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On the citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania

Case No. 45/03-36/04

 

THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

RULING

ON THE COMPLIANCE OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE LEGAL ACTS REGULATING THE CITIZENSHIP RELATIONS WITH THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

 

13 November 2006

Vilnius

 

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

The court reporter—Daiva Pitrėnaitė

Seimas member Arminas Lydeka and Kristina Pažusytė, chief specialist of the Law Department of the Office of the Seimas, acting as the representatives of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, the party concerned

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, pursuant to Articles 102 and 105 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and Article 1 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, in its public hearing, on 11 October 2006, considered case No. 45/03-36/04 subsequent to the following petitions:

the petition of a group of members of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, consisting of Aleksander Poplavski, Saulius Lapėnas, Jonas Jučas, Audrius Klišonis, Juozas Matulevičius, Raimondas Šukys, Eligijus Masiulis, Romanas Algimantas Sedlickas, Domininkas Velička, Virginijus Martišauskas, Raimundas Palaitis, Algirdas Gricius, Dalia Teišerskytė, Gintautas Babravičius, Gintaras Šileikis, Valdemar Tomaševski, Valerijus Simulik, Vasilij Fiodorov, Algimantas Valentinas Indriūnas, Kęstutis Skamarakas, Rimas Valčiukas, Alfonsas Macaitis, Irena Šiaulienė, Jurgis Utovka, Antanas Baura, Viktoras Rinkevičius, Kazimira Danutė Prunskienė, Sergej Dmitrijev, Vydas Baravykas, Jonas Lionginas, Pranas Vilkas, Henrikas Žukauskas, Vladas Žalnerauskas and Vaclav Stankevič, a petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether Article 18 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship is not in conflict with Articles 29 and 12 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania;

the petition of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether Item 1 of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 and Item 1 of Paragraph 1 of Article 17 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship to the extent that it provides that the persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren (provided that said persons, their children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren have not repatriated), who are residing in other states, shall retain the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania for an indefinite period of time, and whether Paragraph 2 of Article 2 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Implementation of the Law on Citizenship are not in conflict with Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 29 and Paragraphs 1 and 3 of Article 12 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, and with the constitutional principles of justice and a state under the rule of law.

By the Constitutional Court’s decision of 10 May 2006, the aforementioned petitions were joined into one case and it was given reference number 45/03-36/04.

The Constitutional Court

has established:

I

1. A group of members of the Seimas, a petitioner, have applied to the Constitutional Court with the petition requesting an investigation into whether Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship is not in conflict with Articles 29 and 12 of the Constitution.

2. The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, considered an administrative case. By its ruling, the said court suspended the consideration of the case and applied to the Constitutional Court with the petition requesting an investigation into whether Item 1 of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 and Item 1 of Paragraph 1 of Article 17 of the Law on Citizenship to the extent that it provides that the persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren (provided that said persons, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren have not repatriated), who are residing in other states, shall retain the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania for an indefinite period of time, and whether Paragraph 2 of Article 2 of the Law on the Implementation of the Law on Citizenship are not in conflict with Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 29 and Paragraphs 1 and 3 of Article 12 of the Constitution, and with the constitutional principles of justice and a state under the rule of law.

II

1. The petition of a group of members of the Seimas, a petitioner, is based on the following arguments.

1.1. Paragraph 1 of Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship establishes the grounds for loss of citizenship, while Paragraph 2 establishes the application exceptions of one of the grounds for loss of citizenship—upon the acquisition of citizenship of another state: Item 2 of Paragraph 1 of Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship is not applied, inter alia, to the persons of Lithuanian origin whose parents or grandparents or one of the parents or grandparents is or was Lithuanian and the person considers himself Lithuanian. The petitioner states that under this provision, each Lithuanian, who acquired the citizenship of another state, will also be able to hold citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, while the Poles, Russians, Jews and other citizens of the Republic of Lithuania of other nationalities are not provided with the possibility of holding dual citizenship. Thus, in the opinion of the petitioner, linking the loss of citizenship with the nationality of a person is in conflict with Article 29 of the Constitution, wherein it is entrenched that all persons shall be equal before the law, the court, and other state institutions and officials and that the rights of the human being may not be restricted, nor may he be granted any privileges on the ground of gender, race, nationality, language, origin or on other ground.

1.2. In the opinion of the petitioner, the impugned provision of Paragraph 2 of Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship which grants the right to dual citizenship to all the persons of Lithuanian origin does not comply with Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution either, wherein it is prescribed that with the exception of individual cases provided for by law, no one may be a citizen of both the Republic of Lithuania and another state at the same time.

2. The petition of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, is based on the following arguments.

2.1. Under the provisions of Item 1 of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 and Item 1 of Paragraph 1 of Article 17 of the Law on Citizenship and Paragraph 2 of Article 2 of the Law on the Implementation of the Law on Citizenship, the persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, from the standpoint of being citizens of the Republic of Lithuania and from the standpoint of the right to retention of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, are divided into a few groups: (1) the persons of Lithuanian origin are considered as Lithuanian citizens and/or retain the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania irrespective of where they reside; (2) the persons of other ethnical origin (other nationality) are divided into two groups: first, those who departed to reside to any foreign state but not to their ethnical homeland; in such case they are considered as citizens of Lithuania and/or retain the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, and, second, those who departed for their ethnical homeland and resided there (i.e. those who repatriated)—such persons are not considered as citizens of the Republic of Lithuania and they do not retain the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania. The given definition of the notion of repatriation is a disputable one, while the establishment of the legal status of a person (recognition of citizenship or retention of the right to citizenship), relating it to the ethnical origin or nationality of the person, violates the equality of persons and is discriminatory, thus, according to the petitioner, such content of the impugned provisions of the Law on Citizenship and the Law on the Implementation of the Law on Citizenship is in conflict with Article 29, Paragraphs 1 and 3 of Article 12 of the Constitution, and with the constitutional principles of justice and a state under the rule of law.

2.2. In the opinion of the petitioner, the definition of the notion “repatriation” established in Paragraph 2 of Article 2 of the Law on the Implementation of the Law on Citizenship does not comply with the universally recognised definition of this notion, since, as a rule, while construing this notion, the legal link of the person with a certain state, and not with his ethnical origin, is specified.

III

In the course of the preparation of the case for the Constitutional Court’s hearing, written explanations were received from A. Lydeka, the representative of the Seimas, the party concerned, as well as from K. Pažusytė, the representative of the Seimas, chief specialist of the Law Department of the Office of the Seimas (representing the Seimas, the party concerned, in the part of the case subsequent to the petition of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner), wherein it is stated that the impugned provisions of the laws are not in conflict with the Constitution. The position of the representatives of the party concerned is based on the following arguments.

1. A. Lydeka notes that the adoption of the said provision of the Law on Citizenship was conditioned by the requests from many Lithuanian communities abroad to create a possibility for the citizens of the Republic of Lithuania of Lithuanian origin, who have departed from Lithuania after 11 March 1990 and reside in other foreign countries at present, not to lose citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania even after one has acquired citizenship of the said another country.

2. According to the representative of the Seimas, historically, the occurrence of dual citizenship is linked to the territorial changes of states, migration of inhabitants, collision of the laws of the states regulating the procedure for the acquisition and loss of citizenship and other reasons. Thus, the occurrence of dual citizenship is related to the discretion of the state to establish the criteria necessary for the acquisition of citizenship of that state.

3. In the opinion of the representative of the party concerned, the provision of Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution that with the exception of individual cases provided for by law, no one may be a citizen of both the Republic of Lithuania and another state at the same time, means that the prohibition on dual citizenship is not absolute—the legislature may establish the cases when a Lithuanian citizen may at the same time be a citizen of another state. Such case is first of all entrenched in Article 16 of the Law on Citizenship, wherein the granting of citizenship by way of exception is provided for. In the Law on Citizenship the second case, when a person may hold dual citizenship, is also provided, i.e. when a person departed from Lithuania and acquired citizenship of another state, however, there are very few such persons. Thus, in the opinion of A. Lydeka, the impugned provisions of the Law on Citizenship are not in conflict with Article 12 of the Constitution.

4. While assessing the compliance of Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship with Article 29 of the Constitution, the representative of the Seimas notes that the right to retain citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania for the persons of Lithuanian origin may be based on the distinction of the Lithuanian Nation in the Preamble to the Constitution: the Lithuanian Nation embodies “the innate right of the human being and the Nation to live and create freely in the land of their fathers and forefathers”—in the independent State of Lithuania. A. Lydeka draws one’s attention to Paragraph 4 of Article 32 of the Constitution, wherein it is prescribed that everyone who is Lithuanian may settle himself in Lithuania, as well as to the fact that the status of persons of Lithuanian origin was also regulated a bit differently in former laws than the status of persons of other ethnical origin. Thus, in the opinion of the representative of the party concerned, the impugned provisions of the Law on Citizenship are not in conflict with Article 29 of the Constitution, too.

5. While assessing the notion “repatriation” defined in Paragraph 2 of Article 2 of the Law on the Implementation of the Law on Citizenship, A. Lydeka and K. Pažusytė note that it is recognised in the theory of law that a word of a common language, which is used in the text of a law, usually, along with the general meaning, acquires also a special—legal—meaning, as well as that the legal meaning of any word may be broader or narrower than the general meaning. Thus, the notion “repatriation” is formed more narrowly in the Law on Implementation of the Law on Citizenship than in dictionaries: it should be construed in the context of the Law on Citizenship and in the system of other provisions of the Constitution and this law.

6. The representatives of the Seimas think that by establishing the condition in Item 1 of Paragraph 1 of Article 17 of the Law on Citizenship that the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall be retained only to the persons who have not repatriated and by defining repatriation as a departure for one’s ethnical homeland and settlement there, one aimed to limit the circle of persons who may hold dual citizenship.

7. According to A. Lydeka and K. Pažusytė, the legislature established, in the Law on Citizenship, a simpler procedure for the acquisition of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania for persons of Lithuanian nationality and persons of other nationalities who did not repatriate, thus, as if compensating in such way for these persons, who lost the possibility of living together with the community holding the acceptable traditions, customs and language, i.e. for the supposed more difficult social adaptation in a non-ethnical homeland. In the opinion of the representatives of the Seimas, the position of the legislature, while establishing different conditions for the acquisition of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania in the Law on Citizenship, was implied by the links of groups of different persons with the Republic of Lithuania.

8. In the opinion of the representatives of the Seimas, the notion “repatriation”, which is defined in the Law on the Implementation of the Law on Citizenship, reflects the will of a person to regard himself as belonging to a concrete ethnical community (nation), which lives in the place of his origin and the will to seek for the links with members of the ethnical community living in that place, to integrate into the life of that ethnical community in the cultural, economic, and, as a rule, political and legal sense, thus, his refusal to relate himself by the duties with the Republic of Lithuania and the links to faithfulness and trust which arise from them. As a rule, such persons try to bind themselves in their ethnical homeland and/or bind themselves with the permanent legal link with the state, i.e. they acquire its citizenship. In such case the State of Lithuanian no longer has any reason to retain the right to the citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania for the person, who used to be a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania, but who settled himself in his ethnical homeland and entered into legal political relations with that state.

IV

In the course of the preparation of the case for the Constitutional Court’s hearing, written explanations were received from V. Bulovas and G. J. Furmanavičius, Ministers of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania, G. Švedas, Vice-Minister of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania, P. Koverovas, State Secretary of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania, A. Petrauskas, Director General of the Department of National Minorities and Lithuanians Living Abroad under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, A. Gavėnas, Director of the Migration Department under the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania, A. Čepas, Director of the Institute of Law and V. Valeckaitė, Deputy Director of the same institute.

V

1. At the hearing of the Constitutional Court, the representatives of the Seimas, the party concerned, who were A. Lydeka and K. Pažusytė, virtually repeated the arguments set forth in their written explanations.

2. The opinions of A. Lydeka and K. Pažusytė concerning the notion “repatriation” were different: A. Lydeka asserted that while repatriating, the person chooses in which states that can provide him with citizenship he will settle himself: in Lithuania, or in the state, with which he has social, linguistic and other relations, i.e. the person may be considered as a repatriated one only if his ethnical homeland has statehood and may provide the person with citizenship of this state. According to K. Pažusytė, the person’s repatriation must be interpreted as the person’s departure to the territory of his ethnical homeland, irrespective of the fact, whether this ethnical homeland is an independent state, or not; while deciding, if the person has repatriated, the circumstance of whether he had (has) the possibility of acquiring citizenship in his ethnical homeland and/or acquired it, does not have an essential significance.

3. At the Constitutional Court’s hearing, a specialist—D. Vežikauskaitė, Head of the Citizenship Section of the Migration Department under the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania, took the floor.

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

I

1. A group of members of the Seimas, a petitioner, requests an investigation into whether Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship is not in conflict with Articles 12 and 29 of the Constitution.

2. The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requests an investigation into whether Item 1 of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 and Item 1 of Paragraph 1 of Article 17 of the Law on Citizenship, to the extent that it provides that the persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren (provided that said persons, their children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren have not repatriated), who are residing in other states, shall retain the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania for an indefinite period of time, and whether Paragraph 2 of Article 2 of the Law on the Implementation of the Law on Citizenship are not in conflict with Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 29 and Paragraphs 1 and 3 of Article 12 of the Constitution, and with the constitutional principles of justice and a state under the rule of law.

3. On 17 September 2002, the Seimas adopted the Law on Citizenship. Paragraph 1 of Article 34 of this law prescribes that the new Law on Citizenship “shall come into force as from 1 January 2003.” Under Paragraph 2 of this article, upon the entry into force of the Law on Citizenship (wording of 17 September 2002), the validity of the until then valid Law on Citizenship (wording of 5 December 1991 with subsequent amendments and supplements) expired.

4. The Law on Citizenship (wording of 17 September 2002) has been amended and/or supplemented by the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Amending Articles 13, 19 and 21 of Law on Citizenship, which was adopted by the Seimas on 3 April 2003, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31 and 32 of the Law on Citizenship, which was adopted by the Seimas on 9 December 2004, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 12, 18, 20, 26, 28 and 30 of the Law on Citizenship, which was adopted by the Seimas on 6 April 2006, and the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Supplementing Article 16 of the Law on Citizenship, which was adopted by the Seimas on 18 July 2006.

5. The Law on Citizenship (wording of 17 September 2002 with subsequent amendments and supplements) establishes as to what persons are citizens of the Republic of Lithuania, regulates the relations of the acquisition of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, of the right to retain the citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, of loss and restoration of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania and establishes the procedure for resolving issues related to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania and regulates other relations related to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

6. On 17 September 2002, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Implementation of the Law on Citizenship, Paragraph 1 of Article 6 whereof prescribes that it “shall come into force as from 1 January 2003.” Under Paragraph 2 of this article, upon the entry into force of the Law on the Implementation of the Law on Citizenship, the validity of the until then valid Law “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” (wording of 19 October 1995 with subsequent amendments) expired.

7. The Law on the Implementation of the Law on Citizenship (wording of 17 September 2002) has been amended and/or supplemented by the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Amending and Supplementing the Law on the Implementation of the Law on Citizenship, the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, the Law on Benefit (Social) Pensions, the Provisional Law on the State Pensions of Scientists, and the Law on State Pensions, which was adopted by the Seimas on 21 January 2003, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 3 and 4 of the Law on the Implementation of the Law on Citizenship, which was adopted by the Seimas on 11 November 2004 and the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Amending Article 5 of the Law on the Implementation of the Law on Citizenship, which was adopted by the Seimas on 6 April 2006.

8. The Law on the Implementation of the Law on Citizenship defines the content of the notion “repatriation” used in the Law on Citizenship (wording of 17 September 2002) and regulates the relations related to the application of some provisions of the Law on Citizenship (wording of 17 September 2002).

9. In Article 1 titled “Citizens of the Republic of Lithuania” of the Law on Citizenship (wording of 17 September 2002) it is, inter alia, prescribed:

The following persons shall be citizens of the Republic of Lithuania:

1) Persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren (provided that said persons, their children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren have not repatriated) <…>.”

In the opinion of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, such legal regulation means that the persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, provided that said persons, their children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren have repatriated, are not considered as citizens of the Republic of Lithuania.

10. Paragraph 1 of Article 17 titled “Retention of the Right to Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania” of the Law on Citizenship (wording of 17 September 2002), inter alia, prescribed:

The following persons shall retain the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania for an indefinite period of time:

(1) persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren (provided that said persons, their children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren have not repatriated), who are residing in other states <…>.”

In the opinion of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, such legal regulation means that the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania is not retained to the persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, provided that said persons, their children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren have repatriated and who are residing in other states.

11. Article 18 titled “Loss of Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania” of the Law on Citizenship (wording of 17 September 2002) prescribed:

1. Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall be lost:

1) upon renunciation of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania;

2) upon the acquisition of citizenship of another state;

3) on the grounds provided for by international treaties of the Republic of Lithuania.

2. Item 2 of Paragraph 1 of this Article shall not apply to:

1) persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren (provided that said persons, their children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren have not repatriated);

2) persons of Lithuanian origin whose parents or grandparents are or were or one of parents or grandparents is or was Lithuanian and the person considers himself Lithuanian.

3. A person may be recognised as having lost citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania if he is in the military service of another state or is employed in the civil service of another state without having been granted authorisation by relevant institutions of the Republic of Lithuania.”

In the opinion of a group of members of the Seimas, a petitioner, such legal regulation means, inter alia, that every Lithuanian, who has acquired citizenship of another state, may also be a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania at the same time, while citizens of other nationalities of the Republic of Lithuania do not have, in addition, the possibility of holding citizenship of another state.

In this context, it should be noted that Article 6 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31 and 32 of the Law on Citizenship, which was adopted by the Seimas on 9 December 2004, amended Paragraph 3 (wording of 17 September 2002) of Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship. It should also be noted that Article 2 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 12, 18, 20, 26, 28 and 30 of the Law on Citizenship, which was adopted by the Seimas on 6 April 2006, also amended Paragraph 2 (wording of 17 September 2002) of Article 18 (wording of 9 December 2004) of the Law on Citizenship; this article was also supplemented with new Paragraph 4.

12. Paragraph 2 (wording of 17 September 2002) of Article 2 of the Law on the Implementation of the Law on Citizenship provides: “Departure for one’s ethnical homeland and residence in the ethnical homeland shall be considered repatriation”.

In the opinion of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, such definition of the notion “repatriation” is not in line with the universally recognised definition of this notion, as the ethnical origin (nationality) of the person is emphasised and not his legal link with the corresponding state.

13. It is obvious from the arguments of a group of members of the Seimas and the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioners, that they doubts whether:

the provision “the following persons shall be citizens of the Republic of Lithuania: (1) persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren (provided that said persons, their children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren have not repatriated)” of Article 1 (wording of 17 September 2002) of the Law on Citizenship, to the extent that, according to the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, it entrenches that the persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, provided that said persons, their children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren have repatriated, are not considered as citizens of the Republic of Lithuania, is not in conflict with Article 29 and Paragraphs 1 and 3 of Article 12 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principles of justice and a state under the rule of law;

the provision “the following persons shall retain the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania for an indefinite period of time: (1) persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren (provided that said persons, their children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren have not repatriated), who are residing in other states” of Paragraph 1 (wording of 17 September 2002) of Article 17 of the Law on Citizenship, to the extent that, according to the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, it entrenches that the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall not be retained to the persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, provided that said persons, their children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren have repatriated, and who are residing in other states, is not in conflict with Article 29 and Paragraphs 1 and 3 of Article 12 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principles of justice and a state under the rule of law;

the provision “Item 2 of Paragraph 1 of this Article shall not apply to: <…> (2) person of Lithuanian origin whose parents or grandparents are or were or one of parents or grandparents is or was Lithuanian and the person considers himself Lithuanian” of Paragraph 2 (wording of 17 September 2002) of Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship to the extent that it provides that Item 2 (wording of 17 September 2002) of Paragraph 1 of Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship shall not apply only to the persons of Lithuanian origin, while it shall apply to the persons who are of non-Lithuanian origin, was not in conflict with Articles 29 and 12 of the Constitution;

Paragraph 2 (wording of 17 September 2002) of Article 2 of the Law on the Implementation of the Law on Citizenship is not in conflict with Article 29 and Paragraphs 1 and 3 of Article 12 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principles of justice and a state under the rule of law.

14. The doubts concerning the compliance of the impugned legal act with the Constitution raised in the petitions of the petitioners—a group of members of the Seimas and the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court—are related to the fact as to how one defines who are citizens of the Republic of Lithuania, what legislative possibilities for citizens of the Republic of Lithuania also to hold citizenship of another state there are, how the relations of loss of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania are regulated (in particular, upon the acquisition of citizenship of another state), as well as to the fact how the content of the notion “repatriation” is defined (inter alia, to the fact that, under the laws, whose compliance with the Constitution is impugned in the constitutional justice case at issue, repatriation is a circumstance, which determines whether the person is a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania, whether the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania is retained to him, etc.).

