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On the restoration of the ownership rights of citizens to land

Case No. 2/95

 THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF
THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

R U L I N G

On the compliance of the provision of Paragraph 7 of Article 10 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Procedure and Conditions of the Restoration of the Rights of Ownership of Citizens to the Existing Real Property”, as well as the provision of Item 1.2, Item 2.1 and its Subitems 1, 2 and 3 of the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 55) “On a Partial Amendment of the Procedure for the Enforcement of the Law ‘On the Procedure and Conditions of the Restoration of the Rights of Ownership of Citizens to the Existing Real Property’ Confirmed by the 15 November 1991 Resolution (No. 470) of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania” of 26 January 1994 with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania

Vilnius, 26 October 1995

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

The court reporter—Rolanda Stimbirytė

Seimas member Pranciškus Vitkevičius, acting as the representative of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, the party concerned

Pranas Aleknavičius, Deputy Director of the State Service of Organisation of Land Exploitation and Geodesy under the Ministry of Agriculture, and Benjaminas Dubickas, Director of Land Exploitation Department of the State Service of Organisation of Land Exploitation and Geodesy under the Ministry of Agriculture, acting as the representatives of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, 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 1 of Article 1 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, in its public hearing, on 18 October 1995, considered case No. 2/95 subsequent to the petition submitted to the Court by the Ignalina District Local Court, the petitioner, on 19 June 1995, requesting an investigation into whether the provision “under the conditions established by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania” of Paragraph 7 of Article 10 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Procedure and Conditions of the Restoration of the Rights of Ownership of Citizens to the Existing Real Property”, as well as the provision “under the conditions established by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania” of Item 1.2, as well as Item 2.1 and its Subitems 1, 2 and 3 of the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 55) “On a Partial Amendment of the Procedure for the Enforcement of the Law ‘On the Procedure and Conditions of the Restoration of the Rights of Ownership of Citizens to the Existing Real Property’ Confirmed by the 15 November 1991 Resolution (No. 470) of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania” of 26 January 1994 are in compliance with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

The Constitutional Court

has established:

I

On 6 April 1995, the Ignalina District Local Court, the petitioner, considered civil case No. 2-97/95 subsequent to an action brought in by E. Kazėnienė against the board of the Ignalina District, the agrarian reform service of the Dūkštas area of the Ignalina District, as well as J. Vitėnas and K. Vitėnas concerning the annulment of the decisions on the issues of the restoration of the ownership right to land and the recognition of the right of ownership.

The court has passed the ruling to suspend the consideration of the case and applied to the Constitutional Court with the petition requesting an investigation into whether the provision “under the conditions established by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania” of Article 6 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On Supplementing and Amending the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Procedure and Conditions of the Restoration of the Rights of Ownership of Citizens to the Existing Real Property” of 15 July 1993 (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 1993, No. 32-725), as well as the provision “under the conditions established by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania” of Item 1.2, as well as Item 2.1 and Subitems 1, 2 and 3 of the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 55) “On a Partial Amendment of the Procedure for the Enforcement of the Law ‘On the Procedure and Conditions of the Restoration of the Rights of Ownership of Citizens to the Existing Real Property’ Confirmed by the 15 November 1991 Resolution (No. 470) of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania” of 26 January 1994 (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 1994, No. 9-150) (hereinafter referred to as the “Government Resolution”) are in compliance with Article 23 of the Constitution.

By Article 6 of the 15 July 1993 Law, Article 10 of the Law “On the Procedure and Conditions of the Restoration of the Rights of Ownership of Citizens to the Existing Real Property”(hereinafter referred to as “the Law”), adopted on 18 June 1991, was amended. Thus, the impugned provision indicated by the petitioner is in Paragraph 7 of Article 10 of the Law, therefore, Paragraph 7 of Article 10 of the Law will be discussed in this ruling.

Paragraph 7 of Article 10 of the Law provides: “Under the conditions established by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania the right of ownership to land or forest shall be restored to the persons who have filed their petitions to restore the right of ownership not later than till 10 September 1993.”

