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On the adoption of the law on the 2009 state budget and related laws

Case No. 28/2009

 THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

 RULING

ON THE COMPLIANCE OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA LAW ON THE APPROVAL OF THE FINANCIAL INDICATORS OF THE 2009 STATE BUDGET AND MUNICIPAL BUDGETS, THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA LAW ON THE APPROVAL OF THE INDICATORS OF THE 2009 BUDGET OF THE STATE SOCIAL INSURANCE FUND, THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA LAW ON APPROVING THE 2009 BUDGET OF THE COMPULSORY HEALTH INSURANCE FUND, AS WELL AS SOME OTHER LAWS AND LEGAL ACTS RELATED TO THE AFORESAID LAWS, WITH THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

 15 February 2013

Vilnius

 

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, composed of the Justices of the Constitutional Court Egidijus Bieliūnas, Toma Birmontienė, Pranas Kuconis, Gediminas Mesonis, Egidijus Šileikis, Algirdas Taminskas, Romualdas Kęstutis Urbaitis, and Dainius Žalimas,

with the secretary—Daiva Pitrėnaitė,

in the presence of the representative of a group of Members of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, the petitioner, who was Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, a Member of the Seimas,

the representative of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, a party concerned, who was Rytas Kupčinskas, a Member of the Seimas,

the representatives of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, a party concerned, who were Gediminas Užubalis, Director of the Legal Department of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania, Darius Sadeckas, Deputy Director of the Budget Department of the same ministry, Alfreda Šatrauskienė, Deputy Director of the Social Insurance and Pensions Department of the Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania, Svetlana Kulpina, Head of the Financial Social Assistant Division of the Social Inclusion Department of the same ministry, Eglė Radišauskienė, Head of the Labour Law Division of the Labour Department of the same ministry, Vitalija Griškova, Head of the Legal Division of the State Patients’ Fund under the Ministry of Health,

pursuant to Articles 102, 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 17 January 2013, in a public Court hearing heard constitutional justice case No. 28/2009 subsequent to the petition (No. 1B-34/2009) of a group of Members of the Seimas, the petitioner, requesting to investigate whether (in this ruling the impugned legal acts are also indicated according to the following numbers of items of the petition (hereinafter referred to as the items of the petition) specified in the 17 August 2009 ordinance of the President of the Constitutional Court whereby the petition of the petitioner was accepted):

1) the Resolution (No. 1323) of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania “On Submission of the Improved Draft Republic of Lithuania Law on Approving the Financial Indicators of the 2009 State Budget and the Municipal Budgets and the Other Draft Legal Acts Related to It to the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania” of 15 December 2008 (hereinafter also referred to as the Government resolution No. 1323 of 15 December 2008), in view of the procedure of its adoption and entry into force, is not in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law and Paragraph 1 (wording of 27 May 2003) of Article 177 of the Statute of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 22 December 1998);

2) Item 1 of the resolution (No. 1323) of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 15 December 2008, insofar as it assents to the improved draft Law on Approving the Financial Indicators of the 2009 State Budget and the Municipal Budgets and the improved draft Resolution of the Seimas Republic of Lithuania “On the Predicted Indicators of the 2009, 2010 and 2011 National Budgets”, in view of the content of its norms, is not in conflict with Paragraphs 2, 3 of Article 5, Item 2 of Paragraph 1 of Article 94 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, separation of powers, responsible governance, legal clarity, legal certainty, legal security and protection of legitimate expectations;

3) Item 2 of the Resolution (No. 1326) of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania “On Submission of the Improved Draft Republic of Lithuania Law on the Approval of the Indicators of the 2009 Budget of the State Social Insurance Fund and the Other Draft Legal Acts Related to It to the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania” of 15 December 2008 (hereinafter also referred to as the Government resolution No. 1326 of 15 December 2008), insofar as it assents to the improved draft Republic of Lithuania Law on the Approval of the Indicators of the 2009 Budget of the State Social Insurance Fund, in view of the content of its norms, is not in conflict with Paragraphs 2, 3 of Article 5, Item 2 of Paragraph 1 of Article 94 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

4) Item 1 of the Resolution (No. 1324) of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania “On Submission of the Improved Draft Republic of Lithuania Law on Approving the Financial Indicators of the 2009 Budget of the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund and the Draft Law Related to It to the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania” of 15 December 2008 (hereinafter also referred to as the Government resolution No. 1324 of 15 December 2008), insofar as it assents to the improved draft Republic of Lithuania Law on Approving the Financial Indicators of the 2009 Budget of the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund, in view of the content of its norms, is not in conflict with Paragraphs 2, 3 of Article 5, Item 2 of Paragraph 1 of Article 94 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

5) the Resolution (No. XI-78) of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania “On the Predicted Indicators of the 2009, 2010 and 2011 National Budgets” of 19 December 2008, in view of the procedure of its adoption and entry into force, as well as in view of the content of its norms, is not in conflict with Paragraphs 3 of Article 5, Item 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, Paragraph 5 (wording of 22 December 1998) of Article 172 and Paragraph 1 (wording of 27 May 2003) of Article 177 of the Statute of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania;

6) Article 11 of the Statute of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania “On Amending and Supplementing Articles 58, 60, 611, 64, 68, 69, 81, 172, 177, 180 of the Statute of the Seimas” adopted on 16 December 2008, in view of the content of its norms, was not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

7) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Approving the Financial Indicators of the 2009 State Budget and the Municipal Budgets adopted on 22 December 2008 (hereinafter also referred to as the Law on the 2009 State Budget), in view of the procedure of its adoption and entry into force, as well as in view of the content of its norms, is not in conflict with Paragraph 3 of Article 5, Article 23, Paragraph 1 of Article 69, Paragraph 2 of Article 131 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

8) the Republic of Lithuania Law on the Approval of the Indicators of the 2009 Budget of the State Social Insurance Fund adopted on 18 December 2008 (hereinafter also referred to as the Law on the 2009 SSIF Budget), in view of the procedure of its adoption and entry into force, as well as in view of the content of its norms, is not in conflict with Paragraph 3 of Article 5, Articles 23, 52, Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

9) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Approving the Financial Indicators of the 2009 Budget of the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund adopted on 22 December 2008 (hereinafter also referred to as the Law on the 2009 CHIF Budget), in view of the procedure of its adoption and entry into force, as well as in view of the content of its norms, is not in conflict with Paragraph 3 of Article 5, Articles 23, 52, Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

10) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Article 1 of the Law on State Support to Acquire or Rent a Dwelling and Renovate (Modernise) Multi-Apartment Houses adopted on 22 December 2008, in view of the procedure of its adoption and entry into force, as well as in view of the content of its norms, is not in conflict with Article 23 and Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

11) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Recognising as No Longer Valid Articles 11 and 15 of the Law on Amending Articles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 of the Law on State Support to Acquire or Rent a Dwelling and Renovate (Modernise) Multi-Apartment Houses and Supplementing the Law with Article 111 adopted on 22 December 2008, in view of the procedure of its adoption, is not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, in view of the procedure of its entry into force—with Paragraph 3 of Article 5 and Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, whereas in view of the content of its norms—with Paragraph 3 of Article 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

12) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Articles 2, 19, 51, 56, 58, 91, 1251 of the Law on Value-added Tax and Recognising Article 1251 Thereof as No Longer Valid adopted on 23 December 2008, in view of the procedure of its adoption and entry into force, is not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

13) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Articles 3 and 5 of the Law on the Financing of the Road Maintenance and Development Programme adopted on 23 December 2008, in view of the procedure of its adoption, is not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, in view of the procedure of its entry into force—with Paragraph 3 of Article 5 and Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, whereas in view of the content of its norms—with Paragraph 3 of Article 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

14) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Recognising the Law on Amending Article 10 of the Law on the Financing of the Road Maintenance and Development Programme as No Longer Valid adopted on 23 December 2008, in view of the procedure of its adoption, is not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, whereas in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms—with Paragraph 3 of Article 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

15) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 1 and 3 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 4, 5, 26, 41, 43, 54 of the Law on Profit Tax adopted on 22 December 2008, in view of the procedure of its adoption, is not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, whereas in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms—with Paragraph 3 of Article 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, separation of powers, responsible governance, legal clarity, legal certainty, legal security and protection of legitimate expectations;

16) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 131, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 29, 30 of the Law on Personal Income Tax and Supplementing the Law with Article 181 adopted on 23 December 2008, in view of the procedure of its adoption, is not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, whereas in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms—with Paragraph 3 of Article 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, separation of powers, responsible governance, legal clarity, legal certainty, legal security and protection of legitimate expectations;

17) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Article 1, and Recognising Articles 4 and 5 as No Longer Valid, of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 17 and 21 of the Law on Personal Income Tax and Supplementing the Annex of the Law adopted on 22 December 2008, in view of the procedure of its adoption, is not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, whereas in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms—with Paragraph 3 of Article 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, separation of powers, responsible governance, legal clarity, legal certainty, legal security and protection of legitimate expectations;

18) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Recognising the Law on Amending Articles 17 and 20 of the Law on Personal Income Tax as No Longer Valid adopted on 22 December 2008, in view of the procedure of its adoption, is not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, whereas in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms—with Paragraph 3 of Article 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, separation of powers, responsible governance, legal clarity, legal certainty, legal security and protection of legitimate expectations;

19) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Article 2 of the Law on Amending Article 83 of the Law on Tax Administration adopted on 22 December 2008, in view of the procedure of its adoption, is not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, whereas in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms—with Paragraph 3 of Article 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

20) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Articles 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11 and 14 of the Law on Social Assistance for Pupils adopted on 22 December 2008, in view of the procedure of its adoption, is not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, whereas in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms—with Paragraph 3 of Article 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

21) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 29, 31 of the Law on State Social Insurance adopted on 19 December 2008, in view of the procedure of its adoption, is not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, whereas in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms—with Paragraph 3 of Article 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, separation of powers, responsible governance, legal clarity, legal certainty, legal security and protection of legitimate expectations;

22) Paragraph 8 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Article 2 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on State Social Insurance, insofar as it provides that “‘self-employed persons’ mean <…> farmers and their partners, in the case when the economic size of an agricultural holding as registered in the Republic of Lithuania Agriculture and Rural Business Register is, according to the calculations carried out by an authorised institution and valid on the last day of the preceding year, equals to, or exceeds 4 European Size Units established on the basis of the European Commission Decision 90/36/EEC of 16 January 1990 fixing the agro-economic trend coefficient to be used for defining the European size unit in connection with the Community typology for agricultural holdings”, the provision of Paragraph 1 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Article 4 of the same law that “the following persons shall be covered on a compulsory basis by social insurance of the types specified in Article 3 of this Law: 1) <...> the persons who are linked with the insurer by employment relations or by the relations in their essence corresponding to employment relations in the same manner as these relations are defined in the Law on Personal Income Tax and who at the same time receive from this insurer income from sports activities, performing activities or under authors’ agreements”, the provision of Paragraph 3 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Article 4 thereof that “self-employed persons <…> shall be covered on a compulsory basis <…> by sickness and maternity social insurance, where a person is insured to receive only the maternity, paternity and maternity (paternity) payments (Item 2 of Article 3 of this Law)”, Paragraph 5 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Article 4 thereof are not in conflict with Articles 23, 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, separation of powers, responsible governance, legal clarity, legal certainty, legal security and protection of legitimate expectations;

23) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 16, 181, 19 of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance adopted on 18 December 2008, in view of the procedure of its adoption, is not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, whereas in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms—with Paragraph 3 of Article 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

24) Paragraph 3 (wording of 18 December 2008) of Article 4 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

25) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Articles 2, 6, 8, 14, 19, 56 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions adopted on 18 December 2008, in view of the procedure of its adoption, is not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, whereas in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms—with Paragraph 3 of Article 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

26) the provision “the following persons shall be covered on a compulsory basis by state social insurance for a pension: <…> 8) farmers and their partners as defined by the Law on State Social Insurance” of Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 December 2008) of Article 2 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on State Social Insurance Pensions is not in conflict with Articles 23 and 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

27) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Articles 13, 14, 15 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 5, 15, 19, 24, 28, 33, 40, 42, 53, 56, 59, 65 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions adopted on 22 December 2008, in view of the procedure of its adoption, is not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, whereas in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms—with Paragraph 3 of Article 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

28) the Republic of Lithuania Republic Law on Amending and Supplementing Article 4 of the Law on Reform of the Pension System adopted on 15 January 2009, in view of the procedure of its adoption, is not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, whereas in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms—with Paragraph 3 of Article 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

29) the provision “the amount of the pension contribution <…> shall be <…> in 2009 and 2010—3 percent, from 2011—5.5 percent of the income of participants on which state social insurance contributions are payable” of Paragraph 1 (wording of 15 January 2009) of Article 4 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on Reform of the Pension System, insofar as it is applied to the persons who became participants of the pension accumulation system till 17 January 2009 inclusive, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania;

30) the provision “the amount of the pension contribution <…> shall be <…> from 1 January 2009 till 30 June 2009—3 percent, from 1 July 2009 till 31 December 2009 and in 2010—2 percent of the income of participants on which state social insurance contributions are payable” of Paragraph 1 (wording of 28 April 2009) of Article 4 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on Reform of the Pension System, insofar as it is applied to the persons who became participants of the pension accumulation system till 30 June 2009 inclusive, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

31) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 6, 8, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 of the Law on Health Insurance adopted on 22 December 2008, in view of the procedure of its adoption, is not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

32) the Republic of Lithuania Law on the Basic Size, Applicable in 2009, of the Positional Salary (Remuneration) of State Politicians, Judges, State Officials and State Servants adopted on 19 December 2008, in view of the procedure of its adoption, is not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, whereas in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms—with Paragraph 3 of Article 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

33) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Recognising the Law on Amending Articles 3, 5 and 7 of the Law on the Restoration of Savings of the Population as No Longer Valid adopted on 19 December 2008, in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms, is not in conflict with Paragraph 3 of Article 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

34) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Articles 2, 19, 51, 56, 58, 91, 1251 of the Law on Value-added Tax and Recognising Article 1251 Thereof as No Longer Valid adopted on 23 December 2008, in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms, is not in conflict with Paragraph 3 of Article 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

35) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Recognising the Law on Supplementing Article 19 of the Law on Value-added Tax and Supplementing the Law with Annex 3 as No Longer Valid adopted on 18 December 2008, in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms, is not in conflict with Paragraph 3 of Article 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

36) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Articles 21, 22, 23, 24, 28, 33, 34, 35 and 37 of the Law on Excises adopted on 19 December 2008, in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms, is not in conflict with Paragraph 3 of Article 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

37) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 5, 12, 34, 382, 41, 58 of the Law on Profit Tax and Supplementing the Law with Article 401 and Chapter IX1 adopted on 18 December 2008, in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms, is not in conflict with Paragraph 3 of Article 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

38) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Articles 2, 3 and 4 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 3, 33, 34, 35, 55 of the Law on Profit Tax adopted on 18 December 2008, in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms, is not in conflict with Paragraph 3 of Article 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

39) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Recognising, as No Longer Valid, Article 2 and Amending Article 12 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 5, 12, 26, 35, 36, 37, 53 of the Law on Profit Tax, Supplementing the Law with Articles 371 and 372 and Supplementing Annex 3 of the Law adopted on 18 December 2008, in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms, is not in conflict with Paragraph 3 of Article 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

40) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending the Law on the Lottery and Gaming Tax adopted on 19 December 2008, in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms, is not in conflict with Paragraph 3 of Article 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

41) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Article 5 of the Law on the Tax of Using State Property by Trust adopted on 19 December 2008, in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms, is not in conflict with Paragraph 3 of Article 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

42) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 6, 8, 12, 13, 20 of the Law on Payments for Children and Recognising Article 22 Thereof as No Longer Valid adopted on 19 December 2008, in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms, is not in conflict with Paragraph 3 of Article 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

43) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Article 4 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 4, 5, 6 of the Law on State Pensions adopted on 19 December 2008, in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms, is not in conflict with Paragraph 3 of Article 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

44) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending the Law on Indexation of the Sizes of the Minimum Remuneration for Work, Social Security Payments and of the Basic Size of Punishments and Penalties adopted on 19 December 2008, in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms, is not in conflict with Paragraph 3 of Article 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

45) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending and Supplementing the Law on Approving the Financial Indicators of the 2009 State Budget and the Municipal Budgets adopted on 7 May 2009, in view of the content of its norms, is not in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

46) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 3, 6 of the Law on Approving the Indicators of the 2009 Budget of the State Social Insurance Fund adopted on 17 February 2009, in view of the content of its norms, is not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

47) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Article 3 and Appendices 1 and 2 of the Law on Approving the Indicators of the 2009 Budget of the State Social Insurance Fund adopted on 28 April 2009, in view of the content of its norms, is not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

48) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Supplementing and Amending Articles 12, 401 of the Law on Profit Tax adopted on 19 February 2009, in view of the content of its norms, is not in conflict with Articles 23 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

49) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Article 23 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 131, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 29, 30 of the Law on Personal Income Tax and Supplementing the Law with Article 181 adopted on 19 February 2009, in view of the content of its norms, is not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

50) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Articles 17 and 20 of the Law on Personal Income Tax adopted on 19 February 2009, in view of the content of its norms, is not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

51) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9 of the Law on State Social Insurance adopted on 17 February 2009, in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

52) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Article 10 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 29, 31 of the Law on State Social Insurance adopted on 17 February 2009, in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

53) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Article 10 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 16, 181, 19 of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance adopted on 17 February 2009, in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

54) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 3, 4, 8 of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance adopted on 17 February 2009, in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

55) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 9, 10, 14, 211, 24 of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance adopted on 28 April 2009, in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

56) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Articles 8 and 14 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions adopted on 17 February 2009, in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

57) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Article 17 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions adopted on 28 April 2009, in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

58) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 3, 4, 7 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 6, 8, 12, 13, 20 of the Law on Payments for Children and Recognising Article 22 Thereof as No Longer Valid adopted on 19 February 2009, in view of the procedure of its adoption and the content of its norms, is not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

59) the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending the Law on Approving the Financial Indicators of the 2009 Budget of the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund adopted on 28 April 2009, in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

 

The Constitutional Court

has established:

I

The petition of the group of Members of the Seimas, the petitioner, is substantiated by the following arguments.

  1. Under the Constitution, inter alia Paragraph 1 of Article 69 thereof, laws shall be adopted at the Seimas according to the procedure established by law. Under Item 2 of Article 94 of the Constitution, the Government shall execute laws and resolutions of the Seimas on the implementation of the laws, therefore, the Government has a constitutional duty to adhere to the defined rules for implementing the right of legislative initiative. Due to the violations of implementation of this right, the adopted legal acts are in conflict with the Constitution.

The basis of the formation and execution of the State Budget are the Constitution and laws, as well as the Statute of the Seimas, which provide for the procedure for formation and approval, as well as the terms of the approval of this budget. When the Budget of the State Social Insurance Fund (hereinafter also referred to as the SSIF budget) and the Budget of the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund (hereinafter also referred to as the CHIF budget) are being formed and approved, one must follow the same procedure as in approving the state budget.

Both the Government, while submitting the draft laws on the 2009 State Budget, the 2009 SSIF Budget and the 2009 CHIF Budget to the Seimas, and the Seimas, while adopting those laws, made substantial violations of the procedure for consideration and adoption of the budget, due to which the impugned legal acts are in conflict with the Constitution.

1.1. While invoking the official constitutional doctrine formed in the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 8 November 1993, inter alia the provision that the process of legislation is a whole complex of juridically significant acts necessary for the adoption of a law and performed in a rigid sequence of logic and time, the petitioner notes that “in the context of consideration and adoption of the state budget the official constitutional doctrine implies inter alia a duty of the Government to ensure that the draft state budget should be specified after its first consideration at the Seimas and submitted a second time for consideration within the term established in the Statute of the Seimas, i.e. not later than within 15 days”. Thus, according to the petitioner, “a duty of the Government, as an institution of the executive, arises from the Constitution, to create legal preconditions for execution of the constitutional powers of another state institution, the Seimas, related to adoption of the state budget”.

The improved draft Law on the 2009 State Budget was submitted, by the Government resolution No. 1323 of 15 December 2008, to the Seimas for the second consideration later than established in Paragraph 1 of Article 177 of the Statute of the Seimas. In its turn, the Seimas began the second consideration of the Law on the 2009 State Budget 17 days late. Thus, one was not following the terms for consideration of the state budget as established by law.

1.2. After one had started the consideration of the 2009 state budget, amendments to the Statute of the Seimas were adopted, changing the procedure for consideration of the state budget (the term of the second consideration was prolonged). Since establishment (by legal acts) of any such legal regulation that could interfere into the legal relations that have begun or have finished is not allowed, one was not allowed to apply the amended provisions of the Statute of the Seimas to the procedure for adoption of the 2009 state budget. Therefore, Article 11 of the Statute of the Seimas “On Amending and Supplementing Articles 58, 60, 611, 64, 68, 69, 81, 172, 177, 180 of the Statute of the Seimas” in view of the content of its norms, is in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

1.3. Under the Constitution, if certain laws provide for certain expenditure, the Seimas, while approving the state budget, must follow such laws; expenditure established by laws may not be reduced as long as the said laws are not altered (Paragraph 2 of Article 131 of the Constitution). In addition, Article 12 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on the Budget Structure imperatively provides that the tax laws and other laws which affect the budget revenue must be adopted not later than the law on the approval of the state budget for that budget year. The same procedure established by the Constitution and laws must be applied not only to the procedure for the adoption of the law on the state budget, but also for those of the Law on the SSIF Budget and the Law on the CHIF Budget.

Meanwhile, the Government, while submitting, by its resolutions Nos. 1323, 1324 and 1326 of 15 December 2008, the draft laws on the 2009 state budget, the SSIF budget and the CHIF budget respectively, was invoking not the laws valid at that time, but only the submitted draft laws that were to become valid subsequently and were related to or affecting the said budgets. Thus the Government exceeded its competence, was misleading the legislator, ant itself assumed the functions of legislation.

In its turn, the Seimas first considered and adopted the Law on the 2009 State Budget, the Law on the 2009 SSIF Budget and the Law on the 2009 CHIF Budget, and only after that it considered the separate draft laws, submitted by the Government, which were related to those budgets and were affecting the state debt and the revenue and allocations of the respective budget. Thus, the Law on the 2009 State Budget, the Law on the 2009 SSIF Budget and the Law on the 2009 CHIF Budget adopted by the Seimas were mostly grounded on the revenue and allocations that were not provided for in the laws valid then. One is to pay attention to the fact that some of the laws, upon the grounds of the drafts thereof the 2009 state budget was approved, were not subsequently adopted (for example, the draft Republic of Lithuania Law on the Provisional Tax of Cars Managed by Legal Persons).

1.4. While conforming to the constitutional principles of justice and service of state authority to the people, it is allowed to amend the legal regulation while changing taxes, providing for new mandatory contributions, diminishing state social and economic obligations only by proportionately diminishing the portion of the state budget expenditure for state governance. However, it is clear that the expenditure for state governance was not diminished proportionately, but rather increased. While making the tax laws stricter and while reasoning this move by the difficult economic situation that occurred in the state, but failing proportionately to diminish the expenditure for state governance, one violates the constitutional principle that state institutions shall serve the people (Paragraph 3 of Article 5 of the Constitution), as well as the principles of a state under the rule of law, proportionality and solidarity.

1.5. While taking account of the fact that the Law on the 2009 State Budget, the Law on the 2009 SSIF Budget and the Law on the 2009 CHIF Budget are in conflict with the Constitution, on the grounds of the same arguments it is possible to assert that the legal acts amending those laws, which to some extent corrected the 2009 budgets, are also in conflict with the Constitution.

  1. Not only the Law on the 2009 State Budget, the Law on the 2009 SSIF Budget and the Law on the 2009 CHIF Budget, but also the laws adopted in conjunction with the aforesaid laws that affected the revenues and allocations of those budgets, are in conflict with the Constitution.

2.1. On the grounds of the same argument upon which the doubts regarding the constitutionality of the laws on the 2009 budgets is grounded, namely, that, while following the imperatives consolidated in the Constitution, inter alia Paragraph 1 of Article 69 and Paragraph 2 of Article 131 thereof, and the established legislation procedure, the Seimas should have considered and adopted separate laws related to the state budget, the SSIF budget and the CHIF budget that affected the revenue and allocations of the respective budget, and only afterwards one should have considered and adopted the Law on the 2009 State Budget, the Law on the 2009 SSIF Budget and the Law on the 2009 CHIF Budget, the petition asserts that also the other legal acts directly related to the respective budgets and affecting them are in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

The laws that established new taxes, new tax rates as well as substantially altered the taxation procedure and the principles of the legal regulation of taxation and the principles of application thereof were adopted only at the Seimas sitting of 22 December 2008 after the Law on the 2009 State Budget had been adopted. At the Seimas sitting of 18 December 2008 the Law on the SSIF Budget was adopted, and only after that one adopted new state social insurance contributions, new rates of the contributions and substantially altered the contribution procedure and the principles of the legal regulation of establishing contributions and the principles of application thereof; at the Seimas sitting of 22 December 2008 one first adopted the Law on the 2009 CHIF Budget and only after that the law related to it and affecting the 2009 CHIF budget revenues was amended. Thus, due to the fact that in the course of the adoption of the legal acts related to the 2009 budgets and the legal acts affecting the former the legislation procedure was grossly violated, the said legal acts are in conflict with the Constitution.

2.2. One of the constituent parts of the legislation procedure is the internal preventive control of the constitutionality of a legal act, which is provided for in Articles 136–139 of the Statute of the Seimas. The Constitutional Court has assessed it as one of the legal means to seek to achieve the conformity of the laws and other legal acts adopted by the Seimas with the Constitution. Skipping or improper carrying out of this procedure should be assessed as a violation of the constitutional requirements for the legislation procedure.

While adopting some impugned legal acts, the Seimas was not adhering to the procedure for the internal preventive control of the constitutionality of a legal act and committed other violations of the legislation procedure: it failed to react to the conclusions submitted by the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas that the considered legal acts might be in conflict with the Constitution, it failed to consider certain draft legal acts at the Committee on Legal Affairs, although, according to the Statute of the Seimas, it should have been done so, therefore, the legal acts adopted while failing to adhere to the established procedure may not be regarded as lawful ones.

2.3. Under Article 3 of the Law on Tax Administration, as regards the rule that tax laws should come into effect not earlier than within six months after the day of their publication, it shall not apply to the amendments of tax laws of the Republic of Lithuania related to the Law on the Approval of Financial Indicators of the State Budget and Municipal Budgets (hereinafter also referred to as the Law on the State Budget or the Law on the State Budget and Municipal Budgets) only in exceptional cases, when there are no alternatives to adopt a decision in order to find a way out; this exception to the general rule may not be applied broadly, by changing the entire tax system in essence. The legislator may not abuse this exception, it should try to soften possible consequences and not to violate the principles of legitimate expectations, legal certainty and legal security.

Most of the impugned laws that reduced state obligations and introduced new taxes or increased the already established ones, were adopted from 18 December 2009 till 23 December 2009, but they came into force on 30 December 2009, i.e. after less than a week after their adoption, thus, without giving a reasonable term for the population to participate in the consideration of those laws, nor giving a possibility to prepare for the implementation thereof. Thus the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law and protection of legitimate expectations were violated.

  1. The petitioner has doubts regarding the constitutionality of the laws that reduced the amount of the contribution transferred by the state to pension accumulation companies because by such reform of the system of pensions preconditions were created not to carry out the direct state obligations in the sphere of social security under Article 52 of the Constitution, the principle of legitimate expectations was violated and no corresponding mechanism for compensation of the incurred losses was provided for. When the impugned laws established that the new adopted provisions would be applicable also to the subjects of the pension accumulation agreements that had been adopted before, the principle of retroactive non-validity of laws was violated, the right of ownership of those subjects defended under Article 23 of the Constitution was limited, their legitimate expectations were violated, since the established amount of the contribution to pension accumulation companies had been the main criterion both in resolving to found such companies and in signing pension accumulation agreements.
  2. The laws adopted by the Seimas that enlarged the categories of persons covered on a compulsory basis by state social insurance and established a duty to these persons of these categories (authors, sportsmen, performers, farmers and their partners, some other self-employed persons) to pay compulsory social insurance contributions, are also in conflict with the Constitution.

4.1. The state, while implementing the provisions of Article 52 of the Constitution, must create legal preconditions for persons of “free professions” to take care of their social well-being in cases of old age, sickness, disability etc., however, while respecting their choice, it cannot obligate them to participate in the system of compulsory state social insurance and insure themselves by compulsory state social insurance. The work of such persons is irregular and unpredictable, the income received by them is not stable, therefore, the compulsory insurance conflicts with the essence of the legal notion of social insurance itself.

4.2. Having established the compulsory state social insurance for these persons, and, on this basis, demanding a part of the income legally earned by the said persons, the state groundlessly redistributes their income thus violating the principle of inviolability of ownership as entrenched in Article 23 of the Constitution.

4.3. In addition, upon establishing different extent of state social insurance in connection with the fact whether the person concluded an author’s agreement with the insurance payer who either is or is not his employer, the principle of equality of rights of persons was violated (Article 29 of the Constitution).

II

In the course of the preparation of the case for the Constitutional Court hearing written explanations were received from the representatives of the Seimas, the party concerned, who were R. Kupčinskas and Artūras Melianas, Members of the Seimas, wherein it is maintained that the Law on the 2009 State Budget, the Law on the 2009 SSIF Budget and the Law on the 2009 CHIF Budget, the other legal acts related thereto and affecting them, as well as Article 11 of the Statute of the Seimas “On Amending and Supplementing Articles 58, 60, 611, 64, 68, 69, 81, 172, 177, 180 of the Statute of the Seimas”, are not in conflict with the Constitution. The position of the representatives of the party concerned is substantiated by the following arguments.

