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On publishing the Planning Scheme of Curonian Spit National Park

Case No. 14/06-22/06-27/06-29/06-34/06-35/06-42/06-46/06-52/06-54/06-03/07-11/07

 

THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

RULING

ON THE COMPLIANCE OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA’S LAW “ON THE PROCEDURE OF THE PUBLICATION AND ENTRY INTO FORCE OF LAWS AND OTHER LEGAL ACTS OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA” (WORDING OF 6 APRIL 1993) AND THE RESOLUTION OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA (NO. 1269) “ON THE PLANNING SCHEME (GENERAL PLAN) OF CURONIAN SPIT NATIONAL PARK” OF 19 DECEMBER 1994 (WORDING OF 19 DECEMBER 1994) WITH THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

 

27 June 2007

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 Saulius Girdauskas and the advocate Gintaras Černiauskas acting as the representatives of a group of members of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, the petitioner

Robertas Klovas, Director of the Legal and Personnel Department of the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania, acting as the representative of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, the party concerned

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, pursuant to 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 8 June 2007, considered constitutional justice case No. 14/06-22/06-29/06-34/06-35/06-42/06-46/06-52/06-54/06-03/07-11/07 subsequent to the following:

(1) the petition of a group of members of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania consisting of Saulius Girdauskas, Valentinas Bukauskas, Saulius Bucevičius, Manfredas Žymantas, Skirmantas Pabedinskas, Rimvydas Turčinskas, Algirdas Ivanauskas, Mindaugas Subačius, Virginija Baltraitienė, Vydas Gedvilas, Algimantas Salamakinas, Jonas Pinskus, Zenonas Mikutis, Vaclovas Karbauskis, Loreta Graužinienė, Petras Gražulis, Vytautas Kamblevičius, Vilma Martinkaitienė, Romualda Kšanienė, Rimantas Bašys, Vladimiras Volčiok, Vytautas Galvonas, Jonas Lionginas, Violeta Boreikienė, Eligijus Masiulis, Jonas Ramonas, Dailys Alfonsas Barakauskas, Valentinas Mazuronis, Arimantas Dumčius, Juozas Jaruševičius, Dangutė Mikutienė, Viačeslav Škil, Virginijus Domarkas, Gediminas Jakavonis, a petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 1269) “On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park” of 19 December 1994 is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993) and with Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts (wording of 7 July 2005) (petition No. 1B-13/2006);

(2) the petition of the Klaipėda Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 1269) “On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park” of 19 December 1994 is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, with Paragraph 1 of Article 1, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 and Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993), with Article 2, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 3 and Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts (wording of 7 July 2005) (petition No. 1B-22/2006);

(3) the petition of the Klaipėda Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 1269) “On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park” of 19 December 1994 is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, with Paragraph 1 of Article 1, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 and Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993), with Article 2, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 3 and Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts (wording of 7 July 2005) (petition No. 1B-26/2006);

(4) the petition of the Klaipėda City Local Court, a petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 1269) “On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park” of 19 December 1994 is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, with Paragraph 1 of Article 1, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 and Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993), with Article 2, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 3 and Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts (wording of 7 July 2005) (petition No. 1B-28/2006);

(5) the petition of the Klaipėda Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 1269) “On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park” of 19 December 1994 is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, with Paragraph 1 of Article 1, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 and Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993), with Article 2, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 3 and Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts (wording of 7 July 2005) (petition No. 1B-35/2006);

(6) the petition of the Klaipėda Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 1269) “On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park” of 19 December 1994 is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, with Paragraph 1 of Article 1, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 and Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993), with Article 2, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 3 and Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts (wording of 7 July 2005) (petition No. 1B-36/2006);

(7) the petition of the Klaipėda Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 1269) “On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park” of 19 December 1994 is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, with Paragraph 1 of Article 1, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 and Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993), with Article 2, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 3 and Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts (wording of 7 July 2005) (petition No. 1B-46/2006);

(8) the petition of the Klaipėda Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 1269) “On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park” of 19 December 1994 is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, with Paragraph 1 of Article 1, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 and Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993), with Article 2, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 3 and Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts (wording of 7 July 2005) (petition No. 1B-50/2006);

(9) the petition of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania, a petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 1269) “On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park” of 19 December 1994 is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, with Paragraph 1 of Article 1, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 and Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993), with Article 2, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 3 and Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts (wording of 7 July 2005) (petition No. 1B-57/2006);

(10) the petition of the Klaipėda Regional Court, a petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 1269) “On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park” of 19 December 1994 is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, with Paragraph 1 of Article 1, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 and Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993), with Article 2, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 3 and Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts (wording of 7 July 2005) (petition No. 1B-61/2006);

(11) the petition of the Klaipėda City Local Court, a petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 1269) “On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park” of 19 December 1994 is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, with Paragraph 1 of Article 1, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 and Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993), with Article 2, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 3 and Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts (wording of 7 July 2005) (petition No. 1B-04/2007);

(12) the petition of the Klaipėda Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 1269) “On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park” of 19 December 1994 is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, with Paragraph 1 of Article 1, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 and Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993), with Article 2, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 3 and Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts (wording of 7 July 2005) (petition No. 1B-13/2007).

By the 2 April 2007 decision of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, petition No. 1B-13/2006 of the group of members of the Seimas, petitions Nos. 1B-22/2006, 1B-26/2006, 1B-35/2006, 1B-36/2006, 1B-46/2006, 1B-50/2006 and 1B-13/2007 of the Klaipėda Regional Administrative Court, petitions Nos. 1B-28/2006 and 1B-04/2007 of the Klaipėda City Local Court, petition No. 1B-57/2006 of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania and petition No. 1B-61/2006 of the Klaipėda Regional Court were joined into one case and it was given reference number 14/06-22/06-27/06-29/06-34/06-35/06-42/06-46/06-52/06-54/06-03/07-11/07.

The Constitutional Court

has prescribed:

I

1. A group of members of the Seimas, a petitioner, applied to the Constitutional Court with the petition requesting an investigation into whether the Government Resolution (No. 1269) “On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park” of 19 December 1994 (hereinafter also referred to as government resolution No. 1269 of 19 December 1994) is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution, Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993) and with Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts (wording of 7 July 2005) (petition No. 1B-13/2006).

2. The Klaipėda 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 the Government Resolution (No. 1269) “On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park” of 19 December 1994 is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution, with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, with Paragraph 1 of Article 1, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 and Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993), with Article 2, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 3 and Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts (wording of 7 July 2005) (petition No. 1B-22/2006).

3. The Klaipėda 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 the Government Resolution (No. 1269) “On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park” of 19 December 1994 is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution, with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, with Paragraph 1 of Article 1, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 and Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993), with Article 2, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 3 and Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts (wording of 7 July 2005) (petition No. 1B-26/2006).

4. The Klaipėda City Local Court, a petitioner, was considering 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 the Government Resolution (No. 1269) “On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park” of 19 December 1994 is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution, with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, with Paragraph 1 of Article 1, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 and Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993), with Article 2, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 3 and Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts (wording of 7 July 2005) (petition No. 1B-28/2006).

5. The Klaipėda 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 the Government Resolution (No. 1269) “On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park” of 19 December 1994 is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution, with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, with Paragraph 1 of Article 1, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 and Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993), with Article 2, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 3 and Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts (wording of 7 July 2005) (petition No. 1B-35/2006).

6. The Klaipėda 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 the Government Resolution (No. 1269) “On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park” of 19 December 1994 is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution, with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, with Paragraph 1 of Article 1, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 and Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993), with Article 2, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 3 and Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts (wording of 7 July 2005) (petition No. 1B-36/2006)

7. The Klaipėda 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 the Government Resolution (No. 1269) “On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park” of 19 December 1994 is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution, with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, with Paragraph 1 of Article 1, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 and Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993), with Article 2, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 3 and Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts (wording of 7 July 2005) (petition No. 1B-46/2006).

8. The Klaipėda 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 the Government Resolution (No. 1269) “On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park” of 19 December 1994 is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution, with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, with Paragraph 1 of Article 1, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 and Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993), with Article 2, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 3 and Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts (wording of 7 July 2005) (petition No. 1B-50/2006).

9. The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania, 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 the Government Resolution (No. 1269) “On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park” of 19 December 1994 is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution, with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, with Paragraph 1 of Article 1, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 and Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993), with Article 2, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 3 and Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts (wording of 7 July 2005) (petition No. 1B-57/2006).

10. The Klaipėda Regional Court, a petitioner, was considering 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 the Government Resolution (No. 1269) “On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park” of 19 December 1994 is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution, with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, with Paragraph 1 of Article 1, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 and Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993), with Article 2, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 3 and Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts (wording of 7 July 2005) (petition No. 1B-61/2006).

11. The Klaipėda City Local court, a petitioner, was considering 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 the Government Resolution (No. 1269) “On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park” of 19 December 1994 is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution, with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, with Paragraph 1 of Article 1, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 and Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993), with Article 2, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 3 and Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts (wording of 7 July 2005) (petition No. 1B-04/2007).

12. The Klaipėda 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 the Government Resolution (No. 1269) “On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park” of 19 December 1994 is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution, with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, with Paragraph 1 of Article 1, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 and Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993), with Article 2, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 3 and Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts (wording of 7 July 2005) (petition No. 1B-13/2007).

II

The petitions of the petitioners are based on the official provisions of the constitutional doctrine which construe Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution, under which, “only laws which are published shall be valid”, namely on the provisions that: in a democratic state under the rule of law there may not be any unpublished laws; the signing and official publication of laws are a necessary condition of their entry into force; official publication of laws, while keeping to the procedure established in the Constitution and laws, is also a necessary condition for the purpose that subjects of legal relations might know what laws are valid, what their content is, and that they might follow them; the constitutional requirement that only laws which are published are valid is inseparable from the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law and it is an important precondition of legal certainty; the notion “to publish” of Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution also means that the laws must be published publicly as law cannot be non-public; the notion “laws” which is employed in Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution should not be construed only literally, but it should be construed in an expanding manner, as a notion that includes not only legal acts, which have the legal force of a law, but also other legal acts; all parts of a normative legal act (as well as its annexes) constitute a single whole, are inseparably interrelated and have equal legal force; the annexes may not be separated from a legal act because, upon changing the legal regulation established therein, the entire contents of the legal regulation established in the legal act is changed. Meanwhile, according to the petitioners, the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park (hereinafter also referred to as the Scheme) which was approved by the Government Resolution (No. 1269) “On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park” of 19 December 1994 is an inseparable part of this government resolution, however, it was not published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” (the official source of publication of the legal acts) either together with this government resolution, or later. In the opinion of the petitioners, this is not in line with the said constitutional requirements and the procedure of publication of the legal acts which was established by law at the time of the adoption (and at present as well) of the impugned government resolution.

III

In the course of the preparation of the case for the Constitutional Court’s hearing, written explanations (with annexes) were received from R. Klovas, the representative of the Government, the party concerned, in which it is stated that the impugned government resolution is not in conflict with the Constitution, with the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” and with the Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts. The position of the representative of the party concerned is grounded on the following arguments.

1. The legislature has the right, while taking account of the specificity of the legal acts, to establish a separate source and way of the publication of certain legal acts, the only important thing is that the said legal acts be published publicly and that the subjects of law could familiarise themselves with the said acts, as well as that the legal act would be published in the official language and in its entirety (including all its constituent parts). Because of the fact that the general procedure of the publication and entry into force of laws which is established in the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Procedure of Drafting Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” and the Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts would not ensure publicity and formality of the territorial planning documents as specific legal acts, the procedure of their preparation, publication and entry into force is established by another law—the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Territorial Planning.

1.1. Under the Law on Territorial Planning, the publicity of territorial planning documents is first of all ensured by the participation of the public in territorial planning. This law establishes the procedures which ensure the possibility of the subjects of law to familiarise themselves with the territorial planning documents which are being prepared and already drafted and actively to participate in their preparation. For instance, the organiser of the planning has the duty to announce in public the decisions regarding the beginning of the preparation of the territorial planning documents and the purposes of the planning, and upon preparation of the territorial planning document, the organiser of the planning presents it to society during special procedures of consultation and public consideration. The society has the right to submit proposals regarding the territorial planning documents to the organiser of the planning in writing during all the period of time of the preparation of the territorial planning documents till the public meeting and during the public meeting, as well as during consultation; the organiser of the planning answers to the persons who submitted the proposals with relevant reasons in writing; the answer may be appealed in the institution which performs the supervision of state territorial planning, which must provide with the answer with relevant reasons; this answer, under the procedure established by law, may be appealed in court; the territorial planning document may not be submitted for approval without its prior consideration under the procedure established by law.

1.2. A special procedure of the publication and entry into force of territorial planning documents has also been established. According to Paragraph 10 of Article 11 of the Law on Territorial Planning, the approved common (general) plan of the state or a county shall come into force on the next day after the decision regarding the approval of the common (general) plan has been published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” by the institution which approves it, unless the decision itself establishes a later date of its entry into force. According to Paragraph 8 of Article 18 of the said law, the approved special plan shall come into force the next day after the decision of the Seimas, the Government, the ministries or other institutions of the Government and other state institutions regarding the approval of the special plan has been published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”, the decision of institutions of governance of higher administrative units and municipalities regarding the approval of the special plan has been published in the local press unless the decision itself establishes a later date of its entry into force. Thus, according to this law, only the legal act (law, resolution) which approved the territorial planning document must be published, while the approved territorial planning document itself is not published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”.

1.3. Due to the limited technical possibilities, such legal acts (schemes) (especially the territorial planning documents approved earlier) can most often be printed only in an undersized form so it becomes impossible to read them and to understand their contents. The way of publication of the legal acts which is established in the Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts would not meet the requirement of the formality of the publication of the territorial planning documents, as specific legal acts—it would not ensure that the established legal act is namely that legal act which was adopted by the competent institution.

1.4. The publishing of the schemes, drawings, consideration protocols, co-ordination certificates and other constituent parts of one territorial planning document in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” would be very expensive to the state. For instance, it would be possible to publish the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park in a non-standard and non-one-piece publication of the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”, but it would also cost (without the value added tax) 170,000 litas to the state (the information of the state enterprise (hereinafter also referred to as the SE) Seimas publishing house “Valstybės žinios”), and at the moment 21,275 territorial planning documents are registered (the data of the head office of the Register of the Territorial Planning Documents of the Republic of Lithuania).

1.5. Thus, while seeking to ensure the implementation of the requirements of the Constitution regarding publishing of territorial planning documents, the Law on Territorial Planning established such legal regulation that only the legal act which approves the territorial planning document will be published under the general procedure (in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”), and the publicity and formality of the publication of this document itself are ensured in the ways established in the said law.

2. The Scheme was published while following the constitutional requirements for the publication of the legal acts.

2.1. The Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park was prepared and approved, before the entry into force of the Law on Territorial Planning, under the Provisional Regulations for the Territorial Planning of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter also referred to as the Provisional Regulations) which were approved by the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 161) “On the Territorial Planning of the Republic of Lithuania” of 12 March 1993, under Item 5.2.2 of which, plans of special purpose territories (land, forestry and water economy, recreational, protected areas, etc.) and infrastructure systems were assigned to territorial planning documents, while under Item 4 thereof, the management of special purpose territories or landscape complexes (land use planning, forest management, urban planning, management of recreational and protected territories, arrangement of communications) was assigned to special territorial planning.