In Item 1.2 of the Government Resolution, besides, it is established that petitions for restoration of the rights of ownership to land within the boards of towns and urban-type settlements have to be filed by persons prior to 31 March 1992, petitions for restoration of the rights of ownership to land for agricultural purpose, residential houses together with their equipment which are within the boards of land for agricultural purpose or land of forest, as well as to forest areas have to be filed prior to 31 May 1992, and petitions for restoration of the ownership right to land and forest under the conditions established by the Government have to be filed prior to 10 September 1993.

Item 2.1 and its Subitems 1, 2 and 3 of the Resolution provide:

“2.1. the right of ownership shall be restored to the persons who filed petitions for restoration of the ownership right to land or forest after 31 March 1992 (for the land and forest owned within the boards of towns and urban-type settlements) or after 31 May 1992 (for land and forest owned in rural localities), but not later than prior to 10 September 1993, provided that:

2.1.1. any claimant has not filed the petition to restore the ownership right to former land or forest property;

2.1.2. prior to the date of the enforcement of this Resolution (inclusive) local services of agrarian reform have not drawn any conclusions concerning the restoration of the ownership right to land for agricultural purpose to other claimants;

2.1.3. prior to the date of the enforcement of this Resolution (inclusive) local services of agrarian reform have drawn conclusions concerning the restoration of the ownership right to land for agricultural purpose or forest to other claimants, but the institutions authorised by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania have not passed any decisions related to the restoration of the right of ownership to land for agricultural purpose or forest to these claimants and they agree that conclusions of local services of agrarian reform would be amended according to mutual agreement of all the claimants to the land and forest property owned by them.”

II

The petitioner grounds his petition requesting an investigation into the compliance of these norms of law with the Constitution on the following legal arguments.

It is established in Article 23 of the Constitution that the rights of ownership are protected by law, property may only be seized for the needs of society according to the procedure established by law and must be adequately compensated for.

It is indicated in Paragraph 7 of Article 10 of the Law that under the conditions established by the Government the right of ownership to land or forest are restored to the persons who have filed their petitions for restoration of the right of ownership not later than till 10 September 1993, while the rights of the parties of legal relations of ownership may be regulated only by the legislature that establishes the contents of these rights according to law. In this case the governing institution is entitled to establish the conditions of the restoration of rights of ownership, and the Government factually settles the issues of ownership. Legal acts adopted by the Government do not come up with law in their force, they cannot compete with law or substitute it.

The petitioner points out that Article 1 of the Law provides: “This law shall legislate the procedure and conditions of the restoration of the right of ownership to the citizens of the Republic of Lithuania to the property which was nationalised under the laws of the USSR (those of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic) or which was otherwise unlawfully made public.”

The petitioner bases himself on the provision of the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 27 May 1994 that the establishment of new conditions to be applied in the restoration of the right of ownership is within the competence of the legislature. Thus, in the opinion of the petitioner the delegation of such a right to the Government is fallacious, and the provision “under the conditions established by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania”, Paragraph 7 of Article 10 of the Law, contradicts Article 23 of the Constitution.

The petitioner grounds his doubt related to the compliance of the provision of Item 1.2, as well as Item 2.1 and its Subitems 1, 2 and 3 of the Government Resolution with the Constitution on that the conditions established in the Resolution limit the restoration of ownership rights to land and forest to those claimants who have filed their petitions after the prolongation of the term. The restoration of the rights of ownership in the Government Resolution is linked with the petitions and will of other claimants and with decisions of the institutions executing agrarian reform. Contrary to what is established in the Constitution and Article 1 of the Law, not the conditions established by the Law but subjective actions or decisions decide the restoration of the rights of ownership. Such limitation on the restoration of ownership rights actually means the seizure of the property which in this case would be performed not according to the procedure established by law, not for the needs of society and without any compensation.

III

In the course of the preparation of the case, and at the court hearing, the representative of the Seimas, the party concerned, has explained that, in accordance with the provisions of the Law, the right of ownership must be restored to the citizens who have filed the petitions not later than till 10 September 1993, i.e. by this norm the term of filing petitions has been prolonged. The provision “under the conditions established by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania” is understood as a certain closer definition of existing procedure. It does not entitle the Government to the establishment of new conditions of the restoration of the ownership rights, which are not provided for by law. In the affirmation of the representative of the Seimas, therefore, Paragraph 7 of Article 10 of the Law does not contradict Article 23 of the Constitution.

