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On the refusal of the Seimas to debate a draft resolution

THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF
THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

R U L I N G

Concerning the compliance of the Seimas resolution of 10 June 1993, not to include into the session schedule of sittings the draft Resolution “On the Termination of the Seimas Member Powers of K. Bobelis” with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania

 1 October 1993, Vilnius

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, composed from the Justices of the Constitutional Court: Algirdas Gailiūnas, Zigmas Levickis, Vladas Pavilonis, Pranas Vytautas Rasimavičius, Teodora Staugaitienė, Stasys Šedbaras, and Juozas Žilys

The court reporter—Rolanda Stimbirytė

Vidmantas Žiemelis and the advocate Isaakas Kaganas, acting as representatives of a group of members of the Seimas, the petitioner

Juozas Bernatonis, acting as the representative of the Seimas, the party concerned

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, pursuant to Paragraph 1 of Article 102 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and Paragraph of Article 1 of Law on the Constitutional Court, in its public sitting considered case No. 5, subsequent to the petition submitted to the Court by the petitioner—a group of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania members—requesting an investigation into the conformity of the Seimas resolution of 10 June 1993 not to include into the session schedule of sittings the draft Resolution “On the Termination of the Seimas Member Powers of K. Bobelis” with Paragraph 6 of Article 63 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

The Constitutional Court

has established:

A group of members of the Seimas in June 8 1993 sitting of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania suggested the inclusion into the sitting agenda of the consideration of the issue concerning the Seimas draft Resolution “On the Termination of the Seimas Member Powers of K. Bobelis”. In said draft it is maintained that Seimas member K. Bobelis has grossly violated Paragraph 3 of Article 31 of Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Elections to the Seimas as he did not repudiate an oath of a citizen administered to another state according to the procedure prescribed by that state. In the draft resolution the suggestion was made with regard to Paragraph 6 of Article 63 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, to terminate the Seimas member powers of K. Bobelis and to commission the Central Electoral Commission to organise an election in Marijampolė single-member constituency No. 29 within three months.

The Seimas did not include the consideration of this issue into the agenda of June 8th sitting but, on the basis of Article 79 of the Provisional Seimas Statute, included it into the agenda of June 10th sitting.

In the Seimas sitting of 10 June 1993, the group of the Seimas members submitted for the consideration the draft Resolution “On the Termination of the Seimas Member Powers of K. Bobelis”. After the presentation and discussions according to the procedure prescribed by Article 188 of the Provisional Seimas Statute, the Seimas adopted the resolution not to include into the session schedule of sittings the said draft resolution (the resolution was recorded in the minutes No. 56 (117) of the sitting of 10 June 1993, which has been submitted along with the petition).

The petitioner requests that the Constitutional Court investigate into the compliance of the resolution of the Seimas sitting of 10 June 1993 with Paragraph 6 of Article 63 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

The request is grounded on Paragraph 3 of Article 31 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Elections to the Seimas which establishes that candidates to the Seimas members, who have taken an oath of a citizen of another state, must repudiate it in writing. The logical explanation of this provision as well as the perception of the subject’s relationship with a certain state leads to the necessity to submit the above-mentioned written repudiation to the state to which the citizen’s oath has been administered. In the note of Embassy of the United States of America in Lithuania to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania it is confirmed that the Seimas member K. Bobelis’ repudiation of an oath of a citizen of the United States of America, submitted to the Central Electoral Commission, did not have any legal action (consequence). The Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania resolution is a legal act adopted by the Seimas, thus, pursuant to Article 105 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, the Constitutional Court can consider the conformity of this legal act with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

In the court hearing of the Constitutional Court, the representative of the petitioner also requested an investigation into the conformity of the Seimas resolution of 10 June 1993 to reject the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania draft Resolution “On the Termination of the Seimas Member Powers of K. Bobelis” with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania. In the opinion of the representatives of the petitioner, the Seimas adopted one resolution concerning the submitted draft resolution, which holds two decisions: (1) not to include into the Session schedule of sittings the submitted draft resolution and (2) to reject this draft.