Upon the entry into force of the Law on Territorial Planning, the question of the legal status of the Scheme was decided by the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 617) “On Application of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Territorial Planning to the Approved Territorial Planning Documents the Preparation of Which was Begun and not Finished Before the Entry into Force of this Law” of 24 May 1996 (hereinafter also referred to as government resolution No. 617 of 24 May 1996), under Item 1 of which, the general plans, detailed plans and projects and regeneration projects and schemes of towns (or parts thereof), towns and villages (rural districts), projects and schemes of the arrangement of communication and engineering infrastructure networks and objects, projects and schemes of territorial development, projects and schemes of lot marking and red lines, planning schemes of state parks, land use planning and forestry projects and other documents which provide for the conditions of land use of the territories and development of the activity in them, the rights and obligations of land users are territorial planning documents, if they had been approved under the established procedure before the entry into force of the Law on Territorial Planning. The said plans had to be registered at the state register of the territorial planning documents. The Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park was registered at the state register of the territorial planning documents as a special document of territorial planning. In this way, a possibility was created for all persons to familiarise themselves with this territorial planning document.

2.2. According to the representative of the party concerned, by its letter of 1 August 2006, the then Seimas publishing house “Valstybės žinios“ stated that in 1994 there were no technical possibilities of publishing the entire Scheme (all its constituent parts) in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” in the size in which it was approved by the Government (annex to the written explanations of R. Klovas, the representative of the Government, the party concerned—letter of the Director of the Seimas Publishing House “Valstybės žinios” M. Daulenskis (No. S-127) “On the Publication of Territorial Planning Documents” of 1 August 2006).

Thus, according to R. Klovas, if one assented to the position set forth in the petitions of the petitioners that government resolution No. 1269 of 19 December 1994 and the territorial planning document approved by it had to be published according to the requirements of Item 1 of Article 1, Item 4 of Article 1 and Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the then valid Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania”, one would have to recognise that, first, the legislature established such a procedure of publication of legal acts, which is impossible to implement and which cannot ensure the requirements of publication of the legal acts which are enshrined in the Constitution; second, that also all the other territorial planning documents which had not been published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” because there were no technical possibilities of doing so, are also not valid.

2.3. The publicity of the publishing of the Scheme was first of all ensured by the fact that during its preparation it was discussed with society. The Provisional Regulations prescribed that the ordering customers of the territorial planning documents (projects) must announce to society about the aims, the beginning and the end of the design works and establish the terms for submitting claims (Item 19.2), provide the society with the territorial planning document for familiarisation and establish the time period for its consideration which would be not shorter than 2 months (Item 19.3); in this period of time the persons have the right to submit their remarks and proposals which, when the time for consideration is over, must be analysed by the ordering customer in writing in one month’s time and reasoned conclusions must be announced to society (Item 19.3); while taking account of the conclusions from the experts, the institution which approves the document shall consider the submitted proposals and claims which were received during the preparation and co-ordination of the territorial planning documents (Item 21); if the approved territorial planning document is amended, the initiators of such amendments or supplements must inform the concerned natural and legal persons about their intentions, establish the term for submitting claims and, upon analysing them, announce their conclusions in writing (Item 22). When preparing and approving the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park, all these procedures were followed, thus, the possibility for the subjects of law to familiarise themselves with the Scheme and to influence its preparation was ensured.

2.4. The Scheme was registered at the register of the territorial planning documents, where all the persons may familiarise themselves with this territorial planning document.

2.5. On 1 January 1996, the Law on Territorial Planning came into force, which, taking account of the specificity of the territorial planning documents and technical and financial possibilities, provides for how the publicity and formality of the publishing of territorial planning documents is ensured. Article 26 of the said law established the duty of the planning organiser to announce the beginning and purposes of the preparation of the territorial planning documents, it provided for the society’s familiarisation with the prepared territorial planning documents and established the procedure of discussion with the society and the procedure for submitting of the society’s proposals and their consideration, while Article 24 established the duty to register the approved territorial planning document at the register of territorial planning documents. The publishing of the Scheme was completely in line with these requirements.

2.6. According to the representative of the party concerned, at present the Scheme is kept at the State Protected Areas Service under the Ministry of Environment, its copy is at the register of the territorial planning documents. Here, according to R. Klovas, everyone who wishes so may familiarise himself with the Scheme and make its copies.

IV

In the course of the preparation of the case for the Constitutional Court’s hearing, the Local Prosecutor’s Office of Klaipėda City sent the Letter of the Deputy Government Secretary D. Žeruolis (No. 22-8074) “On Providing Information” of 21 December 2006, which had been sent to the Local Prosecutor’s Office of Klaipėda City. In this letter it is stated that the impugned government resolution was adopted upon submission of the then Republic of Lithuania Ministry of Construction and Urban Planning and that due to the large size of the Scheme, according to the then practice, only the summary of the Scheme was submitted to the Government and the full-size Scheme was left in the archive of the former Ministry of Construction and Urban Planning; it is also stated that the state institutions were sent only government resolution No. 1269 of 19 December 1994 with an annex, in which the main statements of the Scheme were set forth.

V

1. At the hearing of the Constitutional Court, the representatives of the Seimas, the petitioner, who were Seimas member S. Girdauskas and the advocate G. Černiauskas, virtually repeated the arguments set forth in the petition of the group of members of the Seimas, the petitioner, as well as provided with additional explanations. It was stated, inter alia, that the persons who wanted to familiarise themselves with the Scheme (inter alia, advocates), came across “insurmountable obstacles”.

At the hearing of the Constitutional Court, G. Černiauskas asked to supplement the case with the answer of J. Bučas, Director of the Land Management Centre of the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture of the Kaunas University of Technology, dated 28 March 2006, to the request of the advocate G. Černiauskas, dated 27 March 2006. The Constitutional Court granted this request.

2. At the hearing of the Constitutional Court, the representative of the Government, the party concerned, who was R. Klovas, virtually repeated the arguments set forth in his written explanations, as well as presented additional explanations.

At the hearing of the Constitutional Court, R. Klovas asked to supplement the case with the Letter of the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 8.2-409(10)) “On Providing Information” of 8 February 2007 to the Ministry of Environment with an annex—the transfer-reception act of the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park and the principled plans of the park’s settlements. The Constitutional Court granted this request.

3. The following witnesses were questioned at the Constitutional Court’s hearing: R. Baškytė, Director of the State Service for State Protected Territories under the Ministry of Environment, E. Blaževičius, Director of the Institute of Architecture and Construction of the Kaunas University of Technology, M. Daulenskis, Director of the SE Seimas publishing house “Valstybės žinios”, D. Kniežienė, Production Director of the joint-stock company (hereinafter referred to as the JSC) “Spauda” and Ž. Mačerinskas, Head of the Information Systems Division of the Environmental Protection Agency.

4. The following specialists took the floor at the Constitutional Court’s hearing: M. Baltrušaitis, Head of Cartography Division of K. Mickevičius publishing house “Briedis”, A. Paltarackas, Head of Projects and Services Department of the closed joint-stock company “HNIT-BALTIC” and P. Šulcas, Head of the Computer Networks Laboratory of the Institute of Mathematics and Informatics.

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

I

1. In this constitutional justice case, the petitioners impugn the compliance of the government resolution which approved the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park with the Constitution and with the articles (paragraphs thereof) of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993 with subsequent amendments and supplements), which, since 1 January 2003, has been referred to as the Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts.

2. On 23 April 1991, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania adopted the Resolution (No. I-1244) “On Establishing Dzūkija, Curonian Spit and Žemaitija National Parks, Trakai Historical National Park and Viešvilė State Nature Reserve” (hereinafter referred to as Supreme Council resolution No. I-1244 of 23 April 1991). This resolution of the Supreme Council came into force on 1 May 1991.

Supreme Council resolution No. I-1244 of 23 April 1991, while seeking “to preserve the most valuable Lithuanian landscape complexes and ethno-cultural heritage for the people of Lithuania and for the future generations”, inter alia, prescribed: “To establish the national parks and the state reserve (according to the prepared schemes) which are provided for in the Complex Nature Protection Scheme of the Republic of Lithuania: <…> Curonian Spit National Park—area of 19 thousand ha (9 thousand ha thereof—Curonian Lagoon and the Baltic Sea)” (Subitem 2 of Item 1); “To commission <…> the Government <…> upon submission of the Department of Environmental Protection and the Inspectorate of Cultural Heritage <…> before 1 November 1991 to approve <…> the Regulations for Curonian Spit National Park <…>” (Subitem 1 of Item 2).

3. On 22 April 1992, the Government adopted the Resolution (No. 283) “On Approving the Provisional Regulations for Dzūkija, Curonian Spit and Žemaitija National Parks and Trakai Historical National Park and the Regulations for Viešvilė State Nature Reserve” (hereinafter referred to as government resolution No. 283 of 22 April 1992), Item 1 of which approved, inter alia, the Provisional Regulations for Curonian Spit National Park. This government resolution came into force on 22 April 1992.

Paragraph 2 of Item 2 of the said provisional regulations (wording of 22 April 1992) prescribed: “The territory of Curonian Spit National Park shall be managed under <…> the general plan of this park approved by the Government and the projects (prepared on the basis of this plan and co-ordinated under established procedure) concerning forest management, land management, water management, settlements’ planning, regeneration of villages, recreation, roads and engineering communications as well as other projects.”

4. On 19 December 1994, the Government adopted the Resolution (No. 1269) “On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park”, whose compliance with the Constitution and with the articles (paragraphs thereof) of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993 with subsequent amendments and supplements), which, since 1 January 2003, has been referred to as the Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts, is impugned in the constitutional justice case at issue. This government resolution came into force on 24 December 1994.

4.1. Government resolution No. 1269 of 19 December 1994 (wording of 19 December 1994) prescribed:

The Government of the Republic of Lithuania shall resolve:

1. To approve the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park. The main statements are attached.

2. The Ministry of Construction and Urban Planning together with the Boards of the towns of Klaipėda and Neringa, the Board of the Šilutė district and the ministries concerned have to consider the question on transferring of a part of the Curonian Lagoon water area and the settlement of Smiltynė to the municipality of the town of Neringa and to provide the Government of the Republic of Lithuania with a draft decision before 1 May 1995.

3. The Ministry of Environment has to provide the Government of the Republic of Lithuania with a draft resolution on natural monuments in the Curonian Spit before 1 August 1995.

4. To assign the Ministry of Environment together with the Ministry of Construction and Urban Planning, the Ministry of Forestry and the Boards of the towns of Neringa and Klaipėda to improve the Regulations for Curonian Spit National Park and to present them to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania for approval before 15 March 1995.

5. The Board of the town of Neringa has to do the following:

5.1. To order hydrogeological research of the water areas of Juodkrantė, Nida and Pervalka-Preila to be carried out in 1995 and to establish the areas of sanitary protection;

5.2. Upon carrying out a hydrogeological research of the water areas of Neringa and preparation of the study of the water and sewerage systems and equipment, to specify, to co-ordinate with the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Construction and Urban Planning and to approve the scheme of the water and sewerage systems and installation.”

4.2. This government resolution had the annex “The Main Statements of the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park”, which was published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” and established the following:

General Part

1. The Curonian Spit is a unique landscape complex created by nature and man which is included in the system of the values of nature and culture protected by Lithuania and Europe. In 1991, it was granted the status of a national park.

2. The Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park (hereinafter referred to as the National Park) was prepared for the period till the year 2005 according to the scheme concept of the land management zoning which was created in 1992 and co-ordinated with the institutions concerned.

3. The area of the National Park is 26.4 thousand ha (9.7 thousand ha of land, the Curonian Lagoon water area—4.2 thousand ha, and the Baltic Sea—12.5 thousand ha).

4. The Regulations for the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of the National Park creates the following preconditions:

4.1. To protect, use rationally and restore the values and recreational resources of the nature, cultural heritage and landscape;

4.2. To continue the traditions of construction of settlements and to create favourable living conditions there;

4.3. To develop the engineering infrastructure;

4.4. To develop the recreational and traditional economic activity;

4.5. To demilitarise the territory.

5. The National Park is administered following the laws of the Republic of Lithuania, the resolutions of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, other normative acts and the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of the National Park.

Functional Territorial Zoning

6. According to the values of the nature and culture, the forms and use of their protection, the territory of the National Park is divided into the following functional areas:

Conservational (nature reserves, landscape reserves, urbanistic and ethno-cultural reserves);

Protected;

Recreational;

Residential;

Economic.

Conservational Area

7. The conservational area of the National Park is comprised of Grobštas and Naglis nature reserves, Parnidis, Karvaičiai, Juodkrantė and Lapnugaris landscape reserves, the Senoji Ieva mountain settlements, the reserves of the resort part of the settlement in Juodkrantė, the 1st and 2nd zones of the settlement of Inkaras, Naujieji Karvaičiai, Fishermen settlement in Juodkrantė and Old Preila ethno-cultural reserves.

8. The purpose of the nature reserves is to preserve the unique complexes of the landscape of the great dune ridge and grey dunes, mound ridge and coastal sand plains.

9. The purpose of the landscape reserves is to preserve the peculiar landscape of the Curonian Spit with different fragments of the great dune ridge and foredune, the dunes, the variety of costal sand plains and the biggest lagoonal capes.

10. In the urbanistic and ethno-cultural reserves, one can reconstruct and expand buildings, change the boundaries of the lots, construct new buildings and administer the territory only according to the detailed project which is prepared and approved under the established procedure.

Protected Area

11. The protected area is comprised of the protected areas of the Nida water area and the Smiltynė stronghold.

Recreational Area

12. The recreational area of the National Park is comprised of parks and recreational forests in the forests of settlements and costal dunes.

The Recreational programme provides that in the whole territory of the national park, save the nature reserves, one will develop educational recreation, the purpose of which is to acquaint the visitors with the values of nature, culture and history. Water tourism and sport will be promoted. It is not provided to build any new leisure establishments in the settlements in other territory of the park, either.

The Government of the Republic of Lithuania will establish to whom the objects of the former military units of the Russian Federation which are located in Juodkrantė will belong and how they will be used.

Residential Area

13. The residential area of the national park consists of the settlements of Nida, Preila, Pervalka, Juodkrantė, Alksnynė and Smiltynė. Their territories, save the settlement of Pervalka, are not expanded. The need for the living space is satisfied by managing the existing buildings and increasing the density of the construction area. Only the natural increase of the population which ensures the economic activity of the park and self-governance is predicted.

14. The projects of construction, reconstruction and restoration projects of the residential buildings, and the objects of service and other objects have to be prepared following the principled plans of the settlements and regions of Nida, Preila, Pervalka, Alksnynė and Smiltynė which were approved under the established procedure.

Economic area

15. The economic area of the national park consists of the existing communal areas and the territories in the settlements of Nida, Preila, Pervalka, Juodkrantė and Alksnynė which are provided for expansion.

Management of forests, and the coasts of Curonian Lagoon and the Baltic Sea

16. The forests are managed according to the project of the forest management which has been prepared on the basis of the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of the national park.

17. The coasts of Curonian Lagoon and the Baltic Sea shall be managed in a differentiated manner, taking account of the parameters of the coastal change.

Engineering infrastructure

18. The water resources of the Nida and Preila-Pervalka water area are sufficient; however, one must carry out water research, establish and begin to apply a more efficient water improvement technology. The water area of Juodkrantė is exploited without hydrogeological research, thus, its exploitable resources are not established. One must research and establish the groundwater stock of the Juodkrantė water area and establish the areas of sanitary protection of the water areas of Nida, Preila-Pervalka and Juodkrantė.

19. In the settlements of the national park, the systems of collection of waste water are established, however, only in Preila and Pervalka the waste water is cleaned in summer. In other seasons, the waste water of the settlements is not cleaned and so it flows into Curonian Lagoon.

