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On minimum qualification requirements to scientists

Case No. 18/06

 

THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

RULING

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

 

5 May 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

Nerija Putinaitė, Milda Vainiutė and Irena Vaišvilaitė, advisors to the President of the Republic, acting as the representatives of the President of the Republic of Lithuania, the petitioner

Danguolė Bublienė, Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania, acting as the representative of the Government of the Republic, 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 hearings on 2 and 4 April 2007, considered constitutional justice case No. 18/06 subsequent to the 22 May 2006 petition of the President of the Republic of Lithuania requesting an investigation into whether Item 2.3.1 of the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 899) “On Approving the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Description of the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Description of the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities” of 11 July 2001 in its new wording as set forth in the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 906) “On Amending the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 899) ‘On Approving the Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities’ of 11 July 2001” of 18 August 2005, Items 2.2, 2.5, 3.1.2, 3.1.3 and 3.1.4 of the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, Who Work in Humanitarian and Social Sciences Approved by the Same Resolution (wording of 18 August 2005), and Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure approved by the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 962) “On Approving the Habilitation Procedure” of 18 July 2003 to the extent that it provides that not less than 2 scientific articles must be published in the publications included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information, are not in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law and Article 14 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

The Constitutional Court

has established:

I

1. On 22 May 2006, the President of the Republic, the petitioner, issued the Decree (No. 628) “On Application to the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania” (hereinafter also referred to as the Decree).

By the said Decree, the Constitutional Court is requested to investigate whether Item 2.3.1 of the Government Resolution (No. 899) “On Approving the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Description of the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Description of the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities” of 11 July 2001 in its new wording (hereinafter also referred to as government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001) as set forth in the Government Resolution (No. 906) “On Amending the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 899) ‘On Approving the Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities’ of 11 July 2001” of 18 August 2005 (hereinafter also referred to as government resolution No. 906 of 18 August 2005), Items 2.2, 2.5, 3.1.2, 3.1.3 and 3.1.4 of the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, Who Work in Humanitarian and Social Sciences (wording of 18 August 2005) (hereinafter also referred to as the Description) approved by government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005), and Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure approved by the Government Resolution (No. 962) “On Approving the Habilitation Procedure” of 18 July 2003 (hereinafter also referred to as government resolution No. 962 of 18 July 2003) to the extent that it provides that not less than two scientific articles must be published in the publications included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information, are not in conflict with Article 14 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

This petition of the President of the Republic was received at the Constitutional Court on 23 May 2006.

2. By the Constitutional Court’s Decision “On the Acceptance of the Petition of the Petitioner” of 25 May 2006, this petition of the President of the Republic, the petitioner, was accepted. The announcement of the Acting President of the Constitutional Court regarding the acceptance of the petition of the President of the Republic, the petitioner, was officially published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” on 27 May 2006. As from this day, until the publishing of a ruling of the Constitutional Court in this constitutional justice case, the validity of Item 2.3.1 of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005), Items 2.2, 2.5, 3.1.2, 3.1.3 and 3.1.4 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) and Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure was suspended (in pursuance with Paragraph 4 of Article 106 of the Constitution and Paragraph 2 of Article 26 of the Law on the Constitutional Court).

II

The petition of the President of the Republic, the petitioner, is based on the following arguments.

1. Item 2.3 of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) provides: “When establishing qualification requirements for positions, institutions must take account of: 2.3.1. publishing scientific articles in the publications which are assessed by the Institute for Scientific Information and other recognised international databases, the list whereof is drawn by the Council of Science of Lithuania <…>.”

Item 2 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) provides: “When establishing qualification requirements for positions, institutions must take account of: <…> 2.2. scientific articles which were published in periodical and serial scientific publications or one-off scientific publications which are assessed by the Institute for Scientific Information and other recognised international databases, the list whereof is drawn by the Council of Science of Lithuania <…>; 2.5. material of reports of scientific conferences, scientific reviews in periodical and serial scientific publications or one-off scientific publications which are issued in the publishing houses registered at the Publishers’ International ISBN Directory of the International ISBN Agency <…>, or in the publications which are assessed in the international databases <…>.”

Item 3 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) provides: “The following minimum qualification requirements for the persons who seek to participate in the competitions to hold the positions of scientific workers, other researchers and teachers shall be established: 3.1. the scientists who, under the procedure established by the Government Resolution (No. 962) ‘On Approving the Habilitation Procedure’ of 18 July 2003 <…> have performed the habilitation procedure or have the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor and who, in the last 5 years, have fulfilled at least one of the following requirements: <…> 3.1.2. published scientific articles in the periodical, serial or one-off publications which are assessed in the international databases and who successfully conducted the preparation of doctors of science or prepared methodical aids; 3.1.3. published a significant work of science or a textbook for a school of higher education and at least one scientific article in the periodical or serial publication which is assessed in the international databases; 3.1.4. published publications of significant sources of science or carried out significant scientific publications and published at least one article in the publication which is assessed in the international databases <…> may aspire to the positions of the professor or chief scientific worker.”

According to the explanation of the petitioner, the said provisions oblige to publish scientific works in the publications which are assessed in the international databases.

1.1. In the opinion of the petitioner, the impugned provisions of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) and the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) approved by it are in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law due to the following reasoning.

1.1.1. According to the petitioner, government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) and the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) approved by it establish the essential requirements for the positions of a scientist or teacher at the institutions of science and studies while using the indeterminate formulas: “the publications which are assessed by the Institute for Scientific Information”, “publications in other recognised international databases”, and “the publications which are assessed in the international databases”. Such indetermination allows the Council of Science of Lithuania to detail some of them (for example, the formula “other recognised databases”) at its own discretion. Because of that, legal uncertainty may occur, as it is not clear for the scientists, teachers and persons who seek to become scientists and teachers, in which state and in what published language a serial publication (which is traditionally considered as prestigious) of works of social and humanitarian science is or will be included in the international database.

1.1.2. It is doubtful (taking account of the Constitutional Court jurisprudence) whether a government resolution may regulate the relations which are related to the implementation of the right of a person to choose an occupation. According to the petitioner, a finite list of the compulsory (minimum) requirements for the positions of scientists or teachers of state institutions of science and studies should be established by means of a law; it is hardly possible that such requirements should be established by government resolution, it is also hardly possible that, by government resolution, the Council of Science of Lithuania may be commissioned to establish by its legal acts, which are of even lower legal force than government resolutions, a list of recognised international databases, without previously evaluating the criteria, under which it must be done, and without providing, according to the petitioner, for the “time periods of implementation”, i.e. whether the powers to regulate the relations related to the right of a person to freely choose an occupation may be established to the Council of Science of Lithuania at its own discretion. Therefore, in the opinion of the petitioner, there are grounds to doubt whether the impugned provisions do not violate the imperative requirement (which arises from the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law and other constitutional provisions) for the legislature and other subjects of law-making to heed the hierarchy of legal acts which stems from the Constitution, and also whether the requirement of the form of a legal act is not violated.

1.1.3. According to the explanation of the petitioner, the provision of Article 1 of the Constitution that the State of Lithuania shall be an independent democratic republic means also the fact that the activity of the state institutions and their decisions may not be bound by the circumstances that are beyond the boundaries of the state. The qualification requirements for scientists must comply with the status of Lithuania, as an independent state, and may not depend on the circumstances that may not be influenced by the State of Lithuania. Such requirements should be linked only to the whole of the criteria that are established by the State of Lithuania and implemented in this state.

1.2. In the opinion of the petitioner, the impugned provisions of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) and the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) approved by it are in conflict with Article 14 of the Constitution, under which Lithuanian shall be the state language; this is proved by the reasoning set forth below.

The identity of the Nation is protected by the constitutional consolidation of the status of the Lithuanian language. The development of the humanitarian and social sciences is a very important condition of the Nation’s self-consciousness when reacting to the changing reality and at the same time protecting the identity of the Nation. The priority of the Lithuanian language—the state language—in the humanitarian and social sciences is inseparable from the integration of the civil Nation and the expression of its sovereignty. According to the petitioner, the Constitution prohibits, either explicitly or implicitly, giving priority to a non-state (foreign) language over the state language by the legal acts which regulate a certain sphere of public life (thus, also to establish by such acts the compulsory (minimum) requirements for the positions of a scientist and teacher of state institutions of science and studies).

The state performs its functions through certain, first of all, state institutions; when it is established by law that certain state functions, to a certain extent, are performed not through state institutions, but other institutions, one must heed the Constitution.

Meanwhile, Item 2.3.1 of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) and Items 2.2, 2.5, 3.1.2, 3.1.3 and 3.1.4 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005), which are mandatory to all state institutions of science and studies, entrench the requirement to publish scientific works in the publications which are assessed in the international databases; in such a way, priority is given to the scientific works which have been prepared in a foreign language; the non-state (foreign) language (scientific works written in it) is given priority over the state Lithuanian language (scientific works written in it), as the publications which are published in the Lithuanian language in Lithuania and which are considered as prestigious (in the aspect of science) are neither directly provided for in the said government resolution, nor in the Description approved by it, and they can be a necessary source of publications only in case they are included in the international databases and assessed therein. Such legal regulation creates preconditions to violate the constitutional status of the Lithuanian language as a constitutional value and does not comply with Article 14 of the Constitution.

Moreover, in the opinion of the petitioner, the Description must provide with the criteria which would allow the assessment of the scientific competence of a scientist, while the purpose of the international databases is not to assess the quality of science, but to ensure the imparting of science. Such databases are not to be considered as one of the main criteria of the scientific activity. While following only the formal criterion (when scientific articles are assessed not according to their content, but according to the fact where they were published), not only the constitutional concept of the state language is ignored, but also it is not ensured that the assessment of the scientific activity will be fair and grounded.

2. In the opinion of the petitioner, due to the same reasoning, also Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure, under which not less than two scientific articles must be published in the publications included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information, is in conflict with the Constitution.

III

In the course of the preparation of the case for the Constitutional Court’s hearing, written explanations as well as the additional explanations were received from D. Bublienė, the representative of the Government, the party concerned, wherein it is stated that the impugned provisions of the government resolutions are not in conflict with the Constitution. The position of the representative of the party concerned is based on the following arguments.

1. The essential requirements for the positions of the teacher or scientist are not established by means of a substatutory legal act (as states the petitioner), but by the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Higher Education (Article 28 thereof). Government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005), taking account of, inter alia, the peculiarities of the sphere of science, establishes the minimum qualification requirements for the positions; the additional requirements may be established by the state institutions of science and studies themselves. If such qualification requirements were established only by law, the state institutions of science and studies could not establish them at all; in such a way a person’s right to work could be restricted.

When establishing the requirements for the positions of its scientific workers, researchers and teachers, each state institution of science and studies may repeat or supplement the minimum requirements established in Item 3.1 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005), relating them with the character of its activity and the implementation of its functions. According to D. Bublienė, while establishing the requirements of higher level, the said institutions must promote the improvement in the quality and results of scientific research and studies.

2. The commissioning to the Council of Science of Lithuania to approve the list of “other” recognised international databases established by government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) should be related to the purpose of the said council as an advisor to the Seimas and the Government and scientific expert. According to the representative of the party concerned, the composition of the Council of Science of Lithuania ensures the representation of various spheres of science and institutions of science and studies, thus, the list of the selected international databases, which is approved by the said council, reveals the agreement of the scientists themselves (or the representatives thereof) what databases should be considered as international databases. This institution is competent to decide itself, what databases to assign to the international databases, as well as to establish the selection criteria. Such criteria were approved by the Council of Science of Lithuania in its plenary session of 21 November 2005; they are specified in Item 1 of the Resolution of the Council of Science of Lithuania (No. VI-24) “On the List of the International Databases” of 19 December 2005 whereby the list of the databases is approved.

Even though government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) does not establish any time period during which the list of the international databases must be approved, the Council of Science of Lithuania, taking account of the fact that the necessary legal acts must be adopted till such date so that it would be possible to apply them both de jure and de facto, could decide by itself when to implement the said commissioning of the Government.

3. In the opinion of the representative of the party concerned, the notions which are employed in government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) are clear and definite. The database of the Institute for Scientific Information is known on the international level. The list of other recognised databases is drawn and publicly published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” by the Council of Science of Lithuania. Thus, the formula “international databases” of Item 2.5 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) includes the database of the Institute for Scientific Information and the databases, the list whereof is drawn by the Council of Science of Lithuania. The recognised publishing houses are called the publishing houses which are registered at the Publishers’ International ISBN Directory of the International ISBN Agency.

The requirement for the scientific articles to be published in the reviewed publications which are included in the database of the Institute for Scientific Information was established upon taking account of the universal recognition of this database and while striving to unify the concept of the scientific publications of foreign and international organisations of science, which had been treated differently by various institutions until then.

4. Under the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Higher Education, which was issued as far back as in 2000, the minimum qualification requirements for the positions of teachers and scientific workers had to be established by the Government or an institution authorised by it. The Government implemented this provision of the Law on Higher Education by its resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001. Since the day of the entry into force of this government resolution, scientists and institutions of science and studies knew that from the year 2006, there will be a requirement that scientific articles be published in the assessed publications which are included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information, thus, the legitimate expectations were not violated.

5. The requirement that scientific articles be published in a publication, which is assessed in the international databases, cannot be interpreted as meaning that the said articles must be prepared in a foreign language or that the priority is given to a foreign language. The international databases may include and include also the publications which are published in Lithuania, inter alia, publications of humanitarian and social sciences. Moreover, one of the alternative qualification requirements established in government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 is not related to the international databases at all.

6. The explanations of the representative of the party concerned also provide with the information on how the corresponding relations which are related to the requirements for the positions of the teacher or scientist are regulated in other states (the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Slovenia, and Sweden). It is obvious from the provided information that such requirements (usually concerning published scientific articles) are almost always established by the schools of higher education themselves.

IV

In the course of the preparation of the case for the judicial consideration, written explanations were received from Acad. Z. R. Rudzikas, President of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, Prof. Habil. Dr. E. Butkus, Chairperson of the Council of Science of Lithuania, Prof. Habil. Dr. R. Žaliūnas, Rector of the Kaunas University of Medicine, Prof. Habil. Dr. R. Bansevičius, Rector of the Kaunas University of Technology, Dr. J. E. Mininger, President of Lithuanian Christian College, Prof. E. Gabnys, Rector of the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, and Dr. J. Antanavičius, Vice Rector for art and science and Chairperson of the Senate of the same academy, Prof. Habil. Dr. R. Deltuva, Rector of the Lithuanian University of Agriculture, Prof. Habil. Dr. V. Laurutis, Rector of Šiauliai University, Prof. Dr. A. Butrimas, Rector of the Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts, Prof. Habil. Dr. R. Ginevičius, Rector of Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Acad. Habil. Dr. A. Gaižutis, Rector of Vilnius Pedagogical University, Acad. B. Juodka, Rector of Vilnius University, Prof. Habil. Dr. E. Juzeliūnas, Director of the Institute of Chemistry, and Prof. Habil. Dr. A. Malinauskas, Head of the Council of this institute, Dr. Ž. Jackūnas, Deputy Director of Culture, Philosophy and Arts Research Institute, Assoc. Prof. Dr. J. Zabarskaitė, Director of the Institute of the Lithuanian Language, Habil. Dr. A. Nikžentaitis, Director of the Lithuanian Institute of History, Dr. I. Brazauskienė, Deputy Director for Research of the Lithuanian Institute of Agriculture, Prof. Habil. Dr. A. Žukauskas, Head of the Group for Assessment of Scientific Publications of the Lithuanian Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education and expert member of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, and Assoc. Prof. Dr. S. Vidrinskaitė, who works at the Constitutional Law Department of the Faculty of Law of Mykolas Romeris University.

V

1. At the hearing of the Constitutional Court, the representatives of the President of the Republic, the petitioner, who were N. Putinaitė, M. Vainiutė and I. Vaišvilaitė, virtually repeated the arguments set forth in the petition of the President of the Republic, the petitioner.

2. At the hearing of the Constitutional Court, the representative of the Government, the party concerned, who was D. Bublienė, virtually repeated the arguments set forth in her written explanations.

In addition, while answering the questions of the Constitutional Court justices, D. Bublienė stated that at present the Republic of Lithuania’s laws do not entrench in general any possibility of getting the degree of a habilitated doctor in Lithuania; the habilitation procedure is not related to the acquisition of the degree of a habilitated doctor; the degree of a habilitated doctor is recognised only for the scientists who acquired it previously or in other states. Such position is based on the 24 September 2002 letter titled “On the interpretation of the provisions of the law” of R. Pavilionis, the then Chairperson of the Seimas Committee on Education, Science and Culture, to Prof. Habil. Dr. K. Makariūnas, the then Chairperson of the Council of Science of Lithuania, wherein certain provisions of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Science and Studies (wording of 11 June 2002) are construed. This letter (copy) provided by the representative of the party concerned, as the evidence, is included into the material of this constitutional justice case.

3. At the Constitutional Court’s hearing the following experts took the floor: Prof. Habil. Dr. E. Butkus, Chairperson of the Council of Science of Lithuania, Prof. Habil. Dr. R. Ginevičius, President of the Conference of the Lithuanian Rectors, Acad. L. Sauka, Chairperson of the Division of Humanitarian and Social Sciences of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, Prof. Habil. Dr. A. Žukauskas, Head of the Group for Assessment of Scientific Publications of the Lithuanian Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education and expert member of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences and Assoc. Prof. Dr. A. Kulakauskas, Chairperson of the Lithuanian Scientific Society and Chairperson of the Lithuanian Science Council.

The experts who took the floor at the Constitutional Court’s hearing emphasised, inter alia, the importance of the imparting of scientific works and stated that the withdrawal of the Lithuanian science within the limits of its state would be very harmful for it. Attention was drawn to the fact that imparting scientific works in Lithuania and beyond its boundaries should not be opposed to each other, but, rather, should supplement each other, and to the fact that it is not possible to give much prominence to the international imparting of scientific works, especially of social and humanitarian science, too, as well as to the fact that it might be worthwhile to differentiate the requirements for the scientists who aspire to certain positions according to the spheres and subject areas of science.

For instance, E. Butkus, while assessing the quantitative criteria entrenched in the Habilitation Procedure, stated that various quantitative requirements which are related to science should not be established by legal acts; in his opinion, the impugned legal regulation is not flexible enough. R. Ginevičius stated that significant scientific articles may be published also in such authoritative foreign magazines which do not have a corresponding index, thus, it is necessary to establish a much more flexible system and “there should not be only a few positions—either with ISI or without ISI”. According to L. Sauka, the impugned legal regulation inadmissibly raises the international imparting of science as an essential task of humanitarian and social sciences and “devalues the local community of science and its discussions” without understanding that humanitarian and social sciences must first of all address the problems which arise for the particular political, national and cultural community. While assessing the established minimum qualification requirements for the positions of scientists or teachers of state institutions of science and studies, A. Žukauskas drew one’s attention to the fact that it is incorrect to entrench one criterion for scientists of all subject areas of science, as the requirements must be clearly differentiated not only according to the spheres of science, but also according to the subject areas of science; in his opinion, the requirement to publish the scientific works in the journals which are included in the ISI databases should be cancelled for the scientists of certain subject areas of science, because these journals are simply not enough so that all scientists of the corresponding subject area could publish their works in them. According to A. Kulakauskas, the impugned legal regulation, as to its form, may be in conflict with the Constitution, since because of the fact that the minimum qualification requirements for the positions of scientists or teachers of state institutions of science and studies were established by the Government, the autonomy of the schools of higher education and institutions of science may be violated; according to him, “the state should only establish the most general principles”.

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

I

1. By his Decree No. 628 “On the Application to the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania” of 22 May 2006, the petitioner—the President of the Republic— requests an investigation into whether Item 2.3.1 of the Government Resolution (No. 899) “On Approving the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Description of the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Description of the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities” of 11 July 2001 in its new wording as set forth in the Government Resolution (No. 906) “On Amending the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 899) ‘On Approving the Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities’ of 11 July 2001” of 18 August 2005, Items 2.2, 2.5, 3.1.2, 3.1.3 and 3.1.4 of the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, Who Work in Humanitarian and Social Sciences Approved by the Same Resolution (wording of 18 August 2005) approved by government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005), and Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure approved by the Government Resolution (No. 962) “On Approving the Habilitation Procedure” of 18 July 2003 to the extent that it provides that not less than two scientific articles must be published in the publications included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information, are not in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law and Article 14 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

2. On 11 July 2001, the Government adopted the Resolution (No. 899) “On Approving the Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Teachers and Scientific Workers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Teachers and Scientific Workers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Teachers and Scientific Workers, and the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities”, Item 1.1 of which approved the Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Teachers and Scientific Workers at the State Institutions of Science and Studies. This Government Resolution came into force on 20 July 2001.

Government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 was amended by the Government Resolution (No. 882) “On Amending the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 899) ‘On Approving the Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Teachers and Scientific Workers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Teachers and Scientific Workers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Teachers and Scientific Workers, and the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities’ of 11 July 2001” of 3 July 2003 (hereinafter also referred to as government resolution No. 882 of 3 July 2003). In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it needs to be noted that government resolution No. 882 of 3 July 2003 also amended the title of the Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Teachers and Scientific Workers at the State Institutions of Science and Studies (wording of 11 July 2001)—they were given the title the Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies (Items 1.3 and 1.5.1). The title of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 was also amended in a respective manner—it was titled “On Approving the Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities” (Item 1.1). Government resolution No. 882 of 3 July 2003 came into force on 10 July 2003.

