed as establishing the powers of the Constitutional Court, in cases, when not courts, but other subjects specified in Article 106 of the Constitution apply to the Constitutional Court, to dismiss the instituted legal proceedings upon taking account of the circumstances of the case at issue (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 19 January 2005 and 28 March 2006, as well as its decisions of 14 March 2006 (Cases No. 14/03 and 3/05), 31 May 2006, 29 December 2006, 28 May 2007, and 25 February 2008).

Conforming to Article 28 and Paragraph 4 of Article 69 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Constitutional Court, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania adopts the following

decision:

To dismiss the instituted legal proceedings in case No. 27/07 subsequent to the petition of a group of members of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether the provision “Cassation is not possible in cases of return of a child” of Paragraph 6 of Article 2 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No. 2201/2003 of 27 November 2003 Concerning Jurisdiction and the Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in Matrimonial Matters and the Matters of Parental Responsibility, Repealing Regulation (EC) No. 1347/2000” (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2005, No. 58-2004) is not in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

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

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

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