  1. The fact that the Constitution provides for the annual approval of the state budget means that the budget is prepared annually by taking into consideration the concrete economic indicators, the actual situation in the economy and the state priorities. Thus, the Seimas, while considering and approving the 2009 state budget, had to take account of the deteriorating situation of the economy of this country. The legislator, while seeking to soften the possible consequences of the economic crisis, had to resort to urgent measures in order to consolidate the public finances and to ensure the stability of the state finances.

When the 2009 state budget was being considered and adopted, certain political circumstances were also influential. Namely at the time of the consideration of the state budget the composition of the Government was changed, therefore, there occurred a situation where the first and second draft budgets were prepared by the Government of different composition. All this determined a more complex than normal procedure for consideration and adoption of the 2009 state budget, the terms of its adoption and the adoption of corresponding legal acts.

  1. In case the 2009 state budget had not been approved, under Paragraph 1 of Article 132 of the Constitution, the 2009 state expenditure would have been related to the 2008 state budget expenditure. The execution of the latter budget might have caused dire consequences for the economy and finances of the state, might have increased the state deficit, and, in addition, the timely payment of social payments would not have been ensured. Thus, while adopting, on 16 December 2009, the amendments to the Statute of the Seimas prolonging the term for the second consideration of the state budget at the Seimas, the Seimas was seeking to ensure that the 2009 state budget could be adopted and approved on time. The said amendments to the Statute of the Seimas entrenched the specific procedure for adopting namely the 2009 budget. While adopting the aforesaid amendments to the Statute of the Seimas, the 2009 state budget had not been considered and adopted yet, therefore, this legal regulation did not interfere with the legal relations that had already ended.

While adopting the Law on the 2009 State Budget, the Law on the 2009 SSIF Budget and the Law on the 2009 CHIF Budget and the legal acts related thereto the constitutional principles of justice, of state authority serving the people, and of solidarity were not violated, since some expenditure for state governance was proportionately reduced, whereas the increase in the allocations as pointed out by the petitioner was determined by the circumstances characteristic of each concrete situation.

  1. The haste and the sequence of the adoption of the tax laws submitted together with the 2009 state budget and related thereto were determined by the necessity immediately to react to the unprecedented especially grave economic situation that had occurred in the state, which had not been taken into consideration at all when the first draft 2009 state budget was being submitted.

The draft laws related to the state budget and affecting the revenue and expenditure of the state budget and the draft state budget were prepared at the same time. When preparing draft legal acts according to such a procedure, one may not deviate from the imperative entrenched in Paragraph 2 of Article 131 of the Constitution, since precisely in that manner one ensured that all expenditure provided for in the state budget would have financial sources.

The laws adopted in December 2008 at the Seimas and related to the state budget sought to increase the state budget’s revenue and reduce the expenditure thereof, to avoid both a possible increase of the state debt and the budget deficit, thus they sought to heed the interests of the state and the whole society. One had to resort to such measures immediately, whereas the time for both the Government and the Seimas was limited. Therefore, at the Seimas, the draft laws related to and submitted together with the Law on the 2009 State Budget, the Law on the 2009 SSIF Budget and the Law on the 2009 CHIF Budget were considered together with the said budget laws and were adopted on the same day, thus, not later than the Law on the 2009 State Budget, the Law on the 2009 SSIF Budget and the Law on the 2009 CHIF Budget. Therefore, the Constitution was not violated in the course of the adoption of the laws related to and affecting respective budgets.

The Law on the 2009 State Budget, the Law on the 2009 SSIF Budget, the Law on the 2009 CHIF Budget and the laws going along with them should be regarded as one common fiscal decision of the state, by which one was seeking to stabilise the finances of the state, to avoid the consequences of the economic crisis, not to increase the state debt, and to ensure the timely execution of state functions. Such a fiscal choice create a possibility in reality, but not in a formal manner, to pursue the state fiscal policy which had an established direction and which satisfied the public needs. The difference in hours or minutes of the moments of adoption of the budget laws and the related laws is not legally significant, therefore, the legal acts impugned by the petitioner in view of the procedure of their adoption should be assessed as being not in conflict with the Constitution.

  1. The tax laws adopted together with the 2009 state budget did not change the procedure of the principles of taxation, whereas the legal regulation that established a tax obligation for new taxpayers increased the burden of taxes gradually, i.e. during the corresponding taxation year. The disputed tax laws did not introduce any new taxes, they merely increased the existing tax rates due to which there appeared additional revenues to the state budget. Therefore, while taking account of the fact that the changes in taxes provided for together with the 2009 state budget had to ensure heeding the interests of the state and of the whole society, the terms for the entry into force of the tax laws were in line with the situation existing then.
  2. The adoption of the legal acts that diminished the amount of the contribution transferred from the State Social Insurance Fund to private pension funds was also determined by the grave economic situation that had occurred in the state. In addition, the establishment of the amount of the concrete social insurance contribution transferred to pension funds is within the discretion of the legislator, therefore, the provision of the law that, as from 1 January 2007, this contribution is 5.5 percent, does not mean that the amount thereof cannot be changed. The changing (reduction) of the amount of pension contributions is only a temporary measure, in addition, the law provides for a compensation mechanism. Thus, there is no ground to assert that the legal acts correcting the amount of the social insurance contribution transferred to private pension funds are in conflict with the Constitution.
  3. While seeking to balance the cash flows in the state and to guarantee the social obligations undertaken by the state, the Seimas adopted, along with the Law on the 2009 State Budget and the Law on the 2009 SSIF Budget, also other legal acts enlarging the categories of persons covered on a compulsory basis by state social insurance. Until then the persons attributed to these categories used to receive income from their activity, however, they used to participate in the social insurance system based on the principle of social solidarity only in part (they used to pay contributions for the basic old-age pension) or used not to participate in such a system at all.

The provision of Article 52 of the Constitution that the state shall guarantee to citizens the right to receive old age and disability pensions as well as social assistance in the event of unemployment, sickness, widowhood, loss of the breadwinner, and in other cases provided for by laws, implies a duty of the legislator to establish the legal regulation ensuring accumulation of the funds necessary to pay such payments. The state, while including the persons of these categories into the state social insurance system and thus establishing them an obligation to pay corresponding state social insurance contributions, was seeking to ensure that the duties arising from the Constitution should be carried out by the legislator also that the principle of justice should be implemented. Thus, the legal regulation was established whereby all persons using the services rendered by the state must pay taxes, since the state needs funds in order to finance these services.

III

  1. In the course of the preparation of the case for the Constitutional Court hearing written explanations were received from the representatives of the Government, a party concerned, who were G. Užubalis, Deputy Director of the Legal Department of the Ministry of Finance, and D. Sadeckas, Deputy Director of the Budget Department of the same ministry, wherein it is asserted that the Government resolution No. 1323 of 15 December 2008, whereby the Seimas was submitted an improved draft Law on the 2009 Budget and draft legal acts related thereto, is not in conflict with the Constitution. The position of the representatives of the Seimas, a party concerned, is essentially substantiated by the following arguments.

1.1. The actions of the Government during the preparation of the draft 2009 state budget were essentially determined by the political and economic situation that had occurred in the state. The Fifteenth Government received the powers to act on 9 December 2009, after the procedure for consideration of the 2009 state budget had started, i.e. after the draft 2009 state budget prepared by the previous Government had already been considered at the Seimas for the first time. In the action programme of the new Government it was established that the most important task for the Government was to control the economic crisis and its consequences. While taking account of the complex economic situation in Lithuania and the world, it was necessary to resort to respective measures immediately and essentially to correct the draft 2009 state budget prepared by the previous Government, i.e. to reduce the state expenditure and increase the revenue.

1.2. The Government was unable objectively to submit the draft 2009 state budget to the Seimas prior to 29 November 2008, as provided by the Statute of the Seimas, since it received the powers to act only on 9 December 2008. The adoption of the Government resolution No. 1323 of 15 December 2008 whereby the improved draft Law on the 2009 State Budget and other related legal acts were submitted to the Seimas shows that the Government was making all possible efforts so that the Law on the 2009 State Budget might be adopted on time, therefore, such a resolution cannot be deemed to be illegal. The provisions of the Statute of the Seimas regulating the procedure for approval of the state budget (inter alia the terms for submission of the Government resolution) consolidated the cooperation of the Seimas and the Government and a possibility for the Seimas, in case of need, to control the Government, however, the said provisions do not consolidate any obligations for the Government to act respectively.

1.3. Under Paragraph 2 of Article 131 of the Constitution, all decisions on increase of the state budget expenditure must be based upon laws (must have a concrete financial source), whereas decisions on reduction of expenditure are inseparably related to the laws providing for such expenditure. Therefore, the Government, having prepared the draft 2009 state budget within a short period of time, had no other option but to submit to the Seimas all draft legal acts related to the 2009 state budget together with the draft 2009 state budget, especially because those draft legal acts had been prepared in conjunction with one another as one fiscal decision. The legal acts related to the 2009 state budget were adopted and came into force together with the Law on the 2009 State Budget, thus, there are no grounds to assert that the draft 2009 state budget was prepared while taking account of invalid draft legal acts, since the Seimas, while approving the 2009 state budget, was invoking the legal acts that were already in force.

1.4. The Government resolutions, which are impugned by the petitioner, on submission of the draft laws on the 2009 state budget, the 2009 SSIF budget and the 2009 CHIF budgets, upon the end of the budget year, are no longer valid and may not be applied. According to the doctrine formulated by the Constitutional Court, the investigation into the compliance of legal acts, whose application is impossible, with the Constitution and other legal acts of higher power is meaningless, therefore, this constitutional justice case is to be dismissed.

  1. In the course of the preparation of the case for the Constitutional Court hearing written explanations were received from the representative of the Government, a party concerned, who was Svetlana Černuševič, Director of the Social Insurance and Pensions Department of the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, wherein it is asserted that the Government resolution No. 1326 of 15 December 2008, whereby the Seimas was submitted an improved draft Law on the 2009 SSIF Budget and other draft laws related thereto, is not in conflict with the Constitution.

The position of the representative of the party concerned regarding the constitutionality of the said Government resolution is essentially substantiated by the fact that this Government resolution was adopted in pursuance with the procedure for consideration and adoption of Government resolutions, therefore, there are no grounds to assert that, under procedure of its adoption, it is in conflict with the Constitution.

In the draft 2009 SSIF budget submitted by the Government resolution No. 1326 of 15 December 2008 one attempted to take account of the interests of the state and the whole society upon occurrence of the grave economic situation. This resolution was adopted in the course of implementing the objective provided for in the Action Programme of the Fifteenth Government to handle the economic crisis in the state, it attempted to balance the cash flows in the state and to ensure proper implementation of the obligations undertaken by the state in the sphere of social security.

  1. In the course of the preparation of the case for the Constitutional Court hearing written explanations were received from the representative of the Government, a party concerned, who was V. Griškova, Head of the Legal Division of the State Patients’ Fund under the Ministry of Health, wherein it is asserted that that the Government resolution No. 1326 of 15 December 2008, whereby the Seimas was submitted an improved draft Law on the 2009 CHIF Budget, is not in conflict with the Constitution. The position of the representative of the party concerned is essentially substantiated by the following arguments.

The procedure for consideration and adoption of the state budget did not have to be applied to the adoption of the Law on the 2009 CHIF Budget submitted to the Seimas by the Government resolution No. 1324 of 15 December 2008. The legal relations in adopting the state budget and the CHIF budget are similar, however, not identical, therefore, an analogy of legal acts may not be applied in this situation. The draft Law on the 2009 CHIF Budget and the law related thereto were prepared at the same time and they were submitted by the Government to the Seimas as a packet of two interrelated laws for approval. This packet was to be considered and approved without dissociating one law from another, thus, there are no grounds to assert that the Government resolution No. 1324 of 15 December 2008 might be in conflict with the Constitution.

IV

In the course of the preparation of the case for the Constitutional Court hearing written explanations were received from Ingrida Šimonytė, Minister of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania, and Tomas Vaitkevičius, Vice-minister of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania.

V

  1. At the Constitutional Court’s hearing the Member of the Seimas V. P. Andriukaitis, the representative of the group of Members of the Seimas, the petitioner, essentially reiterated the arguments set forth in the petition and answered the questions of justices of the Constitutional Court.
  2. At the Constitutional Court hearing, the Member of the Seimas R. Kupčinskas, a representative of the Seimas, a party concerned, also the representatives of the Government, a party concerned, who were G. Užubalis, Deputy Director of the Legal Department of the Ministry of Finance, and D. Sadeckas, Deputy Director of the Budget Department of the same ministry, A. Šatrauskienė, Deputy Director of the Social Insurance and Pensions Department of the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, S. Kulpina, Head of the Financial Social Assistant Division of the Social Inclusion Department of the same ministry, E. Radišauskienė, Head of the Labour Law Division of the Labour Department of the same ministry, V. Griškova, Head of the Legal Division of the State Patients’ Fund under the Ministry of Health, essentially reiterated the arguments set forth in their written explanations and answered the questions of justices of the Constitutional Court.
  3. At the Constitutional Court’s hearing the specialists—Raimonda Žutautienė, Director of the Fiscal Policy Department of the Ministry of Finance, and Tatjana Knyzienė, Deputy Head of the Financial Social Assistant Division of the Social Inclusion Department of the Ministry of Social Security and Labour—gave explanations and answered the questions.

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

I

  1. In the constitutional justice case at issue the compliance of the Law on the 2009 State Budget, the Law on the 2009 Budget of the State Social Insurance Fund and the Law on the 2009 Budget of the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund, that of the amendments thereof, and that of other related legal acts with the Constitution is impugned.
  2. It has been mentioned that the petitioner requests investigation into inter alia the compliance of the Law on the 2009 State Budget, the Law on the 2009 SSIF Budget and the Law on the 2009 CHIF Budget and that of the amendments thereof with the Constitution in view of the procedure of their adoption, the procedure of their entry into force and the content of their norms respectively.

2.1. Paragraph 1 of Article 131 of the Constitution provides that the draft state budget shall be considered by the Seimas and shall be approved by law prior to the start of the new budget year. In its ruling of 14 January 2002 the Constitutional Court noted that, while approving the state budget by law, the Seimas approves the state budget revenue and expenditure (allocations).

2.2. Under Paragraph 14 (wording of 6 December 2007) and Paragraph 20 (wording of 16 October 2012) of Article 2 of the Law on the Budget Structure (wording of 23 December 2003 with subsequent amendments and supplements) (hereinafter also referred to as the Law on the Budget Structure), the state budget is the Seimas-approved plan of state budget revenue and allocations for a budget year; under Paragraph 2 of Article 20 of the same law, the Seimas shall approve the state budget and financial indicators of municipal budgets for one budget year by law.

It needs to be mentioned that the Republic of Lithuania Law on Composition of the Budget of the State Social Insurance Fund (wording of 14 November 2008) inter alia provides that the SSIF budget shall be approved for the respective budget year by adopting a law on approving the indicators of this budget (Paragraph 1 of Article 10); the execution of the annual SSIF budget ends on the 31st of December (Paragraph 1 of Article 14).

Under Paragraph 4 of Article 2 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on Health Insurance (wording of 3 December 2002 with subsequent amendments and supplements), the CHIF budget means a plan of revenue and expenditure for a budget year, set in this law; Paragraph 2 of Article 14 inter alia provides that the CHIF budget is approved by law.

Thus, every law on the state budget and municipal budgets, the law on the SSIF budget and the law on the CHIF budget is a law of time-limited validity and time-limited application. The financing of administrators of allocations from the funds of the state budget and of municipal budgets, of the SSIF budget and the CHIF budget of respective years is completed when a respective budget year ends, i.e. on the 31st of December of that year. After this date it is impossible to apply the law on the state budget and municipal budgets, the law on the SSIF budget and the law on the CHIF budget at all.

2.3. It needs to be noted that even though the petitioner impugns the said budget laws and the laws amending them inter alia in view of the content of their norms, the petition has not specified which concrete provisions of the impugned budget laws and the laws amending them are requested to be investigated, nor were any arguments submitted regarding the conflict of such provisions with the Constitution in view of the content of their norms. The petition of the petitioner requesting investigation into the constitutionality of the impugned budget laws and the laws amending them in view of the content of their norms is essentially substantiated by the fact that, according to the petitioner, while increasing the taxes, providing for new compulsory payments, reducing state social and economic obligations, one did not proportionately diminish the state budget expenditure for state governance. Thus, the petitioner raises the question of social and economic expediency of collection of funds to a respective budget and their distribution.

The question whether certain needs (goals) are provided sufficient or insufficient funds from the state budget is not about the compliance of the state budget with the Constitution but about budget planning, evaluation of the needs of the society and the state, their balance with the possibilities of the society and the state, and consequently social and economic expediency (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 14 January 2002 and 21 December 2006). The Constitutional Court does not decide these questions save the cases where the law on the state budget establishes the legal regulation in which it is clear from the start that one has clearly provided for insufficient or no finance for certain needs (objectives), alongside, by not providing for any other (alternative) sources of finance, which, under the Constitution, may be provided for corresponding needs, and this is clearly in conflict with the welfare of the Nation, the interests of the society and the State of Lithuania, and clearly denies the values entrenched in, as well as defended and protected by the Constitution (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 21 December 2006). It needs to be noted that these provisions of the official constitutional doctrine are applicable mutatis mutandis also to the law on the SSIF budget and the law on the CHIF budget, as well as to the laws amending them.

2.4. It also needs to be noted that the petition of the petitioner does not present any concrete arguments regarding the conflict of the impugned Law on the 2009 State Budget, the Law on the 2009 SSIF Budget and the Law on the 2009 CHIF Budget, as well as the laws amending them, with the Constitution in view of the procedure of their entry into force.

It also needs to be noted that the petition of the petitioner does not present any concrete arguments regarding the constitutionality of the impugned Law on the 2009 SSIF Budget and the Law on the 2009 CHIF Budget, as well as the laws amending them, in view of the procedure of their adoption, whereas their constitutionality is impugned on the grounds of essentially the same arguments as the constitutionality of the Law on the 2009 State Budget.

2.5. The Constitutional Court has held that every law on the state budget and municipal budgets is a law of time-limited validity and time-limited application; the financing of administrators of allocations from the funds of the state budget and of municipal budgets of respective years is completed when a respective budget year ends, i.e. on the 31st of December of that year; after this date the law on the state budget and on municipal budgets may not be applied at all, inter alia—it needs to be particularly emphasised—after the said date the transfer of allocations of the previous budget year to any administrator of allocations is impossible in such a way as if it was made in the previous budget year, since a new budget year has started; therefore, even if it was established that the impugned legal regulation was in conflict with the Constitution, no intervention of the subjects of law-making (respectively, the Seimas and the Government) into that legal regulation is possible, since the respective legal acts were intended for the regulation of the relations which are over, thus, they no longer exist; such an intervention would be meaningless and irrational, since, it would mean that respective subjects of law-making undertake the regulation of the past, consequently, that they attempt to change the past (the Constitutional Court’s decision of 13 November 2007 and the ruling of 29 June 2012).

The Constitutional Court has also held that even in the situations when the Constitutional Court is applied to by courts which, in the course of administration of justice, face doubts regarding the compliance of a legal act of lower power with legal acts of higher power, inter alia (and, first of all) with the Constitution, the Constitutional Court does not have to consider the case when a respective legal act is not only invalid (since the compliance of invalid legal acts with legal acts of higher power may be investigated and, normally, is investigated), but also may not be applied at all. In addition, this circumstance should always be assessed when a law on the state budget and on municipal budgets or any other act intended for a specific budget period is impugned (the Constitutional Court’s decision of 13 November 2007 and the ruling of 29 June 2012).

It needs to be mentioned that, in its ruling of 29 June 2012, the Constitutional Court noted that the said provisions of the constitutional doctrine are applicable mutatis mutandis also to the law on the SSIF budget and dismissed the part of the case regarding the compliance of the Law on the 2009 SSIF Budget.

In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue it needs to be noted that the said provisions of the official constitutional doctrine are applicable mutatis mutandis also to the law on the CHIF budget.

2.6. In this context it needs to be emphasised that even if, as assumed by the petitioner, it was established in this constitutional justice case that the impugned budget laws and the laws amending them were in conflict with the Constitution, no intervention of the legislator into the respective legal regulation would be possible, since the said legal acts were intended for the regulation of the relations which are over, thus, they no longer exist.

In its ruling of 22 December 2011, the Constitutional Court noted that that in cases when not courts, but other subjects (inter alia a group of not less than 1/5 of the Members of the Seimas) specified in Article 106 of the Constitution have applied to the Constitutional Court, and the disputed legal act (part thereof) is to be equated to legal acts (parts thereof) that are no longer valid, since the established term of application thereof is applied on a temporary basis and the relations regulated by it have ended, even though this act (part thereof) has not been recognised invalid officially, the Constitutional Court has the right to dismiss the instituted legal proceedings, however, it does not have to do so in every situation. While deciding whether to dismiss the instituted legal proceedings, the Constitutional Court must take account of the circumstances of the case considered by it.

Thus, in case when a respective legal act is not only invalid, but also in case it may not be applied at all, the Constitutional Court enjoys discretion to decide on investigation into the constitutionality of such a legal act. While doing so it must assess not only the fact whether this law is intended for a certain budgetary period only, but also other important circumstances, inter alia the fact whether such investigation might be significant for the adoption of budget laws of subsequent years.

2.7. It has been mentioned that in the constitutional justice case at issue inter alia the compliance of the Law on the 2009 State Budget with the Constitution is impugned in view of the procedure of its adoption.

It needs to be noted that the state budget is an important constitutional institute. The bases of drafting and approving the state budget are consolidated in the Constitution, inter alia in Item 14 of Article 67, Articles 127, 129–132 thereof.

An assessment of the compliance of the Law on the 2009 State Budget with the Constitution in view of the procedure of its adoption is significant not only for adoption of the 2009 state budget, but also for the adoption of state budget laws of subsequent years, therefore, in the constitutional justice case at issue it is important to investigate the constitutionality of this law.

As mentioned before, the doubts of the petitioner regarding the compliance of the Law on the 2009 State Budget with the Constitution are grounded on the fact that, according to the petitioner, this law was largely grounded upon the revenue and allocations that had not been provided for in the laws valid then.

While taking account of this fact, the Constitutional Court will investigate whether the Law on the 2009 State Budget, in view of the procedure of its adoption, was not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 69, Paragraph 2 of Article 131 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

2.8. It needs to be noted that in the constitutional justice case at issue the investigation of the compliance of the Law on the 2009 SSIF Budget and the Law on the 2009 CHIF Budget, as well as the Law on Amending and Supplementing the Law on Approving the Financial Indicators of the 2009 State Budget and the Municipal Budgets adopted on 7 May 2009, with the Constitution would be an end in itself, since, as mentioned before, they should be equated to legal acts that are no longer valid, they may not be applied, the relations that those legal acts used to regulated are over, i.e. such relations no longer exist, and any intervention by the legislator into the corresponding legal regulation would be impossible; in addition, the petition of the petitioner does not present any concrete arguments regarding the conflict of those laws with the Constitution in view of the procedure of their adoption and entry into force. Thus, it needs to be held that in this situation the matter of investigation is absent.

Paragraph 2 of Article 80 (which regulates refusal of the Constitutional Court to examine an inquiry) of the Law on the Constitutional Court provides that, if in the course of the consideration of the inquiry the matter under consideration ceases to exist, the Constitutional Court shall dismiss the instituted legal proceedings on the grounds thereof. This provision of the Law on the Constitutional Court is applicable mutatis mutandis to the consideration of requests to investigate the compliance of a legal act with the Constitution (with other legal act of a higher legal power) and adoption of respective decisions (inter alia the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 21 September 2006, 20 March 2008 and 29 June 2012).

Under Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, in the event that the grounds for refusal to consider a petition have been established after the commencement of the investigation of the case during the hearing of the Constitutional Court, a decision to dismiss the case shall be adopted.

2.9. Taking account of the arguments set forth, under Paragraph 3 of Article 69 and Paragraph 2 of Article 80 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, one is to dismiss the part of the case regarding the compliance of the following legal acts with the Constitution:

the Law on Amending and Supplementing the Law on Approving the Financial Indicators of the 2009 State Budget and the Municipal Budgets adopted on 7 May 2009;

– the Law on the 2009 SSIF Budget;

– the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 3, 6 of the Law on Approving the Indicators of the 2009 SSIF Budget adopted on 17 February 2009;

– the Law on Amending Article 3 and Appendices 1 and 2 of the Law on Approving the Indicators of the 2009 SSIF Budget adopted on 28 April 2009;

– the Law on the 2009 CHIF Budget;

– the Law on Amending the Law on Approving the Financial Indicators of the 2009 CHIF Budget adopted on 28 April 2009.

  1. It has been mentioned that the petitioner requests investigation into the compliance of the legal acts pointed out in Items 2, 15–17, 18, 21, 22 of the petition inter alia with the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, separation of powers, responsible governance, legal clarity, legal certainty, legal security and protection of legitimate expectations.

It needs to be noted that, as it has been held by the Constitutional Court more than once, the constitutional principles of legal clarity, legal certainty, legal security and protection of legitimate expectations are inseparable elements of the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law; the petitioner has not presented any separate arguments regarding the said principles. Neither has the petitioner presented any arguments regarding the conflict of the impugned legal acts with the constitutional principles of separation of powers and responsible governance.

Taking account of the petitioner’s arguments, its petition requesting investigation into the compliance of the legal acts pointed out in Items 2, 15–17, 18, 21, 22 of the petition with the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, separation of powers, responsible governance, legal clarity, legal certainty, legal security and protection of legitimate expectations is to be treated as a petition requesting investigation into the compliance with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

  1. It needs to be noted that the petitioner impugns the laws pointed out in Items 21, 23, 25, 27, 31, 51–57 of the petition from the same aspect and on the grounds of the same arguments as it impugns the constitutionality of the Law on the 2009 SSIF Budget and the Law on the 2009 CHIF Budget, namely, that they were adopted later than the Law on the 2009 SSIF Budget and the Law on the 2009 CHIF Budget respectively.

After the part of the case regarding the compliance of the Law on the 2009 SSIF Budget and the Law on the 2009 CHIF Budget, as well as the laws amending these budgets, with the Constitution was dismissed, the investigation of the compliance of the laws pointed out in Items 21, 23, 25, 27, 31, 51–57 of the petition of the petitioner with the Constitution from the aspect requested by the petitioner would become meaningless (i.e., it would be an end in itself).

Thus, under Paragraph 3 of Article 69 and Paragraph 2 of Article 80 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, one is to dismiss the part of the case regarding the compliance of the legal acts listed below with the Constitution, insofar as these legal acts are related to the adoption of the Law on the 2009 SSIF Budget and the Law on the 2009 CHIF Budget:

the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 29, 31 of the Law on State Social Insurance adopted on 19 December 2008;

the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 16, 181, 19 of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance adopted on 18 December 2008;

– the Law on Amending Articles 2, 6, 8, 14, 19, 56 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions adopted on 18 December 2008;

– the Law on Amending Articles 13, 14, 15 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 5, 15, 19, 24, 28, 33, 40, 42, 53, 56, 59, 65 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions adopted on 22 December 2008;

– the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9 of the Law on State Social Insurance adopted on 17 February 2009;

– the Law on Amending Article 10 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 29, 31 of the Law on State Social Insurance adopted on 17 February 2009;

– the Law on Amending Article 10 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 16, 181, 19 of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance adopted on 17 February 2009;

– the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 3, 4, 8 of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance adopted on 17 February 2009;

– the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 9, 10, 14, 211, 24 of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance adopted on 28 April 2009;

– the Law on Amending Articles 8 and 14 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions adopted on 17 February 2009;

– the Law on Amending Article 17 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions adopted on 28 April 2009;

– the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 6, 8, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 of the Law on Health Insurance adopted on 22 December 2008.

  1. It has been mentioned that the petitioner impugns the compliance of inter alia the Government resolutions Nos. 1323, 1324, 1326 of 15 December 2008 (parts thereof) and the Seimas Resolution (No. XI-78) “On the Predicted Indicators of the 2009, 2010 and 2011 National Budgets” of 19 December 2008, which are specified in Items 1–5 of the petition, with the Constitution and/or the Statute of the Seimas.

It needs to be noted that the legal regulation of time-limited validity and time-limited application was established in these legal acts, which are related to the procedures for drafting the budgets, their submission to the Seimas, their consideration and approval, and are designated for regulating the relations of a certain budgetary period, which are over, i.e. they no longer exist (since the laws on the budgets of the corresponding years have been implemented).

Thus, on the grounds of the same arguments due to which the part of the case regarding the Law on Amending and Supplementing the Law on Approving the Financial Indicators of the 2009 State Budget and the Municipal Budgets adopted on 7 May 2009, the Law on the 2009 SSIF Budget, the Law on the 2009 CHIF Budget and the laws amending these budgets with the Constitution is to be dismissed, under Paragraph 3 of Article 69 and Paragraph 2 of Article 80 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, one is to dismiss the part of the case regarding the compliance of the legal acts (parts thereof) listed below with the Constitution and/or the Statute of the Seimas:

– the Government resolution No. 1323 of 15 December 2008;

– the Government resolution No. 1326 of 15 December 2008;

– the Government resolution No. 1324 of 15 December 2008;

– the Seimas Resolution (No. XI-78) “On the Predicted Indicators of the 2009, 2010 and 2011 National Budgets” of 19 December 2008.

  1. It has been mentioned that the petitioner, from the aspects pointed out by it, requests investigation into the compliance of inter alia the Law on Amending and Supplementing Article 4 of the Law on Reform of the Pension System adopted on 15 January 2009 and Paragraph 1 (wordings of 15 January 2009 and 28 April 2009) of Article 4 of the Law on Reform of the Pension System with the Constitution.

