Lt

On the interpretation of the provisions of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007 related to the assessment of the qualification of scientists

Case No. 18/06

THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

DECISION

ON THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE PROVISIONS OF ITEMS 17 AND 20 OF SECTION III AND ITEM 6 OF SECTION IV OF THE REASONING PART OF THE RULING OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA “ON THE COMPLIANCE OF ITEM 2.3.1 OF THE RESOLUTION OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA (NO. 899) “ON APPROVING THE DESCRIPTION OF THE MINIMUM QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR THE POSITIONS OF SCIENTIFIC WORKERS, OTHER RESEARCHERS AND TEACHERS AT STATE INSTITUTIONS OF SCIENCE AND STUDIES, THE DESCRIPTION OF THE PROCEDURE FOR ORGANISATION OF COMPETITIONS FOR POSITIONS OF SCIENTIFIC WORKERS, OTHER RESEARCHERS AND TEACHERS AT STATE INSTITUTIONS OF SCIENCE AND STUDIES AND OF CERTIFICATION OF SCIENTIFIC WORKERS, OTHER RESEARCHERS AND TEACHERS, AND THE DESCRIPTION OF THE PROCEDURE FOR AWARDING PEDAGOGICAL DEGREES IN UNIVERSITIES” OF 11 JULY 2001 (WORDING OF 18 AUGUST 2005) AND ITEMS 2.2, 2.5, 3.1.2, 3.1.3 AND 3.1.4 OF THE DESCRIPTION OF MINIMUM QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR THE POSITIONS OF SCIENTIFIC WORKERS, OTHER RESEARCHERS AND TEACHERS AT STATE INSTITUTIONS OF SCIENCE AND STUDIES, WHO WORK IN HUMANITARIAN AND SOCIAL SCIENCES (WORDING OF 18 AUGUST 2005) AS APPROVED BY THE SAME RESOLUTION, AS WELL AS ITEM 3.1 OF THE HABILITATION PROCEDURE AS APPROVED BY THE RESOLUTION OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA (NO. 962) “ON APPROVING THE HABILITATION PROCEDURE” OF 18 JULY 2003 WITH THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA” OF 5 MAY 2007

 

1 February 2008
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, Ramutė Ruškytė, Vytautas Sinkevičius, Stasys Stačiokas and Romualdas Kęstutis Urbaitis

The court reporter—Sigutė Brusovienė

Nerija Putinaitė and Aušra Rauličkytė, acting as the representatives of the President of the Republic of Lithuania, the petitioner, who submitted the request to construe the provisions of the Ruling of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania “On the Compliance of Item 2.3.1 of the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 899) ‘On Approving the Description of the Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Description of the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Description of the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities’ of 11 July 2001 (Wording of 18 August 2005) and Items 2.2, 2.5, 3.1.2, 3.1.3 and 3.1.4 of the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, Who Work in Humanitarian and Social Sciences (Wording of 18 August 2005) as Approved by the Same Resolution, as well as Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure as Approved by the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 962) ‘On Approving the Habilitation Procedure’ of 18 July 2003 with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania” of 5 May 2007

Tomas Daukantas, Head of the Legal Division of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania, acting as the representative of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, the party concerned

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, pursuant to Article 61 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, on 29 January 2008, in its public hearing, considered the request of the President of the Republic of Lithuania, which was set forth in the Decree of the President of the Republic (No. 1K-1201) “On Applying to the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania Requesting the Construction of the Provisions of the Ruling of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania ‘On the Compliance of Item 2.3.1 of the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 899) “On Approving the Description of the Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Description of the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Description of the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities” of 11 July 2001 (Wording of 18 August 2005) and Items 2.2, 2.5, 3.1.2, 3.1.3 and 3.1.4 of the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, Who Work in Humanitarian and Social Sciences (Wording of 18 August 2005) as Approved by the Same Resolution, as well as Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure as Approved by the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 962) “On Approving the Habilitation Procedure” of 18 July 2003 with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania’ of 5 May 2007”, wherein he requested the construction of whether:

1) the provisions “the requirements to have a certain number of scientific works published in publications that are reviewed in the international databases, may not be made absolute. The importance of scientific works should be assessed not only according to the fact that they are published in scientific publications that are reviewed in various international databases, but, first of all, according to their novelty, original ideas, fundamentality, impact upon formation of new spheres and/or subject areas of scientific research, etc. <…> Thus, if it is established in legal acts that the respective positions at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state institutes of science and state educational establishments may be held by the scientists who have published scientific works in the publications that are reviewed in the international databases, such requirement may not be made an absolute one, the said legal acts, alongside, also have to establish an alternative—other requirements related to the significance of scientific works, upon meeting which the scientists could hold a respective position” of Item 17 of Section III of the reasoning part of the Ruling of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania “On the Compliance of Item 2.3.1 of the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 899) ‘On Approving the Description of the Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Description of the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Description of the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities’ of 11 July 2001 (Wording of 18 August 2005) and Items 2.2, 2.5, 3.1.2, 3.1.3 and 3.1.4 of the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, Who Work in Humanitarian and Social Sciences (Wording of 18 August 2005) as Approved by the Same Resolution, as well as Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure as Approved by the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 962) ‘On Approving the Habilitation Procedure’ of 18 July 2003 with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania” of 5 May 2007 mean that in the course of assessment of importance of scientific works of a scientist one has to take account not only of the scientific works that meet the formal criteria, but also of his entire scientific activity and that the Government of the Republic of Lithuania can establish only formal criteria to assess scientific works and not to grant the right to schools of higher education to establish other, alternative criteria permitting an assessment of the importance and quality of all scientific works of the person;

2) the provision “When one decides what requirements should be met by the scientist in order to make it possible to hold that his competence is the one, which is necessary for him to become eligible for aspiring to respective positions at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state institutes of science and state educational establishments, one should attentively hear opinion of the state and other authoritative scientific institutions uniting scientists of various spheres of science” of Item 20 of Section III and the provisions “While creating a system of expertise assessment of scientific works, one must attentively hear an opinion of the scientific and academic community; the Constitution does not prohibit any such legal regulation, either, whereby it is an institution (or institutions) (which in reality represents scientific and academic community, which is formed from authoritative scientists), which would have the powers to establish systems of expertise assessment of scientific works, to entrench the criteria for assessment of scientific works and to regulate other most important relations linked to that. Especially, when one takes account of the principle of autonomy of schools of higher education consolidated in the Constitution, while taking account of the general main requirements which are established by an institution (or institutions), which in reality represents scientific and academic community, which is formed from authoritative scientists, also such legal regulation that the schools of higher education themselves could establish the specific criteria for assessment of the qualification of a scientist, would not be incompatible with the Constitution” of Item 6 of Section IV of the reasoning part of the Ruling of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania “On the Compliance of Item 2.3.1 of the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 899) ‘On Approving the Description of the Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Description of the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Description of the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities’ of 11 July 2001 (Wording of 18 August 2005) and Items 2.2, 2.5, 3.1.2, 3.1.3 and 3.1.4 of the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, Who Work in Humanitarian and Social Sciences (Wording of 18 August 2005) as Approved by the Same Resolution, as well as Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure as Approved by the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 962) ‘On Approving the Habilitation Procedure’ of 18 July 2003 with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania” of 5 May 2007 mean that the discretion of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania in establishing the criteria by following which the importance of scientific works is assessed, is limited, and that the said criteria can be established not only by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, but also schools of higher education, also to construe as to what “proportion of discretions” of the Government and schools of higher education is implied by the said provisions;

3) the provisions “The system of the requirements which must be fulfilled by the scientist so that he could aspire to the corresponding positions in state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state scientific institutes and state scientific establishments must be such that it would be possible to decide on the qualification and significance of the scientific work of the scientist not only from the amount of his published scientific works, as well as not only from the fact in what period of time these scientific works (scientific articles) are published and in what scientific publications (which are assessed in the international databases or which are not assessed in them) they are published, but, first of all, according to the value and significance of the scientific works published by the scientists, inter alia, according to their novelty, originality, fundamentality, influence on the formation of the new spheres of scientific research, etc. It has been mentioned that the mere fact that the scientific works are not published in the publications which are assessed in the international databases does not mean that such scientific works are insignificant. In order to assess the value, significance and quality of the scientific works, it is not enough that they meet some established formal requirements of imparting, including international imparting—in order to do that, first of all, an extremely qualified and impartial expertise assessment of the scientific works, including those which are published in the publications which are assessed in the international databases, is necessary” of Item 6 of Section IV of the reasoning part of the Ruling of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania “On the Compliance of Item 2.3.1 of the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 899) ‘On Approving the Description of the Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Description of the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Description of the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities’ of 11 July 2001 (Wording of 18 August 2005) and Items 2.2, 2.5, 3.1.2, 3.1.3 and 3.1.4 of the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, Who Work in Humanitarian and Social Sciences (Wording of 18 August 2005) as Approved by the Same Resolution, as well as Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure as Approved by the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 962) ‘On Approving the Habilitation Procedure’ of 18 July 2003 with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania” of 5 May 2007 mean that the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, while securing the implementation of the constitutional principles of freedom of science and scientific research and autonomy of schools of higher education, has a duty to establish a system of qualified and impartial expertise assessment of scientific works, including those which are published in the publications which are assessed in international databases.

The Constitutional Court

has established:

I

1. On 5 May 2007, in constitutional justice case No. 18/06, subsequent to the petition set forth in the Decree of the President of the Republic (the petitioner) (No. 628) “On Application to the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania” of 22 May 2006, requesting an investigation into whether Item 2.3.1 of the Government Resolution (No. 899) “On Approving the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Description of the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Description of the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities” of 11 July 2001 in its new wording (hereinafter also referred to as government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001), which was set forth in the Government Resolution (No. 906) “On Amending the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 899) ‘On Approving the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Description of the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Description of the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities’ of 11 July 2001” of 18 August 2005 (hereinafter also referred to as government resolution No. 906 of 18 August 2005), Items 2.2, 2.5, 3.1.2, 3.1.3 and 3.1.4 of the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, Who Work in Humanitarian and Social Sciences (wording of 18 August 2005; hereinafter also referred to as the Description) as approved by the Government Resolution (No. 899) “On Approving the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Description of the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Description of the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities” of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005), and Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure as approved by the Government Resolution (No. 962) “On Approving the Habilitation Procedure” of 18 July 2003 (hereinafter also referred to as government resolution No. 962 of 18 July 2003) to the extent that it provided that not less than two scientific articles must be published in the publications included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information, were not in conflict with Article 14 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, the Constitutional Court adopted the Ruling “On the Compliance of Item 2.3.1 of the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 899) ‘On Approving the Description of the Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Description of the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Description of the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities’ of 11 July 2001 (Wording of 18 August 2005) and Items 2.2, 2.5, 3.1.2, 3.1.3 and 3.1.4 of the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, Who Work in Humanitarian and Social Sciences (Wording of 18 August 2005) as Approved by the Same Resolution, as well as Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure as Approved by the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 962) ‘On Approving the Habilitation Procedure’ of 18 July 2003 with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania” (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2007, No. 52-2025; hereinafter also referred to as the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007).

