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On refusing to consider part of a petition and on returning part of the petition

 THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

 DECISION

ON THE PETITION OF A GROUP OF MEMBERS OF THE SEIMAS OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA, THE PETITIONER, REQUESTING INVESTIGATION INTO WHETHER PARAGRAPH 1 OF ARTICLE 49 OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA’S LAW ON ELECTIONS TO THE SEIMAS AND PARAGRAPHS 1 AND 3 OF ARTICLE 22 OF THE STATUTE OF THE SEIMAS OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA ARE NOT IN CONFLICT WITH THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

 2 May 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, Ramutė Ruškytė, Egidijus Šileikis, Algirdas Taminskas, Romualdas Kęstutis Urbaitis, and Dainius Žalimas,

with the secretary—Daiva Pitrėnaitė,

at a procedural sitting of the Constitutional Court considered the petition (No. 1B-7/2013) of a group of Members of the Seimas, the petitioner, requesting “investigation into whether Paragraph 1 of Article 49 of the Sixth Chapter of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Elections to the Seimas and Paragraphs 1 and 3 of Article 22 of the Fourth Chapter of the Statute of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, to the extent that they do not provide for immunity of a political party whose list of candidates participates in election, as well as immunity of a political party whose list of candidates participates in distribution of mandates, from criminal liability, are not in conflict with Article 1, Paragraph 1 of Article 5, Paragraph 1 of Article 29, Paragraph 1 of Article 33, Paragraph 1 of Article 35 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principles of justice and a state under the rule of law consolidated in the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, whereas, in view of the extent of regulation—with constitutional principles of justice and a state under the rule of law consolidated in the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania”.

The Constitutional Court

has established:

On 26 March 2013, at the Constitutional Court, a petition (No. 1B-7/2013) of a group of Members of the Seimas was received. The petition requests investigation into the compliance of Paragraph 1 of Article 49 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Elections to the Seimas and Paragraphs 1 and 3 of Article 22 of the Statute of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, to the extent that “they do not provide for immunity of a political party whose list of candidates participates in election, as well as immunity of a political party whose list of candidates participates in distribution of mandates, from criminal liability”, with Article 1, Paragraph 1 of Article 5, Paragraph 1 of Article 29, Paragraph 1 of Article 33, Paragraph 1 of Article 35 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principles of justice and a state under the rule of law.

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

  1. The group of Members of the Seimas, the petitioner, requests investigation into whether Paragraph 1 of Article 49 (wording of 18 May 2010) of the Law on Elections to the Seimas and Paragraphs 1 and 3 of Article 22 of the Statute of the Seimas (wording of 22 December 1998) are not in conflict with Article 1, Paragraph 1 of Article 5, Paragraph 1 of Article 29, Paragraph 1 of Article 33, Paragraph 1 of Article 35 of the Constitution and the constitutional principles of justice and a state under the rule of law.
  2. Paragraph 1 of Article 49 “The Immunity of a Candidate for a Member of the Seimas” (wording of 18 May 2010) of the Law on Elections to the Seimas prescribes: “After the announcement of the names of candidates and lists of candidates by the Central Electoral Commission as well as until the first meeting of a newly elected Seimas (after the rerun elections or by-election—until the oath of a Seimas member), a candidate for a Member of the Seimas may not be held criminally liable, arrested, his freedom may not be restricted in any other way without the consent of the Central Electoral Commission.”
  3. Paragraphs 1 and 3 of Article 22 “Immunity of a Member of the Seimas” of the Statute of the Seimas (wording of 22 December 1998) prescribe:

“1. The person of a Member of the Seimas shall be inviolable.”

“3. A Member of the Seimas may not be held criminally liable, arrested, nor may his freedom be otherwise restricted in cases when he is caught in the act of committing a crime (in flagranti). In such cases the Prosecutor General must immediately notify the Seimas thereof.”

