La Cour constitutionnelle de la République de Lituanie-1
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La Cour constitutionnelle de la République de Lituanie-3
La Cour constitutionnelle de la République de Lituanie-4
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Sur lʼadoption des lois constitutionnelles incluses dans la liste des lois constitutionnelles

Case no 5/2019

 THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA
IN THE NAME OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

RULING
On the compliance of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Referendums (wording of 20 December 2018) with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional law

30 July 2020, no KT135-N11/2020
Vilnius

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, composed of the Justices of the Constitutional Court: Elvyra Baltutytė, Gintaras Goda, Vytautas Greičius, Danutė Jočienė, Gediminas Mesonis, Vytas Milius, Janina Stripeikienė, and Dainius Žalimas

The court reporter – Daiva Pitrėnaitė

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, pursuant to Articles 102 and 105 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and Articles 1 and 531 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, at the hearing before the Constitutional Court on 22 July 2020, considered, under written procedure, the constitutional justice case (no 5/2019) subsequent to the petition (no 1B-5/2019) of a group of members of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Referendums (wording of 20 December 2018) is in conflict with Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

The Constitutional Court

has established:

I

The arguments of the petitioner

1. The petition of a group of members of the Seimas, the petitioner, is based on the following arguments.

1.1. After the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Constitutional Law on the List of Constitutional Laws on 15 March 2012, this constitutional law is binding in the event of the re-enactment of all laws included therein. Thus, the Law on Referendums, which is included in the list of constitutional laws, after this law was set out in its new wording, had to be adopted as a constitutional law in accordance with the requirements laid down in Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution and Chapter XXVI1 “Constitutional Laws” of the Statute of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, which are essentially different from the rules for adopting ordinary laws, laid down in Paragraph 2 of Article 69 of the Constitution and in the relevant provisions of the Statute of the Seimas. However, the Law on Referendums (wording of 20 December 2018) was adopted not in accordance with the procedure, laid down in Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution, for adopting constitutional laws, but in accordance with the general legislative procedure applicable to ordinary laws.

1.2. The petitioner notes that, in its ruling of 15 February 2019, the Constitutional Court recalled that the Seimas had undertaken the obligation to adopt the Republic of Lithuania’s Constitutional Law on Referendums; in the above-mentioned ruling, the Constitutional Court also held that the inclusion of the law consolidating the legal regulation governing the relationships connected with the organisation of referendums in the list of constitutional laws, under the Constitution, means that such a law must be adopted and the legal regulation consolidated therein must be amended under a more complex procedure (compared with the adoption and amendment of other laws), thus seeking to create the preconditions for ensuring the stability of this legal regulation.

However, on 20 December 2018, the Seimas adopted the Law Amending the Republic of Lithuania’s Law (No IX-929) on Referendums (hereinafter referred to as the Law Amending the Law on Referendums) in accordance with the general procedure laid down in the Statute of the Seimas for adopting laws, i.e. by a majority vote of more than half of the members of the Seimas participating in the sitting, provided that not less than half of all the members of the Seimas attended the sitting; by the Law Amending the Law on Referendums, the Law on Referendums adopted on 4 June 2002 was set out in its new wording. Since, according to the petitioner, this Law on Referendums (wording of 20 December 2018), which came into force on 1 January 2019, had to be adopted as a constitutional law, there is the doubt as to whether it, in terms of the procedure of its adoption, is consistent with Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution.

II

The arguments of the representatives of the party concerned

2. In the course of the preparation of the case for the hearing of the Constitutional Court, written explanations were received from the representatives of the Seimas, the party concerned: Agnė Širinskienė, Chair of the Committee of the Seimas on Legal Affairs, and Ona Buišienė, senior adviser at the Public Law Unit of the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas; in the explanations, it is maintain that the impugned legal regulation is not in conflict with the Constitution.

2.1. The position of Seimas member Agnė Širinskienė, a representative of the Seimas, is based on the following arguments.

2.1.1. Constitutional laws must be adopted in accordance with the special procedure applicable to their adoption and they may not be adopted or amended as ordinary laws; while, ordinary laws may not be adopted or amended as constitutional laws.

Neither the fact that a law is included in the list of constitutional laws nor the provisions of the Constitutional Law on the List of Constitutional Laws imply the duty of the Seimas to adopt the constitutional laws included in this list within a certain defined time limit or under other conditions. The Seimas is bound by the adopted laws; whereas, the purpose of the Constitutional Law on the List of Constitutional Laws is to create the legal preconditions for adopting constitutional laws, but not to impose the duty to adopt them within specific time limits or under other conditions. The discretion exercised by the Seimas, as well as the principle of the free mandate of a member of the Seimas, means that the Seimas may itself determine when, under what conditions, and of what content a constitutional law is to be adopted.

Having emphasised in its rulings of 11 July 2014 and 15 February 2019 that the Seimas has the obligation to adopt the Constitutional Law on Referendums, the Constitutional Court also did not specify within what time limits and under what conditions it should be adopted.

2.1.2. There is no reason to maintain that the inclusion of a law in the list of constitutional laws could affect the validity or, if necessary, amendment of ordinary laws that are in force and govern the legal relationships falling within the scope of the regulation of constitutional laws. After a law is included in the list of constitutional laws, the ordinary law that is already in force and regulates analogous relationships does not become constitutional; however, due to this, it does not cease to be in force and may be amended in accordance with the procedure applicable to ordinary laws. The discretion of the Seimas to amend ordinary laws that are in force is not limited.

