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On postponing the establishment of a mechanism for compensating the people for reduced work remuneration

Case No. 41/2014-42/2014-45/2014-46/2014-47/2014-48/2014-49/2014-50/2014-51/2014-52/2014- 53/2014-56/2014-57/2014-58/2014-59/2014-60/2014

 

 

 

THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

IN THE NAME OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

 

RULING

on the compliance of The republic of lithuania’s law postponing the term for submitting a draft law regulating a mechanism for compensating for losses incurred as a result of disproportionately reduced work remuneration with the Constitution of the republic of lithuania

 

19 November 2015 No. KT30-N19/2015

Vilnius

 

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, composed of the Justices of the Constitutional Court: Elvyra Baltutytė, Vytautas Greičius, Pranas Kuconis, Gediminas Mesonis, Vytas Milius, Egidijus Šileikis, Algirdas Taminskas, and Dainius Žalimas

The court reporter—Daiva Pitrėnaitė

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, pursuant to Articles 102 and 105 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and Articles 1 and 531 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, at the Court’s hearing, on 10 November 2015, considered under written procedure constitutional justice case No. 41/2014-42/2014-45/2014-46/2014-47/2014-48/2014-49/2014-50/2014-51/2014-52/2014-53/2014-56/2014-57/2014-58/2014-59/2014-60/2014 subsequent to:

1) the petitions (No. 1B-55/2014 and No. 1B-56/2014) of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania, a petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether the 11 September 2014 Law Amending Article 2 of the Law (No. XII-523) on the Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 25 of the Law on State Service and Annex 1 thereto and Declaring Certain Laws Related thereto as No Longer Valid, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 3 of the Law Amending the Appendix of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 2 of the Law Amending the Appendix of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 3 of the Law Amending Article 30 of the Statute of the Special Investigation Service, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 3 of the Law Amending Article 1 of the Law Amending the Statute of the Service in the Department of Prisons under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania, and the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 3 of the Law Amending Article 20 of the Statute of the Civil National Defence Service is in conflict with Paragraph 3 of Article 5, Paragraph 1 of Article 30, Paragraph 1 of Article 69, and Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

2) the petitions (No. 1B-60/2014, No. 1B-61/2014, No. 1B-62/2014, No. 1B-63/2014, No. 1B-66/2014, No. 1B-67/2014, No. 1B-68/2014, No. 1B-69/2014, No. 1B-70/2014, No. 1B-72/2014, No. 1B-73/2014, No. 1B-74/2014, No. 1B-75/2014, and No. 1B-76/2014) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether the 11 September 2014 Law Amending Article 2 of the Law (No. XII-523) on the Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 25 of the Law on State Service and Annex 1 thereto and Declaring Certain Laws Related thereto as No Longer Valid, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 3 of the Law Amending the Appendix of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 2 of the Law Amending the Appendix of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 3 of the Law Amending Article 30 of the Statute of the Special Investigation Service, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 3 of the Law Amending Article 1 of the Law Amending the Statute of the Service in the Department of Prisons under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania, and the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 3 of the Law Amending Article 20 of the Statute of the Civil National Defence Service is in conflict with Paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 5 and Paragraph 1 of Article 30 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

By the Constitutional Court’s decision of 30 October 2015, the aforesaid petitions were joined into one case.

The Constitutional Court

has established:

I

1. The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania and the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioners, were considering the administrative cases in which the persons remunerated for their work from the funds of the state budget applied to a court requesting to award them the unpaid parts of work remuneration incurred as a result of reduction (by means of the provisions of laws declared as in conflict with the Constitution by the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 1 July 2013) of the sizes of the coefficients of their positional salaries (remuneration) and the additional pay for their qualification class or category.

As the petitioners had doubts concerning the compliance of the relevant 11 September 2014 Law Amending Article 2 of the Law (No. XII-523) on the Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 25 of the Law on State Service and Annex 1 thereto and Declaring Certain Laws Related thereto as No Longer Valid, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 3 of the Law Amending the Appendix of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 2 of the Law Amending the Appendix of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 3 of the Law Amending Article 30 of the Statute of the Special Investigation Service, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 3 of the Law Amending Article 1 of the Law Amending the Statute of the Service in the Department of Prisons under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania, and the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 3 of the Law Amending Article 20 of the Statute of the Civil National Defence Service (hereinafter also referred to as the Law) with the Constitution, they suspended the consideration of the administrative cases and applied to the Constitutional Court with the petitions requesting an investigation into the compliance of this Law with the Constitution.

2. The petitions of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania and the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court are substantiated by the following arguments.

2.1. By means of the impugned Law, the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania postponed for one year, i.e. until 1 May 2015, the term established for the Government for preparing and submitting to the Seimas a draft law regulating a mechanism for compensating for losses incurred as a result of disproportionately reduced, during the economic crisis, work remuneration (remuneration), of persons remunerated for their work from the funds of either the state or municipal budgets.

While referring to the Constitutional Court’s decision of 16 April 2014, in which certain provisions of the said Constitutional Court’s ruling of 1 July 2013 were interpreted, the petitioners state that the legislature is unreasonably delaying in establishing a mechanism for compensating for disproportionately reduced remuneration. It is not clear from the documents related to the consideration and adoption of this Law that the adoption of this Law was grounded on the extreme economic and financial situation of the state that could have led to the necessity to postpone the establishment of a mechanism of compensation. In addition, no arguments concerning the postponement of the establishment of a mechanism of compensation were revealed to society while adopting the Law.

The establishment of a mechanism for compensating for disproportionately reduced remuneration could be postponed only for a specifically determined term (the Law establishes the term for the submission of the corresponding draft law, but not for the adoption of the law itself), i.e. by specifying the date until when the concrete mechanism for compensating for remuneration will be approved. Only such a law would have allowed the persons to clearly realise their legal situation, rights, and duties and to choose a certain model of behaviour.

The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania, the petitioner, also notes that the establishment of a mechanism for compensating for remuneration does not mean that the state should immediately incur large-scale expenditure, because the implementation of the mechanism of compensation may reasonably be spread over the time, as well as postponed for a certain period of time. The petitioner also notes that only on 28 April 2014 the Government applied to the Seimas concerning the postponement of the term for submitting a draft law regulating a mechanism of compensation and that until 1 May 2014 the Seimas did not adopt a decision to postpone it, therefore, there are grounds for stating that neither the Government, nor the legislature thought that there were any reasons for this draft law not to be submitted to the Seimas in time. In order to comply with the principles of responsible governance and a state under the rule of law, the terms established by the Seimas for the Government, if there is such a need, should be extended, not after their expiry, but before it.

In addition, the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, states that the Law essentially recognised the Government’s failure to act as it did not prepare a draft law regulating a mechanism of compensation within the established period of time. Such a situation, where the established terms are disregarded and the actions established in laws are not performed within the established terms, raises legal indeterminacy and unclarity, as the subjects of the legal relations do not know if the actions prescribed in the laws will be performed in general, as well as creates preconditions to infringe the acquired rights of persons or their legitimate expectations, undermines the confidence in the state and its institutions.

Due to these reasons, the petitioners doubt whether the Law did not deny the legitimate expectations of the persons who had incurred losses as a result of the disproportionate reduction of remuneration, the principle of responsible governance, as well as the imperative to fulfil the obligations assumed under laws, and whether, consequently, Paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 5 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law were not violated.

2.2. In the opinion of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania and the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioners, taking account of the fact that a draft law regulating a mechanism for compensating for remuneration was not submitted until 1 May 2014, it is possible to state that as from the said date until 20 September 2014 the state delayed unreasonably in establishing a mechanism for compensating for the incurred losses and, therefore, there were grounds to defend, under judicial procedure, the rights of the persons who had incurred losses. However, upon the adoption of the Law, the situation of the aforementioned persons, from the viewpoint of reality of their right to judicial defence, did not change essentially, as the legislature postponed the establishments of a mechanism for compensating for remuneration for an indefinite period of time and, thus, formally and actually retrospectively removed the situation of unreasonable delay, as a ground to defend the rights of the persons who incurred losses under judicial procedure.

The postponement of the establishment of a mechanism for compensating for remuneration for an indefinite period of time hindered the persons that have experienced losses from actually assessing whether the legislature is unreasonably delaying the establishment of a mechanism for compensating for remuneration and impedes the implementation of the right of the person to effective judicial defence; thus, Paragraph 1 of Article 30 of the Constitution is violated. While referring to the same arguments, the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania, the petitioner, doubts whether the Law is in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of the Constitution.