While deciding according to the petitions of the petitioners whether the impugned provisions of the laws are not in conflict with the Constitution, the legal regulation of the relations of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania (related to the fact how one defines who citizens of the Republic of Lithuania are, how the retention of the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania is regulated, what legislative possibilities for citizens of the Republic of Lithuania also to hold citizenship of another state there are, how the relations of loss of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania are regulated (in particular, upon acquisition of the citizenship of another state), as well as to the fact how the content of the notion “repatriation” is defined) should be assessed systemically and historically, disclosing (in the corresponding aspects), inter alia, the tradition and development of the legal regulation of the relations of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, as well as the aspects of the institute of citizenship entrenched in the international legal acts which are significant for this constitutional justice case.

II

1. The citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania is a constitutional institute.

2. The citizenship relations are regulated by Article 12 of the Constitution, wherein it is prescribed that citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall be acquired by birth and on other grounds established by law (Paragraph 1), that with the exception of individual cases provided for by law, no one may be a citizen of both the Republic of Lithuania and another state at the same time (Paragraph 2) and that the procedure for the acquisition and loss of citizenship shall be established by law (Paragraph 3); by Item 21 of Article 84, under which the President of the Republic shall grant citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania according to the procedure established by law; Article 85 of the Constitution, under which the President of the Republic shall grant citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania by issuing a decree, which, in order to be valid, must be countersigned—signed by the Prime Minister or an appropriate Minister.

The other provisions, which determine the legal status of citizens of the Republic of Lithuania (as well as establish the rights, freedoms and duties enjoyed only by citizens of the Republic of Lithuania), are also entrenched in the Constitution, inter alia: the Nation and each citizen shall have the right to resist anyone who encroaches on the independence, territorial integrity, and constitutional order of the State of Lithuania by force (Paragraph 2 of Article 3), the most significant issues concerning the life of the State and the Nation shall be decided by referendum, which shall, inter alia, be called if not less than 300,000 citizens with the electoral right so request (Paragraphs 1 and 3 of Article 9); the State of Lithuania shall protect its citizens abroad (Paragraph 1 of Article 13); it shall be prohibited to extradite a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania to another state unless an international treaty of the Republic of Lithuania establishes otherwise (Paragraph 2 of Article 13); a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania may move and choose his place of residence in Lithuania freely and may leave Lithuania freely (Paragraph 1 of Article 32); a citizen may not be prohibited from returning to Lithuania (Paragraph 2 of Article 32); citizens shall have the right to participate in the governance of their state both directly and through their democratically elected representatives as well as the right to enter on equal terms in the State service of the Republic of Lithuania (Paragraph 1 of Article 33); citizens who, on the day of election, have reached 18 years of age, shall have the electoral right (Paragraph 1 of Article 34); inter alia, citizens of the Republic of Lithuania shall have the right of legislative initiative: 50,000 citizens of the Republic of Lithuania who have the electoral right may submit a draft law to the Seimas and the Seimas must consider it (Paragraph 2 of Article 68); the defence of the State of Lithuania against a foreign armed attack shall be the right and duty of each citizen of the Republic of Lithuania (Paragraph 1 of Article 139); citizens of the Republic of Lithuania must perform military or alternative national defence service according to the procedure established by law (Paragraph 2 of Article 139); a motion to alter or supplement the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania may be submitted to the Seimas by, inter alia, not less than by 300,000 voters (Paragraph 1 of Article 147), etc.

It needs to be noted (it is entrenched in the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court) that not all the provisions of the Constitution, in the text of which the notion “citizen” is used, may be construed adequately, i.e. as including only the citizens of the Republic of Lithuania and excluding foreigners and stateless persons.

3. While construing the constitutional institute of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, the Constitutional Court has held: citizenship is a permanent, uninterrupted legal link between the person and the state; citizenship appears when the person becomes a citizen, and continues until the death of the person or until his loss of citizenship; the legal link of the citizen with the state persists no matter where the citizen might be: whether in the state a citizen of which he is, or outside its borders, i.e. in another state; after the citizen has departed for another state, his legal link with the state, a citizen of which he is, persists; it is the permanent (uninterrupted) legal link between the citizen and the state that enables one to distinguish this special legal link from the legal link which appears between the state and a foreigner or a stateless person, who resides in it either permanently or temporarily: when the foreigner or the stateless person leaves the state, his legal link with the state discontinues. When the citizen leaves for another state, his legal link with the state whose citizen he is persists (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 30 December 2003).

Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania expresses legal membership of the person in the State of Lithuania, reflects legal belongingness of the person to the Nation as a state community. The link between citizens and the state is mutual: citizenship provides the person with and guarantees him the civil (political) rights and establishes his certain duties to the state; certain duties of the state to its citizens arise from the citizenship relations. Citizenship, as a particular legal link with the State of Lithuania, is necessary to citizens so that all their rights and freedoms, which are enjoyed by citizens, might be guaranteed in order that the person could enjoy the protection of his state within his country as well as abroad.

4. Paragraph 1 of Article 12 of the Constitution specifies the main way of the acquisition of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania: citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall be acquired by birth. Under Article 12 of the Constitution, citizenship may be acquired not only by birth (filiation) but also by other grounds established by law.

Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution provides that with the exception of individual cases provided for by law, no one may be a citizen of both the Republic of Lithuania and another state at the same time. Thus, a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania may not be a citizen of another state at the same time, and a citizen of another state may not be a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania at the same time, however, this prohibition on dual citizenship entrenched in the Constitution is not absolute—under Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution, the law may and must provide individual cases, when a person may be a citizen of both the Republic of Lithuania and another state.

Thus, from Article 12 of the Constitution a duty arises for the legislature not only to establish the grounds for the acquisition of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania by law and to regulate the procedure for the acquisition and loss of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, but also to provide for individual cases, when a person may at the same time be both a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania and another state.

5. The Constitutional Court has noted in its ruling of 30 December 2003 that “an absolute majority of persons are citizens not because they have expressed their wish to be citizens of the state but because they are linked with the state by means of a certain objective relation: their parents (one of parents) were citizens of that state. The acquisition of citizenship by birth (filiation) is the main way of the acquisition of citizenship; by the acquisition of citizenship by birth, continuance of citizenship is ensured and continuance of the state community, the civil Nation, is ensured as well. It is possible to acquire citizenship by way of naturalisation, i.e. citizenship is granted to a person who meets the conditions established in the law. As a rule, such conditions are requirements of permanent residence in the state for a certain time period established in the law, and of knowledge of the state language. These requirements are based on the provision that the person wishing to acquire citizenship and the state must be connected by a permanent factual link before citizenship is granted, that permanent residence in the state during a certain time period established in the law and knowledge of the state language are necessary pre-conditions for a foreigner or a stateless person to integrate himself into the society, to perceive the mentality of the Nation and its strivings, the constitutional order of the state, to get acquainted with the history, culture, customs and traditions of the Nation and the state, to be prepared to take responsibility for the present and the future of the state. It is due to this that it is not sufficient for a citizen of a foreign state or a stateless person who wishes to acquire citizenship merely to settle in this country—for this reason one has to reside permanently in the state for a longer time period, which is established in the law, and to know the state language. Thus, the acquisition of citizenship is always to be related with a certain objective link between the person with the state: this link is most often determined by the fact that that children of citizens become citizens by birth (jus sanguini), in certain states a person who was born within its territory is considered its citizen (jus soli), or when the permanent factual link of a foreigner or a stateless person with the state, if this foreigner or stateless person meets the conditions established in the law and he is granted citizenship (naturalisation), becomes a permanent legal link with the state.”

6. The institute of citizenship entrenched in the Constitution is inseparable from the State of Lithuania and from the constitutional concept of the civil Nation—state community.

The State of Lithuania came into being on the basis of the ethnical nation—Lithuanian Nation. It is reflected in the Preamble to the Constitution, wherein it is entrenched that namely the Lithuanian Nation (i.e. ethnical nation) created the State of Lithuania many centuries ago, for centuries staunchly defended its freedom and independence, preserved its spirit, native language, writing, and customs, embodied the innate right of the human being and the Nation to live and create freely in the land of their fathers and forefathers and preserved the striving and the right to reside in the independent State of Lithuania.

The states created on the basis of ethnical nations are national states. Namely, the national state is a political form of the common life of the ethnical nation, which ensures the possibility of fostering the identity, culture, mentality, language, traditions and customs of the corresponding ethnical nation, which helps to accumulate the experience of statehood and to pass it on to the posterity as well as to gain maturity, and which guarantees the necessary historical survival. The fully-fledged life of an ethnical nation would be particularly burdened or even impossible without a national state.

7. The fact that the State of Lithuania came into being on the basis of the ethnical nation is reflected not only in the Preamble to the Constitution, but also in other provisions of the Constitution—Lithuanian shall be the state language (Article 14); everyone who is Lithuanian may settle in Lithuania (Paragraph 4 of Article 32). The provision of Paragraph 4 of Article 32 of the Constitution that everyone who is Lithuanian may settle in Lithuania, means that all Lithuanians who reside abroad, wherever their permanent residence, have the right to come back to Lithuania, their ethnical homeland, at any time. Under the Constitution, it is impossible to establish any such legal regulation, which would sever the Lithuanians living abroad from the Lithuanian Nation. The Lithuanians who reside abroad cannot be deprived of the possibility of participating in the life of the Lithuanian Nation, if they seek so. Lithuanians residing abroad are an inseparable component of the Lithuanian Nation.

It is a constitutional basis to establish by law such legal regulation that Lithuanians residing abroad would have the right to become citizens of the Republic of Lithuania under different (easier) conditions than other persons who seek for citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania (inter alia, that Lithuanians residing abroad, who seek citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, be not applied the usual naturalisation conditions). This is also a constitutional basis to entrench in laws the institute of retention of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, which should be applied to the Lithuanians residing abroad who seek for citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, particularly if they, their parents, grandparents or great-grandparents were linked to Lithuania by citizenship relations.

8. The persons who regard themselves as belonging to the Lithuanian Nation as an ethnical nation compose the absolute majority of population of the today’s State of Lithuania. In this respect, as well as by the name of the state, by the recognition of the status of Lithuanian as the state language, the Lithuanian Nation corresponds to the generally recognised definition of a nominal nation.

On the other hand, also non-Lithuanians—people of other ethnical nations—have resided in the lands of Lithuania for ages. Together with the Lithuanians they created and defended the State of Lithuania, cared about its future. Thus, since ages the pattern of life of the Lithuanian Nation has been based on the peaceful concord between the Lithuanian Nation, as the nominal nation, and other national communities living in the territory of Lithuania and on the forbearance and tolerance of people of various nations in respect of each other. Fostering national concord in the land of Lithuania is a historical tradition of the State of Lithuania. This tradition was violated only in such periods of the history of Lithuania, when the State of Lithuania itself was occupied by foreign states, when the Nation of Lithuania could not authentically create its political life by itself.

The Lithuanian Nation shall foster national concord in the land of Lithuania (Preamble to the Constitution). In this context, it needs to be emphasised that, under the Constitution, the whole of the citizens of the State of Lithuania composes the civil Nation—state community. In Article 2 of the Constitution, wherein it is prescribed that the State of Lithuania shall be created by the Nation and sovereignty shall belong to the Nation, and Article 4, wherein it is prescribed that the Nation shall execute its supreme sovereign power either directly or through its democratically elected representatives, the notion “Nation” is used precisely in this sense.

In this context, it should be emphasised that the notions “Lithuanian Nation” and “Nation” used in the Constitution may not be opposed. The Lithuanian Nation is the basis and the necessary precondition of the existence of the civil Nation—the state community.

It has been mentioned that citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania expresses legal membership of a person in the State of Lithuania, reflects legal belongingness of the person to the Nation as a state community. The Lithuanian civil Nation is a state community which unites the citizens of the corresponding state (irrespective of their ethnical origin) and the whole of citizens composes the Lithuanian civil Nation. The Lithuanian civil Nation includes all citizens of the Republic of Lithuania, regardless of whether they belong to the nominal nation (they are Lithuanians), or to national minorities (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 10 May 2006). All citizen of the Republic of Lithuania, irrespective of their ethnical origin, under the Constitution shall be equal; they may not be discriminated or granted any privileges on the grounds of their ethnical origin and nationality. On the other hand, as the Constitutional Court has held, integration into the society of Lithuania, becoming a fully-fledged member of the state community—the civil Nation—is related to respective efforts, including learning the state language (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 10 May 2006).

9. Namely the Lithuanian civil Nation, the citizens of the reborn State of Lithuania, adopted and proclaimed the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania in the referendum of 25 October 1992. It is the Lithuanian civil Nation that is the source of the Constitution. The Constitutional Court has held that “having adopted the Constitution, the Lithuanian Nation formed the standardised basis for the common life of its own, as the state community—the civil Nation, and consolidated the state as the common good of the entire society” (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 25 May 2004 and 19 August 2006).

The Constitutional Court has also held that “only citizens of the Republic of Lithuania, i.e. the state community—the civil Nation—have the right to create the State of Lithuania, i.e. only citizens have the right to decide as to what State of Lithuania there must be, to establish the constitutional order of the State of Lithuania, the organisation of institutions exercising state power, the basics of relations between the person and the state, the system of the country’s economy, etc. While implementing the rights and freedoms of citizens, citizens participate in executing the sovereignty of the Nation” (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 30 December 2003 and 10 May 2006).

10. In the course of the establishment of the grounds of the acquisition of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania and the regulation of the procedure for the acquisition and loss of citizenship, the legislature enjoys discretion. However, while doing this, the legislature cannot deny the nature and meaning of the institute of citizenship, he must pay heed to the constitutional requirement that a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania may also be a citizen of another state only in individual cases established by law. It should be underlined that the provision of Article 12 of the Constitution that a person may be a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania and, at the same time, a citizen of another state only in individual cases established by law, means that such cases established by law can be very rare (individual), that cases of dual citizenship must be extraordinarily rare, exceptional, that under the Constitution it is not permitted to establish any such legal regulation under which cases of dual citizenship would be not extraordinarily rare exceptions, but a widespread phenomenon. Under the Constitution, expansive construction of the provisions of the Law on Citizenship consolidating an opportunity to be a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania and a citizen of another state at the same time is impermissible, under which dual citizenship would be not individual, extraordinarily rare exceptions, but a widespread phenomenon (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 30 December 2003).

11. When regulating citizenship relations, one must also follow the principle of equal rights of persons. As the Constitutional Court has held in its acts more than once, this constitutional principle means the innate human right to be treated equally with others and it consolidates formal equality of all persons, it obliges one to legally assess the same facts in the same manner and prohibits any arbitrary assessment of the essentially the same facts in a varied manner, it does not allow discrimination of persons or granting them any privileges. The Constitutional Court has also held that the constitutional principle of the equality of rights of persons does not deny a possibility of establishing different (differentiated) legal regulation in the law with respect to the categories of certain persons which are in different situations; however, this constitutional principle would be violated if certain persons, to whom corresponding legal regulation is designated, if compared with other persons to whom corresponding legal regulation is designated, were treated differently, even though there are no such differences between them so that such different treatment would be objectively justifiable.

12. In this context, it should be noted that it is recognised in the international law that each state establishes itself by means of legal acts as to who are its citizens, i.e. it defines the conditions and procedure for acquisition, restoration and loss of citizenship and regulates other relations linked to citizenship. Citizenship is an institute of the national law of each state. Thus, in the 1930 Convention on Certain Questions Relating to the Conflict of Nationality Laws, it is entrenched that it is for each state to determine under its own law who are its nationals, that this law shall be recognised by other states in so far as it is consistent with international conventions, international custom, and the principles of law generally recognised with regard to nationality (Article 1).

If necessary, the states may conclude multilateral and bilateral treaties concerning citizenship with other states. The legal regulation of citizenship established by means of laws and international treaties has to comply with, inter alia, international conventions, customary international law and the principles of law generally recognised with regard to citizenship.

13. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, attention should be paid to the provisions of international legal acts concerning the right of person to citizenship, as well as the provisions which entrench the concept of repatriation and the provisions on dual citizenship.

13.1. It is entrenched in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) of the United Nations that everyone has the right to a nationality; no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality (Article 15). It is established in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) of the United Nations that every child has the right to acquire nationality (Article 24).

International documents also entrench the undisputable principle that every state may define who are its citizens and to establish the grounds for the acquisition and loss of citizenship. The 1997 European Convention on Citizenship (which is not signed by the Republic of Lithuania) defines nationality as “the legal bond between a person and the State and does not indicate the person’s ethnical origin” (Article 2); it is also emphasised in this convention that each state shall determine under its own law who are its nationals (Paragraph 1 of Article 3). The said convention prohibits any discrimination in the sphere of nationality as well as from discrimination on the grounds of national or ethnical origin (Article 5).

13.2. The international legal acts also regulate certain relations related to dual citizenship. Thus, the 1963 Council of Europe Convention on the Reduction of Cases of Multiple Nationality and Military Obligations in Cases of Multiple Nationality (which has not been signed by the Republic of Lithuania) provides: the Member States of the Council of Europe, signatory hereto, considering that cases of multiple nationality are liable to cause difficulties and that joint action to reduce as far as possible the number of cases of multiple nationality, as between member States, corresponds to the aims of the Council of Europe (Preamble); nationals of the Contracting Parties who are of full age and who acquire of their own free will, by means of naturalisation, option or recovery, the nationality of another Party shall lose their former nationality and they shall not be authorised to retain their former nationality (Article 1). Even though the said convention has been amended and/or supplemented later more than once, inter alia, establishing additional conditions, reservations and possibilities for a person to keep citizenship of another state without the held citizenship, the principled provision that a person may usually hold citizenship of only one state remained.

It has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that the legal regulation of citizenship established by means of laws and international treaties has to comply with, inter alia, international conventions, customary international law and the principles of law generally recognised with regard to citizenship. They must also be complied with when the state, implementing its discretion to regulate citizenship relations by legal acts, when this discretion is recognised by international law, puts limitation on the cases of dual citizenship and establishes the necessary exceptions to this limitation.

13.3. In international law, the notion “repatriation” is usually used only in the context of protection of victims of war and their return to the homeland. Namely in this context this notion used is in the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Ratification of the 1949 Geneva Conventions for the Protection of the Victims of War and Additional Protocols of 1977 thereto which Develop the Provisions of these Conventions”, which was adopted by the Seimas on 2 May 2000. Thus, in the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War of 12 August 1949 and Additional Protocols of 1977 thereto, it is, inter alia, prescribed: parties to the conflict are bound to send back to their own country, regardless of number or rank, seriously wounded and seriously sick prisoners of war, after having cared for them until they are fit to travel and no sick or injured prisoner of war who is eligible for repatriation under the first paragraph of this article, may be repatriated against his will during hostilities (Article 109); prisoners of war shall be released and repatriated without delay after the cessation of active hostilities (Article 118). In the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949, it is, inter alia, prescribed: the Parties to the conflict shall, moreover, endeavour during the course of hostilities, to conclude treaties for the release, the repatriation, the return to places of residence or the accommodation in a neutral country of certain classes of internees, in particular children, pregnant women and mothers with infants and young children, wounded and sick, and internees who have been detained for a long time (Article 132); the Contracting Parties shall endeavour, upon the close of hostilities or occupation, to ensure the return of all internees to their last place of residence, or to facilitate their repatriation (Article 134). Thus, in these conventions, the notion “repatriation” is used in the context of the return of persons to the state whose citizens they are (taking the legal bond of the person with a corresponding state as a basis) and not in the context of the ethnical origin of the person.

The notion “repatriation” is also explained differently in dictionaries: in some dictionaries “repatriation” is defined as “the return or restoration of a person or object to his or its country of origin” (Black’s Law Dictionary. Sixth ed. San Paul, 1992, p. 900), while in others—as “the whole of actions in order to organize and ensure the return of a person to his country of origin or departure place” (Cornu G. Vocabulaire juridique. Paris: PUF, 2003, p. 728).

13.4. After the Republic of Lithuania became a Member State of the European Union on 1 May 2004, citizens of the Republic of Lithuania became citizens of the European Union.

In Paragraph 1 of Article 17 of the Treaty Establishing the European Community it is consolidated:

Citizenship of the Union is hereby established. Every person holding the nationality of a Member State shall be a citizen of the Union. Citizenship of the Union shall complement and not replace national citizenship”.