The Law Amending the Law on Referendums was not a new Law on Referendums, in terms of either its name or its content. This law was adopted by the Seimas in accordance with the established law-making procedures. The will of the legislature was not to adopt a new Law on Referendums, but rather to make, in principle, amendments of a technical nature in order to bring this law in line with other electoral laws governing the legal relationships analogous in terms of procedures. About 40 per cent of the amendments to the law were of a technical nature; they were made to 31 out of 80 articles and precisely this determined that the law was set out in a new wording, as prescribed in Paragraph 3 of Article 14 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Legislative Framework.

2.2. The explanations provided by Ona Buišienė, senior adviser at the Public Law Unit of the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas, acting as the other representative of the Seimas, contain the following additional aspects.

2.2.1. The draft Law Amending the Law on Referendums was a draft law that, together with other draft laws, comprised a package of amendments submitted to the Seimas in relation to the laws governing elections and referendums. As it is clear from the explanatory note to the draft Law Amending the Law on Referendums, this law was amended, because many of its provisions had become outdated and were no longer in line with the established practice of organising elections (referendums). This package of draft laws was aimed at unifying all the procedures and conditions for organising elections, as well as making more precise certain provisions. Notably, a large number of these technical amendments (specifying concepts, the provisions on the number of polling places, voting time, the counting of votes, etc.) determined that the Law on Referendums was set out in a new wording.

2.2.2. So far, only the Republic of Lithuania’s Constitutional Law on the Implementation of the Fiscal Treaty has been adopted out of the laws included in the list of constitutional laws. The draft of this law was submitted to the Seimas for consideration precisely as a draft constitutional law starting from the very launch of the initiative to adopt such a law and it was adopted in accordance with the procedure for adopting constitutional laws.

2.2.3. In the exercise of its legislative function, the Seimas is not restricted by any sequence in which the constitutional laws included in the list of constitutional laws should be adopted, nor by whether, in the event of their improvement, the laws that are in force should be amended only in part or set out in a new wording. The Seimas has the powers to decide not only what particularly significant social relationships should be regulated by constitutional laws, but also in which period of the development of the state and its legal system these laws should be adopted taking into account changes in society.

2.2.4. The Constitutional Law on Referendums and the Law on Referendums that is currently in force differ in their legal form and legal force. The inclusion of the Constitutional Law on Referendums in the list of constitutional laws does not in itself prevent the process of improving the legal regulation laid down in the Law on Referendums that is currently in force, by amending one or several its provisions, or more than half of the provisions of this law and, due to this, setting out the law in its new wording. The law set out in its new wording may reiterate the same legal norms, specify the existing norms or irrelevant norms in more precise detail, or it may contain an amended structure of the law, an amended order in which legal norms are set out, etc. The development of the legal regulation laid down in the Law on Referendums can be discontinued only upon the entry into force of the Constitutional Law on Referendums, adopted in the particular manner, as the ordinary Law on Referendums would then cease to be in force.

The draft Law Amending the Law on Referendums was submitted, deliberated, and adopted as an ordinary law; therefore, the Seimas did not violate the legislative procedure applicable to adopting this law. This was not the adoption of a law included in the list of constitutional laws. As long as the Seimas has not taken the initiative to adopt a constitutional law, such inaction by the Seimas may not be subject to constitutional review.

III

The material received in the case

3. In the course of the preparation of the case for the hearing of the Constitutional Court, an opinion, prepared by Prof. Dr. Vytautas Sinkevičius, was submitted by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Dovilė Gailiūtė-Janušonė, Vice-Dean of Mykolas Romeris Law School of Mykolas Romeris University, who was substituting for the Dean of this school.

3.1. The institution of constitutional laws is consolidated in the Constitution in order to ensure the stability of the legal regulation of the particularly important areas in the life of society and the state.

The concept of constitutional laws is used in various articles of the Constitution: i.e. Articles 47, 69, 72, and 150. The constitutional laws (constitutional acts) indicated in Article 150 of the Constitution, which form a constituent part of the Constitution, are different from other constitutional laws referred to in the Constitution in that the constitutional laws (constitutional acts) indicated in Article 150 of the Constitution have the legal force of the Constitution itself and they are adopted and altered under the same procedure as the Constitution itself. The constitutional law referred to in Paragraph 3 of Article 47 of the Constitution and the constitutional laws included in the list of constitutional laws are ranking lower than the Constitution. The constitutional law referred to in Paragraph 3 of Article 47 of the Constitution and the constitutional laws included in the list of constitutional laws may not contradict the Constitution and, thus, they also may not contradict those constitutional laws (constitutional acts) that are indicated in Article 150 of the Constitution. On the other hand, the constitutional law referred to in Paragraph 3 of Article 47 of the Constitution and the constitutional laws included in the list of constitutional laws are ranking higher than ordinary laws, which may not contradict constitutional laws; nor is it allowed to amend constitutional laws by means of ordinary laws.

3.2. The inclusion of a particular law in the list of constitutional laws implies the duty of the Seimas to adopt the respective constitutional law. However, the Constitution neither explicitly nor implicitly defines when (within what time limit) the Seimas must adopt a constitutional law included in the list of constitutional laws. Consequently, the Seimas has discretion to decide whether to adopt such a constitutional law and when it is to be adopted.

