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Content updated: 10-10-2022 14:28

The provision of the Provisional Law on the State Pensions of Scientists under which the length of scientific service required to receive the said pension includes only the period of the employment of a person as a scientist in state institutions of science and studies was not in conflict with the Constitution

06-10-2022

By its ruling of 6 October 2022, the Constitutional Court recognised that paragraph 1 (wording of 22 December 1994) of Article 4 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the State Pensions of Scientists was not in conflict with the Constitution, insofar as, under that paragraph, the length of scientific service, based on which the state pension of scientists is granted and paid, included only the period of the employment of a person as a scientist in state institutions of science and studies of the Republic of Lithuania.

The Constitutional Court held that, under the impugned legal regulation, the granting and paying of the state pension of scientists is linked to the respective length of scientific service in state institutions of science and studies and, accordingly, under that legal regulation, the length of scientific service, which creates the preconditions for granting and paying the state pension of scientists, did not include the period of the employment of a person as a scientist in other institutions of science and studies.

The Constitutional Court assessed that the legislature, by establishing such a legal regulation, among others, sought to achieve socially significant objectives related to the implementation of the duty of the state to form and pursue a certain scientific policy, as well as a higher education policy that would meet the public interest and the needs of society, among others, the duty of the state to support state schools of higher education. By such a legal regulation, the legislature created the preconditions for ensuring that scientific work significant to civil society and the State of Lithuania is carried out in state institutions of science and studies, i.e. in those institutions of science and studies that are established by the state in order to ensure that, inter alia, international-level fundamental and applied research, long-term research in certain fields that is important for the development of the state, economy, or society, as well as experimental development, is carried out in the state.

Thus, as held by the Constitutional Court, there are no grounds for stating that the legislature, by seeking to achieve the above-mentioned socially significant objectives and linking the granting and paying of the state pension of scientists to the respective length of scientific service in state institutions of science and studies, exercised its broad discretion – to determine the conditions for granting and paying the state pension of scientists – in violation of the requirements implied by the constitutional principle of the equality of the rights of persons.