The Seimas has not authorised and has not been able to authorise the Government to establish new conditions of the restoration of the right of ownership. The Government, while establishing additional conditions of the restoration of ownership rights, has exceeded its authority granted to it in the Law. Thus, in the opinion of the representative of the Seimas, the impugned norms contradict Paragraph 7 of Article 10 of the Law.

IV

In the course of the preparation of the case for the hearing, the representative of the Government, the party concerned, and the representatives of the party concerned in the court hearing have explained that the impugned provision of Paragraph 7 of Article 10 of the Law means that the Government establishes the procedure how the institutions restoring the rights of ownership must adopt the decisions. This procedure is necessary for regulating the whole process of land reform and the restoration of the ownership right to land, which may be established in detail not by law but by government resolutions. For instance, in the procedure of the application of the Law, certain conditions of the restoration of the ownership rights to land in the rural localities are established: conclusions of the service of agrarian reform, and, when necessary, conclusions of the commission of experts must be presented, the land shall be reclaimed only after forming rational land areas of economic significance in the project of agrarian reform and organisation of land exploitation etc.

The representatives of the Government have emphasised that, after the 15 July 1993 prolongation of the term of the filing petitions for the restoration of the ownership right, the established process of the restoration of the ownership right to land would have to be changed because new claimants appeared. It is therefore specified in Paragraph 7 of Article 10 of the Law that the Government should include additional conditions into the resolutions adopted by it. The establishment of the aforementioned conditions does not mean that provisions of laws are amended by the Government Resolution. Judging from the text of Item 2.1 of the Government Resolution, it is prepared without violating the laws regulating land reform or any other laws. In the provision “under the conditions established by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania” of the Law the word “conditions” is used improperly because the Law establishes conditions. However, in the opinion of the representatives of the Government, the norms of the Government Resolution adopted on the basis of the Law do not violate the constitutional rights of citizens, as pursuant to them the rights of ownership are being restored. In case the institution authorised by the Government has already adopted the decision concerning the restoration of the rights of ownership, the ownership rights to the same property may not be restored to other entities and disputes arising due to that should be considered in court. The condition included into the Government Resolution, allegedly limiting the rights of citizens, does not violate them because it is indicated in the Law that in the event when the claimants do not agree, the dispute shall be considered in court.

In the opinion of the representatives of the Government, the provision of Item 1.2, as well as Item 2.1 and its Subitems 1, 2 and 3 of government resolution No. 55 of 26 January 1994, does not contradict Article 23 of the Constitution.

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

  1. On the compliance of Paragraph 7 of Article 10 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Procedure and Conditions of the Restoration of the Rights of Ownership of Citizens to the Existing Real Property” with Paragraph 2 of Article 23 of the Constitution.

The answer to the question whether the Seimas could delegate the Government the right to establish the conditions of the restoration of ownership rights should be related with the principle of the separation of powers, which is consolidated in Article 5 of the Constitution. This principle means that the legislative, executive and judicial branches of power must be separated, sufficiently independent, but, at the same time, they must be balanced. The competence answering their purpose is conceded to every state institution, the concrete content of which depends on the place of that institution among other state institutions and on the relation of its authorisations with those of other institutions.

It is consolidated in Items 1 and 2 of Article 67 of the Constitution that laws are enacted by the Seimas. In the system of the sources of law of the country, the law is a primary legal act having the supreme legal force. This force is based on the fact that the will of the nation on main problems of social life is expressed in the law adopted by the Seimas—the legislature authorised by the nation. Rules of general character are established in norms of laws, and they can be particularised, as well as the procedure of their execution can be regulated in substatutory legal acts.

It is usually difficult to fulfil the aim of consolidating all main rules in laws. The practice of many democratic States concerning the establishment of law undoubtedly proves the significant role of executive power bodies while establishing national law—they pass substatutory legal acts. In some States (Italy, France, etc.), so-called delegated legislation exists when, under the commission of the legislature, the Government may issue legal acts which have the force of law. For instance, it is established in Article 76 of the Constitution of the Republic of Italy that the execution of the function of legislation may be delegated to the Government only after pointing out main principles and criteria, only for the limited time, and on certain subjects. Thus, if the delegation of legislation is allowed, relevant limits and other constitutional guarantees are set and determined.

