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On the compliance of the Code of Administrative Violations of Law with the Constitution

Case No. 01/04

 

THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

RULING

ON THE COMPLIANCE OF PARAGRAPH 5 OF ARTICLE 1632 (WORDING OF 5 JULY 2002) AND PARAGRAPH 6 OF THE SAME ARTICLE (WORDING OF 4 JULY 2003) OF THE CODE OF ADMINISTRATIVE VIOLATIONS OF LAW OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA WITH THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

 

10 November 2005

Vilnius

 

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, composed of the Justices of the Constitutional Court: Armanas Abramavičius, Toma Birmontienė, Egidijus Kūris, Kęstutis Lapinskas, Zenonas Namavičius, Ramutė Ruškytė, Vytautas Sinkevičius, Stasys Stačiokas, and Romualdas Kęstutis Urbaitis

The court reporter—Daiva Pitrėnaitė

Girius Ivoška, adviser of the Law Department of the Office of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, acting as the representative of the party concerned, the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania

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 3 November 2005, considered case No. 01/04 subsequent to the petition of the Panevėžys City Local Court, requesting an investigation into whether Article 163² and separately its Paragraph 6 of the Code of Administrative Violations of Law are not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 29, Paragraph 5 of Article 31 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

The Constitutional Court

has established:

I

The Panevėžys City Local Court, the petitioner, considered an administrative case. By its ruling, the court suspended the consideration of the case and applied to the Constitutional Court with the petition requesting an investigation into whether Article 163² and separately its Paragraph 6 of the Code of Administrative Violations of Law (hereinafter also referred to as the CAVL) are not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 29, Paragraph 5 of Article 31 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

II

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

1. According to Paragraph 6 of Article 163² of the CAVL, the actions provided for in Paragraphs 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the said article and performed by a person, who was previously imposed the administrative penalty for the violations indicated in Paragraphs 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 of the said article, shall incur a fine of twenty thousand to fifty thousand Litas, including the confiscation of these goods. The petitioner doubted whether the administrative penalty—the fine indicated in Paragraph 6 of Article 163² of the CAVL—the size of which, according to the petitioner, by its size equals a penalty imposed by court for medium or serious crime, is not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

2. According to the petitioner, the penalty indicated in Paragraph 6 of Article 163² of the CAVL is imposed on a person who has already been fined for the violations indicated in Paragraphs 2, 3, 4 or 5 of the said Article, i.e. the person is punished a second time for the same offence. In the opinion of the petitioner, Article 163² and separately its Paragraph 6 of the CAVL are in conflict with Paragraph 5 of Article 31 of the Constitution.

III

In the course of the preparation of the case for the Constitutional Court’s hearing, written explanations of G. Ivoška, the representative of the Seimas, the party concerned, were received.

1. According to the representative of the party concerned, the petitioner did not provide with arguments, reasoning the doubt on the compliance of Paragraph 6 of Article 163² of the CAVL with Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution. Therefore, this doubt should be considered groundless.

2. According to the explanations of G. Ivoška, under Paragraph 6 of Article 163² of the CAVL, an administrative penalty should be imposed, since the person who has already been punished for deeds of similar seriousness commits an analogous violation again. In the opinion of the representative of the party concerned, such a differentiation of the administrative liability, where a person is punished for violation of administrative law for the first time or on the expiry of the punishment term, and where to a person, who has already been punished for violation of administrative law, the administrative sanction of a different size is established and imposed for an analogous deed is reasonable, therefore, there are no grounds to state that Paragraph 6 of Article 163² of the CAVL is in conflict with Paragraph 5 of Article 31 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

3. In the opinion of G. Ivoška, the notion “a person punished for violation of administrative law” means that, first, the offence for which the person was punished is finished, second, the person’s punishment process for the violation of administrative law (execution of the administrative penalty) is finished. Therefore, a deed for which a person, who has already been punished for violation of administrative law, is held administratively liable, should be regarded as not the same but another violation of administrative law; the process, where the issue of punishing a person for violation of administrative law, who has already been punished for a violation of administrative law, is being decided, is independent (not identical). Consequently, in the opinion of the representative of the party concerned, Paragraph 6 of Article 163² of the CAVL is not in conflict with Paragraph 5 of Article 31 of the Constitution.

IV

In the course of the preparation of the case for the Constitutional Court’s hearing, written explanations of V. Bulovas, Minister of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania, G. Švedas, Vice-minister of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania, Assoc. Prof. Dr. P. Petkevičius, who works at the Department of Constitutional and Administrative Law, the Faculty of Law of Vilnius University, Assoc. Prof. Dr. A. Dziegoraitis, Head of the Department of Administrative Law and Procedure, the Faculty of Law of the Law University of Lithuania, and Dr. A. Čepas, Director of the Institute of Law, were received.

V

At the hearing of the Constitutional Court, the representative of the Seimas, the party concerned, who was the member of the Seimas G. Ivoška stated that the petitioner had faced some uncertainties concerning the imposition of the administrative penalties established by the CAVL. The representative of the party concerned requested the Constitutional Court to dismiss the case, because, in his opinion, according to Item 2 of Paragraph 1, of Article 69 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, the petition of the petitioner is not within the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court.

G. Ivoška virtually reiterated the arguments set forth in the written explanations, according to which, in his opinion, Paragraph 6 of Article 163² of the CAVL is not in conflict with the Constitution.

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

I

At the hearing of the Constitutional Court, the representative of the Seimas, the party concerned, who was the member of the Seimas G. Ivoška, requested the Constitutional Court to dismiss the case, because, in his opinion, the petitioner had some doubts concerning the application of the administrative penalties established by the CAVL, therefore, according to the representative of the party concerned, the petition of the petitioner is not within the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court.

This request of the representative of the party concerned shall not be granted, because, in the petition of the petitioner, its position on the compliance of the impugned provisions of the CAVL with the Constitution and the legal reasoning of the position are provided.

II

1. On 10 February 1994, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On Supplementing and Amending the Code of Administrative Violations of Law” which became effective on 23 February 1994. Article 1 of this law supplemented Article 163² titled “Trading in goods without tax stamps or any other specific markings” of the CAVL in which it was established:

Trading in unmarked goods which are forbidden to be merchandised without tax stamps or any other specific markings,

shall incur a fine of one thousand to ten thousand Litas, including the confiscation of these goods.