The mere fact that an ordinary law that is in force has been included in the list of constitutional laws does not mean that, purportedly, under Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution, the Seimas is prohibited from amending the ordinary law that is in force by means of an ordinary law, inter alia, is prohibited from setting it out in a new wording by adopting an ordinary law rather than a constitutional law. The Constitution contains no such prohibitions. Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution may not be interpreted in such a way that, upon the inclusion of an ordinary law that is in force in the list of constitutional laws, the Seimas would lose its right, or could not fulfil its duty, to remove from the legal system inappropriate and flawed laws or its other acts, as well as those that are contrary to the Constitution, or that the Seimas could not, in good time, amend laws that impede achieving progress in society and the state or ensuring human rights and freedoms in a better way. The fact that the social relationships regulated by an ordinary law that is in force must, in accordance with the list of constitutional laws, be regulated by a constitutional law, which has not yet been adopted, is not an obstacle to the Seimas to adopt an ordinary law and, by means of it, to amend an ordinary law that is in force, or to set out an ordinary law that is in force in its new wording by means of an adopted ordinary law.

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

I

The provisions of the Constitution and the official constitutional doctrine

4. In this constitutional justice case, the petitioner impugns the compliance of the Law on Referendums (wording of 20 December 2018) with Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution.

5. Article 69 of the Constitution prescribes:

Laws shall be adopted at the Seimas according to the procedure established by law.

Laws shall be deemed adopted if the majority of the Members of the Seimas participating in the sitting vote in favour thereof.

Constitutional laws of the Republic of Lithuania shall be adopted if more than half of all the Members of the Seimas vote in favour thereof, and they shall be altered by not less than a 3/5 majority vote of all the Members of the Seimas. The Seimas shall establish the list of constitutional laws by a 3/5 majority vote of the Members of the Seimas.

The provisions of laws of the Republic of Lithuania may also be adopted by referendum.”

Thus, Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution provides for the institution of constitutional laws, as well as for the procedure for adopting and amending constitutional laws, which is different from the procedure, provided for in Paragraph 2 of this article, for adopting laws. It should be noted that constitutional laws are expressis verbis also mentioned in other provisions of the Constitution, inter alia, in Articles 47 and 72 of the Constitution.

In this constitutional justice case, it is important to clarify the content of the constitutional institution of constitutional laws, the notion of constitutional laws, and their relationship with the acts of constitutional significance, among other things, by revealing the specificities of constitutional laws as regards their legal force and the procedures for their adoption and amendment.

6. It should be emphasised that the fundamental constitutional acts of the State of Lithuania – the Resolution of the Council of Lithuania of 16 February 1918 (Act of Independence), the Act of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania of 11 March 1990 on the Re-establishment of the Independent State of Lithuania, and the Declaration of the Council of the Lithuanian Freedom Fight Movement of 16 February 1949 – are not constitutional laws and cannot be equated with them.

6.1. The main fundamental constitutional act of the above-mentioned fundamental constitutional acts of the State of Lithuania is the Resolution of the Council of Lithuania of 16 February 1918 (Act of Independence), which is of a constituent nature and by which the Council of Lithuania, acting “as the sole representative of the Lithuanian nation, in conformity with the recognised right to national self-determination”, proclaimed “the restoration of the independent state of Lithuania, founded on democratic principles, with Vilnius as its capital”, and declared “the termination of all state ties that formerly bound this State to other nations”.

6.1.1. The Constitutional Court has held that the Act of Independence of 16 February 1918 of the Council of Lithuania is the constitutional foundation of the State of Lithuania (rulings of 22 February 2013 and 18 March 2014). It should be underlined that the Act of Independence of 16 February 1918 established the modern State of Lithuania as a subject of international law; it also consolidates the unamendable fundamental principles of the constitutional order of Lithuania – independence, as well as democracy, from which the innate nature of human rights and freedoms is inseparable. As stressed by the Constitutional Court, the innate nature of human rights and freedoms, democracy, and the independence of the state are such constitutional values that constitute the foundation for the Constitution as a social contract, the foundation for the People’s common life, which is based on the Constitution, and the foundation for the State of Lithuania itself; no one may deny the provisions of the Constitution that consolidate these fundamental constitutional values, since doing so would amount to the denial of the essence of the Constitution itself; therefore, it is not permitted to adopt any such amendments to the Constitution that would destroy the innate nature of human rights and freedoms, democracy, or the independence of the state; if the Constitution were interpreted in a different way, it would be understood as creating the preconditions for abolishing the restored “independent State of Lithuania, founded on democratic principles”, as proclaimed by the Act of Independence of 16 February 1918 (ruling of 11 July 2014).

Thus, the constitutions of the State of Lithuania, inter alia, the Constitution adopted by the citizens of Lithuania in the referendum of 25 October 1992, derive from the Act of Independence of 16 February 1918. It should be noted that the unamendable fundamental constitutional principles of the Act of Independence of 16 February 1918 – independence, democracy, as well as the innate nature of human rights and freedoms, which is inseparable from democracy, are consolidated in Article 1 of the Constitution.

6.1.2. It should be noted in this context that, along with the Act of Independence of 16 February 1918, the Resolution of the Constituent Assembly (Seimas) of 15 May 1920 on the re-established democratic State of Lithuania, which declared the State of Lithuania a democratic republic, also forms the constitutional foundation of the State of Lithuania. Moreover, this Resolution of the Constituent Assembly (Seimas) implemented the provision of the Act of Independence of 16 February 1918 that the foundation of the State of Lithuanian must be finally determined by the Constituent Assembly (Seimas).

