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On refusing to consider a petition

 

THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

DECISION

ON THE PETITION OF THE THIRD VILNIUS CITY LOCAL COURT, THE PETITIONER, REQUESTING AN INVESTIGATION INTO WHETHER ARTICLES 2 AND 3 OF THE DECREE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA (NO. 1K-838) “ON CROSSING OUT THE PERSONS AWARDED WITH MEDALS OF THE STATE OF LITHUANIA FROM THE LIST OF THE AWARDED PERSONS” OF 22 DECEMBER 2006 ARE NOT IN CONFLICT WITH THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA, ARTICLE 132 (WORDING OF 1 JULY 1993) OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA’S LAW ON ORDERS, MEDALS AND OTHER DECORATIONS, AND WITH THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 1 OF ARTICLE 4 OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA’S LAW ON PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION (WORDING OF 17 JUNE 1999)

14 October 2008
Vilnius

 

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, composed of the Justices of the Constitutional Court: Armanas Abramavičius, Toma Birmontienė, Pranas Kuconis, Kęstutis Lapinskas, Zenonas Namavičius, Ramutė Ruškytė, Egidijus Šileikis, Algirdas Taminskas, and Romualdas Kęstutis Urbaitis

The court reporter—Daiva Pitrėnaitė

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, at its procedural sitting, considered the petition (No. 1B-29/2008) of the Third Vilnius City Local Court, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether Articles 2 and 3 of the Decree of the President of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 1K-838) “On Crossing out the Persons Awarded with Medals of the State of Lithuania from the List of the Awarded Persons” of 22 December 2006, to the extent whereby the Decree of the President of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 1373) “On Awarding Orders and Medals of the State of Lithuania on the Occasion of the Day of State (Coronation of King Mindaugas of Lithuania)” of 14 June 2001 was amended by crossing out Jurij Borisov from the list of the persons awarded with the Medal of Darius and Girėnas, since the intentional crime committed by the said person had discredited the name of the awarded person (the Supreme Court of Lithuania’s ruling of 18 October 2005), and by obligating Jurij Borisov to return the Medal of Darius and Girėnas and the documents of the award to the Grand Master of the Orders of the State of Lithuania, are not in conflict with the principle of the separation of powers entrenched in Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, with Paragraph 1 of Article 109 thereof, the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law and legitimate expectations, Article 132 (wording of 1 July 1993) of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations, and with Items 1, 2, 3, and 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Public Administration (wording of 17 June 1999).

The Constitutional Court

has established:

The Third Vilnius City Local Court, the petitioner, considered a civil case. By its ruling, the said court suspended the consideration of the case and applied to the Constitutional Court with the petition requesting an investigation into whether Articles 2 and 3 of the Decree of the President of the Republic (No. 1K-838) “On Crossing out the Persons Awarded with Medals of the State of Lithuania from the List of the Awarded Persons” of 22 December 2006 (hereinafter also referred to as the 22 December 2006 decree of the President of the Republic), to the extent whereby the Decree of the President of the Republic (No. 1373) “On Awarding Orders and Medals of the State of Lithuania on the Occasion of the Day of State (Coronation of King Mindaugas of Lithuania)” of 14 June 2001 was amended by crossing out Jurij Borisov from the list of the persons awarded with the Medal of Darius and Girėnas, since the intentional crime committed by the said person had discredited the name of the awarded person (the Supreme Court of Lithuania’s ruling of 18 October 2005), and by obligating Jurij Borisov to return the Medal of Darius and Girėnas and the documents of the award to the Grand Master of the Orders of the State of Lithuania, are not in conflict with the principle of the separation of powers entrenched in Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 5 of the Constitution, with Paragraph 1 of Article 109 thereof, the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law and legitimate expectations, Article 132 (wording of 1 July 1993) of the Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations, and with Items 1, 2, 3, and 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Law on Public Administration (wording of 17 June 1999).