The same deed, committed by a person, who has already been imposed an administrative penalty for the violation indicated in Paragraph 1 of this Article,

shall incur a fine of ten thousand to twenty thousand Litas, including the confiscation of these goods.”

2. On 18 July 1994, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On Supplementing and Amending the Code of Administrative Violations of Law” which became effective on 29 July 1994. Article 111 of this Law amended and supplemented Paragraph 1 of Article 163² (wording of 10 February 1994) of the CAVL and was set forth as follows:

Trading in unmarked goods that are forbidden to be merchandised without tax stamps or any other specific markings, or storing them in the premises of the trading companies,

shall incur a fine of one thousand to ten thousand Litas, including the confiscation of these goods.”

3. On 11 April 1995, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On Supplementing and Amending the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Code of Administrative Violations of Law of the Republic of Lithuania” which became effective on 3 May 1995. Article 2 of Part II of this law amended the title of Article 163² (wording of 18 July 1994) of the CAVL; this article was renamed as “Trading in goods without tax stamps or any other specific marking, as well as trading in goods with old-sample tax stamps” and was set forth as follows:

Trading in unmarked goods which are forbidden to be merchandised without tax stamps or any other specific markings, trading in goods with old-sample tax stamps, storing such goods in store-rooms and places of trade of the trading and catering companies, as well as transportation of these goods while violating the established procedure,

shall incur a fine of five thousand to ten thousand Litas including the confiscation of these goods.

The same actions, performed by a person who has already been imposed the administrative penalty for the violations indicated in Paragraph 1 of this Article,

shall incur a fine of ten thousand to twenty thousand Litas including seizure of these goods.”

4. On 8 January 1998, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Supplementing the Code of Administrative Violations of Law by Article 1899 as well as Supplementing and Amending Articles 163², 224, 259¹ and 320 Thereof which became effective on 16 January 1998. Article 2 of this Law amended the title of Article 163² (wording of 11 April 1995) of the CAVL; this article was renamed as “Storage, transportation or realisation of excised goods in violation of the established procedure”, and its Paragraph 1 was set forth as follows:

Storage or transportation of excised goods in violation of the established procedure, trading in such goods without tax stamps or any other specific markings, or with old-sample tax stamps, any other realisation of goods while violating the established order where it does not incur criminal liability,

shall incur a fine of five thousand to ten thousand Litas, including the confiscation of these goods.”

5. On 17 June 1999, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Amending Article 163² of the Code of Administrative Violations of Law, which became effective on 9 July 1999. Article 1 of this Law amended Article 163² of the CAVL (wording of 8 January 1998) and it was set forth as follows:

Storage, transportation or realisation of excised goods in violation of the established procedure, trading in such goods without tax stamps or any other specific markings or with old-sample tax stamps, when the value of the illegally stored, transported or realised goods is up to two minimum subsistence levels (MSL),

shall incur a fine of one hundred to three hundred Litas, including the confiscation of these goods.

The actions indicated in Paragraph 1 of this Article, when the value of the illegally stored, transported or realised goods is two to ten minimum subsistence levels (MSL),

shall incur a fine of one thousand to five thousand Litas, including the confiscation of these goods.

The actions indicated in Paragraph 1 of this Article, when the value of the illegally stored, transported or realised goods is ten to fifty minimum subsistence levels (MSL),

shall incur a fine of five thousand to twenty thousand Litas, including the confiscation of these goods.

The actions indicated in Paragraph 1 of this Article, which are performed by a person, who has already been imposed an administrative penalty for the violation indicated in Paragraph 1 of this Article,

shall incur a fine of one thousand to ten thousand Litas, including the confiscation of these goods.

The actions indicated in Paragraphs 2, 3 or 4 of this Article, which are performed by a person, who has already been imposed an administrative penalty for the violation indicated in Paragraphs 2, 3 or 4 of this Article,

shall incur a fine of twenty thousand to fifty thousand Litas, including the confiscation of these goods.”

6. On 5 July 2002, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Amending and Supplementing the Code of Administrative Violations of Law, which (with certain exceptions) became effective on 26 July 2002. Article 16 of this law supplemented and amended Article 163² (wording of 17 June 1999) of the CAVL; this article was renamed as “Storage, transportation, usage or realisation of excised goods in violation of the established procedure”, and was set forth as follows:

Storage, transportation, usage or realisation of excised goods in violation of the established procedure, trading in such goods without tax stamps or any other specific markings or with old-sample tax stamps, when the value of the illegally stored, transported, used or realised goods is up to two minimum subsistence levels (MSL),

shall incur a fine of one hundred to three hundred Litas, including the confiscation of these goods.

The actions indicated in Paragraph 1 of this Article, when the value of the illegally stored, transported, used or realised goods is two to ten minimum subsistence levels (MSL),

shall incur a fine of one thousand to five thousand Litas, including the confiscation of these goods.

The actions indicated in Paragraph 1 of this Article, when the value of the illegally stored, transported, used or realised goods is ten to fifty minimum subsistence levels (MSL),

shall incur a fine of five thousand to twenty thousand Litas, including the confiscation of these goods.

The actions indicated in Paragraph 1 of this Article, performed by a person who has already been imposed an administrative penalty for the violation indicated in Paragraph 1 of this Article,

shall incur a fine of one thousand to ten thousand Litas, including the confiscation of these goods.

The actions indicated in Paragraphs 2, 3 or 4 of this Article, which are performed by a person, who has already been imposed an administrative penalty for the violation indicated in Paragraphs 2, 3 or 4 of this Article,

shall incur a fine of twenty thousand to fifty thousand Litas, including the confiscation of these goods.”

7. On 4 July 2003, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Amending and Supplementing the Code of Administrative Violations of Law, which became effective on 25 July 2003. Article 48 of this law supplemented and amended Article 163² (wording of 5 July 2002) of the CAVL and the latter was set forth as follows:

Storage, transportation, usage or realisation of excised goods in violation of the established procedure, trading in such goods without tax stamps or any other specific markings or with old-sample tax stamps, when the value of the illegally stored, transported, used or realised goods is up to two minimum subsistence levels (MSL),

shall incur a fine of one hundred to three hundred Litas, including the confiscation of these goods.