Thus, the Resolution of the Constituent Assembly (Seimas) of 15 May 1920 on the re-established democratic State of Lithuania derives from the Act of Independence of 16 February 1918. This Resolution consolidates the fundamental provision that the form of government of the State of Lithuania is a republic. It should be pointed out that this fundamental provision and the unamendable fundamental principles of the constitutional order of Lithuania as they are enshrined in the Act of Independence of 16 February 1918 are laid down in Article 1 of the Constitution, stipulating that “The State of Lithuania shall be an independent democratic republic”.

6.1.3. In addition, it should be noted that the Act of Independence of 16 February 1918 contains the fundamental provision that the capital of the State of Lithuania is Vilnius. This fundamental provision, expressing the constitutional tradition of the State of Lithuania, is set out in Article 17 of the Constitution, which stipulates that “The capital of the State of Lithuania shall be the city of Vilnius, the long-standing historical capital of Lithuania”.

6.2. Another fundamental constitutional act of the State of Lithuania is the Act of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania of 11 March 1990 on the Re-establishment of the Independent State of Lithuania, which is a restorative act, by which the Independence of the Republic of Lithuania was restored.

6.2.1. By the Act of 11 March 1990 on the Re-establishment of the Independent State of Lithuania, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania, expressing the will of the People, decreed and solemnly proclaimed that “the execution of the sovereign powers of the State of Lithuania abolished by foreign forces in 1940 is re-established, and henceforth Lithuania is again an independent state”; in this Act, it is stated that “The Act of Independence of 16 February 1918 of the Council of Lithuania and the Resolution of 15 May 1920 of the Constituent Assembly (Seimas) on the re-established democratic State of Lithuania never lost their legal effect and comprise the constitutional foundation of the State of Lithuania”.

Thus, the Act of 11 March 1990 on the Re-establishment of the Independent State of Lithuania derives from the Act of Independence of 16 February 1918 and implements the unamendable fundamental constitutional principles enshrined therein – independence, democracy, and the innate nature of human rights and freedoms; the Act of 11 March 1990 on the Re-establishment of the Independent State of Lithuania also derives from the Resolution of the Constituent Assembly (Seimas) of 15 May 1920 on the re-established democratic State of Lithuania and implements the fundamental provision consolidated in this Resolution that the State of Lithuania is a democratic republic. The Constitutional Court has held that the provisions of the Act of 11 March 1990 on the Re-establishment of the Independent State of Lithuania make it clear that this Act states not only the continuity of the State of Lithuania, but also its identity (rulings of 22 February 2013 and 18 March 2014).

In view of this, it should be held that the Constitution adopted by the citizens of Lithuania in the referendum of 25 October 1992 derives not only from the Act of Independence of 16 February 1918 (along with the Resolution of the Constituent Assembly (Seimas) of 15 May 1920 on the re-established democratic State of Lithuania), but also from the Act of 11 March 1990 on the Re-establishment of the Independent State of Lithuania. It should be noted that, implemented by the Act of 11 March 1990 on the Re-establishment of the Independent State of Lithuania, the unamendable fundamental constitutional principles – independence, democracy, and the innate nature of human rights and freedoms, as enshrined in the Act of Independence of 16 February 1918, and the fundamental provision that the State of Lithuania is a democratic republic, as proclaimed in the Resolution of the Constituent Assembly (Seimas) of 15 May 1920 on the re-established democratic State of Lithuania, are consolidated in Article 1 of the Constitution, which provides that “The State of Lithuania shall be an independent democratic republic”. It should also be noted that Article 1 of the Constitution must be interpreted in the light, inter alia, of the continuity of the state and its constitutional identity with the modern State of Lithuania founded by the Act of Independence of 16 February 1918, as expressed in the Act of 11 March 1990 on the Re-establishment of the Independent State of Lithuania.

6.2.2. By the Act of 11 March 1990 on the Re-establishment of the Independent State of Lithuania, the State of Lithuania also declared its adherence to the universally recognised principles of international law and committed itself to guaranteeing human, civil, and ethnic community rights. The Constitutional Court has held that the observance of international obligations undertaken of its own free will and respect for the universally recognised principles of international law are a legal tradition and a constitutional principle of the restored independent State of Lithuania (inter alia, the rulings of 14 March 2006, 5 September 2012, and 24 January 2014). It should be pointed out that the adherence of the State of Lithuania to the universally recognised principles of international law, as declared in the Act of 11 March 1990 on the Re-establishment of the Independent State of Lithuania, is reflected, inter alia, in Paragraph 1 of Article 135 of the Constitution: as held by the Constitutional Court, this provision of the Constitution consolidates the constitutional principle of respect for international law (ruling of 24 January 2014).

6.2.3. The Act of 11 March 1990 on the Re-establishment of the Independent State of Lithuania also contains the fundamental provision that “The territory of Lithuania is whole and indivisible”. It should be noted that this fundamental provision is reflected in Article 10 of the Constitution, which stipulates that “The territory of the State of Lithuania shall be integral and shall not be divided into any state-like formations”.

6.3. The Declaration of the Council of the Lithuanian Freedom Fight Movement of 16 February 1949 (hereinafter also referred to as the Declaration of the LFFM Council of 16 February 1949) is also a fundamental constitutional act of the State of Lithuania; it was adopted by the LFFM Council as “the supreme political body of the Nation, in charge of the political and military fight for the liberation of the Nation”, expressing the will of the Nation (Item 1 of the Preamble to the Declaration of the LFFM Council of 16 February 1949).