2.3. The impugned Law was adopted on the grounds of the draft law due to which a conclusion of the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas was received. According to the assessment of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania, the petitioner, in this conclusion, the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas set out its position that this draft law did not comply with the Constitution; it was not compliant with the principles of legitimate expectations, a state under the rule of law, and the equality of rights. This conclusion is indirectly confirmed by the circumstance that, upon considering the draft law by the Seimas Committee on State Administration and Local Authorities, the conclusion of the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas was not approved, i.e. it was viewed as negative. According to Paragraph 2 (wording of 10 October 2000) of Article 138 of the Statute of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 22 December 1998) (hereinafter referred to as the Statute of the Seimas), such a draft law which was declared, by the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas, as incompliant with the Constitution, had to be considered preliminarily at the Seimas Committee on Legal Affairs; however, there is no data showing that such a consideration would have been held. Due to these reasons, there are doubts on whether the Law is in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution.

II

1. In the course of the preparation of the case for the hearing of the Constitutional Court, written explanations were received from Valentinas Bukauskas, Chairperson of the Seimas Committee on State Administration and Local Authorities, acting in the capacity of the representative of the Seimas, the party concerned (in the part of the case subsequent to the petitions of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court), in which it is stated that the Law is not in conflict with the Constitution. The position of the representative of the party concerned is substantiated by the following arguments.

The draft of the impugned Law was submitted at the sitting of the Seimas on 8 May 2014. Upon the proposal of the members of the Seimas registered on 22 May 2014, the date of consideration of this draft law at the Seimas Plenary Chamber was postponed, and later, on 17 July 2014, the adoption of the Law was postponed due to the insufficient number of the members of the Seimas participating in the sitting. The Law was adopted during the autumn session of the Seimas, on the second day of this session—11 September 2014. Thus, the Seimas considered the draft law submitted by the Government without unreasonable delay and did not violate the constitutional principle of responsible governance.

While considering the draft of the impugned Law and while adopting the Law, the Seimas referred to the Constitutional Court’s decision of 16 April 2014, under which the legislature may postpone the establishment and/or implementation of a mechanism for compensating for losses incurred due to the disproportionate reduction of remuneration for a reasonable time that should be determined in view of the assessment of the existing economic and financial situation in the state, as well as in the light of the consequences of an extreme situation and the capabilities of the state.

In the committees of the Seimas, the representatives of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania specified the circumstances certifying that after the global financial crisis was over, certain economic indicators did not reach the pre-crisis values. The attention was also drawn to the fact that in a case where the law regulating a mechanism for compensating for losses incurred as a result of disproportionately reduced, during the economic crisis, work remuneration (remuneration) had been adopted in 2014, the general government deficit of the year 2014 would have increased by all the amount to be compensated under the provisions of that law (without taking account of the terms for payments), and, therefore, it would have had negative consequences on adopting the euro in Lithuania as from 1 January 2015.

The Seimas assessed the situation responsibly and provided for in advance that a large amount of funds would be necessary for compensating for losses incurred as a result of disproportionately reduced, during the economic crisis, work remuneration (remuneration), as well as reduced state social insurance pensions and state pensions, therefore, it was decided to, first of all, take care of the most socially vulnerable group of the population—pension beneficiaries. In addition, due to the tense geopolitical situation, in seeking to strengthen its defence capability and to fulfil the obligations related to the membership of the NATO and other international organisations, the appropriations for the Ministry of National Defence of the Republic of Lithuania were increased.

Thus, while adopting the Law, the Seimas followed concrete arguments and reasonably assessed the financial situation of the state, took account of the capabilities of the state and the obligations assumed by the state, as well as sought not to cause, by means of its decision, any threats for the adoption of the euro. In addition, the establishment of a mechanism of compensation was postponed for a reasonable and concrete period of time, therefore, the situation of the persons who incurred losses did not become unclear from the viewpoint of their right to judicial defence and it did not change essentially.

2. In the course of the preparation of the case for the hearing of the Constitutional Court, written explanations were received from member of the Seimas Agnė Bilotaitė (in the part of the case subsequent to the petition of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania, a petitioner), a representative of the Seimas, the party concerned; the position set out in these written explanations is essentially grounded on the same arguments as is the position set out in the written explanations of V. Bukauskas.

III

In the course of the preparation of the case for the hearing of the Constitutional Court, the 13 April 2015 Letter (No. 63-1104) “Concerning the Provision of Information” from Alminas Mačiulis, Chancellor of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, was received. In this letter, according to the information provided by the Ministry of Finance, the reasons were specified due to which the submission of a draft law regulating a mechanism for compensating for losses incurred as a result of disproportionately reduced, during the economic crisis, work remuneration (remuneration) of persons remunerated for their work from the funds of either the state or municipal budgets was postponed until 1 May 2015.

1. In 2013, Government gross debt had not reached the debt level that existed before the global financial crisis and it limited the possibilities in assuming obligations. If the law regulating a mechanism for compensating for the losses incurred as a result of disproportionately reduced work remuneration (remuneration) had been adopted in 2014, without taking account of the terms for the payment of compensation, the general government deficit of the year 2014 would have increased and, thus, the Law on Fiscal Discipline of the Republic of Lithuania would have been violated. In its Recommendation “On Lithuania’s 2014 National Reform Programme and Delivering a Council Opinion on Lithuania’s 2014 Convergence Programme”{SWD(214) 416 final} of 2 June 2014, the European Commission confirmed that, in 2014, there was a risk of deviation relative to fiscal discipline requirements. In cases where large deviation of the financial indicators of the state from the target values is established, the state is given the opportunity to eliminate this deviation within the period of one year; if a euro area state does not do that, financial sanctions are considered and may be applied.

2. On 15 May 2014, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Compensation for State Social Insurance Old Age Pensions and Pensions of Lost Capacity for Work (Disability), under which the funds necessary for compensations from the state budget amount to 450 million litas. In addition, tense geopolitical situation as a result of the crisis in relations between Russia and Ukraine had a significant impact on economic growth and funding of national defence in Lithuania. On 29 March 2014, the agreement “On 2014–2020 Strategic Guidelines of Foreign, Security, and Defence Policy of the Republic of Lithuania” was signed by the political parties represented at the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, emphasising the Lithuania’s strategic objective to strengthen its defence capability and to fulfil the obligations related to the membership of the NATO and other international organisations. In the agreement, it is provided for to gradually increase the funding for the national defence and in 2020 it must reach 2 percent of gross domestic product, which means that an additional amount of 675 million euro will be necessary.

3. While taking account of the specified circumstances of the year 2014, in the letter it is stated that the postponement of the submission of a draft law regulating a mechanism for compensating for losses incurred as a result of disproportionately reduced, during the economic crisis, work remuneration.

IV

In the course of the preparation of the case for the hearing of the Constitutional Court, a written opinion on certain questions relevant in the constitutional justice case at issue was received from Andrius Kibišaitis, Director of the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas.

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

I

1. The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania and the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioners, request to investigate whether the Law is in conflict with Paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 5, Paragraph 1 of Article 30, Paragraph 1 of Article 69, and Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

2. On 19 September 2013, the Seimas adopted the Law on the Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 25 of the Law on State Service and Annex 1 thereto and Declaring Certain Laws Related thereto as No Longer Valid, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 3 of the Law Amending the Appendix of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 2 of the Law Amending the Appendix of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 3 of the Law Amending Article 30 of the Statute of the Special Investigation Service, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 3 of the Law Amending Article 1 of the Law Amending the Statute of the Service in the Department of Prisons under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania, and the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 3 of the Law Amending Article 20 of the Statute of the Civil National Defence Service, which came into force on 28 September 2013. Among other things, this law prescribed the procedure for the implementation of laws amending certain laws restoring the pre-crisis coefficients of the positional salaries (remuneration) of state servants and judges and the sizes of additional pay paid to state servants for their qualification class and to statutory state servants for their qualification category.

In the preamble to the said law, it is mentioned that it was adopted with regard to, inter alia, the provisions of the Constitutional Court’s ruling “On the Compliance of the Provisions of the Laws of the Republic of Lithuania Establishing the Reduced Remuneration of State Servants and Judges in an Extremely Difficult Economic and Financial Situation in the State with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania” of 1 July 2013, under which, the provisions of the laws establishing the reduced remuneration of state servants and judges could not be applied and, unless there is another legal regulation prescribed by the legislature, the unreduced (valid before the economic crisis) coefficients of the positional salaries (remuneration) of state servants and judges and the sizes of additional pay paid to state servants for their qualification class and to statutory state servants for their qualification category had to come into force as from 1 October 2013. Account was also taken of the fact that, in the said ruling, the Constitutional Court held that Article 23 of the Constitution gives rise to the requirement for the legislature to establish a mechanism for compensating for losses incurred by the persons remunerated for their work from the funds of either the state or municipal budgets, i.e. a procedure must be established, on the grounds of which the state, within a reasonable time (inter alia, taking account of the economic and financial situation of the state and upon assessing the opportunities to accumulate (receive) the funds necessary for such a compensation), in a fair manner and to the extent that the incurred losses were disproportionate, will compensate for such losses.