The actions indicated in Paragraph 1 of this Article, when the value of the illegally stored, transported, used or realised goods is two to ten minimum subsistence levels (MSL),

shall incur a fine of one thousand to five thousand Litas, including the confiscation of these goods.

The actions indicated in Paragraph 1 of this Article, when the value of the illegally stored, transported, used or realised goods is ten to fifty minimum subsistence levels (MSL),

shall incur a fine of five thousand to ten thousand Litas, including the confiscation of these goods.

The actions indicated in Paragraph 1 of this Article, when the value of the illegally stored, transported, used or realised goods is more than fifty minimum subsistence levels (MSL),

shall incur a fine of ten thousand to twenty thousand Litas, including the confiscation of these goods.

The actions indicated in Paragraph 1 of this Article, performed by a person who has already been imposed an administrative penalty for the violation indicated in Paragraph 1 of this Article,

shall incur a fine of one thousand to ten thousand Litas, including the confiscation of these goods.

The actions indicated in Paragraphs 2, 3 or 4 of this Article, which are performed by a person, who has already been imposed an administrative penalty for the violation indicated in Paragraphs 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 of this Article,

shall incur a fine of twenty thousand to fifty thousand Litas, including the confiscation of these goods.”

8. If one compares the legal regulation established in Paragraph 5 of Article 163² (wording of 5 July 2002) of the CAVL with that established in Paragraph 6 of Article 163² (wording of 4 July 2003) of the CAVL, it is clear that by Article 48 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing the Code of Administrative Violations of Law, which was adopted on 4 July 2003, the following amendments to Article 163² of the CAVL (wording of 5 July 2002) were made:

in Paragraph 3 of Article 163² (wording of 4 July 2003) of the CAVL a sanction was established: instead of the former sanction—a monetary fine of five thousand to twenty thousand Litas—another sanction was established, which was a monetary fine of five thousand to ten thousand Litas;

in Article 163² (wording of 4 July 2003) of the CAVL there is a new Paragraph 4 where administrative legal liability was established for storage, transportation, usage or realisation of excised goods in violation of the established procedure, trading in such goods without tax stamps or any other specific markings, or with old-sample tax stamps, when the value of the illegally stored, transported, used or realised goods exceeds fifty minimum subsistence levels (MSL), which was a monetary fine of ten thousand to twenty thousand Litas, including the confiscation of these goods;

Paragraphs 4 and 5 of Article 163² (wording of 5 July 2003) of the CAVL became respectively Paragraphs 5 and 6 of Article 163² (wording of 4 July 2003) of the CAVL;

in Paragraph 6 of Article 163² (wording of 4 July 2003) of the CAVL administrative legal liability, inter alia, for the deeds indicated in Paragraph 1 of this Article was established; moreover, the person who is held administratively legally liable according to Paragraph 6 of Article 163² (wording of 4 July 2003) of the CAVL, had to be imposed an administrative penalty for the administrative violations of law indicated in Paragraphs 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 of the said article.

Thus, the legal regulation, established in Paragraph 5 of Article 163² (wording of 5 July 2002) of the CAVL and that established in Paragraph 6 of Article 163² (wording of 4 July 2003) of the CAVL which caused the doubts of the petitioner on whether it is not in conflict with the Constitution, are essentially analogous: in Paragraph 5 of Article 163² (wording of 5 July 2002) of the CAVL as well as in Paragraph 6 of Article 163² (wording of 4 July 2003) of the CAVL a sanction—a monetary fine of twenty thousand to fifty thousand Litas—is established for respective administrative violations of law.

9. The Panevėžys City Local Court, the petitioner, formulates its petition as a petition requesting an investigation into whether “Article 163² and separately its Paragraph 6” of the CAVL are not in conflict with the Constitution. However, the arguments indicated in the petition on the compliance with the Constitution are provided only as regards the compliance with the Constitution of Paragraph 6 of the said article (wording of 4 July 2003).

10. Even though the Panevėžys City Local Court, the petitioner, requests an investigation into whether Paragraph 6 of Article 163² of the CAVL is not in conflict with the Constitution, from the arguments of the petition of the petitioner, as well as from the material of the administrative case investigated by the court, it is clear that the petitioner’s doubts were caused not only as to the compliance of the legal regulation established in Paragraph 6 of Article 163² (wording of 4 July 2003) of the CAVL, but also as regards the compliance of the legal regulation established in Paragraph 5 of the said article (wording of 5 July 2002) (which was in effect when the administrative violation investigated by court was committed) with the Constitution.

11. It is also clear from the arguments of the petition of the petitioner that its doubts were caused not as regards the compliance of the whole legal regulation established in Article 163² (wordings of 5 July 2002 and 4 July 2003) of the CAVL with the Constitution, and not as regards the compliance of the whole legal regulation established in Paragraph 5 of the said article (wording of 5 July 2002) and in Paragraph 6 (wording of 4 July 2003) of the said article with the Constitution, but only whether the provision “The actions indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, which are performed by a person, who has already been imposed an administrative penalty for the violation indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, shall incur a fine of twenty thousand to fifty thousand Litas” of Paragraph 5 of the said article (wording of 5 July 2002) was not in conflict with the Constitution and whether an essentially analogous provision of Paragraph 6 of the said Article (wording of 4 July 2003) is not in conflict with the Constitution.

12. In the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court will investigate whether the provision “The actions indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, which are performed by a person, who has already been imposed an administrative penalty for the violation indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, shall incur a fine of twenty thousand to fifty thousand Litas” of Paragraph 5 of Article 163² (wording of 5 July 2002) of the CAVL was not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 29, Paragraph 5 of Article 31 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, as well as whether the provision “The actions indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, which are performed by a person, who has already been imposed an administrative penalty for the violations indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, shall incur a fine of twenty thousand to fifty thousand Litas” of Paragraph 6 of Article 163² (wording of 4 July 2003) of the CAVL is not in conflict with the said articles (paragraphs thereof) of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

III

1. In Article 163² (wordings of 5 July 2002 and 4 July 2003) of the CAVL liability for storage, transportation, usage or realisation of excised goods in violation of the established procedure, trading in such goods without tax stamps or any other specific markings, or with old-sample tax stamps is established.