The cleaning equipment of rain water—sand sumps, oil catchers and filters—are planned to establish on the coasts of Curonian Lagoon and the Baltic Sea, in the communal area and other places.

20. The electricity and the present boiler-houses which should be gradually reorganised into electrode accumulation boiler houses must be used for heating.

21. The electricity is supplied via the existing 110 kW and 35 kW double circuit electricity transmission line from the Klaipėda district substation. In order that the national park settlements are better supplied with electricity new transformation substations are designed to be built and the existing ones as well as other electricity transmission lines installations are planned for reconstruction.

22. The system of roads and streets in the Curonian Spit may not be changed. It is necessary to improve their paving as well as to reconstruct the crossroads of the main road and entrances to Nida, Preila and Pervalka. The intensity of the traffic and the transit transportation has to be regulated.

23. It is necessary to encourage the transportation of passengers and freight by water transport. The ports and quays of Nida, Preila, Pervalka, Juodkrantė and Alksnynė should be fitted for slow-speed and high-speed passenger and freight ships, yachts, boats and pedalos.

Implementation of the work programme of the national park

24. The Boards of the towns of Klaipėda and Neringa which organise the activity of the national park shall implement the work program of the national park. For this purpose, the funds shall be allocated from the budgets of the State of Lithuania and the municipalities, as well as from other sources.”

5. The entire Scheme which was approved by the government resolution was not published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”.

6. On 21 December 1995, the Government adopted the Resolution (No. 1603) “On Approving the Regulations for Curonian Spit National Park (hereinafter referred to as government resolution No. 1603 of 21 December 1995) which came into force on 30 December 1995. By Item 1 of this government resolution, the Regulations for Curonian Spit National Park were approved, while by Item 3 thereof government resolution No. 283 of 22 April 1992 was partially amended; by it, inter alia, the Provisional Regulations of Curonian Spit National Park which had been approved by government resolution No. 283 of 22 April 1992 were recognised as null and void (Item 3.2).

Item 4 of the Regulations for Curonian Spit National Park which were approved by government resolution No. 1603 of 21 December 1995 prescribed that the territory of the national park which is administered by the municipalities of the towns of Neringa and Klaipėda, shall be managed according to the planning scheme (general plan) approved by the Government and pursuant to the prepared and under the established procedure co-ordinated and approved detailed plans of the villages and the projects of forest management, water management, recreation, management of immovable cultural values, roads and engineering communications, and other projects.

7. On 30 June 1997, the Government adopted the Resolution (No. 690) “On a Partial Amendment of the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park which was approved by the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 1269) ‘On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park’ of 19 December 1994” (hereinafter referred to as government resolution No. 690 of 30 June 1997) which came into force on 5 July 1997.

Government resolution No. 690 of 30 June 1997 prescribed:

The Government of the Republic of Lithuania shall decide:

By partially amending the Planning Scheme (General Planning) of Curonian Spit National Park which was approved by the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 1269) ‘On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park’ of 19 December 1994’ (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 1994, No. 99-1977):

(1) To set forth Item 10 (Volume I, Page 115) of Subchapter ‘Principled plans of villages’ of Chapter 3 ‘Draft proposals’ as follows:

10. In the place provided for in the detailed plan, to build a Roman Catholic community church in Nida, Taikos street, above the building of the post, in the lot of 3520 square metres’.

2. To set forth Chapter ‘Television’ (Volume II, Page 57) as follows:

Television. The present radio and television tower in Nida may be reconstructed according to the prepared project as a provisional mechanism’.”

8. On 19 March 1999, the Government adopted the Resolution (No. 308) “On Approving the Regulations for Curonian Spit National Park“ (hereinafter referred to as government resolution No. 308 of 19 March 1999) which came into force on 25 March 1999. Item 1 of this government resolution approved the new regulations for Curonian Spit National Park, and Item 2 recognised government resolution No. 1603 of 21 December 1995, thus, also the (former) regulations of Curonian Spit National Park approved by the same resolution as null and void.

Item 4 of the Regulations for Curonian Spit National Park which were approved by government resolution No. 308 of 19 March 1999 prescribed:

The territory of the national park which is administered by the municipalities of the towns of Neringa and Klaipėda, shall be managed according to the planning scheme (general plan) approved by the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 1269) ‘On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park’ of 19 December 1994 (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 1994, No. 99-1977)’ and pursuant to the prepared and under the established procedure co-ordinated and approved detailed plans of the villages and the projects of forest management, water management, recreation, management of immovable cultural values, roads and engineering communications, and other.”

9. On 16 June 2004, the Government adopted the Resolution (No. 759) “On Amending the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 308) ‘On Approving the Regulations for Curonian Spit National Park’ of 19 March 1999” which came into force on 20 June 2004. This government resolution amended government resolution No. 308 of 19 March 1999 and set it forth in its new wording, thus, also the Regulations for Curonian Spit National Park (wording of 19 March 1999), which were approved by government resolution No. 308 of 19 March 1999, were amended and set forth in its new wording.

Item 4 of the Regulations for Curonian Spit National Park (wording of 16 June 2004) provides that “the national park shall be managed according to the Planning Scheme (General Planning) of Curonian Spit National Park approved by <…> government resolution No. 1269 of 19 December 1994 (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 1994, No. 99-1977). The towns and townlets which are located in the state parks shall be managed according to their prepared and approved general and detailed plans, whose solutions are not in conflict with the solutions of the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of the National Park <…>. Other objects which are located in the National Park shall be managed according to the special planning documents of management of immovable cultural values, forest management, land management, water management, recreation, roads, engineering communications and other special planning documents or according to the documents of strategic planning of the protected territories”.

10. On 22 December 2005, the Government adopted the Resolution (No. 1378) “On Amending the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 1269) ‘On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park’ of 19 December 1994” (hereinafter referred to as government resolution No. 1378 of 22 December 2005) which came into force on 25 December 2005.

Government resolution No. 1378 of 22 December 2005 amended Item 2 (wording of 19 December 1994) of the Annex “The Main Statements of the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park” of the Government Resolution (No. 1269) “On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park” of 19 December 1994 and set it forth in its new wording.

Item 2 (wording of 22 December 2005) of this Annex provides: “<…> the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park was prepared according to the concept of the land management zoning which was created in 1992 and co-ordinated with the institutions concerned.” Thus, the provision that the Scheme was prepared “for the period till the year 2005” was no longer included.

11. On 31 March 1992 (when the accession document was returned to the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)), the Republic of Lithuania joined the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (hereinafter referred to as the Convention) which was adopted on 16 November 1972, in Paris. In the Republic of Lithuania, the Convention came into force on 30 June 1992. Joining the Convention, the Republic of Lithuania committed to protect the cultural and natural heritage which is in its territory and gained the right to propose the places of its territory to be included in the list of the World Heritage.

By its letter of 21 June 1999, the President and the Secretary General of the Lithuanian National Commission for UNESCO proposed to include the Curonian Spit into the list of the World Heritage (up to then, it had been included into the Tentative List of the World Heritage).

On 29 November 2000, at the twenty-fourth session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee (which took place on 27 November–2 December 2000, in Cairns (Australia)), the Curonian Spit was included in the list of the UNESCO World Heritage subsequent to the following criterion: “The Curonian Spit is an outstanding example of a landscape of sand dunes that is under constant threat from natural forces (wind and tide). After disastrous human interventions that menaced its survival the Spit was reclaimed by massive protection and stabilization works begun in the 19th century and still continuing to the present day.”

Heed should be paid to the fact that upon the inclusion of the cultural or natural value into the list of the World Heritage, the state continues to implement its obligations to protect it and to transfer it to the future generations with the same values for which it was included into the List of the World Heritage; the state must follow the Convention and the guidelines for the implementation of the Convention.

12. Summing up, it should be held that the State of Lithuania has always treated and treats the Curonian Spit as a unique landscape complex created by nature and man—a territory which should be protected and to which particular legal treatment has to be established; it is a universally known fact.

Such treatment was determined by the fact that, as it was noted in the official documents, in which it was proposed to include the Curonian Spit in the list of the World Heritage, the landscape of the Curonian Spit was formed not only by the natural processes, but also by the activity of the human being, thus, it reflects the interaction of the natural environment and the human being; the Curonian Spit is an excellent illustration of the evolution of the community which was engaged in fishing; up to the present day, the formation of the landscape in the Curonian Spit is still in process; here the social role of the modern society which is related to the traditional lifestyle and in which the evolutionary processes are still in progress is still active; the Curonian Spit reflects the material changes which have been taking place during long decades, and which are closely related with the interaction of the natural forces and the human being; in the Curonian Spit one can still see the relict landscape where the evolutionary processes are over; there is the ethnographic heritage of the Curonian tribe here, which lived in the Curonian Spit for a long time (and which is extinct now). In the said documents it is also noted that in the Curonian Spit there are also the following examples of the cultural heritage: fishermen settlements in which the interaction of man and nature is, from the ethno-cultural, historical and aesthetic point of view, of an exceptional universal value; by its scale unique works of architecture which, from the artistic and scientific points of view, are of an exceptional value; archaeological places which are especially significant due to its villages which were swallowed up by the moving sand. It also needs to be noted that the particular importance of the Curonian Spit is also reflected by the natural and cultural heritages which are inwrought in a picturesque manner and which is not only related to the material or spiritual aspect, but also to the experience which was gained by every generation of the local people, and this helps to rebuild the lost natural systems of the Curonian Spit.

In its ruling of 13 May 2005, the Constitutional Court held that under the Constitution, natural environment, fauna and flora, individual objects of nature as well as districts of particular value are the national values of universal significance; to ensure their protection and rational use and augmentation of natural resources is the public interest to guarantee which is the constitutional obligation of the state.

13. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it also needs to be emphasised that the legal acts of the Republic of Lithuania (issued by the institutions of the legislative or executive power) enshrined the principled provision that Curonian Spit National Park will be managed according to the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park approved by the Government.

Thus, no decisions related to the administration of the territory of Curonian Spit National Park (inter alia, with the detailed plans of the settlements, forest management, land management, water economy, planning of settlements, countryside regeneration, road and engineering communications, etc.) could (or can at present) be adopted without taking account of the said Scheme approved by the Government and it could not (and cannot at present) be in conflict with the solutions of the said Scheme. Disregarding of these solutions, particularly knowing that the State of Lithuania has always treated and treats the Curonian Spit as a unique landscape complex created by nature and man—a territory which should be protected and to which particular legal treatment should be established, which is a universally known fact—would not be in compliance with the general principle of law bona fides.

Otherwise, not only the identity and integrity of the Curonian Spit as a unique landscape complex created by nature and man—a territory which should be protected—would be violated, but one would also violate the imperatives of Articles 53 and 54 of the Constitution, inter alia, the provision of Paragraph 1 of Article 54 of the Constitution that the state shall take care of the protection of the natural environment, wildlife and plants, individual objects of nature and areas of particular value and shall supervise a sustainable use of natural resources, their restoration and increase, and the provision of Paragraph 3 of Article 53 that the state and each person must protect the environment from harmful influences; one would also clearly violate the international obligations of the Republic of Lithuania.

14. On the other hand, the peremptory requirement to preserve the Curonian Spit and to transfer it to the future generations, which stems from the Constitution and the international obligations of the Republic of Lithuania, does not mean that the institutions of the State of Lithuania, which, while regulating, within their competence and by the legal acts, the relations which are related to the administration of the territory of Curonian Spit National Park (inter alia, with the detailed plans of the settlements, forest management, land management, water economy, planning of settlements, countryside regeneration, road and engineering communications, etc.) may disregard the provisions of the Constitution, inter alia, the concept of constitutional law regarding the official and public publishing of the acts.

II

1. In this constitutional justice case, the following has been prescribed:

The Scheme is composed of 18 volumes (more than 1,400 pages) which include not only the textual, but also graphic parts (not only written text but also drawings, etc.); moreover, the graphic part also includes the drawings of large size (51.5 x 226 cm, 51 x 221 cm, 59.5 x 100 cm, 43 x 161.5 cm, 59.5 x 167 cm, 59.5 x 171 cm, 59 x 189.5 cm, 59 x 207 cm, etc.);

in December 1994, at the time when the Scheme was approved by the Government, government resolutions were officially published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”, which was printed by the JSC “Spauda” (the testimony of the witness D. Kniežienė at the Constitutional Court’s hearing);

in 1994, in Lithuania, it was in general technically possible to print such document as the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park, however, it would have been difficult to ensure, inter alia, the integrity of such document (the explanations of the specialist M. Baltrušaitis at the Constitutional Court’s hearing);

publishing the Scheme namely in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”, in its entirety (all its constituent parts) in such size, in which the Scheme was approved by the Government, and in such edition and size, in which at that moment the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” was printed, without losing the informational value (clarity, quality, etc.) of the Scheme, was virtually impossible at that time and for a long time afterwards due to the lack of technical possibilities (the annex to the written explanations of R. Klovas, the representative of the Government, the party concerned—the Letter of the Director of the SE Seimas Publishing House “Valstybės žinios” M. Daulenskis (No. S-127) “On the Publication of Territorial Planning Documents” of 1 August 2006; the testimonies of the witnesses M. Daulenskis and D. Kniežienė at the Constitutional Court’s hearing).

2. In this constitutional justice case, it was also established that at that time (i.e. in 1994), the possibilities of computers in Lithuania were especially limited (little memory, slowness, limited network, etc.), thus, it was difficult to provide the users with maps, graphics, pictures, etc. on the Internet; the technical possibilities of preparing such drawings as a digital version of the Scheme and to put in on the Internet appeared approximately in 1996–1998 (explanations of the specialists A. Paltarackas and P. Šulcas at the Constitutional Court’s hearing): the technical possibilities of replicating such documents in a digital format increased in 1996, when the state land cadastre enterprise purchased a black-and-white scanner and the sufficient technical possibilities appeared in 1998, when the SE Distance Research and Geoinformatics Centre “GIS-Centras” purchased the first colour scanner (the explanations of the specialist A. Paltarackas at the Constitutional Court’s hearing).

3. In this constitutional justice case it was also established that:

Upon preparing the Scheme, the Institute of Architecture and Construction of the Kaunas University of Technology transferred two original copies thereof (textual and graphic parts) to the then Ministry of Construction and Urban Planning, and one original copy was left at the said institute (the testimonies of the witnesses E. Blaževičius and R. Baškytė at the Constitutional Court’s hearing);

On 12 July 1995, the then Ministry of Construction and Urban Planning transferred one original copy of the Scheme to the mayor of the town of Neringa (the transfer-reception act of the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park and the principled plans of settlements of the park of 12 July 1995);

the other original copy of the Scheme which was transferred to the then Ministry of Construction and Urban Planning is kept at the State Protected Areas Service under the Ministry of Environment (the testimony of the witness R. Baškytė at the Constitutional Court’s hearing);

the officially approved copy of the Scheme is also kept at the Environmental Protection Agency (the testimony of the witness Ž. Mačerinskas).

4. It has also been established that all the persons who wanted to familiarise themselves with the Scheme could do that—there were not and there are not any obstacles to read it, make copies, etc. (the testimonies of the witnesses E. Blaževičius, R. Baškytė and Ž. Mačerinskas at the Constitutional Court’s hearing). Quite a number of citizens (as well as advocates) have applied to the State Protected Areas Service under the Ministry of Environment regarding the Scheme, the copies were made to them free of charge (the testimony of the witness R. Baškytė at the Constitutional Court’s hearing).