It needs to be noted that, in its ruling of 29 June 2012, the Constitutional Court adopted a ruling whereby it investigated inter alia the compliance of the provisions of the impugned Law on Reform of the Pension System and the laws amending it, adopted inter alia on 15 January 2009 and 28 May 2009, with the Constitution.

While taking account of this fact, under Item 3 of Paragraph 1 and Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, one is to dismiss the part of the case regarding the compliance of the legal acts (parts thereof) listed below with the Constitution:

– the Law on Amending and Supplementing Article 4 of the Law on Reform of the Pension System adopted on 15 January 2009:

– the provision “the amount of the pension contribution <…> shall be <…> in 2009 and 2010—3 percent, from 2011—5.5 percent of the income of participants on which state social insurance contributions are payable” of Paragraph 1 (wording of 15 January 2009) of Article 4 of the Law on Reform of the Pension System, insofar as it is applied to the persons who became participants of the pension accumulation system till 17 January 2009 inclusive;

– the provision “the amount of the pension contribution <…> shall be <…> from 1 January 2009 till 30 June 2009—3 percent, from 1 July 2009 till 31 December 2009 and in 2010—2 percent of the income of participants on which state social insurance contributions are payable” of Paragraph 1 (wording of 28 April 2009) of Article 4 of the Law on Reform of the Pension System, insofar as it is applied to the persons who became participants of the pension accumulation system till 30 June 2009 inclusive.

  1. Even though the petitioner impugns the compliance of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 3, 4, 7 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 6, 8, 12, 13, 20 of the Law on Payments for Children and Recognising Article 22 Thereof as No Longer Valid adopted on 19 February 2009 (pointed out in Item 58 of the petition), in view of the procedure of its adoption and the content of its norms, with the Constitution, inasmuch as it affected the expenditure of the state budget approved on 22 December 2008, it is clear from the material of the constitutional justice case at issue and from the explanations submitted by the specialists R. Žutautienė and T. Knyzienė at the Court hearing that the said law did not have any influence on the provisions of the 2009 state budget, therefore, the investigation into the compliance of this law with the Constitution in the aspect requested by the petitioner would be meaningless, i.e. it would be an end in itself.

Thus, under Paragraph 3 of Article 69 and Paragraph 2 of Article 80 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, the part of the case regarding the compliance of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 3, 4, 7 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 6, 8, 12, 13, 20 of the Law on Payments for Children and Recognising Article 22 Thereof as No Longer Valid adopted on 19 February 2009, insofar as it is related to the Law on the 2009 State Budget, is to be dismissed.

  1. It needs to be noted that the petitioner requests investigation into the compliance of inter alia the laws pointed out in Items 10–20 of the petition with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution in view of the procedure of their adoption. It is clear from the arguments of the petitioner that it had doubts whether these laws, in view of the procedure of their adoption, are/were not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution only from the aspect that they were adopted later than the Law on the 2009 State Budget.
  2. Even though the petitioner impugns the compliance of the laws pointed out in Items 10, 11, 13–20, 32–44 of the petition with various provisions of the Constitution in view of their entry into force and the content of their norms, the petition does not specify any concrete provisions (whose investigation is requested) of these laws, nor does it present any arguments as regards their conflict with the Constitution in view of the content of their norms. Alongside, it needs to be noted that the petition of the petitioner requesting investigation into the compliance of these laws with respectively Paragraph 3 of Article 5 and Articles 23 and 29 of the Constitution is to be assessed as a petition requesting investigation into the compliance of these legal acts with the Constitution in view of the content of their norms.

Thus, the petition requesting investigation into the compliance of the laws pointed out in Items 10, 11, 13–20, 32–44 of the petition of the petitioner with the Constitution respectively in view of the procedure of their entry into force and the content of their norms is to be treated as a petition requesting investigation into the compliance of these laws with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law in view of the procedure of their entry into force.

  1. It needs to be noted that the petitioner had doubts as regards the compliance of the amendments (pointed out in Items 48–50 of the petition of the petitioner) to the Republic of Lithuania Law on Profit Tax and the Republic of Lithuania Law on Personal Income Tax, which were adopted on 19 February 2009 and came into force on 5 March 2009, however, whose provisions were applied to calculating (declaring) the 2009 taxes (income), with Article 23 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, in view of the content of their norms from the aspect that, as mentioned before, according to the petitioner, the Law on the 2009 State Budget was adopted prior to the said laws that affected the revenue of this state budget, also that the said laws were adopted without giving a reasonable term for the population to participate in the debate about those laws, nor giving a possibility to prepare for the implementation thereof.

It is clear from the material of the constitutional justice case at issue and from the explanations submitted by the specialists R. Žutautienė and T. Knyzienė at the Court hearing that the said laws did not affect the revenue of the state budget that was approved on 22 December 2008.

Alongside, it needs to be noted that in its petition the petitioner has not presented any arguments regarding the conflict of these laws with Article 23 of the Constitution.

Thus, while taking account of this fact, the petition requesting investigation into the amendments (pointed out in Items 48–50 of the petition of the petitioner) to the Law on Profit Tax and the Law on Personal Income Tax, which were adopted on 19 February 2009, with Article 23 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, is to be treated only as a petition requesting investigation into the compliance of these laws with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law insofar as these laws establish that their provisions applied to calculating (declaring) the taxes (income) of the 2009 taxation period, i.e. as a petition requesting investigation whether the following is not in conflict with the said principle:

– Article 3 of the Law on Supplementing and Amending Articles 12, 401 of the Law on Profit Tax adopted on 19 February 2009 insofar as it provides that the provision of Article 1 this law is applied in calculating the profit tax for the 2009 taxation period;

– the Law on Amending Article 23 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 131, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 29, 30 of the Law on Personal Income Tax and Supplementing the Law with Article 181, adopted on 19 February 2009, insofar as it is provided therein that the provisions of this law are applied in calculating the personal income tax for the 2009 taxation period;

– Article 3 of the Law on Amending Articles 17 and 20 of the Law on Personal Income Tax adopted on 19 February 2009 insofar as it is established therein that the provisions of this law are applied in calculating and declaring the income for the 2009 taxation period.

  1. It has been mentioned that the petitioner, while impugning the compliance of Article 11 of the Statute of the Seimas “On Amending and Supplementing Articles 58, 60, 611, 64, 68, 69, 81, 172, 177, 180 of the Statute of the Seimas” adopted on 16 December 2008, in view of the content of its norms, with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, points out that the amended provisions of the Statute of the Seimas could not be applied to the procedure of the adoption of the Law on the 2009 State Budget that had already started.

It needs to be noted that the said impugned Article 11 “The Validity of the Statute” of the Statute of the Seimas prescribes: “Articles 8 and 9 of this Statute shall be valid till 28 February 2009” (Paragraph 1); “as from 1 March 2009, the wordings of Paragraph 5 of Article 172 and Paragraph 1 of Article 177 of the Statute of the Seimas, which had been valid until the entry into force of this Statute, shall be valid” (Paragraph 2).

Article 9 of the said Statute of the Seimas amended Paragraph 1 (wording of 27 May 2003) of Article 177 of the Statute of the Seimas and the latter prescribed: “The second consideration of the draft State Budget shall be scheduled not later than on 23 December. During the second consideration the Government shall present the draft revised in accordance with the received proposals and comments.”

Thus, the petition of the petitioner requesting investigation into the compliance of Article 11 of the Statute of the Seimas “On Amending and Supplementing Articles 58, 60, 611, 64, 68, 69, 81, 172, 177, 180 of the Statute of the Seimas” adopted on 16 December 2008 with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law is to be treated as a petition requesting investigation into the compliance of the provision “the second consideration of the draft State Budget shall be scheduled not later than on 23 December” of Paragraph 1 (wording of 16 December 2008) of Article 177 of the Statute of the Seimas with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

  1. Although the petitioner requests investigation into the compliance of inter alia Paragraph 8 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Article 2, Item 1 of Paragraph 1, Paragraph 3 (in the aspects specified by the petitioner) and Paragraph 5 of Article 4 (wording of 19 December 2008) of the Law on State Social Insurance (wording of 4 November 2004) (hereinafter also referred to as the Law on State Social Insurance), Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 December 2008) (in the specified aspect) of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005) (hereinafter also referred to as the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions), Paragraph 3 (wording of 18 December 2008) of Article 4 of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance (these laws are indicated in Items 22, 24 and 26 of the petition) are/were not in conflict with Article 29 of the Constitution, it is clear from the arguments submitted in the petitioner’s petition that it disputes only the compliance of Item 1 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Law on State Social Insurance, insofar as it established that the persons who are related to the insurance payer by employment relations or relations corresponding to the essence of the latter, who at the same time receive from this insurance payer income from sports activities, performing activities or under authors’ agreements, shall be covered on a compulsory basis by state social insurance of all types, with Article 29 of the Constitution.

It also needs to be noted that although the petitioner requests investigation into whether Paragraph 8 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance, insofar as it provides that self-employed persons—farmers and their partners—as defined in the said paragraph, Paragraph 3 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Article 4 thereof, insofar as it provides that some self-employed persons shall be covered on a compulsory basis by sickness and maternity social insurance, where a person is insured to receive only the maternity, paternity and maternity (paternity) payments, were not in conflict with the Constitution, it is clear from the arguments presented in its petition that it only impugns the compliance of Paragraph 3 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Article 4 of the Law on State Social Insurance insofar as it established that some self-employed persons, including farmers and their partners, shall be covered on a compulsory basis by social insurance for a pension to receive the main and supplementary parts of a pension, by sickness and maternity social insurance, where a person is insured to receive only the maternity, paternity and maternity (paternity) payments, with the Constitution.

  1. Thus in the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court will investigate whether:

13.1. the provision “the second consideration of the draft State Budget shall be scheduled not later than on 23 December” of Paragraph 1 (wording of 16 December 2008) of Article 177 of the Statute of the Seimas was not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

13.2. the Law on the 2009 State Budget, in view of the procedure of its adoption, was not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 69, Paragraph 2 of Article 131 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

13.3. the following laws listed below, specified in Items 10, 11, 13–20, 32 and respectively Items 12 or 34 of the petition, in view of the procedure of their adoption, are not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution, also, in view of the procedure of their entry into force, are/were not in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law:

– the Law on Amending Article 1 of the Law on State Support to Acquire or Rent a Dwelling and Renovate (Modernise) Multi-Apartment Houses adopted on 22 December 2008;

– the Law on Recognising as No Longer Valid Articles 11 and 15 of the Law on Amending Articles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 of the Law on State Support to Acquire or Rent a Dwelling and Renovate (Modernise) Multi-Apartment Houses and Supplementing the Law with Article 111 adopted on 22 December 2008;

– the Law on Amending Articles 2, 19, 51, 56, 58, 91, 1251 of the Law on Value-added Tax and Recognising Article 1251 Thereof as No Longer Valid adopted on 23 December 2008;

– the Law on Amending Articles 3 and 5 of the Law on the Financing of the Road Maintenance and Development Programme adopted on 23 December 2008;

– the Law on Recognising the Law on Amending Article 10 of the Law on the Financing of the Road Maintenance and Development Programme as No Longer Valid adopted on 23 December 2008;

– the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 1 and 3 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 4, 5, 26, 41, 43, 54 of the Law on Profit Tax adopted on 22 December 2008;

– the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 131, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 29, 30 of the Law on Personal Income Tax and on Supplementing the Law with Article 181 adopted on 23 December 2008;

– the Law on Amending Article 1, and Recognising Articles 4 and 5 as No Longer Valid, of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 17 and 21 of the Law on Personal Income Tax and Supplementing the Annex of the Law adopted on 22 December 2008;

– the Law on Recognising the Law on Amending Articles 17 and 20 of the Law on Personal Income Tax as No Longer Valid adopted on 22 December 2008;

– the Law on Amending Article 2 of the Law on Amending Article 83 of the Law on Tax Administration adopted on 22 December 2008;

– the Law on Amending Articles 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11 and 14 of the Law on Social Assistance for Pupils adopted on 22 December 2008;

– the Law on the Basic Size, Applicable in 2009, of the Positional Salary (Remuneration) of State Politicians, Judges, State Officials and State Servants adopted on 19 December 2008;

13.4. the following laws listed below, specified in Items 33, 35–44 of the petition, in view of the procedure of their entry into force, are not in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law:

– the Law on Recognising the Law on Supplementing Article 19 of the Law on Value-added Tax and Supplementing the Law with Annex 3 as No Longer Valid adopted on 18 December 2008;

the Law on Amending Articles 21, 22, 23, 24, 28, 33, 34, 35 and 37 of the Law on Excises adopted on 19 December 2008;

– the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 5, 12, 34, 382, 41, 58 of the Law on Profit Tax and Supplementing the Law with Article 401 and Chapter IX1 adopted on 18 December 2008;

– the Law on Amending Articles 2, 3 and 4 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 3, 33, 34, 35, 55 of the Law on Profit Tax adopted on 18 December 2008;

– the Law on Recognising, as No Longer Valid, Article 2 and Amending Article 12 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 5, 12, 26, 35, 36, 37, 53 of the Law on Profit Tax, Supplementing the Law with Articles 371 and 372 and Supplementing Annex 3 of the Law adopted on 18 December 2008;

– the Law on Amending the Law on the Lottery and Gaming Tax adopted on 19 December 2008;

– the Law on Amending Article 5 of the Law on the Tax of Using State Property by Trust adopted on 19 December 2008;

– the Law on Recognising the Law on Amending Articles 3, 5 and 7 of the Law on the Restoration of Savings of the Population as No Longer Valid adopted on 19 December 2008;

– the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 6, 8, 12, 13, 20 of the Law on Payments for Children and Recognising Article 22 Thereof as No Longer Valid adopted on 19 December 2008;

– the Law on Amending Article 4 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 4, 5, 6 of the Law on State Pensions adopted on 19 December 2008;

– the Law on Amending the Law on Indexation of the Sizes of the Minimum Remuneration for Work, Social Security Payments and of the Basic Size of Punishments and Penalties adopted on 19 December 2008;

13.5. Article 3 of the Law on Supplementing and Amending Articles 12, 401 of the Law on Profit Tax adopted on 19 February 2009 insofar as it provides that the provision of Article 1 this law is applied in calculating the profit tax for the 2009 taxation period is not in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

13.6. the Law on Amending Article 23 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 131, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 29, 30 of the Law on Personal Income Tax and Supplementing the Law with Article 181, adopted on 19 February 2009, insofar as it is provided therein that the provisions of this law are applied in calculating the personal income tax for the 2009 taxation period, is not in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

13.7. Article 3 of the Law on Amending Articles 17 and 20 of the Law on Personal Income Tax adopted on 19 February 2009, insofar as it established therein that the provisions of this law are applied in calculating and declaring the income for the 2009 taxation period, is not in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

13.8. Item 1 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Law on State Social Insurance, insofar as it established that the persons who are related to the insurance payer by employment relations or relations corresponding to the essence of the latter, who at the same time receive from this insurance payer income from sports activities, performing activities or under authors’ agreements, shall be covered on a compulsory basis by state social insurance of all types established in that law, was not in conflict with Articles 23, 29 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

13.9. Paragraph 3 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Article 4 of the Law on State Social Insurance insofar as it established that some self-employed persons, including farmers and their partners, shall be covered on a compulsory basis by social insurance for a pension to receive the main and supplementary parts of a pension, by sickness and maternity social insurance, where a person is insured to receive only the maternity, paternity and maternity (paternity) payments, was not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

13.10. Paragraph 5 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Article 4 of the Law on State Social Insurance was not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

13.11. Item 8 (wording of 18 December 2008) of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, insofar as it provided that farmers and their partners, as they are defined by the Law on State Social Insurance, shall be covered on a compulsory basis by state social insurance for a pension, was not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

13.12. Paragraph 3 (wording of 18 December 2008) of Article 4 of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance is not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

II

  1. It has been mentioned that in the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court will investigate the compliance of inter alia the Law on the 2009 State Budget and the laws related thereto with the Constitution.

When the compliance of the Law on the 2009 State Budget and the laws related thereto with the Constitution is decided, the substantial factual circumstances related with the process of adoption of these laws and the elections to the Seimas that took place at the time of that adoption are of significance.

  1. Under Paragraph 1 of Article 55 of the Constitution, Members of the Seimas are elected for a four-year term, whereas, under Paragraph 1 of Article 57 (wording of 13 July 2004) thereof, regular elections to the Seimas shall be held on the year of the expiration of the powers of the Members of the Seimas on the second Sunday of October (i.e. from 8 till 14 October). It needs to be noted that the powers of the Seimas elected in 2004 were supposed to expire in 2008 and on 12 October 2008 the elections to the Seimas took place.
  2. Under Item 4 of Article 94 of the Constitution, the Government inter alia shall prepare a draft state budget and submit it to the Seimas, also shall execute the state budget. Under Article 130 of the Constitution, the Government shall draw up a draft state budget and present it to the Seimas not later than 75 days before the end of the budget year (i.e. not later than 17 October). By its Resolution (No. 1015) “On Submission of the Draft Republic of Lithuania Law on Approving the Financial Indicators of the 2009 State Budget and the Municipal Budgets and the Draft Legal Acts Related to It to the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania” of 14 October 2008, the Government submitted a draft Republic of Lithuania Law on Approving the Financial Indicators of the 2009 State Budget and the Municipal Budgets (No. XP-3240) to the Seimas of the 2004–2008 term of office.
  3. Under Item 14 of Article 67 of the Constitution, the Seimas shall approve the state budget and supervise its execution. Under Paragraph 1 of Article 131 of the Constitution, the draft state budget shall be considered by the Seimas and shall be approved by law prior to the start of the new budget year. In its sitting of 28 October 2008, the Seimas of the 2004–2008 term of office heard the report of the Government about the draft state budget and decided to begin the procedure for considering the draft according to the procedure established in the Statute of the Seimas.
  4. Under Paragraph 1 (wording of 22 December 1998) of Article 176 of the Statute of the Seimas, the first consideration of a draft state budget was supposed to take place at a sitting of the Seimas by 25 November. The Seimas of the 2004–2008 term of office first considered a draft Law on Approving the Financial Indicators of the 2009 State Budget and the Municipal Budgets (XP-3240) on 13 November 2008.
  5. Under Paragraph 1 of Article 59 of the Constitution, the term of powers of Members of the Seimas shall begin to be counted from the day on which the newly-elected Seimas convenes for the first sitting; the term of powers of the previously elected Members of the Seimas shall expire at the beginning of this sitting. The Seimas of the 2008–2012 term of office convened to the first sitting on 17 November 2008, thus, from that day the newly elected Seimas began its activities.
  6. Paragraph 4 of Article 92 of the Constitution provides that the Government shall return its powers to the President of the Republic inter alia after the elections of the Seimas. By her Decree (No. 1K-1585) “On Accepting the Powers Returned by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania and Assigning It Temporarily to Hold Office” of 17 November 2008, the President of the Republic accepted the powers returned by the Government after the election of a new Seimas and assigned it to continue to hold office until a new Government was formed. This decree came into force as from the day of its signing.
  7. Under Paragraph 5 of Article 92 of the Constitution, a new Government shall receive the powers to act after the Seimas gives assent to its programme by majority vote of the Members of the Seimas participating in the sitting. On 4 December 2008, the Programme of the Fifteenth Government was submitted to the Seimas. The Seimas, by its Resolution (No. XI-52) “On the Programme of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania”, which was on adopted 9 December 2008 and came into force from the moment of its adoption, assented to the Programme of the Fifteenth Government, thus the said Government received the powers to act. On the same day, by her Decree (No. 1K-1628) “On the Resignation of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania”, the President of the Republic accepted the resignation of the Government that had been assigned temporarily to hold office.
  8. As is known, due to an economic crisis, an especially grave economic and financial situation occurred in Lithuania at the second half of 2008. The Programme of the Fifteenth Government held that “Lithuania is facing an economic crisis” and provided for the most important task for the nearest future, which was handling the economic crisis and its consequences (Paragraph 1).
  9. By its resolution No. 1323 of 15 December 2008, the Government submitted an amended draft Law on Approving the Financial Indicators of the 2009 State Budget and the Municipal Budgets (No. XP-3420(2)) to the Seimas.

By this resolution, as well as the Resolution (No. 1325) “On Submitting the Drafts of Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending the Law on the Pay for Work of State Politicians and State Officials, the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Article 3 of the Law on Remuneration of Judges, the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Article 24 of the Law on the State Service, the Republic of Lithuania Law on the Basic Size, Applicable in 2009, of the Positional Salary (Remuneration) of State Politicians, Judges, State Officials and State Servants, the Republic of Lithuania Law on Recognising Article 1621 of the Labour Code as No Longer Valid, the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending the Law on Indexation of the Sizes of the Minimum Remuneration for Work, Social Security Payments and of the Basic Size of Punishments and Penalties, the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Articles 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11 and 14 of the Law on Social Assistance for Pupils, the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 6, 8, 12, 13, 20 of the Law on Payments for Children and Recognising Article 22 Thereof as No Longer Valid, the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 4, 5, 6 of the Law on State Pensions, to the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania” of 15 December 2008 (hereinafter also referred to as the Government resolution No. 1325 of 15 December 2008), the Government submitted the draft laws related to the draft law on the 2009 state budget to the Seimas.

10.1. On 16 December 2008, at the morning sitting, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Article 20 of the Law on the Budget Structure, which came into force on 20 December 2008, whereby it prolonged (by 14 calendar days) the term of approval of the state budget till the beginning of the new budget year; on the same day, the Seimas adopted the Statute of the Seimas “On Amending and Supplementing Articles 58, 60, 611, 64, 68, 69, 81, 172, 177, 180 of the Statute of the Seimas” which came into force on 21 December 2008 and prolonged the term of the second consideration of the draft state budget at the Seimas.

10.2. On 16 December 2008, at the evening sitting, the Seimas began the second consideration of the draft law on the 2009 state budget and fixed the date of adoption of this law, which was 22 December 2008.

  1. On 18–19 December 2008, the Seimas adopted twelve laws, pointed out in Items 32, 33, 35–44 of the petition, that affected the amount of the revenue and expenditure of the 2009 state budget (these laws came into force on 30 December 2008–1 January 2009): the Law on Supplementing Article 19 of the Law on Value-added Tax and Supplementing the Law with Annex 3 as No Longer Valid, the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 5, 12, 34, 382, 41, 58 of the Law on Profit Tax and Supplementing the Law with Article 401 and Chapter IX1, the Law on Amending Articles 2, 3 and 4 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 3, 33, 34, 35, 55 of the Law on Profit Tax, the Law on Recognising, as No Longer Valid, Article 2 and Amending Article 12 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 5, 12, 26, 35, 36, 37, 53 of the Law on Profit Tax, Supplementing the Law with Articles 371 and 372 and Supplementing Annex 3 of the Law, the Law on the Basic Size, Applicable in 2009, of the Positional Salary (Remuneration) of State Politicians, Judges, State Officials and State Servants, the Law on Recognising the Law on Amending Articles 3, 5 and 7 of the Law on the Restoration of Savings of the Population as No Longer Valid, the Law on Amending Articles 21, 22, 23, 24, 28, 33, 34, 35 and 37 of the Law on Excises, the Law on Amending the Law on the Lottery and Gaming Tax, the Law on Amending Article 5 of the Law on the Tax of Using State Property by Trust, the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 6, 8, 12, 13, 20 of the Law on Payments for Children and Recognising Article 22 Thereof as No Longer Valid, the Law on Amending Article 4 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 4, 5, 6 of the Law on State Pensions, the Law on Amending the Law on Indexation of the Sizes of the Minimum Remuneration for Work, Social Security Payments and of the Basic Size of Punishments and Penalties.
  2. On 22 December 2008, the Seimas adopted the Law on the 2009 State Budget which came into force on 30 December 2008. This law is impugned in the constitutional justice case at issue.
  3. On 22–23 December 2008, the Seimas, having approved the Law on the 2009 State Budget, adopted eleven laws, pointed out in Items 10–20, 34 of the petition, that affected the amount of the revenue and expenditure of the 2009 state budget (these laws came into force on 30 December 2008–1 January 2009): the Law on Amending Article 1 of the Law on State Support to Acquire or Rent a Dwelling and Renovate (Modernise) Multi-Apartment Houses, the Law on Recognising as No Longer Valid Articles 11 and 15 of the Law on Amending Articles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 of the Law on State Support to Acquire or Rent a Dwelling and Renovate (Modernise) Multi-Apartment Houses and Supplementing the Law with Article 111, the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 1 and 3 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 4, 5, 26, 41, 43, 54 of the Law on Profit Tax, the Law on Amending Article 1, and Recognising Articles 4 and 5 as No Longer Valid, of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 17 and 21 of the Law on Personal Income Tax and Supplementing the Annex of the Law, the Law on Recognising the Law on Amending Articles 17 and 20 of the Law on Personal Income Tax as No Longer Valid, the Law on Amending Article 2 of the Law on Amending Article 83 of the Law on Tax Administration, the Law on Amending Articles 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11 and 14 of the Law on Social Assistance for Pupils, the Law on Amending Articles 2, 19, 51, 56, 58, 91, 1251 of the Law on Value-added Tax and Recognising Article 1251 Thereof as No Longer Valid, the Law on Amending Articles 3 and 5 of the Law on the Financing of Road Maintenance and Development Programme, the Law on Recognising the Law on Amending Article 10 of the Law on the Financing of the Road Maintenance and Development Programme as No Longer Valid, the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 131, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 29, 30 of the Law on Personal Income Tax and Supplementing the Law with Article 181.

III

  1. In the constitutional justice case at issue one requests investigation into inter alia the state budget and the laws related thereto, in view of the procedure of their adoption and/or their entry into force, with the Constitution.
  2. The constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law implies various requirements for the legislator and other law-making entities, inter alia: in order to ensure that the subjects of legal relations are aware of requirements put forward to them by law, the legal norms must be established in advance, the legal acts must be published officially, they must be public and accessible; the legal regulation established in laws and other legal acts must be clear, easy to understand, consistent, formulas in the legal acts must be explicit, consistency and internal harmony of the legal system must be ensured, the legal acts may not contain any provisions, which at the same time regulate the same public relations in a different manner; in order that subjects of legal relations could orient their behaviour according to the requirements of law, the legal regulation must be relatively stable; the legal acts may not require the impossible (lex non cogit ad impossibilia); the power of the legal acts is prospective, while retrospective validity of the laws and other legal acts is not permitted (lex retro non agit) unless the legal act mitigates the situation of the subject of legal relations and does not injure other subjects of legal relations by the same (lex benignior retro agit) (inter alia the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 13 December 2004 and 16 January 2006).

In acts of the Constitutional Court it has been held more than once that inseparable elements of the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law are the protection of legitimate expectations, legal certainty and legal security; these constitutional principles imply the obligation of the state to secure the certainty and stability of the legal regulation, to protect the rights of persons, to respect the legitimate interests and legitimate expectations, to fulfil undertaken obligations for a person; the persons have the right to reasonably expect that their rights acquired under the valid laws or other legal acts that are not in conflict with the Constitution will be retained for the established period of time and could be implemented in reality; the legal regulation may be changed only by following the procedure established in advance; it is not permitted to deny the legitimate interests and legitimate expectations of the person by changes in the legal regulation; if the protection of legitimate expectations of persons, legal certainty and legal security is not ensured, the trust of the person in the state and law is not secured.

  1. The fundamental rules for adoption of laws are entrenched in Article 69 of the Constitution. Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution prescribes: “Laws shall be adopted at the Seimas according to the procedure established by law.” The process of legislation is the whole complex of juridically significant actions necessary for the adoption of a law and performed in a rigid sequence of logic and time (inter alia the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 8 November 1993 and 28 September 2011).

3.1. When establishing the procedure for adoption of laws, the Seimas must pay heed to the norms and principles of the Constitution (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 19 January 2005). From Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law inter alia a requirement arises that laws and other legal acts must be adopted while following the procedure, which is established in advance and is in compliance with the Constitution, and that this procedure must not be altered after the process of adoption of those laws has started. It is allowed to deviate from this requirement only when it is necessary in order to secure the protection of other, more important constitutional values.

3.2. Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution is related to Article 76 thereof, wherein it is established that the structure and procedure of activities of the Seimas are established by the Statute of the Seimas that has the power of law.

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

3.3. While passing laws and other legal acts, the Seimas and each Member of the Seimas are bound by the Constitution, constitutional laws and laws, as well as the Statute of the Seimas which has the power of law (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 22 February 2008). The duty of the Seimas to follow the rules of passing laws which are defined in the Statute of the Seimas is a constitutional duty of the Seimas (inter alia the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 8 November 1993, 14 January 2002 and 22 February 2008).

One may not ignore any stage of the legislation process or rule of the adoption of laws, which are enshrined in the Constitution, the Statute of the Seimas or other laws (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 29 September 2010 and 28 September 2011); the necessity to pass laws consequently following the stages and rules of legislation stems from the Constitution (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 22 February 2008).

The constitutional duty of the Seimas to follow the aforementioned stages and rules also means that if, under the Statute of the Seimas, one must receive a conclusion from one of the structural subdivisions of the Seimas (inter alia a committee or commission of the Seimas), it would be constitutionally unjustifiable that such a conclusion is not submitted because of the fact that this structural subdivision does not fulfil this duty, is late to fulfil it, etc. (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 22 February 2008).

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

  1. Under the Constitution, only laws which are published shall be valid (Paragraph 2 of Article 7).

4.1. The Constitutional Court has noted more than once that the official publication of laws in pursuance with the procedure established in the Constitution and laws is a necessary condition not only for the entry into force of laws, but also for the fact that subjects of legal relations could know as to what laws are valid, what their content is, and that they might follow these laws (inter alia the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 11 January 2001, 27 June 2007 and 7 September 2010). In Paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Constitution also the principle lex retro non agit is reflected (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 11 January 2001); the constitutional imperative that only laws which are published are valid is inseparable from the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law and is one of the essential elements of this principle—an important precondition for legal certainty (inter alia the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 29 November 2001, 27 June 2007 and 26 February 2010).