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

I

1. On 22 December 2006, the President of the Republic issued the Decree (No. 1K-838) “On Crossing out the Persons Awarded with Medals of the State of Lithuania from the List of the Awarded Persons”, which, inter alia, provides:

Article 2.

Pursuant to Paragraph 1 of Article 18 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on State Awards and taking account of the advice of the State Awards Council,

I shall amend the Decree (No. 1373) ‘On Awarding Orders and Medals of the State of Lithuania on the Occasion of the Day of State (Coronation of King Mindaugas of Lithuania)’ of 14 June 2001 by crossing out Jurij BORISOV from the list of the persons awarded the Medals of Darius and Girėnas, as the intentional crime committed by him (the Supreme Court of Lithuania’s ruling of 18 October 2005) discredits the name of the awarded person.

Article 3.

Pursuant to Paragraph 3 of Article 18 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations,

I shall obligate Jurij BORISOV to return the Medal of Darius and Girėnas and the documents of the award to the Grand Master of the Orders of the State of Lithuania.

Article 4.

This decree shall come into force as from the day of its signing.”

On 28 December 2006, this decree was published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”.

2. The Third Vilnius City Local Court, the petitioner, requests an investigation into whether Articles 2 and 3 of the 22 December 2006 decree of the President of the Republic to the extent whereby the Decree of the President of the Republic (No. 1373) “On Awarding Orders and Medals of the State of Lithuania on the Occasion of the Day of State (Coronation of King Mindaugas of Lithuania)” of 14 June 2001 was amended by crossing out Jurij Borisov from the list of the persons awarded with the Medal of Darius and Girėnas, since the intentional crime committed by the said person had discredited the name of the awarded person (the Supreme Court of Lithuania’s ruling of 18 October 2005), and by obligating Jurij Borisov to return the Medal of Darius and Girėnas and the documents of the award to the Grand Master of the Orders of the State of Lithuania, are not in conflict with the principle of the separation of powers entrenched in Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 5 of the Constitution, with Paragraph 1 of Article 109 thereof, the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law and legitimate expectations, Article 132 (wording of 1 July 1993) of the Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations, and with Items 1, 2, 3, and 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Law on Public Administration (wording of 17 June 1999).

This petition of the petitioner should be treated as a petition requesting an investigation into whether Articles 2 and 3 of the 22 December 2006 decree of the President of the Republic are not in conflict with Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 5 and Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of the Constitution, the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law and legitimate expectations, Article 132 (wording of 1 July 1993) of the Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations, and with Items 1, 2, 3, and 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Law on Public Administration (wording of 17 June 1999).

II

1. On 12 September 1991, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania adopted the Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations. Article 124 of this law prescribed that this law shall come into force as from the day of its adoption.

The Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations (wording of 12 September 1991) was amended and supplemented by the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On Establishing the Commemorative Medal of January 13 and on Amending and Supplementing the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations”, which was adopted by the Supreme Council on 18 December 1991.

2. On 1 July 1993, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On Establishing the Medal of Darius and Girėnas and on Amending and Supplementing the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations”, Article I of which established the Medal of Darius and Girėnas.

Item 1 of Article II of the Law “On Establishing the Medal of Darius and Girėnas and on Amending and Supplementing the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations” supplemented Article 3 (wording of 18 December 1991) of the Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations with Item 11 whereby the Medal of Darius and Girėnas was categorised as belonging to medals and other decorations of the State of Lithuania.

Item 5 of Article II of the Law “On Establishing the Medal of Darius and Girėnas and on Amending and Supplementing the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations” amended Paragraph 3 (wording of 18 December 1991) of Article 26 of the Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations and this paragraph was set forth in its new wording. It was established in Paragraph 3 (wording of 1 July 1993) of the said article that Paragraph 1 (whereby the persons who were removed from office by a court decision, or who were punished by deprivation of freedom, may not be nominated for award with orders, medals or other decorations for five years after the removal from office, or after the fulfilment of the punishment, or after exoneration of the punishment) and Paragraph 2 (whereby those sentenced on probation may not be nominated for award with orders, medals or other decorations before the probation is over) shall not be applied, inter alia, to awards with the Medal of Darius and Girėnas.