  1. The petitioner impugns the compliance of the said provisions of the Law on Elections to the Seimas and the Statute of the Seimas with the Constitution insofar as, according to the petitioner, “they do not provide for immunity of a political party whose list of candidates participates in election, as well as immunity of a political party whose list of candidates participates in distribution of mandates, from criminal liability”.

According to the petitioner, the said provisions of the Law on Elections to the Seimas and the Statute of the Seimas “grant immunity to a candidate for a Member of the Seimas and a Member of the Seimas from criminal liability, however, they do not provide for immunity of a political party whose list of candidates participates in election, as well as immunity of a political party whose list of candidates participates in distribution of mandates, from criminal liability”. In the opinion of the petitioner, such political parties should be granted immunity from criminal liability (as is the case regarding candidates for Members of the Seimas and Members of the Seimas).

Thus, the petitioner impugns not the legal regulation established in the Law on Elections to the Seimas and the Statute of the Seimas, but something that, in its opinion, should be established—“immunity of a political party whose list of candidates participates in election, as well as immunity of a political party whose list of candidates participates in distribution of mandates, from criminal liability”. Consequently, in the petitioner’s petition the issue of legislative omission is raised, i.e. such a gap in the legal regulation, which is prohibited by the Constitution.

  1. The Constitutional Court’s decision of 8 August 2006 held the following: “<...> if the laws and other legal acts (parts thereof) of lower power do not establish certain legal regulation, the Constitutional Court has constitutional powers to recognise these laws or other legal acts (parts thereof) as being in conflict with the Constitution or other legal acts of higher power in cases when due to the fact that the said legal regulation is not established in precisely the investigated laws or other legal acts (precisely in the investigated parts thereof), the principles and/or norms of the Constitution, the provisions of other legal acts of higher power might be violated.”

The Constitutional Court, while disclosing the concept of legislative omission in its final acts (inter alia in the acts refusing consider the petitions of petitioners, where the petitioners raised the question of legislative omission), has held that a legal gap, inter alia legislative omission, always means that the legal regulation of corresponding social relations is established neither explicitly, nor implicitly, neither in the said legal act (part thereof), nor any other legal acts, even though there exists a need for legal regulation of these social relations, while the said legal regulation, in case of legislative omission, must be established, while heeding the imperatives of the consistency and inner uniformity of the legal system stemming from the Constitution and taking account of the contents of these social relations, precisely in that legal act (precisely in that part thereof), since this is required by a certain legal act of higher power, inter alia the Constitution itself (the Constitutional Court’s decisions of 8 August 2006, 5 November 2008, the rulings of 2 March 2009, 22 June 2009, 11 December 2009, 29 September 2010, and 9 June 2011).

Consequently, in case of legislative omission, the legal regulation must be established in a concrete law (a concrete part thereof), when the Constitution itself requires establishment of such regulation.

  1. It has been mentioned that the group of Members of the Seimas, the petitioner, requests investigation into whether inter alia Paragraphs 1 and 3 of Article 22 of the Statute of the Seimas (wording of 22 December 1998), insofar as “they do not provide for immunity of a political party whose list of candidates participates in election, as well as immunity of a political party whose list of candidates participates in distribution of mandates, from criminal liability”, are not in conflict with Article 1, Paragraph 1 of Article 5, Paragraph 1 of Article 29, Paragraph 1 of Article 33, Paragraph 1 of Article 35 of the Constitution and the constitutional principles of justice and a state under the rule of law.

It has been mentioned that, in case of legislative omission, while taking account of the contents of corresponding social relations, one must establish the corresponding legal regulation in a concrete law (a concrete part thereof).

Article 76 of the Constitution inter alia prescribes: “The structure and procedure of activities of the Seimas shall be established by the Statute of the Seimas.”

Paragraph 1 of Article 55 of the Constitution prescribes: “The Seimas shall consist of representatives of the Nation—141 Members of the Seimas who shall be elected for a four-year term on the basis of universal, equal, and direct suffrage by secret ballot.”