Article 2 of the Law on the Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 25 of the Law on State Service and Annex 1 thereto and Declaring Certain Laws Related thereto as No Longer Valid, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 3 of the Law Amending the Appendix of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 2 of the Law Amending the Appendix of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 3 of the Law Amending Article 30 of the Statute of the Special Investigation Service, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 3 of the Law Amending Article 1 of the Law Amending the Statute of the Service in the Department of Prisons under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania, and the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 3 of the Law Amending Article 20 of the Statute of the Civil National Defence Service prescribed:

The Government of the Republic of Lithuania:

1) while preparing the draft law on approving the financial indicators of the 2014 state and municipal budges of the Republic of Lithuania, shall provide for the funds necessary for paying the recoverable part and the interest of the size established by the legal acts;

2) until 1 May 2014, shall prepare and submit a draft Law of the Republic of Lithuania regulating a mechanism for compensating (conditions, extent, and way of compensating, the period of time within which the reduced part of work remuneration (remuneration) is compensated, the size of compensations, etc.) for losses incurred as a result of disproportionately reduced, during the economic crisis, work remuneration (remuneration) of persons remunerated for their work from the funds of either the state or municipal budgets and shall provide the total amount of the funds necessary for compensations as calculated under the mechanism of compensation established in the this law”.

Thus, by Article 2 of this law, the Government was obliged to take actions in relation with the planning of the state budget in order to implement the laws whereby the coefficients of the positional salaries (remuneration) and the sizes of additional pay paid for qualification classes or categories, which were in force before the economic crisis, had to be recovered as from 1 October 2013; according to this law, the Government also had to prepare and submit, until 1 May 2014, a draft law regulating a mechanism for compensating for losses incurred as a result of disproportionately reduced, during the economic crisis, work remuneration (remuneration) of persons remunerated for their work from the funds of either the state or municipal budgets and to calculate the total amount of the funds necessary for these compensations.

3. On 30 April 2014, the Government submitted a draft law to the Seimas, on the grounds of which, on 11 September 2014, the Seimas adopted the Law Amending Article 2 of the Law (No. XII-523) on the Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 25 of the Law on State Service and Annex 1 thereto and Declaring Certain Laws Related thereto as No Longer Valid, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 3 of the Law Amending the Appendix of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 2 of the Law Amending the Appendix of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 3 of the Law Amending Article 30 of the Statute of the Special Investigation Service, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 3 of the Law Amending Article 1 of the Law Amending the Statute of the Service in the Department of Prisons under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania, and the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 3 of the Law Amending Article 20 of the Statute of the Civil National Defence Service (it came into force on 20 September 2014) which is impugned by the petitioners. This Law amended Item 2 of Article 2 of the Law on the Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 25 of the Law on State Service and Annex 1 thereto and Declaring Certain Laws Related thereto as No Longer Valid, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 3 of the Law Amending the Appendix of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 2 of the Law Amending the Appendix of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 3 of the Law Amending Article 30 of the Statute of the Special Investigation Service, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 3 of the Law Amending Article 1 of the Law Amending the Statute of the Service in the Department of Prisons under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania, and the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 3 of the Law Amending Article 20 of the Statute of the Civil National Defence Service and set it out as follows:

2. Until 1 May 2015, shall prepare and submit a draft Law of the Republic of Lithuania regulating a mechanism for compensating (conditions, extent, and way of compensating, the period of time within which the reduced part of work remuneration (remuneration) is compensated, the size of compensations, etc.) for losses incurred as a result of disproportionately reduced, during the economic crisis, work remuneration (remuneration) of persons remunerated for their work from the funds of either the state or municipal budgets and shall provide the total amount of the funds necessary for compensations as calculated under the mechanism of compensation established in the this law”.

Thus, the impugned Law established a new term—1 May 2015—for the Government to prepare and submit to the Seimas the draft law regulating a mechanism for compensating for losses incurred as a result of disproportionately reduced remuneration.

4. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, consideration should be given to the reasons of postponement of the term for adoption of the Law, as well as for the submission of a the draft law regulating a mechanism for compensating for losses incurred as a result of disproportionately reduced remuneration, which are specified in the explanatory note to the draft of the impugned Law submitted by the Government.

By its Resolution (No. XII-607) “On Compensating for Pensions” of 21 November 2013, the Seimas proposed for the Government to submit the draft laws to the Seimas and to establish a procedure, under which the partial compensation for the reduced state social insurance pensions and the compensation for all the state pensions to a large extent would be started in 2014. In view of the fact that the most socially vulnerable group of the population is the beneficiaries of the state social insurance pensions, the compensation for these pensions is the priority of the Government. In addition, the economy of the country has not yet reached the level that existed before the economic crisis, therefore, taking account of the existing and future obligations of the state, including the necessity to compensate for the reduced pensions for the beneficiaries of the state social insurance pensions, by having established a mechanism for compensating for losses incurred as a result of disproportionately reduced remuneration, the objectives of sustainable improvement of public finances and stability would be disregarded and the fiscal discipline would be violated.

In the explanatory note, it is also specified that the difficult geopolitical situation that occurred as a result of the crisis in the relationship between Russia and Ukraine threatens stable economic growth of Lithuania. It should also be noted that the agreement “On 2014–2020 Strategic Guidelines of Foreign, Security, and Defence Policy of the Republic of Lithuania” signed on 29 March 2014 by the political parties represented at the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, emphasises the strategic objective of Lithuania to strengthen its defence capability and to fulfil the obligations related to the membership of the NATO and other international organisations by, for this purpose, gradually increasing the funding for national security.

5. Thus, taking account of the specified reasons of the adoption of the Law, in the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, the legal regulation on the relations linked to fiscal discipline is important.

5.1. On 8 November 2007, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Fiscal Discipline; Article 1 of this law established that the purpose of the Law is to set out the rules of fiscal discipline ensuring the long-term sustainability of general government sector finances and stable economic development; the rules of Lithuania’s fiscal discipline are designated to ensure the application of the EU legal acts specified in the Annex to this law.

In the annex to this law, it is specified that the law was aimed to implement the following legal acts of the European Union:

Council Regulation (EC) No 1466/97 of 7 July 1997 on the strengthening of the surveillance of budgetary positions and the surveillance and coordination of economic policies, as last amended by Council Regulation (EC) No 1055/2005 of 27 June 2005);

Council Regulation (EC) No 1467/97 of 7 July 1997 on speeding up and clarifying the implementation of the excessive deficit procedure, as last amended by Council Regulation (EC) No 1056/2005 of 27 June 2005.

It should be noted that these Council regulations make a constituent part of the mechanism for coordinating national fiscal policy provisions; this mechanism is aimed at ensuring sustainable public finance management in the member states of economic and monetary union.

5.2. Therefore, the Law on Fiscal Discipline, together with the rules of fiscal discipline established therein, is committed for the legal acts of the European Union that seek to ensure sustainable public finance management in the member states of economic and monetary union.

6. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it should also be noted that, on 30 April 2015, the Government submitted to the Seimas a draft law on the grounds of which, on 30 June 2015, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Returning a Part of Work Remuneration (Remuneration), Disproportionately Reduced during the Economic Crisis, of Persons Remunerated for Their Work from the Funds of the State and Municipal Budgets, which came into force (with a certain exception) on 1 September 2015. In the preamble to the said law, it is, inter alia, specified that the law was adopted by implementing the 1 July 2013 ruling of the Constitutional Court “On the Compliance of the Provisions of the Laws of the Republic of Lithuania Establishing the Reduced Remuneration of State Servants and Judges in an Extremely Difficult Economic and Financial Situation in the State with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania” and the 22 December 2014 ruling (No. KT51-N17/2014) “On the Compliance of the Provisions of the Laws of the Republic of Lithuania Establishing the Reduced Coefficients of the Positional Salaries of Prosecutors and Some Other State Officials Upon the Occurrence of an Extremely Difficult Economic and Financial Situation in the State with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania” and by seeking to compensate for those losses incurred as a result of disproportionately reduced, during the economic crisis, work remuneration (remuneration) of persons remunerated for their work from the funds of the state or municipal budgets which would have not incurred if the even and proportionate reduction of work remuneration (remuneration) to a certain extent had been ensured.