Item 6 of Article II of the Law “On Establishing the Medal of Darius and Girėnas and on Amending and Supplementing the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations” supplemented the Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations (wording of 12 September 1991 with amendments and supplements made by the Law “On Establishing the Commemorative Medal of January 13 and on Amending and Supplementing the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations”, which was adopted by the Supreme Council on 18 December 1991) with Chapter XX titled “The Statute for the Medal of Darius and Girėnas”. Article 132 of this Chapter provided: “The forfeiture of the Medal of Darius and Girėnas is possible only by a court decision.”

It was established in Article 32 (wording of 12 September 1991) of the Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations that if bearers of orders or persons awarded with medals and other decorations are punished by a court, where the punishment is related with the forfeiture of the decorations, they also lose the priorities granted by the orders, medals and other decorations, and are crossed out from the list of decorated persons (Paragraph 1); the court shall inform the Grand Master of Orders about the said persons (Paragraph 2).

3. The said law (wording of 12 September 1991 with subsequent amendments and supplements) has been amended and/or supplemented by the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Supplementing Article 133 of the Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations, which was adopted by the Seimas on 3 July 1997, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Supplementing Article 91 of the Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations, which was adopted by the Seimas on 5 November 1998, and the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Amending Articles 95, 96 and 97 of the Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations, however, Item 11 (wording of 1 July 1993) of Article 3, Paragraph 3 (wording of 1 July 1993) of Article 26, Article 32 (wording of 12 September 1991), and Article 132 (wording of 1 July 1993) thereof have not been amended and/or supplemented.

4. On 18 June 2002, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on State Awards. This law was officially published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” on 3 July 2002. Under Article 44 of the Law on State Awards, upon the entry of the Law on State Awards into force, the Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations (wording of 12 September 1991 with subsequent amendments and supplements) became no longer valid.

On 27 May 2003, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Supplementing Article 37 of the Law on State Awards.

5. Under Article 1 of the Law on State Awards, this law shall define state awards of Lithuania, the structure of badges of the awards, establish the procedure of bestowal, wearing, withdrawal of orders, medals and other decorations, as well as the rights of the awarded persons. Under Paragraph 4 of Article 6 of the same law, persons awarded the state orders, medals and other decorations of Lithuania prior to the entry into force of this law shall enjoy the same rights as the persons awarded in accordance with this law.

6. In the context of the petition of the Third Vilnius City Local Court, the petitioner, it needs to be noted that the Law on State Awards is applied not only to the persons awarded under this law, but also to the persons who were awarded by orders or medals prior to the entry of this law into force when one has in mind certain aspects of the rights (inter alia, the aspects of the preservation and implementation of, limitation on, or forfeiture of these rights) acquired under the Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations (wording of 12 September 1991 with subsequent amendments and supplements).

7. The procedure of forfeiture of the state awards is established in Article 18 titled “Withdrawal and Forfeiture of State Awards” of the Law on State Awards, which, inter alia, provides: “If the deeds of the awarded persons degrade the name of such persons, the President of the Republic may strike the said persons off the list of the bearers of the orders or the persons awarded the medals or other decorations” (Paragraph 1); “Persons struck off the list of the bearers of the orders or the persons awarded the medals and other decorations must return the badges conferred upon them and the documents of awarding to the Grand Master of the Orders. Such persons shall forfeit the rights granted by the awards” (Paragraph 4).

8. Under Article 4 of the Law on State Awards, state awards are orders, medals and other decorations bestowed by a decree of the President of the Republic (listed namely in this article). The Medal of Darius and Girėnas is not included into the list of state awards enumerated in this article. Article 43 of the Law on State Awards provides that the Medal of Darius and Girėnas shall be bestowed by the Minister of National Defence and the Minister of Transport and Communications.