The Constitutional Court has also held that a prohibition to establish a date of the entry into force of a legal act that is earlier than the date of publishing of this legal act arises from the principles of legal certainty, legal security and legitimate expectations (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 29 June 2012).

4.2. Paragraph 1 of Article 70 of the Constitution prescribes that the laws adopted by the Seimas shall come into force after they are signed and officially promulgated by the President of the Republic, unless the laws themselves establish a later date for their coming into force.

It needs to be noted that this constitutional provision may not be construed as meaning that the legislator is granted absolutely free discretion to decide whether to postpone the date of the coming into force of the law (the beginning of the application of the law).

As mentioned before, the purpose of the principles of legal certainty, legal security and protection of legitimate expectations, which arise from the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, is securing the trust of a person in the state and law; these principles imply the duty of the state to secure the certainty and stability of legal regulation; persons have the right to reasonably expect that their rights acquired under valid legal acts will be retained for the established period of time and will be implemented in reality. While taking account of the aforementioned, the changes in the legal regulation must be made in a manner so that the persons whose legal status is affected by those changes would have a real opportunity to adapt to a new legal situation. Therefore, while seeking to create conditions for persons not only to familiarise with new legal regulation prior to the beginning of its validity, but also to adequately prepare for the expected changes, it might be necessary to establish a later date of the entry into force of the law (the beginning of the application thereof).

Thus, when Paragraph 1 of Article 70 of the Constitution is construed in the context of the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, it needs to be held that, in some situations, the legislator must provide for a sufficient vacatio legis, i.e. a time period from the official publishing of the law till its entry into force (the beginning of its application), within which the interested persons might be able to prepare themselves to implement the requirements arising from that law.

The jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court has pointed out this duty of the legislator more than once, while relating this duty to adoption of laws restructuring the system of social guarantees or individual guarantees (inter alia the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 4 July 2003, 22 October 2007, 22 November 2007 and 6 February 2012), however, the constitutional requirement to provide for a proper vacatio legis must be heeded also in the course of adoption of other laws that establish duties or limitations with respect to persons. The time-period that one should establish for each concrete situation must be assessed while taking account of a number of circumstances: the purpose of the law in the legal system and the character of the social relations regulated by that law, the circle of subjects to whom it is applied and their possibilities to prepare for the entry into force of the new legal regulation, as well as other important circumstances, inter alia those due to which the law must come into force as soon as possible. An important public interest, pursuit of protection of other values consolidated in the Constitution, outweighing the interest of a person to have more time to adapt to the legal regulation establishing new duties or limitations, may determine speedy entry into effect of the law on the day of its official publishing without any term of vacatio legis. Still, it needs to be emphasised that speedy entry into effect of laws establishing duties or limitations with respect to persons should be an exception, grounded and justified by special objective circumstances, rather than a rule.

4.3. In this context one also needs to note the fact that, in the course of making substantial amendments in the valid legal regulation, which create consequences unfavourable to the legal situation of persons, one may have to provide not only for a sufficient vacatio legis, but also a certain transitional legal regulation. The legal situation of persons, to whom the new legal regulation is applicable, should be regulated by means of transitional provisions so that they would be given enough time to finish the actions started by them on the grounds of the previous legal regulation, while expecting that the latter legal regulation would be stable, and that they might implement their rights acquired under the previous legal regulation.

  1. The requirements arising from Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law are inseparable from the constitutional concept of the state budget and the constitutional imperatives established for drafting, consideration and approval of the state budget.

5.1. The state budget is a plan of the state revenue and expenditure (allocations) for a specific period, i.e. a financial plan of the state, whereby public funds are redistributed; in the legal sense, the state budget is a law, whereby a plan of revenue and expenditure (allocations) for the budget year is approved (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 14 January 2002 and decision of 13 November 2007). According to the constitutional concept of the state budget, the state revenue and expenditure planned for the budget year must be provided for in the state budget approved by law (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 14 January 2002). Article 129 of the Constitution provides that the budget year shall start on the 1st of January and shall end on the 31st of December.

The State budget revenue shall be raised from taxes, compulsory payments, levies, income from state property and other income (Paragraph 2 of Article 127 of the Constitution). Taxes—obligatory and gratuitous payments, established by law, paid to the state budget by legal and natural persons at a fixed time—are one of the main sources of revenues of the state budget (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 17 November 2003); they are established by laws (Item 15 of Article 67 and Paragraph 3 of Article 127 of the Constitution).

5.2. Under of the Constitution, the Seimas shall approve the state budget and supervise its execution (Item 14 of Article 67). The budgetary function of the Seimas is its classical function, and, when account is taken of the essential influence of the situation of public finances on the implementation of state functions, it is one of the most important functions of the parliament of a democratic state under the rule of law. Paragraph 1 of Article 131 of the Constitution provides that the Seimas considers a draft state budget and approves it by law prior to the start of the new budget year.

Drafting state budget is exceptional competence of the Government: under the Constitution, the Government prepares a draft state budget and submits it to the Seimas not later than 75 days before the end of the budget year (Item 4 of Article 94, Article 130). Only the Government and no one else has the powers to estimate, in the draft budget of the state, how much revenues will be received and from which sources, how much funds and for what purposes must be appropriated etc. (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 11 July 2002). All planned state budget revenue and expenditure must be specified sufficiently clearly and by concretely indicating state revenue sources and the estimated sums of funds to be received from those sources, the purpose of the expenditure for financing various spheres, the precise sums of the allocated funds and the subjects to which those funds would be allocated. Otherwise, no conditions would be created for implementing the real and effective parliamentary supervision of execution of the state budget.

Under the Constitution, the exceptional powers to execute the state budget are enjoyed by the Government (Item 4 of Article 94). As noted in the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 14 January 2002, the provision of Item 4 of Article 94 of the Constitution that the Government shall execute the state budget means that the Government has a duty to ensure that the budget receives the specified revenues and that these funds are transferred to the entities specified in the law on the state budget.

5.3. As mentioned before, the Government, while implementing its powers to prepare a draft state budget, is bound by the requirement established in the Constitution to submit it to the Seimas not later than 75 days before the end of the budget year, i.e. not later than on 17 October, whereas the Seimas is under obligation to consider this draft and approve it by law for the budget year prior to the beginning of a new budget year, i.e. not later than on 31 December. The terms, consolidated expressis verbis in the Constitution, of submission of a draft state budget to the Seimas and of its approval mark the limits which cannot be overstepped by the Government and the Seimas, however, they do not imply that a draft state budget should be prepared, considered and approved only just before the expiration of those terms. In this context it needs to be mentioned that, under Paragraph 1 of Article 64 of the Constitution, the autumn session of the Seimas begins on 10 September, thus, a draft state budget may be submitted to the Seimas and the Seimas may start considering it much earlier than the deadline of its submission provided for in Article 130 of the Constitution.

Paragraph 1 of Article 132 of the Constitution provides that, if the state budget is not approved in time, at the beginning of the budget year the budget expenditure each month may not exceed 1/12 of the state budget expenditure of the previous budget year. Consequently, under the Constitution, if the Seimas does not approve the state budget till the beginning of a budget year, the application of the provisions of the state budget of the previous year would essentially be prolonged. Alongside, it needs to be emphasised that this constitutional provision may and must be understood only as the one providing for a certain way out in a situation, where the Seimas, in exceptional circumstances, does not approve the state budget within the time specified in Paragraph 1 of Article 131 of the Constitution, however, it must not be construed as the one allowing the Seimas to disregard the established term.

5.4. From the constitutional concept of the state budget and the constitutional principle of responsible governance arises the fact that the state budget must be realistic, the revenue and expenditure provided for therein must be grounded upon an assessment of the needs and possibilities of society and the state. The Constitutional Court has held that the constitutional imperative of an open, just and harmonious civil society, the necessity to ensure the constitutional rights and freedoms of persons and to protect the other values entrenched in the Constitution imply the duty of the Government, in the course of the preparation of the draft budget of the state, and the right of the Seimas, in the course of consideration of and approving the state budget, to take account of the state functions established in the Constitution, the existing economic and social situation, the needs and possibilities of society and the state, the available and potential financial resources as well as state obligations (inter alia international ones), as well as other important factors (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 11 July 2002). In this context it also needs to be mentioned that, under the Constitution, inter alia under the constitutional principle of responsible governance, the state institutions forming and pursuing state economic and financial policies must resort to all possible measures in order to predict the tendencies in the economic development of the state and to prepare for possible occurrence of particularly grave economic and financial situations (the Constitutional Court’s decision of 20 April 2010).

The Constitutional Court has also held that the question whether certain needs (goals) are provided with sufficient or insufficient funds from the state budget is not about the compliance of the state budget with the Constitution, but about budget planning, evaluation of the needs of society and the state, their balance with the possibilities of society and the state, and, consequently, social and economic expediency (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 14 January 2002 and 21 December 2006), however, this official constitutional doctrinal provision cannot be construed as including also the cases where the law on the state budget establishes the legal regulation in which it is clear from the start that one has clearly provided for insufficient or no finance for certain needs (objectives), alongside, by not providing for any other (alternative) sources of finance, which, under the Constitution, may be provided for corresponding needs, and this is clearly in conflict with the welfare of the Nation, the interests of society and the State of Lithuania, and clearly denies the values entrenched in, as well as defended and protected by the Constitution (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 21 December 2006).

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

The Government executes laws (Item 2 of Article 94 of the Constitution), therefore, it is evident that, while preparing a draft state budget, it must also invoke the laws that affect the amount of planned state revenue and expenditure. As held in the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 14 January 2002, a draft state budget prepared by the Government has to provide for funds necessary for the implementation of laws.

Since the Government, while preparing a draft state budget, and the Seimas, while considering and approving it, are bound by valid laws that affect the amount of planned state revenue and expenditure and, alongside, have a duty to predict the tendencies of the development of the economy of the state, to assess the needs and possibilities of society and the state, a necessity might arise to amend those laws respectively. It needs to be noted that in case amendments to such laws established duties or limitations with respect to persons, one should heed the constitutional requirement to provide for a proper vacatio legis, i.e. enough time should be left before the entry into force of those amendments (the beginning of application thereof) so that the interested persons might properly prepare for them. In this context it needs to be mentioned that, when one makes amendments (establishing new taxes, increasing the existing ones, etc.) exerting decisive influence on the state budget revenue, this fact is of special importance, since a proper vacatio legis in the sphere of tax law is an important guarantee that persons (first of all, tax-payers) would be able not only to familiarise with new requirements of tax laws in advance, but also to adapt their proprietary interests and perspectives of economic activity to them. Thus, while preparing a draft state budget as well as considering it, one should, among other things, assess whether, prior to its approval at the Seimas, corresponding amendments must be made to tax laws and other laws that affect state revenue and expenditure, for the entry into force whereof the constitutional requirement for a proper vacatio legis should be applicable.

All this implies that, when account is taken of the constitutional principle of responsible governance, the preparation of a draft state budget should be started as early as it would enable one to adopt the necessary amendments of the aforesaid laws in time. It might be allowed to deviate from these requirements only in exceptional circumstances, if it is justified by an important public interest.

5.5. In the course of preparing, considering and approving a draft state budget, the requirements arising from the prohibition entrenched in Paragraph 2 of Article 131 of the Constitution to reduce the expenses provided for by laws as long as the said laws are not amended, and from the constitutional concept of such laws, are also binding on the Government and the Seimas.

While construing Paragraph 2 of Article 131 of the Constitution, the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 14 January 2002 inter alia held:

– the state revenue and expenditure planned for the budget year have to be provided for in the state budget only approved by law; the provision that expenditures established by laws may not be reduced as long as these laws are not amended cannot be interpreted as allowing to provide for such funding of certain needs that is not included in the law on the state budget of a respective year;

– the laws specified in Paragraph 2 of Article 131 of the Constitution that provide for certain expenditure are not laws that would substitute for or change the law on the state budget; the aforesaid laws are not allowed to regulate the relations that the Constitution permits to regulate only by the law on the state budget; the aforesaid laws are the ones enabling to ensure the succession of the relations of the state budget each budget year as well as the financial continuity when the persistent pursuit of certain public objectives (special, long-term, strategic) requires more funds than it is possible to allot in one budget year;

– the laws specified in Paragraph 2 of Article 131 of the Constitution that provide for certain expenditures are an exception rather than a rule; non-state-budget laws can only provide for expenditures necessary in order to achieve a defined, generally important goal over a certain period of time established by law, provided these needs cannot be satisfied in one budget year, however, such laws may not provide for funds necessary for the execution of routine functions of the state, for funds necessary to finance every-day needs of society.

5.6. It has been mentioned that, under the Constitution, the Seimas considers the draft state budget prepared by the Government and approves it by law prior to the start of the new budget year. It needs to be noted that, under the Constitution, Members of the Seimas are elected for a four-year term (Paragraph 1 of Article 55); regular elections to the Seimas shall be held on the year of the expiration of the powers of the Members of the Seimas on the second Sunday of October (Paragraph 1 of Article 57 (wording of 13 July 2004)); from the beginning of the first sitting of the newly-elected Seimas the term of powers of its Members is begun to be counted, whereas the term of powers of the previously elected Members of the Seimas expires (Paragraph 1 of Article 59); the Government returns its powers to the President of the Republic after the Seimas elections (Paragraph 4 of Article 92), whereas, later, after a new Government is formed, resigns (Item 4 of Paragraph 3 of Article 101); a new Government receives the powers to act after the Seimas gives assent to its programme (Paragraph 5 of Article 92); the Government is jointly and severally responsible to the Seimas for the general activities of the Government (Paragraph 1 of Article 96 of the Constitution).

Thus, the constitutional regulation of the state budget process and of time of elections to the Seimas creates preconditions, in the year when elections to the Seimas takes place, for a newly elected Seimas and the Government responsible to it, which receives powers to act after the Seimas assents to its programme, to engage in the state budget process that has already started.

5.6.1. It needs to be noted that the Constitutional Court, while construing, in its ruling of 10 January 1998, the constitutional notion of the programme of the Government, noted that the basis of the programme of the Government is programmes of the political parties which have won the elections, however, the provisions of these programmes acquire the legal meaning only through the programme of the Government by obligating both the Government and the majority of the Seimas supporting it to act respectively; the recognition of the legal meaning of the programme of the Government is consolidated in the norms of Item 7 of Article 67 and Paragraph 5 of Article 92 of the Constitution; the programme of the Government is a legal document wherein the main landmarks of state activities for a certain time period are set forth; this programme determines the actions of the institutions forming the Government and ensures reciprocity between the Government and these institutions.

5.6.2. When the provision of Item 14 of Article 67 of the Constitution that the Seimas approves the state budget, the provision of Paragraph 1 of Article 131 thereof that the Seimas considers and approves the draft state budget by law before the beginning of the new budget year, are construed in conjunction with the provision of Paragraph 1 of Article 57 (wording of 13 July 2004) thereof that regular elections to the Seimas are held on the year of the expiration of the powers of the Members of the Seimas on the second Sunday of October, it needs to be noted that the legal regulation should be established in laws and the Statute of the Seimas, whereby in the year when a new Seimas is elected, conditions would be created for it to implement its constitutional powers to consider and approve the draft state budget, thus securing an opportunity for the political forces that have won the elections to the Seimas to implement, in reality, their programmes that acquire the legal meaning only when the Seimas, by its resolution, approves the programme of the Government.

In addition, the fact arises from the Constitution, inter alia from Paragraph 1 of Article 57 (wording of 13 July 2004), Item 7 of Article 67, Paragraph 5 of Article 92, Item 4 of Article 94, Paragraph 1 of Article 131 thereof, that conditions should be created by legal regulation for the new Government to implement its constitutional powers to draft the state budget.

5.6.3. It has been mentioned that the Government, while implementing its constitutional competence, must present the draft state budget to the Seimas not later than 75 days before the end of the budget year. Thus, there can also occur such a situation, where a draft state budget for the subsequent year might be prepared and approved before the beginning of the new term of office of the Seimas (thus, also before the new Government is granted the powers to act), however, even in this case one should ensure a possibility for the Seimas of the new term of office and the new Government responsible to the latter to implement their constitutional powers related to preparing, considering and approving the state budget, thus securing an opportunity for the political forces that have won the elections to the Seimas to implement, in reality, their programmes, which acquire the legal meaning after the Seimas, by its resolution, approves the programme of the Government.

  1. The Constitutional Court has noted that both the Government which has the powers, under the Constitution, to execute the state budget, and the Seimas which, under the Constitution, approves the state budget by law, may not decide not to react to such essential change of economic and financial condition of the state, when due to special circumstances (economic crisis, natural calamity, etc.) a particularly difficult economic and financial situation occurs in the state; it goes without saying, upon emerging of a particularly difficult economic and financial situation in the state there may be difficulties in collecting the revenue provided for in the law on the state budget (and in municipal budgets), thus, the required funds are not obtained for financing respective needs provided for in the law on the state budget (and municipal budgets) (inter alia the Constitutional Court’s decision of 13 November 2007, the ruling of 11 December 2009 and the decision of 20 April 2010).

It needs to be noted that possible deviations from the requirements, which are put forward to the adoption and entry into force of the laws that affect the state budget and its revenue and expenditure and which arise from the Constitution, inter alia the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law and responsible governance, inter alia from the requirement to adopt the amendments of the laws that affect the state budget and its revenue and expenditure before the Seimas approves the state budget, and from the requirement to provide for a sufficient vacatio legis, may be constitutionally justifiable by the aspiration to ensure an important public interest—to guarantee the stability of public finances, not to allow the rise of an excessive budget deficit in the state due to an exceptionally difficult economic and financial situation because of the economic crisis—determining the necessity of urgent and effective decisions.

The Constitutional Court has held that, from the constitutional institute of a budget year, a duty arises for the legislator, in the course of deliberating and approving the state budget for the next year, to reassess the actual economic and financial situation in the state and to decide whether the said situation is still a particularly grave one, inter alia whether the collection of the state budget revenue is still disordered to the extent that, due to this, the state is unable to fulfil the obligations undertaken by it (the Constitutional Court’s decision of 20 April 2010 and the ruling of 6 February 2012). While submitting the draft budget to the Seimas, the Government must substantiate the revenues and allocations indicated therein with the evaluation of the needs and possibilities of the state and society; this information has to be public (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 14 January 2002). Among other things, it means that society must be presented with concrete criteria upon which the assessment of the economic and financial situation of the state is based, determining planning of the state budget revenue and expenditure and a possible need respectively to amend the laws that affect the revenue and expenditure, especially the laws establishing obligations of and limitations upon persons.

In this context it needs to be noted that in case an exceptionally difficult economic and financial situation in the state is long-termed and continues for more than one year, under the Constitution, there is no tolerance for the fact that in the course of adopting the laws that affect the state budget revenue and expenditure the aforementioned requirements, which arise from the Constitution, for the adoption and entry into force of these laws, would be disregarded by justifying it by a necessity to adopt urgent decisions in order to handle the consequences of the economic crisis.

IV

On the compliance of Paragraph 1 (wording of 16 December 2008) of Article 177 of the Statute of the Seimas with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

  1. It has been mentioned that in the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court will investigate inter alia into the compliance of the provision “the second consideration of the draft State Budget shall be scheduled not later than on 23 December” of Paragraph 1 (wording of 16 December 2008) of Article 177 of the Statute of the Seimas with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  2. Paragraph 1 (wording of 27 May 2003) of Article 177 “Second Consideration of the Draft State Budget in the Seimas” of the Statute of the Seimas prescribes: “The second consideration of the draft State Budget shall be scheduled not later than within 15 days after its first consideration. During the second consideration the Government shall present the draft revised in accordance with the received proposals and comments.”

2.1. It has been mentioned that, under Paragraph 1 (wording of 22 December 1998) of Article 176 of the Statute of the Seimas, the first consideration of a draft state budget is supposed to take place at a sitting of the Seimas by 25 November.

Thus, under the provisions of Paragraph 1 (wording of 27 May 2003) of Article 177 and Paragraph 1 (wording of 22 December 1998) of Article 176 of the Statute of the Seimas, the second consideration of the draft state budget at a sitting of the Seimas should be assigned to take place not later than on 10 December.

2.2. As mentioned before, on 16 December 2008, the Seimas adopted the Statute of the Seimas “On Amending and Supplementing Articles 58, 60, 611, 64, 68, 69, 81, 172, 177, 180 of the Statute of the Seimas”, which came into force on 21 December 2008. Article 9 thereof amended Paragraph 1 (wording of 27 May 2003) of Article 177 and established the following therein: “The second consideration of the draft State Budget shall be scheduled not later than on 23 December. During the second consideration the Government shall present the draft revised in accordance with the received proposals and comments.”

Thus, by means of this amendment to the Statute of the Seimas, which was adopted during the process of consideration of the draft state budget, right after the first consideration of this draft, the term of the beginning of the second consideration of the draft state budget was prolonged and it was established that the second consideration of the draft state budget may be assigned to take place at a sitting of the Seimas not later than on 23 December.

2.3. It has been mentioned that Article 11 “The Validity of the Statute” of the Statute of the Seimas “On Amending and Supplementing Articles 58, 60, 611, 64, 68, 69, 81, 172, 177, 180 of the Statute of the Seimas” adopted on 16 December 2008 inter alia provides that Article 9 of this statute shall be valid till 28 February 2009 (Paragraph 1); as from 1 March 2009, the wording of Paragraph 1 of Article 177 of the Statute of the Seimas, which had been valid until the entry into force of this statute, shall be valid (Paragraph 2).

Consequently, the impugned provision consolidated provisional legal regulation (valid from 21 December 2008 till 28 February 2009).

It needs to be noted that Paragraph 1 (wording of 27 May 2003) of Article 177 of the Statute of the Seimas has not subsequently been amended and/or supplemented.

2.4. Thus, the legal regulation consolidated in the impugned provision of Paragraph 1 (wording of 16 December 2008) of Article 177 of the Statute of the Seimas, which was approved and came into force at the time of considering the draft 2009 state budget, prolonged the term of the beginning of the second consideration of the draft state budget at a sitting of the Seimas.

  1. As mentioned before, along with the said amendment to the Statute of the Seimas, on 16 December 2008, the Seimas adopted the Law on Amending Article 20 of the Law on the Budget Structure, which came into force on 20 December 2008, Paragraph 2 of Article 1 whereof amended Paragraph 2 (wording of 23 December 2003) of Article 20 of the Law on the Budget Structure, whereby the Seimas was to approve the state budget and financial indicators of municipal budgets for one budget year by law not later than 14 calendar days prior to the beginning of the budget year, and inter alia established in this paragraph (wording of 16 December 2008) that “the Law on the Approval of Financial Indicators of the State Budget and Municipal Budgets shall enter into force not later than by the end of a budget year”; Paragraph 1 of Article 2 provides that the said legal regulation shall be effective till 28 February 2009.

It also needs to be noted that in Paragraph 3 of Article 1 of the Law on Amending Article 20 of the Law on the Budget Structure the Seimas established the legal regulation identical to the one established in Paragraph 2 (wording of 23 December 2003) of Article 20 of the Law on the Budget Structure; under Paragraph 2 of Article 2 of this law, the said legal regulation came into force on 1 March 2009.

Thus, Paragraph 2 (wording of 16 December 2008) of Article 20 of the Law on the Budget Structure established the provisional legal regulation that prolonged the term of the approval of the state budget at the Seimas.

  1. While deciding whether the provision “the second consideration of the draft State Budget shall be scheduled not later than on 23 December” of Paragraph 1 (wording of 16 December 2008) of Article 177 of the Statute of the Seimas is not in conflict with the Constitution, one needs to note that, as mentioned before, this provision consolidated the legal regulation that prolonged the term of the beginning of the second consideration of the draft state budget at a sitting of the Seimas; this amendment to the Statute of the Seimas was adopted and came into force during the consideration of the draft 2009 state budget.

It has been mentioned that the petitioner impugns the compliance of this legal regulation with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law in the aspect that it was not allowed to apply this legal regulation to the procedure for consideration of the draft 2009 state budget, which had already begun, but not in the aspect that in the course of the adoption of the impugned provision of the Statute of the Seimas the established procedural requirements were not being followed.

4.1. It has been mentioned that the Seimas, while establishing the procedure for adoption of laws, must heed the norms and principles of the Constitution, also the requirement, arising from Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, that laws and other legal acts must be adopted while following the procedure, which is established in advance and is in compliance with the Constitution, and that this procedure must not be altered after the process of adoption of those laws has started; it is allowed to deviate from this requirement only when it is necessary in order to secure the protection of other, more important constitutional values.

In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue it needs to be noted that, as mentioned before, the requirements arising from Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law are inseparable from the constitutional concept of the state budget and the constitutional imperatives established for drafting, considering and approving the state budget.

4.2. It has been mentioned that, under Paragraph 1 of Article 131 of the Constitution, the draft state budget shall be considered by the Seimas and shall be approved by law prior to the start of the new budget year; under Article 129 of the Constitution, the budget year shall start on the 1st of January and shall end on the 31st of December; the term, which is consolidated expressis verbis in the Constitution, for consideration and approval of the draft state budget marks the limit that cannot be overstepped by the Seimas.

It has been mentioned that the impugned provision of the Statute of the Seimas prescribed that the second consideration of the draft state budget at a sitting of the Seimas should be assigned to take place not later than on 23 December.

Thus, the legal regulation consolidated in the impugned provision of the Statute of the Seimas did not violate the term for consideration and approval of the draft state budget established in Paragraph 1 of Article 131 of the Constitution.

4.3. It has been mentioned that the Statute of the Seimas “On Amending and Supplementing Articles 58, 60, 611, 64, 68, 69, 81, 172, 177, 180 of the Statute of the Seimas” that consolidated the impugned provision of the Statute of the Seimas was adopted on 16 December 2008 and came into force on 21 December 2008, i.e. during the consideration of the draft 2009 state budget after the elections to the Seimas that took place on 12 October 2008.

4.4. As mentioned before, the constitutional regulation of the state budget process and of time of elections to the Seimas creates preconditions, in the year when elections to the Seimas takes place, also for a newly elected Seimas and the Government responsible to it, which receives powers to act after the Seimas assents to its programme, to engage in the state budget process that has already started.

It has also been mentioned that, when the provision of Item 14 of Article 67 of the Constitution that the Seimas approves the state budget, the provision of Paragraph 1 of Article 131 thereof that the Seimas considers and approves the draft state budget by law before the beginning of the new budget year, are construed in conjunction with the provision of Paragraph 1 of Article 57 (wording of 13 July 2004) thereof that regular elections to the Seimas are held on the year of the expiration of the powers of the Members of the Seimas on the second Sunday of October, the corresponding legal regulation should be established in laws and the Statute of the Seimas, whereby in the year when a new Seimas is elected, conditions would be created for it to implement its constitutional powers to consider and approve the draft state budget.

4.5. It has been mentioned that, after the elections to the Seimas took place on 12 October 2008, the Seimas of the 2008–2012 term of office began its activities on 17 November 2008, and after it assented to the programme of the Fifteenth Government on 9 December 2008, the said Government received the powers to act.

As mentioned before, the Programme of the Fifteenth Government held that “Lithuania is facing an economic crisis” and provided for the most important task for the nearest future, which was handling the economic crisis and its consequences.

It has also been mentioned that, under the provisions of Paragraph 1 (wording of 27 May 2003) of Article 177 and Paragraph 1 (wording of 22 December 1998) of Article 176 of the Statute of the Seimas, the second consideration of the draft state budget at a sitting of the Seimas had to be assigned to take place not later than on 10 December. Consequently, this legal regulation did not create proper conditions for the Seimas of the new term of office and the new Government which, under the Constitution, must react to such an essential change in the economic and financial situation of the state, when, due to an economic crisis there occurs an especially difficult economic and financial situation in the state, to implement, in reality, their constitutional powers to prepare and consider the draft state budget and approve it by law.

4.6. It needs to be noted that, even though the legal regulation established in Paragraph 1 (wording of 16 December 2008 ) of Article 177 of the Statute of the Seimas prolonged the term of the beginning of the second consideration and interfered with the process of consideration of the state budget that had already started, however, it implemented the constitutional requirement to react to such an essential change in the economic and financial situation of the state, when, due to an economic crisis there occurs an especially difficult economic and financial situation in the state, and created conditions for the Seimas of the new term of office to implement their constitutional powers to consider and approve the draft state budget, whereas for the Government responsible to the latter—to prepare the said draft state budget.

4.7. Thus, it needs to be held that after the legislator had implemented these constitutional requirements, the requirements arising from Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law were not violated.

Taking account of the arguments set forth, one is to draw a conclusion that the provision “the second consideration of the draft State Budget shall be scheduled not later than on 23 December” of Paragraph 1 (wording of 16 December 2008) of Article 177 of the Statute of the Seimas was not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

V

On the compliance of the Law on the 2009 State Budget, in view of the procedure of its adoption, with Paragraph 1 of Article 69, Paragraph 2 of Article 131 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law and on the compliance of the laws specified in Items 10–20 of the petition, in view of the procedure of their adoption, with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution.

  1. It has been mentioned that in the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court will investigate inter alia the compliance of the Law on the 2009 State Budget, in view of the procedure of its adoption, with the Constitution, and the compliance of the laws specified in Items 10–20 of the petition, in view of the procedure of their adoption, with the Constitution.

The petitioner impugns the compliance of the Law on the 2009 State Budget, in view of the procedure of its adoption, with the Constitution in the aspect that this law was adopted prior to some laws affecting the amount of the revenue and expenditure of the 2009 state budget, as well as the compliance of the laws specified in Items 10–20 of the petition, in view of the procedure of their adoption, with the Constitution—in the aspect that they were adopted later than the Law on the 2009 State Budget.