5. In this constitutional justice case, it has also been established that while issuing the conditions of the detailed planning (in Curonian Spit National Park), one has always referred and refers to the Scheme, and the “extracts” of the Scheme are “simply inserted” in the detailed plans (the testimony of the witness R. Baškytė at the Constitutional Court’s hearing). There is no information that while issuing the conditions of the detailed planning (in Curonian Spit National Park) there would have been any legal disputes regarding the accessibility of the Scheme to the subjects of law or the authenticity of its contents; thus, even though the entire Scheme was not published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” (only the main statements thereof were published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”), it was universally recognised that it was effective.

6. Thus, it needs to be held that the statement (at the Constitutional Court’s hearing) of the group of members of the Seimas, the petitioner, that, purportedly, the persons (inter alia, the advocates) who wanted to familiarise themselves with the Scheme, came across “insurmountable obstacles”, is groundless.

III

1. In this constitutional justice case, the petitioners request an investigation into whether not what is established by government resolution No. 1269 of 19 December 1994, i.e. not the contents of this government resolution or of the Scheme approved thereby, but whether the way this government resolution (part thereof) was published is not in conflict with the Constitution, namely with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 thereof, which prescribes that only laws which are published shall be valid, as well as with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

2. While construing Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution, the Constitutional Court held in its acts that: laws are not valid and may not be applied unless they are officially published (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 11 January 2001); the official publication of laws is a necessary condition of their entry into force (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 19 June 2002); the law must establish the procedure of publication of the laws and the source of information in which the laws must be published (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 29 October 2003); publication of the laws must allow the subjects of the law to be certain that the published law is exactly the law which has been adopted by the Seimas or which has been adopted in a referendum; such publishing of laws is their official publication (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 29 October 2003); the official publication of laws in pursuance with the procedure established in the Constitution and laws is a necessary condition so that laws be valid and that subjects of legal relations should know as to what laws are valid, what their content is, and that they might follow these laws (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 11 January 2001 and 29 October 2003); there may not be not published laws in a democratic state under the rule of law (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 11 January 2001 and 29 October 2003); laws must be published publicly (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 29 October 2003); law may not be non-public (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 29 November 2001, 30 May 2003 and 29 October 2003).

The Constitutional Court has also held that taking account of the constitutional requirement that law may not be non-public, the notion “laws” which is employed in Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution should not be construed only literally—it should be construed in an expanding manner, as a notion that includes not only legal acts that have the legal force of a law, but also other legal acts (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 29 October 2003). It was also held that the constitutional requirement that only laws which are published can be valid is one of essential elements of the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law and is an important precondition of legal certainty (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 29 November 2001, 30 May 2003, and 29 October 2003).

3. The text of a legal act may include various elements—not only the normative provisions (norms, principles) which enshrine the rules of conduct and the limits of freedom of conduct of the subjects of law but also the descriptive statements or graphic images (pictures or other visual information) that record the existing situation and state certain legally significant facts.

4. Under Article 95 of the Constitution, the Government of the Republic of Lithuania shall resolve the affairs of state governance at its sittings by adopting resolutions by majority vote of all the members of the Government (Paragraph 1); the government resolutions shall be signed by the Prime Minister and the Minister of a corresponding branch (Paragraph 2).

In this context, it needs to be noted that the Constitution does not expressis verbis establish the time period within which the adopted government resolution must be signed and officially published. The time period in which the resolution adopted by the Government must be signed and officially published must be established by law.

5. When construing Article 95 of the Constitution (also in the context of other provisions of the Constitution), the Constitutional Court held that under the Constitution, the Government, while resolving affairs of state administration, must always adopt resolutions, and they must be published regardless of whether the legal acts adopted by the Government are normative or individual, as well as regardless of the fact as to what subjects or circles of subjects they are meant (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 29 November 2001 and 30 May 2003). The procedure of publication of government resolutions and their entry into force is established by law (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 29 November 2001).

In this context, it needs to be emphasised that the provisions of the official constitutional doctrine that the Government, while resolving the affairs of state governance, must always adopt resolutions and that they have to be officially published irrespective of the fact whether the legal acts adopted by the Government are normative or individual, as well as irrespective of the fact for what subject or circle of subjects they are designed, were formulated in the Constitutional Court jurisprudence, inter alia, the constitutional justice cases in which it was investigated whether the legal acts (paragraphs thereof) which had been issued yet before 14 August 2004, when the Republic of Lithuania’s Constitutional Act “On Membership of the Republic of Lithuania in the European Union” which was adopted on 13 July 2004 came into force, whereby the membership of the Republic of Lithuania in the European Union was approved in a constitutional manner (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 13 December 2004 and 14 March 2006) and which, according to Article 150 of the Constitution, is a constituent part of the Constitution, were not in conflict with the Constitution.

Upon the entry into force of the Constitutional Act “On Membership of the Republic of Lithuania in the European Union”, the formerly formulated official constitutional doctrine of the Government acts is developed in the Constitutional Court jurisprudence while taking account of the fact that Paragraph 4 of this Constitutional Act prescribed that the Government shall consider the proposals to adopt the acts of European Union law following the procedure established by legal acts. As regards these proposals, the Government may adopt decisions or resolutions for the adoption of which the provisions of Article 95 of the Constitution are not applicable.

Thus, the provisions of the official constitutional doctrine that the Government, while resolving the affairs of state governance, must always adopt resolutions and that they have to be officially published irrespective of the fact whether the legal acts adopted by the Government are normative or individual, as well as irrespective of the fact for what subject or circle of subjects they are designed are not applicable to the government resolutions and the decisions which are adopted pursuant to Paragraph 4 of the Constitutional Act “On Membership of the Republic of Lithuania in the European Union”.

In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it needs to be noted that this reservation may not be applied to the impugned government resolution.

6. Government resolutions, as well as other legal acts, may differ according to the form, contents, structure, size, may have various constituent parts (annexes). The legal act may include not only the textual, but also the graphic parts (tables, drawings, schemes, plans, cartograms, symbols, emblems, etc.). As the Constitutional Court held in its ruling of 29 October 2003, all parts of a normative legal act (as well as annexes) constitute a whole, they are inseparably connected and have equal legal force; the annexes may not be separated from a legal act because, upon changing the legal regulation established therein, the entire content of the legal regulation established in the legal act is changed; the whole legal act with all its constituent parts must be published; only those legal acts, which have been published according to the requirements of official publication and publicity which are consolidated in the Constitution, as well as the constitutional requirement that the whole legal act (all its constituent parts) should be published may be judged to be in line with the requirements of Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution, therefore, to be valid.

7. The official public publishing of the whole legal act is not an end in itself—it is necessary so that the subjects of law would know what the corresponding legal act is, would be able to familiarise themselves with the whole legal act and to follow it. Thus, the purpose and essence of the official public publishing of an entire legal act is that it becomes accessible to the subjects of law and no doubts remain regarding the authenticity of its contents. The legislature must establish by law such legal regulation related to the official publishing of the legal acts that the legal acts would be accessible for all subjects of law. While doing so, the legislature has broad discretion: upon taking account of the contents, peculiarities and variety of the legal acts, as well as other circumstances, it may establish various sources and ways of official publishing of the legal acts. In this context, it needs to be noted that, as the Constitutional Court held in its ruling of 29 October 2003, the Constitution does not establish expressis verbis any sources of the official publication of legal acts or all possible ways of their publication; the legislature must establish this by law; while regulating these relations, the legislature, taking account of the variety of legal acts and their contents, may establish a differentiated legal regulation; while establishing this, the legislature must heed the Constitution in all cases.

7.1. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it needs to be noted that while establishing the sources and ways of the official publishing of legal acts, the legislature has to take account of the technical possibilities of publishing the legal acts in a certain way. In this context, it also needs to be noted that, as it was held by the Constitutional Court, fast technological development determines the dynamism of the legal acts regulating corresponding social relations (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 21 December 2006), as well as that “electronic communications and telecommunications are undergoing fast development”, thus, “the opportunities to seek, obtain and disseminate information by making use of electronic information technologies, inter alia, the Internet, are constantly expanding”, “therefore, it is necessary that legislation not get behind with the progress of information technologies and with changes in respective social relations which are determined by such progress” (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 19 September 2005 and 21 December 2006). These provisions are mutatis mutandis applicable also to the publishing of legal acts.

Certainly, whatever advanced technologies are applied while officially publishing legal acts, in all cases not only the authenticity of the contents of these legal acts must be ensured (thus, also guaranteed that the contents of the legal act will not be deleted, changed, etc.) but also its accessibility to the subjects of law. For instance, in itself the mere fact that legal acts are published on the Internet may not guarantee their accessibility, thus, also the publicity of law, if the technical possibilities of using the Internet for the widest possible strata of society are not ensured or if it costs too much for the people.

7.2. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it should also be noted that, while establishing the sources and ways of the official publishing of the legal acts, the legislature may take account of the expenses of the publishing of legal acts and the financial capabilities of the state. Here rationality arguments must be heeded.

On the other hand, legal acts do not have to be officially published so that while saving the funds of the tax payers which would be necessary in order to publicly and officially publish them as broadly as possible, the accessibility of any legal acts to the subjects of law would be restricted, moreover, that the access of some legal acts would in general be difficult for them.

8. The discussed and other circumstances that determine the necessity to establish a differentiated legal regulation of the official publishing of legal acts may imply that there is no necessary need to officially publish an entire legal act (with all the constituent parts thereof) in the same source (publication), even though it must be published in its entirety (its all constituent parts). However, it should be emphasised that it does not mean that any part of the said legal act may remain not published (non-public) at all, as well as that any part (parts) thereof may be published in a way that its (thus, also that of the all legal act as a whole) accessibility for subjects of law would be restricted. The possibility of the official publication of constituent parts of a legal act not in the same source must be grounded by the legal regulation established by law. It also needs to be noted that in order to ensure the clarity and comprehensibility of law, thus, also the clarity and comprehensibility of the system of legal acts, one has to be able to ground constitutionally every case when constituent parts of a legal act are officially published not in the same source.

Thus, in the cases when legal acts include not only the textual (written), but also the graphic (drawings, etc.) parts, especially if these legal acts are of large size and complex structure and big technical problems occur regarding the publication of their graphic part (printing, replicating) (as well as if the expenses of its publication (printing, replicating) are groundlessly big (taking account of the financial capabilities of the state, as well as of the fact to what circle of subjects of law the legal regulation establishes the rights and duties), the legislature may establish by law such a procedure of official publishing of these legal acts which differs from the general (usual) official procedure of publishing of the legal acts which are composed only of the written text. In itself, the Constitution does not prohibit it. For instance, the law may prescribe that the graphic part (or certain parts thereof) of such legal acts shall be officially published separately from the textual part (in a different source), as well as that the graphic part (or certain parts thereof) shall be officially published in a different way than the textual part. The specified reasons (especially large size of the legal act, complex structure, technical problems which arise due to the publication of the graphic part) should be considered sufficiently solid, thus, also constitutionally grounding (as the Constitution does not require unreasonable things) a separate official publishing of the textual and graphic parts of the legal act, and/or their official publishing in different ways.

9. It needs to be especially emphasised that while officially publishing the graphic part of a legal act (irrespective of the fact whether it is published in the same source as the textual part, or in a different one), it is very important to ensure that it would be clear and legible. It is obvious that minimum polygraphic requirements for the official publishing of the textual part of the legal act are often less strict than the corresponding requirements for the official publishing of its graphic part (drawings, etc.) (if one wants that this graphic part would be clear and legible). It goes without saying that the quality of the official gazette (publication) in which legal acts are officially published under the general procedure is usually (not only in Lithuania) oriented to the minimum polygraphic requirements for the publishing of the textual part of the legal act (thus, to the smaller publication expenses, which, taking account, inter alia, of the extent of publication, is naturally understandable), and not to the far bigger requirements set for the publication of its graphic part (drawings, etc.), especially, when the biggest part of the legal acts is comprised only of the written text.

It has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that the official public publishing of an entire legal act is not an end in itself. Only the official publication of the graphic part of the legal act in the official gazette, when due to not very high printing quality of the drawings, tables, graphs, schemes, maps or other parts are not possible to read and thus, the possibility for the subjects of law to understand (to find out) its contents in an adequate way is not ensured, may not be considered as constitutionally grounded, such printing would not comply with the constitutional concept of the official public publishing of legal acts and with the requirements of clarity and comprehensibility of law which stem from the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

10. In this context, it needs to be noted that the notion “published” of Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution may not be construed as meaning that official public publishing of legal acts is only printing of the text of these legal acts in a traditional “paper” publication (official gazette, etc.) or that in general their official public publishing is necessarily related only to their printing in any publication. The legislature may establish (but, under the Constitution, it is not obligatory for it to do so) that legal acts, also including those which have graphic parts, shall be officially published in a certain printed publication. If it is constitutionally grounded, such legal acts (their graphic parts) may be publicly and officially published in other ways as well.

It should also be emphasised that the necessity to ensure the clarity and comprehensibility of law, thus, also the clarity and comprehensibility of the system of legal acts also implies that the discussed official publishing of the graphic part of certain legal acts separately from the textual part (in different source) and/or in other way than the textual part should be considered not as a rule, but as an exception. Such exceptions must be expressis verbis provided for in the law. Otherwise, preconditions would be created for the emergence of disharmony in the legal system, it would be difficult for the subjects of law to find out the requirements of law.

11. It should also be emphasised that also in the cases when the graphic part of the legal act is published separately from the textual part (in a different source) and/or in a different way than the textual part, one must follow the requirements of formality and publicity of publishing of legal acts which stem from the Constitution, as well as one must ensure that due to the separate publication of the textual and graphic parts of legal acts, there would emerge no preconditions for questioning the authenticity of their contents.

First of all, it is necessary that by following the general (usual) procedure of official publishing of legal acts in a corresponding source one would announce that a corresponding legislative decision has been adopted regarding a certain question. Second, it should be clear from the legal acts published in this source that a certain constituent part (constituent parts) of this legal act has (have) not been published therein. Third, it must be clear where one can familiarise himself with the constituent part (constituent parts) of the legal act which was (were) not published in the said source. Finally, fourth, one must ensure in practice the accessibility of the corresponding part of the legal act (thus, also all the legal act as a whole) to the subjects of law, moreover, no grounded doubts regarding the authenticity of the contents of the constituent part (constituent parts) of the legal act which was (were) not published in the said source should arise for those subjects of law. If these conditions are followed, and, certainly, if the non-publishing of a certain constituent part (constituent parts)of the legal act may be constitutionally grounded, in itself there are no grounds to state that a certain legal act is “non-published” or that it is “published”, but it was done neither publicly, nor officially, i.e. by failing to meet the requirements of Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution and by failing to heed the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law. Such ensuring (in the specified cases) of the possibilities of familiarising oneself with the contents of the constituent part (constituent parts) of the legal act which was (were) not published in the said source, thus, also of all the legal act as a whole, if there are enough solid reasons for that, in itself does not give grounds to question the compliance of the corresponding legal act with the Constitution.

12. The provision that due to certain (solid enough) reasons the textual and graphic parts of a legal act may be officially published separately and/or in different ways is mutatis mutandis applicable also to the situations when two or more textual parts of the legal act are officially published in different ways.