2. The Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007 recognised the following:

Item 2.3.1 of the Government Resolution (No. 899) “On Approving the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Description of the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Description of the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities” of 11 July 2001 in its new wording, which was set forth in the Government Resolution (No. 906) “On Amending the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 899) ‘On Approving the Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities’ of 11 July 2001” of 18 August 2005 was not in conflict with the Constitution;

the provisions “when establishing qualification requirements for positions, institutions must take account of <…> 2.2. scientific articles which were published in periodical and serial scientific publications or one-off scientific publications which are assessed by the Institute for Scientific Information and other recognised international databases, the list whereof is drawn by the Council of Science of Lithuania <…>; <…> 2.5. material of reports of scientific conferences, scientific reviews <…> in the publications which are assessed in the international databases <…>” of Item 2 of the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, Who Work in Humanitarian and Social Sciences (wording of 18 August 2005) which was approved by the Government Resolution (No. 899) “On Approving the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Description of the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Description of the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities” of 11 July 2001 in its new wording, which was set forth in the Government Resolution (No. 906) “On Amending the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 899) ‘On Approving the Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities’ of 11 July 2001” of 18 August 2005 are not in conflict with the Constitution;

the provisions that the scientists who have performed the habilitation procedure or have the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor and who in the last 5 years have fulfilled at least one of the following requirements: “3.1.2. published scientific articles in the periodical, serial or one-off publications which are assessed in the international databases <…>”; “3.1.3. published <…> and at least one scientific article in the periodical or serial publication which is assessed in the international databases”; and “3.1.4. <…> and published at least one article in the publication which is assessed in the international databases” may aspire to the positions of the professor or chief scientific worker of Item 3.1 of the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, Who Work in Humanitarian and Social Sciences (wording of 18 August 2005) which was approved by the Government Resolution (No. 899) “On Approving the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Description of the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Description of the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities” of 11 July 2001 in its new wording, which was set forth in the Government Resolution (No. 906) “On Amending the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 899) ‘On Approving the Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities’ of 11 July 2001” of 18 August 2005 were not in conflict with the Constitution;

the provision “in both cases, it is compulsory that not less than 2 scientific articles be published in the publications which are included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information” and the provision “at least one of which must be published in the publication which is included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information” of Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure as approved by the Government Resolution (No. 962) “On Approving the Habilitation Procedure” of 18 July 2003 were in conflict with the principle of a state under the rule of law which is consolidated in the Constitution.

3. By his Decree (No. 1K-1201) “On Applying to the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania Requesting the Construction of the Provisions of the Ruling of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania ‘On the Compliance of Item 2.3.1 of the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 899) “On Approving the Description of the Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Description of the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Description of the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities” of 11 July 2001 (Wording of 18 August 2005) and Items 2.2, 2.5, 3.1.2, 3.1.3 and 3.1.4 of the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, Who Work in Humanitarian and Social Sciences (Wording of 18 August 2005) as Approved by the Same Resolution, as well as Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure as Approved by the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 962) “On Approving the Habilitation Procedure” of 18 July 2003 with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania’ of 5 May 2007”, the President of the Republic of Lithuania requests that the Constitutional Court provide the construction of whether:

1) the provisions “the requirements to have a certain number of scientific works published in publications that are reviewed in the international databases, may not be made absolute. The importance of scientific works should be assessed not only according to the fact that they are published in scientific publications that are reviewed in various international databases, but, first of all, according to their novelty, original ideas, fundamentality, impact upon formation of new spheres and/or subject areas of scientific research, etc. <…> Thus, if it is established in legal acts that the respective positions at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state institutes of science and state educational establishments may be held by the scientists who have published scientific works in the publications that are reviewed in the international databases, such requirement may not be made an absolute one, the said legal acts, alongside, also have to establish an alternative—other requirements related to the significance of scientific works, upon meeting which the scientists could hold a respective position” of Item 17 of Section III of the reasoning part of the Constitutional Court’s Ruling “On the Compliance of Item 2.3.1 of the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 899) ‘On Approving the Description of the Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Description of the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Description of the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities’ of 11 July 2001 (Wording of 18 August 2005) and Items 2.2, 2.5, 3.1.2, 3.1.3 and 3.1.4 of the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, Who Work in Humanitarian and Social Sciences (Wording of 18 August 2005) as Approved by the Same Resolution, as well as Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure as Approved by the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 962) ‘On Approving the Habilitation Procedure’ of 18 July 2003 with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania” of 5 May 2007 mean that in the course of assessment of importance of scientific works of a scientist one has to take account not only of the scientific works that meet the formal criteria, but also of his entire scientific activity and that the Government can establish only formal criteria to assess scientific works and not to grant the right to schools of higher education to establish other, alternative criteria permitting an assessment of the importance and quality of all scientific works of the person;

2) the provision “When one decides what requirements should be met by the scientist in order to make it possible to hold that his competence is the one, which is necessary for him to become eligible for aspiring to respective positions at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state institutes of science and state educational establishments, one should attentively hear opinion of the state and other authoritative scientific institutions uniting scientists of various spheres of science” of Item 20 of Section III and the provisions “While creating a system of expertise assessment of scientific works, one must attentively hear an opinion of the scientific and academic community; the Constitution does not prohibit any such legal regulation, either, whereby it is an institution (or institutions) (which in reality represents scientific and academic community, which is formed from authoritative scientists), which would have the powers to establish systems of expertise assessment of scientific works, to entrench the criteria for assessment of scientific works and to regulate other most important relations linked to that. Especially, when one takes account of the principle of autonomy of schools of higher education consolidated in the Constitution, while taking account of the general main requirements which are established by an institution (or institutions), which in reality represents scientific and academic community, which is formed from authoritative scientists, also such legal regulation that the schools of higher education themselves could establish the specific criteria for assessment of the qualification of a scientist, would not be incompatible with the Constitution” of Item 6 of Section IV of the reasoning part of the Constitutional Court’s Ruling “On the Compliance of Item 2.3.1 of the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 899) ‘On Approving the Description of the Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Description of the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Description of the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities’ of 11 July 2001 (Wording of 18 August 2005) and Items 2.2, 2.5, 3.1.2, 3.1.3 and 3.1.4 of the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, Who Work in Humanitarian and Social Sciences (Wording of 18 August 2005) as Approved by the Same Resolution, as well as Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure as Approved by the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 962) ‘On Approving the Habilitation Procedure’ of 18 July 2003 with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania” of 5 May 2007 mean that the discretion of the Government in establishing the criteria by following which the importance of scientific works is assessed, is limited, and that the said criteria can be established not only by the Government, but also schools of higher education, also to construe as to what “proportion of discretions” of the Government and schools of higher education is implied by the said provisions;

3) the provisions “The system of the requirements which must be fulfilled by the scientist so that he could aspire to the corresponding positions in state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state scientific institutes and state scientific establishments must be such that it would be possible to decide on the qualification and significance of the scientific work of the scientist not only from the amount of his published scientific works, as well as not only from the fact in what period of time these scientific works (scientific articles) are published and in what scientific publications (which are assessed in the international databases or which are not assessed in them) they are published, but, first of all, according to the value and significance of the scientific works published by the scientists, inter alia, according to their novelty, originality, fundamentality, influence on the formation of the new spheres of scientific research, etc. It has been mentioned that the mere fact that the scientific works are not published in the publications which are assessed in the international databases does not mean that such scientific works are insignificant. In order to assess the value, significance and quality of the scientific works, it is not enough that they meet some established formal requirements of imparting, including international imparting—in order to do that, first of all, an extremely qualified and impartial expertise assessment of the scientific works, including those which are published in the publications which are assessed in the international databases, is necessary” of Item 6 of Section IV of the reasoning part of the Constitutional Court’s Ruling “On the Compliance of Item 2.3.1 of the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 899) ‘On Approving the Description of the Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Description of the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Description of the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities’ of 11 July 2001 (Wording of 18 August 2005) and Items 2.2, 2.5, 3.1.2, 3.1.3 and 3.1.4 of the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, Who Work in Humanitarian and Social Sciences (Wording of 18 August 2005) as Approved by the Same Resolution, as well as Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure as Approved by the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 962) ‘On Approving the Habilitation Procedure’ of 18 July 2003 with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania” of 5 May 2007 mean that the Government, while securing the implementation of the constitutional principles of freedom of science and scientific research and autonomy of schools of higher education, has a duty to establish a system of qualified and impartial expertise assessment of scientific works, including those which are published in the publications which are assessed in international databases.

II

At the Constitutional Court explanations were received from N. Putinaitė and A. Rauličkytė, the representatives of the President of the Republic, the petitioner, who submitted the request to construe the provisions of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007. It is maintained in the explanations that during the time which has passed since the entry into force of the said ruling of the Constitutional Court, the institutions of the executive responsible for the implementation of the policy of science and studies, did not correct the criteria (such criteria were established in government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) and government resolution No. 962 of 18 July 2003) of the assessment of the scientific activity (qualification) of scientists so that one would secure the assessment of scientific works by taking account of their importance and quality. Besides, according to N. Putinaitė and A. Rauličkytė, the institutions preparing draft legal acts, have submitted to the scientific community such provisions for deliberation, which, in the opinion of some scientists, if entrenched in legal acts, would make the existing situation even worse; it shows that these institutions interpret the provisions of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007 in a diverse manner.

III

1. At the Constitutional Court’s hearing of 29 January 2008, N. Putinaitė and A. Rauličkytė, the representatives of the President of the Republic, the petitioner, who submitted the request to construe the provisions of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007, reiterated the arguments set forth in their written explanations and submitted additional explanations.

2. At the Constitutional Court’s hearing of 29 January 2008, T. Daukantas, the representative of the Government, the party concerned, submitted explanations. He maintained that the drafting of the amendments to the legal acts regulating the assessment of qualification of scientists became delayed, since the scientific and academic community is consulted as regards the correction of the legal regulation; in addition, a new draft Republic of Lithuania’s Law of Science and Studies is under preparation, thus, one intends to adopt such amendments in the course of complex change of the overall legal regulation of science and studies.

3. At the Constitutional Court’s hearing of 29 January 2008, the following specialists took the floor: A. Žalys, Director of the Department of Science and Technology of the Ministry of Science and Education of the Republic of Lithuania, E. Stumbrys, Director of the Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education, Prof. Habil. Dr. R. Ginevičius, President of the Conference of Rectors of Universities of Lithuania, Prof. Habil. Dr. Butkus, Chairperson of the Science Council of Lithuania, V. Guoga, Executive Director of the Science Council of Lithuania, Assoc. Prof. Dr. A. Kulakauskas, Chairperson of the Lithuanian Scientific Society, Chairperson of the Council of Higher Education of Lithuania.

3.1. The specialists (inter alia, A. Žalys and E. Stumbrys) drew one’s attention to the necessity to distinguish between the assessment of scientific works of individual scientists, thus, also that of their qualification, when one decides on habilitation of these scientists and their suitability to hold a certain position in a state institution of science and studies (individual aspect of the assessment), and the assessment of “scientific production” of the corresponding state institution of science and studies—the results of the activity of this institution—when the financing of the activity of that institution (thus, also the scientific activity of scientists who work in it) depends on such assessment (institutional aspect of assessment).

3.2. In the opinion of most of the specialists (E. Stumbrys, Prof. Habil. Dr. R. Ginevičius, V. Guoga, Assoc. Prof. Dr. A. Kulakauskas), the general minimum qualification requirements for the scientists who seek to hold certain positions in state institutions of science and studies should be established by the state (its institutions). For instance, Prof. Habil. Dr. R. Ginevičius noted that in case the schools of higher education were entrusted with establishment of qualification requirements for scientists, it could determine devaluation of scientific degrees and “scientific production”. E. Stumbrys, V. Guoga and Assoc. Prof. Kulakauskas also voiced the opinion that the general minimum qualification requirements for scientists should be established “on the state level”. In the opinion of Prof. Habil. Dr. Butkus, at present it is expedient that the general minimum qualification requirements are established by the state (its institutions), however, in the future this should be entrusted with schools of higher education, while A. Žalys maintained that schools of higher education should have the right to establish the qualification requirements for the scientists who seek to hold certain positions in those schools of higher education.