  1. As mentioned before, by its Resolution (No. 1015) “On Submission of the Draft Republic of Lithuania Law on Approving the Financial Indicators of the 2009 State Budget and the Municipal Budgets and the Draft Legal Acts Related to It to the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania” of 14 October 2008, the Government submitted a draft Law on the 2009 State Budget to the Seimas of the 2004–2008 term of office.

The Seimas, by its Resolution (No. XI-52) “On the Programme of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania” assented to the Programme of the Fifteenth Government, wherein it was held that “Lithuania is facing an economic crisis” and which provided for the most important task for the nearest future—handling the economic crisis and its consequences.

The Government, while implementing these provisions of its programme, by its resolution No. 1323 of 15 December 2008, presented the Seimas with an amended draft Law on the 2009 State Budget; in addition, by its resolutions Nos. 1323 and 1325 of 15 December 2008, the Government presented the Seimas with 29 draft laws related thereto.

  1. On 22 December 2008, the Seimas adopted the impugned Law on the 2009 State Budget which came into force on 30 December 2008.
  2. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue one needs to mention the circumstances of the presentation of the draft laws related to the 2009 state budget, their consideration and adoption at the Seimas after the Law on the 2009 State Budget had already been adopted. It needs to be noted that these laws consolidated the provisions that determined the amount of the revenue and expenditure of the 2009 state budget (i.e. the laws specified in Items 12, 15–18 of the petition affected the amount of the 2009 state budget revenue, whereas the laws specified in Items 10, 11, 13, 14, 19, 20—the amount of the 2009 state budget expenditure).

4.1. On 16–19 December 2008, the Seimas was presented with inter alia the draft laws specified in Items 10–20 of the petition, related to the 2009 state budget, as well as the draft Law on the Provisional Tax of Cars Managed by Legal Persons and the draft Law on Supplementing Article 13 of the Law on Tax Administration that were mentioned in the petition; after the presentation it was assented to the latter laws.

On 18–19 December 2008, under urgency (or special urgency) procedure, the Seimas considered drafts of the laws specified in Items 10–13, 15–20 of the petition and, after consideration, it assented to those drafts, save the draft of the law specified in Item 20 of the petition, the term of the consideration of which was prolonged till 22 December, as well as the draft Law on the Provisional Tax of Cars Managed by Legal Persons and the draft Law on Supplementing Article 13 of the Law on Tax Administration, the term of the consideration of which was prolonged till 23 December 2008.

Thus, all drafts of the aforementioned laws related to the 2009 state budget were submitted and their consideration started, whereas the draft of the law specified in Item 14 of the petition was submitted (but the consideration thereof had not started) prior to the adoption of the Law on the 2009 State Budget.

Having adopted the Law on the 2009 State Budget, the Seimas, on 22 December 2008, after consideration assented to the draft of the law specified in Item 20 of the petition, also, under special urgency procedure, it considered the draft of the law specified in Item 14 of the petition and assented to it after the consideration, whereas, on 23 December 2008, after consideration it assented to the draft Law on the Provisional Tax of Cars Managed by Legal Persons and the draft Law on Supplementing Article 13 of the Law on Tax Administration.

4.2. Having adopted the Law on the 2009 State Budget, but before its entry into force, the Seimas, on 22 December 2008, adopted the laws specified in Items 10, 11, 15, 17–19, 20 of the petition, whereas on 23 December 2008—the laws specified in Items 12, 13, 14, 16 of the petition, as well as the Law on the Provisional Tax of Cars Managed by Legal Persons and the Law on Supplementing Article 13 of the Law on Tax Administration.

It needs to be noted that all the laws related to the 2009 state budget, which are specified in Items 10–20 of the petition, came into force on 30 December 2008–1 January 2009.

By her decrees Nos. 1K-1655 and 1K-1656 of 29 December 2008, the President of the Republic returned the Law on the Provisional Tax of Cars Managed by Legal Persons and the Law on Supplementing Article 13 of the Law on Tax Administration back to the Seimas for reconsideration and the said laws did not come into force. On account of those circumstances, the Law on the 2009 State Budget was subsequently amended respectively.

  1. While deciding whether the Law on the 2009 State Budget, in view of the procedure of its adoption, is not in conflict with the Constitution, it needs to be noted that, as mentioned before, the doubts of the petitioner are substantiated by the fact that, at first, one should have considered and adopted separate laws related to the 2009 state budget, which affected its revenue and expenditure, and only afterwards one should have considered and adopted the Law on the 2009 State Budget.

5.1. It needs to be noted that the requirements arising from the Constitution, inter alia Paragraph 1 of Article 69 thereof and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, which are applicable to the procedure of adoption of the law on the state budget, are inseparable from the constitutional principle of responsible governance, the constitutional concept of the state budget, and the constitutional imperatives established for drafting, considering and approving the state budget, inter alia from the term for approving the state budget (till the beginning of the new budget year, i.e. not later than on 31 December) which is consolidated expressis verbis in Article 129 and Paragraph 1 of Article 131 of the Constitution and which must not be overstepped by the Seimas.

5.1.1. It has been mentioned that the Seimas is bound not only by the Constitution, but also by laws that it itself adopted; thus, while considering and approving a draft state budget, the Seimas must follow the laws that presuppose a certain amount of estimated state revenue and expenditure.

5.1.2. As mentioned before, from the constitutional concept of the state budget and the constitutional principle of responsible governance arises the fact that the state budget must be realistic, the revenue and expenditure provided for therein must be grounded upon an assessment of the needs and possibilities of society and the state; while considering and approving the state budget, the Seimas has to take account of the state functions established in the Constitution, the existing economic and social situation, the needs and possibilities of the society and the state, the available and potential financial resources as well as state obligations (inter alia international ones), as well as other important factors.

5.1.3. It needs to be noted that the Seimas, while considering and approving a draft state budget, is bound by the requirements arising from the prohibition entrenched in Paragraph 2 of Article 131 of the Constitution to reduce the expenses provided for by laws as long as the said laws are not amended, and from the constitutional concept of these laws. It has been mentioned that the laws specified in Paragraph 2 of Article 131 of the Constitution must ensure the succession of the relations of the state budget each budget year as well as the financial continuity when the persistent pursuit of certain public objectives (special, long-term, strategic) requires more funds than it is possible to allot in one budget year; such laws may not substitute for or replace the law on the state budget; the aforesaid laws are not allowed to regulate the relations that the Constitution permits to regulate only by the law on the state budget; the said constitutional provision cannot be interpreted as allowing to provide for such funding of certain needs that is not included in the law on the state budget of a respective year.

5.1.4. It needs to be noted that, while considering a draft state budget, one should also assess the fact whether, before the approving it at the Seimas, it is necessary to make the corresponding amendments to the laws affecting the state revenue and expenditure; only under special circumstances, in case it is justified by an important public interest, would it be allowed to deviate from the constitutional requirement to adopt such laws before the Seimas approves the state budget.

It has been mentioned that the Seimas, which, under the Constitution, approves the state budget by law, may not decide not to react to such essential change of economic and financial condition of the state, when, due to an economic crisis, a particularly difficult economic and financial situation occurs in the state; possible deviations from the requirements, which are put forward to the adoption of the laws affecting the state budget and its revenue and expenditure and which arise from the Constitution, inter alia from the constitutional requirement to adopt the amendments of the laws affecting the state budget and its revenue and expenditure before the Seimas approves the state budget, may be constitutionally justifiable by the aspiration, determining the necessity of urgent and effective decisions, to ensure an important public interest—to guarantee the stability of public finances, not to allow the rise of an excessive budget deficit in the state due to an exceptionally difficult economic and financial situation because of the economic crisis. Under such circumstances, draft amendments to those laws may be submitted, considered and adopted together with the draft law on the state budget (first, one should vote on amendments to such laws), whilst provided that their consideration and adoption would take more time due to objective reasons (large extent of the necessary amendments, peculiarities of the work procedure of the Seimas etc.), i.e. should such consideration and adoption take place after the law on the state budget has been adopted, the said amendments must be adopted not later than the entry into force of the law on the state budget.

5.2. It has been mentioned that, under the Constitution, inter alia Paragraph 1 of Article 69 and Article 76 thereof, the Seimas enjoys the powers to establish the procedure for adopting laws, the law on the state budget among them, in laws and the Statute of the Seimas.

5.2.1. Article 178 “Approval of the State Budget” (wording of 7 June 2001) of the Statute of the Seimas inter alia provides that, upon considering and adopting decisions concerning the proposals and amendments, the Seimas must vote on the entire draft state budget (Paragraph 2).

Thus, while adopting the law on the state budget, one may not vote on parts of its draft separately and it is not allowed that the budget be approved not in its entirety, where a possibility is left to coordinate later its separate parts with corresponding intended amendments to the laws affecting the amount of revenue and expenditure.

5.2.2. It also needs to be mentioned that Article 12 “Requirements for Adoption of Other Legal Acts” (wording of 6 December 2007) of the Law on the Budget Structure provides that the tax laws, other laws and legal acts and amendments thereto which affect the state budget revenue, allocations and the state debt of an appropriate year shall enter into force as prescribed by laws, but shall be adopted not later than the Law on the Approval of Financial Indicators of the State Budget and Municipal Budgets for that budget year.

Thus, the requirement is entrenched in this article for the legislator to adopt the laws affecting inter alia the amount of the state budget revenue and allocations (expenditure) before the law on the state budget.

5.3. It has been mentioned that also the fact that draft amendments to the laws affecting state revenue and expenditure are submitted, considered and adopted together with the draft law on the state budget, whilst provided that their consideration and adoption would take more time due to objective reasons, they might also be adopted later than the law on the state budget, but not later than the latter comes into force, is constitutionally justifiable by the aspiration, determining a necessity of urgent and effective decisions, to ensure an important public interest—to guarantee the stability of public finances, not to allow the rise of an excessive budget deficit in the state due to an exceptionally difficult economic and financial situation because of the economic crisis.

5.4. It needs to be noted that the Law on the 2009 State Budget was adopted because of the exceptionally difficult economic and financial situation that had occurred in the state due to the economic crisis, to which the Seimas had to react.

5.5. It has been mentioned that, on 22 December 2008, the Seimas adopted the Law on the 2009 State Budget, and, later, on the same day—the laws specified in Items 10, 11, 15, 17–20 of the petition, whilst on 23 December 2008, it adopted the laws specified in Items 12, 13, 14, 16 of the petition, as well as the Law on the Provisional Tax of Cars Managed by Legal Persons and the Law on Supplementing Article 13 of the Law on Tax Administration; the Law on the 2009 State Budget came into force on 30 December 2008.

It has been mentioned that the laws that affected the amount of the 2009 state budget revenue and expenditure were adopted later than the Law on the 2009 State Budget, but before the entry into force of the latter.

5.6. It needs to be noted that in the course of the adoption of the Law on the 2009 State Budget the constitutional requirement that the Seimas should react to such essential change of economic and financial condition of the state, when, due to an economic crisis, a particularly difficult economic and financial situation occurs in the state, was implemented.

It has also been mentioned that, under Article 178 (wording of 7 June 2001) of the Statute of the Seimas, while adopting the law on the state budget, one may not vote on parts of its draft separately and it is not allowed that the budget be approved not in its entirety, where a possibility is left to coordinate later its separate parts with corresponding intended amendments to the laws affecting the amount of revenue and expenditure.

5.7. Thus, it needs to be held that the Seimas adopted the Law on the 2009 State Budget, whereas later, before it came into force, while reacting to the situation that had occurred in the state due to the economic crisis and, while seeking to ensure an important public interest—to guarantee the stability of public finances, not to allow the rise of an excessive budget deficit, it adopted the laws specified in Items 10–20 of the petition that affected the amount of the 2009 state budget revenue and expenditure, therefore, even though it deviated from the constitutional requirement to adopt the amendments to the laws affecting state revenue and expenditure before it approves the state budget, it did not violate the requirements for adopting the state budget arising from Paragraph 1 of Article 69 and Paragraph 2 of Article 131 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

It needs to be noted that the deviation from the said constitutional requirement may be constitutionally justifiable only if an especially difficult economic and financial situation occurs in the state suddenly and there is no time to prepare for it. As mentioned before, in case an exceptionally difficult economic and financial situation in the state is long-termed and continues for more than one year, under the Constitution, there is no tolerance for the fact that such deviation is justified by a necessity to adopt urgent decisions in order to handle the consequences of the economic crisis.

While taking account of the arguments set forth, one is to draw a conclusion that the Law on the 2009 State Budget, in view of the procedure of its adoption, was not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 69, Paragraph 2 of Article 131 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

  1. While deciding whether the laws specified in Items 10–20 of the petition, which affected the amount of the 2009 state budget revenue and expenditure, in view of the procedure of their adoption, are/were not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution, one needs to note that the doubts of the petitioner regarding the compliance of the said laws, in view of the procedure of their adoption, with the Constitution, are substantiated by the same arguments as those regarding the constitutionality of the Law on the 2009 State Budget, namely, that the laws related to the 2009 state budget should have been considered and adopted first, and only afterwards the Law on the 2009 State Budget should have been considered and adopted.

6.1. Having held that the Seimas, while adopting the Law on the 2009 State Budget, whereas later, before it came into force, adopting the laws specified in Items 10–20 of the petition that affected the amount of the 2009 state budget revenue and expenditure, reacted to the situation that had occurred in the state due to the economic crisis and was seeking to ensure an important public interest—to guarantee the stability of public finances and not to allow the rise of an excessive budget deficit—therefore, even though it deviated from the constitutional requirement to adopt the amendments to the laws affecting state revenue and expenditure before approving the state budget, it did not violate the requirements for adopting the state budget arising from Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution, on the grounds of the same arguments one is to hold that, while adopting the laws specified in Items 10–20 of the petition, the Seimas did not violate the requirements for their adoption arising from Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution.

6.2. While taking account of the arguments set forth, one is to draw a conclusion that the following laws, in view of the procedure of their adoption, were/are not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution:

– the Law on Amending Article 1 of the Law on State Support to Acquire or Rent a Dwelling and Renovate (Modernise) Multi-Apartment Houses adopted on 22 December 2008;

– the Law on Recognising as No Longer Valid Articles 11 and 15 of the Law on Amending Articles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 of the Law on State Support to Acquire or Rent a Dwelling and Renovate (Modernise) Multi-Apartment Houses and Supplementing the Law with Article 111 adopted on 22 December 2008;

– the Law on Amending Articles 2, 19, 51, 56, 58, 91, 1251 of the Law on Value-added Tax and Recognising Article 1251 Thereof as No Longer Valid adopted on 23 December 2008;

– the Law on Amending Articles 3 and 5 of the Law on the Financing of the Road Maintenance and Development Programme adopted on 23 December 2008;

– the Law on Recognising the Law on Amending Article 10 of the Law on the Financing of the Road Maintenance and Development Programme as No Longer Valid adopted on 23 December 2008;

– the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 1 and 3 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 4, 5, 26, 41, 43, 54 of the Law on Profit Tax adopted on 22 December 2008;

– the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 131, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 29, 30 of the Law on Personal Income Tax and on Supplementing the Law with Article 181 adopted on 23 December 2008;

– the Law on Amending Article 1, and Recognising Articles 4 and 5 as No Longer Valid, of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 17 and 21 of the Law on Personal Income Tax and Supplementing the Annex of the Law adopted on 22 December 2008;

– the Law on Recognising the Law on Amending Articles 17 and 20 of the Law on Personal Income Tax as No Longer Valid adopted on 22 December 2008;

– the Law on Amending Article 2 of the Law on Amending Article 83 of the Law on Tax Administration adopted on 22 December 2008;

– the Law on Amending Articles 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11 and 14 of the Law on Social Assistance for Pupils adopted on 22 December 2008.

VI

On the compliance of the Law on the Basic Size, Applicable in 2009, of the Positional Salary (Remuneration) of State Politicians, Judges, State Officials and State Servants adopted on 19 December 2008, in view of the procedure of its adoption, with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution.

  1. It has been mentioned that, in the constitutional justice case at issue, the Constitutional Court will investigate whether inter alia the Law on the Basic Size, Applicable in 2009, of the Positional Salary (Remuneration) of State Politicians, Judges, State Officials and State Servants adopted on 19 December 2008, in view of the procedure of its adoption, is not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution.

The doubts of the petitioner regarding the compliance of this law with the Constitution are substantiated by the fact that the Seimas, when adopting this law, did not react to the conclusions of the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas that it might be in conflict with the Constitution, the draft of this law had not been considered in the Seimas Committee on Legal Affairs, even though, in the opinion of the petitioner, it should have been done so according to the Statute of the Seimas.

  1. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, one is to mention the circumstances related to the submission to the Seimas of the draft of the impugned law as well as the consideration and adoption thereof at the Seimas.

2.1. On 15 December 2008, a draft Law on the Basic Size, Applicable in 2009, of the Positional Salary (Remuneration) of State Politicians, Judges, State Officials and State Servants (No. XIP-186) submitted by the Government resolution No. 1325 of 15 December 2008 was registered at the Seimas. The said draft law inter alia proposed that, for 2009, the basic size of the positional salary (remuneration) of state politicians, judges, state officials and state servants should be LTL 475. From the explanatory note to this draft law it is clear that the said basic size is reduced due to the essentially deteriorated economic and financial situation in the state.

2.2. On 16 December 2008, the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas presented Conclusion (No. XIP-186) “On the Draft Law on the Basic Size, Applicable in 2009, of the Positional Salary (Remuneration) of State Politicians, Judges, State Officials and State Servants” wherein it was pointed out that “upon the assessment of the draft in view of its relation to the Constitution <...> the following remarks must be presented: <...> there are no possibilities to assess” whether the legal regulation submitted in the draft law “would be in compliance with the duty of the legislator, as indicated in the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 28 March 2006, to pay heed to the requirements of the principle of proportionality”.

2.3. On 16–17 December 2008, at a sitting of the Seimas, the draft Law on the Basic Size, Applicable in 2009, of the Positional Salary (Remuneration) of State Politicians, Judges, State Officials and State Servants (No. XIP-186) was submitted. At the same sitting of the Seimas the said draft law was assented to, also it was decided to consider this draft law under special urgency procedure and to appoint the Seimas Committee on Social Affairs and Labour as the chief committee considering this draft law, as well as to assign the date—18 December 2008—when that draft law was supposed to be considered at a sitting of the Seimas.

2.4. On 17 December 2008, at its sitting, the Seimas Committee on Social Affairs and Labour considered the said draft law and assented to it. At the same sitting the Seimas Committee on Social Affairs and Labour did not approve of the 16 December 2008 conclusion of the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas.

2.5. On 18 December 2008, the draft Law on the Basic Size, Applicable in 2009, of the Positional Salary (Remuneration) of State Politicians, Judges, State Officials and State Servants (No. XIP-186(2)) was registered at the Seimas. When the said draft law is compared to the one (No. XIP-186) submitted by the Government, it is clear that both of them are identical in their content.

2.6. On 18 December 2008, the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas presented a conclusion on the draft Law on the Basic Size, Applicable in 2009, of the Positional Salary (Remuneration) of State Politicians, Judges, State Officials and State Servants (No. XIP-186(2)), wherein it was held that the Legal Department continued to stick to the opinion, presented on 16 December 2008, regarding the draft Law on the Basic Size, Applicable in 2009, of the Positional Salary (Remuneration) of State Politicians, Judges, State Officials and State Servants (No. XIP-186).

2.7. On 18–19 December 2008, at its sitting, under special urgency procedure, the Seimas considered the aforesaid draft law No. XIP-186(2) and, on 19 December 2008, it adopted the impugned Law on the Basic Size, Applicable in 2009, of the Positional Salary (Remuneration) of State Politicians, Judges, State Officials and State Servants that came into force on 30 December 2008.

  1. In the course of the investigation, subsequent to the petition of the petitioner, whether the Law on the Basic Size, Applicable in 2009, of the Positional Salary (Remuneration) of State Politicians, Judges, State Officials and State Servants adopted on 19 December 2008, in view of the procedure of its adoption, is not in conflict with the Constitution, it is necessary to disclose what procedure for preliminary assessment of the compliance of a draft law submitted to the Seimas with the Constitution was established in the Statute of the Seimas at the time when the draft of the impugned law was submitted to and was considered at the Seimas.

3.1. Paragraph 3 (wording of 9 November 2004) of Article 136 “Registration of a Draft Law and Subsequent Activities” of the Statute of the Seimas provides that, with respect to a registered draft law the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas shall, within seven working days of the date of receipt thereof, draw up conclusions on whether or not the draft is in conformity with the Constitution, laws, principles of law-making and rules for juridical technique, and whether or not the submitted documents conform to the requirements of this statute; if this is a large-scale draft, the Director of the Legal Department shall have the right to appeal to the Assembly of Elders for the extension of this period.

Under Paragraph 5 (wording of 9 November 2004) of Article 136 of the Statute of the Seimas, draft laws together with inter alia an explanatory note, conclusions of the Legal Department shall be distributed among the Members of the Seimas not later than 1 working day prior to the presentation thereof at a Seimas sitting.

Thus, Paragraph 3 (wording of 9 November 2004) of Article 136 of the Statute of the Seimas establishes a duty of the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas, upon assessment of a draft law, to present a conclusion clearly (unequivocally) stating whether the draft law is in conflict with the Constitution; a conclusion that the draft law is in conflict with the Constitution must be reasoned. Under Paragraph 5 (wording of 9 November 2004) of the same article, inter alia the conclusion of the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas, together with the draft law, is distributed among the Members of the Seimas prior to the presentation of the said draft law at a Seimas sitting.

It needs to be mentioned that, under Article 79 (wording of 10 October 2000) of the Statute of the Seimas, the Office of the Seimas is a state establishment ensuring the activities of the Seimas; thus, the legal Department of the Office of the Seimas is a structural subdivision of this state establishment, but not a structural subdivision of the Seimas itself.

3.2. Under Paragraph 2 (wording of 10 October 2000) of Article 138 “Preliminary Conclusions on a Draft Law by a Seimas Committee, the Government and other Institutions” of the Statute of the Seimas, the Seimas Committee on Legal Affairs must preliminary consider a draft law if the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas presents a conclusion that this draft law is in conflict with the Constitution.

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

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

It also needs to be noted that, in the same ruling, the Constitutional Court assessed such a violation of Paragraph 2 of Article 138 (wording of 10 October 2000) of the Statute of the Seimas, where, upon presenting a conclusion by the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas that, in its opinion, a draft law is in conflict with the Constitution, the Seimas Committee on Legal Affairs—a structural subdivision of the Seimas—does not consider the said draft law, as a substantial violation of the legislation procedure and held that the provision of Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution that laws shall be adopted in the Seimas in accordance with the procedure established by law had been violated.

3.2.2. Thus, the Constitutional Court has formed a precedent whereby a violation of Paragraph 2 of Article 138 (wording of 10 October 2000) of the Statute of the Seimas is to be regarded as a substantial violation of the legislation procedure, determining also a violation of Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution, in a situation where, upon presenting a conclusion by the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas that a draft law or other legal act is in conflict with the Constitution, the Seimas Committee on Legal Affairs—a structural subdivision of the Seimas—does not consider the said draft, i.e. does not perform the duty established for it in the Statute of the Seimas.

  1. While deciding whether the Law on the Basic Size, Applicable in 2009, of the Positional Salary (Remuneration) of State Politicians, Judges, State Officials and State Servants adopted on 19 December 2008, in view of the procedure of its adoption, is not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution, it needs to be noted that, as mentioned before, on 16 and 18 December 2008, the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas presented conclusions on the drafts of this law, but the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas did not consider them.

4.1. It has been mentioned that the duty of the Seimas to follow the rules of passing laws which are defined in the Statute of the Seimas is a constitutional duty of the Seimas; one may not ignore any stage of the legislation procedure or any rule of legislation which are enshrined in the Constitution, laws, or the Statute of the Seimas; the necessity to pass laws consequently following the stages and rules of legislation arises from the Constitution; the constitutional duty of the Seimas to follow the aforementioned stages and rules also means that if, under the Statute of the Seimas, one must receive a conclusion from one of the structural subdivisions of the Seimas (inter alia a committee of the Seimas), it would be constitutionally unjustifiable that such a conclusion is not submitted because of the fact that this structural subdivision does not fulfil this duty, is late to fulfil it, etc.; the substantial violations of the legislation procedure established in the Statute of the Seimas imply that one also violates the provision of Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution that laws shall be adopted at the Seimas according to the procedure established by law.

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

4.3. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue it needs to be noted that in case the Statute of the Seimas provides that at a certain stage of the legislative process the Seimas internal preventive control of the compliance of laws with the Constitution must be carried out, it must be implemented not in a perfunctory manner, but in reality and efficiently.

4.4. It has been held in this Constitutional Court’s ruling that Paragraph 3 (wording of 9 November 2004) of Article 136 and Paragraph 2 (wording of 10 October 2000) of Article 138 of the Statute of the Seimas consolidated such a procedure for preliminary assessment of the compliance of a draft law submitted to the Seimas with the Constitution, where the compliance of a registered draft law with the Constitution must be assessed by the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas by presenting a conclusion, whereas in case it presents a conclusion that a draft law is in conflict with the Constitution, the said draft law must also be assessed by the Seimas Committee on Legal Affairs; according to the aforementioned provisions of the Statute of the Seimas, the Seimas Committee on Legal Affairs must consider a draft law with respect to its compliance with the Constitution only when the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas presents a conclusion that the said draft law is in conflict with the Constitution.

4.5. It has been mentioned that in the 16 December 2008 conclusion of the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas on the draft Law on the Basic Size, Applicable in 2009, of the Positional Salary (Remuneration) of State Politicians, Judges, State Officials and State Servants (No. XIP-186) it was pointed out that “upon the assessment of the draft in view of its relation to the Constitution <...> the following remarks must be presented: <...> there are no possibilities to assess” whether the legal regulation submitted in the draft law “would be in compliance with the duty of the legislator, as indicated in the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 28 March 2006, to pay heed to the requirements of the principle of proportionality”. A reference is made to the said conclusion also in the conclusion presented by the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas on the draft Law on the Basic Size, Applicable in 2009, of the Positional Salary (Remuneration) of State Politicians, Judges, State Officials and State Servants (No. XIP-186 (2)) on 16 December 2008.

It has been mentioned that Paragraph 3 (wording of 9 November 2004) of Article 136 of the Statute of the Seimas establishes a duty of the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas, upon assessment of a draft law, to present a conclusion clearly (unequivocally) stating whether the draft law is in conflict with the Constitution or not.

It needs to be noted that the provision “upon the assessment of the draft in view of its relation to the Constitution <...> the following remarks must be presented: <…> there are no possibilities to assess” whether the legal regulation submitted in the draft law “would be in compliance with the duty of the legislator, as indicated in the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 28 March 2006, to pay heed to the requirements of the principle of proportionality” of the conclusion of the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas may not be treated as the assessment of the compliance of the draft law with the Constitution that is required by Paragraph 3 of Article 136 (wording of 9 November 2004).

Consequently, the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas has not assessed whether the draft of the impugned law is not in conflict with the Constitution, thus, it has not performed its duty established in Paragraph 3 (wording of 9 November 2004) of Article 136 of the Statute of the Seimas, upon assessment of a draft law, to present a conclusion stating whether a draft law is in compliance with the Constitution.

4.6. It has been mentioned that only substantial violations of the legislation procedure established in the Statute of the Seimas imply that one also violates the provision of Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution that laws shall be adopted at the Seimas according to the procedure established by law.

As mentioned before, the failure of the structural subdivision of the Seimas to perform its duty preliminary to assess the draft law is to be regarded as the substantial violation of the legislation procedure determining also a violation of by Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution.

It needs to be noted that the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas is not a structural subdivision of the Seimas. Thus, the fact that it presented a conclusion, in which it had not assessed whether the draft of the impugned law was not in conflict with the Constitution in line with the requirement by Paragraph 3 (wording of 9 November 2004) of Article 136 of the Statute of the Seimas, cannot be assessed as a substantial violation of the legislation procedure determining also a violation of by Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution.

4.7. As mentioned before, under Paragraph 5 (wording of 9 November 2004) of Article 136, the conclusion of the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas, together with the draft law, is distributed among the Members of the Seimas prior to the presentation thereof at a Seimas sitting. Thus, the fact that the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas had not assessed whether the draft of the impugned law was not in conflict with the Constitution was known inter alia to the Seimas Committee on Legal Affairs. It has also been mentioned that the draft of the impugned law was considered at the Seimas and adopted under special urgency procedure due to the essentially deteriorated economic and financial situation in the state.

It needs to be noted that such deficient practice of preliminary assessment of draft laws, where the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas does not perform the requirement established in Paragraph 3 (wording of 9 November 2004) of Article 136 of the Statute of the Seimas to assess whether the presented draft law is not in conflict with the Constitution, whereas the Seimas, inter alia the Seimas Committee on Legal Affairs, does not resort to any measures so that such assessment should be performed, no preconditions are created for efficient internal preventive control of the Seimas in order that laws and other legal acts adopted by the Seimas would not be in conflict with the Constitution.

4.8. It has been mentioned that, under Paragraph 2 (wording of 10 October 2000) of Article 138 of the Statute of the Seimas, a conclusion of the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas that the draft law is in conflict with the Constitution determines the duty of the Seimas Committee on Legal Affairs preliminary to consider it.

Consequently, when the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas had not presented any conclusion that the draft of the impugned law was in conflict with the Constitution, under Paragraph 2 (wording of 10 October 2000) of Article 138 of the Statute of the Seimas, the Seimas Committee on Legal Affairs did not have any duty preliminary to consider it.

4.9. Thus, it needs to be held that there are no grounds to assert that in the course of adopting the impugned law the requirement consolidated in Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution to follow the procedure for adoption of laws that is established in laws and the Statute of the Seimas was violated.

Taking account of the arguments set forth, one is to draw a conclusion that the Law on the Basic Size, Applicable in 2009, of the Positional Salary (Remuneration) of State Politicians, Judges, State Officials and State Servants adopted on 19 December 2008, in view of the procedure of its adoption, is not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution.