13. Under the Constitution, subjects of legal relations are obliged to behave in good faith and without violating law. They have a duty to try to find out by themselves the requirements of law. It is required by the general principle of law bona fides, which is inseparable from the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

Thus, if non-publishing of a certain constituent part (constituent parts) of a legal act in the aforesaid source may be constitutionally grounded, and if one follows the discussed conditions (i.e. it is published in the official (usual) source of publishing of legal acts that a corresponding legislative decision has been adopted regarding a certain question; it is clear from the legal acts published in this source that a certain constituent part (constituent parts) of the legal act is (are) not published in this source; it is clear where one may familiarise himself with the constituent part (constituent parts) of the legal act which is (are) not published in the said source; the accessibility of the corresponding legal regulation for the subjects of law is ensured in a practical way and no reasonable doubts can arise to them regarding the authenticity of the contents of the constituent part (constituent parts) of the legal act which was (were) not published in the said source), no subject of law can decide not to follow the requirements of law only because of the fact that these requirements arise from such part of the legal act which was published separately from others.

14. An especially big size of the legal act, its complex structure, the technical problems which occur due to the publication of the graphic part—these are not the only reasons which may be considered as solid enough, thus, also constitutionally grounding the separate official publishing of the textual and graphic parts of the legal act and/or their publishing in different ways. In general, the legislature may regulate the official publishing of the legal acts in a differentiated manner also on other grounds and to establish alternative (in comparison with the general procedure of the official publishing of the legal acts) sources, ways and procedure of the official publishing of legal acts.

For instance, also such situations are possible when a certain legal act must come into force immediately, right after being issued. In such cases, one must ensure the necessary expeditious and as fast as possible official publishing of legal acts.

One may adopt also such legal acts which include the information which composes the state secret or other classified information. The Constitutional Court held that, under the Constitution, the state has a duty to guarantee the secrecy of the information which constitutes a state secret, disclosure of a state secret may raise a threat or even inflict damage upon the sovereignty of the state, its territorial integrity and upon other especially important state interests and the bases of the life of society and the state; when the relations linked with state secrets (or other classified information) and their protection are regulated by means of laws, one must establish what persons, under what procedure and conditions, can dispose of state secrets (or other classified information) (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 15 May 2007). The legislature has the duty to establish such ways and procedure of the official publishing of the legal act which include the information which composes the state secret or other classified information so that the protection of secrecy of such information would be guaranteed, at the same time without denying the imperatives of the publishing of the legal acts which arise from the Constitution, inter alia, by ensuring the accessibility of the legal acts to the corresponding subjects of law, the rights and duties of which are enshrined in those legal acts. On the other hand, as the Constitutional Court has held, the legal normative acts regulating the relations linked with the constitutional human rights and freedoms as well as their implementation should not in general contain any classification markings (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 April 2000).

15. Thus, also such legal situations are possible, when upon establishing the only source for the official publishing of legal acts and the only way of the official publishing of legal acts, such legal regulation would be not only unreasonable, but also legally deficient, constitutionally groundless, as it would not enable the law enshrined in the corresponding legal acts to reach its goals because it would be impossible to implement certain legislative decisions in an expeditious way and as fast as possible, the protection of the secrecy of corresponding information would not be guaranteed, the provisions of the legal act (for example, the graphic parts) would be understood inadequately due to not very high quality of printing, etc. Thus, one would deviate from the constitutional concept of the official public publishing of legal acts (moreover, the expenses of the publishing could be groundlessly big).

Thus, the Constitution—Paragraph 2 of Article 7 thereof together with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law—not only allows, but also requires that not only the general procedure of the official publishing of legal acts be established, but also such differentiated legal regulation that in the cases when due to an especially big size of a legal act, its complex structure, technical problems which arise due to the publication of the graphic part or other reasons solid enough, which constitutionally ground the separate publishing of the textual and graphic parts of the legal act and/or their publishing in different ways, certain legal acts (parts thereof) would be published while following an alternative (in comparison with the general procedure of the official publishing of the legal acts) procedure of the official publishing of legal acts, in other sources and/or in other ways. It has been mentioned that the official publishing of certain graphic parts of legal acts separately from the textual part (in a different source) and/or in a different way than the textual part should be considered not as a rule, but as an exception; such exceptions must be expressis verbis provided for in the law

All that is mutatis mutandis applicable also for the situations when two or more textual parts of the legal act must be published separately and/or in different ways.

IV

1. It has been mentioned that in the constitutional justice case at issue the petitioners impugn the compliance of the government resolution which approved the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park with the Constitution and with the articles (paragraphs thereof) of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993 with subsequent amendments and supplements), which, from 1 January 2003, has been referred to as the Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts. In addition, not the fact what this government resolution prescribes, i.e. not the contents of this government resolution and the Scheme approved thereby is impugned, but the fact how this government resolution (paragraph thereof) was published, namely that the Scheme approved thereby was not, according to the petitioners, published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”.

2. At the moment when the impugned government resolution was adopted, the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” adopted by the Seimas on 6 April 1993 was effective. This law was designed to regulate the relations linked to the publication and entry into force of the laws and other legal acts. It defined, inter alia, what the official publishing of a legal acts is, which legal act is official, it established what legal acts must be published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” and what legal acts may be not published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”, it defined the time of the entry into force of the legal acts, established in what cases and what legal acts may be published not in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”, but in other publications, as well as regulated the relations linked to the structure of the publication “Valstybės žinios” and its publishing.

It needs to be noted that the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993), inter alia, prescribed: publishing of laws and other legal acts in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” shall constitute their official publishing; the date of their publishing in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”, which is indicated on the first page of every publication, shall be the day of their release (Paragraph 1 of Article 1); government resolutions must be published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” (Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2); government resolutions, in which legal normative acts are not established, amended or acknowledged as no longer valid, in the estimation of the persons who have signed them, may remain unpublished in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”; however, regardless of whether or not these acts are published in the official gazette ”Valstybės žinios”, they must be sent out to the state institutions, enterprises, and organisations, legal and natural persons mentioned in them (Article 3); in case of urgency, laws of the Republic of Lithuania, other legal acts adopted by the Seimas, as well as decrees of the President of the Republic may be officially published in a special publication of the Seimas or in the newspapers of the republic through the Lithuanian Press Agency (ELTA) (Paragraph 1 of Article 7); in such case, the laws and other acts adopted by the Seimas shall come into force afterwards or the day after their publishing, however, in the short time these legal acts shall also be published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” (Paragraph 2 of Article 7); the government resolutions, by which legal norms are established, amended or recognised as no longer valid shall come into force the day after, when signed by the Prime Minister and the corresponding minister, they are published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” (Paragraph 1 of Article 8); the Government regulations, by which legal norms are not established, amended or recognised as no longer valid, as well as the decrees of the Prime Minister, shall come into force on the day of their signing provided a later date of their entry into force has not been established in the resolutions or decrees themselves (Paragraph 2 of Article 8).

Thus, at the time of adoption of the impugned government resolution, the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993) provided for the only official, under this law, source of publication of government resolutions to be published—the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”.

3. The Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993) has been amended and/or supplemented more than once.

3.1. On 4 July 1996, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Supplementing Article 3 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania”, which came into force on 17 July 1996. Its Article 1 supplemented Article 3 (wording of 6 April 1993) of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” with Paragraph 2, wherein it was prescribed that “legal acts, which contain some information containing state or official secrets, shall not be published in the official gazette ‘Valstybės žinios’” and that “these acts must be sent to those institutions, which, according to the procedure established by law, may dispose of the information involving state or official secrets”.

3.2. On 18 May 1999, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Amending Articles 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16 and 17 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania”, Supplementing it with Article 10¹ and Recognising Article 7 as no Longer Valid, which came into force on 2 June 1999. The law amended, supplemented and set forth Article 3 (wording of 4 July 1996) of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” in its new wording, as well as amended and set forth Article 8 (wording of 6 April 1993) of this law in its new wording.

Article 3 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 18 May 1999) prescribed: legal acts adopted by the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, except for the laws, decrees of the President of the Republic, resolutions of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania and resolutions of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania, in which legal norms are not established, amended or acknowledged as no longer valid, decisions of the Constitutional Court of no general significance in the estimation of the persons who have signed them, may remain unpublished in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”; regardless of whether or not these acts are published in the official gazette ”Valstybės žinios”, they must be sent out to the state institutions, enterprises, and organisations, legal and natural persons mentioned in them (Paragraph 1); the orders of ministers, heads of Government establishments and other state governing institutions and other legal acts confirmed by orders, which do not establish, amend or acknowledge legal norms as no longer valid, in the estimation of the persons who signed them, may be published in the official gazette ”Valstybės žinios” annex, the “Information Bulletin” (Paragraph 2); legal acts, which contain some information containing state or official secrets, shall not be published in the official gazette ”Valstybės žinios”; however, these acts must be sent to those institutions, which, according to the procedure established by law, may dispose of the information involving state or official secrets (Paragraph 3).

Article 8 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 18 May 1999) prescribed: the government resolutions, by which legal norms are established, amended or recognised as no longer valid shall come into force the day after, when signed by the Prime Minister and the corresponding minister, they are published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” provided a later date of their entry into force has not been established in the resolutions or decrees themselves (Paragraph 1); the government resolutions, by which legal norms are not established, amended or recognised as no longer valid, as well as the decrees of the Prime Minister shall come into force on the day of their signing, even if they were published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” provided a later date of their entry into force has not been established in the resolutions or decrees themselves (Paragraph 2).

It also needs to be mentioned that Article 7 of the Law on Amending Articles 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16 and 17 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania”, Supplementing it with Article 10¹ and Recognising Article 7 as no Longer Valid supplemented the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” with Article 10¹ which established the following: the legal acts indicated in Article 2 of this law must appear on the Internet websites of the Seimas as well as of the institution which has adopted them, within three days of their formal publication in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” (Paragraph 1); the legal acts included in Paragraph 1 of Article 3 of this law, must be published on the Internet websites of the institution which has adopted them, within 3 days of the entry into force thereof (Paragraph 2); the legal acts which contain information comprising state or official secrets, shall not be published on the Internet (Paragraph 3).

3.3. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it needs to be noted that, on 29 November 2001, the Constitutional Court in the constitutional justice case subsequent to the petition of a group of members of the Seimas, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether the Government Decision “On the Request of the Company ‘Danisco Sugar’ A/S to Acquire Certain Shares of Sugar Sector Enterprises” entered into the minutes of the sitting of 22 July 1998 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania was not in conflict with Paragraphs 1, 4 and 5 of Article 46 and Paragraph 1 of Article 95 of the Constitution, Articles 6 and 11 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Competition (enacted on 15 September 1992), Article 2 of the Law on the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, and Articles 2 and 8 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania”, adopted the Ruling “On the Compliance of the Decision of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania ‘On the Request of the Company ‘Danisco Sugar’ A/S to Acquire Certain Shares of Sugar Sector Enterprises’ Entered into the Minutes of the Sitting of 22 July 1998 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and on the Compliance of the Provisions of Articles 3 and 8 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law ‘On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry Into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania’ with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania”, in which it, inter alia, recognised that the provision of Article 3 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry Into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wordings of 4 July 1996 and 18 May 1999) whereby the resolutions of the Government in which legal norms are not established, amended or acknowledged as no longer valid may, in the estimation of the persons who have signed them, remain unpublished officially, as well as the provision of Paragraph 2 of Article 8 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry Into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wordings of 6 April 1993 and 18 May 1999) whereby the resolutions of the Government by which legal norms are not established, amended or acknowledged as no longer valid may come into force without their official publication, were in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

3.4. On 10 December 2002, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Amending the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania”, Article 1 whereof amended the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993 with subsequent amendments and supplements) and set it forth in its new wording. The title of the said law was also amended—it was given the title the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts. The Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts in its new wording came into force on 1 January 2003.

The Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts (wording of 10 December 2002) was designed to regulate the relations connected with the official publishing of laws of the Republic of Lithuania, other legal acts adopted by the Seimas, decrees of the President of the Republic, government resolutions, decisions and rulings of the Constitutional Court, and other legal acts adopted by the institutions of state power and governance, and connected with the procedure of their entry into force (Paragraph 1 of Article 1). This law also established the structure of the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”, the kinds of legal acts to be published in the chapters of this gazette and the procedure for submission of the signed laws and other legal acts at the office of the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”.

The Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts (wording of 10 December 2002), inter alia, prescribes (prescribed) the following: publication of the laws and other legal acts in the publication “Valstybės žinios” shall constitute their official publishing and the day of their publication in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” shall be the day of their release; it is indicated on the first page of every publication (Paragraph 1 of Article 2); the official text of a law or another legal act shall be that which before its publishing is signed by the official who has this right in accordance with the laws (Paragraph 2 of Article 2); according to this law, government resolutions must be published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” (Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 3); laws of the Republic of Lithuania, other legal acts adopted by the Seimas, decrees of the President of the Republic, resolutions of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania and decisions of the Constitutional Court, regardless of whether these acts are published in the official gazette ”Valstybės žinios”, must be sent out to the state institutions, enterprises, and organisations, legal and natural persons mentioned in them (Paragraph 1 of Article 4); government resolutions shall come into force the day after, when signed by the Prime Minister and the corresponding minister, they are published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” provided a later date of their entry into force has not been established in the resolutions themselves (Paragraph 1 of Article 9); the legal acts specified in Article 3 of this law must appear on the Internet websites of Seimas as well as of the institution which has adopted them, within three days of their formal publication in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” (Paragraph 1 of Article 13); legal acts included in Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of this law, must be published on the Internet websites of the institution which has adopted them, within 3 days of the entry into force thereof (Paragraph 2 of Article 13).

Thus, the provision that the only source for official publishing of government resolutions (all parts thereof) is the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” was not abandoned.

3.5. The Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts (wording of 10 December 2002) was amended and supplemented by the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 1, 3, 4, 8, 10, 17, 18, 19 and 23 of the Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts, which came into force on 19 November 2003, adopted by the Seimas on 28 October 2003, however, the provision that the publishing of the laws and other legal acts in the gazette “Valstybės žinios” shall constitute their official publishing was not amended.

3.6. On 7 July 2005, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 1, 2, 3, 9, 11, 12 and 13 of the Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts, which came into force on 21 July 2005. Article 2 thereof amended Paragraph 1 (wording of 10 December 2002) of Article 2 of the Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts and set it forth in its new wording, Article 4 thereof amended Article 9 (wording of 10 December 2002) of the said law and set it forth in its new wording, and Article 7 thereof amended Article 13 (wording of 10 December 2002) of the said law and set it forth in its new wording.

It was stipulated that the gazette “Valstybės žinios” shall constitute the official publishing of laws and other legal acts and the day of their publishing in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” shall be the day of their release, which is indicated on the first page of every publication; in the cases established by this law, the official publishing of other legal acts shall be their publishing in the mass media or on the Internet website of a corresponding institution, as well as their sending to the institutions which, according to the procedure established by law, may dispose of the information involving state or official secrets (Paragraph 1 (wording of 7 July 2005) of Article 2). It was also stipulated that government resolutions shall come into force the day after, when signed by the Prime Minister and the corresponding minister, they are published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” provided a later date of their entry into force has not been established in the resolutions themselves, and when the decisions provided for in the legal acts of the Republic of Lithuania need to be adopted immediately, government resolutions shall come into force after being published in the mass media; these resolutions must also be published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” (Paragraph 1 of Article 9 (wording of 7 July 2005)). The following was also prescribed: government decisions and government resolutions shall come into force on the day of their signing (Paragraph 2 of Article 9 (wording of 7 July 2005)); the decrees of the Prime Minister shall come into force on the day of their signing provided a later date of their entry into force has not been established in the decrees themselves, and the decrees of the Prime Minister which are published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” shall come the next day after their publishing provided the later date of their entry into force has not been established in the decrees themselves (Paragraph 3 of Article 9 (wording of 7 July 2005)); the legal acts specified in Article 3 of this law must be published on the Internet websites of Seimas as well as of the institution which has adopted them, within three days of their official publication in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” (Paragraph 1 of Article 13 (wording of 7 July 2005)); the legal acts specified in Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of this law must be published on the Internet website of the institution which has adopted them within three days of their entry into force (Paragraph 2 of Article 13 (wording of 7 July 2005)); the legal acts specified in Paragraph 2 of Article 9 of this law must on the Internet website of the Government (www.lrv.lt) on the day of their signing (Paragraph 3 of Article 13 (wording of 7 July 2005)); the legal acts which include information involving state or official secrets shall not be published on the Internet websites (Paragraph 4 of Article 13 (wording of 7 July 2005)).