Paragraph 2 of Article 59 of the Constitution prescribes: “The elected Member of the Seimas shall acquire all the rights of a representative of the Nation only after taking at the Seimas an oath to be faithful to the Republic of Lithuania.”

Thus, according to the Constitution, the structure and procedure of activities of the Seimas are established by the Statute of the Seimas, the Seimas consists of Members of the Seimas who, upon election, acquire all the rights of a representative of the Nation only after taking an oath to be faithful to the Republic of Lithuania.

Consequently, the Statute of the Seimas, which establishes the procedure of activities of the Members of the Seimas that have been elected and have taken an oath to the Republic of Lithuania, is not designated for relations of elections to the Seimas, inter alia the relations related to a political party whose “list of candidates participates in election”, as well as a political party whose “list of candidates participates in distribution of mandates”.

Thus, the petitioner impugns the compliance of the Statute of the Seimas, which, under the Constitution, should not regulate the relations of elections to the Seimas, inter alia the relations related to a political party whose “list of candidates participates in election”, as well as a political party whose “list of candidates participates in distribution of mandates”, with the Constitution.

It needs to be held that, according to the Constitution, the Statute of the Seimas need not establish the legal regulation—“immunity of a political party whose list of candidates participates in election, as well as immunity of a political party whose list of candidates participates in distribution of mandates, from criminal liability”—as specified by the petitioner.

The Constitutional Court has held that in the cases where the petitioner impugns the fact that the law or another impugned legal act (part thereof) indicated by the petitioner does not establish certain legal regulation, but the said legal regulation, under the Constitution (or also under the laws in cases where one impugns a sub-statutory legal act (part thereof) of the Seimas, the Government or the President of the Republic), need not be established precisely in that particular impugned legal act (part thereof), the Constitutional Court holds that in the case subsequent to the request of the petitioner the matter of investigation is absent (the Constitutional Court’s decisions of 6 May 2003 and 13 May 2003, the ruling of 13 December 2004, the decisions of 8 August 2006, 5 November 2008, and 2 July 2010, the ruling of 18 April 2012).

Having held that the legal regulation not established in the Statute of the Seimas need not, according to the Constitution, be established, one needs to hold that in the petition of the petitioner the matter of investigation is absent.

The absence of the matter of investigation in the petition of the petitioner means that the petition is not within the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court (the Constitutional Court’s decisions of 6 May 2003 and 13 May 2003, the ruling of 13 May 2004, the decisions of 8 August 2006 and 5 November 2008).

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

Taking account of the arguments set forth, one needs to hold that there are grounds to refuse to consider the petition of the group of Members of the Seimas, the petitioner, requesting investigation into whether Paragraphs 1 and 3 of Article 22 of the Statute of the Seimas, insofar as “they do not provide for immunity of a political party whose list of candidates participates in election, as well as immunity of a political party whose list of candidates participates in distribution of mandates, from criminal liability”, are not in conflict with Article 1, Paragraph 1 of Article 5, Paragraph 1 of Article 29, Paragraph 1 of Article 33, Paragraph 1 of Article 35 of the Constitution and the constitutional principles of justice and a state under the rule of law.

  1. Under Item 8 of Paragraph 1 of Article 66 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, a petition for the investigation of the compliance of a legal act with the Constitution, whereby one applies to the Constitutional Court, must contain the petitioner’s position concerning the compliance of an appropriate act with the Constitution and legal support of such a position containing reference to laws.