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

I

1. The Law on the Constitutional Court consolidates the powers of the Constitutional Court to officially construe its rulings (Article 61 of the Law on the Constitutional Court). The Constitutional Court has also the powers to construe its other final acts (the Constitutional Court’s decisions of 6 April 2004, 14 March 2006 (Case No. 13/2000-14/2000-20/2000-21/2000-22/2000-25/2000-31/2000-35/2000-39/2000-8/01-31/01), 20 November 2006, 21 November 2006, and 6 December 2007).

2. Paragraph 1 of Article 61 of the Law on the Constitutional Court provides that a ruling of the Constitutional Court may only be officially construed by the Constitutional Court at the request of the parties to the case, of other institutions or persons to whom it was sent, or on its own initiative.

The President of the Republic was the petitioner in the constitutional justice case in which the Constitution Court ruling of 5 May 2007 was adopted and the construction of the provisions of which is requested; in addition, under Paragraph 1 of Article 60 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, the President of the Republic is one of the subjects to whom the Constitutional Court’s rulings are sent in all cases.

Thus, the President of the Republic has the right to request that the Constitutional Court construe the provisions of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007.

3. A decision concerning construction of a ruling of the Constitutional Court shall be adopted as a separate document (Paragraph 2 of Article 61 of the Law on the Constitutional Court).

4. The Constitutional Court has stated in its acts that the purpose of the institute of construction of Constitutional Court’s rulings and other final acts is to reveal the contents and meaning of the corresponding rulings or other final acts of the Constitutional Court more broadly and in more detail if it is necessary in order to ensure proper execution of that ruling or other final act of the Constitutional Court so that this ruling or other final of the Constitutional Court would be followed (the Constitutional Court’s decisions of 14 March 2006 (Case No. 13/2000-14/2000-20/2000-21/2000-22/2000-25/2000-31/2000-35/2000-39/2000-8/01-31/01), 21 November 2006, and 6 December 2007).

5. A ruling of the Constitutional Court is integral, its operative part is based upon the arguments of the part of reasoning; while construing its ruling, the Constitutional Court is bound both by the content of the operative part and that of reasoning of its ruling; the decision adopted concerning construction of a ruling of the Constitutional Court is inseparable from that ruling of the Constitutional Court (the Constitutional Court’s decisions of 12 January 2000, 11 February 2004, 13 February 2004, 10 February 2005, 14 March 2006 (Case No. 13/2000-14/2000-20/2000-21/2000-22/2000-25/2000-31/2000-35/2000-39/2000-8/01-31/01), its ruling of 28 March 2006, its decisions of 21 November 2006 and 6 December 2007).

6. Under Paragraph 3 of Article 61 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, the Constitutional Court must construe its ruling without changing its content.

This provision of Paragraph 3 of Article 61 of the Law on the Constitutional Court means, among other things, that, while construing its ruling, the Constitutional Court cannot construe its content so that the meaning of its provisions, inter alia, the notional entirety of the elements constituting the content of the ruling, the arguments and reasons upon which that ruling of the Constitutional Court is based, is changed, also that the Constitutional Court may not construe what was not investigated in that constitutional justice case, subsequent to which the construed ruling was adopted, either (the Constitutional Court’s decision of 14 March 2006 (Case No. 13/2000-14/2000-20/2000-21/2000-22/2000-25/2000-31/2000-35/2000-39/2000-8/01-31/01), 28 March 2006, 21 November 2006, and 6 December 2007). The consideration of a petition requesting the construction of a ruling or another final act of the Constitutional Court does not imply a new constitutional justice case (the Constitutional Court’s decisions of 21 November 2006 and 6 December 2007).

In this context, it should be noted that the formula “shall be final and not subject to appeal” of Paragraph 2 of Article 107 of the Constitution, which provides that the decisions of the Constitutional Court on the issues within its competence according to the Constitution shall be final and not subject to appeal, means that the Constitutional Court’s rulings, conclusions and decisions by which a constitutional justice case is finished, i.e. final acts of the Constitutional Court, are obligatory to all state institutions, courts, all enterprises, establishments and organisations, as well as officials and citizens, including the Constitutional Court itself: final acts of the Constitutional Court are obligatory to the Constitutional Court itself, they restrict the Constitutional Court in the aspect that it may not change them or review them if there are no constitutional grounds for that (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 28 March 2006, its decisions of 21 November 2006 and 6 December 2007).

Therefore, in the official construction (subsequent to a petition of the persons that participated in the case, other institutions and individuals, to whom the Constitutional Court’s ruling was sent, also on the initiative of the Constitutional Court itself) of rulings and other final acts of the Constitutional Court, the constitutional doctrine is not corrected. The correction of the official constitutional doctrine (which, undoubtedly, must always have a constitutional basis and be explicitly reasoned in a respective act of the Constitutional Court) should be related with the consideration of new constitutional justice cases and creation of new Constitutional Court precedents therein, but not with the official construction of provisions of the Constitutional Court’s rulings and other final acts (the Constitutional Court’s decision of 6 December 2007).

7. It should also be noted that the uniformity and continuity of the official constitutional doctrine implies a necessity to construe each construed provision of a ruling or its other final act of the Constitutional Court by taking account of the entire official constitutional doctrinal context, also of other provisions (explicit and implicit) of the Constitution, which are related with the provision (provisions) of the Constitution in the course of the construction of which in a ruling or its other final act Constitutional Court the corresponding official constitutional doctrine was formulated. No official constitutional doctrinal provision of a ruling or its other final act of the Constitutional Court may be construed in isolation, by ignoring its meaning and systemic links with the other official constitutional doctrinal provisions set forth in that ruling of the Constitutional Court or its other final act, in other acts of the Constitutional Court, as well as with other provisions (explicit and implicit) of the Constitution (the Constitutional Court’s decisions of 21 November 2006 and 6 December 2007).

8. It has been mentioned that, according to the representatives of the President of the Republic, the petitioner, who submitted the request to construe the provisions of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007, during the time which has passed since the entry into force of the said ruling of the Constitutional Court, the institutions of the executive responsible for the implementation of the policy of science and studies, did not correct the criteria (such criteria were established in government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) and government resolution No. 962 of 18 July 2003) of the assessment of the scientific activity (qualification) of scientists so that one would secure the assessment of scientific works by taking account of their importance and quality; in the opinion of the representatives (which was voiced at the Constitutional Court’s hearing of 29 January 2008), also the fact that in practice the provisions of the Constitutional Court’s ruling are understood differently were influential on such a situation.

Therefore, while construing the corresponding provisions of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007 subsequent to the request of the President of the Republic (inter alia, while deciding to what extent they must be construed), account should also be taken of whether these provisions are correctly understood in practice and whether this Constitutional Court’s ruling, as an integral legal act, is properly implemented.

9. Taking account of the fact that in the constitutional justice case wherein the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007 was adopted one considered the compliance of the legal regulation with the Constitution only in the aspect regarding social and humanitarian sciences, the provisions of the said ruling of the Constitutional Court the construction of which is requested by the President of the Republic should be construed only in this aspect, i.e. by relating them only with social and humanitarian sciences.

II

1. While construing, subsequent to the request of the President of the Republic, the provisions of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007, it should be noted that, in the constitutional justice case wherein the said ruling of the Constitutional Court was adopted, the Constitutional Court investigated whether the legal regulation established in government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) and government resolution No. 962 of 18 July 2003) which was designed for the consolidation of the qualification requirements which must be met by the scientists who seek to hold certain positions in state institutions of science and studies, and the minimum qualification requirements to the persons who work in the areas of humanitarian and social sciences who seek to participate in the competitions to hold the positions of professors or chief scientific workers, with the Constitution. The doubts of the President of the Republic, the petitioner, regarding the compliance of the impugned legal regulation established by the Government with the Constitution, were grounded on the fact that formal requirements were established to the said aspirants, inter alia, the requirements to publish a certain amount of scientific articles in the publications which are included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information or other recognised international databases (the list whereof had to be drawn by the Council of Science of Lithuania, while the purpose of international databases, in the opinion of the President of the Republic, the petitioner, was not assessment of the quality of science, but ensuring the imparting of science) (i.e. in the publications which are assessed in such international databases), thus, the formal criteria had been created by following which the scientific articles of the said aspirants had to be assessed not according to their content, but according to where they had been published, and, thus, among other things, priority was given to scientific works prepared in a foreign language, but not in the state language. Meanwhile, the publications which are published in the Lithuanian language in Lithuania and which are considered as prestigious (in the aspect of science) were allowed to be a necessary source of publications only if they were included into the recognised international databases and were assessed in them. One had to follow the said formal requirements while deciding whether the scientist met the requirements raised to the so-called habilitation (in the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007 the notion “habilitation” was assessed as deficient and deceptive, as the one that was not appropriate to define the institute for the definition of which it was employed, and, thus, as the one that had to be changed) and whether he had to be allowed to participate in the competition to hold the position of a professor of a chief scientific worker. The state schools of higher education, scientific institutes of state universities, state scientific institutes and state scientific establishments had to establish qualification requirements for positions of scientific workers, other researchers and teachers, however, these requirements could not be of “lower level” than the said requirements established by the Government.

2. The Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007 recognised that the formal requirement to the persons, who seek the so-called habilitation and who work in the areas of humanitarian and social sciences, that they publish a certain amount of scientific articles (either two or one) in the publications which are included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information was in conflict with the Constitution, since it had been made groundlessly absolute and since no alternative requirements had been established for assessment of the importance of scientific works. On the other hand, the said ruling of the Constitutional Court did not recognise that the requirement that the scientists aspiring to hold the positions of professors or chief scientific workers publish the scientific articles in the publications which are reviewed in the recognised international databases the list whereof is drawn by the Council of Science of Lithuania (inter alia, in the publications assessed in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information), as not being in conflict with the Constitution, since the overall legal regulation did not prevent the scientists, who had not published any scientific articles in scientific publications assessed in such databases, to aspire to the position of a professor or a chief scientific worker, if they had accomplished another, alternative requirement.

3. As mentioned before, provisions of a ruling of the Constitutional Court must be construed by taking account of the entire official constitutional doctrinal context, also of other provisions (explicit and implicit) of the Constitution, which are related with the provision (provisions) of the Constitution in the course of the construction of which in the ruling of the Constitutional Court the corresponding official constitutional doctrine was formulated; no official constitutional doctrinal provision of a ruling of the Constitutional Court may be construed in isolation, by ignoring its meaning and systemic links with the other official constitutional doctrinal provisions set forth in that ruling of the Constitutional Court or its other final act, in other acts of the Constitutional Court, as well as with other provisions (explicit and implicit) of the Constitution.

4. A broad official constitutional doctrine of science and research related with the requirements established by legal acts, which must be met by the persons who work in the areas of humanitarian and social sciences and who aspire to hold certain positions in state schools of higher education and other state scientific institutions, and which is also related with the autonomy of schools of higher education entrenched in the Constitution, has been set forth in the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007. In addition, the professional independency of the scientific community (as well as communities representing certain scientific subject areas), as a community united by a scientific approach and professional interests, from state institutions, their independent institutionalisation and self-governance, free communication with scientific communities of other countries (inter alia, scientific and educational institutions), was emphasised. The state forms and implements a certain scientific policy, however, scientific research is an activity which demands special professional knowledge, therefore, the institutions of public power which adopt decisions designated to science, studies and other scientific community (inter alia, institutions of science and studies), while regulating corresponding relations by their legal acts, should not ignore in any way an opinion of the scientific community and pay sufficient attention to. By legal acts one may establish the requirements which must be met by the scientists who aspire to hold a certain position at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state scientific institutes and state educational establishments; various ways of setting forth such requirements are possible, inter alia, such minimum requirements may be established in legal acts, which must be fulfilled by the scientists who seek to hold certain positions in the aforementioned institutions, but the legal acts of the state (its institutions) establish only basic (more general) requirements, which are made more detailed and specific by state schools of higher education and educational establishments in their own (i.e. local) legal acts. However, the discretion of the Government to establish the general minimum requirements (which must help to improve the quality of science of Lithuania and to promote its international imparting) applicable to the scientists who seek to hold a certain position at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state scientific institutes and state educational establishments is limited by the norms and principles of the Constitution, inter alia, the constitutional principle of proportionality. For instance, the legal regulation, when conditions related to publication of results of their scientific research, which can hardly be met due to the reasons, the possibilities of elimination of which by the State of Lithuania are small or no attempts to eliminate which are made by it, are set forth for the scientists or researchers who wish to continue their scientific activity or make a scientific career (for example, to hold certain office at a scientific or educational institution), would be constitutionally unreasoned. The said ruling of the Constitutional Court also emphasised the need of the differentiated legal regulation: the minimum qualification requirements not only may, but even must be differentiated by taking into account the specifics of the respective spheres and subject areas of science, which determine greater or smaller possibilities of their international imparting, as well.