It should be held that citizenship of the European Union does not change the content of the national institute of citizenship of any member state, thus, it does not change the content of the institute of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, either. In respect to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, citizenship of the European Union is complementary, additional, as only a person, who holds citizenship of a member state of the European Union, in this case, the Republic of Lithuania, may be a citizen of the European Union. The limitation on dual citizenship entrenched in the Constitution is not applicable to citizenship of the European Union, a Member State of which the Republic of Lithuania is.

III

On the compliance of Item 1 (wording of 17 September 2002) of Article 1 and Item 1 (wording of 17 September 2002) of Paragraph 1 of Article 17 of the Law on Citizenship with Paragraphs 1 and 3 of Article 12 and Article 29 of the Constitution, with the constitutional principles of justice and a state under the rule of law, on the compliance of Paragraph 2 (wordings of 17 September 2002 and 6 April 2006) of Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship with Articles 12 and 29 of the Constitution, and on the compliance of Paragraph 2 (wording of 17 September 2002) of Article 2 of the Law on the Implementation of the Law on Citizenship with Paragraphs 1 and 3 of Article 12 and Article 29 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principles of justice and a state under the rule of law.

1. The restoration of the State of Lithuania in 1990 was based on the continuity of the state, thus, also on the continuity of Lithuanian citizenship. Thus, while deciding on the compliance of the impugned provisions of the laws with the Constitution in this constitutional justice case, it is necessary to clarify the traditions of the legal regulation of citizenship relations and its development in Lithuania in the aspects that are raised by the petitioners—a group of members of the Seimas and the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court—in their petitions: definition of the corps of citizens, establishment of legislative possibilities for citizens of the Republic of Lithuania also to hold citizenship of another state, regulation of the relations of loss of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania (particularly, when citizenship of another state is acquired), retention of the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania and definition of content of the notion “repatriation” (inter alia, whether repatriation is a circumstance, which determines whether the person is a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania, whether the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania is retained to him, etc.)

2. After the restoration of the independent State of Lithuania on 16 February 1918, its legal bases were grounded on the provisional constitutions and laws.

On 2 November 1918, the State Council of Lithuania adopted the basic laws of the Provisional Constitution of the State of Lithuania—the Provisional Constitution of the restored independent State of Lithuania. It did not include any explicit provisions regulating citizenship relations (it did not define as to who were citizens of the State of Lithuania, it did not establish the grounds for acquisition or loss of Lithuanian citizenship, etc.), but it included provisions entrenching the fundamental rights of citizens. The basic laws of the 1918 Provisional Constitution of the State of Lithuania constituted the constitutional basis to regulate the Lithuanian citizenship relations by law.

It should be noted that virtually analogous basis of the legal regulation of Lithuanian citizenship relations were also entrenched in the subsequently adopted provisional constitutions of the State of Lithuania—the Basic Laws of the Provisional Constitution of the State of Lithuania adopted by the State Council of Lithuania on 4 April 1919 and the Provisional Constitution of the State of Lithuania adopted by the Constituent Seimas on 10 June 1920.

3. In the first years of the existence of the restored State of Lithuania the relations of Lithuanian citizenship were regulated by the Provisional Law on Lithuanian Citizenship and by bilateral treaties with foreign states.

3.1. §1 of the Provisional Law on Lithuanian Citizenship, which was adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers on 9 January 1919, establishes that the citizens of Lithuania shall be:

(1) persons, whose parents and grandparents have resided in Lithuania for quite a while, and they have always resided in Lithuania themselves; (2) children of persons specified in the first Item, who, even though have not always resided in Lithuania, finally returned to reside there; (3) persons, who had resided in Lithuania for not less than ten years until 1914 and: (a) either owned their own real property, or (b) had a permanent job; (4) children of a Lithuanian citizen; (5) his wife or widow; (6) children of an unmarried woman, who is a Lithuanian citizen, if they are not accepted by a foreigner as his children and (7) foreigners, who are newly accepted as Lithuanian citizens.” The provision of Item 3 quoted here was applied with reservation that “persons shall not be considered as Lithuanian citizens even if they had permanent jobs <…> if their jobs were only to serve the State of Russia, i.e. they were Russian officials”.

Thus, under the Provisional Law on Lithuanian Citizenship, the corps of citizens was composed of the Lithuanian citizens ipso iure: permanent residents of Lithuania and their children who returned to reside in Lithuania from abroad; persons, who had resided in Lithuania for not less than ten years by 1914 and who either owned real property or had permanent jobs; as well as persons who were born with citizenship or acquired it by marriage; it was also possible to acquire Lithuanian citizenship by way of naturalisation.

The Provisional Law on Lithuanian Citizenship was amended and supplemented, however, the provisions on the composition of the corps of Lithuanian citizens were not amended in essence.

3.2. From the first international treaties concluded by the independent State of Lithuania with other states, which regulated, inter alia, Lithuanian citizenship relations, those to be mentioned are the Lithuanian Peace Treaty with Russia of 12 July 1920 and the Convention between Lithuania and Latvia on the Rights of Citizens of 9 July 1921. Under these bilateral international treaties, persons had the right to choose only the citizenship of one or another state (accordingly, Lithuanian or Russian, or Lithuanian or Latvian); they could not be citizens of both states who concluded corresponding treaties at the same time. Lithuania concluded international treaties regulating, inter alia, Lithuanian citizenship relations also with some other states.

4. On 1 August 1922, the Constituent Seimas adopted the Constitution of the State of Lithuania. Part II thereof titled “Lithuanian Citizens and Their Rights” prescribed, inter alia, that the citizenship right shall be acquired and lost following the Citizenship Law (part one of §8), and that no one can be a citizen of Lithuania and any another state at the same time (§9).

Such constitutional prohibition on dual citizenship was based on the fact that “now there are a lot of foreigners who, without renouncing either Poland or Russia, also would like to enjoy the rights of Lithuanian citizens, but who do not want to perform the duties that fall upon Lithuanian citizens. Therefore, it is written in the Constitution that no one can be a citizen of Lithuania and any another state at the same time” (Jankūnaitė V. Lietuvos Valstybės Konstitucija su paaiškinimais [The Constitution of the State of Lithuania with Explanations]. Kaunas, 1922, p. 25).

5. On 15 May 1928, the President of the Republic promulgated the Constitution of the State of Lithuania. It was established in this Constitution that no one can be a citizen of Lithuania and any other state at the same time (part one of §10), but it was also prescribed that “a Lithuanian citizen, however, shall not lose his citizenship rights after he has become a citizen of any American land if he performs certain duties specified by law” (part two of §10). Thus, the 1928 Constitution entrenched not only the prohibition on dual citizenship but also its exceptions.

6. After entry into force of the 1928 Constitution, the 1919 Provisional Law on Lithuanian Citizenship (with subsequent amendments and supplements) continued to be in force in Lithuania.

7. While construing the prohibition on dual citizenship entrenched in the then legal acts regulating citizenship legal relations and exceptions thereto, it should be noted that the prohibition on dual citizenship was determined by the striving of the restored and independently developing State of Lithuania to clearly define the corps of its citizens and not to allow the occurrence of such legal situations where a Lithuanian citizen would also be bound by loyalty to another state—the state whose citizenship, along with the Lithuanian citizenship, he would hold. Meanwhile, the said exception to the prohibition on dual citizenship was determined by the striving of the State of Lithuania not to lose the link with Lithuanian citizens residing in those foreign states, where they emigrated at that time in huge numbers. Namely because of the fact that at that moment Lithuanian citizens mostly emigrated (in huge numbers, due to various reasons) to the states of the American continent (Argentina, Canada, Brazil, the United States of America, Uruguay), the said exception to the prohibition on dual citizenship was established for such Lithuanian citizens, who acquired citizenship “of any American land”. It should also be noted that part of Lithuanian citizens would depart from Lithuania temporarily and even after the acquisition of citizenship of other states, they would return to Lithuania after some time.

8. In this context, one should mention the Treaty on Naturalisation and Military Service between the Republic of Lithuania and United States of America which was concluded on 18 October 1937 and came into force on 20 July 1938. It regulated the naturalisation and conscription relations of the persons who held dual citizenship. In the said treaty it was prescribed that the citizens of one of the contracting parties, who will be naturalised in the territory of another country and who will temporally return to “the country of their original citizenship” are not to be required to perform military service or any other act of faithfulness, however, the person who returned to his country of origin and resided there for more than two years had to be considered as one who refused naturalisation (Article I). Also a person, who was born in the territory of one country, and whose parents are citizens of another country, and who, under the laws of that country, holds citizenship of both countries but permanently resides in the territory of that country, is not to be forced to perform military service or any other act of faithfulness, if he temporally (for not more than two years) resides in the territory of the second country (Article II).

9. On 11 February 1938, the Seimas adopted the Lithuanian Constitution. It was promulgated by the President of the Republic on 12 May 1938. Chapter II titled “Citizenship” of this Constitution entrenched the grounds for acquisition and loss of Lithuanian citizenship (Articles 11–14), inter alia, the principle of prohibition on dual citizenship: “after acquisition of foreign citizenship, the citizen shall lose Lithuanian citizenship” (Paragraph 1 of Article 13). Moreover, it was prescribed that the conditions and procedure for the acquisition of citizenship, as well as those for acceptance as a Lithuanian citizen and deprivation and loss of citizenship shall be established by law (Article 15).

It needs to be noted that the 1938 Constitution did not entrench the prohibition on dual citizenship, but the exception to such prohibition: in cases established by law, a citizen, who holds foreign citizenship, may also retain Lithuanian citizenship (Paragraph 2 of Article 13). Thus, the legislature had the duty to establish cases when a person could be a citizen not only of Lithuania, but also of another state.

Moreover, under Item 3 of Article 12 of the Constitution, a person who has merits to the State of Lithuania could be accepted as a Lithuanian citizen. This constitutional provision also implied that also such person with merits to the State of Lithuania who was a citizen of another state could be accepted as a Lithuanian citizen. Thus, the said constitutional provision implied one more exception to the prohibition on dual citizenship.

10. On 8 August 1939, the President of the Republic promulgated the Law on Lithuanian Citizenship. The legal regulation established by it was in most aspects different from the one established in the formerly valid Provisional Law on Lithuanian Citizenship (with subsequent amendments and supplements).

The Law on Lithuanian Citizenship of 8 August 1939 no longer included the provisions defining what persons are Lithuanian citizens, as the corps of citizens of the State of Lithuania had already been formed under the Provisional Law on Lithuanian Citizenship (with subsequent amendments and supplements) of 9 January 1919. The Law on Lithuanian Citizenship established the procedure for acquisition, deprivation, loss and retrieval of citizenship.

The Law on Lithuanian Citizenship entrenched the prohibition on dual citizenship (Article 20). It also entrenched two exceptions to this prohibition: (1) it provided for a possibility of granting Lithuanian citizenship by way of exception: a person with merits to the State of Lithuania could be accepted as a Lithuanian citizen without applying the condition established in Article 10 for Lithuanians in order to acquire Lithuanian citizenship—to settle in Lithuania—and the conditions established in Article 11 for non-Lithuanians in order to acquire Lithuanian citizenship, inter alia, the condition established in Item 5 of this article also to be a citizen of the state, under whose laws a person would lose citizenship of that state after becoming a Lithuanian citizen (Article 12); (2) it entrenched a possibility for a citizen of Lithuania, who accepted citizenship of a foreign state, to retain Lithuanian citizenship upon permission by the Minister of the Interior (Article 21).

11. One should also mention the Treaty between the Republic of Lithuania and the German Reich on Citizenship of the Residents of the Town of Klaipėda. It should be emphasised that this Treaty was signed on 7 July 1939, thus, already after the occupation of the Klaipėda region and its annexation to the German Reich; after being ratified by the President of the Republic, it came into force on 9 November 1939. The said treaty regulated the citizenship matters of the residents of the Klaipėda region which had been annexed by a foreign state. It entrenched, inter alia, the prohibition on holding citizenship of both the Republic of Lithuania and the German Reich at the same time.

12. One should also mention the legal regulation of citizenship relations of the residents of Vilnius and its region in the treaties with Russia and the Soviet Union which replaced Russia as well as in the Introductory Law on the Administration of Vilnius City and its Region.

12.1. The Peace Treaty between Lithuania and Russia which was signed on 12 July 1920 established the border between Lithuania and the then Soviet Russia. The Constituent Seimas ratified this treaty on 6 August 1920 and the parties exchanged the ratification letters on 14 October 1920. Under this treaty Vilnius and its region remained for Lithuania. It was established in this treaty that the persons who reside in the territory of Lithuania on the day of its ratification and “who themselves or whose parents permanently reside in Lithuania or who were entered into the communities of settlements, towns or estates in the territory of Lithuania”, as well as the persons who had resided in Lithuania for not less than ten years by 1914 and who had permanent jobs, “excluding the former civil and military servants, of non-Lithuanian origin, with their families” are recognised as citizens of the State of Lithuania. The persons who had reached 18 years of age and who resided in the territory of Lithuania, had the right to express their will to retain (opt for) Russian citizenship in one year after the ratification of this treaty. In such case, “their citizenship shall be followed by their children who are younger of 18 years of age and the wife, if there is no other agreement between the husband and wife” (Article VI). Thus, also under this treaty persons had to choose citizenship of only one state (Lithuanian or Russian); they could not be citizens of both states at the same time.

12.2. Due to the existing circumstances, namely due to the fact that Vilnius and its region were annexed by Poland in 1920–1939, Lithuania could not implement the sovereignty of the state in this part of its territory. The implementation of the citizenship institute in Vilnius and its region was restricted.

12.3. After World War II had begun, the then Soviet Union occupied a part of the territory of the then Poland, including Vilnius and its region that had been annexed by it. On 10 October 1939, the Treaty on Transferring Vilnius and the Vilnius Region to the Republic of Lithuania and Mutual Assistance between Lithuania and the Soviet Union was signed. The President of the Republic ratified this treaty on 14 October 1939 and the parties exchanged the ratification letters on 16 October 1939. It was agreed by the contracting parties that “the Soviet Union shall transfer Vilnius and the Vilnius region to the Republic of Lithuania including them into the composition of the territory of the State of Lithuania and establishing the border between the Republic of Lithuania and the USSR <…>” (Article I) by this treaty. It should be noted that by the said treaty not the whole territory of the Vilnius region which had to belong to the Republic of Lithuania under the Peace Treaty signed by Lithuania and Russia on 12 July 1920 was transferred to the Republic of Lithuania.

12.4. On 27 October 1939, the Seimas adopted the Introductory Law on the Administration of Vilnius City and its Region which was promulgated by the President of the Republic on 27 October 1939. It was established in Article 1 of this law that “Lithuanian legal regulations shall be in effect in Vilnius city and its region”, and in Article 3—that “the residents of Vilnius city and its region who were considered to be citizens of Lithuania on the day when the ratification documents of the Peace Treaty between Lithuania and Russia of 12 July 1920 were exchanged and who had the place of residence in Vilnius city or its region on the day when this law came into effect, shall be considered Lithuanian citizens. Wives and children of up to 21 years of age of these Lithuanian citizens shall also be considered Lithuanian citizens”.

13. Summing up, it should be held that the corps of citizens of the restored independent State of Lithuania was formed on the basis of permanent residents of Lithuania, irrespective of their nationality.

It should be emphasised that since the independent State of Lithuania was restored on 16 February 1918 till 15 June 1940, when Lithuania lost its independence after the Soviet Union had performed its aggression towards the independent State of Lithuania, it was typical for the legal regulation of Lithuanian citizenship relations that all the time it was aimed at defining the corps of Lithuanian citizens as clearly as possible; this was done by following the principled provision that a Lithuanian citizen may not be a citizen of any other state at the same time, save separate exceptions (whose regulation in the legal acts changed in the corresponding periods of time of the development of the State of Lithuania). This principled provision of the prohibition on dual citizenship was followed both when the established corresponding legal regulation was authentic (i.e. when the State of Lithuania and its institutions could actually decide independently how to regulate Lithuanian citizenship relations) and when the corresponding legal regulation was forced upon the State of Lithuania from outside (i.e. when the amendments of the legal regulation of Lithuanian citizenship relations were determined by the actions of other states in respect of the State of Lithuania).

In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it should also be noted that till 15 June 1940 the legal acts regulating Lithuanian citizenship relations included the provisions concerning the return of a person to Lithuania or his departure to other states, however, the notion “repatriation” was not used.

14. After the Soviet Union committed its aggression against the independent State of Lithuania on 15 June 1940, Lithuania was occupied, later also annexed and incorporated into the Soviet Union. After the Soviet Union occupied and annexed Lithuania, the validity of the 1938 Lithuanian Constitution and other legal acts of the State of Lithuania was unlawfully terminated. Annexed and administered by the Soviets, Lithuania was renamed into the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic (the Lithuanian SSR). The acts of the Soviet power also denied the institute of Lithuanian citizenship—it was not possible to implement it in the occupied and annexed territory of the State of Lithuania.

On 7 September 1940, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union passed the Ordinance “On the Procedure for the Acquisition of Citizenship for the Citizens of the Soviet Socialist Republics of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia”, Item 1 of which prescribed that “citizens of the Soviet Socialist Republics of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia shall be citizens of the USSR since the day, after these republics are admitted to the USSR.”

Pursuant to this ordinance, on 30 December 1940, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Lithuanian SSR passed the Ordinance “On the Acquisition of Citizenship of the Lithuanian SSR”, by which it recognised that “As from the day that the Lithuanian SSR is admitted to the composition of the USSR, all those persons who had the place of residence in the territory of the present Lithuanian SSR <…> on 1 September 1939, shall be considered citizens of the Lithuanian SSR, irrespective of whether at that moment these persons had Lithuanian citizenship or not.”

Thus, by the unlawful decision of the unlawful power, which denied both the law of the State of Lithuania and the international law, all the then citizens of Lithuania were declared as “citizens of the USSR” and “citizens of the Lithuanian SSR” by force.

Citizenship of the USSR” and “citizenship of the Lithuanian SSR” which were imposed by such force, were and are null and void.

15. The Lithuanian Nation has never accepted the loss of statehood.

As it was held in the 11 March 1990 Declaration “On the Powers of the Deputies of the Supreme Soviet of the Lithuanian SSR” of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania, at the end of the ninth decade of the 20th century “when the new possibilities came into being, the movement of the rebirth and independence of the Nation began to manifest openly, including the widest levels of the society. The will of the Nation, having uttered in public in civil actions, became the expression of its sovereign power through the existing institutions”.

It was also held in the 11 March 1990 Declaration “On the Powers of the Deputies of the Supreme Soviet of the Lithuanian SSR” of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania that the usage of the structures of the foreign state which had been imposed on Lithuania should not be interpreted as the recognition of the sovereignty of the state which imposed them over the Lithuanian Nation and its territory or the annexation committed by that state.

16. During the time of the rebirth of the Nation (1988–1990), when Lithuania was still occupied and annexed by the Soviet Union, the Lithuanian Nation, acting through the Lithuanian Reform Movement (Sąjūdis), achieved that the administrative institutions which were created by the foreign state and functioned in Lithuania, inter alia, the Supreme Soviet of the Lithuanian SSR, would adopt the acts, anticipating the restoration of the Lithuanian statehood.

In this respect, the Law on Citizenship of the Lithuanian SSR which was adopted by the then Supreme Soviet of the Lithuanian SSR on 3 November 1989, which came into force on the day of its adoption, was of particular importance.

16.1. The “citizenship of the Lithuanian SSR” provided for in the Law on Citizenship of the Lithuanian SSR meant that a special legal status was established to the former citizens of the Republic of Lithuania, their children and grandchildren who were permanent residents in the then territory of the Lithuanian SSR—different from the one established to the persons, who were in the territory of the then Lithuanian SSR, to whom the “citizenship of the Lithuanian SSR” was not recognised. The said act, which separated the permanent residents of Lithuania from the persons who arrived from the Soviet Union and resided in Lithuania, particularly Soviet soldiers, was aimed to define and unite the Lithuanian Nation and to create political and legal preconditions in order to express the will of the Nation in democratic elections or by referendum.

16.2. Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship (wording of 3 November 1989) prescribed that the following persons shall be “citizens of the Lithuanian SSR”: (1) persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, children and grandchildren of such persons, as well as other persons who were permanent residents on the territory of the Lithuanian SSR prior to 15 July 1940, and their children and grandchildren who now are or have been permanent residents on the territory of the Lithuanian SSR; (2) persons who had a permanent place of residence in the Lithuanian SSR, provided that they were born in the territory of the Lithuanian SSR, or proved that at least one of their parents or grandparents was born on said territory, and provided that they are not citizens of another state; (3) other persons who, up to and including the date of entry into force of this law, had been permanent residents in the territory of the Republic and had here a permanent job or other permanent legal source of support; such persons shall freely choose their citizenship within two years following the entry into force of this law; and (4) persons who had acquired citizenship of the Lithuanian SSR under this law.

