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On refusing to consider a petition

 

THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

DECISION

ON THE PETITION OF THE VILNIUS REGIONAL ADMINISTRATIVE COURT, THE PETITIONER, REQUESTING AN INVESTIGATION INTO WHETHER ITEM 5 OF PARAGRAPH 1 OF ARTICLE 19, PARAGRAPH 2 OF ARTICLE 23, PARAGRAPH 2 OF ARTICLE 24, PARAGRAPH 6 OF ARTICLE 25 PARAGRAPH 1 OF ARTICLE 30, PARAGRAPH 2 OF ARTICLE 36, PARAGRAPH 1 OF ARTICLE 40, AND PARAGRAPH 1 OF ARTICLE 41 OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA’S LAW ON COMPETITION ARE NOT IN CONFLICT WITH PARAGRAPH 1 OF ARTICLE 31, PARAGRAPH 1 OF ARTICLE 109 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA AND THE CONSTITUTIONAL PRINCIPLE OF A STATE UNDER THE RULE OF LAW, INTO WHETHER PARAGRAPH 3 OF ARTICLE 42 OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA’S LAW ON COMPETITION IS NOT IN CONFLICT WITH THE CONSTITUTIONAL PRINCIPLES OF JUSTICE AND A STATE UNDER THE RULE OF LAW, INTO WHETHER PARAGRAPH 5 OF ARTICLE 42 OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA’S LAW ON COMPETITION, THE RESOLUTION OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA (NO. 1591) “ON THE APPROVAL OF THE RULES FOR SETTING THE SIZE OF A FINE IMPOSED FOR VIOLATION OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA’S LAW ON COMPETITION” OF 6 DECEMBER 2004 AND THE RULES FOR SETTING THE SIZE OF A FINE IMPOSED FOR VIOLATION OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA’S LAW ON COMPETITION AS APPROVED BY THIS GOVERNMENT RESOLUTION ARE NOT IN CONFLICT WITH PARAGRAPH 4 OF ARTICLE 31 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA AND THE CONSTITUTIONAL PRINCIPLE OF A STATE UNDER THE RULE OF LAW

 

31 January 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

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, in its procedural sitting, has considered the petition (No. 1B-02) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether:

1) Item 5 of Paragraph 1 of Article 19, Paragraph 2 of Article 36, Paragraph 1 of Article 40, and Paragraph 1 of Article 41 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Competition to the extent that, according to the petitioner, they grant the right to the Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania, which is not an independent and impartial court, to decide issues of guilt of an economic subject and to impose a fine, which amounts up to 10 percent of gross annual income of the economic subject during the preceding economic year, are not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 31 and Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, as well as the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

2) Item 5 of Paragraph 1 of Article 19, Paragraph 2 of Article 23, Paragraph 2 of Article 24, Paragraph 6 of Article 25, Paragraph 1 of Article 30, Paragraph 2 of Article 36, Paragraph 1 of Article 40, and Paragraph 1 of Article 41 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Competition, to the extent that, according to the petitioner, they grant the right to the Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania to perform actions of investigation, as well as to state the existence of a violation and impose a sanction, thus failing to ensure an independent and impartial hearing of the case at the Competition Council, are not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 31 and Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, as well as the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

3) Paragraph 5 of Article 42 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Competition and the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 1591) “On the Approval of the Rules for Setting the Size of a Fine Imposed for Violation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Competition” of 6 December 2004, which was adopted on the basis of the aforementioned paragraph, and the Rules for Setting the Size of a Fine Imposed for Violation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Competition, as approved by this resolution, to the extent that, according to the petitioner, the rules of setting the size of a fine are not approved by law, are not in conflict with Paragraph 4 of Article 31 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

4) Paragraph 3 of Article 42 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Competition to the extent that, according to the petitioner, it establishes the repetition as an aggravating circumstance, however, it does not define a period of time, upon the expiry of which a new violation by the economic subject would not be considered a repeated violation, is not in conflict with the constitutional principles of justice and a state under the rule of law.

