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On the coefficients of the remuneration of judges and the Labour Code

Case No. 20/2011-14/2013-15/2013-16/2013

 

 

THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

IN THE NAME OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

 

RULING

ON THE COMPLIANCE OF THE APPENDIX (WORDING OF 6 NOVEMBER 2008) TO THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA’S LAW ON THE REMUNERATION OF JUDGES AND ARTICLE 298 (WORDING OF 4 JUNE 2002) AND ARTICLE 301 (WORDING OF 26 JUNE 2012) OF THE LABOUR CODE OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA WITH THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

 

8 May 2014, No. KT17-N6/2014

Vilnius

 

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

The court reporter—Daiva Pitrėnaitė

Judge Ernestas Spruogis, acting as the representative of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner

Juzef Kvetkovskij, a member of the Seimas, acting as the representative of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, the party concerned

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, pursuant to Articles 102 and 105 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and Article 1 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, on 29 April 2014, in the Court’s public hearing heard constitutional justice case No. 20/2011-14/2013-15/2013-16/2013 subsequent to:

1) the petition of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether the Appendix (wording of 6 November 2008) to the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Remuneration of Judges, to the extent that it established coefficient 19.2 of the positional salary of justices of the Supreme Court of Lithuania, was not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 109 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (No. 1B-17/2011);

2) the petition of the Vilnius City Local Court, a petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether the Appendix (wording of 6 November 2008) to the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Remuneration of Judges, to the extent that it established coefficient 18.7 of the positional salary of judges of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania, was not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 109 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (No. 1B-10/2013);

3) the petition of the Vilnius City Local Court, a petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether the Appendix (wording of 6 November 2008) to the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Remuneration of Judges, to the extent that it established coefficient 17.2 of the positional salary of judges of regional administrative courts, was not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 109 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (No. 1B-15/2013);

4) the petition of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether Article 298 (wording of 4 June 2002) of the Labour Code of the Republic of Lithuania was not in conflict, whilst Article 301 (wording of 26 June 2012) of the Labour Code of the Republic of Lithuania is not in conflict with Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 23, the provision “[e]ach human being <…> shall have the right <…> to receive fair pay for work <…>” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48, Paragraph 2 of Article 109 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (No. 1B-19/2013).

By the Constitutional Court’s decision of 16 April 2014, the foregoing petitions were joined into one case, and it was given reference No. 20/2011-14/2013-15/2013-16/2013.

The Constitutional Court

has established:

I

1. The petition (No. 1B-17/2011) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, is substantiated by the following arguments.

1.1. In the opinion of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, since 15 November 2008, the claimant in the administrative case considered by the said court, who is a justice of the Supreme Court of Lithuania, when the Law on the Remuneration of Judges came into force, has been paid the remuneration of a judge that is smaller than the one that should be paid according to the Constitution. The Law on the Remuneration of Judges has established new coefficients of the positional salary. When it was adopting the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, the Seimas should have taken into consideration the Constitution and the size of the remuneration of judges based on legitimate expectations, but it should not have invoked the Resolution of the Judicial Council (No. 207) “On the Assenting to the Methods of the Calculation of the Remuneration of Judges Which was Prepared by the Working Group” of 2 April 2004 that approved the Methods of the Calculation of the Remuneration of Judges according to which judges were paid the remuneration that was smaller than the one that should have been paid under the Constitution.

In violation of the legitimate expectations, by failing to observe the Constitution, the claimant in the administrative case has been paid the remuneration of a judge, calculated according to the coefficient established in the Appendix (wording of 6 November 2008) to the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, that is too small. It is doubtful whether in the course of the adoption of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges and the establishing of new coefficients of the remuneration of judges it was allowed to take into consideration the Government Resolution (No. 1494) “On the Partial Amendment of the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 689) ‘On the Work Pay of the Head Officials and Functionaries of Law and Order Institutions and of Law Enforcement and Control Institutions’ of 30 June 1997” of 28 December 1999 (hereinafter also referred to as government resolution No. 1494 of 28 December 1999), by which the remuneration paid to judges was reduced (by changing coefficient 2.5 to coefficient 1.75), and whether the principle of the independence of judges and courts consolidated in the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law were not violated.

1.2. In its ruling of 12 July 2001, the Constitutional Court ruled that the provisions of the Law on the Work Pay of State Politicians, Judges and State Officials governing the calculation of the remuneration of judges were in conflict with the Constitution. After the pronouncement of the said ruling of the Constitutional Court, judges had to be paid bigger remuneration, i.e. the one paid prior to the entry into force and beginning of the application of the Law on the Work Pay of State Politicians, Judges and State Officials. After the Constitutional Court had passed the said ruling, any legal regulation related to the calculation of the remuneration of judges disappeared: the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 666) “On the Work Pay of Judges of Courts, Officials and Other Employees of the Prosecutor’s Office and the State Security Department of the Republic of Lithuania” of 24 June 1997 (hereinafter also referred to as government resolution No. 666 of 24 June 1997), the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 689) “On the Work Pay of the Head Officials and Functionaries of Law and Order Institutions and of Law Enforcement and Control Institutions” of 30 June 1997 (hereinafter also referred to as government resolution No. 689 of 30 June 1997), and government resolution No. 1494 of 28 December 1999, which used to establish the sizes of the remuneration of judges before the adoption of the Law on the Work Pay of State Politicians, Judges and State Officials, were no longer valid. These resolutions, as certain technical rules expressing the mathematical value of the size of the remuneration of judges, used to be referred in order to calculate the remuneration of judges after the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 12 July 2001 was passed.

Government resolution No. 1494 of 28 December 1999, by which the service remuneration of judges was reduced (it established that the service remuneration of judges must be calculated by applying coefficient 1.75, but not the previous coefficient 2.5), was temporary and was adopted in view of “a complicated economic and financial situation”. The Constitutional Court’s decision of 8 August 2006 contains the provision that at the time of the passing of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 12 July 2001, the legal regulation established by government resolution No. 1494 of 28 December 1999 had already been removed from the legal system, thus, when the Constitutional Court was passing its ruling of 12 July 2001, the complicated economic and financial situation was no longer relevant.

Government resolution No. 666 of 24 June 1997 and government resolution No. 689 of 30 June 1997 should be assessed differently. On the grounds of the legal regulation consolidated in the Constitution, inter alia, the constitutional principles of the independence of judges, legitimate expectations, and the equal legal status of judges, after the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 12 July 2001 had been passed, judges should have been paid the remuneration of judges that they had been paid prior to the entry into force and the application of the Law on the Work Pay of State Politicians, Judges and State Officials. In view of the fact that courts adopted a great many decisions awarding judges the unpaid parts of their remuneration, government resolution No. 666 of 24 June 1997 and government resolution No. 689 of 30 June 1997 are technical rules establishing the expression of the mathematical value of the size of the remuneration of judges. Even though the Constitution itself, which is the legal basis of the calculation of the size of remuneration of judges, does not provide for the size of the remuneration of judges, however, the constitutional principles of the independence of courts and judges and of legitimate expectations gave rise to the duty to apply the mathematical rules of the calculation of the remuneration of judges that had been established in legal acts no longer valid, i.e., in government resolution No. 666 of 24 June 1997 and government resolution No. 689 of 30 June 1997.

2. The petitions (Nos. 1B-10/1013 and 1B-15/2013) of the Vilnius City Local Court are substantiated by the following arguments.

After the Law on the Remuneration of Judges (wording of 6 November 2008) had been adopted, the remuneration of the claimants in the civil cases—a former judge of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania (petition No. 1B-10/1013) and judges of a regional administrative court (petition No. 1B-15/2013)—was groundlessly reduced. By means of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, it was attempted to establish new coefficients of the remuneration of judges that had to be calculated on the basis of the factual remuneration paid at that time. Until the adoption of the said law, the problems related to the calculation of the remuneration of judges were attempted to be solved by the Methodology for Calculating the Remuneration of Judges approved by the Resolution of the Council of Courts (No. 207) “On the Assent to the Methodology for Calculating the Work Remuneration of Judges Prepared by the Work Group” that was adopted on 2 April 2004. The said methodology served as the factual grounds for the calculation of the size of the remuneration of judges.

Having adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Returning of the Part of the Remuneration Not Paid to Judges, the Seimas acknowledged that the remuneration actually paid to judges according to the said Methodology for Calculating the Remuneration of Judges had unlawfully been smaller than required by the Constitution. After the Law on the Remuneration of Judges (the wording of 6 November 2008) had established a different procedure for calculating the additional pay, the remuneration of the claimants in the said cases—a former judge of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania and judges of a regional administrative court—became smaller.

3. The petitioners—the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (petition No. 1B-17/2011) and the Vilnius City Local Court (petitions Nos. 1B-10/2013 and 1B-15/2013)—substantiate their doubts about the compliance of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges with Paragraph 2 of Article 109 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law by the official constitutional doctrine formulated by the Constitutional Court, according to which: the imperative of the constitutional protection of the remuneration and other social guarantees of judges stems from the principle of the independence of judges and courts consolidated in Article 109 of the Constitution; the Constitution prohibits the reduction of the remuneration and social guarantees of judges; any attempts to reduce the remuneration of judges or their social guarantees, or the limitation upon the financing of courts are treated as an encroachment upon the independence of judges and courts; the constitutional imperative, according to which the Constitution prohibits the reduction of the remuneration and social guarantees of judges, is not absolute; the reduction of the remuneration of judges is allowed only when there is an especially difficult economic and financial situation in the state; only the legislature is allowed to reduce the remuneration of judges by means of laws, however, it can do so only on a temporary basis, i.e., only as long as the economic and financial situation in the state remains to be especially difficult; in such a case the reduction of the remuneration is allowed only in the observance of the principle of proportionality.

4. The petition (No. 1B-19/2013) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, is substantiated by the following arguments.

Article 301 (wording of 26 June 2012) of the Labour Code, which is impugned by the petitioner and is valid at present, and the previously valid Article 298 (wording of 4 June 2002) of the Labour Code consolidated the provision that the employee shall receive the judicial award of the amounts of work remuneration and other amounts connected with employment relations due to them for not longer than a 3-year period. If a court considers the case for the period that is longer than three years, a person, due to circumstances beyond their control, loses an opportunity to be judicially awarded all the remuneration that is due to them that exceeds a three-year period. Thus, a person is deprived of an opportunity to be judicially awarded their honestly earned remuneration and their constitutional right to fair pay for work and ownership is denied, therefore, Article 298 (wording of 4 June 2002) of the Labour Code was in conflict, whilst Article 301 (wording of 26 June 2012) thereof is in conflict, with the provision “[e]ach human being <…> shall have the right <…> to receive fair pay for work <…>” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution and Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 23 thereof.

The remuneration of judges is the ownership protected, inter alia, on the grounds of the principle of the independence of judges consolidated in Article 109 of the Constitution. The protection of the remuneration of judges is connected with the fact that, when administering justice, they would be able to properly defend the rights of persons, however, the provision of Article 298 (wording of 4 June 2002) and Article 301 (wording of 26 June 2012) of the Labour Code prevents persons from being judicially awarded the entire earned remuneration of judges. Such legal regulation creates the preconditions and conditions for a court administering justice to negate the provisions of the Constitution and not to award the entire earned remuneration.