It was also held in the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007 that when establishing the requirements that should be met by the scientist in order to become eligible for aspiring to a respective position at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state scientific institutes and state educational establishments, one may also establish by means of government resolutions the requirement whereby the scientists who have published scientific works in such scientific publications that are reviewed in various international databases (thus, those scientific works are recognised by the scientific and academic community as authoritative ones and this gives reason to presume that these scientific works are important) could aspire to the respective positions at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state scientific institutes and state educational establishments. However, such requirements may not be made absolute, since the mere fact that scientific works are not published in publications that are reviewed in the international databases does not mean in itself that these scientific works are not important: the importance of scientific works should be assessed not only according to the fact that they are published in scientific publications that are reviewed in various international databases, but, first of all, according to their novelty, original ideas, fundamentality, impact upon formation of new spheres and/or subject areas of scientific research, etc., but not according to the said formal criterion only. Therefore, in case the said formal requirement is established, the said acts, alongside, also have to establish an alternative—other requirements related to the importance of scientific works, upon meeting which the scientists could hold a respective position. The system of requirements, which should be met by the scientists in order to become eligible for holding a respective position at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state scientific institutes and state educational establishments, may not be such, where scientific works published in Lithuanian are considered not fully-fledged, second class works; due to the fact that the possibilities of the scientists who work in the spheres and subject areas of humanitarian and social sciences to publish scientific works and the results of scientific research in the publications that are reviewed in the international databases are often more complicated and limited, only the formal indicators such as a certain amount of published scientific works, their publishing in namely such publications which are assessed in the international databases, a certain period of time in which the scientific works must be published, etc. or such formal requirement as the one that the publication must be reviewed before publishing it, etc., not always permit revealing the real qualification of the scientist and the value and importance of his scientific works—in order to do that, first of all, an extremely qualified and impartial expertise assessment of the scientific works, including those which are published in the publications which are assessed in the international databases, is necessary. While creating a system of expertise assessment of scientific works, one must attentively hear an opinion of the scientific and academic community; the Constitution does not prohibit any such legal regulation, either, whereby it is an institution (or institutions), which in reality represents scientific and academic community and which is formed from authoritative scientists, which has the powers to establish systems of expertise assessment of scientific works, to entrench the criteria for assessment of scientific works and to regulate other most important relations linked to that; especially, when one takes account of the principle of autonomy of schools of higher education consolidated in the Constitution, while taking account of the general main requirements which are established by an institution (or institutions), which in reality represents scientific and academic community and which is formed from authoritative scientists, also such legal regulation that the schools of higher education themselves could establish the specific criteria for assessment of the qualification of a scientist, would not be incompatible with the Constitution, either.

5. Article 107 of the Constitution provides that a law (or part thereof) of the Republic of Lithuania or other act (or part thereof) of the Seimas, act of the President of the Republic, act (or part thereof) of the Government may not be applied from the day of the official publication of the decision of the Constitutional Court that the act in question (or part thereof) is in conflict with the Constitution (Paragraph 1); the decisions of the Constitutional Court on the issues within its competence according to the Constitution shall be final and not subject to appeal (Paragraph 2). Thus, every legal act (part thereof) of the Seimas, the President of the Republic or the Government, as well as that passed by referendum, which by a decision (ruling) of the Constitutional Court is ruled to be in conflict with a certain legal act of higher force, inter alia (and, first of all), with the Constitution, is removed from the Lithuanian legal system for good and one will never be able to apply it again (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 28 March 2006, 6 June 2006 and its decision of 8 August 2006); a constitutional duty arises for a corresponding law-making subject—the Seimas, the President of the Republic, or the Government—to recognise such legal act (part thereof) as no longer valid or, if it is impossible to do that without the corresponding legal regulation of the social relations in question, to change it so that the newly established legal regulation is not in conflict with legal acts of higher legal force, inter alia (and, first of all), the Constitution; but even until this constitutional duty is carried out, the corresponding legal act (part thereof) may not be applied under any circumstances. In this respect the legal force of such a legal act is abolished (the Constitutional Court’s decision of 8 August 2006).

When new laws are adopted, amended and/or already adopted laws and legal acts are supplemented (also when new legal regulation is established in order to meet the requirements of the Constitution, or when the existing legal regulation is corrected in order to harmonise it with the Constitution), all law-making subjects are bound by the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court, inter alia, the official constitutional doctrine formed therein (in the parts of reasoning of the Constitutional Court’s acts), i.e. the official concept (official construction) of provisions (norms and principles) of the Constitution as well as other legal arguments set forth in acts of the Constitutional Court (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 30 May 2003, its decision of 20 September 2005, its rulings of 14 March 2006, 28 March 2006, 9 May 2006, and 6 June 2006, its decision of 8 August 2006). The legal acts passed by the Seimas, the President of the Republic and the Government, and those adopted by referendum, which establish a new (different) legal regulation instead of the legal regulation that was recognised by the Constitutional Court as being in conflict with the Constitution, or which recognise legal acts (parts thereof) which are in conflict with the Constitution as no longer valid, under the established procedure may be challenged at the Constitutional Court (the Constitutional Court’s decision of 8 August 2006).

6. After a ruling of the Constitutional Court goes into effect, whereby a law (part thereof) is ruled to be in conflict with the Constitution, various indeterminacies, lacunae legis—gaps in the legal regulation, or even a vacuum might arise in the legal system; in order to evade this, the legal regulation should be corrected in time so that the gaps in the legal regulation and other indeterminacies could be removed and that the legal regulation might become clear and harmonious (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 19 January 2005 and 23 August 2005 and its decision of 8 August 2006). The Constitution does not tolerate any such situation where a corresponding law-making subject avoids or delays the adoption of corresponding laws and other legal acts whereby, while following the official concept of the provisions of the Constitution, which is set forth in rulings of the Constitutional Court, the legal regulation that was recognised to be in conflict with legal acts of higher legal force, inter alia (and, first of all), the Constitution, would be respectively corrected; such situation is especially not to be tolerated, when, after upon the entry into force of a ruling of the Constitutional Court, which recognised a certain legal act (part thereof) to be in conflict with the Constitution (or another legal act of higher legal force), a lacuna legis—a legal gap—arises, i.e. when certain social relations remain legally unregulated, although, when heeding the imperatives of the consistency and inner uniformity that arise from the Constitution and while account is taken of the content of these social relations, they must be legally regulated (the Constitutional Court’s decision of 8 August 2006).

In this context, it needs to be mentioned that legal gaps (including legislative omission) which are in legal acts of lower legal force can be filled ad hoc, when courts within their competence decide cases on an individual social relation and when they apply (and construe) law. Therefore, in cases where, instead of the legal regulation that was recognised by the Constitutional Court as being in conflict with a legal act of higher legal force, inter alia, the Constitution, a corresponding law-making subject has not passed a legal act (acts) (parts thereof) which establish a new (different) legal regulation harmonised with the said legal acts of higher legal force, inter alia, the Constitution, the courts have a constitutional duty to ensure the rights and freedoms of the person who applies to court regarding violation of his rights or freedoms, and they have to ensure other constitutional values; thus, the courts, doubtless to say, enjoy the powers which stem from the Constitution to apply, inter alia, the general principles of law, as well as legal acts of higher legal force, and, first of all, the Constitution—supreme law. However, it needs to be emphasised that when the courts execute these constitutional powers, legal gaps are not removed for good—they are only filled ad hoc; still, this permits the ensuring of the protection of the rights and freedoms of the person, who applies to court regarding defence of his violated rights, precisely in that individual social relation due to which the case is considered in court (the Constitutional Court’s decision of 8 August 2006 and its ruling of 7 June 2007).

7. As from 12 May 2007, i.e. the day of the entry into force of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007, the provision “in both cases, it is compulsory that not less than 2 scientific articles be published in the publications which are included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information” and the provision “at least one of which must be published in the publication which is included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information” of Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure as approved by government resolution No. 962 of 18 July 2003, i.e. the requirement to the persons who work in the spheres of humanitarian and social sciences and who seek habilitation to publish not less than the established amount (ether two or one) of scientific articles in the publications that are included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information, may not be applied.

8. It needs to be noted that in the constitutional justice case, wherein the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007 was adopted, the legal regulation established in Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure was investigated only in the aspect which was impugned by the President of the Republic, the petitioner. The other formal requirements (which are not related with publishing articles in the publications included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information) to the persons who seek the so-called habilitation and who work in the spheres of humanitarian and social sciences was not a matter of investigation in the said constitutional justice case in the aspect of their compliance with the Constitution, as for example the requirements that a scientist, who is seeking habilitation, must meet the following requirements: after being granted the degree of a doctor, must publish not less than 15 scientific articles (unless he is an author of a monograph or a co-author of a joint monograph) and that these articles must be published namely in reviewed periodical scientific publications, that he must publish a reviewed scientific monograph of not less than 10 printing sheets or if he is a co-author of a reviewed joint scientific monograph, and wherein his personal contribution composes not less than 10 printing sheets, that such monographs must be duly reviewed, that such monographs must be published namely not less than a year before presenting the application to perform the habilitation procedure, that they must be distributed through book-shops, that they must meet the requirements established by the Minister of Science and Education, etc.

9. It needs to be emphasised that the provision “in both cases, it is compulsory that not less than 2 scientific articles be published in the publications which are included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information” and the provision “at least one of which must be published in the publication which is included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information” of Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure were a constituent part of the overall legal regulation designed for the establishment of the requirements to the persons who seek the so-called habilitation and who work in the spheres of humanitarian and social sciences

4. Item 3 of the Habilitation Procedure provided that a scientist who seeks for habilitation, must meet the following requirements:

3.1. After being granted the degree of a doctor, he published not less than 15 scientific articles in the reviewed periodical scientific publications. If a scientist, not less than a year before presenting the application to perform the habilitation procedure, published a reviewed scientific monograph of not less than 10 printing sheets or if he is a co-author of a reviewed joint scientific monograph, which was published not less than a year ago, and wherein his personal contribution composes not less than 10 printing sheets, upon a decision of the commission specified in Item 7 of this Habilitation Procedure, the published scientific works may be fewer, but not less than 8. The monograph must be distributed through book-shops and it must meet the requirements established by the Ministry of Science and Education. In both cases, it is compulsory that not less than 2 scientific articles be published in the publications which are included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information. The scientist who has produced significant works of experimental development (sold licences, technologies etc.), taking account of the importance of the works of experimental development, and which, according to the procedure established by the university senate or council of the institution of scientific research, was assessed by the commission specified in Item 7 of this Habilitation Procedure, as well as the scientist, who issued text books for schools of higher education, under the decision of the commission specified in Item 7 of this Habilitation Procedure, may be required to have less scientific articles published, however, they must be not less than 8, at least one of which must be published in the publication which is included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information;

3.2. He prepared a review <…> of the scientific works which are submitted for the habilitation procedure, wherein the presented publications are summarised and the main indicators of works are reviewed. In the review a list of summaries and scientific publications shall be presented. It is possible not to prepare the review if the monograph specified in Item 3.1 of this Procedure meets the requirements of this item. The recommended size of the review is up to one printing sheet.”