16.3. The Law on Citizenship (wording of 3 November 1989) provided for institutes of retention of the right to citizenship of the Lithuanian SSR and recognition of citizenship of the Lithuanian SSR (in this law also referred to as “citizenship of the Republic”). The right to citizenship of the Lithuanian SSR was retained to the persons who were deported from the territory of Lithuania or who departed from it in or about 1940 or thereafter, as well as for children and grandchildren of such persons (Paragraph 1 of Article 22). Citizenship of the Republic was recognised to other Lithuanians after they relocated to reside in Lithuania and made an oath to the Republic (Paragraph 2 of Article 22).

16.4. It needs to be noted that the Law on Citizenship (wording of 3 November 1989) defined the persons who were considered citizens of the Lithuanian SSR and the persons who were retained the right to citizenship of the Lithuanian SSR differently: citizens of the Lithuanian SSR were considered, inter alia, persons who were citizens of the Republic of Lithuania, children and grandchildren of such persons, as well as other persons who were permanent residents in the territory of the then Lithuanian SSR prior to 15 July 1940, and their children and grandchildren who at that time were permanent residents in the territory of the Lithuanian SSR, while the right to Lithuanian citizenship was retained to the persons who were deported from the territory of Lithuania or departed from it in or about 1940 or thereafter (thus, who did not reside in Lithuania), as well as for children and grandchildren of such persons.

16.5. It should also be mentioned that the Law on Citizenship (wording of 3 November 1989) provided for the acquisition of citizenship of the Lithuanian SSR by naturalisation (Item 2 of Paragraph 1 of Article 10 and Article 15), and it prescribed that by way of exception, a person holding the citizenship of another state may be granted citizenship of the Lithuanian SSR by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Lithuanian SSR (Article 7).

16.6. It should particularly be emphasised that under Paragraph 4 of Article 35 of the Law on Citizenship (wording of 3 November 1989), a two-year period of time was established for the law’s “full implementation” after its entry into force. This provision should be construed taking into account Item 3 of Article 1 of the said law, under which “other persons who, up to and including the date of entry into force of this Law, have been permanent residents on the territory of the Republic and have here a permanent job or other permanent legal source of living <…> shall freely choose their citizenship within two years after the entry into force of this Law”, as well as Paragraph 4 of Article 2, which prescribed that “persons of the full age who within two years from the date of entry into force of this Law have not gained a passport of the citizen of the Lithuanian SSR, shall be considered as those who have not accepted citizenship of the Lithuanian SSR”. In this context, it should also be noted that, under Paragraph 1 of Article 35 of the Law on Citizenship (wording of 3 November 1989), “for two years after this Law comes into force, persons referred to in Article 1 of this Law may, until they freely choose their citizenship, avail themselves of the rights of a citizen of the Lithuanian SSR”.

16.7. On 13 April 1994, the Constitutional Court, in the constitutional justice case subsequent to the petition of a group of members of the Seimas, a petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether the 22 December 1993 Seimas Resolution “On Amending Item 5 of the Resolution of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania ‘On the Procedure for Implementing the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship’” was not in conflict with Articles 12 and 28 and Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, adopted the Ruling “On the Compliance of the Resolution of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania ‘On Amending Item 5 of the Resolution of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania “On the Procedure for Implementing the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship”’ of 22 December 1993 with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania”, in which it was held, inter alia, that the persons specified in Item 3 of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship (wording of 3 November 1989) (i.e. “other persons who, up to and including the date of entry into force of this Law, have been permanent residents on the territory of the Republic and have here a permanent job or other permanent legal source of living”) were different from the persons specified in Items 1 and 2 (i.e. the persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, children and grandchildren of such persons, as well as other persons who were permanent residents on the territory of the Lithuanian SSR prior to 15 July 1940, and their children and grandchildren who then were or had been permanent residents on the territory of the Lithuanian SSR; persons who had a permanent place of residence in the Lithuanian SSR, provided that they had been born on the territory of the Lithuanian SSR, or had proved that at least one of their parents or grandparents was born on said territory, and provided that they were not citizens of another state) by the fact that they had never had firm permanent legal relations with Lithuania; as matter of fact, they were migrants, who had come from places that were beyond the borders of Lithuania, who usually held citizenship of the Soviet Union and after the restoration of the independent state of Lithuania they became foreigners here. It was held in the said ruling of the Constitutional Court that Lithuanian citizenship for them was granted under a rather simplified procedure: they were required to be permanent residents in the territory of Lithuania and had to have here a permanent job or other permanent legal source of living; they had the right within two years after the enforcement of the Law on Citizenship (wording of 3 November 1989) to freely decide on citizenship, i.e. they could either retain citizenship of the Soviet Union or become citizens of Lithuania.

16.8. Paragraph 2 of Article 35 of the Law on Citizenship (wording of 3 November 1989) prescribed that during the period prior to the full restoration of the state sovereignty of Lithuania, citizens of the Lithuanian SSR shall also use passports of the USSR.

16.9. The Law on Citizenship (wording of 3 November 1989) also regulated other relations related to the acquisition, loss, return and retention of citizenship of the Lithuanian SSR and to decision of other citizenship issues.

16.10. It should particularly be emphasised that no provision of the Law on Citizenship (wording of 3 November 1989) could be construed as an obligation of a citizen of the Lithuanian SSR to any other state or citizenship established by it; it was expressis verbis entrenched in Paragraph 3 of Article 35 of this law.

17. On 11 March 1990, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania adopted the Act of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania “On the Restoration of the Independent State of Lithuania” by which it declared that the execution of the sovereign powers of the State of Lithuania abolished by foreign forces in 1940, is restored and henceforth Lithuania is again an independent state and the constitution of no other state is valid in Lithuania.

18. On the same day the Supreme Council adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Provisional Basic Law of the Republic of Lithuania”, by Article 2 of which it confirmed the Provisional Basic Law of the Republic of Lithuania—the Provisional Constitution of the restored independent State of Lithuania. The national legal system was begun to be created on the basis of the Provisional Basic Law.

The Provisional Basic Law also included provisions on Lithuanian citizenship. Thus, it was established in Article 13 that the content of Lithuanian citizenship, conditions and procedures for its acquisition and loss shall be defined by the Law on Lithuanian Citizenship (Paragraph 1); as a rule, a citizen of Lithuania may not be a citizen of another state at the same time (Paragraph 2); Lithuanian citizens abroad shall be defended and protected by the State of Lithuania (Paragraph 3); and immigration to the Republic of Lithuania shall be regulated by law (Paragraph 4).

19. Article 3 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Provisional Basic Law of the Republic of Lithuania” prescribed that the laws and other legal acts which had been in effect thitherto and which were not in conflict with the Provisional Basic Law of the Republic of Lithuania shall continue to be effective.

It needs to be noted that after the restoration of the independent State of Lithuania, most of legal acts that had been passed thitherto remained effective. The legislature and other subjects of law-making had a constitutional duty to revise the corresponding legal acts which had been passed prior to the restoration of the independent State of Lithuania and to harmonise them with the Provisional Basic Law. It had to be done within the reasonable and shortest time possible.

The same should be said about the Law on Citizenship (wording of 3 November 1989).

20. It needs to be noted that Article 1 of the 11 March 1990 Law “On the Name of the State and the Coat of Arms” (which was adopted even before the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Provisional Basic Law of the Republic of Lithuania”, by which the Provisional Basic Law of the Republic of Lithuania was confirmed) prescribed that the only official name of the state—“the Republic of Lithuania”, or its shorter version and in compound titles—“Lithuania”, “Lithuanian”—must be used in the Constitution and other legal normative acts. Thus, since then the former Law on Citizenship of the Lithuanian SSR (wording of 3 November 1989) was renamed into the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship, also changing the former formula “the Lithuanian SSR” of the text of this law accordingly so that this law, as a law of the restored independent State of Lithuania, could regulate the citizenship relations of the Republic of Lithuania.

21. In this context, it should be noted that it was held in the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 13 April 1994 that persons who had lawfully acquired citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania were considered as having lost citizenship of the Soviet Union; with regard to said persons, citizenship of the Soviet Union was declared null and void; it meant that consequences of occupation and annexation with regard to citizens of Lithuania who had been enforced citizenship of the Soviet Union against their will, had been eliminated.

Thus, even though the citizens of the Republic of Lithuania temporarily used the passports of citizens of the USSR (under Paragraph 2 (wording of 3 November 1989) of Article 35 of the Law on Citizenship), they could not be treated as citizens of the USSR, i.e. as citizens of the state which had declared them as its citizens against their own will.

22. On 16 April 1991, the Supreme Council adopted the Law “On Supplementing Article 18 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship”, whereby Article 18 (wording of 3 November 1989) of the Law on Citizenship was supplemented with Item 4.

Article 18 (wording of 16 April 1991) was set forth as follows:

Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall be lost if:

1) A person renounces citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania;

2) A person is deprived of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania;

3) There are grounds provided for in the international agreements of the Republic of Lithuania;

4) A person acquires citizenship of another state.”

23. One should also mention the following legal acts passed by the Supreme Council by which certain provisions of the Law on Citizenship (wording of 3 November 1989 together with subsequent supplement) were interpreted and the application procedure for certain provisions of this law was prescribed: the Supreme Council Resolution “On the Application Procedure of Articles 7 and 35 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” of 19 June 1990 (hereinafter referred to as the Supreme Council resolution of 19 June 1990), the Supreme Council Law “On the Provisions on the Procedure for Settlement Issues of Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania” of 10 July 1990 and the Supreme Council Resolution “On the Interpretation of the Fourth Paragraph of Article 2 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” of 31 October 1991.

In this context, it should be noted that while construing Article 7 of the Law on Citizenship (wording of 3 November 1989), under which citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania could be granted to a citizen of another state by way of exception and Paragraph 3 of Article 35, under which no provision of the said law shall be interpreted as binding any citizen of the Lithuanian SSR to the laws on any other state or to citizenship established by the said state, in its resolution of 19 June 1990 the Supreme Council held that: a person, who acquired citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, shall be considered as one who lost citizenship of another state (the first paragraph of Item 1); a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania may also be a citizen of another state only in the case when citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania was granted to him by way of exception (the third paragraph of Item 1).

Thus, the Supreme Council resolution of 19 June 1990 once again confirmed the prohibition on dual citizenship (arising from the Provisional Basic Law) (with the exception provided for) which also had to be heeded while applying the Law on Citizenship (wording of 3 November 1989), wherein this prohibition had not been entrenched expressis verbis before Article 18 (wording of 3 November 1989) of the Law on Citizenship was supplemented by the Law “On Supplementing Article 18 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” and set forth in the new wording of 16 April 1991.

24. It has been mentioned that a two-year period of time was established for the “full implementation” of the Law on Citizenship (wording of 3 November 1989 with subsequent supplement), after its entry into force, as well as that it was related to the period of time, during which the corresponding persons had to freely decide on citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

Upon expiration of the two-year period on 4 November 1991, the Law on Citizenship (wording of 3 November 1989 with subsequent supplement) continued to be effective, it did not lose its validity of its own accord.

25. On 5 December 1991, the Supreme Council adopted a new Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship, which had to replace the Law on Citizenship (wording of 3 November 1989 with subsequent supplements) which had been in force until then.

The Law on Citizenship (wording of 3 November 1989 with subsequent supplement) was recognised as no longer effective by Article 3 of the 10 December 1991 Supreme Council Law “On the Validity of Documents of Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania and Supplement of the Law on Citizenship”; under Article 4 of the Law “On the Validity of Documents of Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania and Supplement of the Law on Citizenship”, this law came into force on 11 December 1991. On the same day (on 10 December 1991) when the Law “On the Validity of Documents of Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania and Supplement of the Law on Citizenship” was adopted, the Supreme Council also adopted the Resolution “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” (hereinafter also referred to as the Supreme Council resolution of 10 December 1991), in Item 1 of which it was prescribed that the new Law on Citizenship shall come into force on 11 December 1991.

26. The legal regulation entrenched in the Law on Citizenship (wording of 5 December 1991 with supplement made by Article 2 of the Law “On the Validity of Documents of Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania and Supplement of the Law on Citizenship”, which was adopted by the Supreme Council on 10 December 1991) in some cases was analogous to the one entrenched in the Law on Citizenship (wording of 3 November 1989 with subsequent supplement), while in other respects it entrenched essential novels.

26.1. Paragraph 1 (wording of 5 December 1991) of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship prescribed that the following persons shall be citizens of the Republic of Lithuania: (1) persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, and their children and grandchildren provided that they have not acquired citizenship of another state; (2) persons who were permanent residents on the territory of the Republic of Lithuania in the period from 9 January 1919 to 15 June 1940, as well as their children and grandchildren, provided that on the day of entry into force of this law they were permanent residents in Lithuania, and were not citizens of another state; (3) persons who acquired citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania or had it restored to them prior to 4 November 1991 under the Law on Citizenship which had been in force before the enactment of this law; (4) persons who implemented the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, or held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania restored to them under this law; and (5) other persons who acquired citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania under this law.

26.2. Article 17 (wording of 5 December 1991) of the Law on Citizenship specified the persons to whom the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania is retained for an indefinite period of time: (1) persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania until 15 June 1940 and were at that time residing in other states, provided that they had not repatriated from Lithuania; (2) children of persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania until 15 June 1940, who had been born in Lithuania or in refugee camps, but were at that time residing in other states; and (3) other persons of Lithuanian origin who were residing in foreign states or in the territories governed by said states.

The institute of retention of the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania was designed for the purpose that the persons (not only of Lithuanian origin) who are residing in foreign states, who had held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania before the loss of Lithuanian statehood, their children and the Lithuanians residing abroad would not lose the link with the restored independent State of Lithuania and that Lithuanians residing abroad would not be severed from the Lithuanian Nation.

26.3. The persons who were retained the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, could become citizens of the Republic of Lithuania in two ways—by implementing the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania or by restoring citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania (Article 18 (wordings of 5 December 1991 and 10 December 1991)).

26.3.1. The obligatory condition for the persons, who retained the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, in order to implement the said right, had to renounce the held citizenship of another state.

It should be noted that there was no requirement set forth to the persons residing in other states, who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940 (if they have not repatriated), to relocate to Lithuania for permanent residence and to make an oath to the Republic of Lithuania.

Meanwhile, if the children of the persons residing in other states who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940 and other persons of Lithuanian origin wanted to implement the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, not only did they have to renounce the held citizenship of another state, but also to relocate to Lithuania for permanent residence and to make an oath to the Republic of Lithuania.

26.3.2. Only the persons specified in Paragraph 3 (wording of 5 December 1991) of Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship—persons of Lithuanian origin who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, and who departed from Lithuania in the period from 15 June 1940 to 11 March 1990, and are at the present time residing in other states—could become citizens of Lithuania by way of restoration. In this context, it should be noted that Article 2 of the Law “On the Validity of Documents of Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania and Supplement of the Law on Citizenship”, which was adopted by the Supreme Council on 10 December 1991, supplemented Paragraph 3 (wording of 10 December 1991) of Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship and prescribed that not only the persons of Lithuanian origin who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, and who departed from Lithuania in the period from 15 June 1940 to 11 March 1990, and are at the present time residing in other states shall have the right to restore citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, but also their children who did not acquire citizenship of this state by birth in another state. Thus, the persons specified in Paragraph 3 (wording of 5 December 1991) of Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship could restore citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania by stating in writing to the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania or diplomatic missions of the Republic of Lithuania abroad that they are citizens of the Republic of Lithuania and providing with the evidence confirming it. Under Paragraph 4 (wording of 5 December 1991) of Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship, restoration of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania under this law would not by itself bring about any legal consequences with regard to the members of the family of the person who has had his citizenship restored.

Such institute of restoration of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania entrenched in the Law on Citizenship (wording of 5 December 1991 with supplement made by Article 2 of the Law “On the Validity of Documents of Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania and Supplement of the Law on Citizenship”, which was adopted by the Supreme Council on 10 December 1991) implied that citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania could also be restored to the persons who held citizenship of another state.

26.4. It needs to be emphasised that Paragraph 1 (wording of 5 December 1991) of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship prescribed that the persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940 and their children and grandchildren provided that they have not acquired citizenship of another state shall be citizens of the Republic of Lithuania (Item 1). In this provision it is not explicitly specified, whether the said persons were persons who were permanent residents of Lithuania, or also persons, who were permanent residents abroad.

Meanwhile, under Article 17 (wording of 5 December 1991) of the Law on Citizenship, the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania is retained to persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940 and are at the present time residing in other states, provided that they have not repatriated from Lithuania and children of persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania until 15 June 1940, who were born in Lithuania or in refugee camps, but are at the present time residing in other states.

When such legal regulation is construed linguistically, verbatim, it would follow that a big part of persons who held Lithuanian citizenship prior to 15 June 1940, and their children have a dual legal status: they are citizens of the Republic of Lithuania and they have the right to retain citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania at the same time. However, Item 1 (wording of 5 December 1991) of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 and Paragraphs 1 and 2 (wording of 5 December 1991) of Article 17 of the Law on Citizenship must be construed systemically in the whole context of the legal regulation established in this law. Then, it is obvious that the persons specified in Article 17 of the Law on Citizenship are persons residing abroad; even though they have the right to the retention of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, in itself they are not citizens of the Republic of Lithuania ex lege—in order to become citizens of the Republic of Lithuania, they must express the corresponding intention and to implement the requirements established in the Law on Citizenship (wording of 5 December 1991 with supplement made by Article 2 of the Law “On the Validity of Documents of Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania and Supplement of the Law on Citizenship”, which was adopted by the Supreme Council on 10 December 1991). Thus, the persons specified in Item 1 (wording of 5 December 1991) of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship are persons who permanently reside in Lithuania.

26.5. Paragraph 2 (wording of 5 December 1991) of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship entrenched the provision which limited dual citizenship: a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania may not at the same time be a citizen of another state, except in cases provided for in this law. The limitation on dual citizenship was in various aspects entrenched in other articles (paragraphs thereof) of this law too: Item 2 (wording of 5 December 1991) of Article 19, under which citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania is lost, if a person acquires citizenship of another state; Article 22 (wording of 5 December 1991), under which citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania could not be restored for the person who lost citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania on the basis provided for in Item 2 of Article 19, i.e. to the person who acquired citizenship of another state, and it could be restored only for such a person who was stateless or a citizen of the state, under the laws of which, he loses citizenship of that state upon the acquisition of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania; and Article 18 (wording of 10 December 1991) which established how the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania is implemented—it has been mentioned that the obligatory condition for the persons, who retained the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, in order to implement the said right had to renounce the held citizenship of another state (Paragraphs 1 and 2 (wording of 5 December 1991)).

26.6. It was established in Article 16 (wording of 5 December 1991) of the Law on Citizenship that citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania may be granted to citizens of foreign states who are with merits to the Republic of Lithuania without applying to them conditions of granting citizenship specified in Article 12 of this law, thus, also without applying the requirement for a person to be stateless or to be a citizen of such state under the laws of which he loses citizenship of the said state upon acquiring citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, nor the requirement to notify in writing of his decision to renounce citizenship of another state upon being granted citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, which is established in Item 5 (wording of 5 December 1991) of Paragraph 1 of Article 12. Thus, a person, to whom citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania could be granted for being with merits to the Republic of Lithuania, could also be a citizen of another state at the same time.

26.7. Article 19 (wording of 5 December 1991) of the Law on Citizenship established the grounds for loss of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania: (1) a person renounces citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania; (2) a person acquires citizenship of another state; (3) a person severs the actual links with the State of Lithuania; and (4) upon grounds provided for by international agreements with the Republic of Lithuania.

26.8. The Law on Citizenship (wording of 5 December 1991 with supplement made by Article 2 of the Law “On the Validity of Documents of Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania and Supplement of the Law on Citizenship”, which was adopted by the Supreme Council on 10 December 1991) also established the procedure for settling citizenship issues.

26.9. The notion “repatriation” (which was not used in the Law on Citizenship (wording of 3 November 1989 with subsequent supplement)) was used in the Law on Citizenship (wording of 5 December 1991 with supplement made by Article 2 of the Law “On the Validity of Documents of Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania and Supplement of the Law on Citizenship”, which was adopted by the Supreme Council on 10 December 1991)—it was used in Article 17 (wording of 5 December 1991), when defining the persons to whom the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania is retained for an indefinite period of time: the persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, were retained the right to citizenship for an indefinite period of time only if they had not repatriated. Thus, the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania was not retained to the persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940 and who repatriated from Lithuania.

