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Cooperation with the Constitutional Tribunal of the Republic of Poland

The cooperation with the Constitutional Tribunal of the Republic of Poland has been maintained since the very establishment of the Constitutional Court, i.e. for more than twenty years now. Since 1995, Poland and Lithuania have taken turns annually in holding conferences between the justices of both courts.

On 22–24 May 1995, in Wigry, Poland, the first bilateral conference between the justices of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania and the Constitutional Tribunal of the Republic of Poland was organised. Its topic was “Constitutional Justice both in the Republic of Poland and in the Republic of Lithuania”. The reports were delivered by Justices of the Constitutional Court Kęstutis Lapinskas (“The Place of the Constitutional Court of Lithuania in the System of State Institutions”), Vladas Pavilonis (“The Application of the Principle of Lex Retro Non Agit Both in the Law of the Republic of Lithuania and in the Case-Law of the Constitutional Court”), and Stasys Šedbaras (“The Principle of Public Justice as a Constitutional Problem in the Rulings of a Constitutional Court (with Reference to the Activity of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania)”), as well as by Justices of the Constitutional Tribunal Zdzisław Czeszejko-Sochacki (“The Place of the Constitutional Court in the System of State Institutions”), Wojciech Łączkowski (“The Principle of Lex Retro Non Agit as a Constitutional Problem in the Judgments of the Constitutional Tribunal of Poland”), and Tomasz Dybowski (“The Principle of Public Justice as a Constitutional Problem in the Judgments of the Constitutional Tribunal of Poland”).

The topic discussed at the second conference, held on 27–28 June 1996, was “The Problems of the Legal Nature, Force, and Implementation of the Decisions of Institutions of Constitutional Review”. The reports were delivered by President of the Constitutional Court Juozas Žilys (“Decisions of the Constitutional Court: Their Legal Nature and Force”) and Justice Kęstutis Lapinskas (“The Problems of the Implementation of the Decisions of Institutions of Constitutional Review”), as well as by Justices of the Constitutional Tribunal Lech Garlicki (“The Types and Legal Nature of the Judgments of the Constitutional Tribunal”) and Zdzisław Czeszejko-Sochacki (“The Legal Effects of the Judgments of the Constitutional Tribunal regarding the Unconstitutionality of Normative Acts”).

At the third conference, held on 17–18 November 1997, the reports were delivered by Justices of the Constitutional Court Teodora Staugaitienė (“Ownership in the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania”) and Egidijus Jarašiūnas (“The Problems of the Protection of the Right to Information in the Rulings of the Constitutional Court”), as well as by Justices of the Constitutional Tribunal Janusz Trzciński (“Does the Constitutional Tribunal Belong to the Judiciary?”) and Lech Garlicki (“The Place and Role of the Constitutional Tribunal in the New Constitution”).

In the fourth conference, which took place on 9–10 September 1998, the reports were delivered by Justices of the Constitutional Court Vladas Pavilonis (“The Interpretation of the Constitution in Exercising Abstract Control over the Lawfulness of Legal Acts”) and Kęstutis Lapinskas (“The Sources of Law and Final Acts Adopted by Institutions of Constitutional Review”), as well as by Justices of the Constitutional Tribunal Krzysztof Kolasiński (“The Legal Mechanisms of the Impact of the Judgments of the Constitutional Tribunal on Judgments of Courts”) and Teresa Dębowska-Romanowska (“The Tendencies in Tax Cases as Displayed in the Judgments of the Constitutional Tribunal”).

In the fifth conference, held on 5–6 June 2000, the reports were delivered by Justices of the Constitutional Court Egidijus Jarašiūnas (“The Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in the Case-Law of the Constitutional Court”) and Stasys Stačiokas (“Certain Aspects of the Formation of the Constitutional Doctrine in the Case-Law of the Constitutional Court”). At the same conference, Justice of the Constitutional Tribunal Zdzisław Czeszejko-Sochacki delivered the report “The Freedom to Join a Political Party in the New Constitution” and Justice of the Constitutional Tribunal Marek Safjan delivered the report “The Liability of the State for Unlawful Actions Committed by State Authorities according to Polish Law and Order”.

At the sixth conference, held on 11–12 June 2001, Justice of the Constitutional Court Egidijus Kūris presented the main report “The Development of Constitutional Principles in the Constitutional Jurisprudence”. The other reports were presented by Justice of the Constitutional Court Stasys Stačiokas (“The Relation between the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania and Other Courts of Lithuania”), as well as by Justices of the Constitutional Tribunal Stefan Jaworski (“The Development of Constitutional Principles in the Judgments of the Constitutional Tribunal and the Principle of a Democratic State”) and Krzysztof Kolasiński (“The Influence of the Judgments of the Constitutional Tribunal on Decisions Adopted by Courts”).