Thus, it was stipulated that the official publishing of the government resolutions is not only their publishing in the gazette “Valstybės žinios”, but, in the cases established in the Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts (wording of 10 December 2002 with the amendments and supplements made in the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 1, 2, 3, 9, 11, 12 and 13 of the Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts), also their publishing in the mass media (after they have been published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”).

3.7. On 16 January 2007, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Amending Articles 3 and 12 of the Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts and Supplementing the Law with Article 3¹ which came into force on 30 January 2007. Paragraph 1 of Article 1 thereof amended Item 4 (wording of 10 December 2002) of Paragraph 1 of Article 3 of the Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts, and Article 2 supplemented the said law with new Article 3¹.

Item 4 (wording of 16 January 2007) of Paragraph 1 of Article 3 of the Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts prescribed that, under this law, the government resolutions, save the cases provided for in Article 3¹ of this law, must be published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”. Under Article 3¹ (wording of 16 January 2007) of the Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts, in the cases when the resolutions of the Seimas, government resolutions and the legal acts adopted by the heads of other institutions of state governance and collegial institutions include annexes (drawings, tables, graphs, schemes, maps, etc.), to announce which in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” there are no technical possibilities, such legal acts are on the same day officially published: on the Internet website of the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” (www.valstybes-zinios.lt)—the legal act with annexes (Item 1 of Paragraph 1); in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”—the legal act without annexes (Item 2 of Paragraph 1); the legal acts specified in this article shall be officially published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” and on the Internet website of the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” by the officials who signed them (Paragraph 2).

4. It needs to be noted that certain relations linked to the publishing of the government resolutions are regulated by the Work Regulations of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, which was approved by Item 1 (with subsequent amendments and supplements) of the Government Resolution (No. 728) “On the Approval of the Work Regulations of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania” of 11 August 1994 that came into force on 18 August 1994.

It needs to be noted that the Work Regulations of the Government, which is a substatutory legal act, has to be grounded on the law.

5. It should be noted that the Scheme approved by the impugned government resolution is a territorial planning document. Thus, while deciding whether the impugned government resolution is not in conflict with the Constitution and with the articles (paragraphs thereof) of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 6 April 1993 with subsequent amendments and supplements), which from 1 January 2003 has been referred to as the Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts, one must take account not only of the fact how the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 6 April 1993 with subsequent amendments and supplements), which since 1 January 2003 has been referred to as the Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts, regulated the relations linked to the official publishing and entry into force of government resolutions and the time when the impugned government resolution was adopted (and later), but also of the fact how the preparation, registration, publishing and entry into force of the territorial planning documents were (are) regulated.

6. At the time when the impugned Government Resolution (No. 1269) “On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park” of 19 December 1994 was adopted, the Government Resolution (No. 161) “On the Territorial Planning of the Republic of Lithuania” adopted on 12 March 1993, which came into force on 12 March 1993, was effective. Article 2 thereof approved the Provisional Regulations for the Territorial Planning of the Republic of Lithuania. The provisional regulations defined territorial planning, established the organisational principles of the territorial planning, the objects, the subjects, the rights and duties of the subjects, the competence of state institutions in the area of territorial planning and the procedure of the participation of the public in the process of territorial planning.

Item 5 of the Provisional Regulations prescribed, inter alia, that “the territorial planning documents shall be the following: 5.1. of state significance: <…>5.1.4. General plans of the towns of Neringa, <…>; 5.2. of regional significance: <…> the plans of the special purpose territories (land, forestry and water economy, recreational, protected, etc.) and infrastructure systems <…>”.

Also the following was prescribed: the Ministry of Construction and Urban Planning shall establish the composition and size of the general territorial planning documents, the procedure of their preparation, co-ordination, amendment and registration (Item 9.3), as well as collect and use the information bank of the territorial planning documents and administers their register (Item 9.6); the ordering customers of the territorial planning documents (projects) must inform the Ministry of Construction and Urban Planning about the terms of preparation of a territorial planning document of state or regional significance, while the same ordering customers must inform the municipality about the terms of preparation of a territorial planning document of the territory of the municipality and of local significance, and register the approved document (Item 19.1), to inform the society about the purposes of the design works, their beginning and end, to establish the deadlines for submitting claims (Item 19.2), to present the society with the finished territorial planning document for familiarisation and to establish a time period for its consideration, which would be not shorter than 2 months (Item 19.3); after the time for the consideration is over, the ordering customer, within one month, shall analyse the remarks submitted in writing, shall present the society with reasoned conclusions and submit the document for approval (Item 19.3).

7. The 4 May 1994 order (No. 104) of the Minister of Construction and Urban Planning approved the Provisional Rules for Discussion of Draft Territorial Planning Documents with Society which came into force on 19 May 1994. They established the “procedure for discussion of the draft territorial planning documents prepared for the territories of the municipality, part of municipality or groups of municipality with society and the functions of the territorial planning subjects” (Item 1). It was prescribed that “while discussing the draft territorial planning documents with society, the citizens of the Republic of Lithuania living in that territory, their associations, political and public organisations may submit proposals, make remarks and claims” (Item 2) and that “upon approval of the draft document under the established procedure, within ten days the ordering customer shall inform the society about the fact that the document was approved and comes into force and specify where one can familiarise himself with it” (Item 19).

8. It is clear from the discussed legal regulation that the legal acts which were effective at the time when the impugned government resolution was adopted, and which regulated the preparation of the territorial planning documents (which are not a matter of investigation in this constitutional justice case), consolidated the possibility for the natural and legal persons to familiarise themselves with a territorial planning document, which is undergoing preparation, before its approval; the society had to be informed about the beginning and the end of the drafting works, it had to be presented with the finished territorial planning document for familiarisation, one had to establish the time period for consideration of such document during which it was possible to make remarks; the territorial planning document could be submitted for approval only upon analysing the said remarks and announcing reasoned conclusions to the society; upon approving, under the established procedure, the draft territorial planning document, the society had to be informed about its approval and entry into force, as well as about where it was possible to familiarise oneself with it.

9. The Order of the Minister of Construction and Urban Planning (No. 32) “On the Data Banks of the Territorial Planning” of 6 February 1995, which came into force on 16 February 1995, approved the Provisional Regulations for the Register of the Territorial Planning Documents until the Seimas adopts the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Territorial Planning (Item 2.3). They were designed to regulate the relations linked to the registration of the territorial planning documents which were prepared and approbated under the established procedure, determined the structure of the data about the territorial planning documents, enshrined the principles of the data collection, handling and updating, established the objects and subjects of the register, the general rights and duties of the subjects, and the requirements for the hardware and software for collection and handling of the planning documents.

The said regulations prescribed, inter alia, the following: the objects of the register of the territorial planning documents shall be the territorial planning documents of all levels which were approved by the Government or the Ministry of Construction and Urban Planning under the established procedure and were begun to prepare, as well as the data about them, their ordering customers and drafters (Item 3.1); the subjects of the register of the territorial planning documents shall be the Seimas, the Government, the Ministry of Construction and Urban Planning, other ministries and state services, county administrations and municipalities, ordering customers of the territorial planning documents, design organisations and other natural and legal persons of the Republic of Lithuania and foreign countries (Item 3.2.1); free and free of charge access to the data of the register of the territorial planning documents shall be granted to the state institutions of the highest hierarchical level (subjects), as well as to the administrators of the registers of the territorial planning documents of counties and municipalities; they shall directly apply (submit applications) to the responsible administrator of the register (Item 3.2.2); other subjects (banks, design and other organisations concerned) of the register of the territorial planning documents shall only be provided with the information about the registered territorial planning documents and who their general ordering customer is (Item 3.2.3); the ordering customer, under whose order the corresponding document was prepared shall provide the responsible administrator of the register of the territorial planning documents with the data about the approved territorial planning documents of the corresponding level (Item 4.2); the ordering customer, under whose order the preparation of the document was begun, shall provide the responsible administrator of the register of the territorial planning documents with the data about the territorial planning documents of the corresponding level the preparation of which was begun (Item 4.4); the natural and legal persons who wish to familiarise themselves with the data about the documents registered at the register of the territorial planning documents shall apply to the responsible administrators of the corresponding level, while the responsible administrator of the register may collect a tax of the established size for providing the information (Item 4.5).

The said regulations also prescribed that the territorial planning documents shall be collected and handled at the register at three levels: state, county, municipalities (Item 6.1); in the register, the territorial planning documents of state significance are divided into three groups: the territory of the whole country, national parks and towns of the republic (Item 6.2); while registering the territorial planning documents in the register of a corresponding level, the following data shall be entered: registration number, title of the document, general ordering customer of the document, other customers (if such exist), general contractor of the document, other contractors (if such exist), the one who approved the document (institution, date, number of the document whereby the territorial planning document was approved), repeated supplements, the place where the original copy of the document is kept, the place where the duplicates of the document are kept, the beginning of the preparation of the document and the end of the preparation of the document (Item 6.3).

10. On 12 December 1995, the Seimas adopted the Law on Territorial Planning which came into force on 1 January 1996. On the same day (12 December 1995), the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Entry into Force of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Territorial Planning” which came into force on 30 December 1995.

The Law on Territorial Planning was designed to regulate the relations linked with the territorial planning of the Republic of Lithuania, as well as interrelations of the natural persons, legal persons and state institutions during this process. It defined, inter alia, the purposes, levels, kinds of the territorial planning, the objects, organisers, documents, processes, preparation and validity of plans of the common, special and detailed planning; it established the general procedure of the co-ordination of the territorial planning documents and of their submission for approval, defined their registration, bank of the territorial planning data and information sources, participation of the public in the process of the territorial planning, public publishing of the territorial planning documents, procedure of submission of the planning tenders, publicity of the execution of the approved common plans, as well as it regulated the state supervision of the territorial planning and compensation for damage, and established liability for violation of this law. Under Article 2 of the Law “On the Entry into Force of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Territorial Planning”, the Law on Territorial Planning (wording of 12 December 1995) had, “under the procedure established by the Government”, to be applied to all common and detailed plans and special planning documents which were approved, begun and not finished until the day of the entry into force of the law.

The Law on Territorial Planning, inter alia, prescribed: the objects of special planning may be protected territories, their systems, natural and immovable cultural values (Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 10); the documents of special planning may be schemes of planning of national and regional parks (Item 5 of Paragraph 1 of Article 12); solutions of the documents of special planning must not contradict the valid general plans, they must be co-ordinated and discussed publicly (Paragraph 2 of Article 14); prior to their presentation for approval, solutions of common, special and detailed territorial planning documents must be discussed in public (Item 2 of Paragraph 1 of Article 23). Article 24 of this law regulated the registration of the territorial planning documents; it established the following: the register of territorial planning documents shall be set up for the purpose of registration of territorial planning documents; it is composed of the national, county and municipality registers of the territorial planning documents (Paragraph 1); the management of territorial planning registers shall be regulated by the territorial planning register regulations approved by the Government (Paragraph 2); all the approved territorial planning documents shall be presented in the obligatory manner to the register administrators for registration no later than within 15 days from their approval; the administrators of territorial planning documents register shall within 15 days notify the administrator of the land cadastre of the registered planning document (Paragraph 3); the national territorial planning documents register shall be managed by the Ministry of Construction and Urban Planning, the county register—by the county governor, the municipality register—by the chief architect of the municipality (Paragraph 4); all natural and legal persons of the Republic of Lithuania shall have the right of access to the data of the register of the territorial planning documents at the corresponding register management institution and, upon paying a fixed stamp duty, receive copies thereof (Paragraph 5). Article 25 of the Law on Territorial Planning, which regulated the participation of the public in the process of the territorial planning, prescribed, inter alia, that general, detailed and special territorial planning documents must be submitted for public discussion (Paragraph 1), as well as that the general procedure of the participation of the public in the process of planning shall be regulated by the regulations for public discussion of territorial planning document drafts, approved by the Government (Paragraph 3). Article 26 of the discussed law, which regulated public publishing of the territorial planning documents, prescribed: the purpose and terms of preparation of general plans, also of national and county level territorial planning documents shall be publicly published on the Lithuanian radio and television, in the press, whereas those of detailed plans and municipal level special territorial planning documents—in the local mass media no later than within 10 days from the passing of the decision to draft the plan; the publishing shall specify the stages and procedure of public discussion (Paragraph 1); all natural and legal persons of the Republic of Lithuania shall have the right of access to the territorial planning documents that are under preparation, also those which have been approved, at the institution organising the planning and, upon paying a fixed stamp duty, receive copies of extracts and drawings thereof, provided that the planning is organised by a state or municipal institution; other organisers of the planning shall provide copies for a charge fixed by mutual agreement (Paragraph 2); the institution which organised the planning shall acquaint the public with the prepared drafts of territorial planning documents; they shall also be open for public at open exhibitions (Paragraph 3); a period of at least two months shall be assigned for the presentation to the public of the drafted national, county and municipal general plans and special planning documents with at least one month of the period being allotted for public exposition (Paragraph 4); at least a month’s period shall be allotted for granting access to the drafted detailed plan, with at least a week of the period being assigned to public exposition (Paragraph 5); the organisers of the planning must send a written notification of the drawn up territorial planning document and its consideration procedure to the land owners and other real estate owners, whose real estate is reserved under the detailed plan or special planning documents solutions for key national, county or municipal projects and for the development of infrastructure, is set apart in order to be taken for public needs or if it is intended to change its condition, manner or purpose of use (Paragraph 6).

11. The Law on Territorial Planning (wording of 12 December 1995) has been amended and/or supplemented more than once, however, the provisions specified therein, which are designed for the relations linked to the public consideration of the special planning documents, society’s familiarisation with the prepared draft territorial planning documents, the right of natural and legal persons to familiarise themselves with the territorial planning documents which are being prepared and approved and to their right to receive their extracts and copies of the drawings have not been essentially amended or supplemented (even though the textual expression of some of them was corrected).

12. It has been mentioned that under Article 2 of the Law “On the Entry into Force of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Territorial Planning”, the Law on Territorial Planning (wording of 12 December 1995) had, “under the procedure established by the Government”, to be applied to all general and detailed plans and special planning documents which were approved, begun and not finished until the day of the entry into force of the law.

On 24 May 1996, the Government adopted the Resolution (No. 617) “On Application of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Territorial Planning to the Approved Territorial Planning Documents the Preparation of Which was Begun and not Finished Before the Entry into Force of this Law”, Article 5 whereof recognised the Provisional Regulations which were approved by government resolution No. 161 of 12 March 1993 as null and void. Government resolution No. 617 of 24 May 1996 came into force on 1 June 1996.

Item 1.1 of the said government resolution prescribed that the general plans, detailed plans and projects and regeneration projects and schemes of towns (or parts thereof), townlets and villages (rural districts), projects and schemes of the arrangement of networks and objects of the communication and engineering infrastructure, projects and schemes of territorial development, projects and schemes of lot marking and red lines, planning schemes of state parks, land use planning and forestry projects and other documents which provide for the conditions of land use of the territories and development of the activity in them, the rights and obligations of the land users, are territorial planning documents, if they had been approved, under the established procedure, before the entry into force of the Law on Territorial Planning; these documents must be registered at the state register of the territorial planning documents until 30 March 1997, as it is established in the regulations of this register.