In its decision of 29 December 2006, the Constitutional Court held that, under the now valid legal regulation, the Medal of Darius and Girėnas is not a state award, however, this provision may not be applied to the awards with the Medal of Darius and Girėnas which were granted under the Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations (wording of 12 September 1991 with subsequent amendments and supplements) which had been valid before the entry into force of the Law on State Awards.

III

1. On 14 June 2001, the President of the Republic issued the Decree (No. 1373) “On Awarding Orders and Medals of the State of Lithuania on the Occasion of the Day of State (Coronation of King Mindaugas of Lithuania)”, Article 1 whereof, inter alia, provides:

Article 1.

On the Occasion of the Day of State (Coronation of King Mindaugas of Lithuania), for merits to the State of Lithuania and for efforts to spread the name of Lithuania in the world and for help to integrate it into the community of states of the world, the following citizens of the Republic of Lithuania and foreign states shall be awarded orders and medals: <…>

the Medal of Darius and Girėnas

shall be bestowed to Jurij Borisov—the President of the joint stock company ‘Avia Baltika’ and a supporter of Lithuanian aviators.

Article 2.

This decree shall come into force as from the day of its signing.”

On 4 July 2001, this decree was published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios”.

2. By the 22 November 2004 judgment passed by the First Vilnius City Local Court, under Paragraph 1 of Article 287 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Lithuania, J. Borisov was sentenced for the commission of the 16 March 2003–24 March 2004 continuous intentional crime and imposed a fine in the size of LTL 10,000 (80 MSL).

By the 6 April 2005 judgment of the college of judges of the Criminal Cases Division of the Vilnius Regional Court, the 22 November 2004 judgment of the First Vilnius City Local Court was amended: the part of the judgment by which J. Borisov was sentenced for the actions committed on 16–17 March 2003 was rescinded, and he was acquitted of the commission of these actions under Paragraph 1 of Article 287 of the Criminal Code; the rest of the appealed judgment was ruled to be in effect.

By its 18 October 2005 ruling, the Supreme Court of Lithuania rescinded the part of the 6 April 2005 judgment of the college of judges of the Criminal Cases Division of the Vilnius Regional Court, wherein J. Borisov was acquitted of the actions committed in March 2003, and ruled the 22 November 2004 judgment of the First Vilnius City Local Court to be in effect without any amendments.

3. It has been mentioned that on 22 December 2006, the President of the Republic issued the Decree (No. 1K-838) “On Crossing out the Persons Awarded with Medals of the State of Lithuania from the List of the Awarded Persons” by Article 2 whereof the President of the Republic, pursuant to Paragraph 1 of Article 18 of the Law on State Awards and taking account of the advice of the State Awards Council, crossed out J. Borisov from the list of the persons awarded the Medals of Darius and Girėnas, as the intentional crime committed by him (the Supreme Court of Lithuania’s ruling of 18 October 2005) discredits the name of the awarded person, and by Article 3 of the said decree, the President of the Republic obligated J. Borisov to return the Medal of Darius and Girėnas and the documents of the award to the Grand Master of the Orders of the State of Lithuania.

IV

1. As mentioned before, the Third Vilnius City Local Court, the petitioner, requests an investigation into whether Articles 2 and 3 of the 22 December 2006 decree of the President of the Republic are not in conflict, inter alia, with Article 132 (wording of 1 July 1993) of the Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations.