6.3.1. It should be noted that the principles of the restoration of the Independence of the Republic of Lithuania, laid down in the Declaration of the LFFM Council of 16 February 1949, are based on the continuity of the State of Lithuania and its constitutional identity with the modern State of Lithuania founded by the Act of Independence of 16 February 1918 (inter alia, Items 3, 5, 6, 8, and 14).

It should be noted in this context that, as held by the Constitutional Court, the restoration of the Independence of the Republic of Lithuania was based on the continuity of the State of Lithuania, which means that the aggression started by the USSR against the Republic of Lithuania on 15 June 1940 (inter alia, the occupation and annexation of the territory of the Republic of Lithuania) did not end the existence of the State of Lithuania as a subject of international law or its sovereign powers (rulings of 22 February 2013 and 18 March 2014). The Constitutional Court has also held that the organised armed fight of the citizens of the Republic of Lithuania during 1944–1953 against the Soviet occupation should be regarded as the self-defence of the State of Lithuania; in view of the aggression carried out by the USSR against the Republic of Lithuania, also in view of the continuity of the State of Lithuania and the continuity of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, the organised armed partisan forces should be regarded as the armed forces of the Republic of Lithuania that resisted the occupation, i.e. as volunteer forces that should be regarded as a party to the international armed conflict (ruling of 18 March 2014).

Therefore, it should be stressed that the Declaration of the LFFM Council of 16 February 1949 was adopted by the LFFM Council as the then supreme institution of the Republic of Lithuania that fought against the occupation and expressed the will of the People to restore the Independence of the State of Lithuania on the basis of its continuity. It should be mentioned in this context that, as held by the Constitutional Court, by Item 22 of the Declaration of the LFFM Council of 16 February 1949, the State of Lithuania expressed its commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (rulings of 18 March 2014 and 20 October 2015).

It should also be noted that the Declaration of the LFFM Council of 16 February 1949 derives from the Act of Independence of 16 February 1918 (along with the Resolution of the Constituent Assembly (Seimas) of 15 May 1920 on the re-established democratic State of Lithuania): by adopting the Declaration of the LFFM Council of 16 February 1949, it was sought to implement the unamendable fundamental constitutional principles of the Act of Independence of 16 February 1918 – independence, democracy, and the innate nature of human rights and freedoms, as well as the fundamental provision that the State of Lithuania is a democratic republic, as proclaimed in the Resolution of the Constituent Assembly (Seimas) of 15 May 1920 on the re-established democratic State of Lithuania. As mentioned before, these unamendable fundamental constitutional principles and the said fundamental provision are consolidated in Article 1 of the Constitution, which provides that “The State of Lithuania shall be an independent democratic republic”.

6.3.2. The Declaration of the LFFM Council of 16 February 1949 laid down the foundations and principles for the future constitutional order of the restored independent State of Lithuania, which express the constitutional traditions of the State of Lithuania: a democratic republic (Items 3, 14, and 16); the sovereignty of the People (Item 4); a parliamentary republic (Item 14); free, democratic, universal, equal, and secret suffrage (Item 5); respect for human rights and freedoms (Items 14 and 22); the equality of the rights of citizens (Item 15); respect for religion (Item 18); the social orientation of the state (Items 19 and 20); the western geopolitical orientation of the State of Lithuania (Item 22); legal responsibility for actions against the State of Lithuania and the prohibition of totalitarian regimes (Items 16 and 17).

It should be noted that these constitutional traditions of the State of Lithuania are reflected in the provisions of the Constitution adopted by the citizens of Lithuania in the referendum of 25 October 1992, inter alia, in Articles 1, 2, 4, 18, 25, 26, 29, 33, 35, 43, 52, 55, and 135 thereof, also in the Constitutional Act of 8 June 1992 on the Non-Alignment of the Republic of Lithuania to Post-Soviet Eastern Unions and the Constitutional Act of 13 July 2004 on Membership of the Republic of Lithuania in the European Union, which are a constituent part of the Constitution.

6.3.3. The Constitution is supreme law; the source of the Constitution is the national community itself – the civil People (rulings of 25 May 2004, 24 January 2014, and 11 July 2014). As held by the Constitutional Court, it is entrenched in the Preamble to the Constitution, inter alia, that the Lithuanian People for centuries staunchly defended their freedom and independence, embodied the innate right of the human being and the People to live and create freely in the land of their fathers and forefathers, and preserved the striving and the right to reside in the independent State of Lithuania (ruling of 13 November 2006). Thus, the Constitution adopted by the citizens of Lithuania in the referendum of 25 October 1992 also derives from the will of the People to have the independent democratic State of Lithuania, and this will is expressed, inter alia, in the Declaration of the LFFM Council of 16 February 1949, which is derived from the Act of Independence of 16 February 1918 (along with the Resolution of the Constituent Assembly (Seimas) of 15 May 1920 on the re-established democratic State of Lithuania).

6.4. To sum up, it should be emphasised that, from the point of view of the Constitution of 25 October 1992, the fundamental constitutional acts of the State of Lithuania – the Resolution of the Council of Lithuania of 16 February 1918 – the Act of Independence (along with the Resolution of the Constituent Assembly (Seimas) of 15 May 1920 on the re-established democratic State of Lithuania), the Act of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania of 11 March 1990 on the Re-establishment of the Independent State of Lithuania, and the Declaration of the Council of the Lithuanian Freedom Fight Movement of 16 February 1949 – are pre-constitutional constituent (restorative) acts, adopted by the supreme institutions that represented the People and expressed the will of the People to establish (restore) the independent democratic State of Lithuania. Therefore, these fundamental constitutional acts of the State of Lithuania, as the primary sources of Lithuanian constitutional law, may never be altered or repealed.