2. In Paragraph 5 of Article 163² (wording of 5 July 2002) of the CAVL a reference was made to Paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 of the said article, while in their turn, these paragraphs made references to Paragraph 1 of this article.

It should be held that, in Paragraph 5 of Article 163² (wording of 5 July 2002) of the CAVL, inter alia, an administrative penalty—a fine of twenty thousand to fifty thousand Litas—was consolidated, which had to be imposed on the persons:

who have already been imposed an administrative penalty (fine) for storage, transportation, usage or realisation of excised goods in violation of the established procedure, trading in such goods without tax stamps or any other specific markings, or with old-sample tax stamps, when the value of the illegally stored, transported, used or realised goods is two to ten minimum subsistence levels (MSL) (i.e. for the administrative violation of law established in Paragraph 2 of Article 163² (wording of 5 July 2002) of the CAVL) and who have repeatedly committed the same deeds;

who have already been imposed an administrative penalty (fine) for storage, transportation, usage or realisation of excised goods in violation of the established procedure, trading in such goods without tax stamps or any other specific markings, or with old-sample tax stamps, when the value of the illegally stored, transported, used or realised goods is ten to fifty minimum subsistence levels (MSL) (i.e. for the administrative violation of law established in Paragraph 3 of Article 163² (wording of 5 July 2002) of the CAVL) and who have repeatedly committed the same deeds;

who have already been imposed an administrative penalty (fine) twice or more times for storage, transportation, usage or realisation of excised goods in violation of the established procedure, trading in such goods without tax stamps or any other specific markings, or with old-sample tax stamps, when the value of the illegally stored, transported, used or realised goods is up to two minimum subsistence levels (MSL) (i.e. for the administrative violation of law established in Paragraph 4 of Article 163² (wording of 5 July 2002) of the CAVL) and who have repeatedly committed the same deeds.

3. In Paragraph 6 of Article 163² (wording of 4 July 2003) of the CAVL a reference was made to Paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 itself of the said article.

In Paragraph 6 of Article 163² (wording of 4 July 2003) of the CAVL, inter alia, the administrative penalty—a fine of twenty thousand to fifty thousand Litas—was consolidated, which had to be imposed on the persons:

who have already been imposed an administrative penalty (fine) for storage, transportation, usage or realisation of excised goods in violation of the established procedure, trading in such goods without tax stamps or any other specific markings, or with old-sample tax stamps, when the value of the illegally stored, transported, used or realised goods is two to ten minimum subsistence levels (MSL) (i.e. for the administrative violation of law established in Paragraph 2 of Article 163² (wording of 4 July 2003) of the CAVL) and who have again violated the established procedure for storing, transporting, using or realising excised goods or who have traded in such goods without tax stamps or any other specific markings, or with old-sample tax stamps, regardless of the value of the illegally stored, transported, used or realised goods;

who have already been imposed an administrative penalty (fine) for storage, transportation, usage or realisation of excised goods in violation of the established procedure, trading in such goods without tax stamps or any other specific markings, or with old-sample tax stamps, when the value of the illegally stored, transported, used or realised goods is ten to fifty minimum subsistence levels (MSL) (i.e. for the administrative violation of law, established in Paragraph 3 of Article 163² (wording of 4 July 2003) of the CAVL) and who have violated the established procedure again while storing, transporting, using or realising excised goods or who have traded such goods without tax stamps or any other specific markings, or with old-sample tax stamps, regardless of the value of the illegally stored, transported, used or realised goods;

who have already been imposed an administrative penalty (fine) for storage, transportation, usage or realisation of excised goods in violation of the established procedure, trading in such goods without tax stamps or any other specific markings, or with old-sample tax stamps, when the value of the illegally stored, transported, used or realised goods exceeds fifty minimum subsistence levels (MSL) (i.e. for the administrative violation of law, established in Paragraph 4 of Article 163² (wording of 4 July 2003) of the CAVL) and who have again violated the established procedure for storing, transporting, using or realising excised goods or who have traded in such goods without tax stamps or any other specific markings, or with old-sample tax stamps, regardless of the value of the illegally stored, transported, used or realised goods;

who have already been imposed an administrative penalty (fine) twice or more times for storage, transportation, usage or realisation of excised goods in violation of the established procedure, trading in such goods without tax stamps or any other specific markings, or with old-sample tax stamps, when the value of the illegally stored, transported, used or realised goods is up to two minimum subsistence levels (MSL) (i.e. for the administrative violation of law established in Paragraph 5 of Article 163² (wording of 4 July 2003) of the CAVL) and who have again violated the established procedure for storing, transporting, using or realising excised goods or who have traded such goods without tax stamps or any other specific markings, or with old-sample tax stamps, regardless of the value of the illegally stored, transported, used or realised goods;

who have been imposed an administrative penalty (fine) established in Paragraph 6 itself of Article 163² (wording of 4 July 2003) of the CAVL for storage, transportation, usage or realisation of excised goods in violation of the established procedure, trading in such goods without tax stamps or any other specific markings, or with old-sample tax stamps, and who have violated the established procedure again while storing, transporting, using or realising excised goods or who have traded such goods without tax stamps or any other specific markings, or with old-sample tax stamps, regardless of the value of the illegally stored, transported, used or realised goods.

4. In Paragraph 2 of Article 9 (wording of 26 May 1992) of the CAVL it is prescribed that administrative liability for the violations of law provided in this code appears when, under the existing laws, these violations by their nature do not incur criminal liability.

In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it should be stated that by Article 8 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Amendment and Supplement of Articles 48, 60, 145, 147, 157, 212, 213, 214, 215, 226, 249, 251, 252, 256, 267, 270, 272, 274, 280 and the Annex of the Criminal Code and on the Supplement of the Same Code with Articles 147¹, 199¹, 199², 267¹, 270¹, 308¹ which was adopted by the Seimas on 23 June 2005 and which came into effect on 30 June 2005, the Criminal Code of the Republic of Lithuania was supplemented with Article 199², under which those who have violated the established procedure while purchasing, storing, transporting, sending, using or realising the excised goods when their value exceeds 250 MSL shall be imposed a fine or imprisonment for up to seven years.