2. It is clear from the arguments of the petition that the petitioner doubts as to the compliance of Articles 2 and 3 of the 22 December 2006 decree of the President of the Republic with Article 132 (wording of 1 July 1993) of the Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations due to the fact that, according to the petitioner, it was impermissible to cross out J. Borisov from the list of the persons awarded with the Medal of Darius and Girėnas by means of the impugned decree of the President of the Republic, since, at the time when J. Borisov was awarded, Article 132 (wording of 1 July 1993) of the Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations was in force, whereby the forfeiture of the Medal of Darius and Girėnas was possible only by a court decision. According to the petitioner, after the President of the Republic had applied the provisions of Article 18 (wording of 18 June 2002) of the Law on State Awards, the legitimate expectation of J. Borisov that he can be forfeited of the Medal of Darius and Girėnas only by a court decision was violated.

Therefore, the petitioner doubts whether the President of the Republic, when he issued the decree of 22 December 2006 (Articles 2 and 3 thereof), was allowed to follow the Law on State Awards (wording of 18 June 2002 with subsequent amendment), or whether he had to follow the Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations (wording of 12 September 1991 with subsequent amendments and supplements) which at the time of the issuance of the 22 December 2006 decree of President of the Republic was no longer valid.

The petitioner points out that the Law on State Awards, Article 18 whereof was followed by the President of the Republic when he issued the impugned decree, is not effective retrospectively (lex retro non agit), since, although “also the determination regarding exceptions to the application of this principle is within the competence of the legislature”, however, “the Law on State Awards does not contain such a position (Article 45 of the Law).”

3. It needs to be noted that, as mentioned before, the Law on State Awards establishes, inter alia, the procedure of withdrawal of orders, medals and other decorations, as well as the rights of the awarded persons (Article 1 (wording of 18 June 2002)), while Paragraph 4 (wording of 18 June 2002) of Article 6 of the same law provides that “persons awarded the state orders, medals and other decorations of Lithuania prior to the entry into force of this Law shall enjoy the same rights as the persons awarded in accordance with this Law”. It has also been mentioned that the Law on State Awards is applied not only to the persons awarded under this law, but also to the persons who were awarded by orders or medals prior to the entry of this law into force when one has in mind certain aspects of the rights (inter alia, the aspects of the preservation and implementation of, limitation on, or forfeiture of these rights) acquired under the Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations (wording of 12 September 1991 with subsequent amendments and supplements). The petitioner is silent as regards the legal regulation established in Article 1 (wording of 18 June 2002) and Paragraph 4 (wording of 18 June 2002) of Article 6 of the Law on State Awards and does not discuss the relation between this legal regulation established in the Law on State Awards (about which the petitioner keeps silent) and the legal regulation established in the 22 December 2006 decree of the President of the Republic, which is impugned by the petitioner.

4. It also needs to be noted that, while disputing the compliance of Articles 2 and 3 of the 22 December 2006 decree of the President of the Republic with Article 132 (wording of 1 July 1993) of the Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations, the petitioner refers, inter alia, to the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 4 July 2003, 3 December 2003, and 13 December 2004 in which the official constitutional doctrine was formulated and which reveals the concept of the constitutional principle of legitimate expectations. However, the petitioner refers only to individual fragments of the official constitutional doctrine and keeps silent about the provisions of the official constitutional doctrine which are of special importance in the context of the petition under consideration, inter alia, that:

under the Constitution, the President of the Republic is the Head of State, he represents the State of Lithuania and performs everything that he is charged with by the Constitution and laws; various powers of the President of the Republic are established not only in the Constitution, but in the laws adopted by the Seimas as well (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 25 May 2004);

the legal acts passed by the President of the Republic are substatutory legal acts (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 30 December 2003), substatutory legal acts must be adopted on the grounds of laws and may not be in conflict with the laws (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 30 December 2003, 5 March 2004, 13 December 2004, 7 February 2005, 5 May 2007, and 13 August 2007);

laws are applied to the facts and effects which take place after these laws go into effect (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 16 March 1994, 1 December 1994, 11 January 2001, and 30 September 2003);

the law may provide for certain formal criteria, and if a person does not meet them, he may not be granted state awards, or, if he has been granted an award, he must be deprived of this state award (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 12 May 2006);

– “granting a certain state award is not implementation of the right nor of a legitimate expectation of a person, even though he has undoubted merits to Lithuania <…>” (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 12 May 2006).