It should also be underlined that the provisions of the fundamental constitutional acts of the State of Lithuania that consolidated and implemented the unamendable fundamental constitutional principles – independence, democracy, and the innate nature of human rights and freedoms – have supra-constitutional force; they may not be denied by any constitution of the State of Lithuania. On the contrary, the Constitution, as supreme law, enshrines and unconditionally protects these constitutional values. If the Constitution were interpreted in a different way, as mentioned before, the preconditions would be created for abolishing the restored “independent State of Lithuania, founded on democratic principles”, as proclaimed by the Act of Independence of 16 February 1918.

It should be noted that other fundamental provisions that are consolidated in the fundamental constitutional acts of the State of Lithuania and express the constitutional traditions of the State of Lithuania are implemented in the Constitution adopted in the referendum of 25 October 1992, after the People have chosen the specific content and specific verbal form for the provisions of this Constitution. The constitutional traditions of the State of Lithuania, which are reflected in the Constitution, may be developed and altered in accordance with the procedure laid down in the Constitution for amending its provisions.

6.5. As held by the Constitutional Court, from the date of the entry into force of the Constitution, the Lithuanian national legal system had to be created and developed only on the basis of the Constitution (inter alia, the rulings of 13 May 2005, 7 September 2010, and 15 March 2011). Thus, the Lithuanian legal system must be created and developed, inter alia, on the basis of those provisions of the Constitution adopted by the citizens of Lithuania in the referendum of 25 October 1992 that derive from the fundamental constitutional acts of the State of Lithuania and reflect the constitutional traditions of the State of Lithuania, expressed in these fundamental acts. When these provisions of the Constitution are interpreted, account should be taken, inter alia, of their nature – the will and aspirations of the People, expressed in the fundamental constitutional acts of the State of Lithuania, which are the source of this will and aspirations.

7. It should be emphasised that the constitutional acts indicated in Article 150 of the Constitution are not constitutional laws and cannot be equated with them, although the Constitutional Court noted in its ruling of 8 November 1993 that constitutional laws in the Constitution primarily include the laws indicated in Article 150 of the Constitution.

7.1. Article 150 (wording of 13 July 2004) of the Constitution prescribes:

The constituent part of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania shall be:

the Constitutional Law ‘On the State of Lithuania’ of 11 February 1991;

the Constitutional Act ‘On the Non-Alignment of the Republic of Lithuania to Post-Soviet Eastern Unions’ of 8 June 1992;

the Law ‘On the Procedure for the Entry into Force of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania’ of 25 October 1992;

the Constitutional Act ‘On Membership of the Republic of Lithuania in the European Union’ of 13 July 2004.”

Thus, according to Article 150 of the Constitution, the constitutional acts specified therein – the Constitutional Law of 11 February 1991 on the State of Lithuania, the Constitutional Act of 8 June 1992 on the Non-Alignment of the Republic of Lithuania to Post-Soviet Eastern Unions, the Law of 25 October 1992 on the Procedure for the Entry into Force of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, and the Constitutional Act of 13 July 2004 on Membership of the Republic of Lithuania in the European Union – are a constituent part of the Constitution. Therefore, the provisions of these constitutional acts have the force of the Constitution and their alteration is subject to the procedure, explicitly and implicitly prescribed in the Constitution itself, for amending the provisions of these constitutional acts.

7.2. It should be noted that, under the Constitution, constitutional laws are not its constituent part. Furthermore, in the hierarchy of legal acts, constitutional laws have the legal force that is lower than that of the Constitution itself; constitutional laws may not contradict the Constitution (ruling of 24 December 2002). Accordingly, constitutional laws adopted in accordance with the procedure laid down in Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution may not contradict, inter alia, the Constitutional Law of 11 February 1991 on the State of Lithuania, the Constitutional Act of 8 June 1992 on the Non-Alignment of the Republic of Lithuania to Post-Soviet Eastern Unions, the Law of 25 October 1992 on the Procedure for the Entry into Force of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, and the Constitutional Act of 13 July 2004 on Membership of the Republic of Lithuania in the European Union, which all are a constituent part of the Constitution under Article 150 thereof.

7.3. The procedure, explicitly and implicitly prescribed in the Constitution, for amending the constitutional acts specified in Article 150 of the Constitution, which are a constituent part of the Constitution, is different from the procedure, laid down in Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution, for amending constitutional laws.

7.3.1. As held by the Constitutional Court, Article 1 of the Constitutional Law on the State of Lithuania, which is a constituent part of the Constitution, stipulates that the statement “The State of Lithuania shall be an independent democratic republic”, i.e. the provision of Article 1 of the Constitution, is a fundamental principle of the state (decision of 19 December 2012).

Under Article 2 of the Constitutional Law on the State of Lithuania, the provision “The State of Lithuania shall be an independent democratic republic” of Article 1 of this constitutional law, as well as Article 1 of the Constitution, may be altered only by referendum if not less than 3/4 of the citizens of Lithuania with the electoral right vote in favour thereof, i.e. the alteration of the provisions of the Constitutional Law on the State of Lithuania is subject to greater protection than other provisions of the Constitution. However, as mentioned before, it is not permitted to adopt any such amendments to the Constitution that would abolish the innate nature of human rights and freedoms, democracy, or the independence of the state; if the Constitution were interpreted in a different way, it would be understood as creating the preconditions for abolishing the restored “independent State of Lithuania, founded on democratic principles”, as proclaimed by the Act of Independence of Lithuania of 16 February 1918. Therefore, it should be stressed that the provision “The State of Lithuania shall be an independent democratic republic” of Article 1 of the Constitutional Law on the State of Lithuania, as well as Article 1 of the Constitution, may not be altered in such a way as to deny the fundamental constitutional values – the independence of the state, democracy, or the innate nature of human rights and freedoms.