IV

On the compliance of the provision “The actions indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, performed by a person, who has already been imposed an administrative penalty for the violation indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, shall incur a fine of twenty thousand to fifty thousand Litas” of Paragraph 5 of Article 163² (wording of 5 July 2002) of the CAVL and of the provision “The actions indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, performed by a person, who has already been imposed an administrative penalty for the violations indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, shall incur a fine of twenty thousand to fifty thousand Litas” of Paragraph 6 of the said article (wording of 4 July 2003) with Paragraph 5 of Article 31 of the Constitution.

1. Paragraph 5 of Article 31 of the Constitution provides: “No one may be punished a second time for the same crime.”

2. In Paragraph 5 of Article 31 of the Constitution the principle non bis in idem is consolidated. This constitutional principle means a prohibition on punishing twice for the same deed that is contrary to law, i.e. for the same crime, as well as for the same violation of law which is not a crime (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 7 May 2001 and 2 October 2001).

The above-mentioned constitutional principle does not mean that different kinds of liability may not be applied to the person for a violation of law (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 7 May 2001).

In itself, the constitutional principle non bis in idem does not deny the possibility of applying more than one sanction of the same kind (i.e. defined by the norms of the same branch of law) to a person for the same violation, i.e. the main and additional punishment or the main and additional administrative penalty.

The constitutional principle non bis in idem also means, inter alia, that if a person, who has committed a deed which is contrary to law, has been held administratively but not criminally liable, i.e. he was imposed a sanction—a penalty not for a crime but for an administrative violation of law—he cannot be held criminally liable for the said deed.

It should also be mentioned that the constitutional principle non bis in idem may not be construed that, purportedly, it does not allow persecuting and punishing a person for a violation of law for which legal persecution in respect of that person was started but dismissed on the grounds which, under procedure established by law, were later recognised as groundless and/or illegal and the person was not held legally liable—no sanction (imposed punishment or penalty) was applied to him.

In itself, the exemption of a person from one kind of legal liability on the grounds and procedure established in laws cannot be an obstacle for solving the issue on bringing him to legal liability of another kind on the grounds and procedure established in laws.

3. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it should be held that the principle non bis in idem consolidated in the Constitution does not mean that the repetition institute cannot be consolidated in the legal system; it should also be noted that the repetition institute also includes such legal regulation, where to a person, who has committed the same or different violation of law of the same branch, i.e. who has violated the same or different legal norm, which, according to the law, belongs to the same branch of law, the circumstance that this violation of law was committed repeatedly (therefore, it certifies that the person is more inclined to disregard legal requirements) is incriminated as a circumstance, under which the person for the repeatedly committed violation of law can be brought to another, more severe legal liability of the same kind, i.e. for this violation another, stricter sanction can be applied to him, i.e. a different, stricter punishment or penalty can be imposed on him than on a person, who has committed the same deed for the first time.

However, it should be emphasised that the constitutional principle non bis in idem does not allow treating repetition (in the aspect discussed) as a circumstance, under which the kind of administrative legal liability established for certain violations of law can be replaced by criminal liability due to the fact that the person who has already been punished by an administrative penalty for a respective violation of law, has again committed an administrative violation of law.

4. In a democratic state under the rule of law. the legislature has the right and duty to prohibit by means of laws such deeds that may essentially harm people, society or interests of the state or there might be a threat of such harm to appear (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 8 May 2000, 10 June 2003, and 29 December 2004).

While establishing in laws the kind of deeds which are contrary to law, as well as establishing legal liability for the deeds that are contrary to law, the legislature enjoys broad discretion. This discretion also includes the discretion to establish the circumstances that would determine the sanctions to be applied for violations of law. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it should be emphasised that the legislature, while consolidating the repetition (in the aspect discussed) institute and paying heed to the Constitution, may choose various ways to design the legal text. For instance, legal regulation can be established in laws, where the repetition (in the aspect discussed) is treated as an aggravating circumstance for corresponding legal liability for a repeatedly committed violation of law which is formally the same as the former, while a corresponding article (part thereof) of the law does not specify a formally different violation of law of the same kind. However, the legislature is not prohibited from legislatively establishing such legal regulation, where the repetition (in the aspect discussed) would be treated as a circumstance formally qualifying another violation of law of the same kind (i.e. defined by the norms of the same branch of law) and the repeatedly committed violation of law of the same kind (the same as the previous violation or as another violation, which is defined by means of norms of law of the same branch) would be formally named in a corresponding article (part thereof) as another violation of law of the same kind.

Thus, the constitutional principle non bis in idem does not mean that by means of a law it is impossible to establish any such legal regulation whereby a person, who has already been punished for a violation of law, commits the same violation of law again, and this violation would be qualified according to another norm of the same branch of law, formally treating it as another violation of law, while the person who has repeatedly committed the same deed that is contrary to law, would be imposed another, stricter sanction than a person, who has committed the same deed for the first time. Such legal regulation established by the law, when the repeated commission of violation of law of the same kind (violation of the same or another provision which, according to the law, belongs to law of the same branch) is treated as a circumstance formally qualifying another deed that is contrary to law, which determines that the person can be brought to another, stricter legal liability, i.e. for this violation another, stricter sanction can be applied to him—different, stricter punishment or penalty can be imposed on him than on a person, who has committed the same deed for the first time, should not be regarded as creating the legal pre-conditions for punishing the person for the same deed—a violation of law previously done—a second time.

It should also be emphasised that it is not permitted to legislatively establish any such legal regulation whereby when holding a person legally liable for a repeatedly committed violation of law, the repetition (in the aspect discussed) would be treated both as a circumstance formally qualifying another violation of law of the same kind and as a circumstance aggravating the legal liability for the said, formally another, violation of law. Such legal regulation would deviate from the non bis in idem principle consolidated in Paragraph 5 of Article 31 of the Constitution.

5. In the Code of Administrative Violations of Law the repetition is treated as grounds to impose a stricter penalty on the person who has repeatedly committed the violation of law of the same kind than on a person who has committed a violation of law of the same kind for the first time. For instance, under Paragraph 1 of Article 32 (wording of 17 February 2000) of the CAVL, one of the circumstances aggravating an administrative violation of law is a violation of law of the same kind repeatedly committed within one year, for which an administrative penalty was already imposed (Item 5). On the other hand, the repetition is not treated as a non-vanishing circumstance: when a person, who was imposed an administrative penalty, does not commit a new administrative violation of law within a year from the day when the execution of the penalty is over, it is considered that no administrative penalty was imposed on him (Article 36 of the CAVL). It should also be mentioned that in Paragraph 3 of Article 32 (wording of 17 February 2000) of the CAVL it is prescribed that the aggravating circumstances (therefore, including repetition) indicated in Paragraph 1 of this article and in other laws are not applied in cases when in the disposition of the article they are specified as circumstances qualifying the violation of law.