Thus, this law established a mechanism for compensating for losses incurred as a result of disproportionately reduced, during the economic crisis, work remuneration (remuneration) of persons remunerated for their work from the funds of either the state or municipal budgets.

II

1. In the constitutional justice case at issue, the Constitutional Court is investigating into the compliance of the Law with Paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 5, Paragraph 1 of Article 30, Paragraph 1 of Article 69, and Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

2. The Constitutional Court has held that the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law integrates various values entrenched in, and protected and defended by the Constitution and that the entire Lithuanian legal system and the Constitution itself are based upon this principle (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 22 October 2007, 29 June 2010, and 1 July 2003). The Constitutional Court has also held on more than one occasion that the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law is a universal principle; its content is apparent in various provisions of the Constitution; the essence of this principle is the rule of law; the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law is especially broad, and it comprises a wide range of various interrelated imperatives; this principle must be followed in the process of both making and implementing law.

2.1. The Constitutional Court has held on more than one occasion that legal certainty, legal security, and the protection of legitimate expectations are inseparable elements of the principle of a state under the rule of law. The constitutional principles of legal certainty, legal security, and the protection of legitimate expectations imply the obligation of the state to secure the certainty and stability of the legal regulation, to protect the rights of persons, to respect the legitimate interests and legitimate expectations, and to fulfil any undertaken obligations for persons. If legal certainty, legal security, and the protection of legitimate expectations are not ensured, the trust of persons in the state and law will not be secured, either.

2.2. The principle of protection of legitimate expectations is linked with the duty of all state institutions to observe the undertaken obligations. The said principle also means the protection of acquired rights, i.e. the persons have the right to reasonably expect that they will retain their rights, acquired under valid legal acts, for the established period of time and will be able to implement these rights in reality. Under this principle, the legal regulation may be changed only by following the procedure established in advance and without violating the principles and norms of the Constitution; it is necessary, inter alia, to follow the principle lex retro non agit, and it is not permitted to deny the legitimate interests and legitimate expectations of the person by the changes of the legal regulation (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 12 July 2001 and 18 December 2001).

3. As mentioned before, the essence of the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law is the rule of law. The constitutional imperative of the rule of law means that the freedom of the state power is limited by law which must be obeyed by all the entities of legal relations, including the law-making entities (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 13 December 2004 and 1 July 2013).

3.1. Article 5 of the Constitutional inter alia establishes that the scope of power is limited by the Constitution (Paragraph 2) and state institutions serve the people (Paragraph 3).

In interpreting Paragraph 2 of Article 5 of the Constitution, the Constitutional Court has noted on more than one occasion that the Seimas, as a legislative institution, is independent inasmuch as its powers and its wide discretion are not limited by the Constitution, inter alia, by the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, the separation of powers, responsible governance, the protection of legitimate expectations, legal clarity, as well as by other principles.

The Constitution is the supreme law which limits state authority, it consolidates the principle of responsible governance (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 1 July 2004 and its conclusions of 5 November 2004 and 27 October 2010). In a democratic state under the rule of law, all state institutions and all officials must follow the Constitution and law. The responsibility of the authorities to society is inseparable from the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law; this responsibility is constitutionally consolidated by having established that state institutions serve the people and that the scope of power is limited by the Constitution (the Constitutional Court’s conclusion of 31 March 2004, its ruling of 13 May 2010, and its conclusion of 27 October 2010).

The principle of responsible governance, as consolidated in the Constitution, implies that all state institutions and officials are obliged to follow the Constitution and law while performing their functions and must properly implement the powers granted to them by the Constitution and laws by acting in the interests of the Nation and the State of Lithuania (the Constitutional Court’s conclusions of 26 October 2012 and 10 November 2012 and its rulings of 27 May 2014 and 11 July 2014).

3.2. It needs to be emphasised that, when it passes laws, the Seimas is bound not only by the Constitution, but also by the laws that it itself has adopted. It is an essential element of the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 24 January 2003, 24 September 2009, and 1 July 2013).

4. The Constitutional Court has held on more than one occasion that Paragraph 1 of Article 30 of the Constitution consolidates the constitutional principle of judicial defence.

4.1. The guarantee of the judicial defence of the rights and freedoms of persons is a guarantee of procedural nature, also that it is an essential element of the constitutional institute of the rights and freedoms of persons, an indispensable condition for the administration of justice and an inseparable element of the content of the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 30 June 2000, 13 December 2004, 16 January 2006, and 5 July 2013).

4.2. The Constitutional Court has held on more than one occasion that the constitutional right to apply to court means that in a state under the rule of law everyone is given an opportunity to defend their rights in court against unlawful actions of other persons as well as of state institutions and officials. The provision of Paragraph 1 of Article 30 of the Constitution that the person whose constitutional rights or freedoms are violated shall have the right to apply to court consolidates a person’s constitutional right to have an impartial arbiter in the dispute (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 1 October 1997, 12 July 2001, and 4 March 2003 and its decision of 16 April 2014).

4.3. The Constitutional Court has also held that, by means of a law, the legislature may establish certain means of defending violated rights; however, the legislature may not establish any such legal regulation that would deny the possibility of defending the violated rights and freedoms of a person, or would deny the powers of a court to administer justice (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 5 July 2013 and its decision of 16 April 2014).

4.4. If the constitutional right of persons to apply to court were not ensured, the generally recognised legal principle of ubi ius, ibi remedium—if there is a certain right (freedom), there must be a measure for its protection—would also be disregarded; such a legal situation where a certain right or freedom of persons cannot be defended, also by means of the judicial procedure, although the persons themselves believe that this right or freedom has been violated, is, under the Constitution, impossible, nor does the Constitution tolerate this (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 21 January 2008, 15 March 2008, and 13 May 2010 and its decision of 16 April 2014).

4.5. Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of the Constitution prescribes that in the Republic of Lithuania, justice shall be administered only by courts.

Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of the Constitution is inseparably linked with Paragraph 1 of Article 30 of the Constitution, which consolidates a person’s right to apply to court regarding the defence of his violated rights or freedoms, with the principle of a state under the rule of law, which is enshrined in the Constitution, and with a person’s innate right to justice (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 2 July 2002, 10 December 2012, and 25 January 2013).

5. In the constitutional justice case at issue, the provisions of the official constitutional doctrine related to the duty of the legislature to establish a mechanism for compensating for losses incurred as a result of disproportionate reduction of remuneration.

5.1. In its ruling of 1 July 2013, the Constitutional Court held that after the legal provisions that laid down the disproportionate extent of the reduction of the remuneration of the persons who are paid for their work from the funds of the state budget or municipal budget were declared as conflicting, inter alia, with the provision “Each human being […] shall have the right […] to receive fair pay for work” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution, the requirement for establishing a mechanism for compensating for losses incurred by the persons remunerated for their work from the funds of either state or municipal budgets stems from Article 23 of the Constitution; such a mechanism means the procedure, according to which the state, within a reasonable time (inter alia, in view of the economic and financial situation of the state and after an assessment of the possibilities to accumulate (receive) the funds necessary for such a compensation) and in a fair manner, to the extent that the incurred losses were disproportionate, will compensate for such losses. Such a legal regulation should be established without any unreasonable delay in order to avoid numerous applications to courts lodged by persons who are paid for their work from the funds of the state or municipal budgets for the award of the unpaid part of their remuneration resulting after the coefficients of the positional salaries (remuneration) and the amounts of the additional pay for the qualification class or for qualification category had been reduced by the legal provisions subsequently declared by the ruling of the Constitutional Court to have been in conflict with the Constitution.

5.2. In the Constitutional Court’s decision “On the Interpretation of Certain Provisions of the Ruling of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania of 1 July 2013” of 16 April 2014, it was held that, under the Constitution, inter alia, under the constitutional imperative of social harmony, fair compensation for the losses, incurred by the persons who are remunerated for their work from the funds of the state budget or municipal budgets, due to the disproportionate reduction of the remuneration, can only be properly ensured on the grounds of the legislature-established amounts, terms, and other essential elements of the compensation for the incurred losses.

In this decision, the Constitutional Court also interpreted that:

the legislature, while following the constitutional principle of responsible governance, may postpone the establishment and/or implementation of the mechanism for compensating for losses incurred as a result of disproportionate reduction of remuneration for a reasonable time that should be determined in view of an assessment of the existing economic and financial situation in the state and in the light of the consequences of an extreme situation and the capabilities of the state, including various obligations assumed by the state, which, inter alia, are related to financial discipline, thus, also to the imperative of balancing the revenue and expenditure of the state budget;

the right of the persons who incurred losses as a result of disproportionate reduction of remuneration to compensation for such losses should be implemented through a mechanism established by the legislature, which would ensure fair compensation within a reasonable time; in case the legislature unreasonably delays the establishment of the mechanism for compensating for the incurred losses or if an unfair mechanism is established (from the point of view of the terms and amounts of the payment of compensation), the persons who incurred these losses may defend their violated rights under judicial procedure.

