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Participants of the international conference dedicated to the year of the Constitution have paid official visits to the Constitutional Court

26-10-2022

At the invitation of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, a large group of the presidents and representatives of the constitutional courts and equivalent constitutional justice institutions of the European states participated in the International Conference “From the National Constitution to Transnational Constitutionalism”, which was dedicated to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1922 Constitution of the State of Lithuania and the 30th anniversary of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and was held by the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania together with the Council of Europe’s Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) on 25 October 2022.

The delegations of the representatives of the constitutional courts and equivalent constitutional justice institutions of the European states not only participated in the discussions of that international conference, but also paid official working visits to the Constitutional Court and met with its justices and other representatives. The Constitutional Court held a meeting with Serhiy Holovaty, the Acting Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, and Olga Kravchenko, the Head of the International Cooperation Department of that court. During the meeting, the importance of the support of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania to the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, which has to perform constitutional justice functions under war conditions, was once again emphasised, and other topical issues were discussed.

The Constitutional Court was also visited by Pierre Nihoul, the President of the Constitutional Court of Belgium, representatives of the constitutional courts of Albania, Armenia, Germany, and Moldova. The guests were introduced to the activities of the Constitutional Court, its competence, the case law of the application of individual constitutional complaints; in addition, other important issues of the cooperation between constitutional courts were discussed.

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania was greatly honoured to receive a delegation from the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany, which has a high standing among the institutions of constitutional justice, consisting of Stephan Harbarth, the President of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany, as well as the Justices Ines Härtel and Henning Radtke from the same court. The President and justices of that court thanked Danutė Jočienė, the President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, for a rich conference, a well-chosen topic of the conference, meaningful discussions and exchanged views on issues relevant to both courts. The Constitutional Court has been in contact with that court since its very founding and a delegation of its justices last visited the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany on 1–3 December 2021.

Domnica Manole, the current President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Moldova, which is at present holding presidency of the Conference of European Constitutional Courts, and Elena Gorodisteanu, the Head of the International Relations Department of that court, visited the Constitutional Court for the first time. During the meeting, the 5th Congress of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice (WCCJ), held in Bali on 4–7 October 2022, as well as the joint efforts to raise the issue of the membership of the constitutional courts of Russia and Belarus in that organisation, was discussed. In response to all the initiatives taken to remove these courts from the organisation uniting the constitutional courts of the world, the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, accusing the constitutional courts, including the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, which raised and supported the said initiatives, of continuous political intriguing, itself withdrew from that organisation. During the meeting, it was also agreed to continue to support the initiative of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania to amend the Statute of the WCCJ by providing for the possibility not only to suspend the membership in the WCCJ of the constitutional justice institution that violates fundamental constitutional principles on which the WCCJ is based, but also to remove such a member from it.

The Constitutional Court was also visited by a delegation from the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia, consisting of its President Arman Dilanyan, Justice Arthur Vagharshyan, and the adviser to the President Armenak Minasyants. During the meeting, the issues of competence of the constitutional courts of both states, the procedure for appointing justices of the Constitutional Court, and significant constitutional justice cases were discussed.

The Constitutional Court was also visited by Fiona Papajorgji, a justice of the Constitutional Court of Albania, the legal adviser Ela Elezi, and Alma Çomo, the Head of the Department for Public and International Relations of that court. During the meeting with Danutė Jočienė, the President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, a discussion was held about similar challenges faced by both constitutional courts.

During the visits, the guests met with Danutė Jočienė, the President of the Constitutional Court, the Justices Elvyra Baltutytė, Gintaras Goda, Giedrė Lastauskienė, Vytautas Mizaras, Daiva Petrylaitė, Algis Norkūnas, and Janina Stripeikienė, inspected the courtroom and the deliberation rooms, and visited the museum revealing the history of the Court.

In addition to the constitutional courts mentioned above, Koen Lenaerts, the President of the Court of Justice of the European Union, and judges of that court, Jana Baricová, a representative of the Venice Commission and a justice of the Constitutional Court of Slovakia, representatives of the constitutional courts of Austria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, and Slovenia participated in the International Conference “From the National Constitution to Transnational Constitutionalism”, which was organised by the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania together with the Venice Commission.