At the seventh conference, held on 27–28 June 2002, the reports were delivered by Justices of the Constitutional Tribunal Jadwiga Skórzewska-Łosiak (“The Budget and Public Finances as Constitutional Values”), Biruta Lewaszkiewicz-Petrykowska (“General Interests as Compared with the Constitutional Rights and Liberties of Individuals”) and Bohdan Zdziennicki (“The Constitutionalisation of Administrative Law”), as well as by Justices of the Constitutional Court Vytautas Sinkevičius (“The Budgetary Competence of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania in the Jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court”) and Egidijus Jarašiūnas (“The Influence of the Jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court on Branches of Law”). Justices of the Constitutional Court Zenonas Namavičius and Stasys Stačiokas delivered their joint report “Balancing Public and Private Interests as a Principle of a Harmonious Civil Society and a State under the Rule of Law”.

The topic discussed at the eighth conference, held on 25–26 June 2003, was “The Constitution, National Law, and European Law”. The reports were delivered by Justices of the Constitutional Court Egidijus Jarašiūnas (“The Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and European Integration”), Kęstutis Lapinskas (“The Problems of the Contact between the Jurisdictions and Jurisprudence of European International Courts and National Constitutional Courts”), and Armanas Abramavičius (“The Constitutional Principles of Lithuanian Criminal Law in the Context of the European Union”), as well as by Justices of the Constitutional Tribunal Marian Grzybowski (“The Constitution, National Law, and European Law: The Issues Related to Law and the System of Government”), Mirosław Wyrzykowski (“The Constitutional Tribunal and the Membership of Poland in the European Union: Several Issues”), and Ewa Łętowska (“The Protection of Tenants, Users, and Consumers in the Context of Both Article 76 of the Constitution of Poland and European Standards”).

The ninth conference took place on 22–23 June 2004. At this conference, the reports were delivered by Justices of the Constitutional Court Vytautas Sinkevičius (“The Principles of and Limits on the Interpretation of the Constitution”) and Jonas Prapiestis (“Certain Aspects of the Jurisprudence of the Republic of Lithuania Constitutional Court in 2003–2004”), as well as by Justices of the Constitutional Tribunal Andrzej Mączyński (“The Interpretation of Law in the Judgments of the Constitutional Tribunal”), Jerzy Stępien (“The Jurisprudence of the Constitutional Tribunal in 2003: Several Issues”), and Wiesław Johann (“The Judgments of the Constitutional Tribunal in 2003: Several Issues”).

On 8–9 June 2006, the tenth jubilee conference between the justices of the constitutional courts took place. At this conference, Justice of the Constitutional Tribunal Janusz Niemcewicz delivered the report “The Enforcement of the Judgments of the Constitutional Tribunal and Their Impact on the Legal System”, Justice of the Constitutional Court Stasys Stačiokas delivered the report “The Enforcement of the Acts of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania and Their Impact on the Legal System”, and Justice of the Constitutional Court Romualdas Kęstutis Urbaitis delivered the report “The Impact of the Rulings of the Constitutional Court on the Formation of the Case-Law of the Courts of General and Special Jurisdictions”. Justice of the Constitutional Tribunal Teresa Dębowska-Romanowska gave an overview of the tendencies in the judgements of the Constitutional Tribunal passed in 2001–2006, whereas Justice of the Constitutional Court Armanas Abramavičius made a presentation on the most important problems in the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court in 2004–2006.

The topic discussed at the conference, held on 4–5 June 2007, was “The Constitutional Grounds for the Formation and Activity of Parliamentary Provisional Investigation Commissions”. At this conference, the reports were delivered by Justice of the Constitutional Court Toma Birmontienė (“The Constitutional Grounds for the Formation and Activity of Parliamentary Provisional Investigation Commissions as Reflected in the Jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania”) and Justice of the Constitutional Tribunal Mirosław Wyrzykowski (“An Investigation Commission of the Sejm: The Merits of the Judgment of the Constitutional Tribunal in the Case of the So-Called Banking Commission”). Justice Zenonas Namavičius (Lithuania) and Justice Marian Grzybowski (Poland) gave an overview of the most important problems of the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court and the Constitutional Tribunal in 2006–2007.