6. Under the Constitution, the implementation of the duty of the legislature to establish a mechanism for compensating persons for the incurred losses is linked to the economic and financial situation of the state and capabilities of the state to accumulate the funds necessary for such a compensation; therefore, in the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, the provisions of the Constitution consolidating the powers of the Seimas and the Government concerning the state budget should be noted.

6.1. Under Item 4 of Article 94 of the Constitution, the Government prepares a draft State Budget. Article 130 of the Constitution, inter alia, prescribes that the Government draws up a draft State Budget and presents it to the Seimas.

The provision of the Constitution that the Government has the powers to prepare a draft State Budget means that the Government and no one else has the powers to estimate in the draft State Budget, how much revenues will be received and from which sources, how much funds and for what purposes must be appropriated, etc. While estimating the expenditure of the state in the draft budget of the state, the Government is bound by the imperative of an open, just and harmonious civil society, the constitutional principle of the separation of powers, as well as other norms and principles of the Constitution (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 11 July 2002).

6.2. The provisions of Item 14 of Article 67 and Paragraph 1 of Article 131 of the Constitution consolidate the powers of the Seimas to approve a draft State Budget.

In the Constitutional Court’s acts, it has been held on more than one occasion that the Seimas is bound not only by the Constitution, but also by the laws that it itself has adopted. Thus, while considering and approving a draft state budget, the Seimas must follow the laws that presuppose a certain amount of estimated state revenue and expenditure, i.e. it must follow the tax laws and other laws that create preconditions for planning and collecting state budget revenues, as well as various laws determining state financial obligations and corresponding planned state budget expenditure (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 15 February 2013 and its decision of 16 April 2014). The Constitutional Court has noted that, under the Constitution, the legislature, when passing a law or other legal act the implementation of which requires funds, must provide for the funds necessary for the implementation of such a law or other legal act; under the Constitution, the legislature may not create any such legal situation where, after the passing of a law or other legal act the implementation of which requires funds, such funds are not allocated or the allocation thereof is not sufficient (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 13 December 2004, 21 December 2006, 29 June 2010, and 15 February 2013 and its decision of 16 April 2014).

6.3. The Constitutional Court has held on more than one occasion that the constitutional concept of the state budget and the constitutional principle of responsible governance mean that the state budget must be realistic and that the revenue and expenditure provided for therein must be grounded upon an assessment of the needs and possibilities of society and the state. The Constitutional Court has also held that the constitutional imperative of an open, just and harmonious civil society, the necessity to ensure the constitutional rights and freedoms of persons and to protect the other values entrenched in the Constitution imply the duty of the Government, in the course of the preparation of the draft budget of the state, and the duty of the Seimas, in the course of the consideration of and approving the state budget, to take into consideration the state functions established in the Constitution, the existing economic and social situation, the needs and possibilities of society and the state, the available and potential financial resources and state obligations (inter alia, international ones), as well as other important factors (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 11 July 2002 and 15 February 2013 and its decision of 16 April 2014).

6.4. From the constitutional institute of a budget year, a duty stems for the legislature, in the course of deliberating and approving the State Budget for the next year, to reassess the actual economic and financial situation in the state and to decide whether the said situation is still a particularly grave one, inter alia, whether the collection of the State Budget revenue is still disordered to the extent that, due to this, the state is unable to perform the obligations undertaken by it (the Constitutional Court’s decision of 20 April 2010, its ruling of 6 February 2012, and its decision of 16 April 2014).

7. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, the provisions of the official constitutional doctrine related to the obligations undertaken by the Republic of Lithuania as a fully fledged of the European Union should also be noted.

7.1. The fundamental constitutional values consolidated in Article 1 of the Constitution—the independence of the state, democracy, the republic—are closely interrelated with the geopolitical orientation of the State of Lithuania, which is consolidated in the Constitution and implies European and transatlantic integration pursued by the Republic of Lithuania (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 24 January 2014). The geopolitical orientation of the State of Lithuania means the membership of the Republic of Lithuania in the EU and NATO as well as the necessity to fulfil the corresponding international commitments related with the said membership (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 7 July 2011 and 24 January 2014).

7.2. In its ruling of 24 January 2014, the Constitutional Court held that the membership of the Republic of Lithuania in the European Union was constitutionally confirmed by means of the Constitutional Act “On Membership of the Republic of Lithuania in the European Union”. As it is obvious from the preamble to this constitutional act, it was adopted, inter alia, in seeking “to ensure the fully fledged participation of the Republic of Lithuania in the European integration, as well as the security of the Republic of Lithuania and welfare of its citizens”.

Thus, the fully fledged participation of the Republic of Lithuania, as a member of the European Union, in the European Union is a constitutional imperative grounded in the expression of the sovereign will of the Nation and that the fully fledged membership of the Republic of Lithuania in the European Union is a constitutional value (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 24 January 2014).

7.3. The aforementioned constitutional imperative of the fully fledged participation of the Republic of Lithuania in the European Union and its fully fledged membership in the European Union, as a constitutional value, also implies the constitutional obligation of the Republic of Lithuania to participate, as a fully fledged Member State, inter alia, in the integration of the member countries into the economic and monetary union, inter alia, by adopting the common currency of this union—the euro—and conferring on the European Union the exclusive competence in the area of monetary policy. It should be noted that such a constitutional obligation of the State of Lithuania is concurrently an obligation arising from its membership in the European Union, which the State of Lithuania is obliged to fulfil while observing its geopolitical orientation consolidated in the Constitution and the constitutional principle of pacta sunt servanda (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 24 January 2014).

8. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, the provisions of the official constitutional doctrine in relation to the procedure of adoption of laws should be mentioned. The fundamental rules of the adoption of laws are consolidated in Article 69 of the Constitution, Paragraph 1 thereof establishes the following: “Laws shall be adopted at the Seimas according to the procedure established by law” (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 8 November 1993, 28 September 2011, and 15 February 2013).

8.1. While establishing the procedure for the adoption of laws, the Seimas must heed the norms and principle of the Constitution (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 19 January 2005 and 15 February 2013). Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, inter alia, give rise to the requirement according to which laws and other legal acts must be adopted according to the procedure that is established in advance and is in compliance with the Constitution, on the condition that this procedure must not be altered after the process of adoption of those laws has started (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 15 February 2013).

8.2. Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution is related to Article 76 thereof establishing that the structure and procedure of activities of the Seimas is established by the Statute of the Seimas which has the force of a law (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 15 February 2013).

The establishment of the procedure for the work of the Seimas also includes the regulation of law-making procedure (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 18 October 2000, 14 January 2002, 19 January 2005, and 15 February 2013). When interpreting the provision of Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution together with the provision of Article 76 of the Constitution, the Constitutional Court has stated that both these provisions mean that the legislative procedure may be regulated by the Statute of the Seimas and also by other laws (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 28 June 2001, 14 January 2002, 19 January 2005, and 15 February 2013).

When the Seimas and each member of the Seimas pass laws and other legal acts, they are bound by the Constitution, constitutional laws and laws, as well as the Statute of the Seimas that has the force of law (wording of 22 February 2008). The duty of the Seimas to follow the rules of passing laws which are defined in the Statute of the Seimas is a constitutional duty of the Seimas (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 8 November 1993, 14 January 2002, 22 February 2008, and 15 February 2013).

8.3. The process of legislation is a whole-complex of juridically significant acts necessary for the adoption of a law and performed in a certain rigid sequence of logic and time; the following stages of the process of legislation are universally recognised: the realisation of the right to legislation, the consideration of a draft law, the adoption of a draft law, the promulgation and the entry into force of the adopted law. Only with the completion of one stage another starts in consecutive order; the aforesaid consecutive order of the process of legislation is in essence consolidated in the Constitution: the realisation of the right of legislative initiative—in Article 68, the adoption of laws—in Article 69, the promulgation of laws and their entry into force—in Articles 70–72 (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 8 November 1993, 29 May 1997, 22 February 2008, and 11 September 2011). They do not separately identify the stage of the consideration of draft laws that is the stage guaranteeing the application of the principles of democracy in the process of legislation (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 8 November 1993).