The Constitutional Court

has established:

The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, considered an administrative case. By its ruling, the said court suspended the consideration of the case and applied to the Constitutional Court with the petition requesting an investigation into whether:

1) Item 5 of Paragraph 1 of Article 19, Paragraph 2 of Article 36, Paragraph 1 of Article 40, and Paragraph 1 of Article 41 of the Law on Competition to the extent that, according to the petitioner, they grant the right to the Competition Council, which is not an independent and impartial court, to decide issues of guilt of an economic subject and to impose a fine, which amounts up to 10 percent of gross annual income of the economic subject during the preceding economic year, are not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 31 and Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of the Constitution, as well as the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

2) Item 5 of Paragraph 1 of Article 19, Paragraph 2 of Article 23, Paragraph 2 of Article 24, Paragraph 6 of Article 25, Paragraph 1 of Article 30, Paragraph 2 of Article 36, Paragraph 1 of Article 40, and Paragraph 1 of Article 41 of the Law on Competition, to the extent that, according to the petitioner, they grant the right to the Competition Council to perform actions of investigation, as well as to state the existence of a violation and impose a sanction, thus failing to ensure an independent and impartial hearing of the case at the Competition Council, are not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 31 and Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of the Constitution, as well as the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

3) Paragraph 5 of Article 42 of the Law on Competition and the Government Resolution (No. 1591) “On the Approval of the Rules for Setting the Size of a Fine Imposed for Violation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Competition” of 6 December 2004, which was adopted on the basis of the aforementioned paragraph, and the Rules for Setting the Size of a Fine Imposed for Violation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Competition, as approved by this resolution, to the extent that, according to the petitioner, the rules of setting the size of a fine are not approved by law, are not in conflict with Paragraph 4 of Article 31 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

4) Paragraph 3 of Article 42 of the Law on Competition to the extent that, according to the petitioner, it establishes the repetition as an aggravating circumstance, however, it does not define a period of time, upon the expiry of which a new violation by the economic subject would not be considered a repeated violation, is not in conflict with the constitutional principles of justice and a state under the rule of law.

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

1. The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requests an investigation, inter alia, into whether:

Item 5 of Paragraph 1 of Article 19, Paragraph 2 of Article 36, Paragraph 1 of Article 40, and Paragraph 1 of Article 41 of the Law on Competition to the extent that, according to the petitioner, they grant the right to the Competition Council, which is not an independent and impartial court, to decide issues of guilt of an economic subject and to impose a fine, which amounts up to 10 percent of gross annual income of the economic subject during the preceding economic year, are not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 31 and Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of the Constitution, as well as the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

Item 5 of Paragraph 1 of Article 19, Paragraph 2 of Article 23, Paragraph 2 of Article 24, Paragraph 6 of Article 25, Paragraph 1 of Article 30, Paragraph 2 of Article 36, Paragraph 1 of Article 40, and Paragraph 1 of Article 41 of the Law on Competition, to the extent that, according to the petitioner, they grant the right to the Competition Council to perform actions of investigation, as well as to state the existence of a violation and impose a sanction, thus failing to ensure an independent and impartial hearing of the case at the Competition Council, are not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 31 and Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of the Constitution, as well as the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

2. It is obvious from the petition of the petitioner and the administrative case attached to the petition that the petitioner has doubts concerning the compliance of Item 5 of Paragraph 1 of Article 19, Paragraph 2 of Article 23, Paragraph 2 of Article 24, Paragraph 6 of Article 25, Paragraph 1 of Article 30, Paragraph 2 of Article 36, Paragraph 1 of Article 40, and Paragraph 1 of Article 41 of the Law on Competition (to the extent specified by the petitioner) with the Constitution, as, according to the petitioner, the articles (paragraphs thereof) of the Law on Competition, which were indicated by him, consolidate the following powers of the Competition Council: to investigate whether any violations specified in the Law on Competition are made; whether an economic subject is guilty; to impose a fine upon the economic subject, namely, a fine amounting up to 10 percent of gross annual income of the economic subject during the preceding economic year.

According to the petitioner, the sanction for violations of the Law on Competition, which is established in Paragraph 1 of Article 41 of the Law on Competition—a monetary fine amounting up to 10 percent of gross annual income of the economic subject during the preceding economic year, “in view of its purpose, size and consequences may be considered as a criminal sanction”, therefore, “a law must establish procedural guarantees, which stem from the Constitution, to a person, who is to be charged and punished with a fine of the aforementioned size, including the guarantees established in Paragraph 1 of Article 31 and Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of the Constitution, irrespective of the fact that the fines provided for in the Law on Competition should be classed as belonging to the institute of administrative liability”.