While construing Item 1 of Paragraph 66 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, the Constitutional Court has held more than once that “the petitioner’s position concerning the compliance of a legal act (part thereof) with the Constitution in view of the content of norms and/or the extent of regulation must be indicated clearly and unambiguously, and the petition must contain the arguments and reasoning grounding the petitioner’s doubt that the legal act (part thereof) is in conflict with the Constitution. Thus, the petition requesting to investigate the compliance of a legal act (part thereof) with the Constitution in view of the content of norms and/or the extent of regulation must clearly indicate concrete articles (parts thereof), items of the legal act the compliance of which with the Constitution is doubtful from the petitioner’s viewpoint, also concrete provisions—norms and/or principles—of the Constitution with which, in the petitioner’s opinion, the concretely indicated articles or items of the impugned legal act are in conflict. The petition requesting to investigate the compliance of a legal act (part thereof) with the Constitution in view of the content of norms and/or the extent of regulation must also clearly set forth the legal reasoning grounding the petitioner’s doubt as regards every concretely indicated article (part thereof) or item of the impugned legal act (part thereof), the compliance of which with the concretely indicated provisions of the Constitution is doubtful to the petitioner. Otherwise, the request to investigate the compliance of a legal act (part thereof) with the Constitution in view of the content of norms and/or the extent of regulation must be considered to be not in line with the requirements of Article 66 of the Law on the Constitutional Court.”

If a petition (part thereof) fails to comply with the requirements set forth in Article 66 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, under Article 70 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, such a petition is returned to the petitioner.

  1. It has been mentioned that the group of Members of the Seimas, the petitioner, requests investigation into whether inter alia Paragraph 1 of Article 49 of the Law on Elections to the Seimas, insofar as it does “not provide for immunity of a political party whose list of candidates participates in election, as well as immunity of a political party whose list of candidates participates in distribution of mandates, from criminal liability”, are not in conflict with Article 1, Paragraph 1 of Article 5, Paragraph 1 of Article 29, Paragraph 1 of Article 33, Paragraph 1 of Article 35 of the Constitution, the constitutional principles of justice and a state under the rule of law.

8.1. The petitioner requests investigation into the compliance of Paragraph 1 of Article 49 of the Law on Elections to the Seimas (to the extent specified by the petitioner) with inter alia Article 1 of the Constitution.

Article 1 of the Constitution prescribes: “The State of Lithuania shall be an independent democratic republic.”

The petitioner asserts that “the legal regulation disclosed in Article 1 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the Preamble to the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Political Parties”, in it its opinion, “singles out political parties from among other legal persons, also implies a duty of the state to protect political parties from unlawful and/or disproportionate encroachment upon activities of political parties”.

The petitioner substantiates the doubts regarding the conflict (to the extent specified by the petitioner) of Paragraph 1 of Article 49 of the Law on Elections to the Seimas with Article 1 of the Constitution by the Preamble to the Law on Political, assesses its compliance with Article 1 of the Constitution and draws a conclusion that such compliance exists.

Such reflections of the petitioner do not substantiate how concretely Article 1 of the Constitution demands that, according to the petition, immunity from criminal liability be established for a political party whose “list of candidates participates in election”, as well as a political party whose “list of candidates participates in distribution of mandates”.

The references of the petitioner to provisions of a ruling of the Constitutional Court related to the role of political parties in the case-law of courts of foreign states, as well as to the provisions of the Law on Elections to the Seimas related to a mixed system of elections, cannot be regarded as legal arguments substantiating the doubts of the petitioner concerning the conflict of Paragraph 1 of Article 49 of the Law on Elections to the Seimas (to the extent specified by the petitioner) with Article 1 of the Constitution.

8.2. As mentioned before, the petitioner requests investigation into the compliance (to the extent specified by the petitioner) of Paragraph 1 of Article 49 of the Law on Elections to the Seimas with inter alia Paragraph 1 of Article 5 of the Constitution.

Paragraph 1 of Article 5 of the Constitution prescribes: “In Lithuania, State power shall be executed by the Seimas, the President of the Republic and the Government, and the Judiciary.”

The petitioner asserts that “immunity of a political party whose list of candidates participates in election, as well as immunity of a political party whose list of candidates participates in distribution of mandates, from criminal liability, could be one of efficient guarantees for a pre-condition to secure the real principle of the separation of powers”, however, does not explain how concretely the immunity of “a political party whose list of candidates participates in election as well as of a political party whose list of candidates participates in distribution of mandates” from criminal liability is related to the principle of the separation of powers and why, in case this immunity is not established, Paragraph 1 of Article 5 of the Constitution is violated.