The Constitutional Court has held the following on more than one occasion: the essence and purpose of the right of legislative initiative is to initiate the process of legislation; this right is implemented by submitting a draft law to the Seimas; after a subject of the right of legislative initiative at the Seimas submits a draft law, the legislative institution, the Seimas, is obliged to start its consideration (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 8 November 1993, 21 April 1998, 25 January 2001, 19 January 2005, and 28 September 2011). Then the second stage of the process of legislation begins which is usually defined by the regulations (statutes) of parliaments. The remarks, proposals, amendments, and supplements concerning the draft submitted by the parliamentarians at this stage are important elements of its consideration (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 8 November 1993).

8.4. Any stage of the legislation process or rule of the adoption of laws, which are enshrined in the Constitution, the Statute of the Seimas or other laws, may be ignored (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 29 September 2010, 28 September 2011, and 15 February 2013); the necessity to pass laws consequently following the stages and rules of the process of legislation stems from the Constitution (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 22 February 2008 and 15 February 2013).

8.5. The laws adopted by the Seimas must be in compliance with the Constitution. The compliance of laws and other legal acts adopted by the Seimas with the Constitution is ensured not only by the constitutional control of the legal acts adopted by the Seimas, which is carried out by the Constitutional Court, when this Court decides whether the constitutional laws (parts thereof) adopted by the Seimas are in conflict with the Constitution, whether laws (parts thereof) are in conflict with the Constitution and constitutional laws, whether sub-statutory legal acts (parts thereof) adopted by the Seimas are in conflict with the Constitution, constitutional laws, laws and the Statute of the Seimas, but also by the internal preventive control implemented by the Seimas in the manner established in the Statute of the Seimas, which prevents adoption of laws and other legal acts which could possibly contradict the Constitution or other legal acts of higher force (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 19 January 2005 and 15 February 2013).

In the cases where the Statute of the Seimas provides that, at a certain stage of the process of legislation, the Seimas internal preventive control of the compliance of laws with the Constitution must be carried out, it must be implemented not in a perfunctory manner, but in reality and efficiently (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 15 February 2013).

8.6. The jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court adheres to the legal position that the essential violations of the legislation procedure established in laws and the Statute of the Seimas imply that the provision of Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution that laws shall be adopted at the Seimas according to the procedure established by law is also violated (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 28 June 2001, 19 January 2005, 22 February 2008, and 15 February 2013).

III

On the compliance of the Law with Paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 5, Paragraph 1 of Article 30, Paragraph 1 of Article 69, and Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law

1. As mentioned before, the petitioners request an investigation into the compliance of the Law with Paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 5, Paragraph 1 of Article 30, Paragraph 1 of Article 69, and Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

2. The doubts of the petitioners concerning the compliance of the Law with Paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 5 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law are essentially grounded on the fact that having consolidated, by means of the Law, the new term for submitting to the Seimas a draft law regulating a mechanism for compensating for losses incurred as a result of disproportionate reduction of remuneration upon the expiry of the term that had been established previously, the legislature disregarded the terms established by laws. Moreover, the term for submitting the said draft law was postponed without assessing the existing economic and financial situation in the state and without specifying the concrete criteria of assessment of this situation to society. Having established the term for submitting to the Seimas the draft law regulating a mechanism of compensation and not the term for adopting the law, the term for establishing a mechanism of compensation itself is not defined sufficiently. Due to these reasons, according to the petitioners, the preconditions were created to violate the acquired rights and legitimate expectations of persons and the confidence in the State and its institutions were undermined; the principle of responsible governance and the imperative to fulfil the obligations assumed under laws were disregarded.

2.1. While deciding whether the Law is in conflict with Paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 5 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, it should be noted that, as mentioned before, by means of the Law impugned by the petitioner, the Government was obliged, until 1 May 2015, to prepare and submit a draft Law of the Republic of Lithuania regulating a mechanism for compensating (conditions, extent, and way of compensating, the period of time within which the reduced part of work remuneration (remuneration) would be compensated, the size of compensations, etc.) for losses incurred as a result of disproportionately reduced, during the economic crisis, work remuneration (remuneration) of persons remunerated for their work from the funds of either the state or municipal budgets and to provide the total amount of the funds necessary for compensations as calculated under the mechanism of compensation established in the this law.

It has also been mentioned that the Law amended the term which had previously been established for the Government until when (i.e. until 1 May 2014) it had to submit to the Seimas the said draft law regulating a mechanism of compensation.

2.2. In the constitutional justice case at issue, it should be noted that after the legal provisions that laid down the disproportionate extent of the reduction of the remuneration of the persons who are paid for their work from the funds of either the state or municipal budgets were declared as conflicting with the Constitution by the Constitutional Court in its ruling of 1 July 2013, the requirement stemmed from the Constitution, Article 23 thereof, for establishing a mechanism for compensating for losses incurred by the persons remunerated for their work from the funds of either state or municipal budgets; such a mechanism meant the procedure, according to which the state, within a reasonable time (inter alia, in view of the economic and financial situation of the state and after an assessment of the possibilities to accumulate (receive) the funds necessary for such a compensation) and in a fair manner, to the extent that the incurred losses had been disproportionate, will compensate for such losses.

2.3. It has been mentioned that, under the Constitution, inter alia Paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 5 thereof, and under the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law:

the Seimas, as the legislative institution, is independent inasmuch as its powers and its wide discretion are not limited by the Constitution, inter alia, by the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, the separation of powers, responsible governance, the protection of legitimate expectations, legal clarity, as well as by other principles;

the constitutional principles of legal certainty, legal security, and the protection of legitimate expectations imply the obligation of the state to secure the certainty and stability of the legal regulation, to protect the rights of persons, to respect the legitimate interests and legitimate expectations, and to fulfil any undertaken obligations for persons; if the protection of legitimate expectations of persons, legal certainty, and legal security is not ensured, the trust of the person in the state and law is not secured.

2.4. It has also been mentioned that, under the Constitution, the right of the persons, who incurred losses as a result of disproportionate reduction of remuneration to compensation for such losses, should be implemented through a mechanism established by the legislature, which would ensure fair compensation within a reasonable time; in the case where the legislature unreasonably delays the establishment of the mechanism for compensating for the incurred losses or if an unfair mechanism is established (from the viewpoint of the terms and/or amounts of the payment of compensation), the persons who incurred these losses may defend their infringed rights under judicial procedure. The legislature, while following the constitutional principle of responsible governance, may postpone the establishment and/or implementation of the mechanism for compensating for losses incurred as a result of disproportionate reduction of remuneration for a reasonable time that should be determined in view of an assessment of the existing economic and financial situation in the state and in the light of the consequences of an extreme situation and the capabilities of the state, including various obligations assumed by the state, which, inter alia, are related to financial discipline, thus, also to the imperative of balancing the revenue and expenditure of the state budget.

2.5. It has also been mentioned that:

the provision of the Constitution that the Government has the powers to prepare a draft State Budget means that the Government and no one else has the powers to estimate in the draft State Budget, how much revenues will be received and from which sources, how much funds and for what purposes must be appropriated, etc.;

the Constitution implies that, in the course of the preparation of the draft budget of the state, the Government has the duty, and, in the course of the consideration of and approving the state budget, the Seimas has the duty to take into consideration state functions, the existing economic and social situation, the needs and possibilities of society and the state, the available and estimated financial resources and state obligations (inter alia, the international ones), as well as other important factors; the legislature, when passing a law or other legal act, the implementation of which requires funds, must estimate the funds necessary for its implementation;

from the constitutional institute of a budget year, a duty stems for the legislature, in the course of deliberating and approving the state budget for the next year, to reassess the actual economic and financial situation in the state and to decide whether the said situation is still a particularly grave one, inter alia, whether the collection of the state budget revenue is still disordered to the extent that, due to this, the state is unable to perform the obligations undertaken by it;

the constitutional imperative of the fully fledged participation of the Republic of Lithuania in the European Union and its fully fledged membership in the European Union, as a constitutional value, also implies the constitutional obligation of the Republic of Lithuania to participate, as a fully fledged Member State, inter alia, in the integration of the member countries into the economic and monetary union, inter alia, by adopting the common currency of this union—the euro—and conferring on the European Union the exclusive competence in the area of monetary policy; such a constitutional obligation of the State of Lithuania is concurrently an obligation arising from its membership in the European Union, which the State of Lithuania is obliged to fulfil while observing its geopolitical orientation consolidated in the Constitution and the constitutional principle of pacta sunt servanda.

2.6. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it should be noted that, under the Constitution, only the Government and no one else, who has the powers, while drafting the budget of the state, to estimate how much revenue will be received and from which sources, how much funds and for what purposes must be appropriated, etc., could assess the actual economic and financial situation of the state, could take account of the consequences of the extreme situation and the capabilities of the state, and could prepare a draft law regulating a mechanism for compensating for the losses incurred as a result of the disproportionate reduction of work remuneration (remuneration) during the economic crisis.