On 18 August 2005, the Government adopted the Resolution (No. 906) “On Amending the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 899) ‘On Approving the Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities’ of 11 July 2001”, Item 1 of which amended government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 3 July 2003) and set it forth in its new wording. Government resolution No. 906 of 18 August 2005 came into force on 1 January 2006.

Item 1.2 of this government resolution approved the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, who Work in Humanitarian and Social Sciences—it replaced the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies (wording of 3 July 2003) which had been in force until then.

2.1. Item 2.3 of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) provides: “When establishing qualification requirements for positions, institutions must take account of: 2.3.1. publishing scientific articles in the publications which are assessed by the Institute for Scientific Information and other recognised international databases, the list whereof is drawn by the Council of Science of Lithuania <…>.”

2.2. Item 2 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) provides: “When establishing qualification requirements for positions, the institutions must take account of <…> 2.2. scientific articles which were published in periodical and serial scientific publications or one-off scientific publications which are assessed by the Institute for Scientific Information and other recognised international databases, the list whereof is drawn by the Council of Science of Lithuania <…>; 2.5. material of reports of scientific conferences, scientific reviews in periodical and serial scientific publications or one-off scientific publications which are issued in the publishing houses registered at the Publishers’ International ISBN Directory of the International ISBN Agency (hereinafter referred to as the recognised publishing houses) <…>, or in the publications which are assessed in the international databases <…>.”

2.3. Item 3 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) provides: “The following minimum qualification requirements for the persons who seek to participate in the competitions to hold the positions of scientific workers, other researchers and teachers shall be established: 3.1. the scientists who, under the procedure established by the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 962) ‘On Approving the Habilitation Procedure’ of 18 July 2003 (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2003, No. 73-3396) have performed the habilitation procedure or have the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor and who, in the last 5 years, have fulfilled at least one of the following requirements: <…> 3.1.2. published scientific articles in the periodical, serial or one-off publications which are assessed in the international databases and who successfully conducted the preparation of doctors of science or prepared methodical aids; 3.1.3. published a significant work of science or a textbook for a school of higher education and at least one scientific article in the periodical or serial publication which is assessed in the international databases; 3.1.4. published publications of significant sources of science or carried out significant applied scientific works and published at least one article in the publication which is assessed in the international databases <...> may aspire to the positions of the professor or chief scientific worker.”

2.4. One of the arguments upon which the petitioner’s doubt regarding the constitutionality of the impugned provisions of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) and the Description approved by it is based is the fact that, according to him, these provisions establish the essential requirements for the positions of the scientist or teacher at the institutions of science or studies while using the indeterminate formulas: “the publications which are assessed by the Institute for Scientific Information”, “publications in other recognised international databases”, and “the publications which are assessed in the international databases”; such indetermination allows the Council of Science of Lithuania to detail some of them (for example, the formula “other recognised databases”) at its own discretion; because of that, legal uncertainty may occur, as it is not clear, in which state and in what published language a serial publication (which is traditionally considered as prestigious) of works of social and humanitarian science is or will be included in the international database.

In fact, the corresponding formulas in Item 2.3.1 of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) and Items 2.2 and 2.5 of the Description approved by this Government Resolution are set forth in a slightly different way: in Item 2.3.1 of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) and Item 2.2 of the Description, the following formulas are employed: “the publications which are assessed in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information”, “the publications which are assessed in <…> other recognised international databases”, and in Item 2.5 of the Description—the formula “the publications which are assessed in the international databases”. However, this difference of the textual expression of the corresponding formulas allows understanding this argument, on which the petitioner’s doubt on the compliance of Item 2.3.1 of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) and Items 2.2 and 2.5 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) with the Constitution is based, in an unambiguous way and it is not essential.

3. On 18 July 2003, the Government adopted the Resolution (No. 962) “On Approving the Habilitation Procedure”. Item 1 of this resolution approved the Habilitation Procedure. Government resolution No. 962 of 18 July 2003 came into force on 24 July 2003; it has never been amended or supplemented.

Item 3 of the Habilitation Procedure provides: “A scientist, who seeks for habilitation, must meet the following requirements: 3.1. after being granted the degree of a doctor, he published not less than 15 scientific articles in the reviewed periodical scientific publications. If a scientist, not less than a year before presenting the application to perform the habilitation procedure, published a reviewed scientific monograph of not less than 10 printing sheets or if he is a co-author of a reviewed joint scientific monograph, which was published not less than a year ago, and wherein his personal contribution composes not less than 10 printing sheets, upon a decision of the commission specified in Item 7 of this Habilitation Procedure, the published scientific works may be fewer, but not less than 8. The monograph must be distributed through book-shops and it must meet the requirements established by the Ministry of Science and Education. In both cases, it is compulsory that not less than 2 scientific articles be published in the publications which are included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information. The scientist who has produced significant works of experimental development (sold licences, technologies etc.), taking account of the importance of the works of experimental development, and which, according to the procedure established by the university senate or council of the institution of scientific research, was assessed by the commission specified in Item 7 of this Habilitation Procedure, as well as the scientist, who issued text books for schools of higher education, under the decision of the commission specified in Item 7 of this Habilitation Procedure, may be required to have less scientific articles published, however, they must be not less than 8, at least one of which must be published in the publication which is included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information <…>.”

4. It is obvious from the reasoning of the petition of the petitioner that the Constitutional Court is requested an investigation into whether the following are not in conflict with Article 14 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law:

the provision “when establishing the qualification requirements for the positions, the institutions must take account of: 2.3.1. publishing scientific articles in the publications which are assessed by the Institute for Scientific Information and other recognised international databases, the list whereof is drawn by the Council of Science of Lithuania <…>” of Item 2.3 of the Government Resolution of 11 July 2001;

the provision “when establishing the qualification requirements for the positions, the institutions must take account of <…> 2.2. scientific articles which were published in periodical and serial scientific publications or one-off scientific publications which are assessed by the Institute for Scientific Information and other recognised international databases, the list whereof is drawn by the Council of Science of Lithuania <…>” of Item 2 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005);

the provision “when establishing the qualification requirements for the positions, the institutions must take account of <…> 2.5. material of reports of scientific conferences, scientific reviews <…> in the publications which are assessed in the international databases <…>” of Item 2 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005);

the provision “scientists <…> who have performed the habilitation procedure or have a scientific degree of a habilitated doctor and who, in the last 5 years, have fulfilled at least one of the following requirements: <…> 3.1.2. published scientific articles in the periodical, serial or one-off publications which are assessed in the international databases <…>; 3.1.3. published <…> and at least one scientific article in the periodical or serial publication which is assessed in the international databases; 3.1.4. <…> and published at least one article in the publication which is assessed in the international databases <...> may aspire to the positions of the professor or chief scientific worker” of Item 3.1 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005); and

Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure, to the extent that it prescribes that “<…> not less than 2 scientific articles be published in the publications which are included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information <…>”.

II

1. The government resolutions, whose provisions are impugned in this constitutional justice case, as well as all other resolutions of the Government, are substatutory legal acts.

2. Under Item 2 of Article 94 of the Constitution, the Government shall execute laws (as well as resolutions of the Seimas on the implementation of the laws as well as the decrees of the President of the Republic).

The Constitutional Court has held in its acts (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 30 December 2003, 5 March 2004, 13 December 2004, and 7 February 2005) more than once that the principle of a state under the rule of law entrenched in the Constitution implies the hierarchy of legal acts as well, inter alia, the fact that substatutory legal acts may not be in conflict with laws, constitutional laws and the Constitution, that substatutory legal acts must be adopted on the basis of laws, that a substatutory legal act is an act of application of norms of the law, irrespective of whether the act is of one-off (ad hoc) application or of permanent validity.

In should also be noted that in certain cases—directly provided for in the Constitution—if the corresponding relations are not regulated by law (which details and concretises the constitutional legal regulation), the substatutory legal acts whereby the institutions implement their particular powers expressis verbis established and clearly defined in the Constitution must be issued while directly invoking the Constitution.

3. While deciding, subsequent to the petition of the petitioner, whether the impugned provisions of the government resolutions are not in conflict with the Constitution, in this constitutional justice case at issue it is necessary to elucidate what provisions of the laws the Government was following, when, by its resolutions, it established the impugned legal regulation.

4. In the Preamble to government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) it is specified, inter alia, that this government resolution is adopted pursuant to Item 6 of Paragraph 5 of Article 22 and Paragraph 3 of Article 27 of the Law on Higher Education and Paragraph 1 of Article 33 of the Law on Science and Studies, as well as that the Government adopted this resolution “while seeking to establish equal qualification requirements for the scientific workers, other researchers and teachers at state institutions of science and studies”.

5. At the time of the adoption of government resolution No. 906 of 18 August 2005, by which government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 was set forth in its new wording, the Law on Higher Education (with subsequent amendments and supplements), which was adopted by the Seimas on 21 March 2000, was effective (and is still effective).

Paragraph 5 (wording of 22 April 2003) of Article 22 of this law, which is referred to in the Preamble to government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005), establishes the main functions of the senate—the supreme body of academic self-government of a state university—one of which is that the senate “under the procedure established by the Government, shall grant pedagogical titles of professor and associated professor to teachers holding corresponding positions <…> (Item 6).

Under Paragraph 3 (wording of 30 June 2005) of Article 27 of the Law on Higher Education, which is also referred to in the Preamble to government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005), “the Government or an institution authorised by it shall establish the minimum qualification requirements <…> for the positions of teachers and scientific workers <…>”, “while other requirements for the positions of teachers and scientific workers <…> shall be established by the schools of higher education. These requirements may not be lesser than the minimum qualification requirements for teachers and scientific workers <…>”.

6. At the time of the adoption of government resolution No. 906 of 18 August 2005, by which government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 was set forth in its new wording, the Law on Science and Studies (wording of 11 June 2002 with subsequent amendments and supplements) was in effect (and is in effect now). Paragraph 1 (wording of 30 June 2005) of Article 33 of the same law, which is referred to in the Preamble to government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005), provides that “the minimum qualification requirements <…> for the positions of researchers <…> shall be established by the Government or an institution authorised by it”. Paragraph 1 (wording of 30 June 2005) of Article 33 of the Law on Science and Studies has not been amended or supplemented.

7. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it also needs to be noted that at the time of the adoption of government resolution No. 962 of 18 July 2003, as well as at the time of the adoption of government resolution No. 906 of 18 August 2005, by which government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 was set forth in its new wording, the Law on Higher Education (wording of 21 March 2000 with subsequent amendments and supplements) and the Law on Science and Studies (wording of 11 June 2002 with subsequent amendments and supplements) included (and still include) the provisions regarding habilitation.

7.1. Thus, under Paragraph 1 (wording of 11 June 2002) of Article 29 titled “The Scientific Degrees” of the Law on Science and Studies, the scientific degrees of the doctor and habilitated doctor shall be recognised in the Republic of Lithuania. Paragraph 2 of this article prescribes that the scientific degree of a doctor shall be granted to the persons who have fulfilled the requirements of the doctoral studies and defended a doctoral dissertation and that the regulations of the doctoral studies which also regulate the procedure for granting the scientific degree shall be approved by the Government, as well as that the doctoral students of institutions of scientific research shall have the rights of students established by the Law on Higher Education and other laws.

At the time of the adoption of government resolution No. 962 of 18 July 2003, as well as at the time of the adoption of government resolution No. 906 of 18 August 2005, by which government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 was set forth in its new wording, Paragraph 3 of Article 29 of the Law on Science and Education was set forth in the wording of 11 June 2002; it prescribed: “The Government shall establish the habilitation procedure, while taking account of the proposals of the Council of Science of Lithuania, the Conference of Lithuanian University Rectors, the Conference of Directors of the State Scientific Institutes of Lithuania and the Council of Higher Education.”

In this context, it should be mentioned that Article 4 of the Second Chapter titled “Amending Articles 7, 8, 18, 29, 32, 34 and 39 of the Law on Science and Studies” of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Amending and Supplementing the Law on Higher Education and the Law on Science and Studies (which came into force on 1 January 2007) which was adopted by the Seimas on 18 July 2006, amended Paragraph 3 (wording of 11 June 2002) of Article 29 of the Law on Science and Studies and set it forth as follows: “The Government shall establish the habilitation procedure upon hearing the proposals of the Council of Science of Lithuania, the Conference of Lithuanian University Rectors, the Conference of Directors of the State Scientific Institutes of Lithuania and the Council of Higher Education” (hereinafter referred to as the Amendment of 18 July 2006).

7.2. At the time of the adoption of government resolution No. 962 of 18 July 2003, as well as at the time of the adoption of government resolution No. 906 of 18 August 2005, by which government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 was set forth in its new wording, Paragraph 1 of Article 28 titled “The Teachers” of the Law on Higher Education was (and still is) set forth in its wording of 21 March 2000; it prescribes that the positions of teachers of schools of higher education are the following: professor, associated professor, lecturer and assistant.

Paragraph 3 of Article 28 of the Law on Higher Education was set forth in its wording of 21 December 2001; it prescribed:

A scientist or a distinguished artist may hold the position of the professor. These persons must meet the requirements for the position of the professor and have fulfilled the requirements for habilitation. The Government shall establish the habilitation procedure while taking account of the proposals of the Council of Science of Lithuania, the Conference of Lithuanian University Rectors and the Council of Higher Education.”

It needs to be mentioned that Article 9 of the First Section titled “Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 4, 7, 9, 16, 19, 20, 27, 28, 30, 37, 39, 40, 42, 46, 47, 49 and 57 of the Law on Higher Education” of the Law on Amending and Supplementing the Law on Higher Education and the Law on Science and Studies (which, as mentioned before, came into force on 1 January 2007) which was adopted by the Seimas on 18 July 2006, amended Paragraph 3 (wording of 11 June 2002) of Article 28 of the Law on Higher Education and set it forth as follows:

A scientist or a distinguished artist may hold the position of the professor. These persons must meet the requirements for the position of the professor and have fulfilled the requirements for habilitation. The Government shall establish the habilitation procedure upon hearing the proposals of the Council of Science of Lithuania, the Conference (Conferences) of the Lithuanian University Rectors and the Council of Higher Education.”

8. Taking account of the fact that the notion “habilitation” is employed in the impugned items of the government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) and government resolution No. 962 of 18 July 2003 (and in some other items of these government resolutions and of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) approved by government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005), which are related to them), as well as of the fact that the provisions designed for habilitation were (and still are) included in the Law on Higher Education (wording of 21 March 2000 with subsequent amendments and supplements) and the Law on Science and Studies (wording of 11 June 2002 with subsequent amendments and supplements) which were effective at the time when the said government resolutions were adopted, and which are referred to in the Preamble (wherein, as mentioned before, it is specified, inter alia, that this government resolution is adopted pursuant to Item 6 of Paragraph 5 of Article 22 and Paragraph 3 of Article 27 of the Law on Higher Education and Paragraph 1 of Article 33 of the Law on Science and Studies) to government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005), in this constitutional justice case it is necessary to elucidate the content of the notion “habilitation” which is employed in the said laws.

9. In this context, it should be noted that the Law on Science and Studies (wording of 11 June 2002) which came in force on 1 October 2002 is this law, adopted as far back as 12 February 1991, with the new wording that is set forth by Article 1 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending the Law on Science and Studies adopted by the Seimas on 11 June 2002.

9.1. Article 28 titled “The Scientific Degrees” of the Law on Science and Studies, which was adopted by the Seimas on 12 February 1991, prescribed that “the degrees of the doctor and habilitated doctor shall be granted in the Republic of Lithuania”. Under Article 30 of this law, the scientific degrees were also granted by the institutions of science and studies which are given this right by the Government; the Government had to regulate the procedure for granting and nostrification of scientific degrees upon submission of the Council of Science of Lithuania. Under Article 29 of this law, upon submission of the Council of Science of Lithuania, the Government had to approve the regulations of doctoral studies and habilitation which were prepared by the institution of science and studies.

9.2. Thus, the Law on Science and Studies (wording of 12 February 1991) entrenched the system of two scientific degrees—the doctor and the habilitated doctor—or a two-level system and it expressis verbis prescribed that the said scientific degrees are gained by granting them. In the said law, the notion “the degree of a habilitated doctor” (Article 28 (wording of 12 February 1991)), as well as the notion “habilitation” (Article 29 (wording of 12 February 1991)) were employed. While construing, in a systemic manner, the legal regulation established in the Law on Science and Studies (wording of 12 February 1991), i.e. while relating the provision of its Article 28 (wording of 12 May 1991) that in the Republic of Lithuania, the scientific degrees of the doctor and habilitated doctor shall be granted with the provision of its Article 29 (wording of 12 February 1991) that upon submission of the Council of Science of Lithuania, the Government shall approve the regulations of doctoral studies and habilitation which were prepared by the institution of science and studies, it is obvious that the notion “habilitation” which is employed in Article 29 (wording of 12 February 1991) of the Law on Science and Studies was related to granting the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor.

9.3. It needs to be emphasised that the Law on Science and Studies (wording of 12 February 1991) regulated not only various relations related to science, its organisation and scientific activity, but also the relations related with higher education. The said law regulated these relations to a certain extent also after the Law on Higher Education which was adopted by the Seimas on 21 March 2000 came into force on 1 September 2000. It still regulates them to a certain extent at present, as set forth in its wording of 11 June 2002 (with subsequent amendments and supplements).

10. On 21 March 2000, the Seimas adopted the Law on Higher Education which came into force on 1 September 2000.

10. 1. It has been mentioned that Paragraph 1 titled “The Teachers” of Article 28 of this law prescribes that the positions of teachers of schools of higher education are the following: professor, associated professor, lecturer and assistant. In addition, this law prescribed, inter alia, that the scientist who meets the requirements for the position of the professor, or a recognised artist may hold the position of the professor (Paragraph 3) and that the scientist who holds the position of the professor must prepare scientists, teach students, form the directions of scientific research and be in charge of such directions and publish the results of the research in the reviewed scientific publications (Paragraph 4).

Paragraph 1 of Article 29 titled “Scientific Workers” of the Law on Higher Education prescribed that for the execution of its functions, the school of higher education may have scientific workers and that the scientific workers of the school of higher education shall be: scientists holding positions of the chief scientific worker, senior scientific worker and the scientific worker (Item 1); persons with higher education holding the position of the junior scientific worker (Item 2). In addition, this article prescribed, inter alia, that a scientist may hold the position of the chief scientific worker and that the chief scientific worker must prepare scientists, be in charge of the directions of scientific research and publish the results of the research in the reviewed scientific publications (Paragraph 2).

10.2. The Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 5, 9, 11, 15, 34, 40, 51, 54, 56, 59 and 67 of the Law on Higher Education which was adopted by the Seimas on 25 January 2001 amended and/or supplemented some provisions of the Law on Higher Education (hereinafter referred to as the amendments and supplements of 25 January 2001), however, it did not make any amendments or supplements to Articles 28 and 29 (wording of 21 March 2000) of the Law on Higher Education.

The specified provisions of Paragraph 3 (wording of 21 March 2000) of Article 28 and Paragraph 2 (wording of 21 March 2000) of Article 29 of the Law on Higher Education were amended by the Law on Amending and Supplementing the Title of Section II of Article 2 and Articles 14, 15, 17, 27, 28, 29, 37, 39, 41, 47, 48, 54, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 66 and 67 of the Law on Higher Education and Recognising of Articles 18, 64, 65 and 68 of the Same Law as no Longer Valid which was adopted by the Seimas on 21 December 2001—correspondingly by Paragraph 1 of Article 8 and Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the same law (hereinafter referred to as the amendments and supplements of 21 December 2001).

It has been mentioned that Paragraph 3 (wording of 21 December 2001) of Article 28 of the Law on Higher Education was set forth as follows:

A scientist or a distinguished artist may hold the position of the professor. These persons must meet the requirements for the position of the professor and have fulfilled the requirements for habilitation. The Government shall establish the habilitation procedure by taking account of the proposals of the Council of Science of Lithuania, the Conference of Lithuanian University Rectors and the Council of Higher Education.”

Paragraph 2 (wording of 21 December 2001) of Article 29 of the Law on Higher Education was set forth as follows:

A scientist, who meets the requirements for this position and the requirements for habilitation, may hold the position of the chief scientific worker. The chief scientific worker must prepare scientists, be in charge of the directions of scientific research and publish the results of the research in the reviewed scientific publications.”

10.3. In this context, it should also be noted that the specified provision of Paragraph 1 (wording of 21 March 2000) of Article 29 of the Law on Higher Education was supplemented by Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the First Chapter titled “Amending and Supplementing Articles 5, 8, 12, 13, 16, 17, 27, 28, 29, 31, 42, 47, 49, 51 and 58 of the Law on Higher Education” of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Amending and Supplementing the Law on Higher Education and the Law on Science and Studies, and it was prescribed that, in addition to the scientists who hold the positions of the chief scientific worker, senior scientific worker and the scientific worker (Item 1) and persons with higher education holding the position of the junior scientific worker (Item 3), also postdoctoral fellows shall be considered as scientific workers of the school of higher education (Item 2).

10.4. Thus, Paragraph 3 (wording of 21 December 2001) of Article 28 and Paragraph 2 (wording of 21 December 2001) of the Law on Higher Education used to consolidate (while Paragraph 2 (wording of 21 December 2001) of Article 29 consolidates at present) the notion “habilitation”, which is employed in the formula “the requirements for habilitation”, while Paragraph 3 (wording of 21 December 2001) of Article 28—also in the formula “habilitation procedure” (this procedure had to be established by the Government).