10. It needs to be held that the provisions of the official constitutional doctrine, which were set forth in the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007, by following which the provisions of Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure were recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution, should be applied not only to these provisions, but also to the overall legal regulation of the relations linked with the formal requirements to the persons who seek the so-called habilitation and who work in the spheres of humanitarian and social sciences, thus, also to other provisions of Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure (also to the legal regulation established in other items of the Habilitation Procedure, perhaps, also in other legal acts of the Government, which is directly related with the legal regulation stated above).

11. It also needs to be emphasised that, as mentioned before, it was held in the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007 that “the requirements (which are entrenched in the legal acts), whereby the scientist who seeks to hold certain positions in state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state scientific institutes and state scientific establishments, has to have a certain amount of scientific works published in such publications which are assessed in the international databases should not be regarded as absolute ones”, that “the said formal requirements to have a certain amount of scientific works published in such publications which are assessed in the international databases may be one of the especially important criteria of the significance of scientific works, thus, also of the assessment of the qualification of the scientist”, however, “only the formal indicators such as a certain amount of published scientific works, their publishing in namely such publications which are assessed in the international databases, a certain period of time in which the scientific works must be published, etc. or such formal requirements as the one that the publication must be reviewed before publishing it, etc. not always permit revealing the real qualification of the scientist and the value and significance of his scientific works”. It was also held that “The system of the requirements which must be fulfilled by the scientist so that he could aspire to the corresponding positions in state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state scientific institutes and state scientific establishments must be such that it would be possible to decide on the qualification and significance of the scientific work of the scientist not only from the amount of his published scientific works, as well as not only from the fact in what period of time these scientific works (scientific articles) are published and in what scientific publications (which are assessed in the international databases or which are not assessed in them) they are published, but, first of all, according to the value and significance of the scientific works published by the scientists, inter alia, according to their novelty, originality, fundamentality, influence on the formation of the new spheres of scientific research, etc. It has been mentioned that the mere fact that the scientific works are not published in the publications which are assessed in the international databases does not mean that such scientific works are insignificant. In order to assess the value, significance and quality of the scientific works, it is not enough that they meet some established formal requirements of imparting, including international imparting—in order to do that, first of all, an extremely qualified and impartial expertise assessment of the scientific works, including those which are published in the publications which are assessed in the international databases, is necessary”.

It was held in the same ruling of the Constitutional Court that “the most important criterion proving the scientist’s competence, of course, is the significance of scientific works published by him, and this importance may not be determined only according to the fact whether these scientific works have been published namely in the publications that are reviewed in the international databases” also that “really significant scientific works are often published even in very authoritative scientific publications recognised by the scientific society at large that are not reviewed in the international databases, besides, really significant scientific works are often published in other ways (for example, by issuing a significant monograph or another publication, collections of articles by various authors, in which important problems are examined, etc.)”.

12. Therefore, although the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007 recognised only the said two provisions (which consolidated the requirement to the persons who seek the so-called habilitation and who work in the spheres of humanitarian and social sciences to publish a certain amount of scientific articles in the publications which are included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information) of Item 3.1 of the Habilitation procedure as being in conflict with the Constitution, the Government, while following, inter alia, the provisions of the official constitutional doctrine that have been quoted herein, must, under the Constitution, accordingly amend the entire legal regulation established in this item of the Habilitation Procedure (as well as the legal regulation established in other items of the Habilitation Procedure, perhaps, also in other legal acts of the Government, which is directly related with the legal regulation stated above), so that the newly established legal regulation would not be in conflict with legal acts of higher legal force, inter alia (and, first of all), with the Constitution, and that it would be in conformity with the official constitutional doctrine set forth in the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007.

13. This has not been done so far.

It needs to be held that until this is done, the legal situation related with the so-called habilitation procedure is not only insufficiently defined, but it is deficient in essence and should be corrected: under the legal regulation established by the Government (the legal regulation that has not been amended yet), it is possible that the value of the scientific work (and its significance) of the persons who seek the so-called habilitation and who work in the spheres of humanitarian and social sciences will be further assessed not on the grounds of the novelty, originality, fundamentality, influence on the formation of the new spheres of scientific research, etc. of the scientific work of these persons, but only according to the formal criteria (indicators) specified in the said item of the Habilitation Procedure. All this also creates preconditions for the occurrence of legal disputes.

It needs to be noted that, as it was maintained by the representative of the Government, the party concerned, at the Constitutional Court’s hearing of 29 January 2008, the fact that certain laws may be amended, the Government is not exempted from the fulfilment of the said constitutional duty, especially when the adoption and amendment of laws is the prerogative of the Seimas, but not of the Government; the Government cannot be guided by the laws that are not adopted yet.

14. What has been stated in this decision of the Constitutional Court in describing the legal situation related with the so-called habilitation procedure, which occurred after the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007 came into force, should also be said mutatis mutandis as regards the legal situation related with the formal minimum qualification requirements, which must be met by the scientists aspiring to hold the position of a professor or a chief scientific worker.

15. It has been mentioned that the provisions that the scientists who have performed the habilitation procedure or have the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor and who in the last 5 years have fulfilled at least one of the following requirements: “3.1.2. published scientific articles in the periodical, serial or one-off publications which are assessed in the international databases <…>”; “3.1.3. published <…> and at least one scientific article in the periodical or serial publication which is assessed in the international databases”; and “3.1.4. <…> and published at least one article in the publication which is assessed in the international databases” may aspire to the positions of the professor or chief scientific worker of Item 3.1 of the Description were recognised by the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007 as being not in conflict with the Constitution.

16. In the constitutional justice case, wherein the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007 was adopted, the provisions of Item 3.1 of the Description were investigated only in the aspect in which the compliance of the said item with the Constitution was impugned by the President of the Republic, the petitioner, namely in the aspect that, under the said item, the scientists who have performed the habilitation procedure or have the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor and who in the last 5 years have fulfilled at least one of the following requirements: published scientific articles in the periodical, serial or one-off publications which are assessed in the international databases (Item 3.1.2.), published (excluding a significant work of science or a textbook for a school of higher education) at least one scientific article in the periodical or serial publication which is assessed in the international databases (Item 3.1.3), published (excluding publications of significant sources of science or carrying out significant scientific works) at least one article in the publication which is assessed in the international databases (Item 3.1.4). Other provisions of this item were not a matter of investigation in the aspect of their compliance with the Constitution in the said constitutional justice case.

17. Alongside, it needs to be emphasised that the said provisions are a constituent part of the overall legal regulation (and of Item 3.1 of the Description) of the relations linked with the general minimum qualification requirements for the scientists who seek to hold the position of a professor or a chief scientific worker.

Therefore, the provisions of the official constitutional doctrine, which were set forth in the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007, by following which the provisions of Item 3.1 of the Description were recognised as being not in conflict with the Constitution, should be applied not only to these provisions, but also to the overall legal regulation of the relations linked with the formal requirements to the persons who seek the so-called habilitation and who work in the spheres of humanitarian and social sciences, thus, also to other provisions of Item 3.1 of the Description (also to the legal regulation established in other items of the Description, perhaps, also in other legal acts of the Government, which is directly related with the legal regulation stated above).

18. Under Item 3 of the Description, “the scientists who, under the procedure established by the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 962) ‘On Approving the Habilitation Procedure’ of 18 July 2003 (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2003, No. 73-3396) have performed the habilitation procedure or have the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor and who, in the last 5 years, have fulfilled at least one of the following requirements:

3.1.1. published a significant monograph of science, study, fundamental and original theoretical work of science which were issued in the recognised publishing house;

3.1.2. published scientific articles in the periodical, serial or one-off publications which are assessed in the international databases and who successfully conducted the preparation of doctors of science or prepared methodical aids;

3.1.3. published a significant work of science or a textbook for a school of higher education and at least one scientific article in the periodical or serial publication which is assessed in the international databases;

3.1.4. published publications of significant sources of science or carried out significant applied scientific works and published at least one article in the publication which is assessed in the international databases,

may aspire to the positions of the professor or chief scientific worker”.

19. It has been mentioned that in the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007 the requirement that the scientists aspiring to hold the position of a professor or a chief scientific worker, must get their scientific articles published in the publications which are included in recognised international databases (the list whereof must be drawn by the Council of Science of Lithuania) (inter alia, in the publications reviewed in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information), was not recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution due to the fact that the overall legal regulation did not prevent the scientists who had not published their scientific articles in the scientific publications reviewed in such databases to aspire to hold the position of a professor or a chief scientific worker, provided they had fulfilled another, alternative requirement.

In particular, the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007 held that “the legal regulation established in Items 3.1.2, 3.1.3 and 3.1.4 of the Description <…> which is assessed together with the legal regulation established in entire Item 3 of the Description <…> and in Item 3.1.1 of the Description <…> does not prevent also the scientists who have not published scientific articles in such scientific publications which are assessed in the international databases from aspiring to the positions of the professor or chief scientific worker”, also that “the provisions of Items 3.1.2, 3.1.3 and 3.1.4 of the Description <…> do not enshrine that the scientific articles must be published in the publications assessed in the international databases namely in any foreign language and not in the Lithuanian language. The requirement of prohibiting the publication of scientific articles in the Lithuanian language exists neither in the impugned provisions of Item 3.1 of the Description <…>, nor in other provisions of the Description. In itself, the mere fact that publishing the scientific articles in the publications in Lithuanian may aggravate, and quite often aggravates the possibilities of assessing such publications in the international databases, may not be a sufficient ground to state that in such a manner the status of the Lithuanian language as the state language is disregarded”.

20. Thus, the presence of the said alternative requirement constituted sufficient grounds to recognise, in the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007, that the impugned provisions of Item 3.1 of the Description are not in conflict with the Constitution, however, this in itself does not approbate the overall legal regulation of the relations linked with the formal minimum qualification requirements that must be met by the scientists who aspire to hold the position of a professor or a chief scientific worker, thus, also the entire legal regulation established in Item 3.1 of the Description; as mentioned before, a great many provisions of the said item were not a matter of investigation in the aspect of their compliance with the Constitution in the said constitutional justice case.

Thus, the recognition that the provisions of Item 3.1 of the Description are not in conflict with the Constitution does not at all mean that the Government does not have a duty to amend, while heeding the official constitutional doctrine set forth in the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007 (inter alia, those provisions, which have been quoted in this decision of the Constitutional Court), the legal regulation established in this item (also the legal regulation established in other items of the Description, perhaps, also in other legal acts of the Government, which are related with this item,); this legal regulation should be amended so that a sufficiently flexible system of minimum qualification requirements, which must be met by the scientists who aspire to hold the position of a professor or a chief scientific worker, becomes established, wherein also alternative criteria are consolidated, permitting an assessment of the qualification and suitability of the scientist to hold corresponding positions in corresponding institutions first of all according to the value and importance of the scientific works published by him, and not only according to formal (quantitative) criteria.

21. This has not been done so far. Thus, one has not eliminated the preconditions for the occurrence of such situations where, after one has adequately assessed the novelty, originality, fundamentality, influence on the formation of the new spheres of scientific research, etc. of the scientific work of scientists, thus, also their qualification, there are no possibilities of adopting a decision favourable to those scientists as regards their suitability to hold certain positions in a state institution of science and studies. If the corresponding legal regulation were not amended, preconditions for the occurrence of legal disputes would be created.