7.3.2. The Constitutional Court has held that the same procedure as provided for in Article 2 of the Constitutional Law on the State of Lithuania may be applied to altering the provisions of the Constitutional Act on the Non-Alignment of the Republic of Lithuania to Post-Soviet Eastern Unions, which is a constituent part of the Constitution (rulings of 11 July 2014 and 15 February 2019), i.e. these provisions may be altered only if not less than 3/4 of the citizens of Lithuania with the active electoral right vote in favour thereof (ruling of 11 July 2014).

It should be noted that such a procedure for altering the Constitutional Act on the Non-Alignment of the Republic of Lithuania to Post-Soviet Eastern Unions is determined by the special nature of its provisions. The Constitutional Court has held that, as it is clear from the preamble to this constitutional act, it was adopted by ‘invoking the 16 February 1918 and 11 March 1990 Acts on the Restoration of the Independent State of Lithuania and acting upon the will of the entire Nation, as expressed on 9 February 1991’, and that the basis of the provisions of this constitutional act is the same fundamental principle of the state that is based on the expression of the sovereign will of the People and is consolidated in Article 1 of the Constitutional Law on the State of Lithuania – the State of Lithuania is an independent democratic republic (ruling of 24 January 2014). Therefore, the provisions of the Constitutional Act on the Non-Alignment of the Republic of Lithuania to Post-Soviet Eastern Unions should have the same protection as the provision “The State of Lithuania shall be an independent democratic republic”, which is consolidated in Article 1 of the Constitution and Article 1 of the Constitutional Law on the State of Lithuania (rulings of 24 January 2014 and 11 July 2014).

7.3.3. Under Article 152 of the Constitution, the Law of 25 October 1992 on the Procedure for the Entry into Force of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, which is a constituent part of the Constitution, is intended to regulate the procedure for the entry into force of the Constitution and its separate provisions.

According to Article 1 of this law, upon the entry into force of the Constitution, the Provisional Basic Law became null and void; since then, the Lithuanian national legal system has been created and developed only on the basis of the Constitution (inter alia, the rulings of 13 May 2005, 7 September 2010, and 15 March 2011). In the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court, it is also noted that the provisions of the Law on the Procedure for the Entry into Force of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania are inseparably related to other provisions of the Constitution: the provisions contained in some articles of this law supplement other provisions of the Constitution, without which the former could not be implemented; other articles of this law specify the particularities related to implementing the provisions of the Constitution during the period when the state institutions provided for by the Constitution were in the course of establishment and when the legal regulation required by the Constitution was still in the process of creation (rulings of 29 October 2003 and 7 September 2010); the Law on the Procedure for the Entry into Force of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania consolidates the principle of the taking over of law (ruling of 14 February 1994) and the procedure for bringing in line the acts in force with the Constitution after the entry into force of the Constitution (decision of 5 July 1995).

Thus, the provisions of the Law on the Procedure for the Entry into Force of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, with the exception of Article 5 thereof, consolidate the transitional constitutional regulation related to the entry into force and implementation of the provisions of the Constitution, i.e. the provisions of the Law on the Procedure for the Entry into Force of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, with the exception of Article 5 thereof, are not of continuing validity and can no longer be applied after they have been implemented (it should be mentioned that the provisions of Articles 1, 3, 4, and 6 to 8 of the Law on the Procedure for the Entry into Force of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania have already been implemented). In view of this, the provisions of the Law on the Procedure for the Entry into Force of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, with the exception of Article 5 thereof, may not be altered.

It should be noted that Article 5 of the Law on the Procedure for the Entry into Force of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, which contains the text of the oath of a member of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, may be amended in accordance with the procedure, laid down in Chapter XIV of the Constitution, for amending the provisions of the Constitution.

7.3.4. The Constitutional Act on Membership of the Republic of Lithuania in the European Union, which is a constituent part of the Constitution, constitutionally confirmed membership of the Republic of Lithuania in the European Union.

As it is clear from the preamble to this constitutional act, it was adopted, inter alia, in executing “the will of the citizens of the Republic of Lithuania, as expressed in the referendum on membership of the Republic of Lithuania in the European Union, held on 10–11 May 2003”, and “seeking to ensure the fully fledged participation of the Republic of Lithuania in the European integration, as well as the security of the Republic of Lithuania and welfare of its citizens” (ruling of 24 January 2014). The Constitutional Court has emphasised that the fully fledged participation by the Republic of Lithuania, as a Member State, in the European Union is a constitutional imperative based on the expression of the sovereign will of the People; full membership by the Republic of Lithuania in the European Union is a constitutional value (inter alia, the rulings of 24 January 2014, 11 January 2019, and 6 February 2020).

As held by the Constitutional Court, the provisions of Articles 1 and 2 of the Constitutional Act on Membership of the Republic of Lithuania in the European Union laid down the constitutional foundations of membership of the Republic of Lithuania in the European Union; if these constitutional foundations were not consolidated in the Constitution, the Republic of Lithuania could not be a full member of the European Union; these constitutional foundations of membership of the Republic of Lithuania in the European Union were consolidated in the Constitution by acting upon the will of the People, expressed in the referendum, that the Republic of Lithuania would be a member of the European Union (rulings of 24 January 2014 and 11 July 2014). In view of this, the Constitutional Court also held that the said foundations in themselves and the expression of the sovereign will of the People, as the source of these foundations, determine the requirement that the provisions of Articles 1 and 2 of the Constitutional Act on Membership of the Republic of Lithuania in the European Union be altered or repealed only by referendum (rulings of 24 January 2014 and 11 July 2014).