10.5. It is particularly emphasised that the content of neither the notion “habilitation”, nor the formula “the requirements for habilitation”, wherein this notion is employed, was (nor is it at present) expressis verbis defined in the Law on Higher Education (wording of 21 March 2000 with the amendments and supplements of 25 January 2001 and 21 December 2001). In order to reveal what, under this law, may be considered as habilitation and the requirements for habilitation, one must elucidate the intents of the legislature following which it entrenched the institute of habilitation in the said law, and it is also necessary to take account of the links of the notion “habilitation” and the formula “the requirements for habilitation” with other notions and formulas of this law and of the links of the provisions of Paragraph 3 (wording of 21 March 2000) of Article 28 and Paragraph 2 (wording of 21 March 2000) of Article 29 of the Law on Higher Education with other provisions of this law, as well as to take account of what relations are regulated by the articles of the Law on Higher Education (wording of 21 March 2000 with the amendments and supplements of 25 January 2001 and 21 December 2001) where the notion “habilitation” is employed.

10.6. It is obvious from the shorthand records of the Seimas sitting of 20 September 2001, where the amendments of Paragraph 3 (wording of 21 March 2000) of Article 28 and Paragraph 2 (wording of 21 March 2000) of Article 29 of the Law on Higher Education were considered that while entrenching the notion “habilitation” (and using it in the formula “the requirements for habilitation”) in these paragraphs of the articles of the said law, as well as while stipulating that the Government shall establish the habilitation procedure, the concept of habilitation, the procedure whereof must be established by the Government, was followed, under which habilitation is not linked with the “second dissertation”, but it means that a scientist, who seeks to hold the position of the professor, according to R. Pavilionis, the then Chairperson of the Seimas Committee on Education, Science and Culture, who presented this draft law, “will have to prove by his works, experiments and similar things that he deserves it and to give a public lecture”, and “nobody grants any habilitation, one just needs to meet the requirements established by the Government”; thus, the concept of habilitation was followed, where habilitation is the verification procedure for the suitability of the scientist to hold the position of the professor or chief scientific worker. It needs also to be noted that, as the members of the Seimas were informed, such proposed concept of habilitation was “coordinated with the Academy of Sciences, the Conference of the Lithuanian Rectors and the Council of Science of Lithuania”.

In this context it needs to be noted that before making the discussed amendments and supplements of 21 December 2001, the notion of habilitation was not employed in the Law on Higher Education (wording of 21 March 2000 with the amendments and supplements of 25 January 2001) at all. It is obvious from the said shorthand records of the Seimas sitting that such concept of habilitation, whose procedure should be established by the Government, under which habilitation is not related with granting the degree of a habilitated doctor, but is only the verification procedure for the suitability of the scientist to hold the position of the professor or chief scientific worker, was considered as a certain novel, as up to then habilitation used to be related with the degree of a habilitated doctor which was granted in Lithuania (it has been mentioned that it was provided for in the then effective Law on Science and Studies (wording of 12 February 1991)).

10.7. It needs also to be noted that even though it is obvious from the intents of the legislature, when it was preparing, considering and adopting the discussed amendments of Paragraph 3 (wording of 21 March 2000) of Article 28 and Paragraph 2 (wording of 21 March 2000) of Article 29 of the Law on Higher Education and setting forth these paragraphs in their new wording of 21 December 2001 that the principled provision was followed whereby in Lithuania only one scientific degree—the doctor, and not the habilitated doctor—may be granted, such provision was not explicitly entrenched. Because of the fact that, as it has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court, the content of the notion “habilitation” (as well as of the formula “the requirements for habilitation”, wherein this notion is employed) was not expressis verbis defined in the Law on Higher Education (wording of 21 March 2000 with the amendments and supplements of 25 January 2001 and 21 December 2001), it is possible to decide about the fact that the legislature chose the system of one scientific degree—the doctor—or a single-level system and that, upon the entry into force of the said amendments and supplements of 21 December 2001, the degree of a doctor could no longer be granted in Lithuania, not so much from the text of Paragraph 3 (wording of 21 March 2000) of Article 28 and Paragraph 2 (wording of 21 March 2000) of Article 29 of the Law on Higher Education, but on the basis of the said intents of the legislature (which were recorded in the shorthand records of the corresponding Seimas sittings).

Thus, in the course of application of the Law on Higher Education (wording of 21 March 2000 with the amendments and supplements of 21 December 2001), there appeared preconditions for varied interpretation whether, upon making the said amendments and supplements of 21 December 2001, not only the degree of a doctor but also the degree of a habilitated doctor could be granted in Lithuania.

Such obscurity and discrepancy of the legal regulation established in the Law on Higher Education (wording of 21 March 2000 with the amendments and supplements of 25 January 2001 and 21 December 2001) are also emphasised by other circumstances.

For instance, under Item 2 of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of the Law on Higher Education, this law must establish, inter alia, “the principles for acquisition of scientific degrees in schools of higher education”. In fact, certain relations linked to the acquisition of scientific degrees in schools of higher education have been regulated by this law since it came into force and they are still regulated by the same law. However, it does not mean that every provision of this law, in which there is any reference to the scientific degrees or their acquisition in schools of higher education, needs to be interpreted as establishing the said principles or directly regulating the relations linked to the granting of scientific degrees in any other manner.

The same can be said about the reference to scientific degrees which is in Paragraph 2 (wording of 21 December 2001) of Article 28 of the Law on Higher Education, as well as about the reference to the requirements for habilitation which was in Paragraph 3 (wording of 21 May 2001) and still is in Paragraph 2 (wording of 21 December 2001) of Article 29 of this law: they do not at all mean that these articles (paragraphs thereof) were (or are) designed to regulate directly the relations which are linked to granting scientific degrees. Quite to the contrary, Article 28 (wording of 21 March 2000 with subsequent amendments and supplements) of the Law on Higher Education was (and is) titled “The Teachers” and it was (is) designed to regulate the relations which are linked with, inter alia, holding the position of the professor, while Article 29 (wording of 21 March 2000 with subsequent amendments and supplements) was (and is) titled “Scientific Workers” and was (and is) designed to regulate the relations which are linked with, inter alia, holding the position of the chief scientific worker; as for what system of scientific degrees is entrenched in Lithuania, one must decide it not only on the basis of these articles, but also taking account of the overall legal regulation which is established in laws.

In this context, it needs to be emphasised that even upon making the said amendments and supplements of 21 December 2001, the Law of Science and Studies (which, as mentioned before, was adopted by the Seimas as far back as 12 February 1991) which regulated various relations linked to science, its organisation and scientific activity and in which, as it has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court, the system of two scientific degrees (two-level system)—the doctor and the habilitated doctor—was entrenched and it was expressis verbis prescribed that these scientific degrees shall be acquired by granting them, and the notion “habilitation” employed in which was linked to the granting of the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor, continued to be in force. By this one is sort of led to believe that the legislature, even upon making the discussed amendments and supplements of 21 December 2001 of the Law on Higher Education, did not abandon the former two-level system of scientific degrees.

In summary, it should be noted that, from the Law on Higher Education (wording of 21 March 2000 with the amendments and supplements of 25 January 2001 and 21 December 2001, as well as with the subsequent amendments and supplements), if it is construed in a linguistic manner (and without taking account of the context), it is in general impossible to unambiguously assert whether, under this law, only the scientific degree of a doctor, or also the degree of a habilitated doctor, could (can) be granted in Lithuania.

11. The notion “habilitation” and the formula “habilitation procedure” are also employed in Paragraph 3 (wording of 11 June 2002) of Article 29 of the Law on Science and Studies, which, as mentioned before, prescribed that the Government shall establish the habilitation procedure, while taking account of the proposals of the Council of Science of Lithuania, the Conference of Lithuanian University Rectors, the Conference of Directors of the State Scientific Institutes of Lithuania and the Council of Higher Education.

11.1. It needs to be noted that the content of the notion “habilitation” (and the formula “habilitation procedure”) was not (nor is it at present) defined expressis verbis in the Law on Science and Studies (wording of 11 June 2002, as well as with subsequent amendments and supplements). In order to reveal, what, under this law, may be considered as habilitation and habilitation procedure (which must be established by the Government), one needs to elucidate the intents of the legislature, following which he entrenched the institute of habilitation in the said law and to take account of the links of the notion “habilitation” and the formula “habilitation procedure” with other notions and formulas of this law, of the links of the provisions of Paragraph 3 (wording of 11 June 2002) of Article 29 of the Law on Science and Studies with other provisions of this law, as well as to take account of what relations are regulated by the article of the Law on Science and Studies (wording of 11 June 2002) where the notion “habilitation” is employed.

11.2. Article 29 titled “The Scientific Degrees” (wording of 11 June 2002) of the Law on Science and Studies, wherein the notion “habilitation” is employed, was set forth as follows:

1. The scientific degrees of the doctor and habilitated doctor shall be recognised in the Republic of Lithuania.

2. The scientific degree of a doctor shall be granted for the persons who have fulfilled the requirements of the doctoral studies and defended a doctoral dissertation. The regulations of the doctoral studies which also regulate the procedure for granting a scientific degree shall be approved by the Government. The doctoral students of institutions of scientific research shall have the rights of students established by the Law on Higher Education and other laws.

3. The Government shall establish the habilitation procedure, while taking account of the proposals of the Council of Science of Lithuania, the Conference of Lithuanian University Rectors, the Conference of Directors of the State Scientific Institutes of Lithuania and the Council of Higher Education.”

It needs to be noted that the notion “habilitation” is employed in the article of the Law on Science and Studies (wording of 11 June 2002) which is called “The Scientific Degrees” and designed namely to regulate the relations which are linked to the scientific degrees.

11.3. One should particularly pay attention to the fact that under Paragraph 3 (wording of 11 June 2002) of Article 29 of the Law on Science and Studies, the scientific degrees of the doctor and habilitated doctor are recognised in the Republic of Lithuania. In this context, it is important what legal content of the employed notion “recognised” is.

11.4. While preparing the draft Law on Studies and Science (with its new wording) and during the consideration of this draft, the opinions whether both the scientific degree of a doctor and habilitated doctor may be granted differed.

11.4.1. By its letter No. 106-182 of 25 February 2000, the Seimas Committee on Education, Science and Culture applied to the Council of Science of Lithuania, requesting the preparation of a draft Law on Science and Studies with the new wording. By its resolution No. V-7 of 3 July 2000, the Council of Science of Lithuania decided to present the draft Law on Science and Studies with the new wording which was prepared by its provisional group of experts composed for preparing the draft Law on Science and Studies with the new wording to the Seimas and the Government for consideration. This resolution of the Council of Science of Lithuania emphasises, inter alia, that it is necessary to draw the attention of the President of the Republic, the Seimas and the Government to the opinion of the majority of the members of the Council of Science of Lithuania and the experts that it is expedient to continue to have the system of two scientific degrees—the doctor and the habilitated doctor—which are recognised by the state.

11.4.2. On 20 September 2000, A. J. Raškinis and R. Zuoza, then members of the Seimas Committee on Education, Science and Culture, provided the said committee with a corrected version (draft No. P-2910) of the draft Law on Amending the Law on Science and Studies, which had been prepared by the Council of Science of Lithuania, and in which it was proposed to choose one of the two alternatives of the system of the scientific degrees: (1) single-level system of scientific degrees, under which, only the scientific degree of a doctor may be granted in Lithuania (it was proposed, inter alia, to stipulate that “the institutions of science and studies shall grant the scientific degrees of the doctor under the procedure established by the Government”; “the scientific degree shall be granted to persons who have graduated from the doctoral studies and defended a dissertation”, “the dissertation may also be prepared by means of external studies”; ”also the scientific degrees acquired in other states shall be recognised in the Republic of Lithuania”; “the Council of Science of Lithuania shall recognise the scientific degrees which were acquired in other states”; “upon recognition of the scientific degree, the Council of Science of Lithuania shall issue a certificate, in which it is stated that the scientific degree acquired abroad corresponds the scientific degree of a doctor which is granted in the Republic of Lithuania”); (2) two-level system of scientific degrees, under which, the scientific degrees of the doctor and habilitated doctor may be granted in Lithuania (it was proposed, inter alia, to stipulate that “the institutions of science and studies shall grant the scientific degrees of the doctor and habilitated doctor under the procedure established by the Government”; “the scientific degree of a doctor shall be granted to persons who have graduated from the doctoral studies and defended a dissertation”, “the dissertation may also be prepared by means of external studies”; “the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor shall be granted to the workers of institutions of science and studies who have fulfilled the qualification requirements for the positions of the professor or chief scientific worker which were established by the said institutions”; ”also the scientific degrees acquired in other states shall be recognised in the Republic of Lithuania”; “the Council of Science of Lithuania shall recognise the scientific degrees of the doctor which were acquired in other states”; “upon recognition of the scientific degree of a doctor, the Council of Science of Lithuania shall issue a certificate, in which it will be stated that the scientific degree of a doctor which was acquired abroad corresponds the scientific degree of a doctor which is granted in the Republic of Lithuania”; “the scientific degrees of the habilitated doctor which were acquired in other states shall be recognised by the institutions of science and studies, under the procedure established by their senates (councils)”; “the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor shall be granted to the workers of institutions of science and studies who have fulfilled the qualification requirements for the positions of the professor or chief scientific worker which were established by the said institutions”). On 21 November 2000, Seimas member G. Šileikis submitted the discussed draft Law on Amending the Law on Science and Studies to the Seimas (No. IXP-103) for consideration.

11.4.3. On 23 November 2000, Seimas member J. Razma provided the Seimas with another version (No. IXP-103A) of the draft Law on Amending the Law on Science and Studies, which, as it is stated in the explanatory note of this draft, was the first version of the draft Law on Amending the Law on Science and Studies in its new wording, which was prepared by the provisional group of experts composed by the Council of Science of Lithuania and by the 3 July 2000 resolution (No. V-7) of the Council of Science of Lithuania presented to the Seimas Committee on Education, Science and Culture. It proposed a two-level system of granting scientific degrees, under which both the scientific degree of a doctor and the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor can be granted. In addition, the granting of the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor was not related to the fulfilment of the requirements for the positions of the professor or chief scientific worker (the granting of pedagogical titles) (it was proposed to establish the following: “the universities and institutes of science which have been granted such right by the Government or the Ministry of Education and Science authorised by the former may grant the scientific degrees of the doctor and habilitated doctor”; “the scientific degree of a doctor shall be granted to persons who have graduated from the doctoral studies and defended a dissertation”, “the dissertation may also be prepared by means of external studies”; “the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor shall be granted to the persons who have the scientific degrees of the doctor and who, upon defending the doctoral dissertation, enriched science with new data which are well known in Lithuania and abroad”; “the Government shall approve the common regulations of doctoral studies and habilitation upon submission of the Council of Science of Lithuania”).

11.4.4. Under the 29 January 2001 decision (No. 106) of the Board of the Seimas, a working group was formed for generalising the provisions of draft Laws on Amending the Law on Science and Studies Nos. IXP-103 and IXP-103A which were registered at the Seimas. On 4 July 2001, R. Pavilionis, the then Chairperson of the Seimas Committee on Education, Science and Culture, presented the Seimas with the generalised draft Law on Amending the Law on Science and Studies (No. IXP-103(2A)), which was prepared by the said working group and in which the two-level system of scientific degrees provided in draft No. IXP-103A was chosen. Upon presentation of draft Laws on Amending the Law on Science and Studies Nos. IXP-103, IXP-103A and IXP-103(2A) at the Seimas sitting of 2 August 2001, one assented to said generalised draft No. IXP-103(2A).

11.4.5. On 28 November 2001, R. Pavilionis, the then Chairperson of the Seimas Committee on Education, Science and Culture, on behalf of the said committee, presented the Seimas with a new version (No. IXP-103(2A2)) of the draft Law on Amending the Law on Science and Studies with the new wording, in which it was proposed to choose a single-level system of scientific degrees when only the degree of a doctor can be granted, and not the degree of a habilitated doctor (Article 28 titled “Procedure for Granting the Scientific Degree of a doctor” of the draft Law of Science and Studies with the new wording proposed to establish the following: “the scientific degree of a doctor shall be granted in the Republic of Lithuania”; “the scientific degree of a doctor shall be granted to persons who have fulfilled the requirements for the doctoral studies and who have defended a doctoral dissertation”; “the Government shall approve the doctoral regulations which also regulate the procedure for granting the scientific degree”).

11.4.6. By its Decision (No. 628) “On the Conclusions of the Draft Law” of 6 December 2001, the Board of the Seimas applied to the Government requesting the presentation of the conclusions regarding the specified draft. By its Resolution (No. 555) “On the Republic of Lithuania’s Draft Law on Amending the Law on Science and Studies No. IXP-103(2A2)” of 22 April 2002 the Government virtually assented to the said draft, but it expressed a completely opposite opinion about the system of scientific degrees and proposed the Seimas to consolidate in Lithuania both the scientific degree of a doctor and the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor—a two-level system of scientific degrees (it was proposed to give Article 28 of the draft Law on Science and Studies with the new wording the title “The Scientific Degrees” and to establish the following therein: “the scientific degrees of the doctor and the habilitated doctor shall be granted in the Republic of Lithuania”; “the scientific degree of a doctor shall be granted to persons who have fulfilled the requirements for the doctoral studies and who have defended a doctoral dissertation”; “the Government shall approve the doctoral regulations which also regulate the procedure for granting the scientific degree”; “the doctoral students of institutions of scientific research shall have the rights of students established by the Law on Higher Education and other laws”; “the Government shall establish the habilitation procedure, while taking account of the proposals of the Council of Science of Lithuania, the Conference of Lithuanian University Rectors, the Conference of Directors of the State Scientific Institutes of Lithuania and the Council of Higher Education”).

11.4.7. On 8 May 2002, R. Pavilionis, the then Chairperson of the Seimas Committee on Education, Science and Culture, on behalf of the said committee, presented the Seimas with a new version (No. IXP-103(2A3)) of the draft Law on Amending the Law on Science and Studies, wherein former Article 28 of the former draft Law on Science and Studies with the new wording became Article 29 titled “Procedure for Granting the Scientific Degree of a doctor and Habilitation Procedure”. It proposed to establish the following: “the scientific degree of a doctor shall be granted in the Republic of Lithuania”; “the scientific degree of a doctor shall be granted to persons who have fulfilled the requirements for the doctoral studies and who have defended a doctoral dissertation”; “the Government shall approve the doctoral regulations which also regulate the procedure for granting the scientific degree”; “the doctoral students of institutions of scientific research shall have the rights of students established by the Law on Higher Education and other laws”; “the Government shall establish the habilitation procedure”. Thus, it was proposed to consolidate a single-level system of scientific degrees, under which only the degree of a doctor (upon defence of a doctoral dissertation) may be granted, while the degree of a habilitated doctor is not to be granted; it was also proposed to provide for habilitation, whose procedure shall be established by the Government. The conclusion of the Seimas Committee on Education, Science and Culture annexed to this draft noted that this committee rejected the proposal of the Government to keep the two-level system of granting scientific degrees in the law as, in the opinion of this committee, the said proposal was in conflict with the Law on Higher Education which was adopted by the Seimas on 21 March 2000 and which established only one scientific degree—the doctor. It needs to be noted that while proposing to entrench the notion “habilitation” in Paragraph 3 of Article 29 of the draft Law on Science and Studies with the new wording, its content was not revealed in any manner. Taking account of the fact that in the title of Article 29 and Paragraphs 1 and 2 thereof of the discussed draft only one scientific degree is mentioned—the doctor—which is granted upon defence of a doctoral dissertation, it is impossible to understand from Paragraph 3 of Article 29 of this draft, what habilitation procedure to be established by the Government is described.

11.4.8. Draft No. IXP-103(2A3) was considered in the Seimas sitting on 14 May 2002 (stage of consideration of the draft law). In this Seimas sitting, R. Pavilionis, the then Chairperson of the Seimas Committee on Education, Science and Culture, stated that “the Law on Higher Education determines only one scientific degree—habilitation requirements. Meanwhile, the Government proposes to keep both former scientific degrees: the scientific degrees of the doctor and the habilitated doctor. Such proposal would be in conflict with the Law on Higher Education <...> It has already been discussed”. The chairman of the sitting of the Seimas informed the Seimas that the main committee (i.e. the Seimas Committee on Education, Science and Culture) did not assent to the Government proposal regarding Article 28 (here the former number of this article is specified) of the draft Law on Science and Studies with the new wording, and proposed to vote on whether the Seimas assents to this draft law with its wording of Article 28 which is proposed by the Government.

It needs to be noted that the Seimas voted on this issue and decided in the stage of consideration of the draft law to assent to the following wording of Article 28 titled “The Scientific Degrees” (here the former number of this article is specified) of the draft Law on Science and Studies in its new wording which was presented by the Government:

1. The scientific degrees of the doctor and habilitated doctor shall be granted in the Republic of Lithuania.

2. The scientific degree of a doctor shall be granted to persons who have fulfilled the requirements for the doctoral studies and who have defended a doctoral dissertation. The Government shall approve the doctoral regulations which also regulate the procedure for granting the scientific degree. The doctoral students of institutions of scientific research shall have the rights of students established by the Law on Higher Education and other laws.

3. The Government shall establish the habilitation procedure and the procedure for granting the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor, while taking account of the proposals of the Council of Science of Lithuania, the Conference of Lithuanian University Rectors, the Conference of Directors of the State Scientific Institutes of Lithuania and the Council of Higher Education.”