3. The petitioner impugns the compliance of certain articles (paragraphs thereof) of the Law on Competition with Paragraph 1 of Article 31 of the Constitution, which prescribes that a person shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to the procedure established by law and declared guilty by an effective court judgment.

The petitioner also impugns the compliance of certain articles (paragraphs thereof) of the Law on Competition with Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of the Constitution, which prescribes that in the Republic of Lithuania, justice shall be administered only by courts.

The fact that the petitioner impugns the compliance of articles (paragraphs thereof) of the Law on Competition with the aforementioned provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 31 and Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of the Constitution, which entrench, among other things, the powers of the courts, gives reason to conclude that, in the opinion of the petitioner, the Competition Council may not enjoy the powers, which are entrenched in articles (paragraphs thereof) of the Law on Competition that are impugned by the petitioner, and a decision whether the economic subject has violated the Law on Competition, whether it is guilty of that, whether the sanction defined in the Law on Competition should be imposed upon it for the violations of the Law on Competition (up to 10 percent of gross annual income of the economic subject during the preceding economic year), should be made not by the Competition Council, but by a court.

4. When deciding whether the petition of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, may be accepted for consideration at the Constitutional Court, one should take into account the fact that the Law on Competition, the provisions of which are impugned by the petitioner, also prescribes that decisions of the Competition Council, adopted after examination of a case, may be appealed against at the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (Article 38), that the court, having examined the appeal against the decision of the Competition Council, may leave the decision unchanged and reject the appeal, may rescind the decision or its individual parts and return the case to the Competition Council for additional examination, may rescind the decision or its individual parts, may amend the decision on concentration, on application of sanctions or temporary measures (Article 39). It should be noted that the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, in its petition says nothing about the legal regulation established in Articles 38 and 39 of the Law on Competition and does not at all describe the relation of this, not discussed by the petitioner, legal regulation as established in the Law on Competition with the legal regulation, which is impugned by the petitioner.

5. In this context, it should also be noted that when impugning the compliance of articles (paragraphs thereof) of the Law on Competition (to corresponding extent) with the Constitution, the petitioner invokes, inter alia, various acts of the Constitutional Court, in which the official constitutional doctrine disclosing the concept of respective provisions of the Constitution, which are indicated by the petitioner, is formulated. However, the petitioner bases himself only on separate fragments of the official constitutional doctrine and does not indicate, inter alia, the provisions of the official constitutional doctrine, which are of special importance in the context of the petition at issue, that, as already held by the Constitutional Court in its acts, legal acts may establish a procedure of pre-trial settlement of disputes, however, it is not permitted to establish any such legal regulation which would deny the right of a person, who thinks that his rights or freedoms have been violated, to defend his rights or freedoms in court.

6. The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, when impugning the compliance of Item 5 of Paragraph 1 of Article 19, Paragraph 2 of Article 23, Paragraph 2 of Article 24, Paragraph 6 of Article 25, Paragraph 1 of Article 30, Paragraph 2 of Article 36, Paragraph 1 of Article 40, and Paragraph 1 of Article 41 of the Law on Competition (to the extent specified by the petitioner) with the Constitution, virtually questions the existence of the Competition Council as a state institution, which should protect freedom of fair competition as entrenched in the Constitution and control how one follows the requirements established in the Law on Competition. Such questioning should be based on a clear analysis of the legal regulation established in the Law on Competition and other laws, as well as assessment of the relation of such legal regulation to the provisions of the Constitution; the petitioner also may not fail to take account of the fact what obligations related to regulation of relations of competition appeared for the Republic of Lithuania due to its membership in the European Union.

7. When account is taken of the aforementioned circumstances there are grounds to hold that the petition of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into the compliance of Item 5 of Paragraph 1 of Article 19, Paragraph 2 of Article 23, Paragraph 2 of Article 24, Paragraph 6 of Article 25, Paragraph 1 of Article 30, Paragraph 2 of Article 36, Paragraph 1 of Article 40, and Paragraph 1 of Article 41 of the Law on Competition (to the extent specified by the petitioner) with the Constitution is based, first of all, not on the reasoning, which is explicitly indicated by the petitioner, thus, in this regard the petition of the petitioner is a fictitious one. Under such circumstances, this petition of the petitioner should be considered as not falling within the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court and may not be accepted for consideration at the Constitutional Court.