Government resolution No. 617 of 24 May 1996 has been amended, but Item 1.1 thereof has not been amended.

13. By Item 1.1 of its Resolution (No. 721) “On the Approval of the Regulations for the Register of the Territorial Planning Documents of the Republic of Lithuania and the Regulations for the Data Bank of the Territorial Planning Documents of the Republic of Lithuania” of 19 June 1996 (hereinafter also referred to as government resolution No. 721 of 19 June 1996), the Government approved the Regulations for the Territorial Planning Documents of the Republic of Lithuania.

Under these regulations, the register of the territorial planning documents was designed to register the territorial planning documents which were approved under the procedure in the Law on Territorial Planning, to enter their supplements and amendments, as well as to register the territorial planning documents the preparation of which was begun (as recommended) (Item 5). The founder of the Register of the Territorial Planning Documents shall be the Government (Item 3). The object of the Register of the Territorial Planning Documents shall be the approved common, special and detailed territorial planning documents (Item 4). The central data base of the Register of the Territorial Planning Documents and the database of the register of the administrative levels shall be the databases of the original (Item 8). The data of the Register of the Territorial Planning Documents shall be, inter alia, the following: the data about the approval of the document (title of the institution which approved it, date, number of the document whereby the territorial planning document was approved) (Item 14.5); the data about the amendments and supplements of the document (title of the institution, date, number of the document whereby these supplements and amendments were approved) (Item 14.6); references about the place where the original copy of the document is kept (Item 15.5.1); and about the place where the duplicates of the document are kept (15.5.2).

The said regulations also prescribed that all legal and natural persons of the Republic of Lithuania, upon paying a fixed stamp duty (under the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Stamp Tax) shall have the right to familiarise themselves with the data of the register of the territorial planning documents at the institution which administers the corresponding register and to receive copies thereof (Item 42), as well as that the legal and natural persons who wish to receive an extract (copy) from the register of the territorial planning documents, shall submit application to the administrator of the database of this register, and the administrator must grant the application within 3 working days and to provide with the requested data (Item 45).

14. By Item 1.2 of the Resolution (No. 721) “On the Approval of the Regulations for the Register of the Territorial Planning Documents of the Republic of Lithuania and the Regulations for the Data Bank of the Territorial Planning Documents of the Republic of Lithuania” of 19 June 1996, the Regulations for the Data Bank of the Territorial Planning Documents of the Republic of Lithuania were approved.

The Regulations for the Data Bank of the Territorial Planning Documents prescribed, inter alia, that the data bank of the territorial planning documents is designed to enter and keep the solutions of the documents which are registered at the register of the territorial planning documents, as well as to keep graphic and textual data which are necessary while preparing the territorial planning documents (Item 1). It was prescribed that the data of the data bank of territorial planning shall be provided free of charge to the state institutions according to the list approved by the Government (Item 24); other legal and natural persons—planning organisers—shall be provided with the data of the data bank of territorial planning upon paying a fixed stamp duty (under the Law on the Stamp Duty) (Item 25).

15. Government resolution No. 721 of 19 June 1996 (and the Regulations for the Register of the Territorial Planning Documents and the Regulations for the Data Bank of the Territorial Planning Documents approved thereby) have been amended more than once, however, the provisions specified therein have not been essentially amended or supplemented (even though the textual expression of some of them was corrected).

16. On 15 January 2004, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Amending the Law on Territorial Planning, by Article 1 of which the Law on Territorial Planning (wording of 12 December 1995 with subsequent amendments and supplements) was amended and set forth in its new wording. The Law on Territorial Planning of the new wording came into force on 1 May 2004.

The Law on Territorial Planning (wording of 15 January 2004) is designed to regulate the relations linked to the territorial planning of the Republic of Lithuania and to the planning of the rights and duties of the natural, legal persons and state and municipal institutions in this process. This law consolidates the provisions linked to the preparation, co-ordination, approval, validity and registration of the territorial planning documents, to the right of persons to familiarise themselves with the data of the register of the territorial planning documents and defines the participation of the public in the process of the territorial planning and the publicity of the territorial planning.

The Law on Territorial Planning (wording of 15 January 2004), inter alia, prescribes (prescribed): the territorial planning documents shall be registered at the register of the territorial planning documents (Paragraph 1 of Article 28); all natural and legal persons shall have the right to familiarise themselves with the data of the register of the territorial planning documents at the institution which administers the corresponding register and to receive copies thereof upon paying a fixed stamp duty (Paragraph 5 of Article 28); the general, special and detailed territorial planning shall be public (Paragraph 1 of Article 30); the organiser of the planning shall perform the procedures which ensure the publicity of the planning (publishing of the decision regarding the beginning of preparation of the territorial planning documents and the purposes of the planning, consultation, public consideration, provision of information, etc.) (Paragraph 2 of Article 30); the natural and legal persons shall have the right to familiarise themselves with the prepared and approved territorial planning documents at the institution which organised the territorial planning and to receive the copies of the territorial planning documents or parts thereof, as well as the copies of the drawings upon paying a fee which is established by calculating the expenses related to the preparation of these documents (copying, publishing, etc.) (Paragraph 2 of Article 31); the organisers of the planning have to announce about the prepared territorial planning document, the procedure, time and date for familiarisation with it and its consideration in the mass media (Paragraph 4 of Article 31).

In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it needs to be noted that the Law on Territorial Planning (wording of 15 January 2004) included the provisions which expressis verbis regulated the relations linked to the publication and entry into force of the territorial planning documents, namely: the common (general) plan of the county, which is approved by the state, shall come into force the next day after the decision on the approval of the general plan of the institution which approves it is published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios“, provided a later date of its entry into force has not been established in the decision itself (Paragraph 10 of Article 11); the approved special plan shall come into force the next day after the decision of the Seimas, the Government, ministries or Government institutions and other state institutions regarding the approval of the special plan has been published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios“, and the decision of the institutions of governance of the higher administrative units and municipalities regarding the approval of the special plan has been published in the local press, unless the decision itself establishes a later date of its entry into force; the approved special plans shall be in force for unlimited time (Paragraph 4 of Article 18).

The Law on Territorial Planning (wording of 15 January 2004) has been amended and/or supplemented more than once, however, the provisions specified therein have not been essentially amended or supplemented (even though the textual expression of some of them was corrected) (until 5 April 2007, when the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Amending Articles 11, 18 and 26 of the Law on Territorial Planning, which was adopted by the Seimas on 22 March 2007, came into force).

17. Summing up the legal regulation related to the preparation of the territorial planning documents and their publishing at the discussed time period, it should be noted that the said legal regulation allowed various persons to participate in consideration of the prepared, but not yet approved, territorial planning documents, natural and legal persons had the right to familiarise themselves with prepared and approved territorial planning documents and to receive the copies of the territorial planning documents or parts thereof and the copies of the drawings. No obstacles for that were established in legal acts. The persons could find out where the approved territorial planning documents were kept from the register of the territorial planning documents; such procedure of registration of the territorial planning documents was prescribed that the register of the territorial planning documents had to provide where the original copy and the duplicates of the territorial planning document were kept.

18. The Regulations for the Register of the Territorial Planning Documents and the Regulations for the Data Bank of the Territorial Planning Documents approved by government resolution No. 721 of 19 June 1996 were amended and set forth in their new wording by Items 1.1 and 1.2 of the Government Resolution (No. 1428) “On Amending the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 721) ‘On the Approval of the Regulations for the Register of the Territorial Planning Documents of the Republic of Lithuania and the Regulations for the Data Bank of the Territorial Planning Documents of the Republic of Lithuania’ of 19 June 1996” that came into force on 14 November 2004.

Some of the items of the Regulations for the Register of the Territorial Planning Documents (wording of 19 June 1996) specified in this ruling of Constitutional Court were set forth in the Regulations for the Register of the Territorial Planning Documents (wording of 10 November 2004) in a bit different textual form (in addition, some of them were given different numbers), however, the contents of the legal regulation remained unchanged in most aspects. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it needs to be particularly emphasised that the principled provision that every natural and legal person have the right of access to the data of the register of the territorial planning documents under the established procedure remained. Also there remained the principled provision that the data of the register of the territorial planning documents are, inter alia, the data about the approval of the document, the data about the amendments of the document, the data about the place where the original copy of the document is kept and about the place where the duplicates of the document are kept.

The purpose of the data bank of the territorial planning documents specified in this ruling of Constitutional Court remained essentially unchanged. In addition, it was prescribed that the data of the data bank of territorial planning shall be provided to the state and municipal institutions and establishments under the procedure established by legal acts (Item 22); other legal and natural persons shall be provided with the data of the data bank of territorial planning under the data supply agreements (Item 23). Thus, the principled provision that legal and natural persons have the right of access to the data from the data bank of the territorial planning documents under the established procedure remained.

19. On 22 March 2007, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Amending Articles 11, 18 and 26 of the Law on Territorial Planning which came into force on 5 April 2007. Its Article 2 amended Paragraph 8 of Article 18 (wording of 8 June 2006) of the Law on Territorial Planning and set it forth in its new wording; the following was prescribed: the approved special plan shall come into force the next day after the decision of the Seimas, the Government, the ministries or other institutions of the Government, the institutions of governance of the higher administrative units and other state institutions regarding the approval of the special plan (in the cases established by law) has been published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”, and the whole territorial planning document has been published on the Internet website of the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” (www.valstybes-zinios.lt), the special plan approved by the municipality shall come into force the next day after its publishing in the local press or the next day after the official information report regarding the approval of the territorial planning document has been published in the local press and after the publishing of the whole territorial planning document on the Internet website of the corresponding municipality, unless the legal acts themselves establish a later date of its entry into force; the approved special plans shall be in force for unlimited time.

V

On the compliance of the Government Resolution (No. 1269) “On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park” of 19 December 1994 (wording of 19 December 1994) with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution, with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law and with Paragraph 1 of Article 1, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 and Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993).

1. It has been mentioned that the Scheme approved by the impugned government resolution was amended by government resolution No. 690 of 30 June 1997, as well as that Item 2 of the Annex “The Main Statements of the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park” of the impugned government resolution was amended and set forth in its new wording by government resolution No. 1378 of 22 December 2005.

The petitioners do not impugn the legal regulation established by government resolution No. 690 of 30 June 1997 and by government resolution No. 1378 of 22 December 2005, it is not a matter of investigation in this constitutional justice case.

2. Under the Constitution, the legal acts must be officially published following the procedure of their official publishing, which is established namely at the moment when they are issued.

Thus, even though the petitioners request an investigation into whether the impugned government resolution (part thereof) under the procedure for publishing is not in conflict not only with the articles (paragraphs thereof) of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993), but also with the articles (paragraphs thereof) of the Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts (by this title the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” has been referred since 1 January 2003 (wording of 6 April 1993 with subsequent amendments and supplements)), set forth in the wording of 7 July 2005, the Constitutional Court will not investigate in this constitutional justice case whether the impugned government resolution (part thereof), under the procedure of its publishing is not in conflict with the articles (paragraphs thereof) of the Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts which are set forth in the wording of 7 July 2005.

3. One of essential elements of the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law is the principle whereby a legal act that is in conflict with a legal act of higher legal force may not be applied.

The Constitutional Court held that while administering justice, the court must invoke only the laws and legal acts that are not in conflict with the Constitution, it may not apply a law, which is in conflict with the Constitution (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 13 December 2004 and 16 January 2006). The Constitutional Court also held that a virtually wrong presumption would be made that, purportedly, a substatutory legal act must be in line with an unconstitutional law; such presumption would deny the concept of the hierarchy of legal acts which is entrenched in the Constitution; thus, the essence of constitutional justice itself would be distorted (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 16 January 2007). The Constitutional Court, having established that the provisions of a law the compliance with the Constitution of which is not impugned by the petitioner but by which the social relations regulated by the impugned law are interfered with conflict with the Constitution, must state so (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 14 January 2002). Implementation of constitutional justice pre-supposes the fact that a legal act (part thereof) which conflicts with the Constitution must be removed from the legal system (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 29 November 2001).

4. While deciding, subsequent to the petitions of the group of members of the Seimas, the Klaipėda Regional Administrative Court, the Klaipėda City Local Court, the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania and the Klaipėda Regional Court, the petitioners, whether the impugned government resolution was not in conflict with the Constitution and with the articles (paragraphs thereof) of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993), it is necessary to elucidate whether this law itself (articles (their paragraphs) thereof) complied with the Constitution.

5. It has been held in this ruling of Constitutional Court that the Constitution does not establish expressis verbis the sources of the official publishing of legal acts or all possible ways of their publishing; the legislature must establish it by law; while regulating these relations, the legislature may establish a differentiated legal regulation; also such legal situations are possible, when upon establishing the only source for the official publishing of the legal acts and the only way of the official publishing of the legal acts, such legal regulation would be not only unreasonable, but also legally deficient, constitutionally groundless, as it would not allow the law enshrined in the corresponding legal acts to reach its goals because, inter alia, due to the fact that the provisions of the legal act (for example, the graphic part) would be understood in an inadequate manner due to not very high quality of printing, as well as that it would be deviated from the constitutional concept of the official public publishing of the legal acts (moreover, the expenses of the publishing could be groundlessly big).

It has been also held that the Constitution—Paragraph 2 of Article 7 thereof together with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law—not only allows, but it also requires that not only the general procedure of the official publishing of the legal acts, but also such differentiated legal regulation be laid down where in the cases when due to especially large size of the legal act, complex structure, technical problems which arise due to the publication of the graphic part or other solid enough reasons which constitutionally ground the separate publishing of the textual and graphic parts of the legal act and/or their publishing in different ways, certain legal acts (parts thereof) would be published while following an alternative (in comparison with the general procedure of the official publishing of the legal acts) procedure of the official publishing of the legal acts, in other sources and/or in other ways; this is mutatis mutandis applicable also to the situations when two or more textual parts of the legal act must be published separately and/or in different ways.

It has also been held that only the official publication of the graphic part of the legal act in the official gazette, when due to not very high printing quality it is impossible to read the drawings, tables, graphs, schemes, maps etc. and, thus, the possibility for the subjects of law to understand (to find out) its contents in an adequate way is not ensured, may not be considered as constitutionally grounded, such printing would not comply with the constitutional concept of the official public publishing of legal acts and with the requirements of clarity and comprehensibility of law which stem from the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

6. It has been mentioned that at the time of adoption of the impugned government resolution, the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993) provided for the only official, under this law, source of publication of the government resolutions—the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”.

The Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993) did not include any provisions that the legal acts (parts thereof) of especially large size and complex structure, inter alia, such which include graphic parts (drawings, tables, graphs, schemes, maps, etc.) of especially large size, regarding the publication of which very big technical problems would occur, could officially be published not in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”, but in other sources and/or in other ways.

Neither did this law include any provisions that the said legal acts (parts thereof) of especially large size and complex structure, even if it is required to officially announce them in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”, could be officially published in the special editions of the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”, the circulation of which, taking account of various circumstances, could be smaller than the usual circulation of the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”, and that its size could differ from the usual size of the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”.

The non-establishment of such differentiated legal regulation is constitutionally groundless as it does not comply with the concept of the official public publishing of the constitutional legal acts which is enshrined, inter alia, in Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution which, together with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, implies the necessity to establish the differentiated legal regulation of the official publishing of the government resolutions (and other legal acts).