The Constitutional Court has held on more than one occasion that the right of every citizen to receive fair pay for work as consolidated in Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution is a pre-condition for implementing most of the other constitutional rights, inter alia, that this right is one of the most important pre-conditions for implementing the right to ownership as consolidated in Article 23 of the Constitution; under the Constitution, a right appears in regard to the person who has completed a commissioned task to demand that the whole work remuneration (remuneration) which is due according to the legal acts be paid to them; this right of the person is guaranteed, protected and defended as the right of ownership. The Constitutional Court has noted on more than one occasion that the constitutional imperative of the constitutional protection of the remuneration and other social guarantees of judges stems from the principle of the independence of judges and courts established in in Article 109 of the Constitution. An attempt is thus made to protect the judges who administer justice from any influence of the legislative and executive branches of power, as well as from that of other state establishments and officials, political and public organisations, commercial economic structures, and legal and natural persons.

II

1. In the course of the preparation of the case for the Constitutional Court’s hearing, written explanations were received from Seimas member Juzef Kvetkovskij, the representative of the party concerned, in which it was stated that Article 298 (wording of 4 June 2002) of the Labour Code was not in conflict, whilst Article 301 (wording of 26 June 2012) of the Labour Code is not in conflict, with Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 23, the provision “[e]ach human being <…> shall have the right <…> to receive fair pay for work <…>” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48, Paragraph 2 of Article 109 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law. The position of the representative of the Seimas is substantiated by the following arguments.

1.1. Article 298 (wording of 4 June 2002) of the Labour Code and Article 301 (wording of 26 June 2012) of the Labour Code provide that “[t]he employee shall receive the judicial award of the amounts of work remuneration and other amounts connected with employment relations due to them for not longer than a 3-year period.”

The limitation established in the impugned articles of the Labour Code has a certain regulatory legal meaning and purpose; this limitation establishes the limits of claims. In the course of the consideration of judicial disputes, this provision creates the preconditions for granting the claims of the employees whose rights or legitimate interests have been violated regarding the remuneration for work or other payments connected with employment relations due to them, however, it consolidates certain limits of the granting of such claims. Such legal regulation was established, on the one hand, in order to grant the claims of employees, and, on the other hand, in the course of the granting of claims, not to create any such legal situations where the legitimate interests of other persons could be violated.

The size of the remuneration for work and other the payments connected with the employment relations, due on the ground of the impugned articles of the Labour Code, is determined not by the amount of money, but by means of (three) calendar years. It should be noted that, in its nature, the term of three years is a substantive legal term. Even though this term is connected with the statutory limitation of an analogous duration that is provided for in Article 27 of the Labour Code, however, it is not a statutory limitation on the claim. It regulates not the duration of the defence of the right to defend the violated interests, but, rather, the term of the validity of the substantive right to remuneration for work and other payments connected with employment. This term, differently from the statutory limitation on the claim, cannot be renewed by means of a decision of a court or the Labour Disputes Commission or prolonged by agreement of the parties, i.e. this term is imperative. If an employee has the right to remuneration for work or other payments for the period of more than three years, they can choose the three-year period that is most favourable for them from the financial point of view. Such a position has also been upheld in the judicial practice.

1.2. Paragraph 1 of Article 23 of the Constitution consolidates the constitutional principle of the defence of private ownership, which means that the owners that have the subjective rights to property are guaranteed the right to demand that other persons not violate their rights. This principle implies the duty of the state to protect the rights of owners against any unlawful encroachment upon such rights. Paragraph 2 of Article 23 of the Constitution consolidates the fundamental rule of the institute of ownership that the rights of ownership are defended by means of legal acts that have the supreme legal power, i.e. by means of laws.

In its rulings of 13 December 2004 and 11 December 2009, the Constitutional Court held that the right of every citizen to receive fair pay for work as consolidated in Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution is a pre-condition for implementing most of the other constitutional rights, inter alia, that this right is one of the most important pre-conditions for implementing the right to ownership as consolidated in Article 23 of the Constitution. The principle of the inviolability of property should not be treated as an absolute one. If the rights of ownership were made absolute, there might appear preconditions for violating the property interests of other persons and for creating conflicts. The Constitutional Court has held that the Constitution allows for the possibility of limiting the rights of ownership and some other fundamental human rights. In its ruling of 13 December 1993, the Constitutional Court noted that neither the Constitution, nor the valid system of other laws, nor universally recognised norms of international law deny the opportunity, under conditions and procedure prescribed by law, to alienate the property or limit its possession, use or disposal. In addition, the necessity to limit the subjective rights of owners may ensue either from actions of the persons themselves, or from the agreements or international obligations of the state; the limitations must be established by law, and they are allowed only when they are in compliance with the Constitution (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 6 May 1997).

1.3. Article 5 of the Constitution provides that, in Lithuania, state power shall be executed by the Seimas, the President of the Republic and the Government, and the Judiciary. On the grounds of this provision of the Constitution, the conclusion should be drawn that every institution implementing the state authority within its competence, in view of the constitutional significance of this institution in the system of state authority, is treated equally. In view of this fact, the guarantees for the activities of judges and courts, their work pay and other social guarantees cannot be exceptional, because they must reflect the principle of, and the striving for, a just and harmonious civil society and the principle of a state under the rule of law that are consolidated in the Constitution.

2. Seimas member Rimantas Jonas Dagys, the representative of the Seimas, the party concerned (representing the Seimas, the party concerned, in the part of the case subsequent to the petition (No. 1B-17/2011) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, and the petitions (Nos. 1B-10/2013, 1B-15/2013) of the Vilnius City Local Court, a petitioner), did not submit any written explanations and failed to appear at the public hearing of the Constitutional Court.

III

1. At the Constitutional Court’s hearing, Judge Ernestas Spruogis, the representative of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, virtually reiterated the arguments set forth in the petitions and answered the questions of the justices of the Constitutional Court.

While answering the questions of the justices of the Constitutional Court, Ernestas Spruogis noted that it is doubtful whether the government-established regulation, relevant to this constitutional justice case, of the remuneration of judges may be regarded as a stable one, especially in view of the fact that the constitutional imperative that the remuneration of judges must be established by law was in fact implemented only by the impugned Law on the Remuneration of Judges adopted on 6 November 2008. In the opinion of Ernestas Spruogis, the Law on the Remuneration of Judges was adopted because of the then existing unacceptable situation regarding the regulation of remuneration of judges.

The representative of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, also doubted whether Item 1.1 of government resolution No. 689 of 30 June 1997 by which the service remuneration (coefficients) of certain judges had been increased by 2.5 times could give rise to the legitimate expectations that the remuneration of judges would not be reduced afterwards. Ernestas Spruogis emphasised that the additional pay for the years served for the State of Lithuania, which is a constituent part of the remuneration of judges, must be paid only as from 11 March 1990, when the State of Lithuania was restored.

2. At the Constitutional Court, Seimas member Juzef Kvetkovskij, the representative of the Seimas, the party concerned, virtually reiterated the arguments set forth in his written explanations and answered the questions of the justices of the Constitutional Court.

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

I

1. The petitioners—the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court and the Vilnius City Local Court—impugn the compliance of the coefficients of the positional salaries of the justices of the Supreme Court and the judges of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania and regional administrative courts, which are established in the Appendix (wording of 6 November 2008) to the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, with the Constitution.

In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it is important to disclose the changes in the legal regulation governing the remuneration of judges.

2. On 29 November 1991, the Government of the Republic of Lithuania adopted the Resolution (No. 499) “On the Temporary Experimental Procedure for the Work Pay of the Heads and Other Officials of State Authority, State Governance and Law Enforcement Bodies” by which it established the temporary experimental procedure for the work pay of the heads and other officials of state bodies, who discharged the functions of state authority, state governance and law enforcement. By means of this resolution, the service remuneration of judges and the additional pay for their qualification classes were approved. It was also established that for work deviating from normal conditions and work performed overtime, at night, during days off and on holidays heads and other officials of state bodies are additionally paid the minimum extra pay, as approved by the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Work Pay, from the finances of the fund for work pay pursuant to the procedure laid down in laws and normative acts of the Republic of Lithuania.

This government resolution has been amended on more than one occasion. The said resolution used to regulate the remuneration of judges until the Government Resolution (No. 222) “On the Partial Amendment of the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 499) of 29 November 1991” of 5 April 1993, by means of its Item 2, recognised that, inter alia, Appendix 5 to the Government Resolution (No. 499) “On the Temporary Experimental Procedure for the Work Pay of the Heads and Other Officials of State Authority, State Governance and Law Enforcement Bodies” of 29 November 1991 by which the service remuneration of judges and the extra pay for their qualification classes had been established was no longer valid.

3. On 6 February 1992, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Courts. Paragraph 1 of Article 46 of this law prescribed that the remuneration of judges and the sizes of the additional pay supplementing their remuneration are set by the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania.

On 20 July 1992, the Presidium of the Supreme Council adopted Resolution No. I-2755 “On the Service Remuneration of and Additional Pay to Judges of the Republic of Lithuania”, by means of which it set extra pay to judges of courts supplementing service remuneration thereof for the years served. Under the said resolution, the period of years served by the judge included the work as a prosecutor, investigator, advocate and notary, as well as the legal pedagogical work of persons possessing a scientific degree (Item 2). The extra pay (supplementing the service remuneration) for the years served was calculated in accordance with the Appendix “The Additional Pay for the Time Served Supplementing the Service Remuneration of Judges” of the said resolution, which provided for the additional pay of 10–35 percent.

4. On 3 February 1993, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania Law “On the Service Remuneration of Judges of Courts, Employees of the Prosecutor’s Office, State Arbiters, and Employees of the National Audit Department of the Republic of Lithuania”, wherein it was established that, until a particular specification of respective laws, the service remuneration of judges of courts, employees of the Prosecutor’s Office, state arbiters, and employees of the National Audit Department would be established by the Government. This was recognised as no longer valid after the adoption of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Recognition of the Law “On the Service Remuneration of Judges of Courts, Employees of the Prosecutor’s Office, State Arbiters, and Employees of the National Audit Department of the Republic of Lithuania” as No Longer Valid of 19 April 2001.

5. In order to implement the Law “On the Service Remuneration of Judges of Courts, Employees of the Prosecutor’s Office, State Arbiters, and Employees of the National Audit Department of the Republic of Lithuania”, the Government adopted, inter alia, resolution No. 666 of 24 June 1997 by which it approved the service remuneration of judges.

5.1. Annex 1 to this resolution established, inter alia, the coefficients of the service remuneration of judges in the sizes of basic monthly salaries: the Supreme Court of Lithuania—38, the Court of Appeal—36, regional courts—34.

5.2. Annex 2 to this resolution established the additional pay (supplementing the service remuneration of judges) for the years served: for the time served from 3 to 5 years—10 percent of the service remuneration, for the time served from 5 to 10 years—20 percent, for the time served from 10 to 15 years—35 percent, for the time served from 15 to 20 years—45 percent, for the time served from 20 to 25 years—55 percent, for the time served from 25 to 30 years—65 percent, and for the time served 30 years and more—75 percent.

Under Item 2.1 of the said resolution, the period of years served by the judge included the work as a prosecutor, investigator, advocate and notary, as well as the legal pedagogical work (of persons possessing a scientific degree).

6. On 30 June 1997, the Government adopted resolution No. 689 by Item 1.1 it was resolved, without exceeding the existing funds for remuneration for work, to increase, by 2.5 times, the service remuneration (coefficients), which had been established by means of government resolutions, inter alia, of justices of the Supreme Court of Lithuania and judges of the Court of Appeal and regional courts. The application of this resolution began as of 1 July 1997 (Item 4).