22. The Government, which, under the Constitution, must amend the entire legal regulation related with the formal requirements to the persons who seek the so-called habilitation and who work in the areas of humanitarian and social sciences, as well as the entire legal regulation linked with the relations of the formal minimum qualification requirements which must be met by the scientists aspiring to the position of a professor or a chief scientific worker (which was established in the legal acts investigated in the constitutional justice case wherein the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007 was adopted, as well as the legal regulation established in other legal acts of the Government, which is directly related with the legal regulation in question) so that the qualification and the value and significance of scientific works of the persons who seek the so-called habilitation and who work in the areas of humanitarian and social sciences, and of the scientists aspiring to the position of a professor or a chief scientific worker, could be assessed not only according to formal (quantitative) criteria (indicators), but also according to novelty, original ideas, fundamentality, impact upon formation of new spheres and/or subject areas of scientific research, etc., and must also pay heed to the autonomy of schools of higher education entrenched in the Constitution.

23. In this context, it should be noted that, as it was held in the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007, especially, when one takes account of the principle of autonomy of schools of higher education consolidated in the Constitution, while taking account of the general main requirements which are established by an institution (or institutions), which in reality represents scientific and academic community, which is formed from authoritative scientists, also such legal regulation that the schools of higher education themselves could establish the specific criteria for assessment of the qualification of a scientist, would not be incompatible with the Constitution.

Thus, the fact that the legal acts of the Government have established the criteria by following which the importance of the scientific works of the persons who work in the areas of humanitarian and social sciences, when it is decided as regards the habilitation of a corresponding scientist or his suitability to hold a certain position in a state institution of science and studies, does not mean that schools of higher education do not have the right to establish also additional criteria for assessment of such scientific works, which would permit an assessment of the value of the scientific works published by the scientist, inter alia, according to their novelty, original ideas, fundamentality, impact upon formation of new spheres and/or subject areas of scientific research, etc.

Thus, the powers of schools of higher education in this area, if compared with the legal regulation established at present, could be broadened.

24. However, it needs to be emphasised that the autonomy of schools of higher education entrenched in the Constitution does not at all imply that the powers to establish concrete criteria for assessment of the qualification of the scientist (by taking account of the main general requirements established by an institution, which genuinely represents the scientific and academic community and which is composed of authoritative scientists) may be granted to all schools of higher education. Quite to the contrary, the rights enjoyed by schools of higher education may be differentiated (by heeding the Constitution) according to various important criteria, inter alia, according to the fact as to what status of these schools of higher education is (i.e. whether they are universities or not), what level of higher education is provided by them to the persons that learn in them, what syllabi they implement, what their scientific potential is, etc.

25. In addition, the fact that schools of higher education have the right to establish additional criteria for assessment of scientific works, by following which the importance of the scientific works of persons who work in the areas of humanitarian and social sciences, when it is decided as regards the habilitation of a corresponding scientist or his suitability to hold a certain position in a state institution of science and studies, does not mean that it is allowed to disregard the formal requirements to the persons who seek the so-called habilitation and who work in the areas of humanitarian and social sciences, as well as the formal general minimum qualification requirements which must be met by the scientists aspiring to the position of a professor or a chief scientific worker, which are established by the state (its institutions) within its competence (also, by heeding the Constitution and the official constitutional doctrine set forth in the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007).

26. It should also be noted that the powers of the schools of higher education to interpret the applied provisions of the Habilitation Procedure and the Description may not be denied. Inter alia, the powers of schools of higher education to interpret (and to correspondingly apply, as well as to establish the local legal regulation) the provisions regarding “reviewed periodical scientific publications”, “reviewed scientific monographs”, “personal contribution in a reviewed joint scientific monograph”, “co-authors of reviewed joint scientific monographs”, “distribution of monographs through book-shops”, “significant works of experimental development”, “the importance of works of experimental development”, and “text-books for schools of higher education” of Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure, as well as the provisions regarding “significant monographs of science, study, fundamental and original theoretical works of science”, “recognised publishing houses”, “successful preparation of doctors of science”, “methodical aids”, “significant works of science or textbooks for a school of higher education”, “publications of significant sources of science”, “significant applied scientific works” of Item 3.1 of the Description, may not be denied. These provisions should be interpreted not (or, not only) quantitatively.

27. On the other hand, it should also be emphasised that, while interpreting and applying these (and other) provisions of legal acts and establishing the corresponding local legal regulation, as well as that related with the requirements to the persons who seek the so-called habilitation and who work in the areas of humanitarian and social sciences, as well as with the qualification requirements which must be met by the scientists aspiring to the position of a professor or a chief scientific worker (especially, if the powers of schools of higher education in this area were broadened in comparison with the legal regulation established at present), the schools of higher education may not create any preconditions for situations, where the persons whose scientific works are not significant could fulfil the so-called habilitation procedure and hold the position of a professor and a chief scientific worker, thus, their qualification is not sufficient for the corresponding position. If such preconditions were created, scientific titles and the value of scientific works could really become devalued (not only in corresponding schools, but also in the entire country), the level of science of Lithuania would go into decline, and the quality of studies in schools of higher education would become worse; the specialists who spoke at the Constitutional Court’s hearing of 29 January 2008 drew one’s attention to such danger.

28. It needs to be especially emphasised that, under the Constitution, schools of higher education (both state and non-state ones) not only make use of their autonomy, but also they discharge an important social function—they provide higher education—while the provision of proper and qualitative higher education is impossible without scientific research of high level, thus, it is impossible without scientists of high qualification. It is impossible that the autonomy of schools of higher education is not linked with their mission to prepare specialists of various spheres who have acquired higher education, who meet the requirements of society and the state, thus, with big responsibility of schools of higher education for the quality of higher education.

The creation of the preconditions for devaluing scientific titles and scientific works would alongside mean that preconditions are created for violation of the rights of other persons as well, and, first of all, the right of the human being to seek to attain higher education, which stems from the Constitution, and which implies, as it was held by the Constitutional Court in its rulings of 14 January 2002 and 7 June 2007, the duty of the state to create preconditions for the implementation of this right. It needs to be held that the said constitutional right of a human being implies the duty of schools of higher education to provide not any education, but proper and qualitative education to students; the same duty also implies the right of students to demand precisely this proper and qualitative higher education from the schools of higher education in which they are studying. If these constitutional imperatives were disregarded (while creation of the preconditions for devaluing scientific titles and the value of scientific works would precisely mean that these imperatives are disregarded), there would be grounds for doubts whether the corresponding school of higher education reasonably and properly is making use of the autonomy entrenched in the Constitution and whether the status of a school of higher education is reasonably and lawfully recognised to it.

29. It needs to be emphasised that in the constitutional justice case, wherein the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007 was adopted, one impugned the legal regulation established by the Government which was designed for the assessment of scientific works of certain scientists, thus, also, of their qualification, when it is decided on the habilitation of these scientists and their suitability to hold certain positions in a state institution of science and studies (individual aspect of the assessment), but not for the assessment of the results of the activities of the corresponding state institution of science and studies, i.e. not the assessment of the “scientific production” (the scientific works of the scientists who work in the said institution), where the financing of the activity of such institution (thus, also that of the scientific activity of the scientists who work in it) depends on the aforesaid assessment (institutional aspect of assessment) (it has been mentioned that the difference between these two aspects of the assessment of scientific activity was emphasised also by some of the specialists who spoke at the Constitutional Court’s hearing of 29 January 2008).

Therefore, the fact that the Government must, under the Constitution, amend the entire legal regulation related with the formal requirements to the persons who seek the so-called habilitation and who work in the areas of humanitarian and social sciences, as well as the entire legal regulation linked with the relations of the formal minimum qualification requirements which must be met by the scientists aspiring to the position of a professor or a chief scientific worker (which was established in the legal acts investigated in the constitutional justice case wherein the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007 was adopted, as well as the legal regulation established in other legal acts of the Government, which is directly related with the legal regulation in question) so that the qualification and the value and significance of scientific works of the persons who seek the so-called habilitation and who work in the areas of humanitarian and social sciences, and of the scientists aspiring to the position of a professor or a chief scientific worker, could be assessed not only according to formal (quantitative) criteria (indicators), but also according to novelty, original ideas, fundamentality, impact upon formation of new spheres and/or subject areas of scientific research, etc., does not mean that the same requirements are applicable of their own accord also to the legal regulation (as well as to the one established by the Government) designed for the assessment of the “scientific production” (the scientific works of the scientists who work in the said institution), where the financing of the activity of such institution (thus, also that of the scientific activity of the scientists who work in it) depends on the aforesaid assessment.

30. The provisions of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007, the construction of which is requested by the President of the Republic, should be construed while taking account of these provisions (i.e. the provisions set forth in Section II or the reasoning part of this decision of the Constitutional Court).

III

1. The President of the Republic requests, inter alia, the construction of whether the provisions “the requirements to have a certain number of scientific works published in publications that are reviewed in the international databases, may not be made absolute. The importance of scientific works should be assessed not only according to the fact that they are published in scientific publications that are reviewed in various international databases, but, first of all, according to their novelty, original ideas, fundamentality, impact upon formation of new spheres and/or subject areas of scientific research, etc. <…> Thus, if it is established in legal acts that the respective positions at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state institutes of science and state educational establishments may be held by the scientists who have published scientific works in the publications that are reviewed in the international databases, such requirement may not be made an absolute one, the said legal acts, alongside, also have to establish an alternative—other requirements related to the significance of scientific works, upon meeting which the scientists could hold a respective position” of Item 17 of Section III of the reasoning part of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007 mean that in the course of assessment of importance of scientific works of a scientist one has to take account not only of the scientific works that meet the formal criteria, but also of his entire scientific activity.

2. Taking account of the provisions set forth in Section II or the reasoning part of this decision of the Constitutional Court, it should be held that in the course of assessment of the importance of scientific works of the persons who work in the areas of humanitarian and social sciences, when it is decided on the habilitation of a corresponding scientist or his suitability to hold a certain position in a state institution of science and studies, no formal (quantitative) requirements (inter alia, the amount of published scientific works, their volume, the fact in what publications they were published, the time period within which scientific works must be published, the reviewing of the publication before it is published etc.) may be made absolute; that legal acts must also establish alternative criteria, permitting an assessment of the value and significance of the works published by the scientist, inter alia, according to their novelty, original ideas, fundamentality, impact upon formation of new spheres and/or subject areas of scientific research, etc. (however, it does not mean that the same requirements are applicable of their own accord also to the legal regulation designed for the assessment of the “scientific production” (the scientific works of the scientists who work in the said institution), where the financing of the activity of such institution (thus, also that of the scientific activity of the scientists who work in it) depends on the aforesaid assessment). While establishing the legal regulation linked with the requirements to the persons who seek the so-called habilitation and who work in the areas of humanitarian and social sciences, as well as with the qualification requirements which must be met by the scientists aspiring to the position of a professor or a chief scientific worker, one must pay heed to the autonomy of schools of higher education entrenched in the Constitution. The existing legal regulation established by the Government must be amended accordingly.

Alongside, it needs to be emphasised that it is not allowed that preconditions be created to devalue scientific titles and the value of scientific works, thus, also to worsen the quality of studies in schools of higher education. In addition, the provisions set forth herein do not mean that it is allowed to disregard the formal requirements, which have been established by the state (its institutions) within its competence, to the persons who seek the so-called habilitation and who work in the areas of humanitarian and social sciences, as well as the formal general minimum qualification requirements which must be met by the scientists aspiring to the position of a professor or a chief scientific worker.