In this context it needs to be noted that the Constitutional Court’s rulings in which these provisions of the official constitutional doctrine were formulated, were adopted and published under established procedure prior to the application by the Third Vilnius City Local Court, the petitioner, to the Constitutional Court, where the petitioner disputes the compliance of the compliance of Articles 2 and 3 of the 22 December 2006 decree of the President of the Republic with the Constitution and the articles of the laws specified in the petition.

It also needs to be noted that, under the Constitution, all acts of the Constitutional Court in which the Constitution is construed, i.e. the official constitutional doctrine is formulated, by their content are also binding on law-making institutions (officials) and those that apply law, including courts of general jurisdiction and specialised courts (the Constitutional Court’s decision of 20 September 2005 and its rulings of 28 March 2006 and 6 June 2006). Under Paragraph 2 (wording of 24 January 2002) of Article 33 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Courts, when hearing cases courts shall be guided, inter alia, by the officially published rulings of the Constitutional Court.

Thus, the petitioner was supposed to know the aforesaid doctrinal provisions formulated in final acts of the Constitutional Court and he had to follow them.

5. The doubt of the Third Vilnius City Local Court, the petitioner, regarding the fact whether the President of the Republic, while issuing the impugned decree of 22 December 2006, was allowed to follow Article 18 (wording of 18 June 2002) of the Law on State Awards, which was in force then, should be substantiated by a clear assessment of the relation of the legal regulation established in the Law on State Awards (wording of 18 June 2002 with subsequent amendment) and the Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations (wording of 12 September 1993 with subsequent amendments and supplements) with the impugned articles of the 22 December 2006 decree of President of the Republic. While substantiating his doubt, the petitioner was supposed not only to establish the factual circumstances in the presence of which this legal regulation was applied, but also to establish what legal acts were in force at the time when the corresponding legal relations came into being.

6. The Third Vilnius City Local Court, the petitioner, when doubting whether the President of the Republic, while issuing the impugned decree of 22 December 2006, was allowed to follow Article 18 (wording of 18 June 2002) of the Law on State Awards:

did not assess the different character between the legal relations which existed at the time when the President of the Republic issued the Decree (No. 1373) “On Awarding Orders and Medals of the State of Lithuania on the Occasion of the Day of State (Coronation of King Mindaugas of Lithuania)” of 14 June 2001 and when the impugned decree of 22 December 2006 was issued. THE Decree of the President of the Republic (No. 1373) “On Awarding Orders and Medals of the State of Lithuania on the Occasion of the Day of State (Coronation of King Mindaugas of Lithuania)” of 14 June 2001 was issued when the Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations (wording of 12 September 1993 with subsequent amendments and supplements) was in force, while the impugned decree of the President of the Republic, dated 22 December 2006, was issued when the Law on State Awards (wording of 18 June 2002 with subsequent amendment) was in force;

did not properly assess that the effective judgment passed by the First Vilnius City Local Court by which J. Borisov was recognised guilty of the commission of the 16 March 2003–24 March 2004 continuous intentional crime (the Supreme Court of Lithuania’s ruling of 18 October 2005) served as the grounds for issuance of the impugned decree of the President of the Republic, dated 22 December 2006, whereby J. Borisov was crossed out from the list of the persons awarded with the Medal of Darius and Girėnas, i.e. the petitioner did not properly assess the fact that J. Borisov, who had been awarded with a state award, the Medal of Darius and Girėnas, committed the intentional crime after the Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations (wording of 12 September 1993 with subsequent amendments and supplements) was recognised as no longer valid and the Law on State Awards (wording of 18 June 2002 with subsequent amendment) was in force.