Thus, after the said resolution increased the coefficients of the service remuneration of judges that had been established in government resolution No. 666 of 24 June 1997, the increased coefficient of the service remuneration of a justice of the Supreme Court of Lithuania, in the size of the basic monthly salary, was 95, whilst the same coefficient of the service remuneration of a judge of the Court of Appeal of Lithuania was 90, and the same coefficient of a judge of a regional court was 85.

7. In this context, it should be noted that, from 1 March 1997 until 31 March 1998, the size of the basic monthly salary was 95 litas (Item 1 of the Government Resolution (No. 169) “On the Increasing of the Basic Monthly Salary (Basic Hourly Remuneration)” of 28 February 1997), whilst from 1 April 1998 until 30 April 2004 the same size was 105 litas (Item 1 of the Government Resolution (No. 382) “On the Increasing of the Minimum Size of the Remuneration for Work and the State Social Insurance Basic Pension of Employees of Budgetary Establishments and Organisations” of 1 April 1998).

8. Thus, under the legal regulation established in government resolution No. 666 of 24 June 1997 and government resolution No. 689 of 1997 June 30, from 1 April 1998 until 31 December 1999 (when the applied size of the basic monthly salary was 105 litas), the size of the service remuneration of a justice of the Supreme Court of Lithuania ranged from 9,975 litas (without the additional pay for the time served meant for the justices who served less than three years) to 12,967.5 litas (together with the maximum additional pay of 75 percent for the time served meant for the justices who served for 30 years and more, where this additional pay was calculated by applying the coefficients of service remuneration established by government resolution No. 666 of 24 June 1997).

9. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it should be noted that, on 14 January 1999, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Establishment of Administrative Courts. Under Article 4 (wording of 14 January 1999) of the said law, the system of work remuneration, social security and other guarantees established for judges of courts of general jurisdiction shall also apply with respect to judges of administrative courts (Paragraph 6); courts of the same level shall be considered as equal for the purpose of fixing the remuneration of judges (Paragraph 7). According to Article 6 (wording of 14 January 1999) of the Law on the Establishment of Administrative Courts, administrative courts had to start their activities as from 1 May 1999.

Thus, under the legal regulation established in the Law on the Establishment of Administrative Courts, the service remuneration of judges of administrative courts must be equal to the remuneration of judges of courts of general jurisdiction; according to the legal regulation established in government resolution No. 666 of 24 June 1997 and government resolution No. 689 of 1997 June 30, from 1 April 1998 until 31 December 1999, the size of the service remuneration of a judge of a regional administrative court ranged from 8,925 litas (without the additional pay for the time served meant for the judges who served less than three years) to 11,602.5 litas (together with the maximum additional pay of 75 percent for the time served meant for the judges who served for 30 years and more, where this additional pay was calculated by applying the coefficients of service remuneration established by government resolution No. 666 of 24 June 1997).

10. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it should also be noted that, on 19 September 2000, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 of the Law on the Establishment of Administrative Courts. On the same day, the Seimas also adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Implementation of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 of the Law on the Establishment of Administrative Courts and the Law on Amending the Law on the Proceedings of Administrative Cases, Article 1 whereof provides that the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania shall be established and start its activities as from 1 January 2001 (Item 1).

According to Paragraph 7 (wording of 19 September 2000) of Article 4 of the Law on the Establishment of Administrative Courts, the positional salary of the President of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania, the Deputy President of the same court and judges of the same court, who have been appointed to office, is equal to the average respective positional salaries of the President of the Supreme Court of Lithuania, the Chairperson of a division of the same court, and justices of the same court and that of the President of the Court of Appeal, the Chairperson of a division of the same court, and judges of the same court.

Thus, according to the legal regulation established in Paragraph 7 of Article 4 of the Law on the Establishment of Administrative Courts (wording of 19 September 2000), the service remuneration of the President of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania is equal to the average remuneration of justices of the Supreme Court of Lithuania and judges of the Court of Appeal of Lithuania. Under government resolution No. 666 of 24 June 1997, the coefficient of the service remuneration of judges of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania would have been 37; according to the legal regulation established in government resolution No. 666 of 24 June 1997 and government resolution No. 689 of 1997 June 30, from 1 April 1998 until 31 December 1999, the coefficient of the service remuneration of judges of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania would have been 92.5 and the size of their service remuneration would have ranged from 9,712.5 litas (without the additional pay for the time served meant for the judges who served less than three years) to 12,626.25 litas (together with the maximum additional pay of 75 percent for the time served meant for the judges who served for 30 years and more, where this additional pay was calculated by applying the coefficients of service remuneration established by government resolution No. 666 of 24 June 1997).

11. On 28 December 1999, the Government adopted the Resolution (No. 1494) “On the Partial Amendment of the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 689) On the Work Pay of the Head Officials and Functionaries of Law and Order Institutions and of Law Enforcement and Control Institutions’ of 30 June 1997”. The preamble to this resolution noted that the Government adopted it “in view of a complicated economic and financial situation”. By means of Item 1 of government resolution No. 1494 of 28 December 1999, the sizes of the service remuneration (coefficients) were reduced. By means of Item 1 of government resolution No. 1494 of 28 December 1999, a provision of Item 1.1 of government resolution No. 689 of 30 June 1997 was amended—the size of the increase of the service remuneration (coefficients) established in government resolution No. 666 of 24 June 1997 was reduced from 2.5 times to 1.75 times; the application of government resolution No. 1494 of 28 December 1999 to calculate service remuneration began as from 1 January 2000 (Item 2 of government resolution of No. 1494 28 December 1999).

11.1. According to the legal regulation established for the period of a complicated economic and financial situation by government resolution No. 1494 of 28 December 1999, as from 1 January 2000, inter alia, the service remuneration of justices of the Supreme Court of Lithuania was reduced by establishing a new coefficient of the service remuneration. This coefficient became 66.5 instead of former 95. Thus, as from 1 January 2000, the size of the service remuneration of justices of the Supreme Court of Lithuania (where the basic monthly salary in the amount of 105 litas was applied) ranged from 6,982.5 litas (without the additional pay for the time served meant for the justices who served less than three years) to 9,975 litas (together with the maximum additional pay of 75 percent for the time served meant for the justices who served for 30 years and more, where this additional pay was calculated by applying the coefficients of service remuneration established by government resolution No. 666 of 24 June 1997) instead of the minimum and maximum size (correspondingly, from 9.975 litas to 12,967.5 litas) according to the previously valid legal regulation.

11.2. According to the legal regulation established for the period of a complicated economic and financial situation by government resolution No. 1494 of 28 December 1999, as from 1 January 2000, inter alia, the service remuneration that would have been due to be received by judges of the Supreme Court of Lithuania was reduced by establishing a new coefficient of the service remuneration. This coefficient became 64.75 instead of due 92.5. Thus, as from 1 January 2000, the size of the service remuneration of judges of the Supreme Administrative Court (where the basic monthly salary in the amount of 105 litas was applied) would have ranged (whilst, as from 1 January 2001, after the Supreme Administrative Court began its activities, it ranged) from 6,798.75 litas (without the additional pay for the time served meant for the judges who served less than three years) to 9,712.5 litas (together with the maximum additional pay of 75 percent for the time served meant for the judges who served for 30 years and more, where this additional pay was calculated by applying the coefficients of service remuneration established by government resolution No. 666 of 24 June 1997) instead of the due minimum and maximum size (correspondingly, from 9,712.5 litas to 12,626.25 litas) according to the previously valid legal regulation.

11.3. According to the legal regulation established for the period of a complicated economic and financial situation by government resolution No. 1494 of 28 December 1999, as from 1 January 2000, inter alia, the service remuneration of judges of regional courts was reduced by establishing a new coefficient of the service remuneration. This coefficient became 59.5 instead of former 85. Thus, as from 1 January 2000, the size of the service remuneration of judges of regional administrative courts (where the basic monthly salary in the amount of 105 litas was applied) ranged from 6,247.5 litas (without the additional pay for the time served meant for the judges who served less than three years) to 8,925 litas (together with the maximum additional pay of 75 percent for the time served meant for the judges who served for 30 years and more, where this additional pay was calculated by applying the coefficients of service remuneration established by government resolution No. 666 of 24 June 1997) instead of the minimum and maximum size (correspondingly, from 8,925 litas to 11,602.5 litas) according to the previously valid legal regulation.

12. On 29 August 2000, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Work Pay of State Politicians, Judges and State Officials. The work remuneration set by the said law had to be paid to state politicians, judges and state officials as from 1 January 2006 (it needs to be mentioned that by Article 2 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Amending Article 7 of the Law on the Work Pay of State Politicians, Judges and State Officials, which was adopted by the Seimas on 27 March 2001, the formulation “as from 1 January 2006” was replaced by the formulation “after the completion of the transitional period”). Prior to that date, when calculating the work remuneration of state politicians, judges and state officials, one had to apply the provisions of the transitional period, under which the work remuneration paid until 1 January 2001 had to be approximated to the one provided for under the Law on the Work Pay of State Politicians, Judges and State Officials in a consistent manner, by calculating the work remuneration due for state politicians, judges or state officials according to the formulas established by law (Article 7).

Article 3 of the Law on the Work Pay of State Politicians, Judges and State Officials established, inter alia, that the work remuneration of judges shall be comprised of the positional salary, additional pay for the years served for the State of Lithuania, and one-off extra pay, whilst Chapter II entitled “Positional Salaries of Judges” of the appendix to this law established the coefficients of the positional salaries of judges.

12.1. Chapter II of the Appendix to the Law on the Work Pay of State Politicians, Judges and State Officials established, inter alia, the following coefficients of the positional salary of judges (relative to the size of the minimum monthly salary): coefficient 14.5 of the positional salary of justices of the Supreme Court of Lithuania and coefficient 10.5 of the positional salary of judges of regional administrative courts. In view of the fact that, according to the legal regulation established in Paragraph 7 (wording of 19 September 2000) of Article 4 of the Law on the Establishment of Administrative Courts, the positional salary of judges of the Supreme Administrative Court had to be equal to the average respective positional salaries of justices of the Supreme Court of Lithuania and judges the Court of Appeal of Lithuania, therefore, upon of the entry into force of the Law on the Work Pay of State Politicians, Judges and State Officials, the coefficient of the positional salaries of judges of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania would have been 13.75.

It should be noted that, at the time of the entry into force of the Law on the Work Pay of State Politicians, Judges and State Officials, the size of the minimum monthly salary of 430 litas was established (Item 1 of the Government Resolution (No. 570) “On Increasing the Minimum Work Remuneration” of 11 May 1998). In view of this fact, according to the legal regulation established in the Law on the Pay Work of State Politicians, Judges and State Officials:

the size of the positional salary of justices of the Supreme Court of Lithuania had to be 6,235 litas (instead of the minimum amount of 6,982.5 litas according to the until then valid legal regulation established by the Government);

the size of the positional salary of judges of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania would have been 5,912.5 litas (instead of the minimum size of 6,798.75 litas according to the until then valid legal regulation established by the Government);

the size of the positional salary of judges of regional administrative courts would have been 4,515 litas (instead of the minimum size of 6,247.5 litas according to the until then valid legal regulation established by the Government).

12.2. It should be noted that the additional pay for the years served for the State of Lithuania established in the Law on the Work Pay of State Politicians, Judges and State Officials had to replace the additional pay for the time served that had been established, prior to the entry into force of that law, by government resolution No. 666 of 24 June 1997. According to the government-established legal regulation that was in force before the entry into force of the Law on the Work Pay of State Politicians, Judges and State Officials, the maximum additional pay for the time served used to comprise 42.86 percent of the service remuneration (coefficient) of judges.