It should also be noted that the notion “repatriation” was not explicitly defined and no definition thereof was provided in the Law on Citizenship (wording of 5 December 1991 with supplement made by Article 2 of the Law “On the Validity of Documents of Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania and Supplement of the Law on Citizenship”, which was adopted by the Supreme Council on 10 December 1991). It is obvious from the travaux préparatoires of this law that repatriation was understood as departure for one’s ethnical homeland (even without relating such departure with the acquisition of citizenship of another state). Such concept of the notion “repatriation” used in Article 17 (wording of 5 December 1991) is also confirmed by the practice of application of this law.

27. The procedure for implementation of some provisions of the Law on Citizenship (wording of 5 December 1991 with supplement made by Article 2 of the Law “On the Validity of Documents of Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania and Supplement of the Law on Citizenship”, which was adopted by the Supreme Council on 10 December 1991) was established in the Supreme Council resolution of 10 December 1991. It was also interpreted in the said Supreme Council resolution that in regard to persons specified in Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship (wording of 5 December 1991) citizenship of the Soviet Union shall be null and void (Item 7).

28. The legal regulation established in the Law on Citizenship (wording of 5 December 1991 with supplement made by Article 2 of the Law “On the Validity of Documents of Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania and Supplement of the Law on Citizenship”, which was adopted by the Supreme Council on 10 December 1991) was amended by the Law “On Amending Articles 28 and 31 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship”, which was adopted by the Supreme Council on 11 February 1992, however, the provisions of the Law on Citizenship (wording of 5 December 1991 with supplement made by Article 2 of the Law “On the Validity of Documents of Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania and Supplement of the Law on Citizenship”, which was adopted by the Supreme Council on 10 December 1991) defining who are citizens of the Republic of Lithuania, how the retention of the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania is regulated, what are legislative possibilities for citizens of the Republic of Lithuania also to hold citizenship of another state and how the relations of loss of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania is regulated (in particular, upon acquisition of the citizenship of another state), have not been amended.

29. Summing up the legal regulation established in the Law on Citizenship (wording of 5 December with subsequent amendments and supplements, made prior to the entry into force of the 1992 Constitution), it should be held that:

the continuity of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania was entrenched and it was established as to who are citizens of the Republic of Lithuania after having consolidated that the corps of citizens of the Republic of Lithuania (essentially dissociating it from citizens of other states) is composed of the following: persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, and their children and grandchildren provided that they have not acquired citizenship of another state; persons who were permanent residents on the territory of the Republic of Lithuania in the period from 9 January 1919 to 15 June 1940, as well as their children and grandchildren, provided that on the day of entry into force of this law they were permanent residents in Lithuania, and were not citizens of another state; persons who acquired citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania under the Law on Citizenship (wording of 3 November 1989 with subsequent supplement); persons who acquired citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania on other grounds provided for in the Law on Citizenship (wording of 5 December 1991).

the prohibition on dual citizenship was entrenched after having stipulated that a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania may not be also a citizen of another state at the same time, however, this prohibition was not absolute in regard that exceptions were provided for in the Law on Citizenship (wording of 5 December 1991 with subsequent amendments and supplements, made prior to the entry into force of the 1992 Constitution), when a person, who held citizenship of another state, could also be a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania at the same time (Article 16 (wording of 5 December 1991) and Paragraph 3 (wording of 10 December 1991) of Article 18);

the institute of retention of the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania was entrenched: it was established what persons willing to become citizens of the Republic of Lithuania (by implementing the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania or restoration of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania) must express the corresponding intention and to implement the requirements established in the Law on Citizenship (wording of 5 December 1991 with subsequent amendments and supplements, made prior to the entry into force of the 1992 Constitution);

it was entrenched that the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania is retained for an indefinite period of time and the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania may be implemented not by all persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, but only by those who had not repatriated; thus, in the aspects of retention of their right to this citizenship and of the implementation of their right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, the persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940 were grouped according to their ethnical origin and according to the fact for what country—ethnical homeland or other country—they departed from Lithuania: the right to retention of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania and the implementation of the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania were guaranteed only to those said persons of non-Lithuanian origin who departed from Lithuania, who departed from Lithuania not for their ethnical homeland;

one of the grounds for loss of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania was the acquisition of citizenship of another state.

30. The Lithuanian Nation adopted the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania in the referendum of 25 October 1992. It came into force on 2 November 1992. Under Article 1 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Procedure for Entry into Force of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania” which was adopted by the Nation in the referendum together with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and which is a constituent part of the Constitution, the Provisional Basic Law became no longer effective upon the entry into force of the Constitution. From then on the Lithuanian national legal system had to be created and developed only on the grounds of the Constitution.

31. Article 2 of the Law “On the Procedure for Entry into Force of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania” provides that laws, other legal acts or parts thereof which were in effect in the territory of the Republic of Lithuania prior to the adoption of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, shall be effective inasmuch as they are not in conflict with the Constitution and this law, and shall remain in force until they are either declared null and void or brought in line with the provisions of the Constitution.

In this context, it should be mentioned that, as it has been held by the Constitutional Court, the principle of the supremacy of the Constitution implies also a duty of the legislature and other lawmaking subjects to revise legal acts which were passed before the entry into effect of the Constitution, while taking account of norms and principles of the Constitution, and to ensure a harmonious hierarchical system of legal acts which regulate the same relations (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 3 December 1997, 6 May 1998, 29 October 2003, and 5 March 2004). The Constitutional Court has also held that the duty of the legislature and other lawmaking subjects to revise all legal acts adopted by them before the entry into effect of the Constitution and which still remain in force, also the legal acts adopted by no longer existing institutions after the entry into effect of the Constitution and still remaining in force, which regulate the relations which are assigned to the sphere of regulation of a corresponding law-making subject, as well as legal acts, which had been adopted before the restoration of the independent State of Lithuania and remained in force after restoration of the independent State of Lithuania and, after the entry into effect of the Constitution, regulate the relationships, which are assigned to the sphere of regulation of an appropriate legislative subject, and assess their conformity with the Constitution within a reasonably short period, stems from the principle of the supremacy of the Constitution, and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 29 October 2003). The Constitutional Court has also held that the constitutionality of legal acts (or parts thereof), which have not been harmonised with the Constitution by passing a new legal act by the corresponding law-making subject, which would amend, in the opinion of that law-making subject, the legal act (or part thereof) that was not in conformity with the Constitution, and which have not been recognised as no longer valid, may be verified by conducting constitutional control. According to the Constitution, the Constitutional Court decides as to the conformity of laws of the Republic of Lithuania, other acts adopted by the Supreme Council, government acts, which were adopted prior to the entry into effect of the Constitution, as well as of legal acts of the corresponding legal force, which were adopted before the restoration of the independent State of Lithuania, but remained in force after the restoration of the independent State of Lithuania, and regulate the relationships that are assigned to sphere of regulation of the Seimas or the Government (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 29 October 2003).

32. Upon the entry into force of the Constitution, the Law on Citizenship (wording of 5 December 1991 with subsequent amendments and supplements, made prior to the entry into force of the 1992 Constitution) remained in force.

Also the Supreme Council Resolution “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” of 10 December 1991 continued to be in force.

Thus, the legislature had the constitutional duty to regulate the citizenship relations of the Republic of Lithuania so that this legal regulation would comply with the provisions of the Constitution, inter alia, Article 12 thereof.

33. Upon the entry into force of the Constitution, the Law on Citizenship (wording of 5 December with subsequent amendments and supplements, made prior to the entry into force of the 1992 Constitution) was amended and/or supplemented by the following: the Law “On Amending Articles 14 and 25 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” adopted by the Supreme Council on 19 November 1992; the Law “On Amending and Supplementing the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” adopted by the Seimas on 16 July 1993; the Law “On Amending Article 18 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” adopted by the Seimas on 7 December 1993; the Law “On Supplementing Article 23 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” adopted by the Seimas on 14 December 1993; the Law “On Amending the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” adopted by the Seimas on 13 June 1995; the Law “On Amending and Supplementing the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” adopted by the Seimas on 3 October 1995; the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Supplementing Articles 17 and 22 and Amending Article 31 of the Law on Citizenship adopted by the Seimas on 6 February 1996 and the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Amending Articles 1, 17 and 28 of the Law on Citizenship adopted by the Seimas on 2 July 1997.

Upon the entry into force of the Constitution, the 10 December 1991 Supreme Council Resolution “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” has also been amended and/or supplemented; it has been amended and/or supplemented by: the Seimas Resolution “On Amending and Supplementing the Resolution of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania ‘On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship’” of 8 June 1993; the Seimas Resolution “On Amending Item 5 of the Resolution of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania ‘On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship’” of 22 December 1993; the Seimas Resolution “On Amending and Supplementing the Resolution of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania ‘On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship’” of 15 March 1994 (hereinafter also referred to as the Seimas resolution of 15 March 1994); the Seimas Resolution “On Amending and Supplementing the Resolution of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania ‘On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship’ of 10 December 1991” of 18 July 1994 and the Seimas Resolution “On Amending the Resolution of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania ‘On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship’” of 19 October 1995.

Subsequently, the amendments and supplements of the Law on Citizenship (wording of 5 December 1991 with subsequent amendments and supplements, made prior to the entry into force of the 1992 Constitution) and of the Supreme Council resolution of 10 December 1991, which have been mentioned in this ruling of the Constitutional Court, will be discussed only in the aspect, how it is defined as to who are citizens of the Republic of Lithuania, how retention of the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania is regulated, what legislative possibilities for the citizens of the Republic of Lithuania also to hold citizenship of another state there are, how the relations of loss of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania are regulated (in particular, upon acquisition of the citizenship of another state), as well as how the content of the notion “repatriation” is defined.

34. Article 2 of the Law “On Amending and Supplementing the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship”, which was adopted by the Seimas on 16 July 1993, amended Article 16 (wording of 5 December 1991) titled “Granting Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania to Persons with Merits to the State of Lithuania” and set it forth in a new wording (having amended also the title of this article).

34.1. Article 16 titled “Granting Citizenship by Way of Exception” (wording of 16 July 1993) of the Law on Citizenship prescribed:

Following this law, the President of the Republic may grant citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania to foreign citizens who are with merits to Lithuania by way of exception—without applying the conditions for granting citizenship provided for in Article 12 of this Law.”

34.2. When comparing Article 16 (wording of 16 July 1993) of the Law on Citizenship with the same article (wording of 5 December 1991), it is obvious that it was prescribed that citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania is no longer granted by way of exception by the Presidium of the Supreme Council, but by the President of the Republic as established in Item 21 of Article 84 of the Constitution.

34.3. It is also obvious that the formula “with special merits to the Republic of Lithuania” of Article 16 (wording of 5 December 1991) of the Law on Citizenship was changed into “with merits to Lithuania” in this article (wording of 16 July 1993).

While construing, inter alia, Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution, wherein it is prescribed that with the exception of individual cases provided for by law, no one may be a citizen of both the Republic of Lithuania and another state at the same time, the Constitutional Court held the following in its ruling of 30 December 2003:

In the course of establishment of the grounds of the acquisition of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania and regulation of the procedure for the acquisition and loss of citizenship, the legislature enjoys discretion. However, while doing this, the legislature cannot deny the nature and meaning of the institute of citizenship, he must pay heed to the constitutional requirement that a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania may also be a citizen of another state only in individual cases established by law. It should be underlined that the provision of Article 12 of the Constitution that a person may be a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania and, at the same time, a citizen of another state only in individual cases established by law, means that such cases established by law can be very rare (individual), that cases of dual citizenship must be extraordinarily rare, exceptional, that under the Constitution it is not permitted to establish any such legal regulation under which cases of dual citizenship would be not extraordinarily rare exceptions, but a widespread phenomenon. Under the Constitution, expansive construction of the provisions of the Law on Citizenship consolidating an opportunity to be a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania and a citizen of another state at the same time is impermissible, under which dual citizenship would be not individual, extraordinarily rare exceptions, but a widespread phenomenon”. In that ruling of the Constitutional Court it was also held that “while one takes account of the fact that citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania expresses legal membership of the person in the State of Lithuania and reflects his legal belongingness to the state community, the civil Nation, the President of the Republic, when he decides whether to grant citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania to a person, must be guided by interests of the Nation and the State of Lithuania”; that “by means of laws or other legal acts one cannot establish a final list of merits, for which a citizen of a foreign state or a stateless person can be granted citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania by way of exception”; that “the merits of the person who requests citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania granted by way of exception must be such and grounded in such a way so that it would not cause any doubts as to their presence”; that “not any person, but a citizen of a foreign state or a stateless person must have merits to the State of Lithuania”. It was also held that “the granting of citizenship means that one holds that there has occurred a permanent legal link between the person and the state, that such a person has become a member of the state community—the civil Nation. The state, as the organisation of the entire society, cannot be indifferent as to what persons become its citizens. Therefore, even in cases when a citizen of a foreign state or a stateless person has merits to the Republic of Lithuania and is linked with the State of Lithuania by permanent factual links, is integrated into the Lithuanian society, when one decides whether to grant citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania to such a person by way of exception, one must assess all the circumstances characterising such a person, one must follow the interests of the Nation and the State of Lithuania”.

It has been mentioned that Article 16 (wording of 16 July 1993) of the Law on Citizenship no longer contains the former formula “with special merits to the Republic of Lithuania” of this article (wording of 5 December 1991)—it was replaced by the formula “with merits to Lithuania”. It is obvious from the material of the travaux préparatoires of the Law “On Amending and Supplementing the Law on Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania”, which was adopted by the Seimas on 16 July 1993, and, inter alia, from the sittings of the Seimas where the amendments to Article 16 (wording of 5 December 1991) of the Law on Citizenship were deliberated that by these amendments one sought, inter alia, to avoid the detailed legislative description of merits of the citizen of a foreign state, for which it would be possible to grant citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania by way of exception, and to retain the powers of the President of the Republic to decide in every concrete case, whether the person (the citizen of a foreign state) is with such merits to Lithuania that he may be granted citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania by way of exception, without denying at the same time that citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania may be granted to the citizen of a foreign state only by way of exception, i.e. only for special merits to Lithuania.

In this context it needs to be noted that the formula “by way of exception” used in the title and text of Article 16 (wording of 16 July 1993) of the Law on Citizenship should be construed by taking into account that in Lithuanian the word “exceptional” means “exclusive”, “special” and “extraordinary” (Lyberis A. Sinonimų žodynas [Dictionary of Synonyms] 2 patais. Leidimas. Vilnius: Lietuvių kalbos instituto leidykla, 2002, p. 165; Keinys S. (vyr. red.) Dabartinės lietuvių kalbos žodynas [Contemporary Lithuanian Dictionary]. Vilnius: Mokslo ir enciklopedijų leidybos institutas, 2000, p. 235). Thus, the granting of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania by way of exception is an exceptional, special and extraordinary case.

Thus, irrespective of whether the merits to Lithuania for which a citizen of a foreign state may be granted citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania are described as “special” or in any other words in the Law on Citizenship (or any other law), citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania may be granted to the citizen of a foreign state for them only by way of exception. It needs to be noted that the formula “by way of exception” which is expressis verbis used in Article 16 (wording of 16 July 1993) of this law means that the merits of the citizen of a foreign state for Lithuania must be exceptional, special and extraordinary.

The provisions of Article 16 (wording of 16 July 1993) of the Law on Citizenship, in particular taking account of the intentions of the legislature, inter alia, of the fact that the corresponding amendments corrected the legislative description of merits to Lithuania and entrenched the powers of the President of the Republic in this sphere, do not deny the constitutional imperative that the citizen of a foreign state, to whom citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania is granted for his merits to Lithuania and who becomes a member of the Lithuanian state community—civil society, must be linked with the State of Lithuania by permanent factual links and must be integrated into the Lithuanian society.

When construing Paragraph 1 (wording of 16 July 1993) of Article 16 (wording of 3 October 1995) of the Law on Citizenship, the Constitutional Court held that “in the sense of the Law on Citizenship, only such activity of the person should be considered merits to the Republic of Lithuania, where the person contributes very significantly to the strengthening of Lithuanian statehood, to the increase of power of Lithuania and its authority in the international community, when it is evident that the person has already been integrated into the Lithuanian society”; that “only in such cases there may occur pre-conditions for consideration and decision whether the citizen of a foreign state or stateless person is with merits to the Republic of Lithuania, as required by the Law on Citizenship”; that “while deciding whether the citizen of a foreign state or the stateless person has merits to the Republic of Lithuania, one should, under Paragraph 1 of Article 16 of the Law on Citizenship, assess only the very significant activity to the State of Lithuania itself that it was performed when the person was a citizen of a foreign state or a stateless person” (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 30 December 2003).

Only when the legal regulation established in Article 16 (wording of 16 July 1993) of the Law on Citizenship is construed in this way, it is in line with the provision of Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution that with the exception of individual cases provided for by law, no one may be a citizen of both the Republic of Lithuania and another state at the same time.

35. Paragraph 3 (wording of 10 December 1991) of Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship was amended and set forth in a new wording by the Law “On Amending Article 18 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship”, which was adopted by the Seimas on 7 December 1993.

35.1. Paragraph 3 (wording of 7 December 1993) of Article 18 titled “Conditions of Implementing the Right to Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania or Restoring Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania” of the Law on Citizenship prescribed:

Persons of Lithuanian origin who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940 and their children as well as other persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940 (provided that all the specified persons have not repatriated), and who departed or were exiled from Lithuania in the period from 15 June 1940 to 11 March 1990, and are at the present time residing in other states shall restore citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania by stating in writing to the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania or diplomatic missions of the Republic of Lithuania abroad that they are citizens of the Republic of Lithuania and providing the evidence confirming it. They shall not be applied the reservations of the first paragraph of this article and Item 1 of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship.”

35.2. When comparing Paragraph 3 (wording of 7 December 1993) of Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship with the same paragraph (wording of 10 December 1991), it is obvious that under Paragraph 3 (wording of 7 December 1993) of Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship, the right to restore citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania without renouncing the held citizenship of another state was already established not only to the persons of Lithuanian origin who resided in other states and held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania who departed from Lithuania in the period from 15 June 1940 to 11 March 1990 and their children who did not acquire citizenship of this state by birth in another state, but also to other persons of Lithuanian origin residing in other states who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940 and who departed or were exiled from Lithuania in the period from 15 June 1940 to 11 March 1990 and their children as well as to other persons of non-Lithuanian origin residing in other foreign states who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940 and who departed or were exiled from Lithuania in the period from 15 June 1940 to 11 March 1990.

Such legal regulation substantially expanded the circle of persons who may restore citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania and also hold citizenship of another state.

35.3. On the other hand, the restoration of the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania was related with non-repatriation of the persons who resided in other states and held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940: the right to restore citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania was guaranteed only to those persons of non-Lithuanian origin who had departed from Lithuania, who departed from Lithuania not to their ethnical homeland.

36. The Law “On Supplementing Article 23 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship”, which was adopted by the Seimas on 14 December 1993, supplemented Article 23 titled “Declaring the Act on the Granting of Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania Invalid” (wording of 5 December 1991) by the following Paragraph 3:

A citizen of the Republic of Lithuania who, after he has been issued documents of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, acquires citizenship of another state or is issued a passport of the citizen of another state or any other document confirming the citizenship of that state, shall lose citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania as of the day of the acquisition of citizenship of another state or the day of issue of the passport of citizenship of that state or any other document confirming the citizenship of that state.”

37. Item 1 of the Seimas Resolution of 15 March 1994 supplemented Item 2 of the Supreme Council resolution of 10 December 1991 with Paragraphs 2, 3 and 4. Paragraph 4 of the Supreme Council resolution of 10 December 1991 (wording of 15 March 1994) prescribed that “the persons restoring citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania under the Third Paragraph of Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship and the members of their families shall specify in the application for restoration of citizenship whether they have not repatriated from Lithuania and shall provide evidence thereof”, and interpreted the notion “repatriation” used in the Law on Citizenship (wording of 5 December 1991 with subsequent amendments and supplements): “repatriation is a departure for one’s ethnical homeland and settlement there”.

37.1. It has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that upon the entry into force of the Constitution, the legislature had the constitutional duty to regulate the citizenship relations of the Republic of Lithuania, inter alia, to correct the legal regulation established in the Law on Citizenship (wording of 5 December 1991 with subsequent amendments and supplements, made prior to the entry into force of the 1992 Constitution) and the Supreme Council Resolution “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” of 10 December 1991 so that this legal regulation would comply with the provisions of the Constitution, inter alia, Article 12 thereof.

37.2. Attention should be to the fact that a substatutory act, the Supreme Council resolution of 10 December 1991 (wording of 15 March 1994), discloses the content of the notion “repatriation” used in the Law on Citizenship (wording of 5 December 1991 with subsequent amendments and supplements).