3. Taking account of the arguments set forth, it should be held that the provisions “the requirements to have a certain number of scientific works published in publications that are reviewed in the international databases, may not be made absolute. The importance of scientific works should be assessed not only according to the fact that they are published in scientific publications that are reviewed in various international databases, but, first of all, according to their novelty, original ideas, fundamentality, impact upon formation of new spheres and/or subject areas of scientific research, etc. <…> Thus, if it is established in legal acts that the respective positions at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state institutes of science and state educational establishments may be held by the scientists who have published scientific works in the publications that are reviewed in the international databases, such requirement may not be made an absolute one, the said legal acts, alongside, also have to establish an alternative—other requirements related to the significance of scientific works, upon meeting which the scientists could hold a respective position” of Item 17 of Section III of the reasoning part of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007 also mean that in the course of assessment of the importance of scientific works of the persons who work in the areas of humanitarian and social sciences, when it is decided on the habilitation of a corresponding scientist or his suitability to hold a certain position in a state institution of science and studies, no formal (quantitative) requirements may be made absolute; that legal acts must also establish alternative criteria, permitting an assessment of the value and significance of the works published by the scientist, inter alia, according to their novelty, original ideas, fundamentality, impact upon formation of new spheres and/or subject areas of scientific research, etc.; these provisions of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007 imply a duty of the Government to amend the legal regulation established at present in its legal acts so that it would be in conformity with the official constitutional doctrine which is set forth in the said ruling of the Constitutional Court.

IV

1. By his decree of 13 December 2007, the President of the Republic requests, inter alia, the construction of whether the provisions “the requirements to have a certain number of scientific works published in publications that are reviewed in the international databases, may not be made absolute. The importance of scientific works should be assessed not only according to the fact that they are published in scientific publications that are reviewed in various international databases, but, first of all, according to their novelty, original ideas, fundamentality, impact upon formation of new spheres and/or subject areas of scientific research, etc. <…> Thus, if it is established in legal acts that the respective positions at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state institutes of science and state educational establishments may be held by the scientists who have published scientific works in the publications that are reviewed in the international databases, such requirement may not be made an absolute one, the said legal acts, alongside, also have to establish an alternative—other requirements related to the significance of scientific works, upon meeting which the scientists could hold a respective position” of Item 17 of Section III of the reasoning part of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007 mean that the Government can establish only formal criteria to assess scientific works and not to grant the right to schools of higher education to establish other, alternative criteria permitting an assessment of the importance and quality of all scientific works of the person, also whether the provision “When one decides what requirements should be met by the scientist in order to make it possible to hold that his competence is the one, which is necessary for him to become eligible for aspiring to respective positions at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state institutes of science and state educational establishments, one should attentively hear opinion of the state and other authoritative scientific institutions uniting scientists of various spheres of science” of Item 20 of Section III and the provisions “While creating a system of expertise assessment of scientific works, one must attentively hear an opinion of the scientific and academic community; the Constitution does not prohibit any such legal regulation, either, whereby it is an institution (or institutions) (which in reality represents scientific and academic community, which is formed from authoritative scientists), which would have the powers to establish systems of expertise assessment of scientific works, to entrench the criteria for assessment of scientific works and to regulate other most important relations linked to that. Especially, when one takes account of the principle of autonomy of schools of higher education consolidated in the Constitution, while taking account of the general main requirements which are established by an institution (or institutions), which in reality represents scientific and academic community, which is formed from authoritative scientists, also such legal regulation that the schools of higher education themselves could establish the specific criteria for assessment of the qualification of a scientist, would not be incompatible with the Constitution” of Item 6 of Section IV of the reasoning part of the same ruling of the Constitutional Court mean that that the discretion of the Government in establishing the criteria by following which the importance of scientific works is assessed, is limited, and that the said criteria can be established not only by the Government, but also schools of higher education, also to construe as to what “proportion of discretions” of the Government and schools of higher education is implied by the said provisions.

2. These questions raised by the President of the Republic, the petitioner, who submitted the request to provide the construction of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007, are interrelated, therefore, the corresponding provisions of the said ruling of the Constitutional Court should be construed in conjunction with each other.

3. Taking account of the provisions set forth in Section II or the reasoning part of this decision of the Constitutional Court, it should be held that the discretion of the Government to establish the criteria by following which the importance of scientific works of the persons who work in the spheres of humanitarian and social sciences, when it is decided on the habilitation of a corresponding scientist or his suitability to hold a certain position in a state institution of science and studies, is limited—such discretion is limited by the Constitution. Resolutions of the Government must be grounded on laws, they may not contain any provisions competing with the legal regulation established in the laws. The Government, while establishing the said criteria, must also pay heed to the autonomy of schools of higher education entrenched in the Constitution. The Government may not establish only formal criteria by following which the importance of scientific works of the persons who work in the spheres of humanitarian and social sciences is assessed, when it is decided on the habilitation of a corresponding scientist or his suitability to hold a certain position in a state institution of science and studies, while the Government may not fail to establish such criteria of assessment of scientific works, which would permit an assessment of the value of the scientific works published by the scientists, inter alia, according to their novelty, original ideas, fundamentality, impact upon formation of new spheres and/or subject areas of scientific research, etc.; also, the Government may not fail to grant the right to schools of higher education to establish also additional criteria of assessment of scientific works, which would also permit an assessment of the value of the scientific works published by scientists, inter alia, according to their novelty, original ideas, fundamentality, impact upon formation of new spheres and/or subject areas of scientific research, etc. Under the Constitution, one may also establish the legal regulation where the said criteria are established by schools of higher education themselves after they take account of the main general requirements established by an institution (or institutions), which genuinely represents (represent) the scientific and academic community and which is (are) composed of authoritative scientists; the powers of schools of higher education in this area may be broadened in comparison with the legal regulation established at present. It also needs to be held that the powers of the Government to establish the said criteria also do not deny the powers of schools of higher education to interpret the legal regulation established by the Government so that it would also be possible to assess the value and importance of the published scientific works of a scientist, inter alia, according to their novelty, original ideas, fundamentality, impact upon formation of new spheres and/or subject areas of scientific research, etc.

Alongside, it needs to be noted that schools of higher education must pay heed to the said formal criteria (which by no means can be made absolute and which by no means may have no alternatives (which permit an assessment of the value of the scientific works published by scientists, inter alia, according to their novelty, original ideas, fundamentality, impact upon formation of new spheres and/or subject areas of scientific research, etc.)) established by the Government within its competence.

4. Taking account of the arguments set forth, it should be held that the provisions “the requirements to have a certain number of scientific works published in publications that are reviewed in the international databases, may not be made absolute. The importance of scientific works should be assessed not only according to the fact that they are published in scientific publications that are reviewed in various international databases, but, first of all, according to their novelty, original ideas, fundamentality, impact upon formation of new spheres and/or subject areas of scientific research, etc. <…> Thus, if it is established in legal acts that the respective positions at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state institutes of science and state educational establishments may be held by the scientists who have published scientific works in the publications that are reviewed in the international databases, such requirement may not be made an absolute one, the said legal acts, alongside, also have to establish an alternative—other requirements related to the significance of scientific works, upon meeting which the scientists could hold a respective position” of Item 17 of Section III of the reasoning part of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007, the provision “When one decides what requirements should be met by the scientist in order to make it possible to hold that his competence is the one which is necessary for him to become eligible for aspiring to respective positions at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state institutes of science and state educational establishments, one should attentively hear opinion of the state and other authoritative scientific institutions uniting scientists of various spheres of science” of Item 20 of Section III of the same ruling of the Constitutional Court and the provisions “While creating a system of expertise assessment of scientific works, one must attentively hear an opinion of the scientific and academic community; the Constitution does not prohibit any such legal regulation, either, whereby it is an institution (or institutions) (which in reality represents scientific and academic community, which is formed from authoritative scientists), which would have the powers to establish systems of expertise assessment of scientific works, to entrench the criteria for assessment of scientific works and to regulate other most important relations linked to that. Especially, when one takes account of the principle of autonomy of schools of higher education consolidated in the Constitution, while taking account of the general main requirements which are established by an institution (or institutions), which in reality represents scientific and academic community, which is formed from authoritative scientists, also such legal regulation that the schools of higher education themselves could establish the specific criteria for assessment of the qualification of a scientist, would not be incompatible with the Constitution” of Item 6 of Section IV of the reasoning part of the same ruling of the Constitutional Court also mean that: the discretion of the Government to establish the criteria by following which the importance of scientific works of the persons who work in the spheres of humanitarian and social sciences is assessed, when it is decided on the habilitation of a corresponding scientist or his suitability to hold a certain position in a state institution of science and studies is limited, inter alia, by the fact that, under the Constitution, the Government may not establish only formal criteria by following which the importance of scientific works of the persons who work in the spheres of humanitarian and social sciences is assessed, and it may not fail to establish such criteria of assessment of scientific works, which would permit an assessment of the value of the scientific works published by the scientists, inter alia, according to their novelty, original ideas, fundamentality, impact upon formation of new spheres and/or subject areas of scientific research, etc.; also, the Government may not fail to grant the right to schools of higher education to establish also additional criteria of assessment of scientific works, would also permit an assessment of the value of the scientific works published by scientists, inter alia, according to their novelty, original ideas, fundamentality, impact upon formation of new spheres and/or subject areas of scientific research, etc.; the powers of schools of higher education in this area may be broadened in comparison with the legal regulation established at present; these provisions of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007 imply a duty of the Government to amend the legal regulation established at present in its legal acts so that it would be in conformity with the official constitutional doctrine which is set forth in the said ruling of the Constitutional Court.

V

1. By his decree of 13 December 2007, the President of the Republic requests, inter alia, the construction of whether the provisions “The system of the requirements which must be fulfilled by the scientist so that he could aspire to the corresponding positions in state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state scientific institutes and state scientific establishments must be such that it would be possible to decide on the qualification and significance of the scientific work of the scientist not only from the amount of his published scientific works, as well as not only from the fact in what period of time these scientific works (scientific articles) are published and in what scientific publications (which are assessed in the international databases or which are not assessed in them) they are published, but, first of all, according to the value and significance of the scientific works published by the scientists, inter alia, according to their novelty, originality, fundamentality, influence on the formation of the new spheres of scientific research, etc. It has been mentioned that the mere fact that the scientific works are not published in the publications which are assessed in the international databases does not mean that such scientific works are insignificant. In order to assess the value, significance and quality of the scientific works, it is not enough that they meet some established formal requirements of imparting, including international imparting—in order to do that, first of all, an extremely qualified and impartial expertise assessment of the scientific works, including those which are published in the publications which are assessed in the international databases, is necessary” of Item 6 of Section IV of the reasoning part of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007 mean that the Government, while securing the implementation of the constitutional principles of freedom of science and scientific research and autonomy of schools of higher education, has a duty to establish a system of qualified and impartial expertise assessment of scientific works, including those which are published in the publications which are assessed in international databases.

2. Taking account of the provisions set forth in Section II or the reasoning part of this decision of the Constitutional Court, it should be held that various systems of expertise assessment of scientific works (also the systems of assessment of the importance of scientific works of the persons who work in the areas of humanitarian and social sciences when it is decided on the habilitation of a corresponding scientist or his suitability to hold a certain position in a state institution of science and studies) may be established.

The Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007 provided no construction as to what systems of assessment there should or could be; this decision of the Constitutional Court will provide no construction with regard to this, either (since, as mentioned before, the Constitutional Court may not construe what was not investigated in that constitutional justice case, subsequent to which the construed ruling was adopted). On the other hand, it was held that only the formal indicators (such as a certain amount of published scientific works, their publishing in namely such publications which are assessed in the international databases, a certain period of time in which the scientific works must be published, etc. or such formal requirement that the publication must be reviewed before publishing them, etc.) not always permit revealing the real qualification of the scientist and the value and importance of his scientific works, also that in order to do that an extremely qualified and impartial expertise assessment of the scientific works, including those which are published in the publications which are assessed in the international databases, is necessary precisely because the possibilities of the scientists who work in the spheres and subject areas of humanitarian and social sciences to publish scientific works and the results of scientific research in the publications that are reviewed in the international databases are often more complicated and limited. It was also held that, while creating a system of expertise assessment of scientific works, one must attentively hear an opinion of the scientific and academic community.