2.6.1. It has been mentioned that the reasons of postponement of the term for the submission of the draft law regulating a mechanism for compensating for losses incurred as a result of disproportionately reduced remuneration are specified in the explanatory note to the draft law submitted by the Government: the economy of the country has not yet reached the level that existed before the economic crisis, therefore, by having established the aforementioned mechanism of compensation, the objectives of sustainable improvement of public finances and stability would be disregarded and the fiscal discipline would be violated; the compensation for the reduced state social insurance pensions is the priority of the Government; the difficult geopolitical situation that occurred as a result of the crisis in the relationship between Russia and Ukraine threatens stable economic growth of Lithuania; the strategic objective of Lithuania is to strengthen its defence capability and to fulfil the obligations related to the membership of the NATO and other international organisations by, for this purpose, gradually increasing the funding for national security.

Therefore, the establishment of a mechanism for compensating for losses incurred as a result of disproportionate reduction of remuneration by means of the Law was postponed upon an assessment of the existing economic and financial situation in the state, having taken account of the fact that the national economy had not yet reached its pre-crisis level, and that, due to the complicated geopolitical situation, Lithuania’s stable economic growth was threatened, as well as of the capabilities of the state first to compensate the people for the reduced state social insurance pensions and state obligations to maintain fiscal discipline, as well as of the obligations related to the membership in the NATO and other international organisations.

2.6.2. As mentioned before, it is obvious from the material of the constitutional justice case at issue that if the law regulating a mechanism for compensating for the losses incurred as a result of disproportionately reduced remuneration had been adopted in 2014, without having taken account of the terms for the payment of compensation, the general government deficit of the year 2014 would have increased and, thus, the Law on Fiscal Discipline of the Republic of Lithuania would have been violated. In its Recommendation “On Lithuania’s 2014 National Reform Programme and Delivering a Council Opinion on Lithuania’s 2014 Convergence Programme”{SWD(214) 416 final} of 2 June 2014, the European Commission confirmed that in 2014 there was a risk of deviation relative to fiscal discipline requirements.

In this context it has been mentioned that the Law on Fiscal Discipline, together with the rules of fiscal discipline established therein, is committed for the legal acts of the European Union that seek to ensure sustainable public finance management in the member states of economic and monetary union.

Thus, when fulfilling its obligation as a fully fledged member of the European Union to participate in the integration of the states of the economic and monetary union, inter alia, when adopting the euro, Lithuania was not allowed to disregard the fiscal discipline related to this obligation.

2.7. It should be held that the said circumstances, related to the existing economic, financial, and geopolitical situation and to the imperative to fulfil the obligations assumed under laws, should be regarded as very significant and indicating that, before 1 May 2014, the Government had limited possibilities for the actual and responsible assessment of the capabilities of the state to fulfil the obligation to compensate fairly (from the viewpoint of the time limits and amounts of the payment of compensation) for the losses incurred as a result of the disproportionate reduction of remuneration. The preparation of the draft law regulating a mechanism of compensation, in an attempt only to meet the original term for the preparation of the draft established in a law, i.e. to fulfil the obligation established for the Government by the Seimas until 1 May 2014, without responsibly substantiating the implementation of the mechanism of compensation (which is proposed to establish) by the actual capabilities of the state which vary due to the aforementioned economic, financial and geopolitical circumstances, would have been an objective in itself and would have created preconditions for violating the legitimate expectations of persons who had incurred losses to receive fair compensation for losses within a reasonable time.

In addition, while taking account of the duty, which stems from the constitutional institute of a budget year, in the course of deliberating and approving of the State Budget for the next year, to reassess the actual economic and financial situation and to decide whether the state is still incapable of fulfilling the assumed obligations, there are no arguments for stating that the term of one year established by the Law, for which the submission of a draft law establishing a mechanism of compensation was postponed, may not be considered a reasonable time.

2.8. It has been mentioned that on 30 April 2014, the Government submitted a draft law to the Seimas, on the grounds of which, on 11 September 2014, the Seimas adopted the impugned Law.

It has been mentioned that the process of legislation is a whole-complex of juridically significant acts necessary for the adoption of a law and performed in a certain rigid sequence of logic and time; after a subject of the right of legislative initiative at the Seimas submits a draft law, the legislative institution, the Seimas, is obliged to start its consideration.

In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue it has also been mentioned that only the Government and no one else could assess the actual economic and financial situation of the state, could take account of the consequences of the extreme situation and the capabilities of the state, and could prepare a draft law regulating a mechanism for compensating for the losses incurred as a result of the disproportionate reduction of work remuneration (remuneration) during the economic crisis.

Thus, while respecting the rules of the process of legislation, the Seimas could adopt the Law only after the Government, after it had assessed the economic and financial situation and had taken account of the consequences of the extreme situation, as well as the capabilities of the state until the term of 1 May 2014 established for the Government, submitted the draft Law to the Seimas.

2.9. Thus, it should be held that there is no ground for stating that, in establishing the new term for submitting the draft law regulating a mechanism for compensating for losses incurred as a result of disproportionate reduction of remuneration by means of a law, the legislature delayed unreasonably and violated the legitimate expectations of persons who had incurred such losses, the principle of responsible governance, and the imperative to fulfil the obligations assumed under laws.

2.10. Consequently, there are no grounds for stating that the Law violated Paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 5 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

2.11. It should be noted that, as mentioned before, the process of legislation is a whole-complex of juridically significant acts necessary for the adoption of a law and performed in a certain rigid sequence of logic and time; after a subject entitled to legislative initiative at the Seimas submits a draft law, the legislative institution, the Seimas, is obliged to start its consideration; therefore, the term of 1 May 2015 established for the Government under the Law for submitting a draft law regulating the mechanism of compensation should be considered concrete term for initiating the process of legislation regulated in the Constitution and the Statute of the Seimas in seeking to adopt a law regulating a mechanism for compensating for disproportionately reduced remuneration.

3. As mentioned before, the petitioners had doubts on the compliance of the Law also with Paragraph 1 of Article 30 and Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of the Constitution.

3.1. In the opinion of the petitioner, from 1 May 2014 to the coming into force of the Law on 20 September 2014, it was virtually possible to state the unreasonable delay of the state to establish a mechanism for compensating for the incurred losses, and, correspondingly, there was a ground for defending, under the judicial procedure, the rights of persons who incurred losses. Upon the adoption of the Law, the situation of these persons, in terms of the reality of their right to judicial defence, became unclear and it changed essentially, after the establishment of a mechanism for compensating for remunerations was postponed, these persons may not evaluate whether the legislator delays unreasonably the establishment of a mechanism for compensating for remuneration. Due to these reasons, the persons that have experienced losses are prevented from implementing their right to a judicial defence effectively and, therefore, Paragraph 1 of Article 30 and Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of the Constitution are violated.

3.2. In deciding whether the Law is in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 30 and Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of the Constitution, it should be noted that, as mentioned before:

every person who believes that their rights or freedoms have been violated has the right to judicial defence of their constitutional rights and freedoms that have been violated;

the constitutional right to apply to court means that that in a state under the rule of law everyone is given an opportunity to defend their rights in court against unlawful actions of other persons as well as of state institutions and officials;

if the constitutional right of persons to apply to court were not ensured, the generally recognised legal principle of ubi ius, ibi remedium—if there is a certain right (freedom), there must be a measure for its protection—would also be disregarded; such a legal situation where a certain right or freedom of persons cannot be defended, also by means of the judicial procedure, although the persons themselves believe that this right or freedom has been violated, is, under the Constitution, impossible, nor does the Constitution tolerate this.

It has also been held that under the Constitution, inter alia, under the constitutional imperative of social harmony, fair compensation for losses, incurred by the persons who are paid their remuneration for work from the funds of either the state or municipal budgets, due to the disproportionate reduction of the remuneration, can only be properly ensured on the grounds of the legislature-established sizes, terms, and other essential elements of the compensation for the incurred losses.

It has also been mentioned that the right of the persons who incurred losses as a result of disproportionate reduction of remuneration to compensation for such losses should be implemented through a mechanism established by the legislature, which would ensure fair compensation within a reasonable time; if the legislature unreasonably delays the establishment of a mechanism of compensation for the incurred losses, or if an unfair mechanism is established (from the viewpoint of the time limits and/or sizes of the payment of compensation), persons who incurred losses as a result of the disproportionate reduction of remuneration may defend their infringed rights under judicial procedure.

3.3. In this ruling, it has been held that there was no ground for stating that, in establishing the new term for submitting the draft law regulating a mechanism of compensation by means of a law, the legislature delayed unreasonably.