11.4.9. Thus, the Seimas, by voting in the sitting of 14 May 2002 (stage of consideration of the draft law) decided on the following principled provisions: in Lithuania, both the scientific degree of a doctor and of the habilitated doctor may be granted, i.e. in Lithuania, there is a two-level system of scientific degrees; both of the said degrees are acquired by granting them; the habilitation procedure and the procedure for granting the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor must be established by the Government.

It needs to be noted that the Seimas, having decided on the said principled provisions which were meant to be entrenched in the Law on Science and Studies in its new wording, at the same time rejected the position of the Seimas Committee on Education, Science and Culture that in Lithuania only the scientific degree of a doctor may be granted and the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor may not be granted, i.e. the position that in Lithuania there is a single-level system of scientific degrees.

11.4.10. While construing what the formulas the “habilitation procedure” and the “procedure for granting the degree of a habilitated doctor” employed in Paragraph 3 of Article 28 of the draft Law on Science and Studies with the new wording, which was assented to by the Seimas during the vote, mean, it needs to be noted that at the moment when the said wording was assented to, Paragraph 3 of Article 28 and Paragraph 2 of Article 29 of the Law on Higher Education were already set forth in their wording of 21 December 2001 (these amendments had already come into force); as mentioned before, they prescribed, inter alia, that a scientist or recognised artist who meets the qualification requirements for the position of the professor and who has fulfilled the requirements for habilitation can hold the position of the professor and that the Government shall establish the habilitation procedure (Paragraph 3 (wording of 21 December 2001) of Article 28), and that the scientist, who meets the requirements for this position and the requirements for habilitation, may hold the position of the chief scientific worker (Paragraph 2 (wording of 21 December 2001) of Article 29). However, as it has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court, even though it is obvious from the intents of the legislature in the course of preparing, considering and adopting the discussed amendments of Paragraph 3 (wording of 21 March 2000) of Article 28 and Paragraph 2 (wording of 21 March 2000) of Article 29 of the Law on Higher Education that the principled provision was followed that in Lithuania only one scientific degree—the doctor—may be granted, while the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor is not to be granted, the preconditions were also created (particularly having in mind the fact that the content of the notion “habilitation” (as well as of the formula “the requirements for habilitation”) was not expressis verbis defined in the Law on Higher Education (wording of 21 March 2000 with the amendments and supplements of 25 January 2001 and 21 December 2001)), in the course of the application of this law, to interpret in a different manner whether, upon making the said amendments and supplements of 21 December 2001, not only the scientific degree of a doctor, but also the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor, could be granted in Lithuania.

Heed should also be paid to the fact that Paragraph 3 of Article 28 of the draft Law on Science and Studies with the new wording, which was assented to by the Seimas during the vote, employed two formulas side by side: the “habilitation procedure” and the “procedure for granting the degree of a habilitated doctor”. Presumably, the content of these formulas is different and each of them should be related to different legal institutes. Thus, it should also be assumed that the Government would have to establish two different procedures—the “habilitation procedure” and the “procedure for granting scientific degree of a doctor”. It is not clear from the discussed draft law what kind of relations had to be regulated by the specified “habilitation procedure”. However, it is obvious that the specified “procedure for granting the degree of a habilitated doctor” per definitionem would have to regulate the relations linked to the granting of the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor.

By the way, at that time the Government Resolution (No. 1317) “On Approving the General Regulations of the System of Scientific Degrees in the Republic of Lithuania” of 1996 (wording of 11 July 2001) was effective (and is still effective with the amendments made by the Government Resolution (No. 1432) “On Amending Certain Resolutions of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania Related to the Reorganisation of the Department of Science and Studies under the Ministry of Education and Science” of 11 September 2002; hereinafter also referred to as the amendments of 11 September 2002). The general regulations of the system of scientific degrees in the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 11 July 2001) approved by the same resolution regulated (and regulates at present—with the amendments of 11 September 2002), inter alia, the granting of the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor. Item 57 of the said regulations defines habilitation as “the granting of the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor”.

11.5. Already after the said draft Law on Amending the Law on Science and Studies has been considered in the Seimas sitting of 14 May 2002, but before starting the adoption procedure of this draft law at the Seimas, various proposals were registered regarding this already considered draft.

11.5.1. One of them is the 30 May 2002 proposal of the then Chairperson of the Seimas Committee on Education, Science and Culture R. Pavilionis to replace the word “degree” of Item 4 of Article 1 of the discussed draft Law on Science and Studies with the new wording by the word “degrees” and to entrench the provision that “this law shall establish: <…> (4) the principles of acquisition of scientific degrees and pedagogical titles <…>”. According to the author of this proposal, this amendment is related to the fact that after the consideration the Seimas assented to the wording of Article 29 (here already the new number of this article is specified) of the draft Law on Science and Studies with the new wording and because of that it is necessary “to replace correspondingly also the wording of Article 1: to write the word ‘degree’ in plural—‘degrees’”. At the same time, such proposal meant that it was recognised that it was decided to entrench the two-level system of scientific degrees, under which the scientific degrees of both the doctor and the habilitated doctor could be granted.

In the Seimas sitting of 11 June 2002 (stage of consideration of the draft law), this proposal was adopted.

11.5.2. On 10 June 2002, the then Seimas member E. Kaniava registered the proposal to amend Paragraphs 1 and 3 of Article 29 of the discussed draft and to set them forth as follows:

Paragraph 1: “The scientific degrees of the doctor and habilitated doctor shall be recognised in the Republic of Lithuania”;

Paragraph 3: “The Government shall establish the habilitation procedure, while taking account of the proposals of the Council of Science of Lithuania, the Conference of Lithuanian University Rectors, the Conference of Directors of the State Scientific Institutes of Lithuania and the Council of Higher Education.”

While comparing the wording of Paragraphs 1 and 3 of Article 29 of the discussed draft Law on Science and Studies with the new wording which was proposed by the then Seimas member E. Kaniava with the then wording of the corresponding paragraphs of former Article 28 of this draft which had been presented to the Seimas by the Government and which, as mentioned before, had been assented to by the vote of the Seimas in its sitting of 14 May 2002, it is obvious that the then Seimas member E. Kaniava proposed the following: instead of the word “granted” of Paragraph 1 of Article 29 (here already the new number of this article is specified) of the said draft to write the word “recognised” and in Paragraph 3—to cross out the words “the procedure for granting the degree of a habilitated doctor”.

In the Seimas sitting of 11 June 2002 (stage of consideration of the draft law), the author of this proposal, the then Seimas member E. Kaniava, explained that the notion “recognised” which is proposed to enter instead of the notion “granted” in Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the discussed draft “defines the essence more clearly”, and he described the proposed amendment of Paragraph 3 of Article 29 of this draft as “more or less of an editorial character”. The then Chairperson of the Seimas Committee on Education, Science and Culture R. Pavilionis informed the Seimas, that this committee assents to the said proposals.

By common agreement, the Seimas assented to both proposals of the then Seimas member E. Kaniava and, after that, by common agreement adopted Article 29 of the Law on Science and Studies in its new wording, as written in the shorthand record of the Seimas sitting, “with the amendments of E. Kaniava”.

11.5.3. It has been mentioned that Article 29 titled “The Scientific Degrees” of the Law on Science and Studies (wording of 11 June 2002) provides:

1. The scientific degrees of the doctor and habilitated doctor shall be recognised in the Republic of Lithuania.

2. The scientific degree of a doctor shall be granted to persons who have fulfilled the requirements for the doctoral studies and who have defended a doctoral dissertation. The Government shall approve the doctoral regulations which also regulate the procedure for granting the scientific degree. The doctoral students of institutions of scientific research shall have the rights of students established by the Law on Higher Education and other laws.

3. The Government shall establish the habilitation procedure, while taking account of the proposals of the Council of Science of Lithuania, the Conference of Lithuanian University Rectors, the Conference of Directors of the State Scientific Institutes of Lithuania and the Council of Higher Education.”

11.6. The answer to the question as to what relations the habilitation procedure established by the Government and specified in Paragraph 3 of Article 29 of the Law on Science and Studies (wording of 11 June 2002) should regulate depends on the fact how the said circumstances should be assessed, especially that:

while voting in its sitting of 14 May 2002 (stage of consideration of the draft law), the Seimas decided, inter alia, on the principled provision that in Lithuania both the scientific degree of a doctor and the habilitated doctor may be granted, i.e. in Lithuania, there is a two-level system of scientific degrees;

in its sitting of 11 June 2002 (stage of consideration of the draft law), the Seimas assented to the 30 May 2002 proposal of R. Pavilionis, the then Chairperson of the Seimas Committee on Education, Science and Culture, to replace the word “degree” of Item 4 of Article 1 of the discussed draft Law on Science and Studies with the new wording by the word “degrees” and to entrench the provision that “this law shall establish: <…> (4) the principles of acquisition of scientific degrees and pedagogical titles <…>”;

the amendments of Paragraphs 1 and 3 of Article 29 of the draft Law on Science and Studies which were proposed by the then Seimas member E. Kaniava on 10 June 2002, according to the author himself (when presenting these provisions to the Seimas), were only (correspondingly) “defining the essence more clearly” and “more or less of an editorial character”;

in its sitting of 11 June 2002 (stage of consideration of the draft law), the Seimas decided to cross out the provision “the Government shall establish the procedure for granting the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor” which had been previously expressis verbis entrenched in Paragraph 3 of Article 29 of the draft law;

the notion “habilitation” is employed in such an article of the Law on Science and Studies (wording of 11 June 2002), which is designed namely to regulate the relations which are linked to the scientific degrees.

11.6.1. All the said circumstances, especially when one takes account of the fact that neither the then Chairperson of the Seimas Committee on Education, Science and Culture R. Pavilionis, nor the then Seimas member E. Kaniava, while presenting the Seimas with the amendments of Item 4 of Article 1 and Paragraphs 1 and 3 of Article 29 of the draft Law on Science and Studies with the new wording, even mentioned the fact that the said provisions could somehow change the former Seimas decision on the fact that both scientific degrees of the doctor and of the habilitated doctor may be granted in Lithuania, moreover, when no submitter of the amendments even proposed the Seimas to decide regarding the single-level or two-level system of scientific degrees anew, permit stating that the Seimas, while voting on 11 June 2002 on the adoption of the draft Law on Science and Studies, thus, also on the said proposals of the then Chairperson of the Seimas Committee on Education, Science and Culture R. Pavilionis and the then Seimas member E. Kaniava, was following the fact that these proposals in no way corrected let alone reviewed the decision made by the vote of the Seimas in its sitting of 14 May 2002 regarding the consolidation of the two-level system of scientific degrees, whereby in Lithuania not only the scientific degree of a doctor, but also of the habilitated doctor may be granted, as well as regarding the fact that the procedure for granting the degree of a habilitated doctor, as well as the procedure for granting the degree of a doctor, must be established by the Government.

11.6.2. When one assesses the discussed circumstances of preparation and adoption of the draft Law on Science and Studies with the new wording precisely in such a way and construes the provisions of Paragraphs 1 and 3 of Article 29 (wording of 11 June 2002), as well as the provision “this law shall establish: <…> (4) the principles of acquisition <…> of scientific degrees <…>” of Article 1 (wording of 11 June 2002) in a systemic manner, i.e. when one relates the provision “the Government shall establish the habilitation procedure” of Paragraph 3 of Article 29 of this law with the provision “the scientific degrees of the doctor and habilitated doctor shall be recognised in the Republic of Lithuania” of Paragraph 1 of this article and with the quoted provision of Article 1 (wording of 11 June 2002), it may be assumed that the Government must establish a procedure, under which a scientist could acquire the degree of a habilitated doctor in Lithuania.

11.6.3. In this context, it needs to be noted that under Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on Amending the Law on Science and Studies, the Government had to adopt or amend the legal acts which were necessary for the implementation of the Law on Science and Studies in its new wording before 1 October 2002.

Item 1 of the Habilitation Procedure which was approved by government resolution No. 962 of 18 July 2003 prescribes that this Habilitation Procedure does not regulate the granting of the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor, which is implemented under the procedure established by other legal acts.

As mentioned before, the then effective General Regulations of the System of Scientific Degrees (wording of 11 July 2001) which were approved by the Government Resolution (No. 1317) “On Approving the General Regulations of the System of Scientific Degrees in the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 11 July 2001) of 1996, which regulated, inter alia, the granting of the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor, were amended by the Government Resolution (No. 1432) “On Amending Certain Resolutions of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania Related to the Reorganisation of the Department of Science and Studies under the Ministry of Education and Science” of 11 September 2002, however, Item 57 of the said regulations, under which habilitation is “the granting of the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor”, was not amended (it is not amended also at the time when the constitutional justice case at issue is considered).

11.7. It needs also to be noted that while construing the legal regulation established in Paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of Article 29 (wording of 11 June 2002) of the Law on Science and Studies only in a linguistic manner (and without taking account of the circumstances of its consolidation), one may state that the mere fact that not the notion “granted” (“to grant” means “to give”, “to award” (Dabartinės lietuvių kalbos žodynas [A Dictionary of Contemporary Lithuanian]. Vilnius: Mokslo ir enciklopedijų leidybos institutas, 2000, p. 837)) is employed in Paragraph 1 of this article, but the notion “recognised” (“to recognise” means “to assent, consider as lawful, functioning, effective and having some characteristics”, “to elucidate and establish” (ibid., p. 612)) means that even though in Lithuania scientists may have not only the scientific degree of a doctor but also of the habilitated doctor, they cannot acquire the degree of a habilitated doctor in Lithuania—here it cannot be granted, it may only be acquired either in foreign states or it could be acquired in Lithuania earlier.

Such construction is based, inter alia, on the fact that the said article (Paragraph 2 thereof) expressis verbis provides for only granting of the scientific degree of a doctor, while granting (by employing this notion) of the degree of a habilitated doctor is not explicitly provided for in this law anywhere; thus, in Lithuania, the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor may be acquired not by granting it but by “recognising” it, if the scientist acquired it somewhere else or some time earlier.

Such construction may also be grounded on the argument that, purportedly, the Seimas, by replacing the word “granted” by the word “recognised” and crossing out the explicit provision that the Government establishes the procedure for granting the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor, changed its former 14 May 2002 decision regarding the consolidation of the two-level system of scientific degrees.

However, as it has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court, the said amendments, while presenting them to the Seimas, were described as only “defining the essence more clearly” and “more or less of an editorial character”; in addition, the 30 May 2002 proposal of the then Chairperson of the Seimas Committee on Education, Science and Culture R. Pavilionis to correct Item 4 of Article 1 of the draft Law on Science and Studies with the new wording and to replace the word “degree” by the word “degrees” was also adopted in the same sitting of the Seimas.

An example of such construction is the letter of the then Chairperson of the Seimas Committee on Education, Science and Culture R. Pavilionis titled “On the Construction of the Provisions of the Law” to the Prof. Habil. Dr. K. Makariūnas, the then Chairperson of the Council of Science of Lithuania, which is in the file of this constitutional justice case and in which it is, inter alia, stated: in the Republic of Lithuania, the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor shall not be granted; this scientific degree may be recognised only to the persons who have it, i.e. the persons who acquired it earlier or in other states; the provision “the Government shall establish the habilitation procedure” of Paragraph 3 (wording of 11 June 2002) of Article 29 of the Law on Science and Studies means that the Government “in the habilitation procedure, could establish a procedure, under which in the Republic of Lithuania it would be possible to recognise the habilitation, (or the second scientific degree) granted in other states”; “the habilitation procedure should establish the minimum of scientific or pedagogical works for the person who has the scientific degree of a doctor, which would permit him for the first time to hold the position of the professor or chief scientific fellow”; “the words ‘this law establishes the principles for acquisition of scientific degrees and pedagogical titles’ which were left in Article 1 of the Law on Science and Studies in its new wording do not mean anything else but the principles for acquisition of the scientific degree of a doctor and recognition of the degree of a habilitated doctor for those who have it (Article 29 of the Law on Science and Studies)”.

The construction of Paragraphs 1 and 3 of Article 29 (wording of 11 June 2002) of the Law on Science and Studies which is presented in the said letter is based on the fact that, according to the author of the letter, “while adopting the amendments of the laws on higher education and science and studies, the Seimas amended the provision of the Law on Science and Studies adopted in 1991 that in Lithuania, the scientific degrees of the doctor and habilitated doctor shall be granted. In the aspect of the scientific degrees of the habilitated doctor, the Seimas decided to recognise the degrees which had been acquired before the adoption of the law by replacing the word ‘granted’ by the word ‘recognised’, thus, in this case, the meaning of the word ‘to recognise’ as ‘to grant’ as provided in the Lithuanian dictionary is not suitable for the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor (the notion of such degree no longer exists in any law)”.

However, such construction is not convincing. And not only because one does not utterly take account of the circumstances of consolidation of the provisions which are construed.

Such construction is complicated, inter alia, by the provision that “the diplomas of the scientific degrees which were acquired abroad shall be recognised (nostrificated) under the procedure established by the Government unless the international treaties of the Republic of Lithuania establish otherwise” of Paragraph 2 of Article 31 titled “The Documents by Which Scientific Degrees and Pedagogical Titles are Approved” of the Law on Science and Studies. Thus, a separate institute—the institute for nostrification of the diplomas—for recognising the diplomas of the scientific degrees (the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor as well) which were acquired abroad, in Lithuania was established in the Law on Science and Studies (wording of 11 June 2002, also with subsequent amendments and supplements); it may not be identified with the institute of habilitation which is entrenched in Article 29 (wording of 11 June 2002) of the Law on Science and Studies, because no matter how the content of the notion “habilitation” is construed, nostrification is not habilitation. Thus, it is not possible to construe the institute of habilitation which is entrenched in Article 29 (wording of 11 June 2002) of the Law on Science and Studies as purportedly meaning that the Government “in the Habilitation Procedure, could establish the procedure, under which it would be possible to recognise the habilitation (or the second scientific degree) which was granted in other states in the Republic of Lithuania”.

12. In this context, it should be emphasised that in the aspect of the Law on Higher Education (wording of 21 December 2001), the Law on Science and Studies (11 June 2002) is lex posteriori, and, in addition, as it has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court, Articles 28 and 29 (wording of 21 December 2001) of the Law on Higher Education, wherein the notion “habilitation” is employed, are not designed to regulate directly the relations which are linked to granting of scientific degrees—as regards the fact what system of scientific degrees is entrenched in Lithuania one must decide not only from these articles, but also while taking account of the overall legal regulation established in laws.

While construing the discussed legal regulation established in the Law on Science and Studies (wording of 11 June 2002) and in the Law on Higher Education (wording of 21 December 2001) in a systemic manner, it should be held that upon the entry into force of the Law on Science and Studies (wording of 11 June 2002), the notion “habilitation” which was employed in Articles 28 and 29 (wording of 21 December 2001) of the Law on Higher Education—because of the fact that, as mentioned before, one may state that the Government must establish the procedure, under which, the degree of a habilitated doctor is granted—became deceptive and not suitable at all to describe the procedure for verification of the suitability of the scientist to hold the position of the professor or chief scientific worker, i.e. for the institute to describe which it is used. In this context it is deficient.

The said deficiency of the notion “habilitation” employed in Articles 28 and 29 (wording of 21 December 2001) of the Law on Higher Education does not mean that upon the entry into force of the Law on Science and Studies (wording of 11 June 2002) the Government lost its powers to establish the verification procedure for the suitability of the scientist to hold the position of the professor or chief scientific worker, which may also be not necessarily related to having the degree of a habilitated doctor. Under the Law on Higher Education (wording of 21 March 2000 with subsequent amendments and supplements), it is the duty of the Government to establish such a procedure. However, because of the fact that the Law on Science and Studies (wording of 11 June 2002, also with subsequent amendments and supplements) entrenches the institute of the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor, this procedure is not to be titled “the habilitation procedure”.

In this context, it needs to be noted that, as it has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court, the legal regulation established in the Law on Science and Studies (wording of 11 June 2002, also with subsequent amendments and supplements) (as well as in the former Law on Science and Studies (wording of 12 February 1991)) may be construed also as permitting stating that the Government has the powers to establish such a procedure, under which a scientist could acquire the degree of a habilitated doctor in Lithuania. It should also be reminded that at present the Government Resolution (No. 1317) “On Approving the General Regulations of the System of Scientific Degrees in the Republic of Lithuania” (wording of 11 July 2001 with the amendments of 11 September 2002) of 1996 is in effect.

13. The said legal regulation established in the Law on Higher Education (wording of 21 March 2000 with subsequent amendments and supplements) which is linked to the use of the notion “habilitation” needs to be corrected, and the notion “habilitation” employed in this law needs to be changed. It is not the function of the Constitutional Court to propose which notion should be employed instead of the said one in this law while describing the verification procedure for the suitability of the scientist to hold the position of the professor or chief scientific worker.

14. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it needs to be noted that the discussed deficiency of the notion “habilitation” does not mean that such verification procedure for the suitability of the scientist to hold the position of the professor or chief scientific worker, when this position is held by a scientist, who does not have the degree of a doctor may not exist. If the legislature has decided that such a procedure—not related to having the degree of a habilitated doctor—needs to be established, and at the same time has entrenched the possibility of acquiring the degree of a habilitated doctor, the said procedure must be titled in a different way. Otherwise, confusion is unavoidable.