While construing these provisions in a systemic manner, it should be held that the CAVL prohibits applying the same liability aggravating circumstance, the repetition, twice: in cases where repetition is treated as a circumstance formally qualifying another administrative violation of law (in the article (paragraph thereof) of the respective law indicating the body of the repeatedly committed administrative violation of law as another administrative violation of law and having made the administrative legal liability for the said new administrative violation of law as stricter one), the repetition is also not allowed to be treated as a circumstance aggravating the administrative legal liability.

6. While deciding whether the provision “The actions indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, which are performed by a person, who has already been imposed an administrative penalty for the violation indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, shall incur a fine of twenty thousand to fifty thousand Litas” of Paragraph 5 of Article 163² (wording of 5 July 2002) of the CAVL was not in conflict with Paragraph 5 of Article 31 of the Constitution, it should be noted that in this provision another administrative violation of law is formally indicated, whose subject is the person who has been punished for a certain previously committed administrative violation of law specified in Paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 of Article 163² of the CAVL.

Thus, the legal regulation established in Paragraph 4 of Article 163² (wording of 5 July 2002) of the CAVL does not mean that the person is punished twice for the same violation of law, for which he has already been punished by an administrative penalty.

7. Taking account of the arguments set forth, the conclusion should be drawn that the provision “The actions indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, which are performed by a person, who has already been imposed an administrative penalty for the violation indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, shall incur a fine of twenty thousand to fifty thousand Litas” of Paragraph 5 of Article 163² (wording of 5 July 2002) of the CAVL was not in conflict with Paragraph 5 of Article 31 of the Constitution.

8. It was noted that the legal regulation established in Paragraph 5 of Article 163² (wording of 5 July 2002) of the CAVL and that established in Paragraph 6 of Article 163² (wording of 4 July 2003), whose compliance with the Constitution is doubted by the petitioner, are essentially analogous.

9. Having drawn the conclusion that the provision “The actions indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, which are performed by a person, who has already been imposed an administrative penalty for the violation indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, shall incur a fine of twenty thousand to fifty thousand Litas” of Paragraph 5 of Article 163² (wording of 5 July 2002) of the CAVL was not in conflict with Paragraph 5 of Article 31 of the Constitution and on the grounds of analogous arguments, the conclusion should be drawn that the provision “The actions indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, which are performed by a person, who has already been imposed an administrative penalty for the violation indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, shall incur a fine of twenty thousand to fifty thousand Litas” of Paragraph 6 of Article 163² (wording of 4 July 2004) of the CAVL is not in conflict with Paragraph 5 of Article 31 of the Constitution, either.

V

On the compliance of the provision “The actions indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, which are performed by a person, who has already been imposed an administrative penalty for the violation indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, shall incur a fine of twenty thousand to fifty thousand Litas” of Paragraph 5 of Article 163² (wording of 5 July 2002) of the Code of Administrative Violations of Law and of the provision “The actions indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, which are performed by a person, who has already been imposed an administrative penalty for the violations indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, shall incur a fine of twenty thousand to fifty thousand Litas” of Paragraph 6 of the said article (wording of 4 July 2003) with Paragraph 5 of Article 31 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

1. Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution provides: “All persons shall be equal before the law, the court, and other State institutions and officials.”

While construing the principle of the equality of rights of persons established in the Constitution, in its rulings the Constitutional Court has held more than once that the said principle should be complied with when passing laws, as well as applying them and when administering justice. The above-mentioned constitutional principle means the innate human right to be treated equally with others and consolidates formal equality of all persons, it obliges one to legally assess the same facts in the same manner and prohibits any arbitrary assessment of essentially the same facts in a varied manner, it allows neither the discrimination of persons nor granting them any privileges. On the other hand, it was held more than once that the constitutional principle of the equality of rights of persons does not deny the possibility of establishing different (differentiated) legal regulation in the law with respect to the categories of certain persons which are in different situations; however, this constitutional principle would be violated if certain persons, to whom corresponding legal regulation is designated, if compared with other persons to whom corresponding legal regulation is designated, were treated differently, even though there are no such differences between them so that such different treatment would be objectively justifiable.

2. The constitutional principle of the equality of rights of persons should be construed inseparably from other provisions of the Constitution, inter alia, from the provisions establishing the rights and freedoms of the person as well as from the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, which, as it was more than once held by the Constitutional Court, is a universal principle upon which the Lithuanian legal system and the Constitution itself are grounded.

3. It was mentioned that the legislature has the right and duty at the same time to prohibit by law the deeds that may essentially harm the interests of persons, society or the state or by which it is threatened that such harm could appear, as well as to establish legal liability for such deeds.

It should be noted that the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law would be violated if: (1) legal liability was established in the law for such a deed that is not dangerous to society, therefore, not to be prohibited; (2) a strict sanction (legal liability) was established in the law for a deed which is contrary to law, under which the punishment or penalty imposed on the violator would obviously be too big because disproportionate (inadequate) for the committed violation of law, therefore, unjust; (3) the persons who are held liable were not able to make use of certain rights (inter alia, the right to due process of law) which they enjoy according to the Constitution, and/or were not able to make use of certain rights which, according to the laws, are enjoyed by other persons who are in an analogous situation, while in the latter case the constitutional principle of the equality of rights of persons, thus, Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution as well, would be violated.

4. In order to prevent illegal deeds, it is not always expedient to consider certain deeds as crimes and for them to impose the most severe measures—criminal punishments; every time, when it is necessary to decide whether to consider a certain deed as a crime or as other violation of law, it is very important to assess what results may be achieved while applying other means (which are not linked with application of criminal punishments), inter alia, administrative sanctions (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 13 November 1997).

Thus, the legislature, paying heed to the Constitution, inter alia, to the imperatives of consistency of the legal system that arises from it and of internal non-contradiction, may choose by what norms of a particular branch of law to define certain violations of law and what sanctions (criminal, administrative, etc.) to establish for them.