VII

On the compliance of the laws specified in Items 10, 11, 13–20, 32–44 of the petition, in view of the procedure of their entry into force, with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

  1. It has been mentioned that in the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court will investigate inter alia the compliance of the laws specified in Items 10, 11, 13–20, 32–44 of the petition, in view of the procedure of their entry into force, with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

It needs to be noted that the doubts of the petitioner regarding the compliance of these laws which, according to the petitioner, reduced the state obligations and either introduced new taxes or increased the existing taxes, established new rates of taxes and changed the taxation procedure in substance, in view of the procedure of their entry into force, with the Constitution, are substantiated by the fact that they came into force within less than a week from their adoption, without giving a reasonable term for the population to participate in the debate about those laws, nor giving a possibility to prepare for the implementation thereof, and without following the rule established in the law that tax laws shall come into force not earlier than after 6 months after the day of their publication.

  1. It has been mentioned that the impugned laws specified in Items 15–18, 34–41 of the petition, which affected the amount of the 2009 state budget revenue, as well as the impugned laws specified in Items 10, 11, 13, 14, 19, 20, 32, 33, 42–44 of the petition, which affected the amount of the 2009 state budget expenditure, were adopted on 18–19 or 22–23 December 2008, they came into force on 30 December 2008–1 January 2009 and are/were applied from the beginning of a new budget year, i.e. as from 1 January 2009.
  2. It needs to be noted that the laws specified in Items 15–18, 34–41 of the petition, which affected the amount of the 2009 state budget revenue, inter alia prescribed:

– the Law on Recognising the Law on Supplementing Article 19 of the Law on Value-added Tax and Supplementing the Law with Annex 3 as No Longer Valid adopted on 18 December 2008 recognised the legal regulation that had established a concessional rate of value-added tax for certain vegetables and fruits as no longer valid;

– the Law on Amending Articles 21, 22, 23, 24, 28, 33, 34, 35 and 37 of the Law on Excises adopted on 19 December 2008 inter alia increased the rates of excises applicable to certain goods and abolished previously established concessional excises for small beer brewing enterprises;

– the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 5, 12, 34, 382, 41, 58 of the Law on Profit Tax and Supplementing the Law with Article 401 and Chapter IX1 adopted on 18 December 2008 increased the profit tax rates applicable to taxing inter alia the income from distributed profit and the taxable profit from permanent seats, established concessions allowing to reduce the taxable profit due to an on-going investment project, in part amended the procedure for profit taxation;

– the Law on Amending Articles 2, 3 and 4 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 3, 33, 34, 35, 55 of the Law on Profit Tax adopted on 18 December 2008 inter alia increased the profit tax rate applicable to dividend taxation, in part amended the dividend taxation procedure;

– the Law on Recognising, as No Longer Valid, Article 2 and Amending Article 12 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 5, 12, 26, 35, 36, 37, 53 of the Law on Profit Tax, Supplementing the Law with Articles 371 and 372 and Supplementing Annex 3 of the Law adopted on 18 December 2008 recognised the legal regulation that inter alia had amended the profit taxation procedure for the income of certain foreign entities as no longer valid;

– the Law on Amending the Law on the Lottery and Gaming Tax adopted on 19 December 2008 inter alia amended the procedure for calculation of the lottery and gaming tax, established bigger amounts of the lottery and gaming tax;

– the Law on Amending Article 5 of the Law on the Tax of Using State Property by Trust adopted on 19 December 2008 inter alia increased the rates of the tax for state-owned property transferred to a state enterprise by trust;

– the Law on Amending Articles 2, 19, 51, 56, 58, 91, 1251 of the Law on Value-added Tax and Recognising Article 1251 Thereof as No Longer Valid adopted on 23 December 2008 inter alia increased the standard rate of value-added tax, abolished concessions of value-added tax with regard to certain services and goods, inter alia ecologic food, also the concessional rate of value-added tax was increased;

– the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 1 and 3 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 4, 5, 26, 41, 43, 54 of the Law on Profit Tax adopted on 22 December 2008 inter alia increased the rate of profit tax applied to specified income of foreign entities, when the source of the income is in the Republic of Lithuania;

– the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 131, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 29, 30 of the Law on Personal Income Tax and on Supplementing the Law with Article 181 adopted on 23 December 2008 inter alia reduced the general rate of income tax, increased the rate of income tax applicable to the income form distributed profit, and amended the procedure for taxing the residents by personal income tax;

– the Law on Amending Article 1, and Recognising Articles 4 and 5 as No Longer Valid, of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 17 and 21 of the Law on Personal Income Tax and Supplementing the Annex of the Law adopted on 22 December 2008 recognised the legal regulation that inter alia had established a concession—a certain type of income had been attributed to non-taxable income—as no longer valid;

– the Law on Recognising the Law on Amending Articles 17 and 20 of the Law on Personal Income Tax as No Longer Valid adopted on 22 December 2008 recognised the legal regulation that inter alia had established a bigger amount of non-taxable income with regard to certain categories of persons as no longer valid.

Thus, the said laws on amending tax laws that affected the amount of the 2009 state budget revenue, inter alia amended (increased) tax rates, abolished certain tax concessions and changed the taxation procedure.

  1. It needs to be noted that the laws specified in Items 10, 11, 13, 14, 19, 20, 32, 33, 42–44 of the petition, which affected the amount of the 2009 state budget expenditure, inter alia prescribed:

– the Law on the Basic Size, Applicable in 2009, of the Positional Salary (Remuneration) of State Politicians, Judges, State Officials and State Servants adopted on 19 December 2008 reduced the basic size of the positional salary (remuneration) of state politicians, judges, state officials and state servants, on the grounds of which their remuneration of work is calculated;

– the Law on Recognising the Law on Amending Articles 3, 5 and 7 of the Law on the Restoration of Savings of the Population as No Longer Valid adopted on 19 December 2008 recognised the legal regulation that had prolonged the term of restoration of savings of the population till 31 December 2015 as no longer valid;

– the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 6, 8, 12, 13, 20 of the Law on Payments for Children and Recognising Article 22 Thereof as No Longer Valid adopted on 19 December 2008 established that with respect to those who raise a child older than 3 years of age, the payments for the child shall be awarded while taking account of the amount of the family’s income (prior to then the payments for the child used to be awarded without taking account of the family’s income);

– the Law on Amending Article 4 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 4, 5, 6 of the Law on State Pensions adopted on 19 December 2008 postponed the entry into force of the legal regulation that had reduced the number (from 7 to 5) of children of the mothers with the right to receive the state pension of the second degree, who have given birth to (adopted) them, have raised them until the age of 8 and have provided them with a good upbringing;

– the Law on Amending the Law on Indexation of the Sizes of the Minimum Remuneration for Work, Social Security Payments and of the Basic Size of Punishments and Penalties adopted on 19 December 2008 inter alia abolished the regulation for indexation of the sizes of the minimum remuneration for work, the bases of the indicators of social security payments, state pensions of officials and servicemen, pensions of lost capacity of work and state pensions of judges;

– the Law on Amending Article 1 of the Law on State Support to Acquire or Rent a Dwelling and Renovate (Modernise) Multi-Apartment Houses adopted on 22 December 2008 inter alia abolished the legal regulation that had provided for partial compensation of rent for a dwelling leased from natural or private legal persons;

– the Law on Recognising as No Longer Valid Articles 11 and 15 of the Law on Amending Articles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 of the Law on State Support to Acquire or Rent a Dwelling and Renovate (Modernise) Multi-Apartment Houses and Supplementing the Law with Article 111 adopted on 22 December 2008 abolished the legal regulation that inter alia had provided for partial compensation of rent for the families and persons that had the right to a social dwelling and were leasing a dwelling belonging to natural or private persons;

– the Law on Amending Articles 3 and 5 of the Law on the Financing of the Road Maintenance and Development Programme adopted on 23 December 2008 inter alia reduced a certain part of excise revenue allocated for the financing of the road maintenance and development programme;

– the Law on Recognising the Law on Amending Article 10 of the Law on the Financing of the Road Maintenance and Development Programme as No Longer Valid adopted on 23 December 2008 recognised the legal regulation that had provided to allocate 15 percent of the funds of the Road Maintenance and Development Programme for asphalting district gravel roads as no longer valid;

– the Law on Amending Article 2 of the Law on Amending Article 83 of the Law on Tax Administration adopted on 22 December 2008 postponed the entry into effect of the legal regulation that had ensured an opportunity for a taxpayer-legal person, in case of no possibility to pay taxes through an official of the tax administrator, to pay those taxes through a credit or any other payments accepting establishment free of charge (on 23 November 2010, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania Law on Recognising the Law on Amending Article 83 of the Law on Tax Administration and the Law Amending It as No Longer Valid which recognised the said legal regulation as no longer valid);

– the Law on Amending Articles 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11 and 14 of the Law on Social Assistance for Pupils adopted on 22 December 2008 inter alia, while taking account of the amount of income for a member of the family during a month, diminished the circle of pupils learning under pre-school or elementary training programmes, who had the right to free lunch.

Thus, the said laws, which affected the amount of the 2009 state budget revenue, inter alia diminished some social guarantees and financing of certain spheres.

  1. While deciding whether the laws specified in Items 15–18, 34–41 of the petition, which affected the amount of the 2009 state budget revenue, in view of the procedure of their entry into force, are not in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, it needs to be noted that, as mentioned before, these laws on amending tax laws inter alia amended (increased) tax rates, abolished certain tax concessions, and changed the taxation procedure; all those laws that affected the amount of the state budget revenue came into force on 30 December 2008–1 January 2009 and were applied from the beginning of a new budget year, i.e. as from 1 January 2009.

5.1. The Constitutional Court’s ruling of 12 February 2010 inter alia held that state taxes and other obligatory payments are a monetary obligation to the state established by law for legal subjects; by means of taxes socio-economic processes taking place in society are regulated; taxes are characteristic of the fact that their nature is not that of direct recompense.

5.2. The duty to pay taxes is a constitutional duty (inter alia the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 10 July 1997 and 24 January 2006). It needs to be noted that when establishing such a duty by law, one must pay heed to the Constitution, inter alia the constitutional principles of justice, proportionality, legal certainty and protection of legitimate expectations of persons.

5.3. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue it needs to be noted that the persons who, under the Constitution, must pay taxes established by law, have the right reasonably to expect that, in the course of establishment or change of taxes, one would pay heed to the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, inter alia the principles of legal certainty, legal security and protection of legitimate expectations, which imply the state duty to ensure the stability of the legal regulation by which taxes are established, to protect and respect the legitimate interests and legitimate expectations of taxpayers.

5.4. It has been mentioned that, while adopting laws establishing duties of or limitations on persons, one must pay heed to a proper vacatio legis arising from the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, i.e. a time period from the official publishing of the law till its entry into force (the beginning of its application), within which the interested persons might be able to prepare themselves to implement the requirements arising from that law.

As mentioned before, when one makes amendments (establishing new taxes, increasing the existing ones, etc.) to tax laws, the requirement to establish a sufficient vacatio legis in the sphere of tax law is of crucial importance, since it is a significant guarantee that persons (first of all, tax-payers) would be able not only to familiarise with new requirements of tax laws in advance, but also to adapt their proprietary interests and perspectives of economic activity to them.

In this ruling it has been held that a deviation from the requirements, which are put forward to the adoption and entry into force of the laws affecting the state budget and its revenue and which arise from the Constitution, inter alia from the requirement to provide for a proper vacatio legis, may be justifiable by the aspiration, determining the necessity of urgent and effective decisions, to ensure an important public interest—to guarantee the stability of public finances, not to allow the rise of an excessive budget deficit in the state due to an exceptionally difficult economic and financial situation because of the economic crisis.

In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue it needs to be noted that, when one makes amendments (establishing new taxes, increasing the existing ones, etc.) to tax laws, the deviation from the constitutional requirement to provide for a proper vacatio legis is constitutionally justifiable only by the aspiration, determining the necessity of urgent and effective decisions, to ensure an important public interest—to guarantee the stability of public finances, not to allow the rise of an excessive budget deficit in the state due to an exceptionally difficult economic and financial situation because of special circumstances (an economic crisis, a natural disaster etc.).

5.5. The Seimas, while implementing the powers arising from the Constitution, inter alia Paragraph 1 of Article 69 thereof, and from the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, to establish in laws the procedure for adoption of laws, Article 12 “Requirements for Adoption of Other Legal Acts” (wording of 6 December 2007) of the Law on the Budget Structure inter alia established that the tax laws and amendments thereto which affect the state budget revenue of an appropriate year shall enter into force as prescribed by laws, but shall be adopted not later than the law on the state budget of that year.

5.6. The Seimas, while implementing the powers arising from the Constitution, inter alia Paragraph 1 of Article 70 thereof, and from the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, to establish in laws the procedure for entry into force of laws, in Article 3 of the Law on Tax Administration (wording of 13 April 2004) inter alia established that the Seimas must ensure that the tax laws introducing a new tax, a new tax rate, a tax concession, sanctions for violations of tax laws or changing, in substance, the procedure for imposition of a certain tax and the principles of the legal regulation and application of taxing, should enter into force not earlier than after six months from the day of their publishing (Paragraph 3); this shall not be applied to amendments to the tax laws related to the law on the state budget of a corresponding year (Paragraph 4).

Thus, Paragraph 3 of Article 3 of the Law on Tax Administration (wording of 13 April 2004) consolidated a general rule that the aforesaid laws, including those affecting the amount of the state budget revenue, must come into force not earlier than after six months from the day of their publishing, whilst Paragraph 4 thereof provides for an exception to this rule, whereby amendments affecting the amount of the state budget revenue may come into force regardless of the six-month term established with regard to their entry into force, i.e. they may come into force earlier.

5.7. Consequently, according to the said legal regulation entrenched in Paragraph 4 of Article 3 of the Law on Tax Administration (wording of 13 April 2004), when it is construed together with the legal regulation entrenched in Article 12 (wording of 6 December 2007) of the Law on the Budget Structure, the tax laws’ amendments affecting the amount of the state budget revenue may be adopted together with the law on the state budget (by voting first on the laws affecting the amount of the state budget revenue).

It needs to be noted that the said exception to the rule of entry into force of the specified amendments to tax laws, which is provided in Paragraph 4 of Article 3 of the Law on Tax Administration (wording of 13 April 2004), may not be assessed as allowing to disregard the term of entry into force of the tax laws, which is established in Paragraph 3 of this article, when the law on the state budget of every year is adopted. It also needs to be noted that this legal regulation should be applied only in exceptional cases.

5.8. It has been mentioned that the laws affecting the amount of the state budget revenue were adopted on 18–19, 22–23 December 2008, they came into force on 30 December 2008–1 January 2009 and were applied as from the beginning of the new budget year, i.e. as from 1 January 2009. Thus, these laws came into force within an especially short period. In addition, one did not establish any later term of the beginning of their application, either.

As is known, due to an economic crisis, an especially grave economic and financial situation occurred in Lithuania at the second half of 2008.

5.9. As mentioned before, the Seimas, which, under the Constitution, approves the state budget by law, may not decide not to react to such essential change of economic and financial condition of the state, when, due to an economic crisis, a particularly difficult economic and financial situation occurs in the state; from the constitutional concept of the state budget and the constitutional principle of responsible governance arises the fact that the state budget must be realistic, the revenue and expenditure provided for therein must be grounded upon an assessment of the needs and possibilities of society and the state.

It has been mentioned that, when one makes amendments to tax laws, the deviation from the constitutional requirement to provide for a proper vacatio legis is constitutionally justifiable by the aspiration, determining the necessity of urgent and effective decisions, to ensure an important public interest—to guarantee the stability of public finances, not to allow the rise of an excessive budget deficit in the state due to an exceptionally difficult economic and financial situation because of an economic crisis.

5.10. It needs to be held that the Seimas adopted the laws amending tax laws specified in Items 15–18, 34–41 of the petition, which affected the amount of the 2009 state budget revenue, while reacting to the situation that had occurred in the state due to the economic crisis and while seeking to ensure an important public interest—to guarantee the stability of public finances and not to allow the rise of an excessive budget deficit. The deviation from the constitutional requirement to provide for a proper vacatio legis is justified by this constitutionally important objective, which outweighed the interest of a person to have more time to prepare to implement the requirements arising from those laws and which determined the necessity of prompt decisions. Thus, even though one deviated from this constitutional requirement, the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law was not violated.

5.11. While taking account of the arguments set forth, one is to draw a conclusion that, in view of the procedure of their entry into force, the following laws are not in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law:

– the Law on Recognising the Law on Supplementing Article 19 of the Law on Value-added Tax and Supplementing the Law with Annex 3 as No Longer Valid adopted on 18 December 2008;

the Law on Amending Articles 21, 22, 23, 24, 28, 33, 34, 35 and 37 of the Law on Excises adopted on 19 December 2008;

– the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 5, 12, 34, 382, 41, 58 of the Law on Profit Tax and Supplementing the Law with Article 401 and Chapter IX1 adopted on 18 December 2008;

– the Law on Amending Articles 2, 3 and 4 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 3, 33, 34, 35, 55 of the Law on Profit Tax adopted on 18 December 2008;

– the Law on Recognising, as No Longer Valid, Article 2 and Amending Article 12 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 5, 12, 26, 35, 36, 37, 53 of the Law on Profit Tax, Supplementing the Law with Articles 371 and 372 and Supplementing Annex 3 of the Law adopted on 18 December 2008;

– the Law on Amending the Law on the Lottery and Gaming Tax adopted on 19 December 2008;

– the Law on Amending Article 5 of the Law on the Tax of Using State Property by Trust adopted on 19 December 2008;

– the Law on Amending Articles 2, 19, 51, 56, 58, 91, 1251 of the Law on Value-added Tax and Recognising Article 1251 Thereof as No Longer Valid adopted on 23 December 2008;

– the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 1 and 3 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 4, 5, 26, 41, 43, 54 of the Law on Profit Tax adopted on 22 December 2008;

– the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 131, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 29, 30 of the Law on Personal Income Tax and on Supplementing the Law with Article 181 adopted on 23 December 2008;

– the Law on Amending Article 1, and Recognising Articles 4 and 5 as No Longer Valid, of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 17 and 21 of the Law on Personal Income Tax and Supplementing the Annex of the Law adopted on 22 December 2008;

– the Law on Recognising the Law on Amending Articles 17 and 20 of the Law on Personal Income Tax as No Longer Valid adopted on 22 December 2008.

  1. While deciding whether the laws, specified in Items 10, 11, 13, 14, 19, 20, 32, 33, 42–44 of the petition, which affected the amount of the 2009 state budget expenditure, in view of the procedure of their entry into force are/were not in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, one needs to note that these laws inter alia reduced some social guarantees and financing of certain spheres; all those laws that affected the amount of the 2009 state budget expenditure came into force on 30 December 2008–1 January 2009 and were applied from the beginning of a new budget year, i.e. as from 1 January 2009.

6.1. It has been mentioned that the purpose of the principles of legal certainty, legal security and protection of legitimate expectations, which arise from the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, is securing the trust of a person in the state and law; the changes in the legal regulation must be made in a manner so that the persons whose legal status is affected by those changes would have a real opportunity to adapt to a new legal situation; while adopting laws establishing duties of or limitations on persons, one must pay heed to a proper vacatio legis arising from the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, i.e. a time period from the official publishing of the law till its entry into force (the beginning of its application), within which the interested persons might be able to prepare themselves to implement the requirements arising from that law.

6.2. It needs to be noted that a deviation from the requirements, which are put forward to the adoption and entry into force of the laws affecting the state budget expenditure and which arise from the Constitution, inter alia from the requirement to provide for a proper vacatio legis, may be justifiable by the aspiration, determining the necessity of urgent and effective decisions to reduce state budget expenditure, to ensure an important public interest—to guarantee the stability of public finances, not to allow the rise of an excessive budget deficit in the state due to an exceptionally difficult economic and financial situation because of the economic crisis.

6.3. It has also been mentioned that the laws affecting the amount of the state budget expenditure, by which one inter alia reduced some social guarantees to persons, were adopted on 18–19, 22–23 December 2008, whilst they came into force on 30 December 2008–1 January 2009 and were applied from the beginning of 2009, i.e. from the beginning of a budget year. Thus, these laws came into force within an especially short period. In addition, one did not establish any later term of the beginning of their application, either.

It has been mentioned that due to an economic crisis, an especially grave economic and financial situation occurred in Lithuania at the second half of 2008.

6.4. It needs to be held that the Seimas adopted the laws, specified in Items 10, 11, 13, 14, 19, 20, 32, 33, 42–44 of the petition, which affected the amount of the 2009 state budget expenditure, while reacting to the situation that had occurred in the state due to the economic crisis and while seeking to ensure an important public interest—to guarantee the stability of public finances and not to allow the rise of an excessive budget deficit. The deviation from the constitutional requirement to provide for a proper vacatio legis is justified by this constitutionally important objective, which outweighed the interest of a person to adjust to the legal regulation establishing certain limitation and which determined the necessity of prompt decisions to reduce the state budget expenditure. Thus, even though one deviated from this constitutional requirement, the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law was not violated.

6.5. While taking account of the arguments set forth, one is to draw a conclusion that the following is/was not in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law:

– the Law on the Basic Size, Applicable in 2009, of the Positional Salary (Remuneration) of State Politicians, Judges, State Officials and State Servants adopted on 19 December 2008;

– the Law on Recognising the Law on Amending Articles 3, 5 and 7 of the Law on the Restoration of Savings of the Population as No Longer Valid adopted on 19 December 2008;

– the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 6, 8, 12, 13, 20 of the Law on Payments for Children and Recognising Article 22 Thereof as No Longer Valid adopted on 19 December 2008;

– the Law on Amending Article 4 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 4, 5, 6 of the Law on State Pensions adopted on 19 December 2008;

– the Law on Amending the Law on Indexation of the Sizes of the Minimum Remuneration for Work, Social Security Payments and of the Basic Size of Punishments and Penalties adopted on 19 December 2008;

– the Law on Amending Article 1 of the Law on State Support to Acquire or Rent a Dwelling and Renovate (Modernise) Multi-Apartment Houses adopted on 22 December 2008;

– the Law on Recognising as No Longer Valid Articles 11 and 15 of the Law on Amending Articles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 of the Law on State Support to Acquire or Rent a Dwelling and Renovate (Modernise) Multi-Apartment Houses and Supplementing the Law with Article 111 adopted on 22 December 2008;

– the Law on Amending Articles 3 and 5 of the Law on the Financing of the Road Maintenance and Development Programme adopted on 23 December 2008;

– the Law on Recognising the Law on Amending Article 10 of the Law on the Financing of the Road Maintenance and Development Programme as No Longer Valid adopted on 23 December 2008;

– the Law on Amending Article 2 of the Law on Amending Article 83 of the Law on Tax Administration adopted on 22 December 2008;

– the Law on Amending Articles 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11 and 14 of the Law on Social Assistance for Pupils adopted on 22 December 2008.

VIII

On the compliance of the 19 February 2009 amendments to the Law on Profit Tax and the Law on Personal Income Tax with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

  1. It has been mentioned that in the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court will investigate inter alia whether the following is not in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law:

– Article 3 of the Law on Supplementing and Amending Articles 12, 401 of the Law on Profit Tax adopted on 19 February 2009 insofar as it provides that the provision of Article 1 this law is applied in calculating the profit tax for the 2009 taxation period;

– the Law on Amending Article 23 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 131, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 29, 30 of the Law on Personal Income Tax and Supplementing the Law with Article 181, adopted on 19 February 2009, insofar as it is provided therein that the provisions of this law are applied in calculating the personal income tax for the 2009 taxation period;

– Article 3 of the Law on Amending Articles 17 and 20 of the Law on Personal Income Tax adopted on 19 February 2009 insofar as it is established therein that the provisions of this law are applied in calculating and declaring the income for the 2009 taxation period.

  1. On 19 February 2009, the Seimas adopted the Law on Supplementing and Amending Articles 12, 401 of the Law on Profit Tax that came into force on 5 March 2009.

2.1. Article 1 of this law supplemented Article 12 “Non-taxable Income” of the Law on Profit Tax with Item 17 which prescribes:

“The following income earned and/or received by a Lithuanian or foreign entity through permanent establishments shall not be taxed: <...>

17) direct and other compensatory payments (in order to maintain the income level) of the amount established by the laws and other legal acts of the Republic of Lithuania, received by entities engaged in agricultural activities.”

Thus, this legal regulation attributed a new type of income—direct and other compensatory payments (in order to maintain the income level) of the amount established by the laws and other legal acts, received by entities engaged in agricultural activities—as non-taxable income.

Article 3 “Application of the Law” of the Law on Supplementing and Amending Articles 12, 401 of the Law on Profit Tax provides that “the provision of Article 1 of this law shall be applied in calculating the profit tax for the 2009 taxation period and subsequent taxation periods”. This law was officially published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” on 5 March 2009. Consequently, having established in Article 3 of the same law that the legal regulation ascribing a new type of income to non-taxable income shall be applicable in calculating the profit tax for the 2009 taxation period, one interfered with the legal relations (related to calculation of the profit tax) of the taxation period that had already started, i.e. one established the retroactive validity of the provision of Article 1 of this law.

It needs to be noted that Article 1 of the Law on Supplementing and Amending Articles 12, 401 of the Law on Profit Tax, upon ascribing a new type of income to non-taxable income, established the legal regulation more favourable to the profit tax payers that receive the income of the said type. In the constitutional justice case at issue there are not any arguments to assert that this legal regulation harmed in any way other subjects of legal relations.

2.2. Article 2 of the Law on Supplementing and Amending Articles 12, 401 of the Law on Profit Tax amended Paragraph 1 of Article 401 “Taxation Applicable to Profit Tax on Profits Distributed to Natural Persons” of the Law on Profit Tax without changing the amount of the profit tax rate established by it, but only by specifying the procedure for taxing, by this tax, the profit tax on profits distributed to natural persons—it had to be applied only to the taxation period that came after the one established by the previous legal regulation, i.e. by distributing the income (or parts thereof) of 2009 and subsequent years.

Thus, while taking account of the fact that this provision was applied only to the taxation period that came after the one established by the previous legal regulation, it needs to be held that one had not established any retroactive validity of the provisions of Article 2 of the Law on Supplementing and Amending Articles 12, 401 of the Law on Profit Tax. Consequently, in the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, the provisions of Article 2 of the Law on Supplementing and Amending Articles 12, 401 of the Law on Profit Tax are not important.

2.3. While deciding whether Article 3 of the Law on Supplementing and Amending Articles 12, 401 of the Law on Profit Tax, insofar as it provides that the provision of Article 1 this law is applied in calculating the profit tax for the 2009 taxation period is not in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, it needs to be noted that, as mentioned before, the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law implies various requirements for the legislator and other subjects of law-making, inter alia the requirement that the validity of legal acts must be prospective; the retroactive validity of laws and other legal acts is not allowed (lex retro non agit), unless the situation of a subject of legal relations could be alleviated without prejudice to other subjects of legal relations (lex benignior retro agit).

Thus, the principle lex retro non agit is not absolute: an exception to this principle is possible, according to which the retroactive validity of legal acts alleviating the situation of subjects of legal relations without prejudice to other subjects of legal relations is allowed. In such a situation the requirement of protection of legitimate expectations, which arises from the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, is not violated.

2.4. It has been mentioned that Article 1 of the Law on Supplementing and Amending Articles 12, 401 of the Law on Profit Tax established the legal regulation more favourable to the profit tax payers that receive the income of a certain type, where the said legal regulation did not prejudice other subjects of legal relations, therefore, when account is taken of the said permissible exception to the constitutional requirement that the validity of legal acts must be prospective, it was allowed to establish the retroactive validity of the aforementioned legal regulation.

Thus, it needs to be held that after Article 3 of the Law on Supplementing and Amending Articles 12, 401 of the Law on Profit Tax had established the retroactive validity of Article 1 of the same law, the requirements arising from the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law were not violated.

2.5. While taking account of the arguments set forth, one is to draw a conclusion that Article 3 of the Law on Supplementing and Amending Articles 12, 401 of the Law on Profit Tax adopted on 19 February 2009 insofar as it provides that the provision of Article 1 of this law is applied in calculating the profit tax for the 2009 taxation period is not in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

  1. On 19 February 2009, the Seimas adopted the Law on Amending Article 23 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 131, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 29, 30 of the Law on Personal Income Tax and Supplementing the Law with Article 181 that came into force on 5 March 2009, which changed Paragraph 3 of Article 23 “Application of the Law” of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 131, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 29, 30 of the Law on Personal Income Tax and Supplementing the Law with Article 181 (hereinafter also referred to as the Law on Amending and Supplementing the Law on Personal Income Tax) that was adopted on 23 December 2008 and came into force on 30 December 2008.

In this context it needs to be mentioned that, after Article 4 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing the Law on Personal Income Tax had amended and newly set forth Article 6 “Income Tax Rates” (wording of 23 December 2008) of the Law on Personal Income Tax, Paragraph 1 of the latter article established the general 15-percent income tax rate. It also needs to be mentioned that after Article 12 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing the Law on Personal Income Tax had amended and newly set forth Article 17 “Non-taxable Income” of the Law on Personal Income Tax (wording of 23 December 2008), Item 51 of Paragraph 1 of the latter article ascribed, to non-taxable income, the payments paid to participants (members) of an entity (co-operative society (co-operative)) by distributing profits of this entity only provided the profits (part thereof) of this entity during the relevant taxation period are taxed by zero-percent profit tax rate. Thus, other payments paid to participants (members) of an entity (co-operative society (co-operative)) in the course of distribution of profits of this entity are not ascribed to income non-taxable by the personal income tax, no special personal income tax rate was established to such other payments, consequently, the general 15-percent rate established in the Law on Personal Income Tax had to be applied with regard to the latter other payments.