Article 5 “Additional Pay for the Years Served for the State of Lithuania” of the Law on the Work Pay of State Politicians, Judges and State Officials established that state politicians, judges and state officials shall be paid additional pay for the years served for the State of Lithuania counting as from 11 March 1990; the additional pay for the years served for the state was comprised of 3 percent of the positional salary of the judge for every three years; however, the size of the additional pay could not exceed 30 percent of the positional salary. Thus, after the Law on the Work Pay of State Politicians, Judges and State Officials had come into force, the payment of the maximum 9 percent additional pay, for the years served for the State of Lithuania, supplementing the positional salary was allowed to be paid.

12.3. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, to summarise the legal regulation established in Law on the Work Pay of State Politicians, Judges and State Officials, it should be noted that, in comparison with the government-established legal regulation of remuneration of judges valid prior to the entry into force of this law, it established the reduction of the remuneration of justices of the Supreme Court of Lithuania and judges of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania and regional administrative courts.

13. On 12 July 2001, the Constitutional Court passed a ruling in which it noted, inter alia, that by establishing remuneration of judges by law, the Seimas must take into consideration the constitutional status of the judiciary and judges and may not deny the guarantees of the independence of judges and courts, including the size of the remuneration of judges received until then, which had existed prior to the enactment of the said law.

13.1. In view of this fact, the Constitutional Court also recognised that Item 1 (wordings of 29 August 2000, 17 October 2000 and 27 March 2001) of Paragraph 3 of Article 7, Paragraph 5 (wordings of 29 August 2000 and 27 March 2001) of Article 7 of the Law on the Work Pay of State Politicians, Judges and State Officials, the provision of Paragraph 6 of Article 7 of the same law establishing the transitional period and Chapter II entitled “Positional Salaries of Judges” of the Appendix to the same law to the extent that it established the reduction of the work remuneration of the judges whose work remuneration was bigger than the work remuneration of judges established in the said law were in conflict with the Constitution; Paragraph 4 of Article 7 of the same law to the extent that it had established that the work remuneration of the judges appointed to the position of a judge during the transitional period had to be established and calculated on the basis of the provisions and formulas of Article 7 of that law which had established the reduction of the remuneration of judges was in conflict with the Constitution.

In its ruling of 12 July 2001, the Constitutional Court held that after the Law on the Work Pay of State Politicians, Judges and State Officials had gone into effect, the commissioning for the Government to establish remuneration of judges, which had been provided for by the Law “On the Service Remuneration of Judges of Courts, Employees of the Prosecutor’s Office, State Arbiters and Employees of the National Audit Department of the Republic of Lithuania” of 3 February 1993, became no longer valid; the legal regulation established by the Government Resolution (No. 499) “On the Temporary Experimental Procedure for the Work Pay of the Heads and Other Officials of State Authority, State Governance and Law Enforcement Bodies” of 29 November 1991, government resolution No. 666 of 24 June 1997, and government resolution No. 1494 of 28 December 1999 was no longer in force. In view of this fact, the Constitutional Court decided to dismiss the commenced legal proceedings regarding the compliance of the Government Resolution (No. 499) “On the Temporary Experimental Procedure for the Work Pay of the Heads and Other Officials of State Authority, State Governance and Law Enforcement Bodies” of 29 November 1991, government resolution No. 666 of 24 June 1997, and government resolution No. 1494 of 28 December 1999 with the Constitution.

13.2. On 18 July 2001, after the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 12 July 2001 had come into force, the legal regulation established in the Law on the Work Pay of State Politicians, Judges and State Officials could no longer be applied in the calculation of the remuneration of justices of the Supreme Court of Lithuania and judges of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania and regional administrative courts. As mentioned before, the government-established regulation of the remuneration of judges was no longer in force, too.

However, even though, according to the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 12 July 2001, the sizes of judges’ remuneration received prior to the entry into force of the Law on the Work Pay of State Politicians, Judges and State Officials could not be negated, however, in practice, in the course of the calculation, inter alia, of the remuneration of justices of the Supreme Court of Lithuania and judges of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania and regional administrative courts, the factual sizes used to be applied, which were established according to government resolution No. 666 of 24 June 1997, government resolution No. 689 of 30 June 1997, and government resolution No. 1494 of 28 December 1999 (inter alia, the Methodology for Calculating the Work Remuneration of Judges that was approved by the Resolution of the Judicial Council (No. 207) “On the Approval of the Methodology for Calculating the Work Remuneration of Judges That was Prepared by the Working Group” of 2 April 2004), i.e. the sizes that had been established in view of a complicated economic and financial situation. Such a non-regulated-by-law procedure for the calculation of the remuneration of judges had been applied until the impugned Law on the Remuneration of Judges (wording of 6 November 2008) had come into force.

14. In this context, it should be noted that, in its decision of 8 August 2006, the Constitutional Court underlined that, under the Constitution, the remuneration of judges must be established by means of a law, their sizes, as well as the material and social guarantees established to judges, must be such so that they would be in line with the constitutional status of judges and their dignity, the remuneration of judges, the material and social guarantees established to them may be differentiated according to clear criteria that are known ex ante and are not related with administration of justice when cases are decided (for example, according to the length of time during which a person works as a judge), and the remuneration of judges may not depend upon the results of their work.

15. On 6 November 2008, the Seimas adopted the Law on the Remuneration of Judges that came into force on 15 November 2008. Article 1 of this law entrenched that this law establishes the sizes of the remuneration of judges and the procedure for calculation thereof. It should be noted that the legal regulation established in the Law on the Remuneration of Judges was not temporary, i.e., it was not designed for the regulation of the remuneration of judges in the face of a complicated economic and financial situation.

The intentions of the legislature recorded in the travaux préparatoires make it clear that, by means of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, an attempt was made to establish, inter alia, new coefficients of the positional salaries of judges of courts of general jurisdiction and of specialised courts (the Supreme Court of Lithuania, the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania, the Court of Appeal of Lithuania, regional courts, and regional administrative courts) calculated according to the maximum sizes of the remuneration actually paid to judges and to take into consideration the fact that the additional pay for the years of service for the State of Lithuania had been established for those judges.

15.1. Paragraph 2 of Article 4 “Remuneration of Judges” of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges provides, inter alia, that the remuneration of judges of courts of general jurisdiction and of specialised courts is comprised of the positional salary and additional pay for the years served for the State of Lithuania. Paragraph 3 of the same articles prescribes that the positional salary of judges of courts of general jurisdiction and specialised courts shall be calculated by multiplying the corresponding coefficient of the positional salary, which is set in the appendix to this law, by the base value, whilst Paragraph 4 of the same article prescribed, inter alia, that the positional salary of judges of courts of general jurisdiction and specialised courts shall be rounded by following the common rules for rounding numbers so that the last figure would be either 0 or 5.

15.2. The Appendix (wording of 6 November 2008) to the Law on the Remuneration of Judges established, inter alia, that the coefficient of the positional salary of justices of the Supreme Court of Lithuania shall be 19.2, the coefficient of the positional salary of judges of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania shall be 18.7, and the coefficient of the positional salary of judges of regional administrative courts shall be 17.2.

After the Law on the Remuneration of Judges had come into force, the base amount of the positional salary of state politicians, judges, state officials and state servants used to be 490 litas (Article 3 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Base Amount, Applicable in 2008, of the Positional Salary of State Politicians, Judges, State Officials and State Servants).

Thus, according to the legal regulation established in the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, in 2008, the positional salary of justices of the Supreme Court of Lithuania was 9,410 litas, the positional salary of judges of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania was 9,165 litas, and the positional salary of judges of regional administrative courts was 8,430 litas.

15.3. Article 5 “The Additional Pay for the Years Served for the State of Lithuania” of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges prescribes:

1. Judges of courts of general jurisdiction and specialised courts shall be paid the additional pay for the years served for the State of Lithuania from 11 March 1990 in the offices specified in Paragraphs 1–4 and Items 1–4 of Paragraph 5 of Article 4 of the Law on the State Service (with the exception of the members of municipal councils who have not served as mayors and deputy mayors). The time served for the state shall include the periods specified in Paragraph 1 of Article 42 of the aforesaid law, which are calculated according to the Rules for Calculating the Length of Service for the State of Lithuania as approved by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania.

2. The additional pay for the years served for the state shall be comprised of 3 percent of the positional salary of the judge for every three years; however, the size of the additional pay may not exceed 30 percent of the positional salary.”

Thus, the additional pay for the years served for the State of Lithuania is not paid for the judges whose length of service for the State of Lithuania is less than three years and the size of their remuneration is equal to the size of their positional salaries; owing to the fact that, under Paragraph 1 of Article 5 of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, the years of service for the State of Lithuania may be counted as from 11 March 1990, when the independence of the State of Lithuania was restored, after the entry into force of this law, the maximum possible additional pay for the years served for the State of Lithuania comprised 18 percent of the positional salary.

15.4. In this context, it should be noted that, on 14 February 2011, the Constitutional Court adopted the ruling in which it recognised that, inter alia, Item 2 of Paragraph 2 of Article 4 and Paragraph 1 of Article 5 of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, insofar as the period of work as an advocate was not included into one’s work record for the purpose of calculating the additional pay for the years served for the State of Lithuania, was not in conflict with the Constitution.

15.5. Thus, after the Law on the Remuneration of Judges (wording of 6 November 2008) had come into force, the remuneration of justices of the Supreme Court of Lithuania ranged from 9,410 litas (without the additional pay for the years served for the State of Lithuania) to 11,103.80 litas (with the additional pay of 18 percent for the years served for the State of Lithuania), the remuneration of judges of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania ranged from 9,165 litas (without the additional pay for the years served for the State of Lithuania) to 10,814.70 litas (with the additional pay of 18 percent for the years served for the State of Lithuania), the remuneration of judges of regional administrative courts ranged from 8,430 litas (without the additional pay for the years served for the State of Lithuania) to 9,947.40 litas (with the additional pay of 18 percent for the years served for the State of Lithuania).