While assessing whether the legal liability should be categorised as belonging to administrative or criminal law, it should be emphasised that there are a number of similarities between the administrative and criminal legal liability, though there are essential differences as well. The danger of administrative violations of law and criminal deeds is not the same, the consequences of holding one the administratively or criminally liable are different, too. Administrative penalties may be similar to criminal punishments (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 13 November 1997). However, it should be emphasised that the legislature must seek to achieve the inter-branch compatibility of administrative and criminal sanctions.

The legal situation of the persons who are held administratively legally liable and of those who are held criminally legally liable may not be the same, because the grounds themselves of this legal liability are different: the former have committed administrative violations of law, established inter alia, in the CAVL, while the latter—crimes or other violations of law, established in the penal law. In itself, establishment of legal liability of various kinds for violations of law cannot be the grounds to question the compliance of corresponding legal regulation established in laws with the constitutional principles of the equality of rights of people and a state under the rule of law. Thus, even though under the laws certain deeds which are contrary to law are defined as administrative violations of law (even though the administrative penalties established for them amount to criminal punishments), while others—as crimes or other deeds violating penal laws, it does not mean that the constitutional principles of the equality of rights of persons and a state under the rule of law are deviated from.

While deciding whether the provision “The actions indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, which are performed by a person, who has already been imposed an administrative penalty for the violation indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, shall incur a fine of twenty thousand to fifty thousand Litas” of Paragraph 5 of Article 163² (wording of 5 July 2002) of the CAVL was not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law in the aspect whether the administrative legal liability under this paragraph was not established for the deed, for which it should not be established according to the Constitution, as well as whether in the said aspect the provision “The actions indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, which are performed by a person, who has already been imposed an administrative penalty for the violations indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, shall incur a fine of twenty thousand to fifty thousand Litas” of Paragraph 6 of the said article (wording of 4 July 2003) is not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, it should be held that the deeds established in Paragraph 5 of Article 163² (wording of 5 July 2002) of the CAVL and Paragraph 6 of the said article (wording of 4 July 2003) should be regarded as dangerous to society for which the legislature may establish administrative legal liability—monetary fines. Storage, transportation, usage or realisation of excised goods in violation of the established procedure, trading in such goods without tax stamps or any other specific markings, or with old-sample tax stamps, regardless of the value of the illegally stored, transported, used or realised goods, should be regarded as harmful to the economic system of the state, financial order and they should be legally persecuted, by establishing, inter alia, administrative legal liability for them.

5. The fine established in Paragraph 5 of Article 163² (wording of 5 July 2002) of the CAVL should be regarded as a big one—strict for the violators of law.

5.1. While establishing sanctions for violations of law, one must respect the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, inter alia, the requirements of reasonableness, justice and proportionality. The principle of proportionality that arises from the Constitution means that the established legal means must be necessary in a democratic society and adequate for the legitimate and universally important objectives sought (there must be a balance between the objectives and means), they should not restrict the rights of the person more than it is necessary to reach these objectives, and if these legal means are related to sanctions for a violation of law, the said sanctions must be proportionate to the committed violation (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 13 December 2004 and 29 September 2005). For violations of law it is not permitted to establish such punishments or penalties (inter alia, such sizes thereof), which would obviously be disproportionate (inadequate) to the violations of law and the purpose of the punishment or penalty. Thus, in the laws sanctions should be designed in such a way so that in the course of their application it would be possible to take account of the nature of the violation of law and the liability mitigating or other circumstances so that the punishment or penalty would not be unjust or inadequate to the committed violation of law.

5.2. It should be noted that in itself consolidation of strict sanctions (for the violators of law) for violations of law (inter alia, big monetary fines for administrative violations of law) in the law cannot be simply (without assessing the character of the violation of law, its danger (gravity), scale and other features and circumstances) construed as unjust or inadequate to those violations of law.

5.3. There are no legal arguments, under which the legislature could not establish the fines of the indicated size for the dangerous to society deeds established in Paragraph 5 of Article 163² (wording of 5 July 2002) of the CAVL or Paragraph 6 of the said article (wording of 4 July 2003), because the character, danger (gravity), scale, other features and other circumstances (without ignoring mitigating circumstances) of a corresponding administrative violation of law, for which the fine established in Paragraph 5 of Article 163² (wording of 5 July 2002) of the CAVL or Paragraph 6 of the said article (wording of 4 July 2003) had to be (must be) imposed, could (can) determine that on the grounds of the criteria of justice and reasonableness and with regard to all the circumstances, the violator of law had to be (must be) imposed a fine of exactly the size that was established in Paragraph 5 of Article 163² (wording of 5 July 2002) of the CAVL or is established in Paragraph 6 of the said article (wording of 4 July 2003).

5.4. The imposed punishment or penalty must be just. According to the Constitution, while imposing a sanction for a violation of law, a court should have a possibility of taking account of all the mitigating circumstances, as well as of those that are not expressis verbis established in the law and imposing a sanction—punishment or penalty—which would be milder than that established in the law, upon the violator. Having chosen such a way of design of the sanction—a fine for the commission of a deed that is contrary to law—where in the article establishing the legal liability for the said deed contrary to law, such a fine is established that is really big, i.e. such a sanction which is strict to the violators of law, the legislature must, together with the law, establish also such legal regulation under which a court, while applying the sanction for this deed contrary to law, i.e. imposing a monetary fine, might be able to take account of all liability mitigating circumstances, as well as of those that are not expressis verbis specified in the law, and if there are any such liability mitigating and other circumstances, under which a respective fine for the violator of law would obviously be too big, because disproportionate (inadequate) to the committed violation of law and, therefore, unjust and to impose on him a smaller fine than the minimum monetary fine (the lowest level of the sanction) or the fine of strictly determined size established in the law (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 10 June 2003 and 3 November 2005). Imposition of a smaller monetary fine than that established in the law must not be the rule, but an exception—it can be imposed by the court only under special liability mitigating circumstances, or other circumstances, disregarding which the fine established in the law, in case it was imposed, would obviously be too big. The court, while imposing smaller fines than those established in the law, must do that extremely carefully and attentively, in order not to violate the interests of the person, society and the state.