3.1. Paragraph 3 (wording of 19 February 2009) of Article 23 “Application of the Law” of the Law on Amending and Supplementing the Law on Personal Income Tax provides:

“3. In 2009 the 5-percent personal income tax, whilst in 2010—the 10-percent personal income tax shall be applied: to the income from sold agricultural produce grown, as well as grown and processed produce on agricultural land possessed by right of ownership, leased or allocated, by legal acts of the Republic of Lithuania, to the individual; to the income received (earned) by farmers and their partners, which, after the entry into force of this law, will be taxed by personal income tax; and to the payments (subject to tax after the entry into force of this law) proportionate to the turnover, paid to participants (members) of an entity (co-operative society (co-operative)) out of profits of this entity, where the said payments were attributed to non-taxable income of population prior to the entry into force of this Law. In the course of the calculation of personal income tax for the 2009 and 2010 taxation periods, the expenses specified in Article 21 of the Law on Personal Income Tax may not be subtracted from the income taxed by the aforesaid rates.”

This law also attributed the payments (which earlier, prior to the entry into force of the Law on Amending and Supplementing the Law on Personal Income Tax on 30 December 2008, used to be ascribed to non-taxable income of population) proportionate to turnover, paid to participants (members) of an entity (co-operative society (co-operative)) out of profits of this entity, to the income to which the reduced 5-percent and 10-percent personal income tax rates, but not the general 15-percent personal income tax rate, were applicable in 2009 and 2010.

3.2. In this context it needs to be noted that, as it is clear from the explanatory note to a draft Law on Amending Article 23 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 131, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 29, 30 of the Law on Personal Income Tax and Supplementing the Law with Article 181, by this law one was seeking to achieve a situation, where the same transitional legal regulation providing for reduced personal income tax rates might be applied to the payments (which, prior to the entry into force of the Law on Amending and Supplementing the Law on Personal Income Tax on 30 December 2008, used to be ascribed to non-taxable income of population, whilst upon its entry into force—to taxable income) proportionate to turnover, received by participants (members) of an entity (co-operative society (co-operative)), as the legal regulation established with respect to other income received from agricultural activities, which were ascribed to income subject to personal income tax by the Law on Amending and Supplementing the Law on Personal Income Tax.

It also needs to be noted that, under the previously valid provisions of the Law on Amending and Supplementing the Law on Personal Income Tax, the transitional legal regulation of taxation by personal income tax (according to which, the 5-percent personal income tax rate was applied in 2009, whereas, in 2010, the 10-percent personal income tax rate was applied) encompassed only the agricultural activity income received by the individual by conducting agricultural activity himself, however, the transitional legal regulation did not encompass the payments received by the individual in proportion to turnover of a co-operative society (co-operative) conducting agricultural activity and also attributed as from 2009 to income subject to taxation.

Thus, under the previously valid legal regulation, with regard to the said payments proportionate to turnover, paid out of profits of a co-operative society (co-operative) to participants (members) of this entity, the general 15-percent personal tax income rate was to be applied, but not the corresponding 5- and 10-percent personal tax income rate in 2009 and 2010.

3.3. It needs to be noted that the Law on Amending Article 23 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 131, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 29, 30 of the Law on Personal Income Tax and Supplementing the Law with Article 181 was officially published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” on 5 March 2009. Consequently, after this law had attributed the payments proportionate to turnover, paid to participants (members) of an entity (co-operative society (co-operative)) out of profits of this entity, to the income to which, in the course of the calculation of the personal income tax of the 2009 taxation period, the reduced 5-percent personal income tax rate is applicable, one interfered with the legal relations (linked to the calculation of the personal income tax) of the period that had already started, i.e. one established the retroactive validity of the provisions of the law.

It needs to be noted that after the Law on Amending Article 23 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 131, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 29, 30 of the Law on Personal Income Tax and Supplementing the Law with Article 181 had attributed the said payments paid to participants (members) of an entity (co-operative society (co-operative)) out of profits of this entity, to the income to which, in the course of the calculation of the personal income tax of the 2009 taxation period, the reduced 5-percent personal income tax rate is applicable, one established the legal regulation more favourable to the personal tax payers that receive the income of the said type. In the constitutional justice case at issue there are not any arguments to assert that this legal regulation harmed in any way other subjects of legal relations.

3.4. While deciding whether the Law on Amending Article 23 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 131, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 29, 30 of the Law on Personal Income Tax and Supplementing the Law with Article 181, insofar as it is provided therein that the provisions of this law are applied in calculating the personal income tax for the 2009 taxation period, is not in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, one needs to note that, as mentioned before, the imperative arising from the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law that the retroactive validity of laws and other legal acts is not allowed (lex retro non agit), is not absolute: an exception to this principle is possible, according to which the retroactive validity of legal acts alleviating the situation of subjects of legal relations without prejudice to other subjects of legal relations is allowed.

3.5. It has been mentioned that the Law on Amending Article 23 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 131, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 29, 30 of the Law on Personal Income Tax and Supplementing the Law with Article 181 consolidated the legal regulation more favourable to the personal tax payers that receive the income of a certain type, the said legal regulation did not prejudice any other subjects of legal relations, therefore, when account is taken of the said permissible exception to the constitutional requirement that the validity of legal acts must be prospective, it was allowed to establish the retroactive validity of the aforementioned legal regulation.

Thus, it needs to be held that after the Law on Amending Article 23 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 131, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 29, 30 of the Law on Personal Income Tax and Supplementing the Law with Article 181 had established the retroactive validity of its provisions, the requirements arising from the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law were not violated.

3.6. While taking account of the arguments set forth, one is to draw a conclusion that the Law on Amending Article 23 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 131, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 29, 30 of the Law on Personal Income Tax and Supplementing the Law with Article 181, adopted on 19 February 2009, insofar as it is provided therein that the provisions of this law are applied in calculating the personal income tax for the 2009 taxation period, is not in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

  1. On 19 February 2009, the Seimas adopted the Law on Amending Articles 17 and 20 of the Law on Personal Income Tax that came into force on 5 March 2009. Paragraphs 5, 6 of Article 2 of the said law amended correspondingly Paragraphs 6, 7 of Article 20 (wording of 23 December 2008) of the Law on Personal Income Tax and set forth those paragraphs as follows:

“6. The applicable TEA [tax-exempt amount] shall be LTL 800 per month for persons whose incapacity to work has been rated at 0–25 percent, or persons in the old age retirement group rated as having high-level special needs in accordance with the procedure prescribed by legal acts, or persons who have been rated as severely disabled in accordance with the procedure prescribed by legal acts. The applicable TEA shall be LTL 600 per month for persons whose capacity for work has been rated at 30–55 percent or persons in the old age retirement group rated as having medium-level or low-level special needs in accordance with the procedure prescribed by legal acts, or persons who have been rated as moderately or slightly disabled in accordance with the procedure prescribed by legal acts. Upon appearance or expiry of the right to the amount of the TEA per month, the application of this amount shall be started or stopped from the income received the next month from the appearance or expiry of the right to the said amount. The sum of the ANTEA [annual tax-exempt amount of income] applicable to the individuals specified in this Paragraph shall be equal to the sum of the TEA applicable during the months of a corresponding taxation period according to the provisions of this Paragraph, by also adding the part of the ANTEA calculated for those individuals under Paragraph 1 of this Article, in proportion to the number of the taxation period’s months, when they did not have the right to the TEA according to the provisions of this Paragraph.

  1. The AII [annual income of an individual] shall be equal to the sum (without subtracting the expenses specified in Article 21 of this Law and the ANTEA applicable to the individual, as well as the annual additional non-taxable amount of income (hereinafter—the ANATEA) of a taxation period’s taxable income of an individual, save the payments paid upon expiry or cancellation of a life insurance or pension accumulation agreement, not exceeding the amount of the paid contributions.”

Paragraph 6 (wording of 19 February 2009) of Article 20 of the Law on Personal Income Tax established bigger amounts of non-taxable income applicable to persons to whom a certain level of capacity of work or disability had been established, or persons in the old age retirement group rated as having a certain level special needs, and established the procedure for calculation of the annual amount of non-taxable income. Paragraph 7 (wording of 19 February 2009) of the same article established the procedure for calculation of the annual income of an individual, inter alia the fact that only the taxation period’s taxable income of an individual is included into the annual income of an individual; under the previously valid legal regulation, in the course of calculation of the annual income of an individual also certain non-taxable income used to be included.

4.1. In this context it needs to be noted that, as it is clear from the explanatory note to the draft Law on Amending Articles 17 and 20 of the Law on Personal Income Tax, by this law one was aspiring to establish a bigger amount of non-taxable income for disabled individuals, by reducing the tax burden falling upon their remuneration for work, also to establish that the annual income of an individual determining the annual amount of non-taxable income applicable to him would equal only to the sum of his taxable income, whereas his non-taxable income would not be included into the annual income of the individual.

4.2. It needs to be noted that other provisions of the Law on Amending Articles 17 and 20 of the Law on Personal Income Tax made amendments to the Law on Personal Income Tax that are not essential in in the context of the constitutional justice case at issue.

4.3. Article 3 “Application of the Law” of the Law on Amending Articles 17 and 20 of the Law on Personal Income Tax prescribes that “this Law shall be applicable in calculating an declaring the income of 2009 and subsequent taxation periods”. This law was officially published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” on 5 March 2009. Consequently, having established in Article 3 of the same law that the legal regulation consolidating non-taxable income amounts for certain categories of persons and changing the procedure for calculation of the annual income of an individual is also applicable in calculating and declaring the income of the 2009 taxation period, one interfered with the legal relations (related to calculation and declaration of income of individuals) of the taxation period that had already started, i.e. one established the retroactive validity of the provisions of the law.

It needs to be noted that after the Law on Amending Articles 17 and 20 of the Law on Personal Income Tax had increased the amounts of non-taxable income applicable to persons rated as having a certain level of capacity of work or disability and to persons of old-age retirement group rated as having a certain level special needs, the legal regulation more favourable with regard to the said persons was established; having established that, in the course of the calculation of the annual income of an individual determining the annual amount of non-taxable income applicable to the individual, his non-taxable income is no longer included into the annual income, thus, the legal regulation more favourable to the personal income tax payers was established. In the constitutional justice case at issue there are not any arguments to assert that this legal regulation harmed in any way other subjects of legal relations.

4.4. While deciding whether Article 3 of the Law on Amending Articles 17 and 20 of the Law on Personal Income Tax, insofar as it established therein that the provisions of this law are applied in calculating and declaring the income for the 2009 taxation period, is not in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, one needs to note that, as mentioned before, the imperative arising from the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law that the retroactive validity of laws and other legal acts is not allowed (lex retro non agit), is not absolute: an exception to this principle is possible, according to which the retroactive validity of legal acts alleviating the situation of subjects of legal relations without prejudice to other subjects of legal relations is allowed.

4.5. It has been mentioned that the Law on Amending Articles 17 and 20 of the Law on Personal Income Tax established the legal regulation more favourable to the personal income tax payers, where the said legal regulation did not prejudice other subjects of legal relations, therefore, when account is taken of the said permissible exception to the constitutional requirement that the validity of legal acts must be prospective, it was allowed to establish the retroactive validity of the aforementioned legal regulation.

Thus, it needs to be held that after Article 3 of the Law on Amending Articles 17 and 20 of the Law on Personal Income Tax had established the retroactive validity of its provisions, the requirements arising from the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law were not violated.

4.6. While taking account of the arguments set forth, one is to draw a conclusion that Article 3 of the Law on Amending Articles 17 and 20 of the Law on Personal Income Tax adopted on 19 February 2009, insofar as it established therein that the provisions of this law are applied in calculating and declaring the income for the 2009 taxation period, is not in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

IX

On the compliance of Item 1 of Paragraph 1 of Article 4 (wording of 19 December 2008) the Law on State Social Insurance with Articles 23, 29 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law and on the compliance of Paragraphs 3, 5 of the same article, as well as Item 8 (wording of 18 December 2008) of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions and Paragraph 3 (wording of 18 December 2008) of Article 4 of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance with Article 23 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

  1. It has been mentioned that in this constitutional justice case the Constitutional Court will investigate inter alia:

– the compliance of Item 1 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Law on State Social Insurance, insofar as it established that the persons who are related to the insurance payer by employment relations or relations corresponding to the essence of the latter, who at the same time receive from this insurance payer income from sports activities, performing activities or under authors’ agreements, shall be covered on a compulsory basis by state social insurance of all types as established in that law, with Articles 23, 29 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the compliance of Paragraph 3 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Article 4 of the Law on State Social Insurance insofar as it established that some self-employed persons, including farmers and their partners, shall be covered on a compulsory basis by social insurance for a pension to receive the main and supplementary parts of the pension, by sickness and maternity social insurance, where a person is insured to receive only the maternity, paternity and maternity (paternity) payments, with Article 23 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the compliance of Paragraph 5 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Article 4 of the Law on State Social Insurance with Article 23 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the compliance of Item 8 (wording of 18 December 2008) of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, insofar as it provided that farmers and their partners, as they are defined by the Law on State Social Insurance, shall be covered on a compulsory basis by state social insurance for a pension, with Article 23 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the compliance of Paragraph 3 (wording of 18 December 2008) of Article 4 of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance with Article 23 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

  1. It needs to be mentioned that the Law on State Social Insurance, whose certain provisions are impugned by the petitioner, established inter alia types of state social insurance, categories of the persons covered by state social insurance, as well as principles and structure of the state social insurance management system (Paragraph 1 of Article 1).

2.1. Article 3 “Types of Social Insurance” (wording of 6 June 2006) of the Law on State Social Insurance provides that persons may be covered by state social insurance of five different types: pension, sickness and maternity, unemployment, occupational accidents and occupational diseases, health; Paragraph 1 (wording of 11 November 2008) of Article 4 “Persons Covered by Social Insurance According to the Types of Social Insurance” of the same law established a final list of persons covered on a compulsory basis by all said types of state social insurance.

2.2. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue it needs to be noted that:

– under Paragraph 3 (wording of 11 November 2008) of Article 4 of the Law on State Social Insurance, all self-employed persons (to whom, according to Paragraph 8 (wording of 20 December 2007) of Article 2, farmers and their partners were not ascribed), with the exception of the persons engaged in individual activities under business certificates, shall be covered on a compulsory basis only by state social insurance for a pension to receive the main part of the pension, whereas those whose annual aggregate amount of income was equal to or exceeded the amount of 12 minimum monthly salaries, used to be additionally covered by social insurance for a pension to receive a supplementary part of the pension;

– under the Law on State Social Insurance, persons receiving income from royalties (Item 9 of Paragraph 1 of Article 8 (wording of 20 December 2007)), as well as sportsmen and performers, used not to be covered by compulsory state social insurance at all.

2.3. On 19 December 2008, the Seimas adopted the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 29, 31 of the Law on State Social Insurance that came into force on 1 January 2009, whereby some provisions impugned by the petitioner were consolidated.

2.4. The impugned Item 1 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Law on State Social Insurance prescribed: “The following persons shall be covered on a compulsory basis by social insurance of the types specified in Article 3 of this Law: the persons employed under employment contracts, notary candidates (assessors), the persons receiving remuneration for work and holding, on the basis of membership, elected posts or appointed to constituency, town, region and polling district electoral and referendum commissions, also the persons who are linked with the insurance payer by employment relations or by the relations in their essence corresponding to employment relations in the same manner as these relations are defined in the Law on Personal Income Tax and who at the same time receive from this insurance payer income from sports activities, performing activities or under authors’ agreements.”

2.4.1. The impugned Paragraph 3 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Article 4 of the Law on State Social Insurance prescribed: “Self-employed persons, with the exception of the persons engaged in individual activities under business certificates, advocates, advocates’ assistants, notaries, bailiffs shall be covered on a compulsory basis by social insurance for a pension to receive the main and supplementary parts of the pension (Item 1 of Article 3 of this Law), by sickness and maternity social insurance, where a person is insured to receive only the maternity, paternity and maternity (paternity) payments (Item 2 of Article 3 of this Law). Advocates, advocates’ assistants, notaries, bailiffs shall be covered on a compulsory basis only by social insurance for a pension to receive the main and supplementary parts of the pension (Item 1 of Article 3 of this Law).”

In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue it needs to be mentioned that Paragraph 8 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance established that inter alia farmers and their partners, as they were defined by that law, were to be regarded as self-employed persons.

2.4.2. The impugned Paragraph 5 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Article 4 of the Law on State Social Insurance prescribed: “Permanent residents of the Republic of Lithuania, who receive income under authors’ agreements from the insurance payer with which they are not linked by employment relations or by the relations in their essence corresponding to employment relations in the same manner as these relations are defined in the Law on Personal Income Tax shall be covered on a compulsory basis by social insurance for a pension to receive the main and supplementary parts of the pension (Item 1 of Article 3 of this Law), by sickness and maternity social insurance (Item 2 of Article 3 of this Law) and by health insurance (Item 5 of Article 3 of this Law). Permanent residents of the Republic of Lithuania who receive income from sports activities or from performing activities, as these notions are defined in the Law on Personal Income Tax, from the insurance payer with which they are not linked by employment relations or by the relations in their essence corresponding to employment relations in the same manner as these relations are defined in the Law on Personal Income Tax shall be covered on a compulsory basis by social insurance for a pension to receive the main and supplementary parts of the pension (Item 1 of Article 3 of this Law), by sickness and maternity social insurance, where a person is insured to receive only the maternity, paternity and maternity (paternity) payments (Item 2 of Article 3 of this Law) and by health insurance (Item 5 of Article 3 of this Law).”

2.5. To summarise the said legal regulation (impugned by the petitioner) consolidated in the Law on State Social Insurance, it needs to be noted that:

1) upon enlarging the circle of persons covered by state social insurance on a compulsory basis, some of the persons, who had not been covered by state social insurance until then, began to be covered by this type of insurance on a compulsory basis and a duty was established for them to pay corresponding state social insurance contributions:

– under Item 1 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Paragraph 1 of Article 4, the persons who receive income under authors’ agreements, or from sports activities, or from performing activities, where they were not linked with the insurance payer by employment relations or by the relations in their essence corresponding to employment relations in the same manner as these relations are defined in the Law on Personal Income Tax (hereinafter referred to as the employment relations), began to be covered on a compulsory basis by state social insurance of all types as established in this law;

– under Paragraph 3 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Article 4, farmers and their partners (upon ascribing them to self-employed persons by Paragraph 8 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Article 2) began to be covered on a compulsory basis for the main and supplementary parts of the pension, by sickness and maternity social insurance, where a person is insured to receive only the maternity, paternity and maternity (paternity) payments;

– under Paragraph 5 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Article 4, the persons who receive income under authors’ agreements, or from sports activities, or from performing activities, where they were not linked with the insurance payer by employment relations, began to be covered on a compulsory basis by social insurance for a pension to receive the main and supplementary parts of the pension, by health insurance, also, those who receive income under authors’ agreements—by sickness and maternity social insurance, or, those who receive income from sports activities or from performing activities—by insurance of this type, where a person is insured to receive only the maternity, paternity and maternity (paternity) payments;

2) some self-employed persons began to be covered on a compulsory basis by state social insurance of certain types and a duty was established for them to pay state social insurance additional contributions: under Paragraph 3 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Article 4, some self-employed persons (irrespective of the amount of their income, with the exception of the persons engaged in individual activities under business certificates, advocates, advocates’ assistants, notaries, bailiffs) began to be covered on a compulsory basis by social insurance for a pension to receive only the main part, but also a supplementary part of the pension, as well by sickness and maternity social insurance, where a person is insured to receive only the maternity, paternity and maternity (paternity) payments;

3) while account is taken of the fact whether they are linked with the insurance payer by employment relations, different extent of state social insurance is established to persons who receive income under authors’ agreements, or from sports activities, or from performing activities: under Item 1 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Paragraph 1 of Article 4, if it is construed in connection with Paragraph 5 of Article 4, persons who receive income under authors’ agreements, or from sports activities, or from performing activities, provided they are linked with the insurance payer by employment relations, are covered on a compulsory basis by state social insurance of all types as established in this law, whilst provided they are not linked with the insurance payer by employment relations, they are covered by insurance of lesser extent, i.e. they are not covered by social insurance against unemployment, occupational accidents and occupational diseases.

  1. It has been mentioned that the petitioner doubts whether the impugned legal regulation is correspondingly not in conflict with Articles 23, 29 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

3.1. Article 23 of the Constitution enshrines inviolability of property and its protection.

The Constitutional Court has held that the constitutional imperative of social harmony, the constitutional principles of justice, reasonableness and proportionality, as well as other provisions of the Constitution, imply that the inviolability of property and protection of subjective rights of ownership which are entrenched in the Constitution cannot be interpreted as grounds for opposing the right and interests of the owner to the public interest, as well as opposing them to the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of other persons (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 13 May 2005 and 14 March 2006).

The Constitutional Court has also held more than once that, under the Constitution, the right of ownership is not absolute, it can be limited by law due to the character of the object of ownership, due to committed deeds that are contrary to law, and/or due to the need which is necessary to the society and constitutionally grounded; when one limits the rights of ownership, in all cases the following conditions must be followed: it may be limited only by invoking the law; the limitations must be necessary in a democratic society in order to protect the rights and freedoms of other persons, the values established in the Constitution and the objectives which are necessary to society and which are constitutionally important; one must pay heed to the principle of proportionality (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of inter alia 21 December 2000, 14 March 2006, 10 April 2009 and 8 June 2009), under which the measures provided for in laws must be in line with the objectives sought, which are necessary to society and which are constitutionally justified (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 31 January 2011).

3.2. In Article 29 of the Constitution the principle of equality of rights of persons is entrenched. The Constitutional Court, while construing the provisions of this article, has held more than once that the constitutional principle of equality of all persons before the law requires that in law the main rights and duties be established equally to all; the constitutional principle of equality of persons before the law means the innate right of a human being to be treated equally with the others and obliges to assess the homogenous facts in the same manner and prohibits to arbitrarily assess the facts, which are the same in essence, in a different manner; the constitutional principle of equality of persons does not deny a possibility to provide, by means a law, for a different legal regulation in respect to certain categories of persons who are in different situations.

It needs to be noted that the constitutional principle of equality of persons before the law would be violated if certain persons or groups thereof were treated in a different manner, even though there are not any differences in their character and extent between these groups that such an uneven treatment could be objectively justified (inter alia the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 27 February 2012, 29 June 2012 and 14 December 2012).

The principle of equality of persons which is entrenched in the Constitution, inter alia Article 29 thereof, is inseparable from the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, which is a universal principle upon which the entire Lithuanian legal system and the Constitution itself are based (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 28 May 2010).

3.3. The Constitutional Court has also held more than once that one of the elements of the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law is the constitutional principle of proportionality, which means that the measures provided for in a law must be in line with the legitimate objectives that are important to society, that these measures must be necessary in order to reach the said objectives, and that these measures must not restrain the rights and freedoms of the person clearly more than necessary in order to reach the said objectives (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of inter alia 17 September 2008, 31 January 2011 and 29 June 2012).

3.4. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, in which inter alia the legal regulation related to compulsory social insurance is investigated and assessed, it needs to be mentioned that in its acts the Constitutional Court has held more than once that the provisions of Article 52 of the Constitution express the social character of the state; under the Constitution, every citizen has the right to social security; the social maintenance, i.e. contribution of the society to maintenance of such its members who are incapable of providing themselves from work or other means or who are not sufficiently provided, is recognised as having the status of a constitutional value (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of inter alia 19 April 2008, 2 September 2009 and 14 December 2010); the state must create such a system of social maintenance, which would assist in maintaining conditions of living in line with human dignity, and, if necessary, provide a person with the necessary social security (inter alia the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 26 September 2007, the decision of 20 April 2010 and the ruling of 6 February 2012).

3.4.1. The Constitutional Court has held that the content of the legal regulation of the relations of social security and social assistance is determined by various factors, inter alia by resources and by material and financial possibilities of the state and society. The legislator, while paying heed to the Constitution, enjoys broad discretion in regulating the said relations (inter alia the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 26 September 2007, the decision of 20 April 2010 and the ruling of 29 June 2012).

3.4.2. The Constitutional Court has also held that the purpose of social insurance is to provide persons with funds and services necessary for living if, for reasons established by law, they are unable to subsist on their earned income or other income, or for valid reasons established by law, they have additional expenses (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 12 March 1997). The purpose of the designed social insurance system is not only to pay social insurance pensions and benefits but, first of all, to collect all the means provided by the law (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 12 March 1997). The provisions of Article 52 of the Constitution, which guarantee the right of the citizens to pensionary maintenance and social assistance, imply the duty of the legislator to establish such a legal regulation that would create preconditions for the state to implement its constitutional obligation to guarantee the citizens’ right to social security and would ensure the accumulation of funds that are necessary for pensions and social assistance, as well as the payment of these pensions and rendering of social assistance (inter alia the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 13 December 2004 and 22 October 2007, the decision of 20 April 2010). Otherwise, the duty assigned to the state to establish sufficient means for the implementation and legal defence of the rights entrenched in the Constitution would not be realised (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 3 December 2003).

3.4.3. The legal regulation should create preconditions to distribute among members of society (of course, by taking account inter alia of the constitutional principle of solidarity, the constitutional imperatives of social harmony and justice) the corresponding burden that has fallen upon the state, however, it must be distributed in such a manner that the fulfilment of the duty to pay state social insurance contributions would not become an overly heavy burden and the person, due to the fact that he is fulfilling this duty, would not become the one who needs social assistance himself (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 26 September 2007 and 22 October 2007). While the duty is being established to working persons (those who pursue active economic activities) to pay state social insurance contributions, various conditions are possible, which determine the appearance of this duty, as well as various criteria defining these conditions are possible. It goes without saying, it is also possible to relate the payment of state social insurance contributions with the fact that the person receives the insured income and it is possible to establish, by means of a law, the corresponding minimum size of such income (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 26 September 2007).

  1. The petitioner substantiates its doubts regarding the compliance of Item 1 of Paragraph 1, Paragraph 3 (in the specified aspects), Paragraph 5 of Article 4 of the Law on State Social Insurance with Article 23 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law inter alia by the fact that the state is not allowed to obligate authors, sportsmen, performers, farmers and their partners, and some other self-employed persons to participate in the system of state social insurance and be covered by this insurance or certain types of this insurance. According to the petitioner, the work of such persons is irregular and unpredictable, the income received by them is not stable, therefore, the compulsory insurance conflicts with the essence of the legal notion of social insurance itself; having established the compulsory state social insurance for persons of the said categories, the state unreasonably redistributes their income, thus, it does so in violation of Article 23 of the Constitution.
  2. While deciding whether the provisions (impugned by the petitioner) of Article 4 of the Law on State Social Insurance are not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law in the aspect that these provisions limited the right of persons to ownership, one needs to assess whether the impugned legal regulation, whereby, as mentioned before, persons of certain categories, who had not been covered by state social insurance until then, began to be covered by this insurance on a compulsory basis and a duty was established for them to pay state social insurance contributions, also, some self-employed persons began to be covered on a compulsory basis by a certain type of this insurance and a duty was established for them to pay state social insurance additional contributions, was seeking to ensure the need that was necessary for society and was constitutionally grounded, also, whether it was done by observing other requirements arising from the Constitution.

5.1. It has been mentioned that the impugned Item 1 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Law on State Social Insurance inter alia established that the persons who received income under authors’ agreements, or from sports activities, or from performing activities, who had not been covered by state social insurance until then, where they were linked with the insurance payer by employment relations, began to be covered on a compulsory basis by social insurance of all types as established in the same law, whereas Paragraph 5 (wording of 19 December 2008) of the said article provides that that the persons who received income under authors’ agreements, or from sports activities, or from performing activities, who had not been covered by state social insurance until then, where they were not linked with the insurance payer by employment relations, began to be covered on a compulsory basis by social insurance for a pension to receive the main and supplementary parts of the pension, by health insurance, as well as by sickness and maternity social insurance (authors) or by insurance of the same type, where a person is insured to receive only the maternity, paternity and maternity (paternity) payments (sportsmen and performers).

It has also been mentioned that the impugned Paragraph 3 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Article 4 of the Law on State Social Insurance inter alia established that some self-employed persons, including farmers and their partners (subsequent to Paragraph 8 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Article 2), shall be covered on a compulsory basis by social insurance for a pension to receive the main and supplementary parts of the pension, by sickness and maternity social insurance, where a person is insured to receive only the maternity, paternity and maternity (paternity) payments.

Thus, as mentioned before, after the impugned legal regulation, with regard to persons who received income under authors’ agreements, or from sports activities, or from performing activities, farmers and their partners, as well as some self-employed persons, i.e. with regard those categories of persons who had not been covered on a compulsory basis by any state social insurance or by certain types of this insurance until then, had established a duty to pay corresponding state social insurance contributions, the circle of the persons that had been covered by state social insurance on a compulsory basis, or the persons that had been covered by this insurance, but began to be covered on a compulsory basis by state social insurance of certain types, was enlarged.

5.1.1. In this ruling it has been mentioned that the provisions of Article 52 of the Constitution express the social character of the state, whilst the social maintenance is recognised as having the status of a constitutional value; under the Constitution, every citizen has the right to social security. It has also been mentioned that the purpose of social insurance is to provide persons with funds and services necessary for living if, for reasons established by law, they are unable to subsist on their earned income or other income. It has also been mentioned that the provisions of Article 52 of the Constitution imply the duty of the legislator to establish such legal regulation that would create preconditions for the state to implement its constitutional obligation to guarantee the citizens’ right to social security and would ensure the accumulation of funds that are necessary for pensions and social assistance, as well as the payment of these pensions and rendering of social assistance; the said legal regulation should create preconditions to distribute among members of society (of course, by taking account inter alia of the constitutional principle of solidarity, the constitutional imperatives of social harmony and justice) the corresponding burden that has fallen upon the state, however, it must be distributed in such a manner that the fulfilment of the duty to pay state social insurance contributions would not become an overly heavy burden for a person; The legislator, while heeding the Constitution, in the course of regulation of relations of social security and social assistance has broad discretion.

