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On dismissing legal proceedings

Case No. 3/05

 

THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

 

DECISION

ON THE DISMISSAL OF THE LEGAL PROCEEDINGS IN THE CASE SUBSEQUENT TO THE PETITION OF A GROUP OF MEMBERS OF THE SEIMAS OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA, THE PETITIONER, REQUESTING AN INVESTIGATION INTO WHETHER THE PROVISION “EMPLOYEES SHALL BE GRANTED LEAVE OF ABSENCE <…> TO PERFORM THE DUTIES OF A MEMBER OF THE SEIMAS” OF PARAGRAPH 1 (WORDING OF 4 JUNE 2004) OF ARTICLE 183 OF THE LABOUR CODE OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA IS NOT IN CONFLICT WITH THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

 

14 March 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

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, at its procedural sitting, has considered the petition of a group of members of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether the provision “Employees shall be granted leave of absence <…> to perform the duties of a Member of the Seimas“ of Paragraph 1 of Article 183 of the Labour Code of the Republic of Lithuania is not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 60 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

The Constitutional Court

has established:

1. A group of members of the Seimas, the petitioner, applied to the Constitutional Court with the petition requesting an investigation into whether the provision “Employees shall be granted leave of absence <…> to perform the duties of a Member of the Seimas” of Paragraph 1 of Article 183 of the Labour Code of the Republic of Lithuania is not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 60 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania. The petition was received at the Constitutional Court on 7 February 2005.

2. Under the 10 February 2005 ordinance (No. 2B-11) of the President of the Constitutional Court, subsequent to the petition of a group of members of the Seimas, the petitioner, the preparation of case No. 3/05 for the Constitutional Court’s hearing was begun.

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

The purpose of Paragraph 1 of Article 60 of the Constitution, according to which the duties of a member of the Seimas, with the exception of his duties at the Seimas, shall be incompatible with any other duties at state institutions and organisations as well as with work in business, commercial and other private establishments or enterprises, is to ensure a free mandate of a member of the Seimas, as a representative of the Nation. The mandate of a member of the Seimas who has made use of the right entrenched in the disputed provision becomes restricted, because, along with the duties of a member of the Seimas, he also has other duties; this, according to the petitioner, may hinder him to properly perform the functions, commissioned to a Seimas member.

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

1. On 4 June 2002, the Seimas adopted the Law on the Approval, Entry into Force and Implementation of the Labour Code of the Republic of Lithuania, whose Article 1 approved the Labour Code of the Republic of Lithuania. Under Article 2 of this Law, the Labour Code (save certain exceptions) has been in force since 1 January 2003.

Paragraph 1 (wording of 4 June 2002; Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2002, No. 64-2569) of Article 183 of the Labour Code prescribes: “Employees shall be granted leave of absence: in order to exercise their suffrage; to perform the duties of a member of the Seimas; when summoned as a witness, a victim, an expert, an interpreter, a public prosecutor, a public defence counsel, a member of a public organisation or the staff to inquiry or preliminary investigation bodies, the prosecutor’s office and the court; to perform the tasks of State control; to perform the duty of an organ donor and in other cases provided by law.”

2. On 12 May 2005, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Amending and Supplementing of Articles 3, 4, 14, 22, 29, 36, 47, 52, 62, 67, 77, 78, 79, 84, 85, 88, 92, 95, 98, 99, 101, 107, 108, 109, 114, 120, 127, 129, 130, 132, 134, 138, 140, 141, 144, 145, 146, 147, 149, 151, 152, 161, 166, 168, 177, 183, 225, 235, 285, 286, 288, 293, 295, 297 and 302 of the Labour Code and on Amending the Title of Chapter XIX Thereof, whose Article 46 amended Paragraph 1 of Article 183 of the Labour Code. This law came into force on 28 May 2005.

Paragraph 1 (wording of 12 May 2005) of Article 183 of the Labour Code prescribes: “Employees shall be granted leave of absence: in order to exercise their suffrage; when summoned as a witness, a victim, an expert, an interpreter, a member of a public organisation or the staff to the pre-trial investigation bodies, the prosecutor’s office and the court; to perform the duty of an organ donor and in other cases provided by law.”

3. While comparing the legal regulation established in Paragraph 1 (wording of 4 June 2002) of Article 183 of the Labour Code with the legal regulation established in Paragraph 1 (wording of 12 May 2005) of Article 183 of the Labour Code, it is obvious that the provision “Employees shall be granted leave of absence <…> to perform the duties of a member of the Seimas”, whose compliance with the Constitution is impugned by the petitioner, no longer exists in Paragraph 1 (wording of 12 May 2005) of Article 183 of the Labour Code.

4. Paragraph 4 of Article 69 of the Law on the Constitutional Court provides that the annulment of the disputed legal act shall be grounds to adopt a decision to dismiss the instituted legal proceedings and if it becomes clear before the beginning of the Court hearing, the Constitutional Court shall decide this question in the deliberation room.

The Constitutional Court has more than once held that the formula “shall be grounds <…> to dismiss the instituted legal proceedings” should be construed as establishing the right of the Constitutional Court to dismiss the instituted legal proceedings taking account of the circumstances of the case at issue in the cases, when the Constitutional Court is applied not by the courts, but by the subjects specified in Article 106 of the Constitution. This can also be said as regards the cases when the impugned legal act (part thereof) is not abolished, however, the legal regulation established therein is changed (Constitutional Court ruling of 4 March 2003).

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

decision:

To dismiss the instituted legal proceedings in the case subsequent to the petition of a group of Members of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether the provision “Employees shall be granted leave of absence <…> to perform the duties of a member of the Seimas” of Paragraph 1 (wording of 4 June 2002; Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2002, No. 64-2569) of Article 183 of the Labour Code of the Republic of Lithuania is not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 60 of the Constitution 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