8. Having taken account of the aforementioned arguments one should refuse to accept the petition of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether:

Item 5 of Paragraph 1 of Article 19, Paragraph 2 of Article 36, Paragraph 1 of Article 40, and Paragraph 1 of Article 41 of the Law on Competition to the extent that, according to the petitioner, they grant the right to the Competition Council, which is not an independent and impartial court, to decide issues of guilt of an economic subject and to impose a fine, which amounts up to 10 percent of gross annual income of the economic subject during the preceding economic year, are not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 31 and Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of the Constitution, as well as the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

Item 5 of Paragraph 1 of Article 19, Paragraph 2 of Article 23, Paragraph 2 of Article 24, Paragraph 6 of Article 25, Paragraph 1 of Article 30, Paragraph 2 of Article 36, Paragraph 1 of Article 40, and Paragraph 1 of Article 41 of the Law on Competition, to the extent that, according to the petitioner, they grant the right to the Competition Council to perform actions of investigation, as well as to state the existence of a violation and impose a sanction, thus failing to ensure an independent and impartial hearing of the case at the Competition Council, are not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 31 and Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of the Constitution, as well as the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

9. The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requests an investigation, inter alia, into whether Paragraph 5 of Article 42 of the Law on Competition and the Government Resolution (No. 1591) “On the Approval of the Rules for Setting the Size of a Fine Imposed for Violation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Competition” of 6 December 2004, which was adopted on the basis of the aforementioned paragraph, and the Rules for Setting the Size of a Fine Imposed for Violation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Competition, as approved by this resolution, to the extent that, according to the petitioner, the rules of setting the size of a fine are not approved by law, are not in conflict with Paragraph 4 of Article 31 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, also requests an investigation into whether Paragraph 3 of Article 42 of the Law on Competition, to the extent that, according to the petitioner, a repeated violation is defined as a circumstance aggravating the liability, however, one does not define a period of time, upon the expiry of which a new violation by the economic subject would not be considered a repeated violation, is not in conflict with the constitutional principles of justice and a state under the rule of law.

10. It should be noted that the petition of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into the compliance of articles (paragraphs thereof) of the Law on Competition that are impugned by the petitioner with the Constitution is integral: the integrity of the petition is conditioned by the fact that, in the opinion of the petitioner, the impugned articles (paragraphs thereof) of the Law on Competition are in conflict (to the respective extent) with the Constitution due to the fact that, in the opinion of the petitioner, the Competition Council may not have the powers to investigate whether violations provided for in the Law on Competition have been committed, nor to decide whether an economic subject is guilty; nor to impose a fine upon the economic subject—up to 10 percent of gross annual income of the economic subject during the preceding economic year.

The petition of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether Paragraph 5 of Article 42 of the Law on Competition and the Government Resolution (No. 1591) “On the Approval of the Rules for Setting the Size of a Fine Imposed for Violation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Competition” of 6 December 2004, which was adopted on the basis of the aforementioned paragraph, and the Rules for Setting the Size of a Fine Imposed for Violation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Competition, as approved by this resolution, to the extent that, according to the petitioner, the rules of setting the size of a fine are not approved by law, are not in conflict with the Constitution, as well as whether Paragraph 3 of Article 42 of the Law on Competition, to the extent that, according to the petitioner, the repetition is defined as a circumstance aggravating the liability, however, one does not define a period of time, upon the expiry of which a new violation by the economic subject would not be considered a repeated violation, is not in conflict with the Constitution, is inseparable from the petition of this petitioner requesting an investigation into whether Item 5 of Paragraph 1 of Article 19, Paragraph 2 of Article 23, Paragraph 2 of Article 24, Paragraph 6 of Article 25, Paragraph 1 of Article 30, Paragraph 2 of Article 36, Paragraph 1 of Article 40, and Paragraph 1 of Article 41 of the Law on Competition (to the extent specified by the petitioner) are not in conflict with the Constitution.