In the considered situation, there is precisely confusion. It is obvious from the speeches given by the representatives of the persons participating in the case at the Constitutional Court’s hearing, as well as from the explanations of the specialists, that there is no agreement on whether the laws which are effective at present entrench the possibility in Lithuania to acquire only the degree of a doctor or also of the habilitated doctor. The ground to interpret the existing legal regulation in a varied manner is given by, inter alia, the fact that the provisions (not only those which are analysed in detail in this ruling of Constitutional Court) of the Law on Higher Education (wording of 21 March 2000 with subsequent amendments and supplements) and the Law on Science and Studies (wording of 11 June 2002 with subsequent amendments and supplements) frequently are ambiguous, unclear and sometimes they are also in conflict with one another or even deny one another. In general, also the relation of the said laws is problematic as their subject of regulation is partially overlapping. It is difficult to decide unambiguously from the overall legal regulation whose constituent parts are both Articles 28 and 29 (wording of 21 December 2001) of the Law on Higher Education and Article 29 (wording of 11 June 2002, also with the amendment of 18 July 2006) of the Law on Science and Studies, whether, under the laws, in Lithuania, not only the degree of a doctor, but also the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor may be granted.

15. The provisions (inter alia, related to habilitation) of the Law on Higher Education (wording of 21 March 2000 with subsequent amendments and supplements) and the Law on Science and Studies (wording of 11 June 2002 with subsequent amendments and supplements) which are analysed here are not impugned in this constitutional justice case, their compliance with the Constitution is not a matter of investigation in the constitutional justice case at issue.

16. It needs to be noted that the Constitution neither explicitly, nor implicitly establishes what system of scientific degrees must be entrenched in the laws, it, inter alia, it does not provide whether in Lithuania only the scientific degree of a doctor (i.e. whether a single-level system of scientific degrees must be consolidated), or also the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor (i.e. whether a two-level system of scientific degrees must be consolidated), must be granted. Under the Constitution, in this sphere the legislature has discretion; it may also establish the ways for acquisition of scientific degrees. The provision that science and research shall be free entrenched in Article 42 of the Constitution, the provision that schools of higher education shall be granted autonomy entrenched in Paragraph 3 of Article 40, the constitutional imperatives of an open and harmonious society and other provisions of the Constitution also imply that, while establishing what scientific degrees there are in Lithuania and in what ways they are acquired, one should attentively hear opinions of the scientific and academic community, as well as state and other authoritative institutions of science, which unite scientists of various spheres of science. When one chooses the system of scientific degrees in Lithuania and entrenches it by law, it is important also to assess the experience of other countries, especially Member States of the European Union, as well as how much and in what manner this experience has to and may be applied in Lithuania.

III

1. The provisions of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005), the Description as approved by the same resolution (wording 18 August 2005), as well as the Habilitation Procedure as approved by government resolution No. 962 of 18 July 2003, which are impugned by the petitioner, are aimed at the regulation of the relations linked with science and research, announcing their results, teaching and/or scientific work at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state institutes of science and state educational establishments (inter alia, while one enjoys the possibility of holding the position of the professor or the chief scientific worker).

When deciding whether the provisions impugned by the petitioner are not in conflict with the Constitution, it is necessary to find out what constitutional imperatives must be followed by the legislature and other law-making subjects when they regulate corresponding relations by means of laws and other legal acts.

Moreover, account should be taken of the fact what powers of the Government to regulate the said relations arose from the laws adopted by the Seimas.

2. It should be stressed that when examining, in this constitutional justice case at issue, the constitutionality of the impugned provisions of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005), the Description as approved by the same resolution (wording 18 August 2005), as well as the Habilitation Procedure as approved by government resolution No. 962 of 18 July 2003, one does not investigate or make a decision on, inter alia, what model of organising and managing the scientific activity or establishment and assessing its results is the most suitable or could meet the objectives of development and quality of science in the best manner. The choice of such a model is a function of the legislation, as well as a function of the executive power that adopts decisions and acts according to the laws, but not that of constitutional control. On the other hand, it should be stressed that the legislature, while establishing by law a respective legal regulation (as well as the executive power, when regulating within its competence the respective relations) must not only heed the Constitution, but also not ignore in any way an opinion of the scientific and academic community and pay sufficient attention to it.

3. According to Article 42 of the Constitution, culture, science and research, and teaching shall be free (Paragraph 1); the state shall support culture and science (Paragraph 2).

The constitutional freedom of science and research is inseparable from the freedom of having one’s own convictions and expressing them, which is entrenched in Article 25 of the Constitution and which implies among other things the freedom of a person to form his own convictions and to choose values of world-view (Paragraph 1 of Article 25 of the Constitution), from the freedom of information consolidated in the same article of the Constitution, which means that a person may not be hindered from seeking, receiving and imparting information and ideas (Paragraph 2 of Article 25 of the Constitution), as well as from the striving for an open, just, and harmonious civil society and state under the rule of law proclaimed in the Preamble to the Constitution, and various other provisions of the Constitution that consolidate, inter alia, human rights and freedoms, as well as democracy. The constitutional freedom of science and research is a condition of personal expression and creation, pluralism of ideas, of maintaining and strengthening the constitutionally valuable social relations, of social and technical progress and the progress of art, and that of pithiness and variety of public life.

The constitutional notion of the freedom of science and research is very ample, it comprises various aspects of science and research. The constitutional freedom of science and research means, inter alia, that every person has the right to freely decide by himself whether to engage in science and research, including the right to freely choose the sphere of scientific research and methods of investigating particular subjects, to form his scientific world-view. According to the Constitution, no scientific views may be thrust upon a person, he may not be forced to choose a certain sphere of scientific research or not permitted to choose it (save the exceptions stemming from the Constitution), he may not be forced to perform certain scientific research or be prohibited from performing certain scientific research (save the exceptions stemming from the Constitution), and to publish or not to publish results of the performed scientific research. This is a matter of the discretion of the person and his free choice.

The Constitution consolidates such a notion of the freedom of science and research, where science and research may not be made a political or ideological issue, where the scientist may not be forced to accept any scientific views and values, where scientists or researchers may not be discriminated on the basis of the fact that the sphere or subject area of their scientific research is not in line with someone’s political or ideological views. A different interpretation of the notion of the constitutional freedom of science and research would mean that, purportedly, it is also permitted to deviate from the constitutional imperatives of democracy, an open, just and harmonious civil society, and to create conditions for violating various values, inter alia, human rights and freedoms, which are entrenched in and protected and defended by the Constitution.

4. It should be stressed that the notion of the constitutional freedom of science and research implies the professional independency of the scientific community (as well as communities representing certain scientific subject areas), as a community united by a scientific view and professional interests, from state institutions, their independent institutionalisation and self-government, free communication with scientific communities of other countries (inter alia, scientific and educational institutions). The notion of the constitutional freedom of science and research (especially having taken account of the content of scientific research as an activity, for which special professional knowledge is needed) implies also a duty of institutions of public power, which adopt decisions (inter alia, the ones that regulate by their legal acts respective relations) aimed at science, studies and other scientific community (inter alia, scientific and educational institutions), not to ignore an opinion of the scientific community and take proper account of it.

5. It should be noted alongside that the constitutional freedom of science and research is not an absolute one. According to Article 28 of the Constitution, when implementing his rights and freedoms, the human being must observe the Constitution and the laws and must not restrict the rights and freedoms of other people. Thus, freedom of science and research may not be construed also as the one which, purportedly, permits such making use of this freedom so that the rights and freedoms of other persons, other constitutional values, inter alia, the health honour and dignity of a human being, morals, security of the society, and public order become violated. The Constitutional Court in its rulings has held more than once that, according to the Constitution, the rights and freedoms of a human being may be subject to limitation only when the following conditions are observed: this is done by means of a law; the limitations are necessary in a democratic society in order to protect the rights and freedoms of other persons and values entrenched in the Constitution, as well as constitutionally significant objectives; the limitations do not deny the nature and essence of the rights and freedoms; the constitutional principle of proportionality is followed.

In this context, it should be noted that certain limits on the freedom of science and research (which, as already mentioned, is inseparable from the constitutional freedom of convictions and their expression, as well as the freedom of information) are established in relation to some other provisions of the Constitution as well. For example, according to Article 25 of the Constitution, the freedom to express convictions, to receive and impart information may not be limited otherwise than by law, if this is necessary to protect the health, honour and dignity, private life, and morals of a human being, or to defend the constitutional order (Paragraph 3); the freedom to express convictions and to impart information shall be incompatible with criminal actions—incitement of national, racial, religious, or social hatred, violence and discrimination, with slander and disinformation (Paragraph 4). It is established in Paragraph 4 of Article 21 of the Constitution that no human being may be subjected to scientific or medical experimentation without his knowledge and free consent. It is set forth in Paragraph 3 of Article 42 of the Constitution that the law shall protect and defend the spiritual and material interests of an author which are related to scientific, technical, cultural, and artistic work.

6. It is generally known that modern science is developed not only in individual states, it is not only a part of national culture of separate countries—it overstepped national boundaries long time ago. Modern science is international; no country’s science and research may be isolated from the global tendencies and scientific standards, as well as scientific progress of other states. The international imparting of science, exchange in scientific information and results of scientific research is a fundamental condition of successful development of science in every country. Therefore, the state has the duty (which stems, inter alia, from Paragraph 2 of Article 42 of the Constitution) to prompt and support in every possible way the imparting of Lithuanian science around the world, and representing it beyond Lithuanian borders. Moreover, upon considering the fact that due to the occupational Soviet regime many spheres of science in Lithuania (inter alia, humanitarian and social sciences, as well as other sciences) were separated from the global scientific trend, it is obvious that the state faces an extremely significant task of helping Lithuanian scientists and its science to integrate in the international scientific process as much as possible.

7. According to the Constitution, a person has the right without any hindrance to impart, orally, in writing, in other ways and by other means of transmitting information the scientific ideas and to publish the results of scientific research, to become familiarised with publicly presented scientific works and scientific ideas of other persons. Thus, according to the Constitution, the person who is engaged in science and research may not be hindered from a free communication with scientists and researchers of Lithuania and other countries.

In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue it should be especially stressed that announcing the results of scientific research is a condition of productivity of further scientific activity of both the entire scientific community and the respective scientist. Productive scientific activity is impossible without communication among scientists, exchange in scientific information and sharing ideas (inter alia, the results of scientific activity) both from this country and foreign countries. Due to insufficient aforementioned communication, exchange in scientific information and sharing ideas, the scientific activity would become inefficient, while the science would become provincial (first of all, in respect of methodology, reliability and importance of results, rather than the subject of research), poor, and not fully-fledged; it is more than likely that without a due exchange in scientific information, without sharing ideas with other scientists and researchers, or without integration into the international imparting of science, inter alia, without submitting the results of scientific research for reading and assessing to the international scientific community, one would deviate from the global scientific tendencies and lag behind the global standards of science. This would finally make harm to the normal life of the whole scientific and academic community as a self-governing community which is united by scientific views and professional interests. Moreover, a low level of science and research could create preconditions for violation or even denial of other constitutional values, inter alia, the constitutional right of a person to seek to acquire higher education, and for inflicting harm on the execution of international obligations of the Republic of Lithuania.

8. Due to importance of science and research to the economic and social development of the society and the state, the latter must inevitably form and implement a certain scientific policy. It should be noted (especially while taking account of the provision of Paragraph 2 of Article 42 of the Constitution that the state supports culture and science) that not only the national scientific policy, where the freedom of science and research is limited and development of science is prevented in an artificial way, but also the policy, where science and research are not supported by the state, would be constitutionally unreasoned and unjustified. The Constitution in no way implies that science and research (especially the fundamental ones) must exist solely on the market principles; quite to the contrary, the state support to science is an imperative, which is expressis verbis entrenched in the Constitution.

When forming and executing, within their competence, the scientific policy, institutions of public power can and must adopt respective (as well as law-making) decisions on funding etc. of separate subject areas of science (areas of research), scientific and educational institutions, and scientists and researchers. The content and implementation of such decisions depends not only upon the established objectives and goals, but upon financial and economic capacities of the state, too. It should be stressed that some scientific and educational institutions or separate subject areas of science (areas of research) may get more funding in comparison to others, and that other differentiated legal regulation of respective relations in itself does not mean that some scientists or researchers (respective scientific and educational institutions) are unreasonably privileged or discriminated, nor that scientists or researchers are forced to choose a certain area or subject area of scientific research, to perform one scientific research instead of another. It is obvious that the taxpayers’ funds should be used first of all to support the scientific research which is perspective, productive, meets the objectives and tasks that already are faced and/or may be faced by the society and the State of Lithuania, as well as assists the State of Lithuania in performing its functions that stem from the Constitution. Virtually the same can be said about the scientific research which represents Lithuanian science beyond the Lithuanian borders.

9. In the constitutional justice case at issue one should note that the state has certain duties originating from the Constitution and related to ensuring the possibility for the scientists and researchers to publish results of their scientific research, including Lithuania, too. A wider analysis of these constitutional duties of the state is not a matter of this constitutional justice case at issue. However, it should be noted that the legal regulation, when conditions related to publication of results of their scientific research, which can hardly be met due to the reasons, the possibilities of elimination of which by the State of Lithuania are small or no attempts to eliminate which are made by it, are set forth for the scientists or researchers who wish to continue their scientific activity or make a scientific career (for example, to hold certain office at a scientific or educational institution), would be constitutionally unreasoned. It should be especially noted in this context that, first of all, this may be said about the scientists and researchers whose research (which could even be of especially high scientific level) cannot arouse much interest within wider scientific community virtually due to the fact that the subject of research is related first of all with this country, Lithuania. When forming and executing the scientific policy of the state, it is necessary to find ways how, without deviating from the Constitution, on the one hand, to prompt the international imparting of Lithuanian science and its sufficient representation in the world, on the other hand, to prompt such scientific research which is significant to Lithuania, even if it virtually cannot arouse much interest among scientists and researchers of other states, and could not be imparted wider on the international level.

10. By legal acts one may establish the requirements which must be met by the scientists who aspire to hold a certain position at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state institutes of science and state educational establishments. Various ways of setting forth such requirements are possible. For example, pursuant to the Constitution, it is not prohibited to establish by legal acts of the state (its institutions) certain general minimum requirements which should be met by the scientists who seek to hold a certain position at the aforementioned institutions. Nor does the Constitution prohibit choosing and entrenching in legal acts such a way of establishing the minimum requirements, where the legal acts of the state (its institutions) establish only basic (more general) requirements, which are made more detailed and specific by state schools of higher education and educational establishments in their own (i.e. local) legal acts.

As already held more than once by the Constitutional Court in its acts, according to the Constitution the legal regulation related to defining the content of human rights and freedoms and consolidating the guarantees of their implementation may be established only by means of a law, however in cases where the Constitution does not require that certain relations related to human rights and their implementation (inter alia, procedural relations of implementation of human rights etc.) be regulated by law, one may regulate them by means of substatutory legal acts as well. For example, in certain cases the need to provide more details about and particularise the legal regulation in substatutory legal acts is objectively caused by the necessity in the law-making process to substantiate oneself by special knowledge and special (professional) competence (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 7 February 2005). However (as the Constitutional Court has held more than once in its rulings), under no circumstances one may establish any conditions of the appearance of a person’s right or restrict the scope of this right by means of substatutory legal acts; under no circumstances substatutory acts may establish any such legal regulation of the relations linked with the rights of the person and exercising thereof, which would compete with the one established in the law.

The establishment of the general minimum requirements for the scientists who seek to hold a certain position at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state scientific institutes and state educational establishments is a part of the procedure of implementation of the constitutional right of a human being to freely choose an occupation. It does not stem from the Constitution that such requirements (especially the detailed ones) must be established namely by law, notably because such law-making should be necessarily based on special knowledge and special (professional) competence, therefore, the respective relations may be regulated also by substatutory acts, inter alia, government resolutions which, as mentioned before, cannot be in conflict with laws.

11. It should be noted that the discretion of the Government to establish the general minimum requirements applicable to the scientists who seek to hold a certain position at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state institutes of science and state educational establishments is limited by the norms and principles of the Constitution, inter alia, the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law and the principle of proportionality which stems from the former is inseparably related with it and which requires that the established by legal acts and applicable measures are in proportion to the objective sought, and that they do not limit the rights of a person more than needed in order to achieve the legitimate and universally significant, constitutionally reasoned aim. When setting forth the above-mentioned general minimum requirements one must pay heed to Article 14 of the Constitution, according to which Lithuanian is the state language.

12. It has been mentioned that the modern science is international one, that it overstepped national boundaries long time ago, that the international imparting of science, exchange in scientific information and results of scientific research are a fundamental condition of successful development of science in every country. It has been mentioned that an especially significant task of assisting Lithuanian scientists and its science to integrate in the global scientific progress as much as possible arises to the state, too.

In the constitutional justice case at issue, it should be stressed that the Government, while setting forth the general minimum requirements for the scientists who seek to hold a certain position at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state scientific institutes and state educational establishments, may follow the provision that these requirements must assist in the enhancement of the quality of Lithuanian science and in the prompting of its international imparting, they must prevent Lithuanian science from becoming detached within the borders of this country, isolated from the global scientific tendencies, and not oriented to the global scientific standards.

If the international imparting of the Lithuanian science is not prompted, not only would there appear conditions for the slow-down of development of Lithuanian science and its lagging behind the global tendencies of scientific progress: isolation of Lithuanian science, publishing the results of scientific activity only in Lithuania would create conditions for provincialism of Lithuanian science.

13. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue it should be noted that science and scientific research are a special sphere of creative activity of a human being, that spheres and subject areas of science are very diverse and each has its own specifics. For example, physical, biomedical and technological sciences, a big part of research made in these sciences, are oriented towards technological progress and results that may be applied technologically, while humanitarian and social sciences are mostly oriented towards problems of a particular national, cultural and political community, they reveal the historical change of this community, one of the most significant functions of such sciences is to search for social, political, ethical, aesthetic, cultural and other meanings, to create and convey common values, to sustain the value, cultural and national identity of society. The said specifics of spheres and subject areas of science determines also the specifics of the international imparting of results of these spheres and subject areas of science, i.e. due to their content and tasks a greater imparting of results is common to the physical, biomedical and technological sciences, meanwhile, the international imparting of humanitarian and social sciences is usually more complicated, inter alia, due to the fact that the results of their scientific research (namely due to their function) are often published in the official (state) language of a respective country (in Lithuania—in the Lithuanian language) and that results of these spheres of science are often not so much universal in comparison to the results of physical, biomedical and technological sciences, because, first of all, they are significant namely to the concrete national, cultural and political community.

The increasing specifics of certain spheres and subject areas of science, which is determined by development of science, implies a need for the differentiated legal regulation. This means that the Government, when establishing the minimum qualification requirements which should be met by scientists in order to become eligible for aspiring to a respective position at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state institutes of science and state educational establishments, may not establish absolutely identical requirements for all spheres and subject areas of science; the minimum qualification requirements not only may, but even must be differentiated by taking into account the specifics of the respective spheres and subject areas of science, which determine greater or smaller possibilities of their international imparting, as well.

14. In the cases where the Constitution requires the regulation of certain relations that are indicated therein namely by law, and when, under the Constitution, the regulation of such relations is not assigned to the exceptional competence of institutions exercising the state power, inter alia, the Government, the legislature may also establish in the law that certain relations are regulated by the Government or an institution authorised by it. In the Lithuanian legislation such law-making practice where the law sets forth that certain relations are regulated by the Government or an institution authorised by it is quite widespread.

If the legislature entrenches in the law the provision that certain relations “are regulated by the Government or an institution authorised by it”, this provisions means that: the Government enjoys the powers to regulate the relations indicated in the law either by itself or to establish by its resolution which institution has the powers (which institution may and must) regulate the relations indicated in the law; the Government, when authorising a certain institution to regulate the respective relations, may not assign it also with the regulation of the relations which, under the Constitution and laws, may be regulated only by legal acts the legal force of which is not less than that of government resolutions.

If heed is paid to the principle of the separation of powers and the requirements that stem from them, inter alia, the requirement not to regulate certain relations by means of substatutory legal acts if, under the Constitution, such relations may be regulated only by means of a law, if heed is paid to the prohibition on transferring to other institutions the powers that, under the Constitution, are exceptional competence of the Government, if heed is paid to the prohibition on transferring to other institutions the regulation of such relations which, under the Constitution and laws, may be regulated only by the legal acts the legal force of which is not less than that of government resolutions, then the aforementioned law-making practise as such is not inconsistent with the Constitution. However, in this context, it should be noted that from the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law stems also the fact that if the legislature entrenches in the law that certain relations are regulated by the Government or an institution authorised by it, then the Government, when adopting a resolution by which it authorises the respective institution to regulate certain relations, may authorise only such institution to regulate these relations, which performs such functions and/or has such other powers that are related to the regulation of the relations assigned to it by the government resolution (or which are closely related to such regulation). Also the legal regulation where the Government, while heeding the requirements and procedure established by law, would establish (if a necessity arises) a state institution, to which it would commission to regulate the relations provided for in the law, provided the Government or the institution authorised by it enjoys the powers to regulate such relations, would not be in conflict with the Constitution, either. It should also be noted that in case the legislature consolidates in the law that certain relations are regulated by the Government or an institution authorised by it and in case such substatutory regulation of relations is determined by the necessity to substantiate oneself by special knowledge or special (professional) competence in the course of law-making, from the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law it stems that when the Government adopts a decision whereby it empowers a certain institution to regulate certain relations, then it must be the institution which has this special (professional) competence that is necessary to regulate the relations assigned to it by the government resolution.

15. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it should be noted that the constitutional freedom of science and scientific research, autonomy of schools of higher education, other constitutional imperatives also imply that that a respective institution (institutions) representing the scientific and academic community, which is formed from the scientists elected or delegated by the scientific and academic community, may become established in Lithuania.

It has been mentioned that if a need arises to substantiate oneself by special knowledge and special (professional) competence, the legal regulation established by law in a particular sphere may be set in more detail and particularised in substatutory legal acts. It has been mentioned also that when the Government adopts a resolution, by which it authorises a respective institution to regulate certain relations, it should be the institution that has such special (professional) competence needed for the regulation of relations assigned to it by the government resolution.

One may absolutely reasonably presume that such institution (institutions) representing the scientific and academic community and which is formed from the scientists elected or delegated by the scientific and academic community should be considered namely the institution, which has the special (professional) competence needed for the regulation of relations in such a specific sphere of creative activity of a human being like science and/or academic activity, therefore, the law or a government resolution may establish various powers to this institution so that it could regulate respective relations related to science and/or academic activity, inter alia, the powers to set particular requirements that should be met by scientists in order to become eligible for aspiring to a respective position at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state institutes of science and state educational establishments, as well as the powers to set forth the spheres and subject areas of science, where due to their specifics the requirements established by government resolution may be applied differently.

16. According to Article 14 of the Constitution, Lithuanian shall be the state language. It should be noted that this article is presented in Chapter I of the Constitution, the provisions of which, as the ones that entrench the special constitutional values, are subject to the constitutional protection of higher level—they may be altered only by referendum (Paragraph 2 of Article 148 of the Constitution). The Lithuanian language is a special constitutional value, it is the basis of ethnic and cultural distinction of the Lithuanian Nation, the guarantee of the identity and survival of the Nation. The Lithuanian language protects the identity of the Nation, integrates the civil society, ensures the integrity and indivisibility of the state, the normal functioning of state and municipal establishments. The state language—the common Lithuanian language—is a means of legalising the sovereignty of the Nation and its dignified communication with the world. The status of the Lithuanian language as the state language means that one must ensure the functioning of the Lithuanian language in all spheres of public life.

It should be noted that the Constitution does not prohibit, but, on the contrary, especially having taken account of the membership of the Republic of Lithuania in the European Union, it even encourages one to establish by legal acts also the requirements related to holding respective positions at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state institutes of science and state educational establishments, which would prompt scientists to publish their scientific works not only in Lithuanian, but in other languages as well, and to arrange such publishing in authoritative scientific publications, recognised by the scientific society, and which are published both in Lithuania and abroad, too. Publishing the scientific works in foreign scientific publications, their publishing in various foreign languages, prompt Lithuanian scientists to examine problems that are significant not only to Lithuanian science, but to modern science in general, to participate in the general international process of creating science, to get involved in the turnover of knowledge and ideas, to search for new and original solutions, to strive for the recognition of their scientific research not only in Lithuania, but on the international level as well.

17. Doubtless to say, when establishing the requirements that should be met by the scientist in order to become eligible for aspiring to a respective position at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state institutes of science and state educational establishments, one may establish by means of government resolutions also the requirement, that the scientist who has published scientific works which are recognised as significant could aspire to the respective positions at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state institutes of science and state educational establishments. One may also establish by means of government resolutions the requirement that the scientists who have published scientific works in such scientific publications that are treated as authoritative by the scientific and academic community and in such scientific publications that are reviewed in various international databases, could aspire to a respective position at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state institutes of science and state educational establishments. The fact itself that scientific works are published in the publications that are recognised by the scientific and academic community as authoritative ones and that are reviewed in various international databases, gives reason to presume that these scientific works are significant.

Alongside, it should be noted that the requirements to have a certain number of scientific works published in publications that are reviewed in the international databases, may not be made absolute. The importance of scientific works should be assessed not only according to the fact that they are published in scientific publications that are reviewed in various international databases, but, first of all, according to their novelty, original ideas, fundamentality, impact upon formation of new spheres and/or subject areas of scientific research, etc.

In the constitutional justice case at issue, it should be noted that the mere fact that scientific works are not published in publications that are reviewed in the international databases does not mean in itself that these scientific works are insignificant.

Thus, if it is established in legal acts that the respective positions at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state institutes of science and state educational establishments may be held by the scientists who have published scientific works in the publications that are reviewed in the international databases, such requirement may not be made an absolute one, the said legal acts, alongside, also have to establish an alternative—other requirements related to the significance of scientific works, upon meeting which the scientists could hold a respective position.

It should be noted that after one has taken account of the fact that the discussed requirements are related to a possibility of holding the respective position at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state institutes of science and state educational establishments, the aforementioned alternative requirements should be such so as to ensure that the respective positions in the said institutions could be held by the scientists with the qualification necessary for that purpose. The most important criterion proving the scientist’s competence, of course, is the significance of scientific works published by him, and this importance may not be determined only according to the fact whether these scientific works have been published namely in the publications that are reviewed in the international databases. It is obvious that really significant scientific works are often published even in very authoritative scientific publications recognised by the scientific society at large that are not reviewed in the international databases, besides, really significant scientific works are often published in other ways (for example, by issuing a significant monograph or another publication, collections of articles by various authors, in which important problems are examined, etc.).

It should also be noted that the system of requirements, which should be met by the scientists in order to become eligible for holding a respective position at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state institutes of science and state educational establishments, may not be such, where the Lithuanian language is treated in the way that scientific works published in this language are considered not fully-fledged, second class works, as this would basically mean that it is the Lithuanian language—a special constitutional value—that is not fully-fledged or a second class language. This would not be in line with the constitutional status of the Lithuanian language as the state language.

On the other hand, the fact that in this ruling of the Constitutional Court one has held that the requirements to have a certain number of scientific works published in the publications that are reviewed in the international databases may not become absolute ones does not mean and may not be construed so that they are purportedly negative in themselves and that by them one purportedly violates the freedom of science and scientific research, autonomy of schools of higher education, the status of the Lithuanian as the state language, other constitutional values, and that such requirements are purportedly in themselves incompatible with the Constitution. As already mentioned, the said requirements may be established, but they may not be made absolute ones.

18. The spheres and subject areas of science, including the humanitarian and social science, are very diverse and have their own specifics. The specifics of humanitarian and social sciences are especially distinct. Only due to the reason that, as already mentioned, humanitarian and social sciences are oriented towards national, cultural and political problems of a certain community, that the results of their scientific research are often published in the official (state) language of a respective country, as well as that the results of these sciences are first of all important namely to the particular national, cultural and political community, the possibilities of international imparting of these sciences, including publishing in the publications that are reviewed in the international databases, are quite often more complicated and limited.

The specifics of spheres and subject areas of science, especially the specifics of the humanitarian and social sciences, which determine the fact that possibilities of scientists who work in these spheres and subject areas of science to publish the results of scientific research in the publications that are reviewed in the international databases are often more complicated and limited, imply the necessity to establish differentiated legal regulation of the respective relations. Such differentiated legal regulation means that the requirements, which should be met by the scientists in order to become eligible for the respective position at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state institutes of science and state educational establishments, may not be absolutely identical in regard to publishing scientific works and results of scientific research in all spheres and subject areas of science, including the publishing in the publications that are reviewed in the international databases as well.

In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue it should be noted that the aforementioned differentiated legal regulation must be applied to humanitarian and social sciences.

It should be noted that the Constitution does not prohibit the consolidation of the legal regulation, where the Government, upon taking account of specifics of spheres and subject areas of science, as well as upon taking account of the possibilities of publishing scientific works and results of scientific research in the publications that are reviewed in the international databases, establishes itself, by its resolution, differentiated minimum requirements applicable to various spheres or subject areas of science, which should be met by the scientists in order to become eligible for the respective positions at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state institutes of science and state educational establishments. It has been mentioned that one of such requirements could be the requirement to have scientific works published in the publications that are reviewed in the international databases, but this requirement, as already stated, may not be made an absolute one.

On the other hand, taking account of the fact that in order to establish the spheres and subject areas of science, in which possibilities of publishing the results of conducted scientific research in the publications that are reviewed in the international databases, are more difficult and limited due to the specifics of spheres and subject areas of science, special (professional) competence is necessary, one may, by government resolution, establish also the legal regulation stating that the institution (institutions) (which was already indicated in this ruling of the Constitutional Court) that represents the scientific and academic community and which is formed from authoritative scientists elected from the scientific and academic community or delegated by it, could establish the aforementioned spheres and subject areas of science, in which the respective requirements may be applied differently.

19. It should be especially stressed in the constitutional justice case at issue that the requirements established by the Government to publish scientific works in the publications that are reviewed in the international databases is only one of the ways permitted by the Constitution by which one may seek to prompt the imparting of Lithuanian science in the world and the participation of Lithuanian scientists in the international process of creation of science.

This way may not be made an absolute one. If this way is chosen, one can and must consolidate by legal acts other ways of prompting the imparting of Lithuanian science in the world. It is the competence of the respective law-making subjects to choose and establish such methods; they enjoy wide discretion in this area.

20. The provisions of Article 42 of the Constitution that science and research are free, the provision of Paragraph 3 of Article 40 of the Constitution that schools of higher education shall be granted autonomy, the constitutional imperatives of an open and harmonious society, and other provisions of the Constitution also imply that when deciding whether or not it is established in the law that one must establish a procedure, according to which one verifies (assesses) whether the scientist’s competence is sufficient so that he could become eligible for aspiring to respective positions at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state institutes of science and state educational establishments, one should attentively hear an opinion of the scientific and academic community and state and other authoritative scientific institutions uniting scientists of various spheres of science. When establishing this, it is important to assess also the experience of other countries, especially Members of the European Union, the tendencies that prevail in them, as well as the fact to what extent and how such experience must and may be applied in Lithuania. When one decides what requirements should be met by the scientist in order to make it possible to hold that his competence is the one, which is necessary for him to become eligible for aspiring to respective positions at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state institutes of science and state educational establishments, one should attentively hear opinion of the state and other authoritative scientific institutions uniting scientists of various spheres of science.

21. The legislature can consolidate in the law that one should establish a procedure in the course of the application of which one verifies (assesses) whether the qualification of the scientist is such so that he could aspire to corresponding positions at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state institutes of science and state educational establishments. However, it does not stem from the Constitution that the said requirements and the procedure of the verification of the qualification of the scientist itself should be consolidated only by means of a law. The establishment of such requirements, if, in the course of their establishment, one heeds the discussed imperatives that arise from the Constitution, is virtually part of the procedure of the implementation of the human right to aspire to a certain position at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state institutes of science and state educational establishments, therefore, such relations may also be regulated by means of government resolutions—substatutory legal acts. In addition, if such powers stem from laws and/or the government resolutions based on them, the said relations may be regulated by substatutory legal acts, which are issued by the institution (institutions) (which has also special (professional) competence necessary to regulate the relations in the sphere of science and/or academic activity and which has the powers to regulate certain relations linked with science and/or academic activity, which has been established to it by means of a law or a government resolution) representing the scientific and academic community and which is formed from the scientists elected or delegated by the scientific and academic community.

22. In the course of regulation of these relations (no matter by what legal acts they are regulated), one must heed the norms and principles of the Constitution, inter alia, the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law including, among other things, legal certainty, legal clarity, legal security, which implies the necessity to ensure the protection of legitimate expectations.

IV

On the compliance of Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure which was approved by the Government Resolution (No. 962) “On Approving the Habilitation Procedure” of 18 July 2003 to the extent that it prescribes that not less than two scientific articles must be published in the publications included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information with Article 14 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

1. The Habilitation Procedure which was approved by the Government Resolution (No. 962) “On Approving the Habilitation Procedure” of 18 July 2003 regulates, as it is specified in Item 1 thereof, the procedure, upon fulfilment of which it is determined whether a scientist meets the habilitation requirements and if he may participate in the competition for the position of the professor or chief scientific worker.

2. It has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that upon the entry into force of the Law on Science and Studies (wording of 11 June 2002), the notion “habilitation” which was employed in Articles 28 and 29 (wording of 21 December 2001) of the Law on Higher Education—because of the fact that, as mentioned before, one may state that the Government must establish the procedure, under which the degree of a habilitated doctor is granted—became deceptive and not suitable at all to describe the procedure for verification of the suitability of the scientist to hold the position of the professor or chief scientific worker, i.e. for the institute, to describe which it is used, and that in this context it is deficient and needs to be changed.

Thus, also the employment of this notion in the corresponding substatutory legal acts, as well as in the Government Resolution (No. 962) “On Approving the Habilitation Procedure” of 18 July 2003 and the Habilitation Procedure approved by it, needs to be corrected so that its title would reflect the essence of the corresponding institute, i.e. that the essence of the corresponding verification procedure is the verification for the suitability of the scientist to hold the position of the professor or chief scientific worker.

3. Taking account of the fact that government resolution No. 962 of 18 July 2003 is titled “On Approving the Habilitation Procedure”, and the act approved by it—the Habilitation Procedure—the compliance of the provisions of which with the Constitution is impugned, as well as of the fact that in the impugned provisions namely the notion “habilitation” is employed, in this constitutional justice case, while investigating the compliance of the impugned provisions of the Habilitation Procedure with the Constitution, for the sake of convenience, the notion “habilitation” will be employed, even though, as mentioned before, it is deceptive and deficient.

4. Item 3 of the Habilitation Procedure provides:

A scientist who seeks for habilitation, must meet the following requirements:

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

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

5. Item 3.1 of the Habilitation procedure establishes various requirements which must be fulfilled by the scientist so that he can perform the so-called habilitation procedure, during which it is verified whether his qualification is such so that he could aspire to the position of the professor or chief scientific worker.

It has been mentioned that the petitioner impugns the compliance of Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure with the Constitution to the extent that it prescribes that not less than two scientific articles must be published in the publications which are included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information; the compliance of other provisions of this item with the Constitution is not impugned by the petitioner.

6. It has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that, when forming and executing the scientific policy of the state, it is necessary to find the ways how, without deviating from the Constitution, to prompt the international imparting of Lithuanian science and its sufficient representation around the world, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, to prompt such scientific research which is significant to Lithuania, even if it virtually cannot arouse much interest among scientists and researchers of other states, and could not be imparted wider on the international level. It has been also held that, under the Constitution, it is not prohibited to establish by the legal acts of the state (its institutions) certain general minimum requirements which should be fulfilled by the scientists who seek to hold certain positions in state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state scientific institutes and state scientific establishments, and that one of such requirements may also be the requirement to have a certain amount of scientific works published in such publications which are assessed in the international databases.

In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it needs to be noted that the system of the requirements which must be fulfilled by the scientist so that he could aspire to the position of the professor or chief scientific worker must be such that it would be possible to assess whether the qualification of the scientist is really such that he is ready to hold the said positions of the professor or chief scientific worker. One of the requirements that must be fulfilled by the scientist may also be the requirement to have a certain amount of scientific works published in such publications which are assessed in the international databases.

However, it should be noted once again that the requirements (which are entrenched in the legal acts), whereby the scientist who seeks to hold certain positions in state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state scientific institutes and state scientific establishments, has to have a certain amount of scientific works published in such publications which are assessed in the international databases should not be regarded as absolute ones. The said formal requirements to have a certain amount of scientific works published in such publications which are assessed in the international databases may be one of the especially important criteria of the significance of scientific works, thus, also of the assessment of the qualification of the scientist. However, only the formal indicators such as a certain amount of published scientific works, their publishing in namely such publications which are assessed in the international databases, a certain period of time in which the scientific works must be published, etc. or such formal requirements as the one that the publication must be reviewed before publishing it, etc., not always permit revealing the real qualification of the scientist and the value and significance of his scientific works. The system of the requirements which must be fulfilled by the scientist so that he could aspire to the corresponding positions in state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state scientific institutes and state scientific establishments must be such that it would be possible to decide on the qualification and significance of the scientific work of the scientist not only from the amount of his published scientific works, as well as not only from the fact in what period of time these scientific works (scientific articles) are published and in what scientific publications (which are assessed in the international databases or which are not assessed in them) they are published, but, first of all, according to the value and significance of the scientific works published by the scientists, inter alia, according to their novelty, originality, fundamentality, influence on the formation of the new spheres of scientific research, etc. It has been mentioned that the mere fact that the scientific works are not published in the publications which are assessed in the international databases does not mean that such scientific works are insignificant. In order to assess the value, significance and quality of the scientific works, it is not enough that they meet some established formal requirements of imparting, including international imparting—in order to do that, first of all, an extremely qualified and impartial expertise assessment of the scientific works, including those which are published in the publications which are assessed in the international databases, is necessary. While creating a system of expertise assessment of scientific works, one must attentively hear an opinion of the scientific and academic community; the Constitution does not prohibit any such legal regulation, either, whereby it is an institution (or institutions) (which in reality represents scientific and academic community, which is formed from authoritative scientists), which would have the powers to establish systems of expertise assessment of scientific works, to entrench the criteria for assessment of scientific works and to regulate other most important relations linked to that. Especially, when one takes account of the principle of autonomy of schools of higher education consolidated in the Constitution, while taking account of the general main requirements which are established by an institution (or institutions), which in reality represents scientific and academic community, which is formed from authoritative scientists, also such legal regulation that the schools of higher education themselves could establish the specific criteria for assessment of the qualification of a scientist, would not be incompatible with the Constitution.

7. Under Item 1 of the Habilitation Procedure, the Habilitation Procedure regulates the procedure, upon fulfilment of which it is established whether a scientist meets the habilitation requirements and if he may participate in the competition for the position of the professor or chief scientific worker. It has been mentioned that the Habilitation Procedure does not regulate the granting of the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor which is implemented under the procedure established by other legal acts. Item 2 of the Habilitation procedure prescribes that “in this Procedure habilitation is recognition that the scientist, upon acquisition of the scientific degree of a doctor, has performed the works which are significant for subject areas of science or studies, is capable of presenting the results of his works and the problems of the branch (branches) of science in public in a methodically impeccable manner, has a reasoned programme of further scientific research and, thus, is ready to hold the position of the professor or chief scientific worker”.

Therefore, under Items 1 and 2 of the Habilitation Procedure, the scientists who, upon the performing of the habilitation procedure, are recognised as ready to hold the positions of the professor or chief scientific worker, may participate in the competition for the positions of the professor or chief scientific worker.

8. Under Item 3 of the Habilitation Procedure, the scientists who have fulfilled the requirements established in this item (Items 3.1 and 3.2 of the Habilitation Procedure) may aspire to habilitation.

Under Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure, the scientist who, upon being granted the degree of a doctor, has published a certain amount of scientific works, inter alia, not less than two articles, and in the cases discussed in this item—at least one article in the publication which is included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information—may seek habilitation. Thus, under the provisions of Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure, the scientist who has not published scientific articles (article) in the publication which is included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information may not seek habilitation. Not being able to seek habilitation, the scientist will also not have the right to aspire to the positions of the professor or chief scientific worker.

9. While deciding whether Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure, to the extent that it prescribes that not less than two articles should be published in the publications which are included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information is not in conflict with the Constitution, it should be noted that the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) is a private establishment which is founded in the United States of America and which provides paid services related to quotation indicators, an assessment of scientific publications and search for such information. The Institute for Scientific Information administers one of the international databases which is widely recognised on the international level and in which articles are registered from thousands of scientific magazines together with the quoted literature. The publications are included in the databases of this institute under the rules announced on the official website of this institute, while taking account of many quantitative and qualitative factors, inter alia, of the fact whether the topics which are considered in the articles published in the publication is newly revealed, whether the publication will really enrich the database, whether the articles which are published in the publication are often quoted in other publications, etc.

It needs to be noted that the database administered by the Institute for Scientific Information is only one of the international databases which is recognised on the international level. At present, it mostly includes publications which are issued in the English language. It is obvious from the material present in this constitutional justice case that the database of the Institute for Scientific Information, at the moment of consideration of this constitutional justice case, includes only 10 Lithuanian scientific magazines: Acta Zoologica Lituanica, Baltic Astronomy, Baltic Forestry, Biologija [Biology], Ekologija [Ecology], Geologija [Geology], Informatica, Problemos [Problems], Transformations in Business and Economics and Žuvininkystė Lietuvoje [Fishery in Lithuania]. Thus, a big part of spheres and subject areas of Lithuanian science do not have at all any scientific publications representing them, which are included in the database of the Institute for Scientific Information and in which it would be possible to publish scientific works in the Lithuanian language.

10. The requirement to have not less than two articles published, and in the cases discussed in this item—at least one article in the publication which is included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information which is enshrined in the provision of Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure which is impugned in this constitutional justice case, is equal to all spheres and subject areas of science, thus, both humanitarian and social sciences, whatever their specificity might be related, inter alia, to the possibilities of international imparting. It needs to be noted that this requirement is, first of all, related to the international imparting of Lithuanian scientific works and only partially—with their significance and quality. Even though it is not possible to oppose the international imparting and significance of scientific works (it has been mentioned that the fact that the scientific works are published in the publications which are recognised as authoritative by the scientific community and which are assessed in various international databases allows presuming that such scientific works are significant), these things should not be identified mechanically. In itself, the mere fact that the scientific works are not published in the publications which are assessed in the international databases (are included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information) does not mean that such scientific works, particularly, of the humanitarian or social sciences, are insignificant.