16. The sizes of the remuneration of justices of the Supreme Court of Lithuania, of judges of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania and of regional administrative courts according to the legal regulation established by the Government and valid from 1 April 1998 until 31 December 1999, the legal regulation, established by the Government, that was valid from 1 January 2000 and applicable until the entry into force of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges (wording of 6 November 2008) on 15 November 2008, and according to the legal regulation established in the Law on the Remuneration of Judges (wording of 6 November 2008), are presented in the table below:

 

Position of a judge

Sizes of remuneration, gross (pre-tax size)

from 1 April 1998 until 31 December 1999 (by applying the basic monthly salary in the size of 105 litas)

from 1 January 2000 until 14 November 2008

since 15 November 2008

minimum

maximum

minimum

maximum

minimum

maximum

Justice of the Supreme Court of Lithuania

9,975

12,967.50

6,982.50

9,975

9,410

11,103.80

Judge of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania

9,712.50

12,626.25

6,798.75

9,712.5

9,165

10,814.70

Judge of a regional administrative court

8,925

11,602.50

6,247.5

8,925

8,430

9,947.40

 

16.1. When comparing the sizes of the remuneration of justices of the Supreme Court of Lithuania, of judges of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania and of regional administrative courts calculated according to the legal regulation established in the Law on the Remuneration of Judges (wording of 6 November 2008) with the sizes of the corresponding remuneration of judges calculated according to the government-established legal regulation valid from 1 April 1998 until 31 December 1999, it should be noted that the minimum and maximum sizes of such remuneration of judges calculated according to the legal regulation established in the Law on the Remuneration of Judges are smaller than the corresponding sizes calculated according to the legal regulation established by the Government:

the minimum size of the remuneration (positional salary) of justices of the Supreme Court of Lithuania calculated according to the legal regulation established in the Law on the Remuneration of Judges is smaller in the amount of 565 litas (5.66 percent) than that calculated according to the legal regulation established by the Government; the maximum size of the remuneration (together with the maximum additional pay for the years served for the State of Lithuania) of justices of the Supreme Court of Lithuania calculated according to the legal regulation established in the Law on the Remuneration of Judges is smaller in the amount of 1,863.70 litas (14.37 percent) than that calculated according to the legal regulation established by the Government (the remuneration with the maximum additional pay for the years served);

the minimum size of the remuneration (positional salary) of judges of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania calculated according to the legal regulation established in the Law on the Remuneration of Judges is smaller in the amount of 547.50 litas (5.63 percent) than that calculated according to the legal regulation established by the Government; the maximum size of the remuneration (together with the maximum additional pay for the years served for the State of Lithuania) of judges of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania calculated according to the legal regulation established in the Law on the Remuneration of Judges is smaller in the amount of 1,811.55 litas (14.35 percent) than that calculated according to the legal regulation established by the Government (the remuneration with the maximum additional pay for the years served);

the minimum size of the remuneration (positional salary) of judges of regional administrative courts calculated according to the legal regulation established in the Law on the Remuneration of Judges is smaller in the amount of 495 litas (5.55 percent) than that calculated according to the legal regulation established by the Government; the maximum size of the remuneration (together with the maximum additional pay for the years served for the State of Lithuania) of judges of regional administrative courts calculated according to the legal regulation established in the Law on the Remuneration of Judges is smaller in the amount of 1,655.10 litas (14.27 percent) than that calculated according to the legal regulation established by the Government (the remuneration with the maximum additional pay for the years served).

Thus, it should be noted that the minimum sizes of the remuneration (the positional salary calculated by multiplying the established coefficient by the corresponding basic size) of justices of the Supreme Court of Lithuania, of judges of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania and regional administrative courts calculated according to the legal regulation established in the Law on the Remuneration of Judges (wording of 6 November 2008) are by average 5.6 percent smaller than the minimum sizes of the remuneration (the service remuneration calculated by multiplying the established coefficient by the corresponding size of the basic monthly salary) of particular judges calculated according to the government-established legal regulation valid from 1 April 1998 until 31 December 1999.

16.2. When comparing the sizes of the remuneration of justices of the Supreme Court of Lithuania, of judges of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania and of regional administrative courts calculated according to the legal regulation established in the Law on the Remuneration of Judges (wording of 6 November 2008) with the sizes of the corresponding remuneration of judges calculated according to the government-established legal regulation valid and actually applied from 1 January 2000 until 14 November 2008, it should be noted that the minimum and maximum sizes of such remuneration of judges calculated according to the legal regulation established in the Law on the Remuneration of Judges are bigger than the corresponding sizes calculated according to the legal regulation established by the Government:

the minimum size of the remuneration (positional salary) of justices of the Supreme Court of Lithuania calculated according to the legal regulation established in the Law on the Remuneration of Judges is bigger in the amount of 2,427.50 litas (25.80 percent) than that calculated according to the legal regulation established by the Government; the maximum size of the remuneration (together with the maximum additional pay for the years served for the State of Lithuania) of justices of the Supreme Court of Lithuania calculated according to the legal regulation established in the Law on the Remuneration of Judges is bigger in the amount of 1,128.80 litas (10.17 percent) than that calculated according to the legal regulation established by the Government (the remuneration with the maximum additional pay for the years served);

the minimum size of the remuneration (positional salary) of judges of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania calculated according to the legal regulation established in the Law on the Remuneration of Judges is bigger in the amount of 2,366.25 litas (25.82 percent) than that calculated according to the legal regulation established by the Government; the maximum size of the remuneration (together with the maximum additional pay for the years served for the State of Lithuania) of justices of the Supreme Court of Lithuania calculated according to the legal regulation established in the Law on the Remuneration of Judges is bigger in the amount of 1,102.2 litas (10.19 percent) than that calculated according to the legal regulation established by the Government (the remuneration with the maximum additional pay for the years served);

the minimum size of the remuneration (positional salary) of judges of regional administrative courts calculated according to the legal regulation established in the Law on the Remuneration of Judges is bigger in the amount of 2,182.5 litas (25.89 percent) than that calculated according to the legal regulation established by the Government; the maximum size of the remuneration (together with the maximum additional pay for the years served for the State of Lithuania) of judges of regional administrative courts calculated according to the legal regulation established in the Law on the Remuneration of Judges is bigger in the amount of 1,022.4 litas (10.28 percent) than that calculated according to the legal regulation established by the Government (the remuneration with the maximum additional pay for the years served).

Thus, it should be noted that the minimum sizes of the remuneration (the positional salary calculated by multiplying the established coefficient by the corresponding basic size) of justices of the Supreme Court of Lithuania, of judges of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania and regional administrative courts calculated according to the legal regulation established in the Law on the Remuneration of Judges (wording of 6 November 2008) are by average 25.8 percent bigger than the minimum sizes of the remuneration (the service remuneration calculated by multiplying the established coefficient by the corresponding size of the basic monthly salary) of particular judges calculated according to the government-established legal regulation valid and actually applied in the period from 1 January 2000 until 14 November 2008.

In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue it should also be noted that, in its ruling of 14 February 2011, the Constitutional Court held, inter alia, that, after the adoption of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, the remuneration of judges—the amount of the positional salary together with additional pay—had increased.

17. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it should also be noted that, in its ruling of 14 February 2011, the Constitutional Court held, inter alia, that, after the adoption of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, the relative value of additional pay—a constituent part of the remuneration of the judges—had decreased. As mentioned before, according to the government-established legal regulation of the remuneration of judges that was applied prior to the entry into force of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, the maximum additional pay for the time served used to comprise 42.86 percent of the service remuneration (coefficient) of judges; it should be noted that, according to the government-established legal regulation valid during the period from 1 July 1997 until 31 December 1999, the maximum additional pay for the time served constituted 75 percent of the service remuneration (coefficient) of judges, whilst, as mentioned before, according to the legal regulation established in the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, after this law had come into force, the maximum possible additional pay for the years served for the State of Lithuania comprised 18 percent of the positional salary; thus, such additional pay could comprise up to 15.25 percent of the remuneration of judges.

It needs to be emphasised that, under the Law on the Remuneration of Judges and the government-established legal regulation that was applied prior to the entry into force of that law, the established additional pay supplementing the remuneration of judges differ not only in their sizes, but also in their character: the additional pay for the years served for the State of Lithuania established in the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, where those years, as mentioned before, may be counted as from 11 March 1990, when the independence of the State of Lithuania was restored, whilst, according to the legal regulation established by the Government, the additional pay for the time served was provided for, inter alia, irrespective of the fact whether that time was related to the service for the State of Lithuania, and it included the years served not for the State of Lithuania prior to 11 March 1990.

18. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it should be held that the legal regulation governing the sizes and calculation of the remuneration of judges, which was valid and actually applied from the restoration of the independence of the Republic of Lithuania until the entry into force of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, was not established by law, and it was temporary, inconsistent, and contradictory; the said legal regulation should be regarded as a transitional-period temporary factual legal regulation by which the system of courts of the Republic of Lithuania, whose independence had been restored, was formed. It should also be held that the requirement, stemming from the Constitution, for establishing the remuneration of judges by law and for differentiating the sizes of the remuneration according to clear criteria that are not connected with the administration of justice in the consideration of cases at law, was implemented only by the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, i.e., upon the entry into force of this law, the said transitional period of the formation of the system of courts of the Republic of Lithuania, whose independence had been restored, was over.

19. In this context it should be mentioned that the relation of the independence of courts with the regulation of the remuneration of judges is disclosed in the provisions of the documents adopted by institutions of the Council of Europe. Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)12 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to member states “On judges: Independence, Efficiency and Responsibilities” noted that judges’ remuneration should be commensurate with their profession and responsibilities, and be sufficient to shield them from inducements aimed at influencing their decisions; specific legal provisions should be introduced as a safeguard against a reduction in remuneration aimed specifically at judges.

The report adopted in the plenary session of the Consultative Council of European Judges on 7–9 November 2011 points out that the independence of judges also requires economic independence which should be laid down by law; judicial remuneration cannot be reduced by a greater proportion than that of other public officials, otherwise this would violate the principle of equality established as a general principle of law; even in times of economic crisis, the legislative and executive powers should understand that a serious reduction of judges’ salaries is a potential threat to judges’ independence and to the proper administration of justice, and may jeopardise (objectively and subjectively) judges’ work; such measures should always be limited in time.

The European Charter on the Statute for Judges adopted on 8–10 July 1998 noted that judges exercising judicial functions in a professional capacity are entitled to remuneration, the level of which is fixed so as to shield them from pressures aimed at influencing their decisions and more generally their behaviour within their jurisdiction, thereby impairing their independence and impartiality.

In its Report “On the Independence of the Judicial System” adopted on 12–13 March 2010, the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) pointed out that the remuneration of judges should be based on a general standard and rely on objective and transparent criteria, not on an assessment of the individual performance of a judge; even in times of crisis, the proper functioning and the independence of the judiciary must not be endangered; decisions on the allocation of funds to courts must be taken with the strictest respect for the principle of judicial independence and the judiciary should have an opportunity to express its views about the proposed budget to parliament.

II

1. In the constitutional justice case at issue, subsequent to the petitions of the petitioners, the Constitutional Court will investigate the compliance of the Appendix (wording of 6 November 2008) to the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, Article 298 (wording of 4 June 2002) and Article 301 (wording of 26 June 2012) of the Labour Code with Paragraph 2 of Article 109 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, and also the compliance of Article 298 (wording of 4 June 2002) and Article 301 (wording of 26 June 2012) of the Labour Code with Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 23 and the provision “[e]ach human being <…> shall have the right <…> to receive fair pay for work <…>” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution.

2. In this context, it should be noted that, as held by the Constitutional Court on more than one occasion, 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 capacious, and it comprises a wide range of various interrelated imperatives; this principle must be followed in the process of both making and implementing law.

The Constitutional Court has also held that legal certainty and legal clarity are among the essential elements of the principle of a state under the rule of law, which is consolidated in the Constitution. The imperative of legal certainty and legal clarity implies that any legal regulation must meet certain additional obligatory requirements: it must be clear and harmonious, and legal norms must be formulated precisely and may not contain any ambiguities (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 24 December 2008 and 22 June 2009, its decision of 20 April 2010, and its rulings of 13 May 2010, 20 February 2013, and 10 October 2013).

In the acts of the Constitutional Court, it has also been held on more than one occasion that the protection of legitimate expectations, legal certainty, and legal security are the inseparable elements of the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law; these constitutional principles imply the obligation of the state to ensure the certainty and stability of any legal regulation, to protect the rights of persons, to respect legitimate interests and legitimate expectations, as well as to fulfil the obligations undertaken to a person; if the protection of legitimate expectations, legal certainty, and legal security were not ensured, the trust of a person in the state and law would not be secured (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 4 March 2003, 15 February 2013, and 10 October 2013).

3. Paragraph 2 of Article 109 of the Constitution provides that, while administering justice, the judge and courts shall be independent. It should be noted that the independence of judges and courts is one of the essential principles of a democratic state under the rule of law (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 21 December 1999 and 13 May 2004).