7. Under Item 8 of Paragraph 1 of Article 66 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, a petition for the investigation of the compliance of a legal act with the Constitution must contain the position of the petitioner concerning the compliance of an appropriate act with the Constitution and legal support of such position containing references to laws, while under Item 5 of Paragraph 2 of Article 67 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, the ruling by which a court applies to the Constitutional Court must contain legal arguments presenting the opinion of the court on the conflict of a law or other legal act with the Constitution.

The said requirement arising from Item 5 of Paragraph 2 of Article 67 of the Law on the Constitutional Court means that the courts, while arguing their opinion presented in the petition that the law or other legal act (part thereof) is in conflict with the Constitution, may not confine themselves to general reasoning or statements that the law or other legal act (part thereof), in their opinion, is in conflict with the Constitution, but must clearly indicate which impugned articles (paragraphs, items thereof) and to what extent, in their opinion, are in conflict with the Constitution, and to reason their position on the compliance of every impugned provision of the legal act (part thereof) with the Constitution with clearly formulated legal arguments (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 12 December 2005, 16 January 2006, 17 January 2006, and its decisions of 17 January 2006, 5 July 2007, and 12 September 2007).

8. It has been mentioned in this decision that the Third Vilnius City Local Court, the petitioner, is silent as regards the legal regulation established in Article 1 (wording of 18 June 2002) and Paragraph 4 (wording of 18 June 2002) of Article 6 of the Law on State Awards, from which it is obvious that the Law on State Awards is applied not only to the persons awarded under this law, but also to the persons who were awarded by orders or medals prior to the entry of this law into force when one has in mind certain aspects of the rights (inter alia, the aspects of the preservation and implementation of, limitation on, or forfeiture of these rights) acquired under the Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations (wording of 12 September 1991 with subsequent amendments and supplements); it has also been mentioned that the petitioner does not discuss the relation between this legal regulation (about which the petitioner keeps silent) and the legal regulation, which is impugned by the petitioner. The petitioner also keeps silent about the provisions of the official constitutional doctrine which are of special importance in the context of the petition under consideration, while the petitioner was supposed to know such provisions and he had to follow them.

It has also been mentioned that the petitioner did not assess the different character between the legal relations which existed at the time when the President of the Republic issued the Decree (No. 1373) “On Awarding Orders and Medals of the State of Lithuania on the Occasion of the Day of State (Coronation of King Mindaugas of Lithuania)” of 14 June 2001 and when the impugned decree of 22 December 2006 was issued; also, that the petitioner did not properly assess the fact that J. Borisov, who had been awarded with a state award, the Medal of Darius and Girėnas, committed the intentional crime after the Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations (wording of 12 September 1993 with subsequent amendments and supplements) was recognised as no longer valid and the Law on State Awards (wording of 18 June 2002 with subsequent amendment) was in force.

Taking account of what has been stated above, it should be held that the petition of the Third Vilnius City Local Court, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into the compliance of Articles 2 and 3 of the 22 December 2006 decree of the President of the Republic with Article 132 (wording of 1 July 1993) of the Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations is grounded on the reasoning other than that explicitly pointed out by the petition; in addition, the arguments of the petitioner are inconsistent, conflicting and fictitious. Although the petition employs legal terminology, neither separate (individual) arguments, nor their entirety provides legal grounds why, in the opinion of the petitioner, Articles 2 and 3 of the 22 December 2006 decree of the President of the Republic are in conflict with Article 132 (wording of 1 July 1993) of the Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations, which, at the time of issuance of the 22 December 2006 decree of the President of the Republic, was no longer valid. Thus, from this standpoint such request of the petitioner is virtually fictitious.

In its decision of 31 January 2007, the Constitutional Court held that is in the case where the petition is based not on the reasoning which is explicitly indicated by the petitioner, where the petition is a fictitious one, in this regard the petition “should be considered as not falling within the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court and may not be accepted for consideration at the Constitutional Court”. These provisions are also applicable mutatis mutandis in the course of deciding the question of the acceptance of the petition of the Third Vilnius City Local Court, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into the compliance of Articles 2 and 3 of the 22 December 2006 decree of the President of the Republic with Article 132 (wording of 1 July 1993) of the Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations.