The representative of the party concerned explained that the petitioner’s request is not justified and the arguments of the request are not connected with the provisions established in the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania. In compliance with Paragraph 1 of Article 105 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and Item 1 of Paragraph 1 of Article 63 of Law on the Constitutional Court, the Constitutional Court examines the cases concerning the conformity of legal acts with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania. In the opinion of the interested person's representative, the Seimas did not adopt a legal act but only voted on procedural matter in compliance with the provisions established in Paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 188 as well as Item 5 of Article 189 of the Provisional Seimas Statute. Therefore, the decision adopted by such voting is not subject to investigation in the Constitutional Court. In addition, this decision does not contain the contents, on the basis of which the petitioner appealed to the Constitutional Court. The representative of the party concerned also explained that the Seimas at his own discretion establishes the schedule of sittings pursuant to the provisions prescribed by the Provisional Seimas Statute. This right of the Seimas is limited by the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania which establishes concrete issues the Seimas shall consider. In the opinion of the interested person’s representative, the request of the petitioner cannot be complied with.

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

  1. Pursuant to Paragraph 1 of Article 105 and Item 1 of Paragraph 1 of Article 63 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, the Constitutional Court shall consider and adopt decisions concerning the conformity of laws of the Republic of Lithuania and legal acts adopted by the Seimas with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania. In the petitioner’s request a constitutional issue is formulated, i.e. a request is made to investigate whether the Seimas resolution of 10 June 1993 not to include the draft Resolution “On the Termination of the Seimas Member Powers of K. Bobelis” into the session schedule of sittings is in conformity with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania. Thus, the investigation of this request is within the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court.
  2. The Constitutional Court, while evaluating the petitioner’s legal arguments that the Seimas refusal to consider the issue concerning the Seimas member powers of K. Bobelis, relies on the constitutional provisions regulating the status of the Seimas. In compliance with Article 76 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, the structure and procedure of activities of the Seimas shall be determined by the Statute of the Seimas. The Seimas is free to make decisions within the limits established by the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

The impugned resolution of the Seimas was adopted in compliance with the rule set forth in Paragraph 2 of Article 69 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania establishing that Seimas legal acts shall be deemed adopted if the majority of the Seimas members participating in the sitting vote in favour thereof. Thus, the Seimas did not violate the above-mentioned constitutional provision.

  1. Pursuant to Item 1 of Paragraph 1 of Article 64 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, the Constitutional Court investigates if the entire legal act or a part thereof contradicts the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania according to the contents of norms. The Seimas in its resolution did not evaluate the validity of the Seimas member K. Bobelis’ election as well as did not adopt any decision concerning his deputy powers with regard to Paragraph 6 of Article 63 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania. This resolution did not decide the constitutional issues that are raised in the petitioner’s request. Therefore, the petitioner’s statement that the Seimas resolution not to include the submitted draft resolution into the session schedule of sittings fails to comply with Paragraph 6 of Article 63 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, is groundless.

The Constitutional Court, pursuant to Article 782 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Elections to the Seimas, shall examine and evaluate the decisions made by the Central Electoral Commission or the refusal thereof to examine complaints concerning violations of the Law on Elections to the Seimas in cases when such decisions where adopted or other actions were carried out by the Committee after the termination of voting and when such inquiry is submitted to the Constitutional Court by the Seimas or by the President of the Republic within 3 days after the publication of official election results. Subsequent to the conclusions drawn by the Constitutional Court, the Seimas shall adopt the final decision concerning the violation of the Law on Elections to the Seimas. Therefore, the Constitutional Court cannot settle the petitioner’s request on the merits.

  1. The statement of the petitioner’s representatives that the Seimas has adopted two decisions in one resolution, is not legally reasoned. This can be confirmed by the minutes of 10 June 1993 sitting, which proves that two different decisions concerning the submitted draft resolution where adopted. The petitioner in the request does not impugn the resolution to reject the Seimas draft Resolution “On the Termination of the Seimas Member Powers of K. Bobelis”, therefore, in this case the conformity of the above-mentioned resolution with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania shall not be investigated.

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

ruling:

To recognise that the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania resolution of 10 June 1993 not to include into the session schedule of sittings the draft Resolution “On the Termination of the Seimas Member Powers of K. Bobelis” does not contradict the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

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

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

Justices of the Constitutional Court:

Algirdas Gailiūnas                              Zigmas Levickis                                 Vladas Pavilonis

Pranas Vytautas Rasimavičius            Teodora Staugaitienė                         Stasys Šedbaras

Juozas Žilys