Significant scientific works, as mentioned before, may also be published in such specific publications, which are recognised as authoritative by the scientific community, which are not assessed in the international databases; they may be published also in other ways recognised by the scientific and academic community (for example, by issuing a significant monograph or other publication, collections of articles prepared by various authors, wherein significant issues are discussed, etc.).

It has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that the specificity of the spheres and directions of science also determines the specificity of their international imparting, that the imparting of humanitarian and social sciences is more difficult and limited, inter alia, due to the fact that this scientific research is, first of all, important for Lithuanian society and the State of Lithuania, the cognition of the community that lives in Lithuania, the search for social, political, ethical, aesthetical, cultural and other meanings, the formation and transfer of common values and the sustainability of the value, cultural and national identity, and their results are most often published namely in the Lithuanian language. It was also mentioned that while establishing minimum qualification requirements which must be fulfilled by the scientists so that they could aspire to the corresponding positions in state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state scientific institutes and state scientific establishments, no absolutely equal requirements may be established for all spheres and subject areas of science, that the minimum qualification requirements not only may, but also must be differentiated according to the specificity of the corresponding spheres and subject areas of science, which also implies that the possibilities of publishing their results in the publications which are assessed in the international databases are usually more difficult and limited.

Upon consolidation of the requirement in Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure to have a certain amount of scientific articles published in the publications which are included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information which is equally applied to all spheres and directions of science, as well as to the humanitarian and social sciences (scientists working in them), there occurs such legal situation, when one disregards the specificity of the separate spheres and subject areas of science (as well as the specificity of the humanitarian and social sciences) which implies, inter alia, that the possibilities of publishing their results in the publications which are assessed in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information are objectively more difficult and limited.

It needs also to be noted that upon the consolidation of the requirement in Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure for scientists who seek habilitation to have a certain amount of scientific articles published—not less than two scientific articles, and in cases discussed in the specified item—at least one article in a publication which is included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information, it is also prescribed that while one decides whether the qualification of the scientist is such that he could aspire to the position of the professor or chief scientific worker, not the value, significance and publication of his scientific works in authoritative scientific publications recognised by the scientific community (or publication of the significant scientific works in other ways recognised by the scientific community) is of essential importance, but the fact whether the scientific work is published precisely in such publication which is included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information. Although, as mentioned before, the fact that the scientific works are published in the publications which are recognised as authoritative by the scientific community and which are assessed in various international databases, permits one to presume that such scientific woks are significant, it is also impossible not to notice that such legal regulation groundlessly makes one of the requirements, which may be established by legal acts and which must be fulfilled by the scientist who seeks habilitation, i.e. the requirement to have not less than two scientific articles published, and in cases discussed in the specified item—at least one article in the publication which is included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information—absolute. Such a requirement should be regarded as disproportionate to the objective sought (even if it is socially important) and incompatible with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

11. While taking account of the arguments set forth, it should be held that Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure, to the extent that it is prescribed that only the scientists who published not less than two scientific articles, and in cases discussed in the specified item—at least one article in the publication which is included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information may seek for habilitation, and that it is not prescribed that also the scientists who published a certain established amount of significant scientific articles in the publications which are assessed in other recognised international databases may seek for habilitation, as well as that it is not prescribed that also those scientists who published significant scientific works in authoritative scientific publications recognised by the scientific community which are not assessed in the international databases, or who published these significant scientific works in other ways recognised by the scientific community, may seek habilitation is in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

This means that the provision “in both cases, it is compulsory that not less than 2 scientific articles be published in the publications which are included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information” and the provision “at least one of which must be published in the publication which is included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information” of Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure are in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

12. It needs to be noted that this statement of unconstitutionality may not be construed as purportedly the Constitution in general prohibits the establishment of the requirement that the scientist must have a certain amount of scientific works published in the publications which are included in the databases for the Institute for Scientific Information, or in such scientific publications which are assessed in various other international databases. Not the fact that such requirements are established is incompatible with the Constitution, but the fact that they, inter alia, the requirement to have a certain amount of scientific works published in the publications which are included in the databases for the Institute for Scientific Information are obviously made too absolute and that upon establishing the said requirement at the same time no alternative requirements are established which are related to the significance of the scientific works, upon fulfilment of which scientists could aspire for the corresponding positions.

13. One must also pay attention to the fact that while establishing in the legal acts also the requirements that the scientist who aspires to the corresponding positions in state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state scientific institutes and state scientific establishments has to have a certain amount of scientific works published in the publications which are assessed in the international databases, as well as in the publications which are included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information, one must also take account of the fact that there are various international databases in the world, in which various scientific publications are assessed. Thus, upon stipulating that the scientist who aspires to the corresponding positions in state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state scientific institutes and state scientific establishments has to have a certain amount of scientific works published in the publications which are assessed in international databases, such legal regulation implies, inter alia, the fact that while deciding which international databases are considered as recognised in Lithuania, one must take account of the specificity of the spheres and subject areas of science, particularly of the humanitarian and social science, which determines more difficult or even limited international imparting possibilities of the scientific works of the scientists who work in these spheres of science.

14. It needs also to be noted that upon consolidating in the legal acts also the requirement that the scientist who aspires to the corresponding positions in state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state scientific institutes and state scientific establishments has to have a certain amount (number) of scientific works published in the publications which are assessed in international databases, one may also establish such legal regulation whereby the corresponding international databases, particularly of the humanitarian and social science, may also be created in Lithuania—the scientific articles of the scientists, who work in the spheres of humanitarian and social sciences, which are published in the publications assessed in such databases could be considered as the articles, upon publishing which one could seek to hold the positions of the professor and chief scientific worker. If such requirement is entrenched, one should be even prompted to create the said international databases in Lithuania.

15. It needs to be noted that the list of the international databases which are considered as recognised and which is drawn by the Council of Science of Lithuania must be constantly revised and updated. While approving the list of the international databases which are considered as recognised in Lithuania, one should also specify the list of publications which are assessed in the said particular databases (at the corresponding period of time). Such legal regulation would create possibilities for the scientists who aspire to the positions in state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state scientific institutes and state scientific establishments to know in advance what publications which represent the sphere or subject area of their science are assessed in the international databases which are considered as recognised in Lithuania; this would, in its turn, prompt scientists to publish their scientific works namely in the publications, published in which their scientific works would be considered as meeting the requirements established in the legal acts so that they could aspire to the corresponding positions in state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state scientific institutes and state scientific establishments.

16. It should also be emphasised that while establishing the requirements which must be fulfilled by the scientist so that he could hold the corresponding positions in state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state scientific institutes and state scientific establishments, one may not establish any such legal regulation whereby the Lithuanian language would be considered as such language, where the scientific works published in it would be considered as not fully-fledged and second-class, as it would virtually mean that the Lithuanian language itself—a particular constitutional value—is considered as not fully-fledged and second-class. It could be incompatible with the constitutional status of the Lithuanian language, as the state language.

17. While deciding whether the impugned provision of Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure is not in conflict with Article 14 of the Constitution, it should be noted that the provision of Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure that not less than 2 scientific articles must be published in the publications which are included in the database of the Institute for Scientific Information, neither explicitly, nor implicitly consolidates any formal requirement to publish scientific articles only in any foreign language.

In addition, this item, in general, does not include the provisions in which it would be mentioned, in what language these scientific articles must be published, thus, the impugned provision of Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure does not prohibit their publication in any language, including the Lithuanian language, the only important thing is that they must be included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information.

18. The language in which the scientific articles are published, formally, is not the decisive criterion while choosing the publications and deciding whether the publication should be included in the database of the Institute for Scientific Information. The inclusion of the publication in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information is at least formally determined not by the language of the published scientific articles, but by the content of the scientific articles, thus, also that of the publication, the periodicity of its edition, the quotation data of the scientific articles published in it and other circumstances (even though the fact that this database is administered in the United States of America is not a non-significant circumstance, due to which the possibilities of the publications which are issued in the English language to be included in the database of the Institute for Scientific Information are incomparably greater than the possibilities of the publications issued in other languages, even if they are widely used). The mere fact that the publications, in which the scientific articles are published in the Lithuanian language have far fewer possibilities of being included in the database of the Institute for Scientific Information does not in itself mean that Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure, to the extent that it is prescribed that not less than 2 scientific articles must be published in the publications which are included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information denies the constitutional status of the Lithuanian language, as the state language.

19. While taking account of the arguments set forth, the conclusion should be drawn that Item 3.1 of the Habilitation Procedure, to the extent that it is prescribed that not less than 2 scientific articles must be published in the publications which are included in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information, is not in conflict with Article 14 of the Constitution.

V

On the compliance of Item 2.3.1 of the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 899) “On Approving the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Description of the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Description of the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities” in its new wording as set forth in the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 906) “On Amending the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 899) ‘On Approving the Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities’ of 11 July 2001” of 18 August 2005, and Items 2.2 and 2.5 of the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, Who Work in Humanitarian and Social Sciences approved by the same resolution (wording of 18 August 2005) with Article 14 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

1. Item 2.3 of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) prescribes, inter alia, that “when establishing qualification requirements for positions, institutions must take account of: 2.3.1. publishing scientific articles in the publications which are assessed by the Institute for Scientific Information and other recognised international databases, the list whereof is drawn by the Council of Science of Lithuania <…>”.

2. Item 2 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) prescribes, inter alia, that “when establishing qualification requirements for positions, institutions must take account of: <…> 2.2. scientific articles which were published in periodical and serial scientific publications or one-off scientific publications which are assessed by the Institute for Scientific Information and other recognised international databases, the list whereof is drawn by the Council of Science of Lithuania <…>.

Item 2 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) prescribes, inter alia, that “when establishing qualification requirements for positions, institutions must take account of: <…> 2.5. material of reports of scientific conferences, scientific reviews in periodical and serial scientific publications or one-off scientific publications which are issued in the publishing houses registered at the Publishers’ International ISBN Directory of the International ISBN Agency <…>, or in the publications which are assessed in the international databases <…>.

3. While one reveals what legal regulation is established in Item 2.3.1 of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005), the provisions of this item may not be construed in isolation from the provisions of Items 2.1 and 2.3 of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) and Items 2 and 3 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005), and while one reveals what legal regulation is established in Items 2.2 and 2.5 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005), the provisions thereof may not be construed in isolation from the provisions of Items 2 and 3 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) and Items 2.1 and 2.3 of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005).

4. Item 1.2 of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) approved the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, who Work in Humanitarian and Social Sciences.

5. It has been mentioned that, under Paragraph 1 (wording of 21 March 2000) of Article 28 of the Law on Higher Education, the positions of teachers of schools of higher education are the following: professor, associated professor, lecturer and assistant. The specified positions are different, thus, also the qualification requirements for these different positions may not be equal—they may and must be different.

6. It has been mentioned that, under Paragraph 1 (wording of 30 June 2005) of Article 29 of the Law on Higher Education, the scientific workers of the school of higher education shall be, inter alia, the following: scientists, who hold the positions of the chief scientific worker, senior scientific worker and scientific worker. The specified positions are different, thus, also the qualification requirements for these different positions may not be equal—they may and must be different.

7. Item 2.3 of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) establishes what must be regarded by the institutions, when they establish the qualification requirements. Under Item 2.3 of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005), while doing this, the institutions must take account of the following:

2.3.1. publishing the scientific works in the publications which are assessed in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information and other recognised international databases, the list whereof is drawn by the Council of Science of Lithuania;

2.3.2. preparation of common publications with the institutions of studies and science of other states;

2.3.3. writing monographs, textbooks and methodical aids;

2.3.4. participation in international scientific conferences;

2.3.5. works of experimental development and other works of applied scientific activity;

2.3.6. educational activity.”

Thus, the provision “when establishing qualification requirements for positions, institutions must take account of: 2.3.1. publishing scientific articles in the publications which are assessed by the Institute for Scientific Information and other recognised international databases, the list whereof is drawn by the Council of Science of Lithuania <…>” of Item 2.3 of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005), which is impugned by the petitioner, is only one of the requirements which must be taken into account by the institutions when they establish the qualification requirements for the positions.

8. Under Item 2.1 of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005), state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state scientific institutes and state scientific establishments must establish the qualification requirements for the positions of scientific workers, other researchers and teachers; under Item 2.2 of this government resolution No. 899 (wording of 18 August 2005), these requirements may not be of a lower level than the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, Who Work in Humanitarian and Social Sciences which was approved by this government resolution. The specified legal regulation means that state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state scientific institutes and state scientific establishments may also establish the qualification requirements for the positions of the scientific workers, other researchers and teachers, which are higher than those established by the government resolution.

9. Item 2 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) establishes the requirements which must be taken into account by the state institutions of science and studies when they establish the compulsory minimum qualification requirements for the positions of the scientific workers, other researchers and teachers who work in the spheres of humanitarian and social sciences. Item 2 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) provides:

When establishing qualification requirements for positions, institutions must take account of the following:

2.1. significant monographs of science, studies, fundamental and original theoretical scientific works (hereinafter referred to as scientific works);

2.2. scientific articles which were published in periodical and serial scientific publications or one-off scientific publications (hereinafter referred to as the scientific articles) which are assessed by the Institute for Scientific Information and other recognised international databases (hereinafter referred to as the international databases), the list whereof is drawn by the Council of Science of Lithuania;

2.3. significant publications of the sources of science and translations of scientific texts (hereinafter referred to as the publication of sources);

2.4. significant applied scientific publications and compiled scientific works (hereinafter referred to as the applied scientific works);

2.5. material of reports of scientific conferences, scientific reviews in periodical and serial scientific publications or one-off scientific publications which are issued in the publishing houses registered at the Publishers’ International ISBN Directory of the International ISBN Agency (hereinafter referred to as the recognised publishing houses), or in the publications which are assessed in the international databases;

2.6. significant scientific articles, published in periodical and serial scientific publications or one-off cultural and professional publications which are issued in the recognised publishing houses;

2.7. works of experimental development and other works of applied scientific activity;

2.8. participation in international scientific projects, international scientific conferences and scientific internships;

2.9. prepared textbooks and methodical aids;

2.10. participation in successful preparation of doctors of science;

2.11. scientific reviews and publications of popularisation of science which are published in the state language, and other educational activity.”

10. While comparing the requirements established in Item 2.3 of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) with the requirements established in Item 2 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005), it is obvious that the requirements specified in Item 2 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) are set forth in a different textual form than the requirements specified in Item 2.3 of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005), however, irrespective of the differences of the textual expression, the content of the requirements established in Item 2.3 of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) and in Item 2 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) are virtually identical.

11. Item 3 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) establishes the minimum qualification requirements for the persons who seek to participate in the competition for the positions of the scientific workers, other researchers and teachers. The following requirements are established for such persons in Item 3 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005):

(1) the scientists who, under the procedure established by the Government Resolution (No. 962) “On Approving the Habilitation Procedure” of 18 July 2003 have performed the habilitation procedure or have the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor and who, in the last 5 years, have fulfilled at least one of the following requirements: published a significant monograph of science, study, fundamental and original theoretical work of science issued in the recognised publishing house; published scientific articles in the periodical and serial scientific publications or one-off scientific publications which are assessed in international databases and successfully conducted the preparation of doctors of science or prepared methodical aids; published a significant work of science or a textbook for a school of higher education and at least one scientific article in the periodical or serial publication which is assessed in the international databases; published publications of significant sources of science or carried out significant applied scientific works and published at least one article in the publication which is assessed in the international databases, may aspire to the positions of the professor or chief scientific worker;

(2) the scientists who, upon being granted the degree of a doctor, have fulfilled at least one of the following requirements: published a significant monograph of science, study, fundamental and original theoretical work of science issued in the recognised publishing house; published scientific articles and prepared a methodical aid; published a work of science, textbook and a scientific article; published publications of significant sources of science or carried out significant applied scientific works and published at least one article may aspire to the positions of the associated professor or senior scientific worker;

(3) the scientists who, upon being granted the degree of a doctor, published a scientific work, a report or the publication of sources may aspire to the position of the scientific worker;

(4) the persons, who published a scientific work, a report or a publication of sources or who carried out other applied or research scientific works, may aspire to the positions of other researchers;

(5) the persons, who have not a lower qualification degree than the Master or other higher education equal to the latter, may aspire to the positions of the lecturer, assistant or junior scientific worker.

12. It is obvious from Item 3 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) that there are certain qualification requirements established for only the corresponding positions which must be fulfilled by the persons who seek to hold the said corresponding positions. These qualification requirements are not equal to all positions. For instance, the requirement to have some scientific articles published in the publications which are assessed in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information and other recognised international databases, the list whereof is drawn by the Council of Science of Lithuania, which is provided for in Item 2.3.1 of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) is, under Item 3 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005), applied only to the persons who seek to participate in the competition for the positions of the professor and chief scientific worker, and is not applied to the persons who seek to participate in the competitions for the positions of the associate professor, senior scientific worker, other researchers, lecturer, assistant or junior scientific worker; the requirement to have some scientific articles published in periodical and serial scientific publications which are assessed in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information and other recognised international databases, the list whereof is drawn by the Council of Science of Lithuania, which is provided for in Item 2.2 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005), is, under Item 3 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005), applied only to the persons who seek to participate in the competition for the positions of the professor or chief scientific worker, and it is not applied to the persons who seek to participate in the competition for the positions of the associate professor, senior scientific worker, other researchers, lecturer, assistant or junior scientific worker.

13. While assessing the legal regulation established in Item 2.3 of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) and in Items 2 and 3 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) in a systemic manner, it should be held that both Item 2.3 of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) and Items 2 and 3 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) establish not the list of the requirements which must be necessarily equally applied for each position of the scientific workers, other researchers and teachers of state institutions of science and studies, but only a general list for such requirements.

Thus, also the requirements which are established in Item 2.3.1 of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) and Items 2.2 and 2.5 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) are not necessarily equally applied for all the positions of the scientific workers, other researchers and teachers of the state institutions of science and studies, who work in the spheres of humanitarian and social sciences—the requirements established in the said items are also only of a general character. The particular requirements for each position of the scientific worker, other researcher and teacher are, as mentioned before, established not in Item 2.3.1 of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005), not in Items 2.2 and 2.5 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005), but in Item 3 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005). These requirements are different for different positions of the scientific workers, other researchers and teachers of state institutions of science and studies, who work in the spheres of humanitarian and social sciences.

In other words, the provisions of Item 2.3 of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) and Item 2 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) that when establishing the qualification requirements for the positions, the institutions must take account of the requirements specified in these items mean that, when establishing the qualification requirements for each particular position of the scientific workers, other researchers and teachers of state institutions of science and studies, the institutions must take account of the purpose and place of the said particular position in the general system of positions, and to choose, from the list of requirements enshrined in Item 2.3 of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) and Item 2 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005), such qualification requirements which are necessary for each particular position. While doing so, one must heed the requirements of Item 3 of the Description (18 August 2005). It has been mentioned that, under Item 2.2 of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005), the state institutions of science and studies have the powers also to establish the qualification requirements for the positions of scientific workers, other researchers and teachers, which are higher than those which are established by the government resolution.

14. While deciding whether the provisions impugned by the petitioner are not in conflict with Article 14 of the Constitution, under which Lithuanian shall be the state language, the fact that the provisions of Item 2.3.1 of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) and Items 2.2 and 2.5 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) neither explicitly, nor implicitly consolidate the requirement to publish scientific articles in foreign languages; that it is not mentioned in the impugned provisions at all in what language the scientific articles must be published; that under the impugned provisions, the scientific articles may be published in any language, thus, also in Lithuanian, but it is important that the publications in which the scientific articles are published would be assessed in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information, is of importance. Thus, there is no legal ground to state that by the impugned provisions of Item 2.3.1 of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) and Items 2.2 and 2.5 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005), the constitutional status of the Lithuanian language, as the state language, is disregarded, and thus, Article 14 of the Constitution is violated.

15. Taking account of the arguments set forth, the conclusion should be drawn that Item 2.3.1 of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) and the provisions “when establishing qualification requirements for positions, institutions must take account of <…> 2.2. scientific articles which were published in periodical and serial scientific publications or one-off scientific publications which are assessed by the Institute for Scientific Information and other recognised international databases, the list whereof is drawn by the Council of Science of Lithuania <…>; <…> 2.5. material of reports of scientific conferences, scientific reviews <…> in the publications which are assessed in the international databases <…>” of Item 2 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) are not in conflict with Article 14 of the Constitution.

16. It has been mentioned that the petitioner doubts whether Item 2.3.1 of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) and Items 2.2 and 2.5 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) are not in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

The petitioner grounds his doubts regarding the compliance of Item 2.3.1 of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) and Items 2.2 and 2.5 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law on the fact that:

the minimum qualification requirements, which must be regarded by the institutions when they establish the qualification requirements for the positions, are established by government resolution and not by law;

the impugned provisions of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) establish the powers for the Council of Science of Lithuania to establish the list of the recognised international databases without enshrining the criteria, under which it must be done and, according to the petitioner, without providing for the periods of time for this implementation in advance, i.e. these provisions establish the powers for the Council of Science of Lithuania to regulate, at its own discretion, the relations which are linked to the right of a person to freely choose a certain occupation by issuing its legal acts, which are of even lower legal force than government acts;

the formulas “the publications which are assessed by the Institute for Scientific Information <…> databases”, “the publications which are assessed <…> in other recognised international databases” which are employed in Item 2.3.1 of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) and the formula “the publications which are assessed in the international databases” which is employed in Item 2.5 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005), according to the petitioner, give the right to the Council of Science of Lithuania to detail, at its own discretion, some of such formulas (for example, the formula “other recognised databases”), and thus, legal uncertainty may occur, as it is not clear for the scientists, teachers and the persons who seek to become scientists and teachers, in which state and in what language the (serial) publication (which is traditionally considered as prestigious) of the scientific works of social and humanitarian sciences is or will be included in the international database.