The Constitutional Court has formulated in its acts a broad official constitutional doctrine of the independence of judges and courts in which the constitutional imperative of the independence of judges and courts is construed in the context of the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 22 October 2007, 29 June 2010, 14 February 2011, and 1 July 2013).

3.1. The independence of judges and courts is not an end in itself, but one of the essential principles of a democratic state under the rule of law and a necessary condition for the protection of human rights and freedoms. While administering justice, the courts must ensure the implementation of law that is expressed in the Constitution and the laws and other legal acts that are not in conflict with the Constitution (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 22 October 2007, 29 June 2010, and 14 February 2011).

The Constitutional Court has noted on more than one occasion that the independence of judges and courts is not a privilege, but one of the most important duties of judges and courts, stemming from the right of every person who believes that their rights or freedoms have been violated to have an impartial arbiter of the dispute who could, under the Constitution and laws, settle the legal dispute in substance. The independence of the judge is ensured, inter alia, by consolidating the self-governance of the judiciary, meaning that the judiciary is a fully-fledged power, and its financial and technical provision, and by establishing the inviolability of the term of powers of the judge (by which one seeks to ensure that the judge, irrespective of the political forces in power, would remain independent and would not be forced to adjust according to the possible changes of political forces) and the inviolability of the person of a judge, as well as by establishing the social (material) guarantees of the judge (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 22 October 2007, 14 February 2011, and 1 July 2013).

3.2. In this context, it should be noted that a judge, who is obligated to consider conflicts arising in society as well as those between a person and the state, must be not only highly professionally qualified and of impeccable reputation, but also materially independent and feel secure as to his future (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 12 July 2001, 22 October 2007, 29 June 2010, 14 February 2011, and 1 July 2013). The constitutional imperative of the constitutional protection of the remuneration and other social (material) guarantees of judges stems from the principle of the independence of judges and courts established in the Constitution (inter alia, Article 109 thereof); through this principle one attempts to protect the judges administering justice from any influence of the legislative and the executive branches of powers as well as from that of other state establishments and officials, political and public organisations, commercial economic structures, and other legal and natural persons. In its rulings of, inter alia, 12 July 2001, 22 October 2007, and 1 July 2013, the Constitutional Court held that the state has a duty to establish such remuneration for judges which would be in conformity with the status of the judiciary and judges, with the functions exercised by them and their responsibility.

3.3. In its decisions of 12 January 2000 and 8 August 2006, the Constitutional Court noted that the notion “remuneration of the judge” includes all the payments paid to judges from the funds of the state budget. When it regulates the relations connected with the establishing of the remuneration of judges, the legislature may establish that the remuneration—a social (material) guarantee of the judge—is comprised of not one, but several constituent parts, inter alia, the positional salary, additional pay, and extra pay (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 14 February 2011).

In this context, it should be noted that one of the important aspects of the independence of judges as entrenched in the Constitution is that, while administering justice, all the judges are of equal legal status, inter alia, in the aspect that no different guarantees of the independence of the judge while administering justice (deciding cases) may be established; on the other hand, the principle of the equal legal status of judges does not mean that the material and social guarantees of judges may not be differentiated under clear, ex ante known criteria, which are not related to the administration of justice while deciding cases (for example, according to the length of a person’s work as a judge) (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 9 May 2006, 22 October 2007, its decision of 20 April 2010, and its rulings of 29 June 2010 and 14 February 2011).

3.4. It should be noted that the Constitution prohibits the reduction of the remuneration and other social (material) guarantees of judges; any attempts to reduce the remuneration of judges or their other social (material) guarantees, or any limitation upon the financing of courts should be treated as an encroachment upon the independence of judges and courts (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 6 December 1995, 12 July 2001, and 28 March 2006, its decision of 8 August 2006, and its rulings of 14 February 2011 and 1 July 2013).

It should also be noted that, under the Constitution, the reduction of some constituent part of the remuneration of judges by means of raising another constituent part of the remuneration of judges, where this remuneration of judges does not decrease, does not mean any reduction in the remuneration of judges as their social (material) guarantee (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 14 February 2011).

3.5. It should also be noted that the Constitutional Court has also held that in the case of a difficult economic and financial situation, the financing of all the institutions implementing state powers that are financed from the funds of the budget, as well as the financing of various spheres that are financed from the funds of the state or municipal budget, should normally be revised and reduced; if one established any such legal regulation to the effect that only the reduction of the financing of courts or only the reduction of the remuneration and pensions of judges would not be allowed in the case of an extremely difficult economic and financial situation in the state, it would mean that courts would groundlessly be singled out from among other institutions that implement state authority, and judges—from among other persons that participate in implementing the powers of the corresponding state authority institutions; the consolidation of such an exceptional situation of courts (judges) would not be in line with the imperative requirements for an open, fair and harmonious civil society and justice; the worsening of the financial and material-technical conditions for the functioning of courts that are provided for by law and the reduction of the remuneration of judges are allowed only by means of a law and one is allowed to do so only on a temporary basis for the period of time when the economic and financial condition of the state is extremely difficult; such reduction of the remuneration must not give rise to any preconditions for the violation of the independence of courts by any other state institutions and their officials; even in the case of an extremely difficult economic and financial situation in the state, neither the financing of courts nor the remuneration of judges may be reduced to the extent that the courts would no longer be able to implement their constitutional function and obligation—to administer justice—or the possibility of the courts to do that would be restricted (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 28 March 2006, 22 October 2007, and 1 July 2013).

4. As mentioned before, the independence of judges and courts is not an end in itself, but one of the essential principles of a democratic state under the rule of law and a necessary condition for the protection of human rights and freedoms; the independence of judges and courts is not a privilege, but one of the most important duties of judges and courts, stemming from the right of every person who believes that their rights or freedoms have been violated to have an impartial arbiter of the dispute who could, under the Constitution and laws, settle the legal dispute in substance.

Thus, the independence of judges and courts consolidated in Paragraph 2 of Article 109 of the Constitution is designed for ensuring the administration of justice which is an exceptional function of the judicial branch of power (under Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of the Constitution, in the Republic of Lithuania, justice shall be administered only by courts). The Constitutional Court has noted that the function of the administration of justice determines the independence of judges and courts; a judge can administer justice only while being independent of the parties to the case, state institutions, officials, political and public associations, natural and legal persons (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 12 July 2001 and 13 May 2004).

When construing Article 109 of the Constitution, the Constitutional Court has held on more than one occasion (inter alia, in its rulings of 21 December 1999, 9 May 2006, 24 October 2007, 21 January 2008, and 25 September 2012) that, in the course of administering justice, courts must ensure the implementation of law formulated in the Constitution, laws, and other legal acts, must guarantee the supremacy of law, and must protect human rights and freedoms; From Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of the Constitution, the duty stems for courts to decide cases justly and objectively and to adopt reasoned and well-grounded decisions (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 15 May 2007, 17 September 2008, 31 January 2011, and 25 September 2012); the principle of justice consolidated in the Constitution, as well as the provision that justice is administered by courts, means that not the adoption of a decision itself in a court, but, rather, the adoption of a just court decision constitutes a constitutional value; the constitutional concept of justice implies not a perfunctory and nominal justice administered by a court, not an outward appearance of justice administered by a court, but, most importantly, such court decisions (other final court acts), which by their content are not unjust (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 21 September 2006). As held in the Constitutional Court’s acts on more than one occasion, the justice administered by the court only in a perfunctory manner is not the justice that is consolidated in and protected and defended by the Constitution (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 21 September 2006, 21 January 2008, 31 January 2011, and 25 September 2012).

5. Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution provides, inter alia, that each human being shall have the right to receive fair pay for work.

The Constitutional Court has noted that the right of every citizen to receive fair pay for work as consolidated in Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution is a pre-condition for implementing most of the other constitutional rights, inter alia, that this right is one of the most important pre-conditions for implementing the right to ownership as consolidated in Article 23 of the Constitution; under the Constitution, a right appears in regard to the person who has completed a commissioned task to demand that the whole work remuneration (remuneration) which is due according to the legal acts be paid to them, and that such work remuneration be paid within the established time; this right of persons is guaranteed, protected, and defended as the right of ownership (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 13 December 2004, 14 February 2011, and 1 July 2013). Under Paragraph 3 of Article 23 of the Constitution, property may be taken over only for the needs of society according to the procedure established by law and shall be justly compensated for.

III

On the compliance of the Appendix (wording of 6 November 2008) to the Law on the Remuneration of Judges with Paragraph 2 of Article 109 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law

1. The petitioners impugn the compliance of the Appendix (wording of 6 November 2008) to the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, to the extent that it established coefficient 19.2 of the positional salary of justices of the Supreme Court of Lithuania, coefficient 18.7 of the positional salary of judges of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania, and coefficient 17.2 of the positional salary of judges of regional administrative courts, with Paragraph 2 of Article 109 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law. According to the petitioners, by means of the impugned legal regulation established in the Appendix (wording of 6 November 2008) to the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, the remuneration of justices of the Supreme Court of Lithuania, and of judges of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania and regional administrative courts were reduced in comparison with the remuneration established according to the legal regulation set forth in government resolution No. 666 of 24 June 1997 and government resolution No. 689 of 30 June 1997, i.e., the legal regulation established by the Government and valid from 1 April 1998 until 31 December 1999. According to the petitioners, such legal regulation established in the Appendix (wording of 6 November 2008) to the Law on the Remuneration of Judges is in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 109 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, because it violates the constitutional prohibition against the reduction of the remuneration or other social guarantees of judges and should be deemed to have encroached upon the independence of judges and courts.

2. It has been mentioned that the minimum sizes of the remuneration (the positional salary calculated by multiplying the established coefficient by the corresponding basic size) of justices of the Supreme Court of Lithuania, of judges of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania and regional administrative courts calculated according to the legal regulation established in the Law on the Remuneration of Judges (wording of 6 November 2008) are by average 5.6 percent smaller than the minimum sizes of the remuneration (the service remuneration calculated by multiplying the established coefficient by the corresponding size of the basic monthly salary) of particular judges calculated according to the government-established legal regulation valid from 1 April 1998 until 31 December 1999.

3. It has also been mentioned that the independence of judges and courts consolidated in Paragraph 2 of Article 109 of the Constitution is one of the essential principles of a democratic state under the rule of law; the Constitution prohibits the reduction of the remuneration and other social (material) guarantees of judges; any attempts to reduce the remuneration of the judge or their other social (material) guarantees, or the limitation upon the financing of courts should be treated as an encroachment upon the independence of judges and courts.

It has also been mentioned that, under the Constitution, the worsening of the financial and material-technical conditions for the functioning of courts that are provided for by law and the reduction of the remuneration of judges are allowed only by means of a law and one is allowed to do so only on a temporary basis for the period of time when the economic and financial condition of the state is extremely difficult; such reduction of the remuneration must not give rise to any preconditions for the violation of the independence of courts by any other state institutions and their officials; even in the case of an extremely difficult economic and financial situation in the state, neither the financing of courts nor the remuneration of judges may be reduced to the extent that the courts would no longer be able to implement their constitutional function and obligation—to administer justice—or the possibility of the courts to do that would be restricted.

As mentioned before, legal certainty and legal clarity are among the essential elements of the principle of a state under the rule of law, which is consolidated in the Constitution; the imperative of legal certainty and legal clarity implies that any legal regulation must meet certain additional obligatory requirements: any legal regulation must be clear and harmonious.

In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it should be noted that a certain insubstantial reduction of the remuneration and other social (material) guarantees of judges, where such reduction is related to the unclarity, instability, and contradictoriness of the former legal regulation, could be justified by the exceptional circumstances of the transitional period of the formation of the system of courts (inter alia, the system of the remuneration of judges) of the Republic of Lithuania in view of the fact that the restoration of its independence was a recent event at that time.

