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On dismissing legal proceedings in a case

Case No. 13/06

THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

DECISION

ON DISMISSING THE PROCEEDINGS IN THE CASE SUBSEQUENT TO THE PETITION OF THE COURT OF APPEAL OF LITHUANIA, THE PETITIONER, REQUESTING AN INVESTIGATION INTO WHETHER PARAGRAPH 8 (WORDING OF 24 JANUARY 2002) OF ARTICLE 90 OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA’S LAW ON COURTS IS NOT IN CONFLICT WITH THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

 

3 December 2007

Vilnius

 

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, composed of the Justices of the Constitutional Court: Armanas Abramavičius, 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, considered the petition (No. 1B-12/2006) of the Court of Appeal of Lithuania, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether:

Paragraph 8 of Article 90 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Courts is not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 102 and Item 1 of Paragraph 2 of Article 105 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania;

the Decree of the President of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 225) “On Releasing a Judge of a Local Court from Office” of 3 March 2005 is not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 29, Item 2 of Article 115 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and Paragraph 1 of Article 45 and Item 4 of Article 52 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Courts.

The Constitutional Court

has established:

1. The Court of Appeal of Lithuania, the petitioner, considered a civil 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:

Paragraph 8 of Article 90 of the Law on Courts is not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 102 and Item 1 of Paragraph 2 of Article 105 of the Constitution;

the Decree of the President of the Republic (No. 225) “On Releasing a Judge of a Local Court from Office” of 3 March 2005 (hereinafter also referred to as the 3 March 2005 decree (No. 225) of the President of the Republic) is not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 29, Item 2 of Article 115 of the Constitution and Paragraph 1 of Article 45 and Item 4 of Article 52 of the Law on Courts.

2. By the 12 April 2006 ordinance (No. 2B-38) of the President of the Constitutional Court, subsequent to this petition, the preparation of case No. 13/06 for the Constitutional Court’s hearing was begun.

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

1. The petitioner requests an investigation into whether, inter alia, Paragraph 8 of Article 90 of the Law on Courts is not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 102 and Item 1 of Paragraph 2 of Article 105 of the Constitution.

2. In the operative part of the ruling whereby it applied to the Constitutional Court, the petitioner does not point out the wording of Paragraph 8 of Article 90 of the Law on Courts which it disputes, however, it is clear from the petition of the petitioner that it has doubts whether Paragraph 8 (wording of 24 January 2002) of Article 90 of the Law on Courts is not in conflict with the Constitution.

Paragraph 8 (wording of 24 January 2002) of Article 90 of the Law on Courts provides that “when a judge contests his release from office, he shall be entitled to appeal within one month from the day of his release from office to the Vilnius Regional Court”.

Although the petitioner requests an investigation into the compliance of the entire Paragraph 8 (wording of 24 January 2002) of Article 90 of the Law on Courts with the Constitution, it is clear from the arguments of the petition that it doubts whether the provision “when a judge contests his release from office, he shall be entitled to appeal <…> to the Vilnius Regional Court” of Paragraph 8 (wording of 24 January 2002) of Article 90 of the Law on Courts is not in conflict with the Constitution.

3. In the constitutional justice case, subsequent to the petitions of the Vilnius Regional Court, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether, inter alia, Paragraph 8 of Article 90 of the Law on Courts was not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 31 of the Constitution and the principle of a state under the rule of law which is, according to the petitioner, entrenched in the Preamble to the Constitution, on 27 November 2006, the Constitutional Court adopted the Ruling “On the Compliance of Paragraph 8 (wording of 24 January 2002) of Article 90 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Courts with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania”, in which it recognised that the provision “when a judge contests his release from office, he shall be entitled to appeal <…> to the Vilnius Regional Court” of Paragraph 8 (wording of 24 January 2002) of Article 90 of the Law on Courts was not in conflict with the Constitution.

The said ruling of the Constitutional Court is still in force.

4. Thus, the issue of the compliance of the provision “when a judge contests his release from office, he shall be entitled to appeal <…> to the Vilnius Regional Court” of Paragraph 8 (wording of 24 January 2002) of Article 90 of the Law on Courts, the compliance of which with the Constitution is doubted by the Court of Appeal of Lithuania, the petitioner, with the Constitution, was decided in the Constitutional Court’s Ruling “On the Compliance of Paragraph 8 (wording of 24 January 2002) of Article 90 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Courts with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania” of 27 November 2006.

5. Under Item 3 of Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, by a decision, the Constitutional Court shall refuse to consider petitions to investigate the compliance of a legal act with the Constitution, if the compliance of the legal act with the Constitution specified in the petition has already been investigated by the Constitutional Court and the ruling on this issue adopted by the Constitutional Court is still in force.

In the event that it is established before consideration of the constitutional justice case at a public hearing of the Constitutional Court that there are grounds for refusal to consider the petition of a petitioner, a decision to dismiss the case is adopted in a procedural sitting of the Constitutional Court (the Constitutional Court’s decision of 8 August 2006).

6. Taking account of the arguments set forth, it should be held that there are grounds to refuse to consider the petition of the petitioner requesting an investigation into whether Paragraph 8 (wording of 24 January 2002) of Article 90 of the Law on Courts is not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 102 and Item 1 of Paragraph 2 of Article 105 of the Constitution. In this part of the case the legal proceedings must be dismissed.

7. The Court of Appeal of Lithuania, the petitioner, also requests an investigation into whether the 3 March 2005 decree (No. 225) of the President of the Republic is not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 29, Item 2 of Article 115 of the Constitution and Paragraph 1 of Article 45 and Item 4 of Article 52 of the Law on Courts.

The preparation of the constitutional justice case for the Constitutional Court’s hearing, subsequent to the petition of the Court of Appeal of Lithuania, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether the 3 March 2005 decree (No. 225) of the President of the Republic is not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 29, Item 2 of Article 115 of the Constitution and Paragraph 1 of Article 45 and Item 4 of Article 52 of the Law on Courts, should be continued.

Conforming to Paragraphs 3 and 4 of Article 22, Article 28, Item 3 of Paragraph 1 and Paragraph 2 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:

1. To dismiss the instituted legal proceedings in the part of the case subsequent to the petition of the Court of Appeal of Lithuania, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether the provision “when a judge contests his release from office, he shall be entitled to appeal <…> to the Vilnius Regional Court” of Paragraph 8 (wording of 24 January 2002; Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2002, No. 17-649) of Article 90 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Courts is not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 102 and Item 1 of Paragraph 2 of Article 105 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

2. To continue the preparation the case for the Constitutional Court’s hearing, subsequent to the petition of the Court of Appeal of Lithuania, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether the Decree of the President of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 225) “On Releasing a Judge of a Local Court from Office” of 3 March 2005 (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2005, No. 31-984) is not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 29, Item 2 of Article 115 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and Paragraph 1 of Article 45 and Item 4 of Article 52 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on Courts.

Justices of the Constitutional Court: Armanas Abramavičius
                                                                      Egidijus Kūris
                                                                      Kęstutis Lapinskas
                                                                      Zenonas Namavičius
                                                                      Ramutė Ruškytė
                                                                      Vytautas Sinkevičius
                                                                      Stasys Stačiokas
                                                                      Romualdas Kęstutis Urbaitis