37.2.1. It should be noted that the legislature may define the content of notions used in laws, however, the requirement to heed the hierarchy of the legal acts which stems from the Constitution, inter alia, the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, implies that the content of the notions used in laws may be defined (inter alia, construed) only by means of a law and not by means of a legal act of lower legal force.

Thus, it was also possible to define (inter alia, to construe) the notion “repatriation” used in the Law on Citizenship (wording of 5 December 1991 with subsequent amendments and supplements), taking account of its purpose in the said law and of the context of its usage, only by this or other law. It should also be noted that the legal regulation entrenched in Article 12 of the Constitution implies that legal relations of citizenship must be regulated by law.

37.2.2. The fact that it was not possible to define (inter alia, to construe) the notion “repatriation” used in the Law on Citizenship (wording of 5 December 1991 with subsequent amendments and supplements), taking account of its purpose in the said law and of the context of its usage, by means of a substatutory legal act stems from the provisions of Article 12 of the Constitution.

37.2.3. Taking account of the arguments set forth, the conclusion should be drawn that the provision “departure for one’s ethnical homeland and settlement there shall be considered as repatriation” of Paragraph 4 (wording of 15 March 1994) of Item 2 of the Supreme Council Resolution “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” of 10 December 1991 was in conflict, as to its form, with Article 12 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

37.3. It has been mentioned that under Article 17 (wording of 5 December 1991), the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania was retained for an indefinite period of time to persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940 only provided that they had not repatriated from Lithuania, while the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania was not retained to the persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940 and who have repatriated from Lithuania.

It was also mentioned that under Paragraph 3 (wording of 7 December 1993) of Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship, restoration of the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania was related to the non-repatriation of the persons of Lithuanian origin who were residing in other states and who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940: the right to retain citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania was guaranteed only to the persons of Lithuanian origin who were residing in other states and who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, who departed or were exiled from Lithuania in the period from 15 June 1940 to 11 March 1990 and their children as well as only to other persons of non-Lithuanian origin residing in other states who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940 and who departed or were exiled from Lithuania in the period from 15 June 1940 to 11 March 1990 not to their ethnical homeland.

37.3.1. It has been mentioned that the notion “repatriation” was not explicitly defined in the Law on Citizenship (wording of 5 December 1991 with subsequent amendments and supplements).

37.3.2. The definition of the notion “repatriation” entrenched in Paragraph 4 (wording of 15 March 1994) of Item 2 of the Supreme Council resolution of 10 December 1991, when one takes account of its purpose in the Law on Citizenship (wording of 5 December 1991 with subsequent amendments and supplements) and of the context of its usage, implies that one was following the provision that retention of the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania depended on the ethnical origin of the person and on the fact for what country—ethnical homeland or other country—the person departed from Lithuania.

37.3.3. It has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that, when regulating citizenship relations, one must also follow the principle of equal rights of persons.

Article 29 of the Constitution provides that all persons shall be equal before the law, the court, and other state institutions and officials (Paragraph 1) and that the rights of the human being may not be restricted, nor may he be granted any privileges on the ground of gender, race, nationality, language, origin, social status, belief, convictions, or views (Paragraph 2).

37.3.4. The definition of the notion “repatriation” entrenched in Paragraph 4 (wording of 15 March 1994) of Item 2 of the Supreme Council resolution of 10 December 1991, when one takes account of its purpose in the Law on Citizenship (wording of 5 December 1991 with subsequent amendments and supplements) and of the context of its usage, deviates from the imperatives of Article 29 of the Constitution in the aspect that the right to the retention of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania (implementation of the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania and restoration of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania) was restricted to persons of non-Lithuanian origin who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940 and who departed for their ethnical homeland and to their children.

37.3.5. Taking account of the arguments set forth, the conclusion should be drawn that the provision “departure for one’s ethnical homeland and settlement there shall be considered as repatriation” of Paragraph 4 (wording of 15 March 1994) of Item 2 of the Supreme Council Resolution “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” of 10 December 1991 was in conflict, as to its content, with Article 29 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

37.4. On 18 July 1994, the Seimas adopted the Resolution “On Amending and Supplementing the Resolution of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania ‘On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship’ of 10 December 1991”, by which it amended, inter alia, Item 2 (wording of 15 March 1994) of the Resolution of the Supreme Council “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” of 10 December 1991; Paragraph 4 (wording of 15 March 1994) of Item 2 of the Supreme Council Resolution “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” of 10 December 1991 became Paragraph 5 of this item (wording of 18 July 1994).

37.4.1. On the grounds of the arguments analogous to those upon which it has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that the provision “departure for one’s ethnical homeland and settlement there shall be considered as repatriation” of Paragraph 4 (wording of 15 March 1994) of Item 2 of the Supreme Council Resolution “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” of 10 December 1991 was in conflict, as to its form, with Article 12 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, it needs to be held that also the provision “departure for one’s ethnical homeland and settlement there shall be considered as repatriation” of Paragraph 5 (wording of 18 July 1994) of Item 2 of the Supreme Council Resolution “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” of 10 December 1991 was in conflict, as to its content, with Article 12 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

37.4.2. On the grounds of the arguments analogous to those upon which it has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that the provision “departure for one’s ethnical homeland and settlement there shall be considered as repatriation” of Paragraph 4 (wording of 15 March 1994) of Item 2 of the Supreme Council Resolution “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” of 10 December 1991 was in conflict, as to its content, with Article 29 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, it needs to be held that also the provision “departure for one’s ethnical homeland and settlement there shall be considered as repatriation” of Paragraph 5 (wording of 18 July 1994) of Item 2 of the Supreme Council Resolution “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” of 10 December 1991 was in conflict, as to its content, with Article 29 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

38. In addition, on the grounds of the arguments analogous to those upon which it has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that the provision “departure for one’s ethnical homeland and settlement there shall be considered as repatriation” of Paragraph 4 (wording of 15 March 1994) of Item 2 of the Supreme Council Resolution “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” of 10 December 1991 was in conflict, as to its content, with Article 29 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, it needs to be held that also the provision “provided that all the specified persons have not repatriated” of Paragraph 3 (wording of 7 December 1993) of Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship and the provision “provided that they have not repatriated from Lithuania” of Item 1 (wording of 5 December 1991) of Paragraph 1 of Article 17 of this law were in conflict with Article 29 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

39. Article 1 of the Law “On Amending and Supplementing the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship”, which was adopted by the Seimas on 3 October 1995, set forth Article 1 (wording of 5 December 1991) of the Law on Citizenship in a new wording.

39.1. Article 1 titled “Citizens of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 3 October 1995) of the Law on Citizenship prescribed:

The following persons shall be citizens of the Republic of Lithuania:

1) persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, and their children (provided that these persons or their children have not repatriated from Lithuania);

2) grandchildren of persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940 if they have not acquired citizenship of another state;

3) persons who were permanent residents on the present-day territory of the Republic of Lithuania in the period from 9 January 1919 to 15 June 1940, as well as their children and grandchildren, provided that on the day of coming into effect of the Law on Citizenship they have been permanent residents in Lithuania, are residing here at the present time and are not citizens of another state;

4) persons of Lithuanian origin residing in other states if they departed from Lithuania prior to 16 February 1918 and have not acquired citizenship of another state;

5) persons who acquired citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania under the Law on Citizenship which had been in effect prior to the enactment of the Law on Citizenship on 5 December 1991; and

6) other persons who have acquired citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania under the Law on Citizenship.

Persons specified in Item 1 hereof shall be at their request issued passports of citizens of the Republic of Lithuania or documents confirming the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania in accordance with Article 17 of this Law.

A citizen of the Republic of Lithuania may not at the same time be a citizen of another state, except in cases provided for in this Law.”

39.2. Paragraph 1 (wording of 3 October 1995) of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship should be construed by taking into account of, inter alia, the fact that Article 7 the Law “On Amending and Supplementing the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship”, which was adopted by the Seimas on 3 October 1995, set forth Article 17 (wording of 5 December 1991) of the Law on Citizenship in a new wording.

39.3. Article 17 titled “Retention of the Right to Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 3 October 1995) of the Law on Citizenship prescribed:

The right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall be retained for an indefinite period of time for:

1) persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940 and to their children (provided that said persons and their children have not repatriated from Lithuania) who are residing in other states; and

2) persons of Lithuanian origin who are residing in other states.

A person whose parents or grandparents, or one of the parents or grandparents are Lithuanians and the person himself admits that he considers himself Lithuanian shall be considered a person of Lithuanian origin.

Persons for whom the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania is retained shall, at their request, be issued documents confirming the right.

Said persons together with members of their families may enter the Republic of Lithuania without visas and reside in Lithuania without having the requirements of the Law on Immigration applied to them, as well as depart from Lithuania. Laws may also provide for other rights of said persons.

Persons specified in Item 1 of Paragraph 1 hereof shall implement the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania in accordance with Article 1 of this Law.

Persons specified in Item 2 of Paragraph 1 hereof shall implement the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania after they renounce citizenship of another state and return to Lithuania for permanent residence.”

39.4. It has been mentioned that the persons specified in Article 17 (wording of 5 December 1991) of the Law on Citizenship are persons residing abroad; even though they have the right to retention of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, they are not citizens of the Republic of Lithuania ex lege of their own accord—in order to become citizens of the Republic of Lithuania, they must express the corresponding intention and to implement the requirements established in the Law on Citizenship (wording of 5 December 1991 with supplement made by Article 2 of the Law “On the Validity of Documents of Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania and Supplement of the Law on Citizenship”, which was adopted by the Supreme Council on 10 December 1991).

The amendment to Article 17 (wording of 5 December 1991) of the Law on Citizenship, which was made by Article 7 of the Resolution “On Amending and Supplementing the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” adopted by the Seimas on 3 October 1995, did not change the principled provision that the persons who have the right to the retention of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania are not citizens of the Republic of Lithuania ex lege of their own accord—they could implement the right to citizenship under Article 17 (wording of 3 October 1995) of the Law on Citizenship.

39.5. It needs to be emphasised that under Item 1 (wording of 3 October 1995) of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship, the persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, and their children (provided that these persons or their children have not repatriated from Lithuania) no longer had to renounce the held citizenship of another state when implementing their right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

Thus, such legal regulation expanded the circle of persons who may implement their right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania and also hold citizenship of another state.

39.6. While construing the provision “the following persons shall be citizens of the Republic of Lithuania: (1) persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, and their children (provided that these persons or their children have not repatriated from Lithuania)” of Paragraph 1 (wording of 3 October 1995) of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship together with Paragraph 2 of this article, wherein it is prescribed that “persons specified in Item 1 hereof shall be at their request issued passports of citizens of the Republic of Lithuania or documents confirming the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania in accordance with Article 17 of this Law” as well as with Article 17 (wording of 3 October 1995) of this law, it is obvious that the provision of Item 1 (wording of 3 October 1995) of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship also includes the persons who permanently reside in Lithuania and persons who permanently reside abroad.

The provision “the following persons shall be citizens of the Republic of Lithuania: (1) persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, and their children (provided that these persons or their children have not repatriated from Lithuania)” of Paragraph 1 (wording of 3 October 1995) of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship should be construed as meaning that citizens of the Republic of Lithuania ex lege are those from among the persons specified in this item who permanently reside in Lithuania as well as those persons who permanently reside abroad that implemented their right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania under Article 17 (wording of 3 October 1995) of the Law on Citizenship.

In this context, it should be mentioned that the provision of Paragraph 2 (wording of 3 October 1995) of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship that persons specified in Item 1 of Paragraph 1 of this law (i.e. persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, and their children (provided that these persons or their children have not repatriated from Lithuania)) shall be at their request issued passports of citizens of the Republic of Lithuania or documents confirming the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania in accordance with Article 17 of this law cannot be construed as meaning that being a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania depends on whether the person was issued a passport of the citizen of the Republic of Lithuania or other document confirming citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

39.7. When comparing Paragraph 1 (wording of 3 October 1995) of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship with Paragraph 1 (wording of 5 December 1991) of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship it is obvious that under Paragraph 1 (wording of 3 October 1995) of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship, citizens of the Republic of Lithuania are not only persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940 and their children provided that they have not acquired citizenship of another state; persons who were permanent residents on the present-day territory of the Republic of Lithuania in the period from 9 January 1919 to 15 June 1940, as well as their children and grandchildren, provided that on the day of coming into effect of the Law on Citizenship they have been permanent residents in Lithuania, are residing here at the present time and are not citizens of another state; persons who acquired citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania under the Law on Citizenship (wording of 3 November 1989 with subsequent supplementing) and other persons who have acquired citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania on other basis provided for in the Law on Citizenship, but also:

persons of Lithuanian origin residing in other states if they departed from Lithuania prior to 16 February 1918 and have not acquired citizenship of another state;

persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, and their children who acquired citizenship of another state, provided these persons or their children did not repatriate from Lithuania.

In this context, it should be emphasised that, as mentioned before, those persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, and their children provided that these persons and the children thereof have not repatriated and acquired citizenship of another state could implement their right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania under Article 17 (wording of 3 October 1995) of the Law on Citizenship; under Item 1 (wording of 3 October 1995) of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship they no longer had to renounce the held citizenship of another state.

39.8. Moreover, Paragraph 1 (wording of 3 October 1995) of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship no longer included the former provision of Item 4 (wording of 5 December 1991) of this paragraph that the following persons shall be citizens of the Republic of Lithuania: “persons who have implemented the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania or restored citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania under this Law”, however, it continued to include the former provision of Item 5 (wording of 5 December 1991) of this paragraph that the following persons shall be citizens of the Republic of Lithuania: “other persons who have acquired citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania under this Law”; after having made some amendments in the wording, this provision was entrenched in Item 6 (wording of 3 October 1995) of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship.

39.8.1. In this context, it should be noted that Article 8 of the Law “On Amending and Supplementing the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship”, which was adopted by the Seimas on 3 October 1995, recognised Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship as no longer valid. Thus, the institute of restoration of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania was no longer included in the Law on Citizenship (wording of 5 December 1991 with subsequent amendments and supplements).

39.8.2. Taking account of, inter alia, the fact that upon coming into force of the Law “On Amending and Supplementing the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” adopted on 3 October 1995 by the Seimas the Law on Citizenship (wording of 5 December 1991 with subsequent amendments and supplements) no longer included the institute of restoration of citizenship, it should be held that the provision “other persons who have acquired citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania under this Law” of Item 6 (wording of 3 October 1995) of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship also included the persons who had implemented the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania or had restored citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania under Item 4 (wording of 5 December 1991) of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship.

39.9. The provision “the following persons shall be citizens of the Republic of Lithuania: (1) persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, and their children (provided that these persons or their children have not repatriated from Lithuania)” of Paragraph 1 (wording of 3 October 1995) of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship and the provision “the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall be retained for an indefinite period of time for: (1) persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940 and to their children (provided that said persons and their children have not repatriated from Lithuania)” of Item 1 (wording of 3 October 1995) of Paragraph 1 of Article 17 of this law mean that the implementation of the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania of the persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, and their children was related to their and their children’s non-repatriation: the implementation of this right was guaranteed only to those of the specified persons and their children who were of non-Lithuanian origin and who departed from Lithuania not to their ethnical homeland.

39.10. On the grounds of the arguments analogous to those upon which it has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that the provision “departure for one’s ethnical homeland and settlement there shall be considered as repatriation” of Paragraph 4 (wording of 15 March 1994) of Item 2 of the Supreme Council Resolution “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” of 10 December 1991 was in conflict, as to its content, with Article 29 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, it needs to be held that also the provision “provided that these persons or their children have not repatriated from Lithuania” of Item 1 (wording of 3 October 1995) of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship and the provision “provided that said persons or their children have not repatriated from Lithuania” of Item 1 (wording of 3 October 1995) of Paragraph 1 of Article 17 of this law were in conflict with Article 29 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

40. Article 6 of the Law “On Amending and Supplementing the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship”, which was adopted by the Seimas on 3 October 1995, supplemented Article 16 (wording of 16 July 1993) of the Law on Citizenship with Paragraph 2.

Paragraph 2 (wording of 3 October 1995) of Article 16 titled “Granting Citizenship by Way of Exception” of the Law on Citizenship prescribed: “The granting of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania by way of exception shall not by itself bring about legal consequences with regard to the members of family of the person who has acquired citizenship”.

41. On 19 October 1995, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” which came into force on 4 November 1995. Paragraph 3 of Article 1 of this law prescribed: “Departure for one’s ethnical homeland and settlement there shall be considered as repatriation”.

Thus, the content of the notion “repatriation” was defined in the same way as in Paragraph 4 (wording of 15 March 1994) of Item 2 of the Supreme Council Resolution “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” of 10 December 1991 and in Paragraph 5 (wording of 15 March 1994) of this item.

42. On the same day (19 October 1995), the Seimas adopted the Resolution “On Amending the Resolution of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania ‘On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship’” whose Item 1, inter alia, recognised Item 2 (wording of 18 July 1994) of the Supreme Council Resolution “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” of 10 December 1991 as no longer valid.

43. It has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that the provision “departure for one’s ethnical homeland and settlement there shall be considered as repatriation” of Paragraph 4 (wording of 15 March 1994) of Item 2 of the Supreme Council Resolution “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” of 10 December 1991 was in conflict, as to its content, with Article 29 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

44. On the grounds of the arguments analogous to those upon which it has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that the provision “departure for one’s ethnical homeland and settlement there shall be considered as repatriation” of Paragraph 4 (wording of 15 March 1994) of Item 2 of the Supreme Council Resolution “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” of 10 December 1991 was in conflict, as to its content, with Article 29 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, it needs to be held that also Paragraph 3 (wording of 19 October 1995) of Article 1 of the Law “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” was in conflict with Article 29 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

45. Article 1 of the Law on Supplementing Articles 17 and 22 and Amending Article 31 of the Law on Citizenship, which was adopted by the Seimas on 6 February 1996, supplemented Paragraph 1 (wording of 3 October 1995) of Article 17 of this law and set it forth in a new wording.

45.1. Paragraph 1 (wording of 6 February 1996) of Article 17 titled “Retention of the Right to Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania” of the Law on Citizenship prescribed:

The right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall be retained for an indefinite period of time for:

(1) persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940 and to their children (provided that said persons and their children have not repatriated from Lithuania) who are residing in other states; and

(2) persons of Lithuanian origin who are residing in other states.”

45.2. When Paragraph 1 (wording of 6 February 1996) of Article 17 of the Law on Citizenship is compared with Paragraph 1 (wording of 3 October 1995) of Article 17 of the Law on Citizenship, it becomes obvious that Item 1 (wording of 6 February 1996) of Paragraph 1 of this article retained the former provision that the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall be retained for an indefinite period of time, inter alia, to the persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940 and to their children (provided that said persons or their children have not repatriated from Lithuania), however, it was explicitly prescribed that these persons are persons who reside in other states.

45.3. On the grounds of the arguments analogous to those upon which it has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that the provision “departure for one’s ethnical homeland and settlement there shall be considered as repatriation” of Paragraph 4 (wording of 15 March 1994) of Item 2 of the Supreme Council Resolution “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” of 10 December 1991 was in conflict, as to its content, with Article 29 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, it needs to be held that also the provision “provided that said persons and their children have not repatriated from Lithuania” of Item 1 (wording of 6 February 1996) of Paragraph 1 of Article 17 of the Law on Citizenship was in conflict with Article 29 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

46. It has been mentioned that under Article 22 (wording of 5 December 1991) of the Law on Citizenship, citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania could not be restored for the person who lost citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania on the basis provided for in Item 2 of Article 19, i.e. to a person who acquired citizenship of another state, and it could be restored only for such a person who was stateless or a citizen of the state, under the laws of which, he loses citizenship of that state upon the acquisition of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

Article 2 of the Law on Supplementing Articles 17 and 22 and Amending Article 31 of the Law on Citizenship, which was adopted by the Seimas on 6 February 1996, supplemented Article 22 of the Law on Citizenship and set it forth in a new wording. Article 22 titled “Restoring Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania” of the Law on Citizenship provided for a possibility of restoring citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania also to the person who lost citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, inter alia, on the basis provided for in Item 2 (wording of 5 December 1991) of Article 19 of this law, i.e. upon the acquisition of citizenship of another state, but only if at the time of his application this person permanently resides in the territory of the Republic of Lithuania and fulfils the conditions provided for in Items 2, 3 and 5 (wording of 5 December 1991) of Paragraph 1 of Article 12 (wording of 3 October 1995) of this law, inter alia, the condition not to hold citizenship of another state or the condition for renouncing the held citizenship of another state.