The petitioner’s statement “partial immunity from criminal liability is not an institute that is an end in itself, which would allow persons unreasonably to evade criminal prosecution and criminal punishments in cases where judgements or rulings of conviction by competent courts are adopted and become effective, but one of constitutional guarantees that the persons holding highest state positions in respective branches of power should not be unreasonably and disproportionately prosecuted both by the same branch of power and by other branches of power” does not explain the necessity of immunity of political parties from criminal liability, since by this statement the petitioner attempts to substantiate the immunity of natural persons holding a certain office from criminal liability.

8.3. The petitioner requests investigation into the compliance (to the extent specified by the petitioner) of Paragraph 1 of Article 49 of the Law on Elections to the Seimas with inter alia Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution.

Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution prescribes: “All persons shall be equal before the law, the court, and other State institutions and officials.”

According to the petitioner, “the legal regulation granting immunity to a candidate for a Member of the Seimas and a Member of the Seimas from criminal liability, however, not providing for immunity of a political party whose list of candidates participates in election, as well as immunity of a political party whose list of candidates participates in distribution of mandates, from criminal liability, i.e. a party that received more than 5 percent of voters’ votes in the multi-member electoral constituency during elections to the Seimas, violates the principle of equality of persons before the law”.

While substantiating its doubts regarding the compliance (to the extent specified by the petitioner) of Paragraph 1 of Article 49 of the Law on Elections to the Seimas with Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution, the petitioner cites inter alia the provision of the official constitutional doctrine that the principle of equality of all persons also means that the same law or other legal act—the same measure, common and equal to all subjects of this category—must be applied to subjects of corresponding type of relations, to all persons (groups thereof) characteristic of the same features, however, the petitioner provides no arguments why, in its opinion, political parties are subjects of the same category as candidates to Members of the Seimas, or Members of the Seimas, i.e. natural persons.

The petitioner asserts that “the principle of equality of persons before the law implies a duty of the legislator to ensure the real independence of a political party whose list of candidates participates in election, as well as a political party whose list of candidates participates in distribution of mandates, since only such independence can ensure the principle of a free mandate of the parliamentarians who stand as candidates to the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania and who became Members of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania by receiving their mandates namely in the multi-candidate electoral constituency”.

The petitioner does not explain why, in its opinion, the immunity from criminal liability established in the Constitution with regard to a Member of the Seimas elected in the multi-member electoral district does not provide sufficient protection ensuring the principle of a free mandate of a Member of the Seimas and why such protection could be provided for a Member of the Seimas only on the condition that immunity from criminal liability would be established also for a political party by connecting it to the fact that candidates in the list of candidates of that political party became Members of the Seimas “namely in the multi-member electoral constituency”. Nor is it clear why, in the opinion of the petitioner, such additional protection should be granted only to a Member of the Seimas who was elected in the multi-member electoral constituency.

In this context it needs to be noted that, in its conclusion of 10 November 2012, the Constitutional Court held that the constitutional status of all Members of the Seimas is the same, regardless of whether they were elected while applying one (either proportional or majoritarian) system of elections, or different systems of elections (when the legislator has chosen a so-called mixed system of parliamentary elections).

Neither does the petitioner’s statement “a political party that has received some mandates of Members of the Seimas in the multi-member electoral constituency will always have more than one mandate of Seimas Member” substantiate its doubts regarding the compliance (to the extent specified by the petitioner) of Paragraph 1 of Article 49 of the Law on Elections to the Seimas with Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution.

8.4. It has been mentioned that the petitioner requests investigation into the compliance (to the extent specified by the petitioner) of Paragraph 1 of Article 49 of the Law on Elections to the Seimas with inter alia Paragraph 1 of Article 33 and Paragraph 1 of Article 35 of the Constitution.

Paragraph 1 of Article 33 of the Constitution prescribes: “Citizens shall have the right to participate in the governance of their State both directly and through their democratically elected representatives as well as the right to enter on equal terms in the State service of the Republic of Lithuania.”