5.5. According to Paragraph 1 of Article 301 (wording of 11 November 1999) of the CAVL, the body (official), while considering cases of administrative violations of law, taking account, inter alia, of the mitigating circumstances of the liability for an administrative violation of law established in the CAVL and other mitigating circumstances which are not established in the law, by following the criteria of justice and reasonableness, may impose a smaller penalty than the minimum one provided for in the sanction, or not impose an administrative penalty at all.

Thus, while deciding whether the provision “The actions indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, which are performed by a person, who has already been imposed an administrative penalty for the violation indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, shall incur a fine of twenty thousand to fifty thousand Litas” of Paragraph 5 of Article 163² (wording of 5 July 2002) of the CAVL was not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law in the aspect whether in this paragraph such strict sanction (legal liability) for an administrative violation of law was not established, according to which the monetary fine imposed on the violator of law would obviously be too big, because disproportionate (inadequate) to the committed violation of law, therefore, unjust, also whether in the same aspect the provision “The actions indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, which are performed by a person, who has already been imposed an administrative penalty for the violations indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, shall incur a fine of twenty thousand to fifty thousand Litas” of Paragraph 6 of the said article (wording of 4 July 2003) is not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, it should be held that a court, while adopting a decision on imposition of a monetary fine for the administrative violation of law established in Paragraph 5 of Article 163² (wording of 5 July 2002) of the CAVL or Paragraph 6 of the same article (wording of 4 July 2003), had (has) the empowerments established in the CAVL to impose on the person a smaller monetary fine than the minimum monetary fine (the lowest level of the sanction) consolidated in these paragraphs, if there are such liability mitigating or other circumstances due to which the aforesaid minimum monetary fine would obviously be too big to the violator of law, because disproportionate (inadequate) to the committed violation of law, therefore, unjust.

6. According to the Constitution, every person who is held legally liable has the right to a fair trial. The Constitution Court has stated that, according to the Constitution, a person, who thinks that his rights and freedoms are being violated, has the right to defend his rights and freedoms in court (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 2 July 2002, 4 March 2003, 17 August 2004, and 7 February 2005); the right of the person to an independent, impartial, and just court which would solve the dispute, cannot be denied (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 13 December 2004).

6.1. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it needs to be noted that provided certain sanctions established in laws by their size (strictness) amount to criminal punishments, no matter whether these sanctions may be categorised as belonging to a certain type of legal liability (criminal, administrative, disciplinary or other legal liability), and no matter how respective sanctions are named in laws, the laws must necessarily establish procedural guarantees (which stem from the Constitution, inter alia, from its Article 31 the provisions of which cannot be construed as being designed only to the persons who are held criminally liable) to persons, who are held legally liable under corresponding laws (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 3 November 2005). The said procedural guarantees that arise from the Constitution are the independence and impartiality of the court, the presumption of innocence, the prohibition against compelling one to give testimony against oneself, one’s family members or close relatives, application of the sanction (imposition of punishment or penalty) only on the basis of the law, the prohibition on punishing twice for the same deed that is contrary to law (non bis in idem), the right of the person to defence from the moment of detention or the first interrogation, the right to have an advocate, the principle of adversarial argument during the trial, the right of a person, who does not know Lithuanian, to participate in judicial actions through a translator, etc.

6.2. It should be stated that the essential procedural requirements of administrative violations of law, inter alia, the procedural and other guarantees to the persons who are being held administratively legally liable according to the CAVL, are established not only in the CAVL but also in the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Proceedings of Administrative Cases. Procedural and other guarantees to the persons who are being held criminally liable are established in the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Republic of Lithuania. Procedural and other guarantees to the persons who are being held administratively or criminally liable are also established in the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on State Guaranteed Legal Aid, other laws, international treaties of the Republic of Lithuania, European Union law.

The legal regulation established in the above-mentioned laws is not a subject matter in the constitutional justice case at issue where it is investigated whether the provision “The actions indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, which are performed by a person, who has already been imposed an administrative penalty for the violation indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, shall incur a fine of twenty thousand to fifty thousand Litas” of Paragraph 5 of Article 163² (wording of 5 July 2002) of the CAVL and the provision “The actions indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, which are performed by a person, who has already been imposed an administrative penalty for the violations indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, shall incur a fine of twenty thousand to fifty thousand Litas” of Paragraph 6 of the said article (wording of 4 July 2003) both establishing administrative legal liability for respective violations of law, was (is) not in conflict with the Constitution. These provisions do not regulate the relationships related to procedural or other guarantees to persons who for certain administrative violations of law are being held administratively liable.

Thus, in the discussed aspect, the aforesaid provisions cannot be in conflict with the constitutional principles of equality of persons and a state under the rule of law.

7. Taking account of the arguments set forth, the following conclusions should be drawn:

the provision “The actions indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, which are performed by a person, who has already been imposed an administrative penalty for the violation indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, shall incur a fine of twenty thousand to fifty thousand Litas” of Paragraph 5 of Article 163² (wording of 5 July 2002) of the CAVL was not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

the provision “The actions indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, which are performed by a person, who has already been imposed an administrative penalty for the violations indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, shall incur a fine of twenty thousand to fifty thousand Litas” of Paragraph 6 of the Article 163² (wording of 4 July 2003) of the CAVL is not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

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

ruling:

1. To recognise that the provision “The actions indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, which are performed by a person, who has already been imposed an administrative penalty for the violation indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, shall incur a fine of twenty thousand to fifty thousand Litas” of Paragraph 5 of Article 163² (wording of 5 July 2002) of the Code of Administrative Violations of Law of the Republic of Lithuania was not in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

2. To recognise that the provision “The actions indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, which are performed by a person, who has already been imposed an administrative penalty for the violations indicated in Paragraph <...> of this Article, shall incur a fine of twenty thousand to fifty thousand Litas” of Paragraph 6 of Article 163² (wording of 4 July 2003) of the Code of Administrative Violations of Law of the Republic of Lithuania is not in conflict with 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

                                                                                  Toma Birmontienė

                                                                                  Egidijus Kūris

                                                                                  Kęstutis Lapinskas

                                                                                  Zenonas Namavičius

                                                                                  Ramutė Ruškytė

                                                                                  Vytautas Sinkevičius

                                                                                  Stasys Stačiokas

                                                                                  Romualdas Kęstutis Urbaitis