47. Article 1 of the Law on Amending Articles 1, 17 and 28 of the Law on Citizenship, which was adopted by the Seimas on 2 July 1997, amended Paragraph 1 (wording of 3 October 1995) of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship and set it forth in a new wording.

47.1. Paragraph 1 (wording of 2 July 1997) of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship prescribed that the following persons shall be citizens of the Republic of Lithuania: (1) persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, their children and grandchildren (provided that these persons or their children or grandchildren have not repatriated from Lithuania); (2) persons who were permanent residents in the present-day territory of the Republic of Lithuania in the period from 9 January 1919 to 15 June 1940, as well as their children and grandchildren, provided that on the day of coming into effect of the Law on Citizenship they have been permanent residents in Lithuania, are residing here at the present time and are not citizens of another state; (3) persons of Lithuanian origin residing in other states, if they departed from Lithuania prior to 16 February 1918 and did not acquire citizenship of another state; (4) persons who acquired citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania by 4 November 1991 under the Law on Citizenship which had been in effect prior to the enactment of the Law on Citizenship on 5 December 1991; and (5) other persons who have acquired citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania under the Law on Citizenship.

47.2. Paragraph 1 (wording of 2 July 1997) of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship should be construed taking account, inter alia, of the fact that Article 2 of the Law on Amending Articles 1, 17 and 28 of the Law on Citizenship (wording of 2 July 1997), which was adopted by the Seimas, amended Item 1 (wording of 6 February 1996) of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship and set it forth in a new wording.

47.3. Item 1 (wording of 2 July 1997) of Paragraph 1 of Article 17 of the Law on Citizenship prescribed that the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall be retained for an indefinite period of time to persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, to their children and grandchildren (provided that said persons, their children and grandchildren have not repatriated from Lithuania) who are residing in other states.

47.4. When the legal regulation established in Paragraph 1 (wording of 2 July 1997) of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship is compared with the one established in Paragraph 1 (wording of 3 October 1995) of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship, and when one takes account of the provisions of Item 1 (wording of 2 July 1997) of Paragraph 1 of Article 17 of the Law on Citizenship, it becomes obvious that under Item 1 (wording of 2 July 1997) of Paragraph 1 of Article 17 of the Law on Citizenship, the possibility for citizens of the Republic of Lithuania to hold citizenship of another state at the same time was also established to grandchildren (provided that said persons have not repatriated from Lithuania) of the persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940.

47.5. It should also be noted that Article 1 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Amending Articles 1 and 5 of the Law “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship”, which was adopted by the Seimas on 2 July 1997, amended Article 1 (wording of 19 October 1995) of the Law “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” and set it forth in a new wording.

After this amendment had been made, the provision defining the content of the notion “repatriation” in Paragraph 3 (wording of 2 July 1997) of Article 1 of the Law “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” remained the same as in Paragraph 3 (wording of 19 October 1995) of Article 1 of the Law “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship”: “Departure for one’s ethnical homeland and settlement there shall be considered as repatriation.”

47.6. The Law on Amending Articles 1, 17 and 28 of the Law on Citizenship, which was by the Seimas adopted on 2 July 1997, and the Law on Amending Articles 1 and 5 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship”, which was adopted on the same day, also came into effect on the same day, i.e. on 16 July 1997.

47.7. On the grounds of the arguments analogous to those upon which it has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that the provision “departure for one’s ethnical homeland and settlement there shall be considered as repatriation” of Paragraph 4 (wording of 15 March 1994) of Item 2 of the Supreme Council Resolution “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” of 10 December 1991 was in conflict, as to its content, with Article 29 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, it needs to be held that also the provision “provided that the persons, their children or grandchildren have not repatriated from Lithuania” of Item 1 (wording of 2 July 1997) of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship, the provision “provided that said persons, their children or grandchildren have not repatriated from Lithuania” of Item 1 (wording of 2 July 1997) of Paragraph 1 of Article 17 of this law and Paragraph 3 (wording of 2 July 1997) of Article 1 of the Law “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” were in conflict with Article 29 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

48. Summing up what possibilities for citizens of the Republic of Lithuania also to hold citizenship of another state were entrenched in the Law on Citizenship (wording of 5 December 1991 with subsequent amendments and supplements) at the time when the Constitution was already in effect, it should be held that the principle of prohibition on dual citizenship, prohibiting the person from being a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania and any other state at the same time, as well as exceptions to this prohibition, has always been entrenched in this law.

48.1. The Law on Citizenship (wording of 5 December with subsequent amendments and supplements, made prior to the entry into force of the 1992 Constitution) entrenched only two exceptions to the said prohibition on dual citizenship: under Article 16 (wording of 5 December 1991) of this law, a person, who could be granted citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania for special merits to the Republic of Lithuania, could at the same time be a citizen of another state; under Paragraph 3 (wording of 10 December 1991) of Article 18 of the said law, persons of Lithuanian origin who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, and who departed from Lithuania in the period from 15 June 1940 to 11 March 1990, and are at the present time residing in other states, as well as their children who have not acquired citizenship of another state by birth, could have their citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania restored without renouncing the held citizenship of another state.

48.2. When establishing the basis for the acquisition of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania and the procedure for its loss, the legislature must heed the requirement of Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution that with the exception of individual cases provided for by law, no one may be a citizen of both the Republic of Lithuania and another state at the same time; such cases provided for by law may be only very rare (individual), exceptional, but not common ones.

48.3. In this respect, the exception to the prohibition on dual citizenship entrenched in Article 16 (wording of 5 December 1991) of the Law on Citizenship was in line with the requirements of Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution.

The exception to the prohibition on dual citizenship entrenched in Paragraph 3 (wording of 10 December 1991) of Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship should be assessed differently—taking account of the fact that the requirement to renounce the held citizenship of another state when citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania was being restored was not established, this exception created preconditions for dual citizenship to become not an especially rare exception, but a widespread phenomenon.

48.4. The Law on Citizenship (wording of 5 December with subsequent amendments and supplements, made prior to the entry into force of the 1992 Constitution) entrenched the institute of retention of the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania which, as it has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court, was designed for the purpose that the persons (not only of Lithuanian origin) who are residing in foreign states, who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania before the loss of Lithuanian statehood, their children and the Lithuanians residing abroad would not lose the link with the restored independent State of Lithuania and that Lithuanians residing abroad would not be severed from the Lithuanian Nation.

There is not any legal ground to think that the said institute of retention of the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania could in any aspect be in conflict with any provisions of the Constitution, save the fact that that the persons who repatriated from Lithuania were excluded from all those persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940 and were residing in other states—the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania was not retained to them. It has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that the provision “provided that said persons have not repatriated from Lithuania” of Item 1 (wording of 5 December 1991) of Paragraph 1 of Article 17 of the Law on Citizenship was in conflict with Article 29 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

48.5. In the long run, the circle of persons who were retained the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania was expanded: not only the persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania until 15 June 1940 and were residing in other states (provided that they have not repatriated from Lithuania), their children who were born in Lithuania or in refugee camps, but were residing in other states, and other persons of Lithuanian origin who were residing in foreign states or in the territories governed by said states, but also the children of other persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania until 15 June 1940 and were residing in other states (irrespective of where they were born) and later—also the grandchildren (provided that said persons, their children and grandchildren have not repatriated from Lithuania), gained the said right.

Such expansion of the circle of persons who are retained the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, save the discussed clause, is not to be considered as being in conflict with any provisions of the Constitution.

48.6. Also the circle of persons who could be citizens of the Republic of Lithuania and of another state at the same time was expanded; it was done by the following:

the Law “On Amending Article 18 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” adopted by the Seimas on 7 December 1993, which amended Paragraph 3 (wording of 10 December 1991) of Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship and set it forth in a new wording;

Article 1 of the Law “On Amending and Supplementing the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” adopted by the Seimas on 3 October 1995, which set forth Article 1 (wording of 5 December 1991) of the Law on Citizenship in a new wording and Article 7 which set forth Article 17 (wording of 5 December 1991) of the Law on Citizenship in a new wording;

Article 1 of the Law on Amending Articles 1, 17 and 28 of the Law on Citizenship adopted by the Seimas on 2 July 1997, which supplemented and set forth Paragraph 1 (wording of 3 October 1995) of Article 17 of this law in a new wording;

Article 2 of the Law on Amending Articles 1, 17 and 28 of the Law on Citizenship adopted by the Seimas on 2 July 1997, which amended Item 1 (wording of 5 December 1991) of Paragraph 1 of Article 17 of the Law on Citizenship and set it forth in a new wording.

Finally, the legal regulation was prescribed that the circle of persons who could be citizens of the Republic of Lithuania and of another state at the same time was expanded so much that it created preconditions for dual citizenship to become not an especially rare exception, but a widespread phenomenon.

48.7. It needs to be held that the amendments to the Law on Citizenship by which the circle of persons who could be citizens of the Republic of Lithuania and of another state at the same time was gradually expanded so that it created preconditions for dual citizenship to become a widespread phenomenon were not in line with the provision of Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution whereby with the exception of individual cases provided for by law, no one may be a citizen of both the Republic of Lithuania and another state at the same time.

48.8. Taking account of the arguments set forth, the conclusion should be drawn that the following were in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution:

Paragraph 3 (wording of 10 December 1991) of Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship, to the extent that it did not establish the requirement to renounce the held citizenship of another state when citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania is restored;

the provision “they shall not be applied the reservations of the first paragraph of this article and Item 1 of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship” of Paragraph 3 (wording of 7 December 1993) of Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship;

Item 1 (wording of 3 October 1995) of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship to the extent that it no longer included the former provision “provided that they have not acquired citizenship of another state” of this item (wording of 5 December 1991);

Paragraph 5 (wording of 3 October 1995) of Article 17 of the Law on Citizenship to the extent that it did not establish the requirement to renounce the held citizenship of another state when citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania is restored;

Item 1 (wording of 2 July 1997) of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship to the extent that it prescribed that also the persons specified in this item who held citizenship of another state shall be citizens of the Republic of Lithuania.

48.9. Legal acts (paragraphs thereof) are considered to be not in conflict with the Constitution as long as they are not ruled to be in conflict with the Constitution under the procedure established by the Constitution or the Law on the Constitutional Court.

It needs to be emphasised that the fact that it has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that Paragraph 3 (wording of 10 December 1991) of Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship, to the extent that it did not establish the requirement to renounce the held citizenship of another state when citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania is restored, the provision “they shall not be applied the reservations of the first paragraph of this article and Item 1 of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship” of Paragraph 3 (wording of 7 December 1993) of Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship, Item 1 (wording of 3 October 1995) of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship to the extent that it no longer included the former provision “provided that they have not acquired citizenship of another state” of this item (wording of 5 December 1991), Paragraph 5 (wording of 3 October 1995) of Article 17 of the Law on Citizenship to the extent that it did not establish the requirement to renounce the held citizenship of another state when citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania is restored and Item 1 (wording of 2 July 1997) of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship to the extent that it prescribed that also the persons specified in this item who held citizenship of another state shall be citizens of the Republic of Lithuania were in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution, may not be interpreted as the grounds to question citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania held by the persons who acquired citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania (or who are citizens of the Republic of Lithuania) under the corresponding articles (paragraphs thereof) of the Law on Citizenship (wording of 5 December 1991 with subsequent amendments and supplements), which have been ruled unconstitutional, and who also hold citizenship of another state. Such persons continue to be citizens of the Republic of Lithuania.

49. It has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that the following were in conflict with the Constitution:

the provision “departure for one’s ethnical homeland and settlement there shall be considered as repatriation” of Paragraph 4 (wording of 15 March 1994) of Item 2 of the Supreme Council Resolution “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” of 10 December 1991;

the provision “departure for one’s ethnical homeland and settlement there shall be considered as repatriation” of Paragraph 5 (wording of 18 July 1994) of Item 2 of the Supreme Council Resolution “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” of 10 December 1991;

the provision “provided that all the specified persons have not repatriated” of Paragraph 3 (wording of 7 December 1993) of Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship and the provision “provided that they have not repatriated from Lithuania” of Item 1 (wording of 5 December 1991) of Paragraph 1 of Article 17 of this law;

the provision “provided that these persons or their children have not repatriated from Lithuania” of Item 1 (wording of 3 October 1995) of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship;

the provision “provided that these persons or their children have not repatriated from Lithuania” of Item 1 (wording of 3 October 1995) of Paragraph 1 of Article 17 of the Law on Citizenship;

Paragraph 3 (wording of 19 October 1995) of Article 1 of the Law on the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship;

the provision “provided that the persons, their children or grandchildren have not repatriated from Lithuania” of Item 1 (wording of 6 February 1996) of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship;

the provision “provided that the persons, their children or grandchildren have not repatriated from Lithuania” of Item 1 (wording of 2 July 1997) of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship;

the provision “provided that said persons, their children or grandchildren have not repatriated from Lithuania” of Item 1 (wording of 2 July 1997) of Paragraph 1 of Article 17 of the Law on Citizenship and

Paragraph 3 (wording of 2 July 1997) of Article 1 of the Law “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship”.

It needs to be emphasised that the recognition of the articles (paragraphs thereof) of the said laws and other legal acts as being in conflict with the Constitution, taking account, inter alia, of the fact that it has also been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that also such articles (paragraphs thereof) of the Law on Citizenship (wording of 5 December 1991 with subsequent amendments and supplements) are in conflict with the Constitution which entrenched the legal regulation that created preconditions for dual citizenship to become a widespread phenomenon, is based not on the fact that the right for the persons who repatriated from Lithuania also to hold citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania along with the held citizenship was not established, but on the fact that the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania was not retained to the said persons, i.e., in general, they no longer had an opportunity, under the law, to freely decide whether to renounce the held citizenship of another state and to become citizens of the Republic of Lithuania, or to remain citizens of the said another state and not to become citizens of the Republic of Lithuania.

50. It has been mentioned that, on 17 September 2002, the Seimas adopted the Law on Citizenship; from that day the formerly valid Law on Citizenship (wording of 5 December 1991 with subsequent amendments and supplements) became null and void.

It was also mentioned that on 17 September 2002, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Implementation of the Law on Citizenship; it came into effect on 1 January 2003; from that day, the formerly valid Law “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” (wording of 19 October 1995 with subsequent amendments) became null and void.

51. Article 1 titled “Citizens of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 17 September 2002) of the Law on Citizenship, the legal regulation established wherein is impugned in this constitutional justice case, provides:

The following persons shall be citizens of the Republic of Lithuania:

1) persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren (provided that these persons, their children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren have not repatriated);

2) persons who permanently resided in the present-day territory of the Republic of Lithuania in the period from 9 January 1919 to 15 June 1940, as well as their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, provided that on the day of coming into force of the Law on Citizenship they were and at the present time permanently reside in the territory of the Republic of Lithuania and are not citizens of any other state;

3) persons of Lithuanian origin if they are not citizens of any other state. A person whose parents or grandparents or one of the parents or grandparents is or was Lithuanian and the person considers himself Lithuanian shall be considered as being a person of Lithuanian origin;

4) persons who acquired citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 4 November 1991 under the Law on Citizenship adopted on 3 November 1989;

5) other persons who have acquired citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania under the Law on Citizenship adopted on 5 December 1991.”

52. On the grounds of the arguments analogous to those upon which it has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that Item 1 (wording of 2 July 1997) of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship to the extent that it entrenched that also the persons specified in this item who hold citizenship of another state shall be citizens of the Republic of Lithuania was in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution, it needs to be held that Item 1 (wording of 17 September 2002) of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship also to the extent that it provides that the persons specified in this item who hold citizenship of another state shall be citizens of the Republic of Lithuania is also in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution.

53. On the grounds of the arguments analogous to those upon which it has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that the provision “departure for one’s ethnical homeland and settlement there shall be considered as repatriation” of Paragraph 4 (wording of 15 March 1994) of Item 2 of the Supreme Council Resolution “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” of 10 December 1991 was in conflict, as to its content, with Article 29 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, it needs to be held that also the provision “provided that these persons, their children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren have not repatriated” of Item 1 (wording of 17 September 2002) of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship is in conflict with Article 29 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

54. Having held that the provision “provided that these persons, their children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren have not repatriated” of Item 1 (wording of 17 September 2002) of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship is in conflict with Article 29 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, the Constitutional Court will not further investigate whether the provision “persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren (provided that these persons, their children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren have not repatriated) shall be citizens of the Republic of Lithuania” of Article 1 (wording of 17 September 2002) of this law to the extent that, according to the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, it entrenches that persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren provided that these persons, their children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren repatriated shall not be considered citizens of the Republic of Lithuania, is not in conflict with Paragraphs 1 and 3 of Article 12 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of justice.

55. Article 17 titled “Retention of the Right to Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 17 September 2002) of the Law on Citizenship, the legal regulation established in Paragraph 1 whereof is impugned in this constitutional justice case, provides:

1. The following persons shall retain the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania for an indefinite period of time:

1) persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren (provided that said persons, their children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren have not repatriated), who are residing in other states;

2) persons of Lithuanian origin who are residing in other states.

2. Persons who retain the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall be issued, upon their application, according to the procedure established by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, documents confirming the right.

3. Persons specified in Items 1 and 2 of Paragraph 1 of this Article, shall exercise the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania in accordance with Item 1 of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of this Law or shall be considered persons of Lithuanian origin residing in other states.”

56. On the grounds of the arguments analogous to those upon which it has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that Paragraph 5 (wording of 3 October 1995) of Article 17 of the Law on Citizenship to the extent that it did not establish the requirement to renounce the held citizenship of another state when citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania is restored was in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution, it needs to be held that also Paragraph 3 of Article 17 (wording of 17 September 2002) of the Law on Citizenship to the extent that it does not establish the requirement to renounce the held citizenship of another state when implementing the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania is in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution.

57. On the grounds of the arguments analogous to those upon which it has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that the provision “departure for one’s ethnical homeland and settlement there shall be considered as repatriation” of Paragraph 4 (wording of 15 March 1994) of Item 2 of the Supreme Council Resolution “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” of 10 December 1991 was in conflict, as to its content, with Article 29 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, it needs to be held that also the provision “provided that these persons, their children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren have not repatriated” of Item 1 (wording of 17 September 2002) of Paragraph 1 of Article 17 of the Law on Citizenship is in conflict with Article 29 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

58. Having held that the provision “provided that these persons, their children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren have not repatriated” of Item 1 (wording of 17 September 2002) of Paragraph 1 of Article 17 of the Law on Citizenship is in conflict with Article 29 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, the Constitutional Court will not further investigate whether the provision “the following persons shall retain the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania for an indefinite period of time: (1) persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren (provided that said persons, their children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren have not repatriated), who are residing in other states” of Paragraph 1 (wording of 17 September 2002) of Article 17 of this law to the extent that, according to the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, it entrenches that the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall not be retained to persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren who reside in other states, provided that these persons, their children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren have repatriated, is not in conflict with Paragraphs 1 and 3 of Article 12 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of justice.

59. Paragraph 2 (wording of 17 September 2002) of Article 2 titled “Provisions on Application of the Law on Citizenship” of the Law on the Implementation of the Law on Citizenship provides: “Departure for one’s ethnical homeland and residence in the ethnical homeland shall be considered repatriation”.

60. When Paragraph 2 (wording of 17 September 2002) of Article 2 of the Law on Citizenship is compared with Paragraph 3 (wordings of 19 October 1995 and 2 July 1997) of Article 1 of the Law “On the Implementation Procedure of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship”, wherein it is prescribed that “departure for one’s ethnical homeland or residence in the ethnical homeland shall be considered repatriation”, it becomes obvious that changing the formulation of the definition of the notion “repatriation” (the conjunction “or” into the conjunction “and”) does not mean that there have been any changes in the attitude of the legislature whereby the retention of the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania depends on the ethnical origin of the person and on the fact for what country—his ethnical homeland or other country—the person departed from Lithuania.

61. On the grounds of the arguments analogous to those upon which it has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that the provision “departure for one’s ethnical homeland and settlement there shall be considered as repatriation” of Paragraph 4 (wording of 15 March 1994) of Item 2 of the Supreme Council Resolution “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” of 10 December 1991 was (as was Paragraph 3 (wordings of 19 October 1995 and 2 July 1997) of Article 1 of the Law “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship”) in conflict, as to its content, with Article 29 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, it needs to be held that also Paragraph 2 (wording of 17 September 2002) of Article 2 of the Law on the Procedure for Implementation of the Law on Citizenship is in conflict with Article 29 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

62. Having held that Paragraph 2 (wording of 17 September 2002) of Article 2 of the Law on the Procedure for Implementation of the Law on Citizenship is in conflict with Article 29 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, the Constitutional Court will not further investigate whether this paragraph is not in conflict with Paragraphs 1 and 3 of Article 12 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of justice.