5.1.2. In this context it needs to be noted that the persons who received income under authors’ agreements, or from sports activities, or from performing activities, farmers and their partners, as well as some self-employed persons, who had not had to participate in the system of state social insurance or to insure themselves by certain types of this insurance on a compulsory basis until then, enjoy, under the Constitution the right to social security. Consequently, the legislator, while making use of its discretion to regulate social security relations and assessing all circumstances, inter alia the fact that the persons of the said categories are an economically active part of society and can contribute to the creation of the social security system, when establishing, by means of the impugned legal regulation, a duty to pay social insurance contributions, was seeking to implement the duty of the state that arises from the Constitution to guarantee the right to social security of authors, sportsmen, performers, farmers and their partners, and some other self-employed persons, inter alia their right to receive the pensions and other social maintenance payments as established in the Constitution. It also needs to be noted that by such legal regulation the legislator, alongside, implemented the imperatives of social solidarity, social harmony and justice, according to which the burden of social security falling upon the state is distributed among all members of society, and sought to ensure the accumulation of funds necessary for payment of pensions and social assistance.

Consequently, while establishing, in Paragraph 3 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Article 4 of the Law on State Social Insurance, a duty of some self-employed persons, including farmers and their partners, to insure themselves on a compulsory basis by state social insurance (by social insurance for a pension to receive the main and supplementary parts of the pension, as well as by sickness and maternity social insurance, where a person is insured to receive only the maternity, paternity and maternity (paternity) payments), i.e. while establishing a duty to pay corresponding state social insurance contributions, while establishing, in Item 1 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Paragraph 1 and Paragraph 5 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Article 4, a duty of persons who receive income under authors’ agreements, or from sports activities, or from performing activities, to insure themselves on a compulsory basis by state social insurance of all types as established in this law, where those persons are linked with the insurance payer by employment relations, or by state social insurance of certain types, where those persons are not linked with the insurance payer by employment relations, i.e. while establishing a duty to pay corresponding state social insurance contributions, the legislator secured an objective that was necessary for society and was constitutionally grounded—to guarantee the constitutional right to social security, the right to receive the pensions and other payments of social maintenance (inter alia during maternity and paternity leave) as established in the Constitution, and the rendition of proper social assistance in the situations where those persons are unable to subsist themselves, or, for reasons established by law, they have additional expenses. While seeking to achieve these objectives, the legislator was obliged to establish such legal regulation so that one would secure the accumulation of the funds necessary for paying such social payments.

Thus, there are no grounds to assert that the disputed legal regulation violated Article 23 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

5.1.3. While taking account of the arguments set forth, one is to draw a conclusion that Item 1 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Law on State Social Insurance, insofar as it established that the persons who are related to the insurance payer by employment relations or relations corresponding to the essence of the latter, who at the same time receive from this insurance payer income from sports activities, performing activities or under authors’ agreements, shall be covered on a compulsory basis by state social insurance of all types as established in that law, Paragraph 3 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Article 4 of the same law, insofar as it established that some self-employed persons, including farmers and their partners, shall be covered on a compulsory basis by social insurance for a pension to receive the main and supplementary parts of the pension, by sickness and maternity social insurance, where a person is insured to receive only the maternity, paternity and maternity (paternity) payments, and Paragraph 5 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Article 4 of the same law were not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

5.2. It has been mentioned that the petitioner doubts the compliance of inter alia Item 1 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Law on State Social Insurance, in view of the aspect specified by the petitioner, with Article 29 of the Constitution.

The doubts of the petitioner are substantiated by the fact that, upon establishing different extent of state social insurance for persons who receive income under authors’ agreements, or from sports activities, or from performing activities, in connection with the fact whether they are linked with the insurance payer by employment relations, the principle of equality of rights of persons was violated.

5.2.1. In this Constitutional Court’s ruling it has been mentioned that the content of the legal regulation of the relations of social security and social assistance is determined by various factors, inter alia by resources and by material and financial possibilities of the state and society, therefore, the legislator, while regulating these relations, enjoys broad discretion. While regulating them, the legislator must pay heed to the Constitution. It has also been mentioned that while guaranteeing social security to persons and while the duty is being established to working persons (those who pursue active economic activities) to pay state social insurance contributions, various conditions which determine the appearance of this duty, as well as various criteria defining these conditions, are possible.

5.2.2. It has also been mentioned that the constitutional principle of equality of persons does not deny a possibility to provide, by means of a law, for a different legal regulation in respect to certain categories of persons who are in different situations; this principle would be violated if certain persons or groups thereof were treated in a different manner, even though there are not any differences in their character and extent between these groups that such an uneven treatment could be objectively justified.

5.2.3. As mentioned before, under impugned Item 1 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Law on State Social Insurance, the persons who received income under authors’ agreements, or from sports activities, or from performing activities, where they are linked with the insurance payer by employment relations, are covered on a compulsory basis by social insurance of the types as established in the same law. It has also been mentioned that, under Paragraph 5 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Article 4 of the Law on State Social Insurance, those persons, where they are not linked with the insurance payer by employment relations, are covered on a compulsory basis by social insurance for a pension to receive the main and supplementary parts of the pension, by health insurance, as well as correspondingly by sickness and maternity social insurance, or by sickness and maternity social insurance, where a person is insured to receive only the maternity, paternity and maternity (paternity) payments, i.e. those persons, differently from the authors, sportsmen and performers who are linked with the insurance payer by employment relations, are not covered by social insurance against unemployment, occupational accidents and occupational diseases.

Thus, while account is taken of the fact whether they are linked with the insurance payer by employment relations, different extent of state social insurance is established to persons who receive income under authors’ agreements, or from sports activities, or from performing activities: the said persons who are linked with the insurance payer by employment relations are covered by insurance of larger extent than the same persons who are not linked with the insurance payer by employment relations.

5.2.4. In this context it needs to be noted that the legal situation of persons who receive income under authors’ agreements, or from sports activities, or from performing activities, where they are linked with the insurance payer by employment relations, is different in essence from the legal situation of persons who receive income under authors’ agreements, or from sports activities, or from performing activities, who work under separate agreements and are not linked with the insurance payer by employment relations, inter alia it is different by the fact that the work of the authors, sportsmen and performers linked with the insurance payer by employment relations is characteristic of continuity and stability, whereas the activity in their capacity of an author, sportsman or performer conducted together with the same employer is to be treated as an additional activity of the same character; meanwhile, the activity of persons who receive income under authors’ agreements, or from sports activities, or from performing activities, where they are not linked with the insurance payer by employment relations, is to be treated as a one-time activity which is not characteristic of continuity and/or stability.

5.2.5. It needs to be mentioned that, under Articles 2 and 5 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on Unemployment Social Insurance (wording of 16 December 2003 with subsequent amendments and supplements), unemployment social insurance compensates persons covered by this type of insurance for their loss of income (part thereof) due to unemployment. Under Articles 2 and 4 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on Social Insurance Against Occupational Accidents and Occupational Diseases (wording of 11 November 2003 with subsequent amendments and supplements), social insurance against occupational accidents and occupational diseases compensates persons insured by this type of social insurance for the loss of income incurred due to insured events (occupational accidents, accidents on the way to/from work, or occupational diseases), who receive remuneration for work or service or are doing professional practical training in an establishment or an enterprise.

Thus, while taking account of the aforesaid purpose of unemployment social insurance and social insurance against occupational accidents and occupational diseases to compensate the said non-received income, it is expedient that the persons who receive income under authors’ agreements, or from sports activities, or from performing activities, where they are linked with the insurance payer by employment relations that are characteristic of continuity and stability, unlike the persons who receive the same income, but are not linked with the insurance payer by employment relations, should be covered by state social insurance of the said types.

5.2.6. In this context it also needs to be noted that it is clear from the explanatory note to the draft Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 29, 31 of the Law on State Social Insurance adopted on 18 December 2008 that one of the aims of the legislator in establishing the impugned legal regulation was an aspiration to stop the widespread practice, where, in order to evade state social insurance contributions that are paid by the employees having a regular job under employment contracts, in addition to remuneration for work, royalties are paid to persons who are linked with the insurance payer by employment relations.

5.2.7. It needs to be held that, while enjoying the discretion to regulate the relations of social security and social assistance, while seeking to put a stop to dishonest payment of state social insurance contributions, while taking account of the fact that persons who receive income under authors’ agreements, or from sports activities, or from performing activities, and who, in addition, work under employment contract for the same employer, i.e. they are linked with the insurance payer by employment relations, and persons who receive income under authors’ agreements, or from sports activities, or from performing activities, when they are not linked with the ordering customer, belong to categories of persons that are different in substance, the legislator reasonably treated these groups of persons as being in different legal situations and with their respect could establish different legal regulation.

Thus, there are no grounds to assert that the impugned Item 1 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Law on State Social Insurance, according to which larger extent of compulsory social insurance was established to persons who receive income under authors’ agreements, or from sports activities, or from performing activities, who were linked with the insurance payer by employment relations, than to the persons, who receive income under authors’ agreements, or from sports activities, but who, however, were not linked to the insurance payer by employment relations, was in conflict with Article 29 of the Constitution.

5.2.8. While taking account of the arguments set forth, one is to draw a conclusion that Item 1 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Law on State Social Insurance, insofar as it established that the persons who are related to the insurance payer by employment relations or relations corresponding to the essence of the latter, who at the same time receive from this insurance payer income from sports activities, performing activities or under authors’ agreements, shall be covered on a compulsory basis by social insurance of all types as established in that law, was not in conflict with Article 29 of the Constitution.

  1. It has been mentioned that in the constitutional justice case at issue the petitioner also doubts as to the compliance of Item 8 (wording of 18 December 2008) of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, insofar as it provided that farmers and their partners, as they are defined by the Law on State Social Insurance, shall be covered on a compulsory basis by state social insurance for a pension, with Article 23 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

The petitioner substantiates its doubts as regards the compliance of this legal regulation with Article 23 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law by the same arguments as regarding the compliance of the impugned provisions of Paragraph 3 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Article 4 of the Law on State Social Insurance with the Constitution.

6.1. It needs to be mentioned that the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions inter alia provides as to what categories of persons are covered by state social insurance for a pension, what types of state social insurance pensions there are, as well as the grounds of their calculation and payment.

As regards an aspect relevant for the constitutional justice case at issue, it needs to be noted that, under Items 8 and 9 of Paragraph 1 (wording of 20 December 2007) of Article 2 “Persons Covered by State Social Insurance for a Pension” of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, in addition to the other categories of persons, self-employed persons as defined in Paragraph 3 (wording of 20 December 2007) of Article 4 together with Paragraph 8 (wording of 20 December 2007) of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance—owners of individual enterprises, members of general partnerships, actual members of commandite partnerships as well as persons engaged in individual activities, with the exception of those engaged in individual activities under a business certificate—were covered on a compulsory basis by state social insurance for a pension, whereas under Paragraph 3 (wording of 20 December 2007) of the same article of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, persons not pointed out in this article, including farmers and their partners, who were not insured by state social insurance for a pension on a compulsory basis, could insure themselves on a voluntary basis.

6.2. On 18 December 2008, the Seimas adopted the Law on Amending Articles 2, 6, 8, 14, 19, 56 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions that came into force on 1 January 2009, whereby it inter alia amended Item 8 (wording of 20 December 2007) of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions.

Item 8 (wording of 18 December 2008) of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions prescribed: “The following persons shall be covered on a compulsory basis by the state social insurance for a pension: owners of individual enterprises, members of general partnerships, actual members of commandite partnerships as well as the persons who are engaged in individual activities as defined by the Law on Personal Income Tax (advocates, assistant advocates, notaries, bailiffs and other persons), with the exception of the individual activities exercised under a business certificate (hereinafter referred to as ‘self-employed persons’), also farmers and their partners as defined by the Law on State Social Insurance (hereinafter referred to as ‘farmers and their partners’).”

Thus, under Item 8 (wording of 18 December 2008) of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, a duty was established to farmers and their partners, who used to have an opportunity to insure themselves by state social insurance for a pension on a voluntary basis, to insure themselves by this type of insurance on a compulsory basis. It means that by the legal regulation established in Item 8 (wording of 18 December 2008) of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions the legislator enlarged the circle of persons covered by state social insurance for a pension on a compulsory basis.

6.3. It needs to be noted that, in the aspect impugned by the petitioner, the legal regulation consolidated in Item 8 (wording of 18 December 2008) of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, insofar as it provided that farmers and their partners shall be covered on a compulsory basis by state social insurance for a pension, was in substance identical to the legal regulation consolidated in Paragraph 3 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Article 4 of the Law on State Social Insurance construed together with Paragraph 8 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Article 2 of the same law, according to which some self-employed persons, including farmers and their partners, are covered on a compulsory basis inter alia by social insurance for a pension to receive the main and a supplementary part of the pension.

6.4. Having held in this ruling that Paragraph 3 (wording of 19 December 2008) of Article 4 of the Law on State Social Insurance insofar as it established that some self-employed persons, including farmers and their partners, are covered on a compulsory basis inter alia by social insurance for a pension to receive the main and a supplementary part of the pension was not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, on the grounds of the same arguments one needs to hold that Item 8 (wording of 18 December 2008) of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, insofar as it provided that farmers and their partners, as they are defined by the Law on State Social Insurance, shall be covered on a compulsory basis by state social insurance for a pension, was not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

  1. As mentioned before, in the constitutional justice case at issue the petitioner also doubts as to the compliance of Paragraph 3 (wording of 18 December 2008) of Article 4 of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance with Article 23 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

The petitioner substantiates its doubts as regards the compliance of this legal regulation with Article 23 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law by the same arguments as regarding the compliance of the impugned provisions of Item 1 of Paragraph 1 and Paragraph 5 of Article 4 (wording of 19 December 2008) of the Law on State Social Insurance with the Constitution.

7.1. It needs to be mentioned that the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance inter alia provides as to what persons are covered on a compulsory basis by sickness and maternity social insurance.

Paragraph 1 (wording of 20 December 2007) of Article 4 “Persons Covered under Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance” of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance established that the persons specified in Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Law on State Social Insurance shall be covered on a compulsory basis under sickness and maternity social insurance (i.e. the persons employed under employment contracts, notary candidates (assessors), the persons receiving remuneration for work and holding, on the basis of membership, elected posts or appointed to constituency, town, region and polling district electoral and referendum commissions, state politicians, judges, state officials, state servants and persons delegated to international institutions), whereas under Paragraph 2 (wording of 20 December 2007) of the same article, all other persons, including farmers and their partners, authors, sportsmen, performers, had a right to insure themselves by state social insurance of this type on a voluntary basis.

7.2. On 18 December 2008, the Seimas adopted the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 16, 181, 19 of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance that came into force on 1 January 2009; by Article 2 of the said law Article 4 (wording of 20 December 2007) of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance was amended and supplemented with new Paragraphs 2 and 3.

The impugned Paragraph 3 of Article 4 (wording of 18 December 2008) of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance prescribed: “Persons who receive income under author’s agreements shall be covered by sickness and maternity social insurance for sickness, vocational rehabilitation, maternity, paternity and maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits.”

Thus, Paragraph 3 of Article 4 (wording of 18 December 2008) of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance, having established that the persons receiving income under authors’ agreements, who had been allowed to insure themselves by insurance of this type on a voluntary basis until then, were to be covered on a compulsory basis by sickness and maternity social insurance for sickness, vocational rehabilitation, maternity, paternity and maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, enlarged the circle of persons to whom a duty to insure themselves by sickness and maternity social insurance was established.

7.3. It needs to be noted that the legal regulation consolidated in Paragraph 3 of Article 4 (wording of 18 December 2008) of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance, insofar as it prescribes that persons receiving income under authors’ agreements shall be covered on a compulsory basis by sickness and maternity social insurance to receive the specified social insurance benefits, is, in the aspect impugned by the petitioner, in substance identical to the legal regulation entrenched in Item 1 of Paragraph 1 and Paragraph 5 of Article 4 (wording of 19 December 2008) of the Law on State Social Insurance, according to which, persons who receive income under authors’ agreements shall be covered on a compulsory basis by sickness and maternity social insurance.

7.4. Having held in this ruling that Item 1 of Paragraph 1 and Paragraph 5 of Article 4 (wording of 19 December 2008) of the Law on State Social Insurance was not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, on the grounds of the same arguments one needs also to hold that Paragraph 3 (wording of 18 December 2008) of Article 4 of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance is not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

Conforming to Articles 102 and 105 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and Articles 1, 53, 54, 55, 56, 69 and 80 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania has passed the following

ruling:

  1. To recognise that the provision “the second consideration of the draft State Budget shall be scheduled not later than on 23 December” of Paragraph 1 (wording of 16 December 2008; Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 146-5868) of Article 177 of the Statute of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania was not in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.
  2. To recognise that the Law on Approving the Financial Indicators of the 2009 State Budget and the Municipal Budgets (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 149-6020), in view of the procedure of its adoption, was not in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.
  3. To recognise that the following laws, in view of the procedure of their adoption and entry into force, are/were not in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania:

– the Republic of Law on Amending Article 1 of the Law on State Support to Acquire or Rent a Dwelling and Renovate (Modernise) Multi-Apartment Houses (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 149-6024);

– the Republic of Lithuania Law on Recognising as No Longer Valid Articles 11 and 15 of the Law on Amending Articles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 of the Law on State Support to Acquire or Rent a Dwelling and Renovate (Modernise) Multi-Apartment Houses and Supplementing the Law with Article 111 (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 149-6025);

– the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Articles 2, 19, 51, 56, 58, 91, 1251 of the Law on Value-added Tax and Recognising Article 1251 Thereof as No Longer Valid (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 149-6034);

– the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Articles 3 and 5 of the Law on the Financing of the Road Maintenance and Development Programme (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 149-6031);

– the Republic of Lithuania Law on Recognising the Law on Amending Article 10 of the Law on the Financing of the Road Maintenance and Development Programme as No Longer Valid (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 149-6032);

– the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 1 and 3 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 4, 5, 26, 41, 43, 54 of the Law on Profit Tax (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 149-6030);

– the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 131, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 29, 30 of the Law on Personal Income Tax and on Supplementing the Law with Article 181 (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 149-6033);

– the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Article 1, and Recognising Articles 4 and 5 as No Longer Valid, of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 17 and 21 of the Law on Personal Income Tax and Supplementing the Annex of the Law (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 149-6028);

– the Republic of Lithuania Law on Recognising the Law on Amending Articles 17 and 20 of the Law on Personal Income Tax as No Longer Valid (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 149-6029);

– the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Article 2 of the Law on Amending Article 83 of the Law on Tax Administration (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 149-6023);

– the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Articles 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11 and 14 of the Law on Social Assistance for Pupils (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 149-6027);

– the Republic of Lithuania Law on the Basic Size, Applicable in 2009, of the Positional Salary (Remuneration) of State Politicians, Judges, State Officials and State Servants (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 149-6011).

  1. To recognise that the following laws, in view of the procedure of their entry into force, are not in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania:

– the Republic of Lithuania Law on Recognising the Law on Supplementing Article 19 of the Law on Value-added Tax and Supplementing the Law with Annex 3 as No Longer Valid (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 149-6004);

– the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Articles 21, 22, 23, 24, 28, 33, 34, 35 and 37 of the Law on Excises (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 149-6005);

– the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 5, 12, 34, 382, 41, 58 of the Law on Profit Tax and Supplementing the Law with Article 401 and Chapter IX1 (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 149-6000);

– the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Articles 2, 3 and 4 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 3, 33, 34, 35, 55 of the Law on Profit Tax (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 149-6001);

– the Republic of Lithuania Law on Recognising, as No Longer Valid, Article 2 and Amending Article 12 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 5, 12, 26, 35, 36, 37, 53 of the Law on Profit Tax, Supplementing the Law with Articles 371 and 372 and Supplementing Annex 3 of the Law (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 149-6002);

– the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending the Law on the Lottery and Gaming Tax (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 149-6006);

– the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Article 5 of the Law on the Tax of Using State Property by Trust (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 149-6007);

– the Republic of Lithuania Law on Recognising the Law on Amending Articles 3, 5 and 7 of the Law on the Restoration of Savings of the Population as No Longer Valid (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 149-6015);

– the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 6, 8, 12, 13, 20 of the Law on Payments for Children and Recognising Article 22 Thereof as No Longer Valid (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 149-6016);

– the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Article 4 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 4, 5, 6 of the Law on State Pensions (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 149-6014);

– the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending the Law on Indexation of the Sizes of the Minimum Remuneration for Work, Social Security Payments and of the Basic Size of Punishments and Penalties (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 149-6013).

  1. To recognise that Article 3 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on Supplementing and Amending Articles 12, 401 of the Law on Profit Tax (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 25-976), insofar as it provides that the provision of Article 1 this law is applied in calculating the profit tax for the 2009 taxation period, is not in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.
  2. To recognise that the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Article 23 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 131, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 29, 30 of the Law on Personal Income Tax and Supplementing the Law with Article 181 (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 25-977), insofar as it is provided therein that the provisions of this law are applied in calculating the personal income tax for the 2009 taxation period, is not in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.
  3. To recognise that Article 3 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Articles 17 and 20 of the Law on Personal Income Tax (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 25-978), insofar as it established therein that the provisions of this law are applied in calculating and declaring the income for the 2009 taxation period, is not in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.
  4. To recognise that Item 1 (wording of 19 December 2008; Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 149-6019) of Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on State Social Insurance, insofar as it established that the persons who are related to the insurance payer by employment relations or relations corresponding to the essence of the latter, who at the same time receive from this insurance payer income from sports activities, performing activities or under authors’ agreements, shall be covered on a compulsory basis by social insurance of all types as established in that law, was not in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.
  5. To recognise that Paragraph 3 (wording of 19 December 2008; Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, No. 149-6019) of Article 4 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on State Social Insurance, insofar as it established that some self-employed persons, including farmers and their partners, shall be covered on a compulsory basis by social insurance for a pension to receive the main and supplementary parts of the pension, by sickness and maternity social insurance, where a person is insured to receive only the maternity, paternity and maternity (paternity) payments, was not in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.
  6. To recognise that Paragraph 5 (wording of 19 December 2008; Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 149-6019) of Article 4 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on State Social Insurance was not in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.
  7. To recognise that Item 8 (wording of 18 December 2008; Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 149-6003) of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, insofar as it provided that farmers and their partners, as they are defined by the Law on State Social Insurance, shall be covered on a compulsory basis by state social insurance for a pension, was not in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.
  8. To recognise that Paragraph 3 (wording of 18 December 2008; Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 149-5999) of Article 4 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance is not in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.
  9. To dismiss the part of the case regarding:

– the compliance of the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending and Supplementing the Law on Approving the Financial Indicators of the 2009 State Budget and the Municipal Budgets (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 58-2247), in view of the content of its norms, with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the compliance of the Republic of Lithuania Law on the Approval of the Indicators of the 2009 Budget of the State Social Insurance Fund (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 149-5998), in view of the procedure of its adoption and entry into force, as well as in view of the content of its norms, with Paragraph 3 of Article 5, Articles 23, 52, Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the compliance of the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 3, 6 of the Law on Approving the Indicators of the 2009 Budget of the State Social Insurance Fund (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 25-974), in view of the content of its norms, with Article 23 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the compliance of the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Article 3 and Appendices 1 and 2 of the Law on Approving the Indicators of the 2009 Budget of the State Social Insurance Fund (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 54-2133), in view of the content of its norms, with Article 23 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the compliance of the Republic of Lithuania Law on Approving the Financial Indicators of the 2009 Budget of the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 149-6021), in view of the procedure of its adoption and entry into force, as well as in view of the content of its norms, with Paragraph 3 of Article 5, Articles 23, 52, Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the compliance of the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending the Law on Approving the Financial Indicators of the 2009 Budget of the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 54-2135), in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms, with Articles 23, 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the compliance of the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 29, 31 of the Law on State Social Insurance adopted (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 149-6019), in view of the procedure of its adoption, with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, and, in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms, with Paragraph 3 of Article 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the compliance of the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 16, 181, 19 of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 149-5999), in view of the procedure of its adoption, with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, and, in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms, with Paragraph 3 of Article 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the compliance of the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Articles 2, 6, 8, 14, 19, 56 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 149-6003), in view of the procedure of its adoption, with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, and, in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms, with Paragraph 3 of Article 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the compliance of the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Articles 13, 14, 15 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 5, 15, 19, 24, 28, 33, 40, 42, 53, 56, 59, 65 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 149-6026), in view of the procedure of its adoption, with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, and, in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms, with Paragraph 3 of Article 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the compliance the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9 of the Law on State Social Insurance (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 25-972), in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms, with Articles 23, 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the compliance of the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Article 10 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 29, 31 of the Law on State Social Insurance (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 25-973), in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms, with Articles 23, 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the compliance of the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Article 10 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 16, 181, 19 of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 25-969), in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms, with Articles 23, 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the compliance of the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 3, 4, 8 of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 25-975), in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms, with Articles 23, 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the compliance of the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 9, 10, 14, 211, 24 of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 49-1941), in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms, with Articles 23, 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the compliance of the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Articles 8 and 14 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 25-970), in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms, with Articles 23, 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the compliance of the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Article 17 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 54-2134), in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms, with Articles 23, 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the compliance of the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 6, 8, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 of the Law on Health Insurance (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 149-6022), in view of the procedure of its adoption, with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the compliance of the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 3, 4, 7 of the Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 6, 8, 12, 13, 20 of the Law on Payments for Children and Recognising Article 22 Thereof as No Longer Valid (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 25-983), in view of the procedure of its adoption and the content of its norms, with Article 23 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the compliance of the Republic of Lithuania Republic Law on Amending and Supplementing Article 4 of the Law on Reform of the Pension System (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 6-160), in view of the procedure of its adoption, with Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, and, in view of the procedure of its entry into force and the content of its norms, with Paragraph 3 of Article 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the compliance of the provision “the amount of the pension contribution <…> shall be <…> in 2009 and 2010—3 percent, from 2011—5.5 percent of the income of participants on which state social insurance contributions are payable” of Paragraph 1 (wording of 15 January 2009; Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 6-160) of Article 4 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on Reform of the Pension System, insofar as it is applied to the persons who became participants of the pension accumulation system till 17 January 2009 inclusive, with Articles 23, 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania;

– the compliance of the provision “the amount of the pension contribution <…> shall be <…> from 1 January 2009 till 30 June 2009—3 percent, from 1 July 2009 till 31 December 2009 and in 2010—2 percent of the income of participants on which state social insurance contributions are payable” of Paragraph 1 (wording of 28 April 2009; Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 54-2136) of Article 4 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on Reform of the Pension System, insofar as it is applied to the persons who became participants of the pension accumulation system till 30 June 2009 inclusive, with Articles 23, 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the compliance of the Resolution (No. XI-78) of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania “On the Predicted Indicators of the 2009, 2010 and 2011 National Budgets” of 19 December 2008 (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 149-6047), in view of the procedure of its adoption and entry into force, as well as in view of the content of its norms, with Paragraphs 3 of Article 5, Item 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, Paragraph 5 (wording of 22 December 1998) of Article 172 and Paragraph 1 (wording of 27 May 2003) of Article 177 of the Statute of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania;

– the compliance of the Resolution (No. 1323) of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania “On Submission of the Improved Draft Republic of Lithuania Law on Approving the Financial Indicators of the 2009 State Budget and the Municipal Budgets and the Other Draft Legal Acts Related to It to the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania” of 15 December 2008 (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 145-5826), in view of the procedure of its adoption and entry into force, with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law and Paragraph 1 (wording of 27 May 2003) of Article 177 of the Statute of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania;

– the compliance of Item 1 of the Resolution (No. 1323) of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania “On Submission of the Improved Draft Republic of Lithuania Law on Approving the Financial Indicators of the 2009 State Budget and the Municipal Budgets and the Other Draft Legal Acts Related to It to the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania” of 15 December 2008 (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 145-5826), insofar as it assents to the improved draft Republic of Lithuania Law on Approving the Financial Indicators of the 2009 State Budget and the Municipal Budgets and the improved draft Resolution of the Seimas Republic of Lithuania “On the Predicted Indicators of the 2009, 2010 and 2011 National Budgets”, in view of the content of its norms, with Paragraphs 2, 3 of Article 5, Item 2 of Paragraph 1 of Article 94 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the compliance of Item 2 of the Resolution (No. 1326) of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania “On Submission of the Improved Draft Republic of Lithuania Law on the Approval of the Indicators of the 2009 Budget of the State Social Insurance Fund and the Other Draft Legal Acts Related to It to the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania” of 15 December 2008 (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 145-5829), insofar as it assents to the improved draft Republic of Lithuania Law on the Approval of the Indicators of the 2009 Budget of the State Social Insurance Fund, in view of the content of its norms, with Paragraphs 2, 3 of Article 5, Item 2 of Paragraph 1 of Article 94 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the compliance of Item 1 of the Resolution (No. 1324) of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania “On Submission of the Improved Draft Republic of Lithuania Law on Approving the Financial Indicators of the 2009 Budget of the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund and the Draft Law Related to It to the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania” of 15 December 2008 (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 145-5827), insofar as it assents to the improved draft Republic of Lithuania Law on Approving the Financial Indicators of the 2009 Budget of the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund, in view of the content of its norms, with Paragraphs 2, 3 of Article 5, Item 2 of Paragraph 1 of Article 94 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

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

The ruling is promulgated in the name of the Republic of Lithuania.

Justices of the Constitutional Court:                         Egidijus Bieliūnas

                                                                                             Toma Birmontienė

                                                                                             Pranas Kuconis

                                                                                             Gediminas Mesonis

                                                                                             Egidijus Šileikis

                                                                                             Algirdas Taminskas

                                                                                             Romualdas Kęstutis Urbaitis

                                                                                             Dainius Žalimas