4. When deciding whether the impugned legal regulation established in the Appendix (wording of 6 November 2008) to the Law on the Remuneration of Judges is not in conflict with the imperative of the independence of judges and courts which is consolidated in Paragraph 2 of Article 109 of the Constitution and construed in the context of the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, the following exceptional circumstances established in the constitutional justice case at issue should be noted:

the government-established legal regulation, with which the petitioners compare the impugned legal regulation that is established in the Appendix (wording of 6 November 2008) to the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, was valid for a short period—from 1 July 1997 until 31 December 1999—and became no longer valid before eight years from the establishment of the impugned legal regulation in the Appendix (wording of 6 November 2008) to the Law on the Remuneration of Judges;

by means of the government-established legal regulation, with which the petitioners compare the impugned legal regulation that is established in the Appendix (wording of 6 November 2008) to the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, the increase in the service remuneration (coefficients) of judges was established, which, as mentioned before, was reduced as from 1 January 2000 by means of government resolution No. 1494 of 28 December 1999 in view of the then complicated economic and financial situation;

as mentioned before, the minimum sizes of the remuneration (the positional salary calculated by multiplying the established coefficient by the corresponding basic size) of justices of the Supreme Court of Lithuania, of judges of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania and regional administrative courts calculated according to the impugned legal regulation established in the Law on the Remuneration of Judges (wording of 6 November 2008) are by average 25.8 percent bigger than the minimum sizes of the service remuneration (the service remuneration calculated by multiplying the established coefficient by the corresponding size of the basic monthly salary) of particular judges calculated according to the government-established legal regulation valid and actually applied in the period from 1 January 2000 until 14 November 2008;

as mentioned before, the legal regulation governing the sizes and calculation of the remuneration of judges, which was valid and actually applied from the restoration of the independence of the Republic of Lithuania until the entry into force of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, was not established by law, and it was temporary, inconsistent, and contradictory; the said legal regulation should be regarded as a transitional-period temporary factual legal regulation by which the system of courts of the Republic of Lithuania, whose independence had been restored, was formed; the requirement, stemming from the Constitution, for establishing the remuneration of judges by law and for differentiating the sizes of the remuneration according to clear criteria that are not connected with the administration of justice in the consideration of cases at law, was implemented only by the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, i.e., upon the entry into force of this law, the transitional period of the formation of the system of courts of the Republic of Lithuania, whose independence had been restored, was over.

4.1. Thus, it should be noted that the aforementioned average 5.6 percent reduction of the minimum sizes (positional salaries calculated by multiplying the established coefficient by the corresponding basic size) of the remuneration of justices of the Supreme Court of Lithuania, and judges of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania and regional administrative courts as calculated according to the legal regulation established in the Law on the Remuneration of Judges (wording of 6 November 2008), in comparison with the minimum sizes of the remuneration of corresponding judges (the service remuneration calculated by multiplying the established coefficient by the corresponding size of a basic monthly salary) calculated according to the government-established legal regulation that was in force from 1 April 1998 until 31 December 1999, although is not a substantial reduction of the remuneration of judges, could be deemed to have violated the imperative of the independence of judges and courts that is consolidated in the Constitution, if there were not the aforesaid exceptional circumstances specified in the constitutional justice case at issue, especially the fact that the legal regulation governing the sizes and calculation of the remuneration of judges, which was valid and actually applied until the entry into force of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, which was not established by law, which was temporary, inconsistent, and contradictory, and which should be regarded as a transitional-period temporary factual legal regulation by which the system of courts of the Republic of Lithuania, whose independence had been restored, was formed. In the constitutional justice case at issue it has also been mentioned that a certain insubstantial reduction of the remuneration and other social (material) guarantees of judges, where such reduction is related to the unclarity, instability, and contradictoriness of the former legal regulation, could be justified by the exceptional circumstances of the transitional period of the formation of the system of courts (inter alia, the system of the remuneration of judges) of the Republic of Lithuania in view of the fact that the restoration of its independence was a recent event at that time.

Thus, in view of the exceptional circumstances established in the constitutional justice case at issue, the coefficients of the positional salaries of justices of the Supreme Court of Lithuania and judges the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania and regional administrative courts that are established in the Appendix (wording of 6 November 2008) to Law on the Remuneration of Judges should be judged to be in compliance with the constitutional imperative of the independence of judges and courts.

4.2. The reduction in the average size of additional pay, which is a constituent part of the remuneration of judges, should be judged in the same manner.

4.2.1. As mentioned before, according to the government-established legal regulation of the remuneration of judges that was applied prior to the entry into force of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, the maximum additional pay for the time served used to comprise 42.86 percent of the service remuneration (coefficient) of judges; according to the government-established legal regulation valid during the period from 1 July 1997 until 31 December 1999, the maximum additional pay for the time served constituted 75 percent of the service remuneration (coefficient) of judges; according to the legal regulation established in the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, after this law had come into force, the maximum possible additional pay for the years served for the State of Lithuania comprised 18 percent of the positional salary, thus, such additional pay could comprise up to 15.25 percent of the remuneration of judges.

4.2.2. In the constitutional justice case at issue, the assessment of such reduction in the average size of additional pay—a constituent part of the remuneration of judges—should take into consideration the exceptional circumstance that, as mentioned before, according to the Law on the Remuneration of Judges and the government-established legal regulation that was applied prior to the entry into force of this law, the established additional pay is different not only in its size, but also in its character: the additional pay for the years served for the State of Lithuania established in the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, where those years may be counted as from 11 March 1990, when the independence of the State of Lithuania was restored, whilst, according to the legal regulation established by the Government, the additional pay for the time served was provided for, inter alia, irrespective of the fact whether the time was related to the service for the State of Lithuania, including the years served not for the State of Lithuania prior to 11 March 1990. It should also be noted that, as mentioned before, the legal regulation governing the sizes and calculation of the remuneration of judges, which was valid and actually applied until the entry into force of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, was temporary, inconsistent, and contradictory; the said legal regulation should be regarded as a transitional-period temporary factual legal regulation by which the system of courts of the Republic of Lithuania, whose independence had been restored, was formed; the requirement, stemming from the Constitution, for establishing the remuneration of judges by law and for differentiating the sizes of the remuneration according to clear criteria that are not connected with the administration of justice in the consideration of cases at law, was implemented only by the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, i.e., upon the entry into force of this law, the transitional period of the formation of the system of courts of the Republic of Lithuania, whose independence had been restored, was over.

In the constitutional justice case at issue it has also been mentioned that a certain insubstantial reduction of the remuneration and other social (material) guarantees of judges, where such reduction is related to the unclarity, instability, and contradictoriness of the former legal regulation, could be justified by the exceptional circumstances of the transitional period of the formation of the system of courts (inter alia, the system of the remuneration of judges) of the Republic of Lithuania in view of the fact that the restoration of its independence was a recent event at that time.

4.2.3. In this context, it should be noted that, as the Constitutional Court held in its ruling of 22 February 2013, in the period prior to the restoration of the independence of the Republic of Lithuania on 11 March 1990, “the only institutions of the State of Lithuania were the Republic of Lithuania’s diplomatic missions and consular posts abroad”, and “the service to the State of Lithuania was possible only in the structures (inter alia, in the Lithuanian Freedom Fight Movement) of the organised armed resistance against the occupation, which took place for a certain time on the occupied territory of the Republic of Lithuania”.

4.2.4. Thus, after more than eighteen years after the restoration of the independence of the Republic of Lithuania, during which the system of courts of the Republic of Lithuania, whose independence had been restored, was formed after the adoption of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges was adopted, which finished the said period. The inconsistency and contradictoriness of the temporary actual legal regulation of the size of the remuneration of judges and the calculation thereof was characteristic of such a period, therefore, it was groundless to expect that, under the legal regulation established in that law, judges of courts of the Republic of Lithuania could be paid additional pay, as a constituent part of their remuneration, for the years served not for the Republic of Lithuania, inter alia, for the period prior to 11 March 1990.

5. In the light of the foregoing arguments, the conclusion should be drawn that the Appendix (wording of 6 November 2008) to the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, to the extent that it established coefficient 19.2 of the positional salary of justices of the Supreme Court of Lithuania, coefficient 18.7 of the positional salary of judges of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania, and coefficient 17.2 of the positional salary of judges of regional administrative courts, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 109 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

6. It should be emphasised that the fact that the Appendix (wording of 6 November 2008) to the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, insofar as it is impugned by the petitioners, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 109 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, is connected only with the exceptional circumstances established in the constitutional justice case at issue, especially with the fact that, as mentioned before, the legal regulation governing the sizes and calculation of the remuneration of judges, which was valid and actually applied from the restoration of the independence of the Republic of Lithuania until the entry into force of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, was temporary, inconsistent, and contradictory and should be regarded as a transitional-period temporary factual legal regulation by which the system of courts of the Republic of Lithuania, whose independence had been restored, was formed.

IV

On the compliance of Article 298 (wording of 4 June 2002) and Article 301 (wording of 26 June 2012) of the Labour Code with Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 23, the provision “[e]ach human being <…> shall have the right <…> to receive fair pay for work <…>” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48, and Paragraph 2 of Article 109 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law

1. In the constitutional justice case at issue, the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, impugns, inter alia, the compliance of Article 298 (wording of 4 June 2002) and Article 301 (wording of 26 June 2012) of the Labour Code with the Constitution.

2. Article 298 “Meeting of Pecuniary Claims” (wording of 4 June 2002) of the Labour Code, which is impugned by the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, prescribed: “The employee shall receive the judicial award of the amounts of work remuneration and other amounts connected with employment relations due to them for not longer than a 3-year period.”

2.1. Article 298 (wording of 4 June 2002) of the Labour Code establishes the limit on the size of a possible judicial award of the work remuneration and other amounts connected with employment relations due to them: the right of an employee to receive the work remuneration and other amounts connected with employment relations, which are due but have not been paid to them, is limited by a 3-year period.

According to the legal regulation established in this article, in any situation persons may be judicially awarded only those amounts of work remuneration and other amounts connected with employment relations due to them that have not been paid to them for a period not exceeding three years, i.e., even in the situations where the work remuneration or other amounts connected with employment relations due to them have not been paid at all or paid only in part for more than three years and those persons have properly implemented their right to apply to court for the protection of the violated right to fair remuneration for work (inter alia, they have not missed the law-established statutory limitation on the claim), they may be judicially awarded the unpaid amounts covering only the period of three years.

It should be noted that Article 298 (wording of 4 June 2002) of the Labour Code uses the words “judicial award” and the article itself is designed for the regulation of the granting of pecuniary claims of employees. Thus, according to the legal regulation established in this article, also the right of a court is limited, when it administers justice, to judicially award (to grant pecuniary claims of employees) the work remuneration and other amounts connected with employment relations due, but not paid, to the person.

To summarise the legal regulation established in Article 298 (wording of 4 June 2002) of the Labour Code in the aspect impugned by the petitioner, it should be noted that such legal regulation created the preconditions making it impossible to judicially award the amounts of the entire work remuneration and other amounts connected with employment relations due a person; the right of a court to administer justice and secure the implementation of the constitutional human rights was thus correspondingly limited.