3. Taking account of the provisions set forth in Section II or the reasoning part of this decision of the Constitutional Court, it should also be held that the legal regulation linked with the said system of expertise assessment can be established by the Government as well; also, one can establish such legal regulation where the system (or systems) of expertise assessment is (are) established and the main general requirements are established by an institution (or institutions), which genuinely represents (represent) the scientific and academic community and which is (are) composed of authoritative scientists; however, also such legal regulation may be established, where the said system (or systems) is (are) established by schools of higher education themselves, by taking account of the main general requirements established by an institution (institutions), which genuinely represents (represent) the scientific and academic community and which is (are) composed of authoritative scientists; the powers of schools of higher education in this area may be broadened in comparison with the legal regulation established at present.

However, no matter what subject established the legal regulation linked with the system of expertise assessment of scientific works (also the system of assessment of the importance of scientific works of the persons who work in the areas of humanitarian and social sciences when it is decided on the habilitation of a corresponding scientist or his suitability to hold a certain position in a state institution of science and studies), one must secure that the importance of published scientific works of scientists (also of the scientists who work in the areas of humanitarian and social sciences), when it is decided on the habilitation of a corresponding scientist or his suitability to hold a certain position in a state institution of science and studies, would be assessed, inter alia, according to their novelty, original ideas, fundamentality, impact upon formation of new spheres and/or subject areas of scientific research, etc.

4. Taking account of the arguments set forth, it should be held that the provisions “the requirements to have a certain number of scientific works published in publications that are reviewed in the international databases, may not be made absolute. The importance of scientific works should be assessed not only according to the fact that they are published in scientific publications that are reviewed in various international databases, but, first of all, according to their novelty, original ideas, fundamentality, impact upon formation of new spheres and/or subject areas of scientific research, etc. <…> Thus, if it is established in legal acts that the respective positions at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state institutes of science and state educational establishments may be held by the scientists who have published scientific works in the publications that are reviewed in the international databases, such requirement may not be made an absolute one, the said legal acts, alongside, also have to establish an alternative—other requirements related to the significance of scientific works, upon meeting which the scientists could hold a respective position” of Item 17 of Section III of the reasoning part of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 May 2007 also mean that: the legal regulation linked with the system of expertise assessment of scientific works (also the system of assessment of the importance of scientific works of the persons who work in the areas of humanitarian and social sciences when it is decided on the habilitation of a corresponding scientist or his suitability to hold a certain position in a state institution of science and studies) can be established by the Government as well, however, also such legal regulation may be established, where the said system (or systems) is (are) established by schools of higher education themselves, by taking account of the main general requirements established by an institution (institutions), which genuinely represents (represent) the scientific and academic community and which is (are) composed of authoritative scientists; the powers of schools of higher education in this area may be broadened in comparison with the legal regulation established at present; the legal regulation linked with the system of the said expertise assessment must secure that the importance of published scientific works of scientists (also of the scientists who work in the areas of humanitarian and social sciences), when it is decided on the habilitation of a corresponding scientist or his suitability to hold a certain position in a state institution of science and studies, would be assessed, inter alia, according to their novelty, original ideas, fundamentality, impact upon formation of new spheres and/or subject areas of scientific research, etc.

Conforming to Article 102 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, Articles 1 and 61 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania adopts the following

decision:

1. To construe that the provisions “the requirements to have a certain number of scientific works published in publications that are reviewed in the international databases, may not be made absolute. The importance of scientific works should be assessed not only according to the fact that they are published in scientific publications that are reviewed in various international databases, but, first of all, according to their novelty, original ideas, fundamentality, impact upon formation of new spheres and/or subject areas of scientific research, etc. <…> Thus, if it is established in legal acts that the respective positions at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state institutes of science and state educational establishments may be held by the scientists who have published scientific works in the publications that are reviewed in the international databases, such requirement may not be made an absolute one, the said legal acts, alongside, also have to establish an alternative—other requirements related to the significance of scientific works, upon meeting which the scientists could hold a respective position” of Item 17 of Section III of the reasoning part of the Ruling of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania “On the Compliance of Item 2.3.1 of the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 899) ‘On Approving the Description of the Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Description of the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Description of the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities’ of 11 July 2001 (Wording of 18 August 2005) and Items 2.2, 2.5, 3.1.2, 3.1.3 and 3.1.4 of the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, Who Work in Humanitarian and Social Sciences (Wording of 18 August 2005) as Approved by the Same Resolution, as well as Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure as Approved by the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 962) ‘On Approving the Habilitation Procedure’ of 18 July 2003 with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania” of 5 May 2007 (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2007, No. 52-2025) also mean that in the course of assessment of the importance of scientific works of the persons who work in the areas of humanitarian and social sciences, when it is decided on the habilitation of a corresponding scientist or his suitability to hold a certain position in a state institution of science and studies, no formal (quantitative) requirements may be made absolute; that legal acts must also establish alternative criteria, permitting an assessment of the value and significance of the works published by the scientist, inter alia, according to their novelty, original ideas, fundamentality, impact upon formation of new spheres and/or subject areas of scientific research, etc.; these provisions of the 5 May 2007 ruling of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania imply a duty of the Government to amend the legal regulation established at present in its legal acts so that it would be in conformity with the official constitutional doctrine which is set forth in the said ruling of the Constitutional Court.

2. To construe that the provisions “the requirements to have a certain number of scientific works published in publications that are reviewed in the international databases, may not be made absolute. The importance of scientific works should be assessed not only according to the fact that they are published in scientific publications that are reviewed in various international databases, but, first of all, according to their novelty, original ideas, fundamentality, impact upon formation of new spheres and/or subject areas of scientific research, etc. <…> Thus, if it is established in legal acts that the respective positions at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state institutes of science and state educational establishments may be held by the scientists who have published scientific works in the publications that are reviewed in the international databases, such requirement may not be made an absolute one, the said legal acts, alongside, also have to establish an alternative—other requirements related to the significance of scientific works, upon meeting which the scientists could hold a respective position” of Item 17 of Section III, the provision “When one decides what requirements should be met by the scientist in order to make it possible to hold that his competence is the one, which is necessary for him to become eligible for aspiring to respective positions at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state institutes of science and state educational establishments, one should attentively hear opinion of the state and other authoritative scientific institutions uniting scientists of various spheres of science” of Item 20 of Section III and the provisions “While creating a system of expertise assessment of scientific works, one must attentively hear an opinion of the scientific and academic community; the Constitution does not prohibit any such legal regulation, either, whereby it is an institution (or institutions) (which in reality represents scientific and academic community, which is formed from authoritative scientists), which would have the powers to establish systems of expertise assessment of scientific works, to entrench the criteria for assessment of scientific works and to regulate other most important relations linked to that. Especially, when one takes account of the principle of autonomy of schools of higher education consolidated in the Constitution, while taking account of the general main requirements which are established by an institution (or institutions), which in reality represents scientific and academic community, which is formed from authoritative scientists, also such legal regulation that the schools of higher education themselves could establish the specific criteria for assessment of the qualification of a scientist, would not be incompatible with the Constitution” of Item 6 of Section IV of the reasoning part of the Ruling of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania “On the Compliance of Item 2.3.1 of the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 899) ‘On Approving the Description of the Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Description of the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Description of the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities’ of 11 July 2001 (Wording of 18 August 2005) and Items 2.2, 2.5, 3.1.2, 3.1.3 and 3.1.4 of the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, Who Work in Humanitarian and Social Sciences (Wording of 18 August 2005) as Approved by the Same Resolution, as well as Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure as Approved by the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 962) ‘On Approving the Habilitation Procedure’ of 18 July 2003 with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania” of 5 May 2007 (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2007, No. 52-2025) also mean that: the discretion of the Government to establish the criteria by following which the importance of scientific works of the persons who work in the spheres of humanitarian and social sciences is assessed, when it is decided on the habilitation of a corresponding scientist or his suitability to hold a certain position in a state institution of science and studies is limited, inter alia, by the fact that, under the Constitution, the Government may not establish only formal criteria by following which the importance of scientific works of the persons who work in the spheres of humanitarian and social sciences is assessed, and it may not fail to establish such criteria of assessment of scientific works, which would permit an assessment of the value of the scientific works published by the scientists, inter alia, according to their novelty, original ideas, fundamentality, impact upon formation of new spheres and/or subject areas of scientific research, etc.; also, the Government may not fail to grant the right to schools of higher education to establish also additional criteria of assessment of scientific works, would also permit an assessment of the value of the scientific works published by scientists, inter alia, according to their novelty, original ideas, fundamentality, impact upon formation of new spheres and/or subject areas of scientific research, etc.; the powers of schools of higher education in this area may be broadened in comparison with the legal regulation established at present; these provisions of the 5 May 2007 ruling of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania imply a duty of the Government to amend the legal regulation established at present in its legal acts so that it would be in conformity with the official constitutional doctrine which is set forth in the said ruling of the Constitutional Court.

3. To construe that the provisions “The system of the requirements which must be fulfilled by the scientist so that he could aspire to the corresponding positions in state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state scientific institutes and state scientific establishments must be such that it would be possible to decide on the qualification and significance of the scientific work of the scientist not only from the amount of his published scientific works, as well as not only from the fact in what period of time these scientific works (scientific articles) are published and in what scientific publications (which are assessed in the international databases or which are not assessed in them) they are published, but, first of all, according to the value and significance of the scientific works published by the scientists, inter alia, according to their novelty, originality, fundamentality, influence on the formation of the new spheres of scientific research, etc. It has been mentioned that the mere fact that the scientific works are not published in the publications which are assessed in the international databases does not mean that such scientific works are insignificant. In order to assess the value, significance and quality of the scientific works, it is not enough that they meet some established formal requirements of imparting, including international imparting—in order to do that, first of all, an extremely qualified and impartial expertise assessment of the scientific works, including those which are published in the publications which are assessed in the international databases, is necessary” of Item 6 of Section IV of the reasoning part of the Ruling of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania “On the Compliance of Item 2.3.1 of the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 899) ‘On Approving the Description of the Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Description of the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Description of the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities’ of 11 July 2001 (Wording of 18 August 2005) and Items 2.2, 2.5, 3.1.2, 3.1.3 and 3.1.4 of the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, Who Work in Humanitarian and Social Sciences (Wording of 18 August 2005) as Approved by the Same Resolution, as well as Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure as Approved by the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 962) ‘On Approving the Habilitation Procedure’ of 18 July 2003 with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania” of 5 May 2007 (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2007, No. 52-2025) also mean that: the legal regulation linked with the system of expertise assessment of scientific works (also the system of assessment of the importance of scientific works of the persons who work in the areas of humanitarian and social sciences when it is decided on the habilitation of a corresponding scientist or his suitability to hold a certain position in a state institution of science and studies) can be established by the Government as well, however, also such legal regulation may be established, where the said system (or systems) is (are) established by schools of higher education themselves, by taking account of the main general requirements established by an institution (institutions), which genuinely represents (represent) the scientific and academic community and which is (are) composed of authoritative scientists; the powers of schools of higher education in this area may be broadened in comparison with the legal regulation established at present; the legal regulation linked with the system of the said expertise assessment must secure that the importance of published scientific works of scientists (also of the scientists who work in the areas of humanitarian and social sciences), when it is decided on the habilitation of a corresponding scientist or his suitability to hold a certain position in a state institution of science and studies, would be assessed, inter alia, according to their novelty, original ideas, fundamentality, impact upon formation of new spheres and/or subject areas of scientific research, etc.

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
                                                                      Egidijus Kūris
                                                                      Ramutė Ruškytė
                                                                      Vytautas Sinkevičius
                                                                      Stasys Stačiokas
                                                                      Romualdas Kęstutis Urbaitis