11. Having held that one should refuse to accept the petition of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether Item 5 of Paragraph 1 of Article 19, Paragraph 2 of Article 36, Paragraph 1 of Article 40, and Paragraph 1 of Article 41 of Law on Competition to the extent that, according to the petitioner, they grant the right to the Competition Council, which is not an independent and impartial court, to decide issues of guilt of an economic subject and to impose a fine, which amounts up to 10 percent of gross annual income of the economic subject during the preceding economic year, are not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 31 and Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of the Constitution, as well as the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, and whether Item 5 of Paragraph 1 of Article 19, Paragraph 2 of Article 23, Paragraph 2 of Article 24, Paragraph 6 of Article 25, Paragraph 1 of Article 30, Paragraph 2 of Article 36, Paragraph 1 of Article 40, and Paragraph 1 of Article 41 of the Law on Competition to the extent that, according to the petitioner, they grant the right to the Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania to perform actions of investigation, as well as to state the existence of a violation and impose a sanction, thus failing to ensure an independent and impartial hearing of the case at the Competition Council, are not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 31 and Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of the Constitution, and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, one should also hold that the petition of the petitioner requesting an investigation into whether Paragraph 5 of Article 42 of the Law on Competition and the Government Resolution (No. 1591) “On the Approval of the Rules for Setting the Size of a Fine Imposed for Violation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Competition” of 6 December 2004, which was adopted on the basis of the aforementioned paragraph, and the Rules for Setting the Size of a Fine Imposed for Violation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Competition, as approved by this resolution, to the extent that, according to the petitioner, the rules of setting the size of a fine are not approved by law, are not in conflict with Paragraph 4 of Article 31 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, and whether Paragraph 3 of Article 42 of the Law on Competition to the extent that, according to the petitioner, it establishes the repetition as an aggravating circumstance, however, it does not define a period of time, upon the expiry of which a new violation by the economic subject would not be considered a repeated violation, is not in conflict with the constitutional principles of justice and a state under the rule of law, may not be accepted for consideration as well.

Conforming to Articles 25 and 28, as well as Item 2 of Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania adopts the following

decision:

To refuse to accept the petition the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether:

Item 5 of Paragraph 1 of Article 19, Paragraph 2 of Article 36, Paragraph 1 of Article 40, and Paragraph 1 of Article 41 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Competition (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 1999, No. 30-856; 2000, No. 85-2572; 2003, No. 74-3430; 2004, No. 63-2244) to the extent that, according to the petitioner, they grant the right to the Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania, which is not an independent and impartial court, to decide issues of guilt of an economic subject and to impose a fine, which amounts up to 10 percent of gross annual income of the economic subject during the preceding economic year, are not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 31 and Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, as well as the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

Item 5 of Paragraph 1 of Article 19, Paragraph 2 of Article 23, Paragraph 2 of Article 24, Paragraph 6 of Article 25, Paragraph 1 of Article 30, Paragraph 2 of Article 36, Paragraph 1 of Article 40, and Paragraph 1 of Article 41 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Competition (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 1999, No. 30-856; 2000, No. 85-2572; 2003, No. 74-3430; 2004, No. 63-2244), to the extent that, according to the petitioner, they grant the right to the Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania to perform actions of investigation, as well as to state the existence of a violation and impose a sanction, thus failing to ensure an independent and impartial hearing of the case at the Competition Council, are not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 31 and Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, as well as the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

Paragraph 5 of Article 42 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Competition (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2004, No. 63-2244), the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 1591) “On the Approval of the Rules for Setting the Size of a Fine Imposed for Violation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Competition” of 6 December 2004 (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2004, No. 177-6567) and the Rules for Setting the Size of a Fine Imposed for Violation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Competition, as approved by this resolution, to the extent that, according to the petitioner, the rules of setting the size of a fine are not approved by law, are not in conflict with Paragraph 4 of Article 31 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

Paragraph 3 of Article 42 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Competition (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 1999, No. 30-856) to the extent that, according to the petitioner, it establishes the repetition as an aggravating circumstance, however, it does not define a period of time, upon the expiry of which a new violation by the economic subject would not be considered a repeated violation, is not in conflict with the constitutional principles of justice and a state under the rule of law.

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

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

Justices of the Constitutional Court:           Armanas Abramavičius

                                                                                Toma Birmontienė

                                                                                Egidijus Kūris

                                                                                Kęstutis Lapinskas

                                                                                Zenonas Namavičius

                                                                                Ramutė Ruškytė

                                                                                Vytautas Sinkevičius

                                                                                Stasys Stačiokas

                                                                                Romualdas Kęstutis Urbaitis