2.2. It should be noted that the period established in the impugned Article 298 (wording of 4 June 2002) of the Labour Code is not the period of a statutory limitation within the meaning of Paragraph 1 of Article 27 of the same code, which is defined as a period of time specified by law within which a person may bring an action in defence of their infringed rights. Article 298 (wording of 4 June 2002) of the Labour Code establishes not the length of the period of the right to defend violated rights, but, as mentioned before, the limit of the allowed judicial award of the work remuneration and other amounts connected with employment relations due to an employee, i.e., an employee may be judicially awarded the work remuneration due, but not paid, to them and other amounts connected with employment relations, but for not longer than a 3-year period.

The general 3-year period of a statutory limitation on individual claims applicable to relationships regulated by the Labour Code is established in Paragraph 2 of Article 27 of this code; it is also applicable to claims for the judicial award of the work remuneration and other amounts connected with employment relations.

2.3. In this context, it should be mentioned that, essentially, the impugned provision of Article 298 (wording of 4 June 2002) of the Labour Code that limits the right of an employee to receive the work remuneration due, but not paid, to them and other amounts connected with employment relations, has been taken from the Code of Labour Laws of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic. Article 2521 “Meeting of Pecuniary Claims” thereof used to prescribe: “When considering employment disputes regarding pecuniary claims, with the exception of claims for the payment of the average earnings for forced absence or the difference of earnings for the time when an employee was doing a less paid job (Articles 245 and 252 of this Code), the body considering the dispute shall have the right to adopt a decision that the amounts due to an employee be paid for not longer than a one-year work period, whilst regarding the issue of monetary compensation for unused leave or dismissing from work—for not longer than a two-year work period.”

This provision was in force from 1 January 1973 until 31 December 2002 pending the entry into force of the Labour Code of the Republic of Lithuania on 1 January 2003. The latter code was approved on 4 June 2002.

3. On 26 June 2012, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 204 and Chapter XIX of the Labour Code, by Article 2 (this article came into force on 1 January 2013) whereof it amended Chapter XIX of the Labour Code, inter alia, the impugned Article 298 (wording of 4 June 2002) of the Labour Code. Upon the adoption of the Law Amending Article 204 and Chapter XIX of the Labour Code, Article 298 (wording of 4 June 2002) of the Labour Code became Article 301 thereof—it continued to consolidate an identical provision. It should be noted that the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, also impugns Article 301 (wording of 26 June 2012) of the Labour Code.

4. It has been mentioned that the right of every citizen to receive fair pay for work as consolidated in Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution is a pre-condition for implementing most of the other constitutional rights, inter alia, that this right is one of the most important pre-conditions for implementing the right to ownership as consolidated in Article 23 of the Constitution; under the Constitution, a right appears in regard to the person who has completed a commissioned task to demand that the whole work remuneration (remuneration) which is due according to the legal acts be paid to them, and that such work remuneration be paid within the established time; this right of persons is guaranteed, protected, and defended as the right of ownership (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 13 December 2004, 14 February 2011, and 1 July 2013).

5. It has been mentioned that the legal regulation established in Article 298 (wording of 4 June 2002) of the Labour Code created the preconditions making it impossible to judicially award the amounts of the entire work remuneration and other amounts connected with employment relations due to a person, therefore, the right of a court to administer justice and secure the implementation of the constitutional human rights was correspondingly limited. It should be noted that the preconditions were thus created for an employer not to pay a part of the remuneration due to an employee for performed work. It is impossible to judge that such legal regulation implies taking property—remuneration due to a person for performed work—over for the needs of society by justly compensating for it.

Thus, the legal regulation established in Article 298 (wording of 4 June 2002) of the Labour Code created the preconditions for violating the constitutional ownership right of persons and the constitutional right to receive fair pay for work.

6. It has also been mentioned that the legal regulation established in Article 298 (wording of 4 June 2002) of the Labour Code limited the right of a court to administer justice and secure the implementation of the constitutional human rights; the right of a court is limited, when it administers justice, to judicially award (to grant pecuniary claims of employees) the work remuneration and other amounts connected with employment relations due, but not paid, to the person. It should be noted that, according to such legal regulation, even in situations where the pecuniary claims of an employee for the work remuneration and other amounts connected with employment relations due, but not paid, to them were substantiated and it would be fair to grant such claims in view of the circumstances of a concrete case, the court would not be able to pass a decision on work remuneration and amounts due for a period exceeding three years.

It has been mentioned that the Constitutional Court, when construing Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of the Constitution, has held on more than one occasion that, when administering justice, courts must ensure the implementation of the law that is expressed in the Constitution, laws, and other legal acts, they must guarantee the superiority of law and protect human rights and freedoms; the principle of justice consolidated in the Constitution, as well as the provision that justice is administered by courts, means that not the adoption of a decision itself in a court, but, rather, the adoption of a just court decision constitutes a constitutional value; the constitutional concept of justice implies not a perfunctory and nominal justice administered by a court, not an outward appearance of justice administered by a court, but, most importantly, such court decisions (other final court acts), which by their content are not unjust.

Thus, the legal regulation established in Article 298 (wording of 4 June 2002) of the Labour Code, by limiting the right of a court to administer justice and secure the implementation of the constitutional human rights, creates preconditions for courts to adopt decisions that by their content would be unjust.

7. In the light of the foregoing arguments, the conclusion should be drawn that Article 298 (wording of 4 June 2002) of the Labour Code was in conflict with Article 23, the provision “[e]ach human being <…> shall have the right <…> to receive fair pay for work <…>” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48, and Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of the Constitution.

8. It has been mentioned that, on 26 June 2012, the Seimas adopted the Law Amending Article 204 and Chapter XIX of the Labour Code, by Article 2 (this article came into force on 1 January 2013) whereof it amended Chapter XIX of the Labour Code, inter alia, the impugned Article 298 (wording of 4 June 2002) of the Labour Code; upon the adoption of the Law Amending Article 204 and Chapter XIX of the Labour Code, Article 298 (wording of 4 June 2002) of the Labour Code became Article 301 thereof—it continued to consolidate an identical provision. It has also been mentioned that the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, also impugns Article 301 (wording of 26 June 2012) of the Labour Code.

After it has been held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court that Article 298 (wording of 4 June 2002) of the Labour Code was in conflict with Article 23, the provision “[e]ach human being <…> shall have the right <…> to receive fair pay for work <…>” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48, and Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of the Constitution, on the grounds of the same arguments it should also be held that Article 301 (wording of 26 June 2012) of the Labour Code is in conflict with Article 23, the provision “[e]ach human being <…> shall have the right <…> to receive fair pay for work <…>” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48, and Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of the Constitution.

9. Having held this, the Constitutional Court will not further investigate whether Article 298 (wording of 4 June 2002) of the Labour Code was in conflict, whilst Article 301 (wording of 26 June 2012) of the Labour Code is in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 109 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

10. In this context it should be noted that the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution should be construed in the light of Paragraph 3 of Article 46 of the Constitution which provides: “The State shall regulate economic activity so that it serves the general welfare of the Nation.” In its ruling of 4 March 1999, the Constitutional Court held that, in the relations of the labour market in the area of private business, the state is under obligation to ensure by law-established means the balance of interests of employers and those of persons proposing their labour force and skills, and co-ordinate such interests with those of society. It should be noted that this is also applicable mutatis mutandis to the legal relations in situations where the employer is the state itself.

In view of this fact, it should be noted that one of the legal guarantees for a balance of interests of employees and employers and the co-ordination of such interests with those of society is the procedural institute of statutory limitation on claims, which, inter alia, establishes the period during which a party of employment relations is allowed to defend their rights by making a claim.

In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it should also be noted that the legislature enjoys broad discretion to establish the period of a statutory limitation on claims regarding the judicial award of work remuneration and other amounts connected with employment relations. However, when implementing such discretion, the legislature should establish the period ensuring the effective protection of the constitutional right for a fair pay for work and the stability of legal relations safeguarding the interests of an employer against unreasonably delayed claims. This period could also be shorter than the general period of a statutory limitation applicable to employment relations.

11. It should also be noted that the Law on the Repaying of the Part of Work Remuneration Not Paid to Judges is not a matter of the investigation in the constitutional justice case at issue. The said law is a special law regulating the repaying of the part of work remuneration not paid to judges. Such part of remuneration is composed of the difference in the size of the remuneration that had to be paid to them according to the legal acts regulating the work remuneration of judges until 31 December 1999 and the size of the remuneration actually paid to them during the period specified in Article 2 of this law.

In itself, the fact that it has been held in this ruling that Article 298 (wording of 4 June 2002) of the Labour Code was in conflict, whilst Article 301 (wording of 26 June 2012) of the Labour Code is in conflict with the Constitution means that the legislature, when heeding the imperative of balancing the revenue and expenditure of the state budget and taking into consideration, inter alia, the capabilities of the state and its various obligations, may establish, by means of a special law, the mechanism of compensation for persons, who are paid for their work from the funds of the state or municipal budget, for the losses incurred due to the reduction of their remuneration as a result of the emergence of a certain economic and financial situation in the state, inter alia, it may establish the sizes and terms of compensation for the incurred losses and a fair period that is covered by the compensation for the incurred losses.

12. In this context, it should also be noted that, by its decision of 15 October 2013 in the case Savickas and Others v Lithuania (applications Nos. 66365/09, 12845/10, 29809/10, 29813/10, 30623/10, 28367/11), the European Court of Human Rights recognised that the statements on alleged violation of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms regarding the reduction of the remuneration of judges (or a reduced part of such remuneration) and the conditions for the compensation for such remuneration were unacceptable. The Court emphasised that, in adopting and upholding the temporary reduction of judges’ salaries, Lithuania did not overstep its margin of appreciation in the establishment of the conditions for the use of ownership, therefore it declared the applications inadmissible.

13. As it has been held by the Constitutional Court on more than one occasion, the provision of Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution, by which a legal act (or part thereof) may not be applied from the day of the official publication of the decision of the Constitutional Court that the act in question (or part thereof) is in conflict with the Constitution, means that, until the Constitutional Court has not adopted a decision that the act in question (or part thereof) is in conflict with the Constitution, it is presumed that such a legal act (part thereof) is in compliance with the Constitution and that the legal effects that have emerged on the basis of the act in question (part thereof) are legitimate. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it should be noted that the legal effects that emerged on the grounds of Article 298 (wording of 4 June 2002) and Article 301 (wording of 26 June 2012) of the Labour Code and prior to the official publication of this ruling of the Constitutional Court are lawful.

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

ruling:

1. To recognise that the Appendix to the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Remuneration of Judges (wording of 6 November 2008; Official gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 131-5022), to the extent that it established coefficient 19.2 of the positional salary of justices of the Supreme Court of Lithuania, coefficient 18.7 of the positional salary of judges of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania, and coefficient 17.2 of the positional salary of judges of regional administrative courts, is not in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

2. To recognise that Article 298 (wording of 4 June 2002; Official gazette Valstybės žinios, 2002, No. 64-2569) of the Labour Code of the Republic of Lithuania was in conflict with Article 23, the provision “[e]ach human being <…> shall have the right <…> to receive fair pay for work <…>” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48, and Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

3. To recognise that Article 301 (wording of 26 June 2012; Official gazette Valstybės žinios, 2012, No. 80-4138) of the Labour Code of the Republic of Lithuania is in conflict with Article 23, the provision “[e]ach human being <…> shall have the right <…> to receive fair pay for work <…>” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48, and Paragraph 1 of Article 109 of 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

                                                                     Danutė Jočienė

                                                                     Pranas Kuconis

                                                                     Gediminas Mesonis

                                                                     Vytas Milius

                                                                     Egidijus Šileikis

                                                                     Algirdas Taminskas

                                                                     Dainius Žalimas