3.4. Thus, there is no ground for stating that by establishing the new term for the submission of the draft law regulating a mechanism of compensation by means of the Law, the rights acquired under Paragraph 1 of Article 30 and Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of the Constitution by persons who had incurred losses as a result of disproportionate reduction of their remuneration were infringed.

4. It has been mentioned that, in the constitutional justice case at issue, the petitioner requests an investigation into the compliance of the Law with, inter alia, Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution.

4.1. From the arguments of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania, the petitioner, it is obvious that the petitioner had doubts on whether the Law, under the procedure of adoption, was in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution in the aspect that, according to the petitioner, the draft of the impugned Law was not preliminarily considered at the Seimas Committee on Legal Affairs.

4.2. While deciding on the compliance of the Law with the Constitution in view of the procedure of adoption, the circumstances related to its process are of essential importance.

4.2.1. Submitted by government resolution (No. 377) of 28 April 2014, the draft Law (No. XIIP-1771) Amending Article 2 of the Law (No. XII-523) on the Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 25 of the Law on State Service and Annex 1 thereto and Declaring Certain Laws Related thereto as No Longer Valid, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 3 of the Law Amending the Appendix of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 2 of the Law Amending the Appendix of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 3 of the Law Amending Article 30 of the Statute of the Special Investigation Service, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 3 of the Law Amending Article 1 of the Law Amending the Statute of the Service in the Department of Prisons under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania, and the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 3 of the Law Amending Article 20 of the Statute of the Civil National Defence Service was registered at the Seimas on 30 April 2014; by means of this draft Law, it was proposed to establish a new term (until 1 May 2015) for the Government for preparing and submitting to the Seimas the draft law regulating a mechanism for compensating for losses incurred as a result of disproportionately reduced, during the economic crisis, work remuneration (remuneration), of persons whose work is paid from the funds of either the state or municipal budgets and for providing the total amount of the funds necessary for compensations as calculated under the mechanism of compensation established in the this law.

4.2.2. On 9 May 2014, the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas submitted the conclusion (No. XIIP-1771) concerning the said draft law, which, inter alia, prescribed the following: “The legal regulation proposed in the draft Law is to be assessed from the viewpoint of the constitutional doctrine”, the law which is amended by the Law “created a legitimate expectation that, on 1 May 2014, the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, shall submit, in a form of a draft law, the proposals for compensating for the remuneration disproportionately reduced by the legal regulation that conflicts with the Constitution, […] most persons whose work remuneration had been reduced by means of a legal regulation conflicting with the Constitution did not apply to courts to defend their infringed rights”; “the norm of Item 2 of Article 2 of the amended law established the term until which the specified draft law had to be submitted, therefore, this term could be amended before the expiry of this term, i.e. 1 May 2014”; “the explanatory note to the draft law indicates a number of reasons leading to the preparation of the draft law. The arguments specified in this draft law cannot be accepted.”

It should be noted that in the said conclusion the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas, having performed the assessment of the compliance of the draft law with the Constitution, did not hold unambiguously that it was in conflict with the Constitution.

4.2.3. As the Seimas Committee on Legal Affairs had not considered the draft Law, on 11 September 2014 the Seimas adopted the Law.

4.3. While investigating, subsequent to the petition of the petitioner, whether the Law, under the procedure of adoption, is in conflict with the Constitution, it is necessary to reveal what was the established legal regulation, under which a preliminary assessment of the compliance of the draft of the impugned Law with the Constitution had to be made after this draft had been submitted to the Seimas and while considering it at the Seimas.

4.3.1. Paragraph 2 (wording of 19 December 2013) of Article 136 “Registration of a Draft Law and Subsequent Activities” of the Statute of the Seimas prescribes that with respect to a registered draft law, the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas shall, within seven working days of the receipt thereof, submit conclusions on conformity of the draft with the Constitution, laws, legislation principles and technical rules of law-making and on conformity of the submitted documents to the requirements of this Statute; if this is a large draft, the Director of the Legal Department shall have the right to apply to the Conference of Chairs for the extension of this period.

While interpreting this provision of the Statute of the Seimas, in its ruling of 15 February 2013, the Constitutional Court held that Paragraph 2 of Article 136 of the Statute of the Seimas establishes a duty of the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas, upon assessment of a draft law, to present a conclusion clearly (unequivocally) stating whether the draft law is in conflict with the Constitution or not; the conclusion that the draft law is in conflict with the Constitution must be grounded.

4.3.2. Under Paragraph 2 (wording of 10 October 2000) of Article 138 “Preliminary Conclusions on a Draft Law by the Seimas Committee, the Government and Other Institutions” of the Statute of the Seimas, if the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas presents a conclusion that a draft is not in compliance with the Constitution, the Seimas Committee on Legal Affairs must undertake preliminary consideration of this draft.

Thus, it is only a conclusion of the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas stating unambiguously that a draft law is in conflict with the Constitution that determines the duty of the Seimas Committee on Legal Affairs to consider it preliminarily.

4.3.3. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue it should be noted that, while interpreting this provision of the Statute of the Seimas, in its rulings of 19 January 2005 and 15 February 2013, the Constitutional Court held that it is one of the legal means to seek to achieve that the laws and other legal acts adopted by the Seimas would not be in conflict with the Constitution.

4.4. It has also been mentioned that the duty of the Seimas to follow the rules of passing laws that are defined in the Statute of the Seimas is a constitutional duty of the Seimas. Ignoring of any stage of the process of legislation or any rule of the adoption of laws, which are enshrined in the Constitution, the Statute of the Seimas or other laws, is not allowed; the necessity of the passing of laws in a gradual manner according to the stages and rules of the process of legislation stems from the Constitution; the laws adopted by the Seimas must be in compliance with the Constitution; the compliance of the laws and other legal acts of the Seimas with the Constitution is ensured, inter alia, by the internal preventive control implemented by the Seimas, which must be implemented not in a perfunctory manner, but in reality and efficiently; the essential violations of the legislation procedure established in the Statute of the Seimas imply that also the provision of Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution that laws shall be adopted at the Seimas according to the procedure established by law is violated.

4.5. It has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that Paragraph 2 (wording of 19 December 2013) of Article 136 and Paragraph 2 (wording of 10 October 2000) of the Statute of the Seimas consolidate such a procedure for preliminary assessment of the compliance of a draft law submitted to the Seimas with the Constitution, under which the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas must assess the compliance of a draft law with the Constitution by presenting a conclusion clearly (unequivocally) stating whether the draft law is in conflict with the Constitution; when it presents a conclusion stating that a draft law is in conflict with the Constitution, the draft law must be considered also by the Seimas Committee on Legal Affairs; under the aforementioned provisions of the Statute of the Seimas, the Seimas Committee on Legal Affairs must consider a draft law from the viewpoint of its compliance with the Constitution only in such a case where the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas submits a conclusion that the said draft law is in conflict with the Constitution.

4.6. It has been mentioned that the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas, having performed an assessment of the compliance of the draft Law with the Constitution, did not hold unambiguously that it was in conflict with the Constitution.

4.7. Consequently, the Seimas Committee on Legal Affairs, pursuant to Paragraph 2 (wording of 19 December 2013) of Article 136 of the Statute of the Seimas, was not obliged to consider this draft of the impugned Law.

Thus, it should be held that there is no ground for stating that, in the course of adopting the impugned Law, the requirement consolidated in Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution to follow the procedure for adoption of laws that is established in laws and the Statute of the Seimas has been violated.

5. In the light of the foregoing arguments, the conclusion should be drawn that the Law is not in conflict with Paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 5, Paragraph 1 of Article 30, Paragraph 1 of Article 69, and Paragraph 1 of Article 109 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, 531, 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:

To recognise that the 11 September 2014 Law Amending Article 2 of the Law (No. XII-523) on the Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 25 of the Law on State Service and Annex 1 thereto and Declaring Certain Laws Related thereto as No Longer Valid, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 3 of the Law Amending the Appendix of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 2 of the Law Amending the Appendix of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 3 of the Law Amending Article 30 of the Statute of the Special Investigation Service, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 3 of the Law Amending Article 1 of the Law Amending the Statute of the Service in the Department of Prisons under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania, and the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 3 of the Law Amending Article 20 of the Statute of the Civil National Defence Service (the Register of Legal Acts, 09-19-2014, No. 12504) is not in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

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

Justices of the Constitutional Court:          Elvyra Baltutytė

                                                                              Vytautas Greičius

                                                                              Pranas Kuconis

                                                                              Gediminas Mesonis

                                                                              Vytas Milius

                                                                              Egidijus Šileikis

                                                                              Algirdas Taminskas

                                                                              Dainius Žalimas