It needs to be noted that, under Item 2 of Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, by a decision, the Constitutional Court shall refuse to consider petitions to investigate the compliance of a legal act with the Constitution, if the consideration of the petition does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court.

9. Taking account of the arguments set forth, the conclusion should be drawn that the petition of the Third Vilnius City Local Court, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into the compliance of Articles 2 and 3 of the 22 December 2006 decree of the President of the Republic with Article 132 (wording of 1 July 1993) of the Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations should be regarded as one not falling under the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court, and this petition may not be accepted for consideration.

10. It has been mentioned that the Third Vilnius City Local Court, the petitioner, requests an investigation into whether Articles 2 and 3 of the 22 December 2006 decree of the President of the Republic are not in conflict with Paragraphs 1 and 2 and Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of the Constitution, the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law and legitimate expectations, and with Items 1, 2, 3, and 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Law on Public Administration (wording of 17 June 1999).

11. It needs to be noted that the petition of the petitioner requesting an investigation into the compliance of the impugned Articles 2 and 3 of the 22 December 2006 decree of the President of the Republic with the Constitution and the articles of the indicated laws is an integral one: the integrity of the petition is determined by the fact that the arguments regarding the compliance of the impugned decree of the President of the Republic (articles thereof) with the Constitution and Items 1, 2, 3, and 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Law on Public Administration (wording of 17 June 1999) are directly related with the doubts concerning the compliance of the said Decree of the President of the Republic (articles thereof) with Article 132 (wording of 1 July 1993) of the Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations.

12. It has been held in this decision that the petition of the Third Vilnius City Local Court, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into the compliance of Articles 2 and 3 of the 22 December 2006 decree of the President of the Republic with Article 132 (wording of 1 July 1993) of the Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations should be regarded as one not falling under the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court.

13. Having held that the acceptance of the petition of the Third Vilnius City Local Court, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into the compliance of Articles 2 and 3 of the 22 December 2006 decree of the President of the Republic with Article 132 (wording of 1 July 1993) of the Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations for consideration should be refused, it should also be held that the petition of this petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether Articles 2 and 3 of the 22 December 2006 decree of the President of the Republic are not in conflict with Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 5 and Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of the Constitution, the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law and legitimate expectations, and with Items 1, 2, 3, and 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Law on Public Administration (wording of 17 June 1999), cannot be accepted for consideration, either.

14. Taking account of the arguments set forth, the consideration of the petition of the Third Vilnius City Local Court, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether Articles 2 and 3 of the 22 December 2006 decree of the President of the Republic are not in conflict with Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 5 and Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of the Constitution, the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law and legitimate expectations, and with Items 1, 2, 3, and 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Law on Public Administration (wording of 17 June 1999), should be refused.

Conforming to Paragraphs 3 and 4 of Article 22, Article 28, Item 2 of Paragraph 1 and Paragraph 2 of Article 69 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania adopts the following

decision:

To refuse to accept the petition (No. 1B-29/2008) of the Third Vilnius City Local Court, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether Articles 2 and 3 of the Decree of the President of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 1K-838) “On Crossing out the Persons Awarded with Medals of the State of Lithuania from the List of the Awarded Persons” of 22 December 2006 are not in conflict with Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 5 and Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law and legitimate expectations, Article 132 (wording of 1 July 1993) of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Orders, Medals and other Decorations, and with Items 1, 2, 3, and 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Public Administration (wording of 17 June 1999), for consideration.

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
                                                                      Pranas Kuconis
                                                                      Kęstutis Lapinskas
                                                                      Zenonas Namavičius
                                                                      Ramutė Ruškytė
                                                                      Egidijus Šileikis
                                                                      Algirdas Taminskas
                                                                      Romualdas Kęstutis Urbaitis