The delegation of the right of legislation to the Government must be legitimate, i.e. it must be based on the provisions consolidated in the Constitution of the State. In the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania the delegation of legislation is not provided for, therefore, only substatutory legal acts may be adopted by the Government.

The regulation limits of laws and substatutory acts depend on many factors—the traditions of law, the level of political and legal culture of society, however, from the standpoint of both the theory of law and the practice of legislation, certain priority matters of society must be regulated only by law. In a democratic society, the priority is given to a human being, therefore, everything that is related to the fundamental human rights and freedoms is regulated by law. That comprises the confirmation of human rights and freedoms, the determination of the contents thereof, the legal guarantees of their protection and defence, their permissible limitation, etc.

The provision of a democratic State under the rule of law that human rights and freedoms are protected by law is consolidated in the Chapter of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania “The Human Being and the State”: the right to life of a human being shall be protected by law (Article 19), the dignity of the human being shall be protected by law (Article 21), etc.

It is established in Paragraph 2 of Article 23 of the Constitution that “the right of ownership shall be protected by law”. This constitutional provision conforms to that the restoration of the rights of private ownership violated during the period of the Soviet occupation is regulated by the Law “On the Procedure and Conditions of the Restoration of the Rights of Ownership of Citizens to the Existing Real Property”, and not by substatutory act. For instance, Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of the Law provides: “This law shall legislate the procedure and conditions of the restoration of the right of ownership to the citizens of the Republic of Lithuania to the real property which was nationalised under the laws of the USSR (those of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic), or which was otherwise unlawfully made public and which, on the day of enactment of this law, is considered the property of the state, of the public, of cooperative organisations (enterprises), or of collective farms, or is transferred by these organisations to the ownership of natural persons.”

Pursuant to the Law, the conditions of the restoration of ownership rights are such legal facts, on which it depends whether the rights of ownership will be restored. That includes demands made of an entity (Article 2), determined kinds of remained real property (Article 3), as well as the circumstances stipulating the ways of the restoration of ownership rights: the property is restored by giving over the actual property, the equivalent of such property, or by compensating otherwise (Articles 4–6 and 8), etc. In the norms regulating the procedure of the restoration of ownership rights, the terms of filing petitions (Article 10), the State institutions authorised to consider petitions for the restoration of ownership rights and to adopt decisions (Article 18 and Article 191), the procedure and terms to appeal decisions (Articles 19 and 20), etc. Thus, in the norms of the Law concerning the procedure and conditions of the restoration of the rights of ownership, legal prerequisites and time of the origin of subjective rights of ownership, the contents of subjective rights of ownership subject to restoration, juridical remedies and other essential matters are stated.

It is established in Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 10 “Procedure for Filing Petitions to Reclaim Property” of the Law that persons who have the right to the restoration of ownership rights may file petitions for restoration of the ownership right to land existing within the boards of towns and urban-type settlements prior to 31 March 1992, and to land for agricultural purpose, as well as to forest—prior to 31 May 1992. It is established in Paragraph 4 that persons who fail to file petitions within this period shall lose their right to the restoration of the ownership rights under this Law, with the exception of persons having no permanent place of residence in the Republic of Lithuania because of deportation or imprisonment as a result of resistance to the occupation regime. Pursuant to Paragraph 7 of Article 10 of the Law, with which, as it has been already mentioned in this ruling of the Constitutional Court, it was supplemented on 15 July 1993, “under the conditions established by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania the right of ownership to land or forest shall be restored to persons who have filed their petitions to restore the right of ownership not later than till 10 September 1993”. There are two related norms in this paragraph of Article 10: 1) persons are allowed to file petitions for the restoration of the ownership right to land or forest prior to 10 September 1993; 2) to the persons who have performed this the rights of ownership are restored under the conditions established by the Government.