Paragraph 1 of Article 35 of the Constitution prescribes: “Citizens shall be guaranteed the right to freely form societies, political parties and associations, provided that the aims and activities thereof are not contrary to the Constitution and laws.”

Thus, Paragraph 1 of Article 33 and Paragraph 1 of Article 35 of the Constitution consolidate corresponding rights of citizens, but not those of political parties.

The petitioner asserts that “the legislator, having consolidated a mixed system of election to the Seimas in the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Elections to the Seimas, must ensure such guarantees to citizens of the Republic of Lithuania who, while enjoying their active electoral right, participate in elections to the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, so that such constitutionally guaranteed rights as inter alia to participate in the governance of their state through their democratically elected representatives, to form political parties and to take part in their activities would not be violated”, however, it does not explain how concretely due to the fact that no immunity from criminal liability is granted to a political party whose “list of candidates participates in elections”, as well as to a political party whose “list of candidates participates in distribution of mandates”, the right of citizens to participate in the governance of their state both directly and through their democratically elected representatives, to form political parties and to take part in their activities would be violated. Thus, the petitioner does not substantiate its doubts regarding the compliance (to the extent specified by the petitioner) of Paragraph 1 of Article 49 of the Law on Elections to the Seimas with Paragraph 1 of Article 33 and Paragraph 1 of Article 35 of the Constitution.

8.5. It has been mentioned that the petitioner requests investigation into the compliance (to the extent specified by the petitioner) of Paragraph 1 of Article 49 of the Law on Elections to the Seimas with inter alia the constitutional principles of justice and a state under the rule of law.

The petitioner asserts that the constitutional principles of legal certainty, legal security and protection of legitimate expectations imply the duty of the state inter alia “to respect legitimate expectations, among them—the political rights and liberties, which are not protected by the impugned legal regulation and might be violated”, however, it does not point out concretely what (and whose) legitimate expectations have been violated and which article of the Constitution, other legal act (part thereof) gave rise to the said expectations.

Although the petitioner quotes the Constitutional Court’s jurisprudence wherein the contents of the constitutional principles of justice and a state under the rule of law are disclosed, however, it does not explain how concretely these constitutional principles are violated under the impugned (to the extent specified by the petitioner) Paragraph 1 of Article 49 of the Law on Elections to the Seimas.

  1. Alongside, it needs to be noted that the group of Members of the Seimas, the petitioner, while impugning (to the extent specified by the petitioner) the compliance of Paragraph 1 of Article 49 of the Law on Elections to the Seimas with the Constitution, did not take account of the overall constitutional regulation consolidating immunities and the official constitutional doctrine disclosing the contents of the said regulation.

The Constitutional Court’s jurisprudence has held on more than one occasion that in order that they might be able to discharge the functions prescribed to them in the Constitution in the implementation of state power, the Constitution provides for a special legal status, inter alia consolidates immunities expressis verbis, for the President of the Republic, Members of the Seimas, Members of the Government and judges (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 24 December 2002 and 13 December 2004). In its ruling of 13 December 2004, the Constitutional Court emphasised that, under the Constitution, no other persons employed in the institutions through which state functions are exercised have the aforementioned immunities.

While summarising the statements of the group of Members of the Seimas set forth in its petition, one needs to hold that, it is unclear, either from individual statements of the petitioner, or from the entirety thereof, upon which grounds the position of the petitioner is grounded as regards the compliance of Paragraph 1 of Article 49 of the Law on Elections to the Seimas insofar as it does not “provide for immunity of a political party whose list of candidates participates in election, as well as immunity of a political party whose list of candidates participates in distribution of mandates, from criminal liability” with Article 1, Paragraph 1 of Article 5, Paragraph 1 of Article 29, Paragraph 1 of Article 33, Paragraph 1 of Article 35 of the Constitution and the constitutional principles of justice and a state under the rule of law.