17. It has been mentioned that the Constitution does not prohibit establishing by legal acts certain general minimum requirements which should be fulfilled by the scientists who seek to hold certain positions in state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state scientific institutes and state scientific establishments; that the general minimum requirements for the scientists who aspire to hold certain positions at state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state scientific institutes and state scientific establishments is a part of the procedure for implementation of the constitutional right of a human being to freely choose an occupation and that it does not stem from the Constitution that such relations are regulated namely by means of a law, and that such relations may be regulated also by government resolutions—substatutory legal acts. It was also mentioned that the powers of the Government to establish the general minimum requirements which must be fulfilled by the scientists so that they could aspire to the corresponding positions in state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state scientific institutes and state scientific establishments may stem only from the law.

18. It has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that in the Preamble to government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) it is, inter alia, specified that this government resolution is adopted pursuant to Paragraph 3 of Article 27 (wording of 30 June 2005) of the Law on Higher Education, which prescribes that “the Government or an institution authorised by it shall establish the minimum qualification requirements <…> for the positions of teachers and scientific workers <…>”, and Paragraph 3 (wording of 21 December 2001) of Article 28, under which, the scientist who meets the qualification requirements for the position of the professor and who has fulfilled the requirements for habilitation, the procedure of which is established by the Government upon taking account of the proposals of the Council of Science of Lithuania, the Conference of Lithuanian University Rectors and the Council of Higher Education, can hold the position of the professor; government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) was adopted also pursuant to Paragraph 1 (wording of 30 June 2005) of Article 33 of the Law on Science and Studies, in which it is prescribed that “the minimum qualification requirements <…> for the positions of researchers <…> shall be established by the Government or an institution authorised by it”.

Thus, there is no ground to state that certain general minimum qualification requirements which must be fulfilled by the scientists so that they could aspire to the corresponding positions in state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state scientific institutes and state scientific establishments must be established namely by means of a law and that it is not possible to establish such requirements by government resolution. There is also no ground to state that when issuing government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005), the compliance of Item 2.3.1 whereof with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law is impugned by the petitioner, as well as when approving the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) the compliance of Items 2.2 and 2.5 whereof with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law is impugned by the petitioner, the Government could not do that under the Constitution, or that while issuing the said resolution, the Government exceeded the powers to establish the minimum qualification requirements for the positions which are consolidated to it in the Law on Higher Education and the Law on Science and Studies.

19. It has been mentioned that in the cases when the Constitution does not require that certain relations which are specified in the Constitution be regulated namely by law, and when, under the Constitution, the regulation of such relations is not assigned to the exceptional competence of the Government, the legislature may also establish in the law that the Government or an institution authorised by it shall regulate certain relations; that the provision “the Government or an institution authorised by it shall regulate” means that the Government has the right to regulate (may and must regulate) the relations specified in the law by itself or that it may establish by its resolution as to what institution has the powers to regulate (may and must regulate) the relations specified in the law; that this provision also means that the Government has the right to regulate (may and must regulate) part of the relations specified in the law itself and that it can authorise any other institution to regulate some relations specified expressis verbis in the law and the relations which stem from the relations which are expressis verbis specified in the law (the relations which make part of the relations which are expressis verbis specified in the law); that the Government, while authorising any other institution to regulate the corresponding relations, may not commission it to regulate also such relations, which may be regulated by only the legal acts which are of not lower legal force than government resolutions.

20. Under Item 2 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005), “when establishing qualification requirements for positions, institutions must take account of <…>

2.5. material of reports of scientific conferences, scientific reviews <…> in the publications which are assessed in the international databases <…>”. When revealing what international databases are mentioned in Item 2.5 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005), the provisions of this item may not be construed in isolation from the provisions of Item 2.3.1 of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) and Item 2.2 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005), from which it is obvious that the international databases which are mentioned in Item 2.5 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) are the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information and other recognised international databases, the list whereof is drawn by the Council of Science of Lithuania.

21. While deciding whether the Council of Science of Lithuania may have the powers to draw the list of the recognised international databases, the scientific articles published in the publications assessed in which are regarded as the ones that should be taken into consideration in the course of assessment of the qualification of the scientific workers, other researchers and teachers, one is, first of all, to emphasise that the fact that a situation, where the list of the recognised international databases are not drawn in Lithuania, is impossible, as the necessity to draw the said list of the recognised international databases stems from the requirement enshrined in Item 2.3.1 of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) that when establishing the qualification requirements for the positions, the institutions must take account of the publication of the scientific articles namely in such publications which are assessed in the recognised international databases. It is obvious that upon consolidating the requirement that the institutions, when establishing the qualification requirements for the positions, must take account of the publication of the scientific articles namely in such publications which are assessed in the recognised international databases, it must be also established by the legal acts, what international databases are considered as recognised in Lithuania. The specification which international databases are considered as recognised in Lithuania is not the establishment of the new requirement which must be fulfilled by the scientists so that they could aspire to the corresponding positions in the institutions of science and studies. That is only the implementation of the requirement to take account of the publication of the scientific articles namely in such publications which are assessed in the recognised international databases which is entrenched in Item 2.3.1 of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005).

It is also important that, as it has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court, the constitutional freedom of science and scientific research, autonomy of schools of higher education, other constitutional imperatives imply also the fact that a respective institution (institutions) representing the scientific and academic community and which is formed from the scientists elected or delegated by the scientific and academic community, may be established in Lithuania. At present, such institution representing the scientific and academic community of Lithuania is the Council of Science of Lithuania which is generally defined as an advisor to the Seimas and the Government and which performs the functions of the scientific expert on the questions of science, studies and the policy of experimental development (Article 11 (wording of 11 June 2002) of the Law on Science and Studies).

It has been mentioned that if a need arises to substantiate oneself by special knowledge and special (professional) competence in law-making, the legal regulation established by the laws in a certain sphere may be set in more detail and particularised in substatutory legal acts, that in such case, the Government, when adopting a resolution, by which it authorises a respective institution to regulate certain relations, it should be the institution that has such special (professional) competence needed for the regulation of relations assigned to it by the government resolution.

There is no legal ground to state that the Council of Science of Lithuania which is formed from authoritative scientists, and which is also an advisor to the Seimas and the Government and performs the functions of the scientific expert on the questions of science, studies and the policy of experimental development, does not have any special (professional) competence which is necessary to regulate the relations in such specific sphere of the creative activity—scientific and academic activity—of the human being. The fact that the Council of Science of Lithuania is “the advisor to the Seimas and the Government and performs the functions of the scientific expert on the questions of science, studies and the policy of experimental development” implies that various powers to regulate the corresponding relations in the sphere of science, inter alia, the powers to establish certain requirements which must be fulfilled by the scientist so that he could aspire to the corresponding positions in state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state scientific institutes and state scientific establishments may be established for the Council of Science of Lithuania by means of a law or a government resolution. The Council of Science of Lithuania may also be, by means of a government resolution, granted the powers to provide for those spheres and subject areas of science, in which—taking account of their specificity, as well as of the fact that, as mentioned before, their possibilities of publishing the results of the scientific research in such publications which are assessed in the international databases, as well as in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information, quite often are more difficult and limited—some of the requirements which are established by the government resolution may be applied in a different manner. The government resolution may also enshrine the powers of the Council of Science of Lithuania to establish a list of the international databases, which, in Lithuania, are considered as recognised.

22. While taking account of the specified arguments, there is no ground to state that the Council of Science of Lithuania may not, by means of a government resolution, be granted the powers to draw the list of the international databases, which, in Lithuania, are considered as recognised.

23. It has been mentioned that the petitioner doubts whether the Council of Science of Lithuania may be assigned by government resolution to establish a list of the recognised international databases without prior consolidation of the criteria under which that should be done.

23.1. It needs to be noted that in the sphere of science, there are various international databases, as for instance: of the whole text and bibliographic, universal and of a certain branch (thematic), paid and of free access. International databases are administered by various subjects, which carry out a certain selection of the scientific publications (the articles published in them). International databases may assess most varied scientific publications.

In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it needs to be noted that while deciding what databases should be assigned to the international databases which are recognised in Lithuania (i.e. such databases, which give assessment to the publications in which the scientific articles are published, which are taken into consideration when deciding whether the qualification of the scientist is such that he could hold the corresponding positions in state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state scientific institutes and state scientific establishments), one must perform the assessment of various existing international databases. While performing such assessment, one must refer to certain assessment (selection) criteria.

It is obvious that while establishing the criteria, under which it is assessed whether a certain international database should be assigned to such databases, which give assessment to the publications in which the scientific articles are published, which are taken into consideration when deciding whether the qualification of the scientist is such that he could hold the corresponding positions in state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state scientific institutes and state scientific establishments, certain special knowledge, certain scientific qualification and special (professional) competence are necessary.

23.2. It has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that there is no ground to state that that the Council of Science of Lithuania may not be granted, by government resolution, the powers to draw the list of the international databases, which, in Lithuania, are considered as recognised.

It should be noted that the provision enshrined in the government resolution that the list of the recognised international databases shall be drawn by the Council of Science of Lithuania also implies such implicit legal regulation that the Council of Science of Lithuania has the powers to establish by itself the assessment (selection) criteria, following which it assigns a certain international database to the so-called recognised international databases, i.e. such databases, which give assessment to the publications in which the scientific articles are published, which are taken into consideration when deciding whether the qualification of the scientist is such that he could hold the corresponding positions in state schools of higher education, scientific institutes under state universities, state scientific institutes and state scientific establishments and that he could seek for habilitation.

23.3. Thus, when the Government establishes such legal regulation that when assessing the qualification of the scientific workers, other researchers and teachers, one takes account of the fact whether the scientific articles are published in such publications which are assessed in the recognised international databases, and when one enshrines the provision that the Council of Science of Lithuania shall draw the list of the recognised international databases, the criteria of the assessment (selection) of such international databases not necessarily have to be established by the Government. The criteria, following which the international databases are assigned to the recognised international bases, may also be established by the Council of Science of Lithuania itself, upon taking account of the proposals of various institutions of science and studies, as well as of the associations which unite scientists of separate spheres of science.

24. It has been mentioned that the Institute for Scientific Information is a private establishment which provides paid service related to quotation indicators, an assessment of scientific publications and search for such information. The Institute for Scientific Information administers one of the international databases which is widely recognised on the international level and in which articles are registered from thousands of scientific magazines together with the quoted literature. The publications are included in the databases of this institute under the rules announced on the official website of this institute, while taking account of many quantitative and qualitative factors, inter alia, of the fact whether the topics which are considered in the articles published in the publication are newly revealed, whether the publication will really enrich the database, whether the articles which are published in the publication are often quoted in other publications, etc.

On 19 December 2005, the Council of Science adopted the Resolution (No. VI-24) “On the List of International Databases” whereby it established the list of the international databases, which give assessment to the publications in which the scientific articles are published, which may be recognised as suitable when assessing the qualification of the scientific workers, other researchers and teachers. This list of the international databases was supplemented by the Resolution of the Council of Science of Lithuania (No. VI-30) “On Supplementing the List of International Databases” of 24 April 2006.

While deciding whether Item 2.3.1 of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) and Items 2.2 and 2.5 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) are not in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, in the aspect that they enshrine the formulas “the publications which are assessed in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information <…>”, “the publications which are assessed <…> in other recognised international databases”, and “the publications which are assessed in the international databases” which, according to the petitioner, gives rise to legal uncertainty, as it is not clear for the scientists, teachers and the persons who seek to become scientists and teachers, in which state and in what language published a (serial) publication (which is traditionally considered as prestigious) of the scientific works of social and humanitarian sciences is or will be included in the international database, an important circumstance is the fact that the Council of Science of Lithuania, upon drawing the list of the recognised international databases, publishes this list in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”. For instance, the Resolution of the Council of Science of Lithuania (No. VI-24) “On the List of International Databases” of 19 December 2005 is published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” of 31 December 2005 (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2005, No. 153-5669). the Resolution of the Council of Science of Lithuania (No. VI-30) “On Supplementing the List of International Databases” of 24 April 2006 is published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” of 18 May 2006 (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2006, No. 56-2017). Thus, the list of international databases is public, it is universally freely accessible.

25. While taking account of the specified arguments, there is no ground to state that the content of the formulas “the publications which are assessed in the databases of the Institute for Scientific Information <…>” and “the publications which are assessed <…> in other recognised international databases” employed in Item 2.3.1 of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) and Item 2.2 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) and the formula “the publications which are assessed in the international databases” employed in Item 2.5 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) is not defined clearly enough.

Therefore, Item 2.3.1 of government resolution No. 899 of 11 July 2001 (wording of 18 August 2005) and Items 2.2 and 2.5 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) in the said aspect are not in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law. The conclusion should also be drawn that the provisions “when establishing qualification requirements for positions, institutions must take account of: <…> 2.2. scientific articles which were published in periodical and serial scientific publications or one-off scientific publications which are assessed by the Institute for Scientific Information and other recognised international databases, the list whereof is drawn by the Council of Science of Lithuania <…>; <…> 2.5. material of reports of scientific conferences, scientific reviews <…> in the publications which are assessed in the international databases <…>” of Item 2 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) are not in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

VI

On the compliance of Items 3.1.2, 3.1.3 and 3.1.4 of the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, Who Work in Humanitarian and Social Sciences (wording of 18 August 2005) approved by the Government Resolution (No. 899) “On Approving the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Description of the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Description of the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities” of 11 July 2001 in its new wording as set forth by the Government Resolution (No. 906) “On Amending the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 899) ‘On Approving the Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities’ of 11 July 2001” of 18 August 2005 with Article 14 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

1. Item 3 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) provides:

The following minimum qualification requirements for the persons who seek to participate in the competitions to hold the positions of scientific workers, other researchers and teachers shall be established:

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

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

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

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

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

may aspire to the positions of the professor or chief scientific worker;

3.2. the scientists who, upon being granted the degree of a doctor, have fulfilled at least one of the following requirements:

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

3.2.2. published scientific articles and prepared a methodical aid;

3.2.3. published a work of science, textbook and a scientific article;

3.2.4. published publications of significant sources of science or have carried out significant applied scientific works and published at least one article

may aspire to the positions of the associated professor or senior scientific worker;

3.3. the scientists who, upon being granted the degree of a doctor, published a scientific work, a report or a publication of sources may aspire to the position of the scientific worker;

3.4. the persons, who published a scientific work, a report or a publication of sources or who have carried out other applied or research scientific works, may aspire to the positions of other researchers;

3.5. the persons, who have not a lower qualification degree than the Master or other higher education equal to the latter, may aspire to the positions of the lecturer, assistant or junior scientific worker. These persons shall be certified according to the requirements established by the senate of the institution (academic council or council).”

2. It is obvious from the petition of the petitioner that, in this constitutional justice case, the Constitutional Court is requested to investigate whether the provisions that the scientists who have performed the habilitation procedure or have the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor and who in the last 5 years have fulfilled at least one of the following requirements: “3.1.2. published scientific articles in the periodical, serial or one-off publications which are assessed in the international databases <…>”; “3.1.3. published <…> and at least one scientific article in the periodical or serial publication which is assessed in the international database”; and “3.1.4. <…> and published at least one article in the publication which is assessed in the international database” may aspire to the positions of the professor or chief scientific worker of Item 3.1 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) are not in conflict with the Constitution.

3. It has been mentioned that the Constitutional Court is requested to investigate the compliance of the specified provisions of Item 3.1 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) with the Constitution only in the aspect that upon consolidation in these provisions that only the scientists who published their scientific articles namely in the publications which are assessed in the international databases may aspire to the positions of the professor or chief scientific worker, the constitutional status of the Lithuanian language, as the state language, is violated.

4. While deciding whether the provisions that the scientists who have performed the habilitation procedure or have the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor and who in the last 5 years have fulfilled at least one of the following requirements: “3.1.2. published scientific articles in the periodical, serial or one-off publications which are assessed in the international databases <…>”; “3.1.3. published <…> and at least one scientific article in the periodical or serial publication which is assessed in the international databases”; and “3.1.4. <…> and published at least one article in the publication which is assessed in the international databases” may aspire to the positions of the professor or chief scientific worker of Item 3.1 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) are not in conflict with the Constitution, it is of essential importance that under Item 3.1 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005), the scientist who has performed the habilitation procedure or has a scientific degree of a habilitated doctor and who seek for the position of the professor or chief scientific worker, does not necessarily have to fulfil all the requirements specified in Item 3.1 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005). Under Item 3.1 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005), the scientist who, under the established procedure, has performed the habilitation procedure or has the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor may aspire to the positions of the professor or chief scientific worker, if in the last 5 years he has fulfilled at least one of the requirements enshrined in Item 3.1. One of the requirements enshrined in Item 3.1 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) is as follows: to have published “a significant monograph of science, study, fundamental and original theoretical work of science issued in the recognised publishing house” (Item 3.1.1 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005)). Thus, under Item 3.1.1 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005), only the scientists who published a significant monograph of science, study, fundamental and original theoretical work of science, which are written in Lithuanian or in any other language and which are issued in Lithuania or any other foreign country, may aspire to the positions of the professor or chief scientific worker; the aforementioned work, as mentioned before, must be issued in a recognised publishing house.

5. The legal regulation established in Items 3.1.2, 3.1.3 and 3.1.4 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) which is assessed together with the legal regulation established in entire Item 3 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) and in Item 3.1.1 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) does not prevent also the scientists who have not published scientific articles in such scientific publications which are assessed in the international databases from aspiring to the positions of the professor or chief scientific worker.

It is also important that the provisions of Items 3.1.2, 3.1.3 and 3.1.4 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) do not enshrine that the scientific articles must be published in the publications assessed in the international databases namely in any foreign language and not in the Lithuanian language. The requirement of prohibiting the publication of scientific articles in the Lithuanian language exists neither in the impugned provisions of Item 3.1 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) nor in other provisions of the Description. In itself, the mere fact that publishing the scientific articles in the publications in Lithuanian may aggravate, and quite often aggravates the possibilities of assessing such publications in the international databases, may not be a sufficient ground to state that in such a manner the status of the Lithuanian language as the state language is disregarded.

6. While taking account of the arguments set forth, the conclusion should be drawn that the provisions that the scientists who have performed the habilitation procedure or have the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor and who in the last 5 years have fulfilled at least one of the following requirements: “3.1.2. published scientific articles in the periodical, serial or one-off publications which are assessed in the international databases <…>”; “3.1.3. published <…> and at least one scientific article in the periodical or serial publication which is assessed in the international databases”; and “3.1.4. <…> and published at least one article in the publication which is assessed in the international databases” may aspire to the positions of the professor or chief scientific worker of Item 3.1 of the Description (wording of 18 August 2005) are not in conflict with Article 14 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 Item 2.3.1 of the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 899) “On Approving the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Description of the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Description of the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities” of 11 July 2001 in its new wording as set forth in the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 906) “On Amending the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 899) ‘On Approving the Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities’ of 11 July 2001” of 18 August 2005 (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2005, No. 102-3786) is not in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

2. To recognise that the provisions “when establishing qualification requirements for positions, institutions must take account of <…> 2.2. scientific articles which were published in periodical and serial scientific publications or one-off scientific publications which are assessed by the Institute for Scientific Information and other recognised international databases, the list whereof is drawn by the Council of Science of Lithuania <…>; <…> 2.5. material of reports of scientific conferences, scientific reviews <…> in the publications which are assessed in the international databases <…>” of Item 2 of the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, Who Work in Humanitarian and Social Sciences (wording of 18 August 2005) as approved by the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 899) “On Approving the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Description of the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Description of the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities” of 11 July 2001 in its new wording set forth in the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 906) “On Amending the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 899) ‘On Approving the Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities’ of 11 July 2001” of 18 August 2005 (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2005, No. 102-3786) are not in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

3. To recognise that the provisions that the scientists who have performed the habilitation procedure or have the scientific degree of a habilitated doctor and who in the last 5 years have fulfilled at least one of the following requirements: “3.1.2. published scientific articles in the periodical, serial or one-off publications which are assessed in the international databases <…>”; “3.1.3. published <…> and at least one scientific article in the periodical or serial publication which is assessed in the international databases”; and “3.1.4. <…> and published at least one article in the publication which is assessed in the international databases” may aspire to the positions of the professor or chief scientific worker of Item 3.1 of the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, Who Work in Humanitarian and Social Sciences (wording of 18 August 2005) which was approved by the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 899) “On Approving the Description of Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Description of the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Description of the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities” of 11 July 2001 in its new wording set forth in the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 906) “On Amending the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 899) ‘On Approving the Minimum Qualification Requirements for the Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies, the Procedure for Organisation of Competitions for Positions of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers at State Institutions of Science and Studies and of Certification of Scientific Workers, Other Researchers and Teachers, and the Procedure for Awarding Pedagogical Degrees in Universities’ of 11 July 2001” of 18 August 2005 (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2005, No. 102-3786) are not in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

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

                                                                                       Egidijus Kūris

                                                                                       Kęstutis Lapinskas

                                                                                       Zenonas Namavičius

                                                                                       Ramutė Ruškytė

                                                                                       Vytautas Sinkevičius

                                                                                       Stasys Stačiokas

                                                                                       Romualdas Kęstutis Urbaitis