On 10–11 September 2008, the twelfth conference was held. Its topic was “The Constitutional Aspects of Environmental Protection”. The main reports on this main topic of the conference were delivered by Justice of the Constitutional Court Kęstutis Lapinskas and by Justice of the Constitutional Tribunal Bohdan Zdziennicki. The second topic of the conference was “The Most Important Problems in the Jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania and the Constitutional Tribunal of the Republic of Poland (2007–2008)”. The reports on this topic were delivered by Justice Ramutė Ruškytė (Lithuania) and Justice Janusz Niemcewicz (Poland).

At the thirteenth conference, which took place on 24–25 June 2009, the main reports were delivered by Justice of the Constitutional Court Ramutė Ruškytė (“Property and the Protection of Property in the Jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania”) and by Justice of the Constitutional Tribunal Ewa Łętowska (“Property and Its Protection as a Criterion of Constitutional Review: Several Issues”). Justice Armanas Abramavičius (Lithuania) gave an overview of the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court, whereas Justice Janusz Niemcewicz (Poland) introduced the most important issues considered by the Constitutional Tribunal in 2008.

The main topic of the fourteenth conference, held on 16–17 June 2010, was “Constitutional Grounds for Economic Freedom”. The reports were delivered by Justice of the Constitutional Court Toma Birmontienė (“Constitutional Grounds for Economic Freedom”) and Justice of the Constitutional Tribunal Stanisław Biernat (“Constitutional Grounds for Economic Freedom”). The reports on the topic “The Most Important Problems in the Jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania and the Constitutional Tribunal of the Republic of Poland (2009–2010)” were made by Justice Mirosław Wyrzykowski (Poland) and Justice Pranas Kuconis (Lithuania).

At the fifteenth conference, which took place on 2–3 June 2011, Justice of the Constitutional Tribunal Teresa Liszcz presented the report “The Right to Social Security in the Jurisprudence of the Constitutional Tribunal of the Republic of Poland” and Justice of the Constitutional Court Algirdas Taminskas presented the report “The Interpretation of the Possibility of Limiting Acquired Social Rights in the Jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania”. Justice Ramutė Ruškytė (Lithuania) gave an overview of certain aspects of the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court in 2010–2011, whereas Justice Stanisław Biernat (Poland) made a presentation on the judgments of the Constitutional Tribunal passed in 2010.

The topic of the sixteenth conference, held on 13–14 June 2012, was “The Fundamental Elements of the Structure of Constitutional Justice Acts”. The main reports on this topic were delivered by Justice of the Constitutional Court Egidijus Šileikis and Justice of the Constitutional Tribunal Sławomira Wronkowska-Jaśkiewicz. The reports on the main issues of the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court and the Constitutional Tribunal in 2011–2012 were made by Justice Stanisław Rymar (Poland) and Justice Gediminas Mesonis (Lithuania).

The topic discussed at the seventeenth conference, held on 17–18 September 2013, was “Freedom from Discrimination in the Jurisprudence of a Constitutional Court”. Justice of the Constitutional Tribunal Marek Zubik delivered the report “The Equality of Rights and the Prohibition on Discrimination from the Perspective of the Jurisprudence of the Constitutional Tribunal” and Justice of the Constitutional Court Toma Birmontienė delivered the report “The Constitutional Doctrine of the Equality of Rights. Freedom from Discrimination in the Jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania”. Justice Algirdas Taminskas (Lithuania) and Justice Zbigniew Cieślak (Poland) gave an overview of the main issues of the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court and the Constitutional Tribunal in 2012–2013.

The topic of the eighteenth conference, held on 11–12 June 2014, was “Constitutional Grounds for Local Self-Government”. The main reports on this topic were delivered by Justice of the Constitutional Court Egidijus Šileikis and Justice of the Constitutional Tribunal Leon Kieres. The reports on the second topic related to the main issues considered by the constitutional courts of both countries were delivered by Justice Wojciech Hermeliński (Poland) and Justice Pranas Kuconis (Lithuania).

On 28–29 May 2015, the participants of the nineteenth conference tackled the topic of election law. Justice Pranas Kuconis (Lithuania) and Justice Wojciech Hermeliński (Poland) delivered the reports on election law in the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Tribunal and the Constitutional Court. President of the Constitutional Court Dainius Žalimas familiarised the participants with the issues investigated by the Constitutional Court during the previous year. Justice Piotr Tuleja made a presentation on the development of the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Tribunal.

Since 2003, the President and justices of the Constitutional Court have been regularly invited to participate in the events held in Warsaw to commemorate the Constitution of 3 May 1791, whereas the representatives of the Constitutional Tribunal have visited Lithuania annually in order to attend the events held in Vilnius to commemorate the Day of the Constitution, as well as the events held every three years on the occasion of the rotation of the justices of the Constitutional Court.