63. Article 18 titled “Loss of Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 17 September 2002) of the Law on Citizenship, the legal regulation established in Paragraph 2 whereof is impugned in this constitutional justice case, provides:

1. Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall be lost:

1) upon renunciation of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania;

2) upon the acquisition of citizenship of another state;

3) on the grounds provided for by international agreements to which the Republic of Lithuania is a party.

2. Item 2 of Paragraph 1 of this Article shall not be applicable to:

1) persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren (provided that said persons, their children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren have not repatriated);

2) persons of Lithuanian origin whose parents or grandparents are or were or one of parents or grandparents is or was Lithuanian and the person considers himself Lithuanian.

3. A person may be recognised as having lost citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania if he is in the military service of another state or is employed in the public service of another state without having been granted authorisation by relevant institutions of the Republic of Lithuania.”

64. Paragraph 2 (wording of 17 September 2002) of Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship establishes the legal regulation whereby the persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren (provided that said persons, their children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren have not repatriated) as well as the persons of Lithuanian origin whose parents or grandparents are or were or one of parents or grandparents is or was Lithuanian and the person considers himself Lithuanian do not lose citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania upon the acquisition of citizenship of another state; thus, these persons can be both citizens of the Republic of Lithuania and citizens of another state at the same time. In such way, preconditions are created for dual citizenship to become not an especially rare exception, but a widespread phenomenon.

Such legal regulation established in Paragraph 2 (wording of 17 September 2002) of Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship is not in line with the provision that with the exception of individual cases provided for by law, no one may be a citizen of both the Republic of Lithuania and another state at the same time of Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution.

65. Taking account of the arguments set forth, the conclusion should be drawn that Paragraph 2 (wording of 17 September 2002) of Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship was in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution.

66. Having held this, the Constitutional Court will not further investigate whether the provision “Item 2 of Paragraph 1 of this Article shall not be applicable to: <…> (2) persons of Lithuanian origin whose parents or grandparents are or were or one of parents or grandparents is or was Lithuanian and the person considers himself Lithuanian” of Paragraph 2 (wording of 17 September 2002) of Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship to the extent that it provided that Item 2 (wording of 17 September 2002) of Paragraph 1 of Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship shall not be applied to persons of Lithuanian origin and shall be applied to persons of non-Lithuanian origin was not in conflict with Paragraphs 1 and 3 of Article 12 and Article 29 of the Constitution.

67. Article 2 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 12, 18, 20, 26, 28 and 30 of the Law on Citizenship, which was adopted by the Seimas on 6 April 2006, amended Paragraph 2 (wording of 17 September 2002) of Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship and supplemented this article with new Paragraph 4.

67.1. Article 18 (wording of 6 April 2006) of the Law on Citizenship provides:

1. Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall be lost:

1) upon renunciation of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania ;

2) upon the acquisition of citizenship of another state;

3) on the grounds provided for by international treaties of the Republic of Lithuania.

2. Item 2 of Paragraph 1 of this Article shall not apply to a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania who acquired citizenship of another state after 1 January 2003 if he is:

1) a person who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, his child, grandchild and great-grandchild (provided that the said person, his child, grandchild or great-grandchild have not repatriated);

2) a person of Lithuanian origin whose parents or grandparents are or were or one of parents or grandparents is or was Lithuanian and the person considers himself Lithuanian.

3. A person may be recognised as having lost citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania if he is in the military service of another state or is employed in the civil service of another state without having been granted authorisation by relevant institutions of the Republic of Lithuania.

4. The persons specified in Paragraph 2 of this Article upon acquiring citizenship of another state or upon receiving the passport of a citizen of another state or any other document confirming citizenship of that state before 31 December 2002 shall be considered to have lost citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania from the day of the acquisition of citizenship of another state or from the day of issue of the passport of citizen of that state or from the day of issue of any other document confirming citizenship of that state.”

67.2. The legal regulation established in Paragraph 2 (wording of 6 April 2006) of Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship essentially means the same as the one established in Paragraph 2 (wording of 17 September 2002) of Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship: persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren (provided that said persons, their children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren have not repatriated) as well as persons of Lithuanian origin whose parents or grandparents are or were or one of parents or grandparents is or was Lithuanian and the person considers himself Lithuanian do not lose citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania upon the acquisition of citizenship of another state and these persons can be citizens of the Republic of Lithuania and of another state at the same time. In such way, preconditions are created for dual citizenship to become not an especially rare exception, but a widespread phenomenon.

Such legal regulation established in Paragraph 2 (wording of 6 April 2006) of Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship is not in line with the provision of Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution that with the exception of individual cases provided for by law, no one may be a citizen of both the Republic of Lithuania and an another state at the same time.

67.3. Taking account of the arguments set forth, the conclusion should be drawn that Paragraph 2 (wording of 6 April 2006) of Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship is in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution.

68. It has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that the doubts concerning the compliance of the impugned legal act with the Constitution raised in the petitions the petitioners—a group of members of the Seimas and the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court—are related, inter alia, to the fact, how it is defined who are citizens of the Republic of Lithuania, what legislative possibilities for citizens of the Republic of Lithuania also to hold citizenship of another state there are, how the relations of loss of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania are regulated (in particular, upon acquisition of the citizenship of another state).

It has also been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that certain articles (paragraphs thereof) of the Law on Citizenship (wording of 17 September 2002 with subsequent amendments and supplements) create preconditions for dual citizenship to become not an especially rare exception, but a widespread phenomenon. By this ruling of the Constitutional Court, the said articles (paragraphs thereof) have been ruled to be in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution.

It needs to be noted that the legislative entrenchment of the preconditions for the occurrence of dual citizenship should be related not only to the articles (paragraphs thereof) of the Law on Citizenship (wording of 17 September 2002 with subsequent amendments and supplements) wherein, violating Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution, the corps of citizens of the Republic of Lithuania is defined, the institute of retention of the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania is entrenched and the relations of loss of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania are regulated. Such preconditions may occur when regulating other relations too, inter alia, the relations of the restoration of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

The preconditions for violation of Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution may occur not only when the legal regulation is established whereby dual citizenship becomes not an especially rare exception, but a widespread phenomenon, but also when citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania is granted (also by way of exception) to such persons who hold citizenship of another state, who are not connected by a permanent factual link with the State of Lithuania and are not integrated into the Lithuanian society. In both cases citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania may be devaluated.

While assessing the legal regulation established in the Law on Citizenship (wording of 17 September 2002 with subsequent amendments and supplements) in a systemic manner, it should be held that after it has been recognised by this ruling of the Constitutional Court that certain articles (paragraphs thereof) of the said law which were effective at the time when this constitutional justice case was considered and which permitted the citizens of the Republic of Lithuania to be citizens of other states at the same time, namely Item 1 (wording of 17 September 2002) of Article 1 to the extent that it provides that also the persons specified in this item who also held citizenship of another state shall be citizens of the Republic of Lithuania, Paragraph 3 (wording of 17 September 2002) of Article 17 to the extent that it does not establish the requirement to renounce the held citizenship of another state when the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania is implemented and Paragraph 2 (wording of 6 April 2006) of Article 18 are in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution, the legislative preconditions that allow violating the imperatives of Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution under other articles of the Law on Citizenship (wording of 17 September 2002 with subsequent amendments and supplements) which also permit citizens of the Republic of Lithuania to be citizens of other states at the same time are not fully removed. In this respect also Paragraph 2 (wording of 6 April 2006) of Article 20 and Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 July 2006) of Article 16 of the same law are also deficient.

68.1. Paragraph 2 (wording of 6 April 2006) of Article 20 titled “Restoring Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania” of the Law on Citizenship provides:

A person who has lost citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania prior to the day of entry into force of this Law, also on the grounds provided for in Paragraphs 1, 3 and 4 of Article 18 of this Law, in Paragraph 7 of Article 4 of the Law on the Implementation of the Law on Citizenship and who meets the conditions set forth in Items 1, 2 or 3 of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of this Law may have, upon his application, citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania restored without having the conditions established in Article 12 of this Law applied with respect to him.”

68.1.1. Such legal regulation, when a person, who wants to restore citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, is not required, inter alia, to renounce the held citizenship of another state creates preconditions for dual citizenship to be not an especially rare exception, but a widespread phenomenon, and it is not in line with the provision of Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution that with the exception of individual cases provided for by law, no one may be a citizen of both the Republic of Lithuania and another state at the same time.

68.1.2. Taking account of the arguments set forth, the conclusion should be drawn that Paragraph 2 (wording of 6 April 2006) of Article 20 of the Law on Citizenship to the extent that it prescribes that a person who wants to restore citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall not be required to renounce the held citizenship of another state is in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution.

68.2. Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 July 2006) of Article 16 titled “Granting Citizenship by Way of Exception” of the Law on Citizenship provides:

The President of the Republic, invoking this Law, may grant citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania to citizens of foreign states or stateless persons for merits to the Republic of Lithuania, who integrated into Lithuanian society, without applying with respect to them conditions for the granting of citizenship provided for in Article 12 of this Law. The activities of a citizen of a foreign state or a stateless person whereby the person makes a substantial contribution to strengthening the statehood of the Republic of Lithuania, increasing the might of the Republic of Lithuania and promoting its authority in the international community shall be considered as merits to the Republic of Lithuania. Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania may also be granted by way of exception without applying conditions for the granting of citizenship provided for in Article 12 of this Law when it is related to public interest or glorification of the name of the Republic of Lithuania by representing Lithuania.”

68.2.1. It has also been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that the merits of the person who requests to be granted citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania by way of exception must be such and grounded in such a way, so that it would not cause any doubts as to their presence, that even in cases when a citizen of a foreign state or a stateless person has merits to the Republic of Lithuania and is linked with the State of Lithuania by permanent factual links, is integrated into the Lithuanian society, when one decides whether to grant citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania to such a person by way of exception, one must assess all the circumstances characterising such a person, and one must follow the interests of the Nation and the State of Lithuania.

68.2.2. The provision “Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania may also be granted by way of exception without applying conditions for the granting of citizenship provided for in Article 12 of this Law when it is related to public interest or glorification of the name of the Republic of Lithuania by representing Lithuania” of Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 July 2006) of Article 16 of the Law on Citizenship means that a person who holds citizenship of another state may be granted citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania irrespective of whether he already has special merits to the State of Lithuania or not yet, whether he already is linked with the State of Lithuania by permanent factual links or not, and whether he is already integrated into the Lithuanian society or not.

Such legal regulation is not in line with the constitutional concept of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, it groundlessly expands the opportunities to acquire citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania to persons, who hold citizenship of another state, without applying to them the conditions established in Article 12 (wording of 6 April 2006) of the Law on Citizenship.

The provision “Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania may also be granted by way of exception without applying conditions for the granting of citizenship provided for in Article 12 of this Law when it is related to public interest or glorification of the name of the Republic of Lithuania by representing Lithuania” of Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 July 2006) of Article 16 of the Law on Citizenship is incompatible with the provision of Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution which provides that with the exception of individual cases provided for by law, no one may be a citizen of both the Republic of Lithuania and another state at the same time.

68.2.3. Taking account of the arguments set forth, the conclusion should be drawn that the provision “Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania may also be granted by way of exception without applying conditions for the granting of citizenship provided for in Article 12 of this Law when it is related to public interest or glorification of the name of the Republic of Lithuania by representing Lithuania” of Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 July 2006) of Article 16 of the Law on Citizenship is in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution.

69. The fact that it has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that Item 1 (wording of 17 September 2002) of Article 1 to the extent that it provides that also the persons specified in this item who also held citizenship of another state shall be citizens of the Republic of Lithuania, Paragraph 3 (wording of 17 September 2002) of Article 17 to the extent that it does not establish the requirement to renounce the held citizenship of another state when the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania is implemented, Paragraph 2 (wording of 6 April 2006) of Article 18, Paragraph 2 (wording of 6 April 2006) of Article 20 to the extent that it prescribes that a person who wants to restore citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall not be required to renounce the held citizenship of another state and the provision “Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania may also be granted by way of exception without applying conditions for the granting of citizenship provided for in Article 12 of this Law when it is related to public interest or glorification of the name of the Republic of Lithuania by representing Lithuania” of Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 July 2006) of Article 16 of the Law on Citizenship are in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution, as well as that Paragraph 2 (wording of 17 September 2002) of Article 18 of the Law on Citizenship was in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution, may not be interpreted as the grounds to question citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania held by the persons who acquired citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania (or who are citizens of the Republic of Lithuania) under the corresponding articles (paragraphs thereof) of the Law on Citizenship (wording of 5 December 1991 with subsequent amendments and supplements), which have been ruled unconstitutional, and who also hold citizenship of another state.

IV

1. Proper legal regulation of the citizenship relations of the Republic of Lithuania, which is grounded on the Constitution, is an important condition for strengthening statehood and a factor consolidating the Lithuanian civil Nation—the state community.

2. The legal regulation of the citizenship relations of the Republic of Lithuania must be stable. It is particularly to be said about the legislative provisions which define the corps of citizens of the Republic of Lithuania.

3. While assessing the legal regulation established in the Law on Citizenship (wording of 17 September 2002 with subsequent amendments and supplements) which was in effect at the time of consideration of this constitutional justice case, it should be noted that this legal regulation is very controversial, inconsistent and confusing. This law includes a number of provisions which are hardly compatible with each other. Some formulas are ambiguous.

This law should be corrected in substance.

4. The legislature, disregarding the provision of Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution that with the exception of individual cases provided for by law, no one may be a citizen of both the Republic of Lithuania and another state at the same time, continually expanded the legislative possibilities for citizens of the Republic of Lithuania also to hold citizenship of another state.

Finally, such legal regulation was established, when a big part of citizens of the Republic of Lithuania can at the same time to be also citizens of other states. The legal regulation established in the Law on Citizenship (wording of 17 September 2002 with subsequent amendments and supplements) not only does not prevent from that but even encourages such tendency.

Under the Constitution, it is not justifiable.

5. It should be emphasised that if the legislature really follows the provision that it is not necessary to limit dual citizenship, he should first of all start the revision of the corresponding provisions of the Constitution, inter alia, of Article 12, and to do that by following the procedure which is established in the Constitution itself.

In this context, it should be noted that Article 12 of the Constitution which establishes the basis for the legal regulation of citizenship relations of the Republic of Lithuania is in Chapter I titled “The State of Lithuania” of the Constitution—an integral act—for the provisions of which a particularly big constitutional protection has been established: under Paragraph 2 of Article 148 of the Constitution, the provisions of Chapter I of the Constitution may be altered only by referendum.

6. No matter in what way the legal regulation of citizenship relations of the Republic of Lithuania might be corrected in the future, the provisions of the Constitution must be heeded, inter alia, those which entrench the equality of all persons and non-discrimination on the grounds of ethnical origin.

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

ruling:

1. To recognise that the provision “provided that said persons have not repatriated from Lithuania” of Item 1 (wording of 5 December 1991, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 1991, No. 36-977) of Paragraph 1 of Article 17 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship was in conflict with Article 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

2. To recognise that Paragraph 3 (wording of 10 December 1991, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 1991, No. 36-981) of Article 18 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship, to the extent that it did not establish the requirement to renounce the held citizenship of another state when citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania is restored, was in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

3. To recognise that the provision “provided that all the specified persons have not repatriated from Lithuania” of Paragraph 3 (wording of 7 December 1993, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 1993, No. 70-1303) of Article 18 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship was in conflict with Article 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, while the provision “they shall not be applied the reservations of the first paragraph of this Article and Item 1 of Article 1 of the Law on Citizenship” of Paragraph 3 (wording of 7 December 1993, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 1993, No. 70-1303) of Article 18 of this law was in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

4. To recognise that the provision “provided that these persons or their children have not repatriated from Lithuania” of Item 1 (wording of 3 October 1995, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 1995, No. 86-1940) of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship was in conflict with Article 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, while Item 1 (wording of 3 October 1995, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 1995, No. 86-1940) of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of this law, to the extent that it no longer included the former provision “provided that they have not acquired citizenship of another state” of this item (wording of 5 December 1991, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 1991, No. 36-977) was in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

5. To recognise that the provision “provided that these persons or their children have not repatriated from Lithuania” of Item 1 (wording of 3 October 1995, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 1995, No. 86-1940) of Paragraph 1 of Article 17 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship was in conflict with Article 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

6. To recognise that Paragraph 5 (wording of 3 October 1995, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 1995, No. 86-1940) of Article 17 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship, to the extent that it did not establish the requirement to renounce the held citizenship of another state when implementing the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, was in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

7. To recognise that the provision “provided that these persons or their children have not repatriated from Lithuania” of Item 1 (wording of 6 February 1996, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 1996, No. 16-415) of Paragraph 1 of Article 17 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship was in conflict with Article 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

8. To recognise that the provision “provided that these persons or their children or grandchildren have not repatriated from Lithuania” of Item 1 (wording of 2 July 1997, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 1997, No. 67-1668) of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship was in conflict with Article 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

9. To recognise that Item 1 (wording of 2 July 1997, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 1997, No. 67-1668) of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship, to the extent that it entrenched that also the persons specified in this item who held citizenship of another state shall be citizens of the Republic of Lithuania was in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

10. To recognise that the provision “provided that these persons or their children or grandchildren have not repatriated from Lithuania” of Item 1 (wording of 2 July 1997, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 1997, No. 67-1668) of Paragraph 1 of Article 17 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship was in conflict with Article 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

11. To recognise that Paragraph 3 (wording of 19 October 1995, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 1995, No. 90-2014) of Article 1 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” was in conflict with Article 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

12. To recognise that Paragraph 3 (wording of 2 July 1997, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 1997, No. 67-1669) of Article 1 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” was in conflict with Article 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

13. To recognise that Item 1 (wording of 17 September 2002, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2002, No. 95-4087) of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship, to the extent that it entrenched that also the persons specified in this item who held citizenship of another state shall be citizens of the Republic of Lithuania, is in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

14. To recognise that the provision “provided that these persons or their children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren have not repatriated from Lithuania” of Item 1 (wording of 17 September 2002, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2002, No. 95-4087) of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship is in conflict with Article 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

15. To recognise that Paragraph 3 (wording of 17 September 2002, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2002, No. 95-4087) of Article 17 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship, to the extent that it does not establish the requirement to renounce the held citizenship of another state when implementing the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, is in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

16. To recognise that the provision “provided that these persons or their children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren have not repatriated” of Item 1 (wording of 17 September 2002, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2002, No. 95-4087) of Paragraph 1 of Article 17 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship is in conflict with Article 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

17. To recognise that Paragraph 2 (wording of 17 September 2002, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2002, No. 95-4087) of Article 18 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship was in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

18. To recognise that Paragraph 2 (wording of 6 April 2006, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2006, No. 46-1645) of Article 18 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship is in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

19. To recognise that Paragraph 2 (wording of 6 April 2006, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2006, No. 46-1645) of Article 20 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship, to the extent that it prescribed that a person who wants to restore citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall not be required to renounce the held citizenship of another state, is in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

20. To recognise that the provision “Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania may also be granted by way of exception without applying conditions for the granting of citizenship provided for in Article 12 of this Law when it is related to public interest or glorification of the name of the Republic of Lithuania by representing Lithuania” of Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 July 2006, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2006, No. 81-3186) of Article 16 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship is in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

21. To recognise that Paragraph 2 (wording of 17 September 2002, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2002, No. 95-4088) of Article 2 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Implementation of the Law on Citizenship is in conflict with Article 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

22. To recognise that the provision “departure for one’s ethnical homeland or settlement there shall be considered as repatriation” of Paragraph 4 (wording of 15 March 1994, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 1994, No. 22-347) of Item 2 of the Republic of Lithuania Supreme Council Resolution “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” of 10 December 1991 was in conflict, as to its form, with Article 12 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, and, as to its content, it was in conflict with Article 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

23. To recognise that the provision “departure for one’s ethnical homeland or settlement there shall be considered as repatriation” of Paragraph 5 (wording of 18 July 1994, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 1994, No. 56-1098) of Item 2 of the Republic of Lithuania Supreme Council Resolution “On the Procedure for Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Citizenship” of 10 December 1991 was in conflict, as to its form, with Article 12 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, and, as to its content, it was in conflict with Article 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

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

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

Justices of the Constitutional Court:             Armanas Abramavičius

                                                                                  Toma Birmontienė

                                                                                  Egidijus Kūris

                                                                                  Kęstutis Lapinskas

                                                                                  Zenonas Namavičius

                                                                                  Ramutė Ruškytė

                                                                                  Vytautas Sinkevičius

                                                                                  Stasys Stačiokas

                                                                                  Romualdas Kęstutis Urbaitis