Thus, the overall legal regulation established in the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993), in this aspect, was deficient, constitutionally groundless.

In this context, it also needs to be noted that, as mentioned before, Article 3¹ (wording of 16 January 2007) of the Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts prescribed that in the cases when the resolutions of the Seimas, government resolutions and the legal acts adopted by the heads of other institutions of state governance and collegial institutions include annexes (drawings, tables, graphs, schemes, maps, etc.), to announce which in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” there are no technical possibilities, such legal acts are on the same day officially published: on the Internet website of the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” (www.valstybes-zinios.lt)—the legal act with annexes (Item 1 of Paragraph 1); in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”—the legal act without annexes (Item 2 of Paragraph 1); the legal acts specified in this article shall be officially published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” and on the Internet website of the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” by the officials who signed them (Paragraph 2). Thus, while establishing such legal regulation, the legislature also recognised the necessity to differentiate the procedure of the official publishing of the legal acts. It also needs to be noted that Article 3¹ (wording of 16 January 2007) of the Law on the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts is not a matter of investigation in this constitutional justice case.

7. Taking account of the arguments set forth, the conclusion should be drawn that the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993), to the extent that it did not prescribe that the legal acts (parts thereof) of especially large size and complex structure, inter alia, such which include graphic parts (drawings, tables, graphs, schemes, maps, etc.) of especially large size, regarding the publication of which very big technical problems would occur, could officially be published not in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”, but in other sources and/or in other ways, as well as to the extent that it did not prescribe that the said legal acts (parts thereof) of especially large size and complex structure, even if it is required to officially announce them in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”, could be officially published in the special editions of the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”, the circulation of which, taking account of various circumstances, could be smaller than the usual circulation of the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”, and whose size could differ from the usual size of the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”, was in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

8. Because of the fact that, as it has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court, legal acts must be officially published following the procedure of their official publishing, which is established namely at the moment when they are issued, and at the moment when the impugned government resolution was adopted, the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” adopted by the Seimas on 6 April 1993 was in force and no amendments or supplements had been made to it yet; thus, it needs to be noted that this conclusion is drawn only regarding the said law set forth in its original wording, i.e. the wording of 6 April 1993.

9. It has been mentioned that Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993) prescribed that the publication of the laws and other legal acts in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” shall constitute their official publication; the date of their publication in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”, which is indicated on the first page of every publication, shall be the day of their release; under Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of this law, government resolutions must be published namely in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”; Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the said law prescribed that the government resolutions, by which legal norms are established, amended or recognised as no longer valid shall come into force the day after, when signed by the Prime Minister and the corresponding minister, they are published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”.

10. It needs to be noted that namely these provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 and Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993) specified in the petitions of the Klaipėda Regional Administrative Court, the Klaipėda City Local Court, the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania and the Klaipėda Regional Court, the petitioners, as well as the provision of Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of this law, specified in the petitions of the group of members of the Seimas, the Klaipėda Regional Administrative Court, the Klaipėda City Local Court, the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania and the Klaipėda Regional Court, the petitioners, because of which the compliance of the Government Resolution (No. 1269) “On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park” of 19 December 1994 is impugned, reflected the deficiency and constitutional unreasonableness of the overall legal regulation which is established in this law.

This statement may not be interpreted as meaning that, purportedly, only the specified provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 1, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 and Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of this law reflected the deficiency and constitutional unreasonableness of the overall legal regulation which is established in the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993).

The legal regulation established in the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993) is not a matter of investigation in this constitutional justice case in any other aspect.

11. Upon holding that the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993), to the extent that it did not prescribe that the legal acts (parts thereof) of especially large size and complex structure, inter alia, such which include graphic parts (drawings, tables, graphs, schemes, maps, etc.) of especially large size, regarding the publication of which very big technical problems would occur, could officially be published not in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”, but in other sources and/or in other ways, as well as to the extent that it did not prescribe that the said legal acts (parts thereof) of especially large size and complex structure, even if it is required to officially announce them in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”, could be officially published in the special editions of the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”, the circulation of which, taking account of various circumstances, could be smaller than the usual circulation of the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”, and whose size could differ from the usual size of the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”, was in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, as well as upon stating that the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 1, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 and Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of this law reflected the deficiency and constitutional unreasonableness of the overall legal regulation which is established in the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993), the Constitutional Court will no longer investigate in this constitutional justice case whether the said government resolution was not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 1, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 and Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993).

Otherwise, if the compliance of the Government Resolution (No. 1269) “On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park” of 19 December 1994 with Paragraph 1 of Article 1, Item 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 and Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993) were investigated, one would deny the concept of the hierarchy of legal acts, at whose top is the Constitution itself, which is entrenched in the Constitution; thus, the essence of constitutional justice itself would be distorted.

12. While deciding, subsequent to the petitions of the petitioners, whether the Government Resolution (No. 1269) “On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park” of 19 December 1994 is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, it needs to be noted that, as it has been held in this ruling of Constitutional Court:

the Constitution—Paragraph 2 of Article 7 thereof with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law—requires to establish not only the general procedure of the official publishing of the legal acts, but also such differentiated legal regulation that in the cases when due to especially large size of the legal act, complex structure, technical problems which arise due to the publication of the graphic part or other solid enough reasons which constitutionally ground the separate publishing of the textual and graphic parts of the legal act and/or their publishing in different ways, certain legal acts (parts thereof) would be published while following an alternative (in comparison with the general procedure of the official publishing of the legal acts) procedure of the official publishing of the legal acts in other sources and/or in other ways; this is mutatis mutandis applicable also to the situations when two or more textual parts of the legal act must be published separately and/or in different ways;

also in the cases when the graphic part of the legal act is published separately from the textual part (in a different source) and/or in a different way than the textual part, one must follow the requirements of publicity and formality of publishing of the legal acts which stem from the Constitution, as well as one must ensure that due to the separate publication of the textual and the graphic part of the legal acts, no preconditions would occur to question the authenticity of their contents; inter alia, it is necessary that: by following the general (usual) procedure of official publishing of the legal acts in the corresponding source one would announce that the corresponding legislative decision has been adopted regarding a certain question. Second, it should be clear from the legal acts published in this source that a certain constituent part (constituent parts) of this legal act has (have) not been published therein; that it would be clear where one can familiarise himself with the constituent part (constituent parts) of the legal act, which was (were) not published in the said source; that one would ensure in practice the accessibility of the corresponding part of the legal act (thus, also all the legal act as a whole) to the subjects of law, moreover, no grounded doubts regarding the authenticity of the contents of the constituent part (constituent parts) of the legal act which was (were) not published in the said source should arise for those subjects of law; if these conditions are followed, and, certainly, if the non-publishing of a certain constituent part (constituent parts) of the legal act may be constitutionally grounded, in itself there are no grounds to state that a certain legal act is “non-published” or that it is “published” not publicly, not officially, i.e. not meeting the requirements of Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution, and not heeding the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

also such legal situations are possible, when upon establishing the only source for the official publishing of legal acts and the only way of the official publishing of legal acts, such legal regulation would be not only unreasonable, but also legally deficient, constitutionally groundless, as it would not allow the law enshrined in the corresponding legal acts to reach its goals, because it would be impossible to implement certain legislative decisions in an expeditious way and as fast as possible, because the protection of the secrecy of the corresponding information would not be guaranteed, also because the provisions of the legal act (for example, the graphic part) would be understood in an inadequate manner due to not very high quality of printing, etc.; thus, one would deviate from the constitutional concept of the official public publishing of legal acts (besides, the expenses of the publishing could be groundlessly big);

under the Constitution, the subjects of legal relations are bound to behave in good faith and without violating law. They have the duty to try to find out by themselves the requirements of law. It is required by the general principle of law bona fides, which is inseparable from the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law; if the non-publishing of a certain constituent part of a legal act may be constitutionally grounded, and if one complies with the discussed conditions that the said source must make it public that a corresponding legislative decision has been adopted regarding a certain question; it must be clear from the legal acts published in this source that a certain constituent part of the legal act is not published in this source; it must be clear where one can familiarise himself with the constituent part of the legal act which is not published in the said source; the accessibility of the corresponding legal regulation to the subjects of law must be ensured in a practical way and no doubts could arise to them regarding the authenticity of the contents of the constituent part of the legal act which was not published in the said source; no subject of law can decide not to follow the requirements of law only because of the fact that these requirements arise from such part of the legal act which was published separately from others.

13. In this constitutional justice case it has been also established that, as it has been mentioned:

the Government Resolution (No. 1269) “On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park” of 19 December 1994, whereby the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park was approved, was published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”; the Annex to this government resolution titled “The Main Statements of the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park” was also published, while the entire Scheme was not published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”;

the Scheme is of large size: it is composed of 18 volumes (more than 1,400 pages) which include not only textual, but also graphic parts (not only the written text, but also drawings, etc.); moreover, the graphic part also includes drawings of large size (51.5 x 226 cm, 51 x 221 cm, 59.5 x 100 cm, 43 x 161.5 cm, 59.5 x 167 cm, 59.5 x 171 cm, 59 x 189.5 cm, 59 x 207 cm, etc.);

in December 1994, i.e. at the time when the Scheme was approved by the Government and for quite a while afterwards, virtually there were no technical possibilities of publishing the Scheme namely in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” (and in such edition and size, in which at that moment the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” was printed and in which, pursuant to the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993), government resolutions had to be published officially) in its entirety (all the constituent parts of the Scheme) in such size in which the Scheme was approved by the Government, i.e. without losing the information value (clarity, quality, etc.) of the Scheme;

from the legal acts which regulated the preparation, registration, publishing and entry into force of the territorial planning documents (some of them were issued soon after the Scheme was approved by the Government), it is obvious that it had to be (and it really was) clear for the subjects of law where to familiarise themselves with the Scheme (its original copies and duplicates) which had not been published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”;

all persons who wanted to familiarise themselves with the Scheme could do that—they were not and are not hindered from reading it, making copies, etc.;

while issuing the conditions of the detailed planning (in Curonian Spit National Park), one has always referred and refers to the Scheme, and the “extracts” of the Scheme are “simply inserted” in the detailed plans;

while issuing the conditions of the detailed planning (in Curonian Spit National Park) there were not any legal disputes regarding the accessibility of the Scheme to the subjects of law or the authenticity of its contents; thus, even though the entire Scheme was not published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” (only the main statements thereof were published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”), it was universally recognised that it was effective.

14. It has been held in this ruling of Constitutional Court that no decision related to the administration of the territory of Curonian Spit National Park (inter alia, with the detailed plans of the settlements, forest management, land management, water economy, planning of settlements, countryside regeneration, road and engineering communications, etc.) could (or can at present) be adopted without taking account of the said Scheme approved by the Government and it could not (and cannot at present) be in conflict with the solutions of the said Scheme. Disregarding of these solutions, particularly knowing that the State of Lithuania has always treated and treats the Curonian Spit as a unique landscape complex created by nature and man—a territory which should be protected and to which particular legal treatment should be established, which is a universally known fact—would not be in compliance with the general principle of law bona fides.

15. It also needs to be noted that, in this ruling of Constitutional Court, the conclusion has been drawn that the Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993), to the extent that it did not prescribe that the legal acts (parts thereof) of especially large size and complex structure, inter alia, such which include graphic parts (drawings, tables, graphs, schemes, maps, etc.) of especially large size, regarding the publication of which very big technical problems would occur, could officially be published not in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”, but in other sources and/or in other ways, as well as to the extent that it did not prescribe that the said legal acts (parts thereof) of especially large size and complex structure, even if it is required to officially announce them in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”, could be officially published in the special editions of the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” (the circulation of which, taking account of various circumstances, could be smaller than the usual circulation of the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”, and whose size could differ from the usual size of the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”), was in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

16. Thus, because of all the circumstances specified herein, the mere fact that the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park which was approved by the Government Resolution (No. 1269) “On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park” of 19 December 1994 was not published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” as a whole, in itself does not give grounds to state that the Scheme was “not published” or “published” not in public and not officially, that the access to it was not ensured for the subjects of law, and that, thus, the requirements of Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution were violated and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law was disregarded. Thus, taking account of all the specified circumstances, there are no legal grounds to state that the Government Resolution (No. 1269) “On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park” of 19 December 1994 (wording of 19 December 1994), as regards the procedure of its publishing, is in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

17. Due to all the circumstances specified herein, the legal situation analysed in this constitutional justice case virtually differs from the legal situation which was analysed in the constitutional justice case subsequent to the petition of the Vilnius Regional Court, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether the Government Resolution (No. 458) “On the Approval of the Methods for Calculation of Damage Inflicted on Nature as a Result of Violation of Environmental Protection Laws” (hereinafter also referred to as government resolution No. 458 of 8 November 1991) of 8 November 1991 was not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7, Paragraph 2 of Article 95 of the Constitution and Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Procedure of Publication and Entry into Force of Republic of Lithuania’s Laws and Other Legal Acts”, in which, on 29 October 2003, the Constitutional Court adopted the Ruling “On the Compliance of the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 458) ‘On the Approval of the Methods for Calculating Damage Inflicted on Nature as a Result of Violation of Environmental Protection Laws’ of 8 November 1991 with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania” and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, and which is referred to in the petitions of the petitioners.

Such difference of these two legal situations is determined, inter alia, by the fact that in the said previously considered constitutional justice case one investigated whether the legal act, whose size was not very large, whose structure was not complex and, what is the most important, that legal act did not have the graphic part regarding the publication of which in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” there would have arisen any technical problems, was not in conflict with the Constitution. In addition, the conflict of government resolution No. 458 of 8 November 1991 with the Constitution is reasoned in the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 29 October 2003 on the fact that upon the entry into force of the Constitution, the Government had not published the Methods for Calculation of Damage Inflicted on Nature as a Result of Violation of Environmental Protection Laws which was approved by its Resolution (No. 458) “On the Approval of the Methods for Calculation of Damage Inflicted on Nature as a Result of Violation of Environmental Protection Laws” of 8 November 1991 in any official source of publication of the legal acts at all, thus, it had not implemented its constitutional duty to perform, within a reasonable time period, the review of this legal act which had been issued before the entry into force of the Constitution and which was still effective and to harmonise it, as regards its publishing, with the provisions of the Constitution in general.

18. Taking account of the arguments set forth, the conclusion should be drawn that the Government Resolution (No. 1269) “On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park” of 19 December 1994, as regards the procedure of its publishing, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

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

ruling:

1. To recognise that the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Procedure of the Publication and Entry into Force of Laws and Other Legal Acts of the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 6 April 1993) (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 1993, No. 12-296), to the extent that it did not prescribe that the legal acts (parts thereof) of especially large size and complex structure, inter alia, such which include graphic parts of especially large size, regarding the publication of which very big technical problems would occur, could officially be published not in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”, but in other sources and/or in other ways, as well as to the extent that it did not prescribe that the said legal acts (parts thereof) of especially large size and complex structure, even if it is required to officially announce them in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”, could be officially published in special editions of the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”, was in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 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 the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 1269) “On the Planning Scheme (General Plan) of Curonian Spit National Park” of 19 December 1994 (wording of 19 December 1994) (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 1994, No. 99-1977), as regards the procedure of its publishing, is not in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

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

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

Justices of the Constitutional Court:             Armanas Abramavičius

                                                                                  Toma Birmontienė

                                                                                  Egidijus Kūris

                                                                                  Kęstutis Lapinskas

                                                                                  Zenonas Namavičius

                                                                                  Ramutė Ruškytė

                                                                                  Vytautas Sinkevičius

                                                                                  Stasys Stačiokas

                                                                                  Romualdas Kęstutis Urbaitis