  1. Consequently, the petitioner has not set forth any clear legal arguments as to why it is impugning the compliance of Paragraph 1 of Article 49 of the Law on Elections to the Seimas insofar as it does not “provide for immunity of a political party whose list of candidates participates in election, as well as immunity of a political party whose list of candidates participates in distribution of mandates, from criminal liability” with Article 1, Paragraph 1 of Article 5, Paragraph 1 of Article 29, Paragraph 1 of Article 33, Paragraph 1 of Article 35 of the Constitution and the constitutional principles of justice and a state under the rule of law.
  2. It has been mentioned that the petition applying to the Constitutional Court and requesting to investigate the compliance of a legal act with the Constitution must inter alia clearly indicate the legal reasoning grounding the doubt of the petitioner as regards every concretely indicated article (part thereof) or item of the disputed legal act (part thereof), the compliance of which with the concretely indicated provisions of the Constitution is doubtful to the petitioner. Otherwise, the petition requesting investigation into the compliance of a legal act (part thereof) with the Constitution in view of the content of norms and/or the extent of regulation must be considered to be not in line with the requirements of Article 66 of the Law on the Constitutional Court.

It has also been mentioned that if a petition (part thereof) fails to comply with the requirements set forth in Article 66 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, under Article 70 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, such a petition is returned to the petitioner.

  1. It needs to be held that the petition of the group of Members of the Seimas, the petitioner, requesting investigation into the compliance (to the extent specified by the petitioner) of Paragraph 1 of Article 49 of the Law on Elections to the Seimas is not in line with the requirements of Item 8 of Paragraph 1 of Article 66 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, and, according to Article 70 of the same law, must be returned to the petitioner.
  2. Taking account of the arguments set forth, one needs to draw a conclusion that there are grounds to return the petition of the group of Members of the Seimas, the petitioner, requesting investigation into whether Paragraph 1 of Article 49 of the Law on Elections to the Seimas, insofar as it does “not provide for immunity of a political party whose list of candidates participates in election, as well as immunity of a political party whose list of candidates participates in distribution of mandates, from criminal liability”, is not in conflict with Article 1, Paragraph 1 of Article 5, Paragraph 1 of Article 29, Paragraph 1 of Article 33, Paragraph 1 of Article 35 of the Constitution and the constitutional principles of justice and a state under the rule of law.

Conforming to Paragraphs 3 and 4 of Article 22, Article 28, Item 8 of Paragraph 1 of Article 66, Item 2 of Paragraph 1 of Article 69, and Article 70 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania has passed the following

decision:

  1. To return the petition (No. 1B-7/2013) of the group of Members of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, the petitioner, requesting investigation into whether Paragraph 1 of Article 49 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Elections to the Seimas, insofar as it does “not provide for immunity of a political party whose list of candidates participates in election, as well as immunity of a political party whose list of candidates participates in distribution of mandates, from criminal liability”, is not in conflict with Article 1, Paragraph 1 of Article 5, Paragraph 1 of Article 29, Paragraph 1 of Article 33, Paragraph 1 of Article 35 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principles of justice and a state under the rule of law.
  2. To refuse to consider the petition (1B-7/2013) of the group of Members of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, the petitioner, requesting investigation into whether Paragraphs 1 and 3 of Article 22 of the Statute of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, insofar as “they do not provide for immunity of a political party whose list of candidates participates in election, as well as immunity of a political party whose list of candidates participates in distribution of mandates, from criminal liability”, are not in conflict with Article 1, Paragraph 1 of Article 5, Paragraph 1 of Article 29, Paragraph 1 of Article 33, Paragraph 1 of Article 35 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principles of justice and a state under the rule of law.

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

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

Justices of the Constitutional Court:                                    Egidijus Bieliūnas

                                                                                                        Toma Birmontienė

                                                                                                        Pranas Kuconis

                                                                                                        Gediminas Mesonis

                                                                                                        Ramutė Ruškytė

                                                                                                        Egidijus Šileikis

                                                                                                        Algirdas Taminskas

                                                                                                        Romualdas Kęstutis Urbaitis

                                                                                                        Dainius Žalimas