The petitioner reasons his doubt related to the compliance of said norm with the Constitution by that the commission to the Government to establish the conditions of the restoration of ownership rights contradicts the Constitution. In the affirmation of the representative of the Seimas, Paragraph 7 of Article 10 of the Law (“Under the conditions established by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania the right of ownership to land or forest shall be restored to persons who have filed their petitions for restoration of the right of ownership not later than till 10 September 1993.”) should be interpreted otherwise: the Seimas by the said provisions “has prolonged the term of the petitions for the restoration of ownership rights up to 10 September 1993 and has authorised the Government to establish the procedure for acceptance and consideration of such petitions, however it has not authorised and has not been able to authorise the Government to establish new conditions of the restoration of ownership rights”. So the problem of interpreting the impugned norm of the Law has arisen. It should be noted that the necessity to interpret norms or provisions of law normally arises in such case when the law does not completely comply with the requirements (the integrity of the contents of the act, the logicality of exposition, the absence of contradictions, the determination of legal regulation, accurate application of legal terms, the distinct distinguishing of norms and various provisions in the act, etc.), raised for it as a structurally integral and complete document. While interpreting norms of a law, the intentions of the legislature due to which the law has been adopted are considered to be a significant factor, the interpretation of a norm however must be determined by the rules of both the establishment and interpretation of legal norms, which enable to uniformly understand and apply thereof. In conformity with the word-for-word and notional interpretation of the provision “under the conditions established by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania” of the Law, the conclusion should be made that the conditions of the restoration of the ownership right for the mentioned group of persons are spoken about and that the Government is commissioned to establish them. By the way, the Government has executed this provision of the Law exactly like that. However, legal acts adopted by the Government are substatutory acts, and as it has been mentioned in this ruling of the Constitutional Court the conditions of the restoration of ownership rights belong to the regulation subject of the Law. The Constitutional Court in its 19 January 1994 ruling held that “the norms of a law are realised by it, however, such an act may not replace the law itself and create new legal rules of general nature that in their power would compete with the norms of the law. It is an act of application of the norms of a law irrespective of the fact whether this act is of one-off (ad hoc) or permanent validity” (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 1994, No. 7-116).

Therefore, the conclusion should be made that the provision, by which the Government is commissioned to establish by substatutory act the conditions for the restoration of ownership rights, contradicts Paragraph 2 of Article 23 of the Constitution.

  1. On the compliance of the provision of Item 1.2, as well as Item 2.1 and its Subitems 1, 2 and 3 of the 26 January 1994 resolution (No. 55) of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania with Paragraph 2 of Article 23 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

On 15 November 1991, the Government adopted the Resolution (No. 470) “On the Enforcement of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law ‘On the Procedure and Conditions of the Restoration of the Rights of Ownership of Citizens to the Existing Real Property’”, by which “The Procedure for the Enforcement of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law ‘On the Procedure and Conditions of the Restoration of the Rights of Ownership of Citizens to the Existing Real Property’” was confirmed. It should be noted that many norms of the Law were transferred into said substatutory act, without indicating the source of law. Such a practice of law-making should be regarded as being deficient. It can lead to obscurity as to what the real source of relevant legal regulation is—a law or a substatutory act—and otherwise cause difficulty for applying norms of law. For instance, it is established in the Chapter of the Procedure of Enforcement of the Law, named “Filing and Consideration of Petitions for the Restorations of Ownership Rights”, which is newly set forth in Item 1.2 of government resolution No. 55 of 26 January 1994, as well as in Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 10 of the Law, that petitions for the restoration of ownership rights to land within the boards of towns and urban-type settlements have to be filed by persons prior to 31 March 1992, petitions for the restoration of ownership rights to land for agricultural purpose, to residential houses together with their equipment which are within the boards of land for agricultural purpose or land of forest, as well as to forest areas, have to be filed prior to 31 May 1992, and petitions for the restoration of the right of ownership to land and forest under the conditions established by the Government have to be filed prior to 10 September 1993. Pursuant to the direction of Paragraph 7 of Article 10 of the Law, in said norm the provision is established that the Government will establish the conditions of the restoration of ownership rights. That means that it has been passed from the legitimate regulation to the regulation of the same subject in the substatutory act.

The impugned provision “under the conditions established by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania” of Item 1.2 of the Government Resolution is developed in Subitems of Item 2.1 of the Government Resolution: “The right of ownership shall be restored to the persons who have filed petitions for the restoration of ownership rights to land or forest after 31 March 1992 (for the land and forest owned within the boards of towns and urban-type settlements) or after 31 May 1992 (for the land and forest owned in rural localities), but not later than prior to 10 September 1993, provided that:

2.1.1. any claimant has not filed the petition to restore the ownership right to former land or forest property;

2.1.2. prior to the date of the enforcement of this Resolution (inclusive) local services of agrarian reform have not drawn any conclusions concerning the restoration of the ownership right to land for agricultural purpose to other claimants;

2.1.3. prior to the date of the enforcement of this Resolution (inclusive) local services of agrarian reform have drawn conclusions concerning the restoration of the ownership right to land for agricultural purpose or forest to other claimants, but the institutions authorised by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania have not passed any decisions related to restoration of the right of ownership to land for agricultural purpose or forest to these claimants and they agree that conclusions of local services of agrarian reform would be amended according to mutual agreement of all the claimants to the land and forest property owned by them.”

The proposition of the representative of the Government that those are the norms of the law of procedure is only partly right. As such should be considered the norms, in which it is established what decision must be taken by an appropriate institution in one or another case. There are legal norms of two kinds in Item 2.1 of the Government Resolution: procedural and substantive. The first ones establish the decision itself, i.e. whether to restore the rights of ownership or not to restore them. However, the decision is determined by the norms of substantive law, the content of which is as follows: the rights of ownership shall be restored to the persons, who have filed their petitions after the prolongation of the term till 10 September 1993, only under conditions provided for in Subitems 1, 2 and 3 of Item 2.1. These conditions are related not to a person seeking to restore the ownership rights, or to a kind of property, as it is in the Law, but to other factors of subjective character: to petitions and will of other persons seeking to restore the ownership rights to the same property, decisions adopted by the institutions executing agrarian reform. Thus, the additional conditions of the restoration of the ownership rights, which are not established in the Law, are provided for in the Government Resolution.

The circumstance that former owners have appeared who have filed petitions for the restoration of ownership rights to land or forest after the prolongation of the term may have influence on the initiated process of the restoration of ownership rights. However, legal relations being formed due to this, subjective rights of the parties thereof should be regulated by law, and possible individual disputes should be settled in courts. The Government may not intrude by substatutory act into the sphere of the regulation of law, to establish additional conditions of the restoration of ownership rights.

The impugned provision of the Law has not been amended or supplemented by the 3 October 1995 Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On Amending and Supplementing the Republic of Lithuania’s Law ‘On the Procedure and Conditions of the Restoration of the Rights of Ownership of Citizens to the Existing Real Property’”, the impugned norms of the Government Resolution are still in force.

In view of what has been mentioned above, the conclusion should be made that the provision “under the conditions established by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania” of Item 1.2 of the Government Resolution, as well as Item 2.1 and its Subitems 1, 2 and 3 contradict Paragraph 2 of Article 23 of the Constitution.

Conforming 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

  1. To recognise that the provision “under the conditions established by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania” of Paragraph 7 of Article 10 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law “On the Procedure and Conditions of the Restoration of the Rights of Ownership of Citizens to the Existing Real Property” contradicts Paragraph 2 of Article 23 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.
  2. To recognise that the provision “under the conditions established by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania” of Item 1.2, as well as Item 2.1 and its Subitems 1, 2 and 3 of the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 55) “On a Partial Amendment of the Procedure for the Enforcement of the Law ‘On the Procedure and Conditions of the Restoration of the Rights of Ownership of Citizens to the Existing Real Property’ Confirmed by the 15 November 1991 Resolution (No. 470) of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania” of 26 January 1994 contradict Paragraph 2 of Article 23 of 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                           Kęstutis Lapinskas                           Zigmas Levickis

 Vladas Pavilonis                              Pranas Vytautas Rasimavičius         Stasys Stačiokas

 Teodora Staugaitienė                       Juozas Žilys