It should be noted that Articles 3 and 4 of the Constitutional Act on Membership of the Republic of Lithuania in the European Union may be altered in accordance with the procedure, laid down in Chapter XIV of the Constitution, for amending the provisions of the Constitution.

8. It should be emphasised that, according to the Constitution, laws amending the Constitution (constitutional amendments) are not constitutional laws and cannot be equated with them, although the Constitutional Court mentioned in its ruling of 8 November 1993 that constitutional amendments may also be called constitutional laws.

It should be noted that laws amending the Constitution are special acts of constitutional law: by means of them, amendments to the Constitution are incorporated into the text of the Constitution. As held by the Constitutional Court, amendments to the Constitution change the content of the provisions of the Constitution and the interrelations between these provisions; they can also change the balance of the values consolidated in the Constitution; amendments to some provisions of the Constitution can result in changes in the content of other provisions thereof, as well as in the content of the overall constitutional regulation (ruling of 24 January 2014). Therefore, laws amending the Constitution, which introduce amendments to the Constitution, i.e. alter the provisions of the Constitution and, at the same time, usually adjust the overall constitutional regulation, have the force of the Constitution.

8.1. The constitutional regulation governing the alteration of the Constitution is determined by the concept, nature, and purpose of the Constitution itself (ruling of 24 January 2014).

As mentioned before, the Constitution is supreme law; the source of the Constitution is the national community itself – the civil People. The Constitution reflects a social contract – an obligation democratically assumed by all citizens of the Republic of Lithuania to the current and future generations to live under the fundamental rules consolidated in the Constitution and to obey these rules in order to ensure the legitimacy of state power and the lawfulness of its decisions, as well as human rights and freedoms, so that concord would exist in society (inter alia, the ruling of 25 May 2004, the decision of 20 April 2010, and the ruling of 11 July 2014). As the highest-ranking legal act and a social contract, the Constitution is based on universal and unquestionable values – the sovereignty belonging to the People, democracy, the recognition of human rights and freedoms and respect for them, respect for law and the rule of law, the limitation of the scope of powers, the duty of state authority institutions to serve the people and the responsibility of these institutions to society, civic consciousness, justice, and the striving for an open, just, and harmonious civil society and a state under the rule of law (inter alia, the rulings of 25 May 2004, 24 September 2009, and 11 July 2014). Having adopted the Constitution, the civil People, as the national community, laid down the normative basis for the common life and consolidated the state as the common good of all society (inter alia, the rulings of 25 May 2004, 24 September 2009, and 24 January 2014). The Constitution equally binds the national community itself – the civil People; therefore, the supreme sovereign power of the People may be executed, inter alia, directly (by referendum), only in observance of the Constitution (ruling of 11 July 2014).

Thus, the Constitution, whose source, like in the case of the fundamental constitutional acts of the State of Lithuania, is the national community itself – the civil People, is the highest-ranking constituent act, which forms the normative basis for the common life of the civil People, while giving meaning to and consolidating the state as the common good of all society. The basis of the Constitution as supreme law is comprised of those provisions of the fundamental constitutional acts of the State of Lithuania that consolidated and implemented the unamendable fundamental constitutional principles – independence, democracy, and the innate nature of human rights and freedoms; the Constitution as supreme law is also based on other fundamental provisions laid down in the fundamental constitutional acts of the State of Lithuania and on the constitutional traditions of the State of Lithuania expressed in these provisions. In view of this, like the fundamental constitutional acts of the State of Lithuania, the Constitution adopted by referendum is the primary source of Lithuanian constitutional law. However, differently from the fundamental constitutional acts of the State of Lithuania, the Constitution may be amended in accordance with the procedure provided for therein. The People amend the Constitution directly or through their democratically elected representatives and only in accordance with the rules laid down in the Constitution itself (ruling of 25 May 2004). The concept, nature, and purpose of the Constitution, the stability of the Constitution as a constitutional value, and the imperative of the harmony among the provisions of the Constitution imply the substantive and procedural limitations on the alteration of the Constitution (ruling of 24 January 2014).

8.1.1. In this context, it should be noted that laws amending the Constitution (amendments to the Constitution) are not acts of a constituent nature, because they are adopted only in accordance with the rules laid down in the Constitution itself, which bind both the civil People and the representation (Seimas) of the People, established under the Constitution. As acts adopted either directly by the People or through their representation (Seimas), laws amending the Constitution (amendments to the Constitution) must comply with the substantive and procedural limitations on the alteration of the Constitution, which arise from the Constitution. Therefore, laws amending the Constitution (amendments to the Constitution), although they have the force of the Constitution, are subject to constitutional review.

8.1.2. It should also be noted that, under the Constitution, the Constitutional Court has the exclusive competence to investigate and decide whether, inter alia, any act adopted by the Seimas, as well as any act (part thereof) adopted by referendum, is in conflict, inter alia (and first of all), with the Constitution (inter alia, the rulings of 28 March 2006, 24 October 2007, and 13 May 2010). Thus, under the Constitution, the Constitutional Court has the exclusive competence to decide whether laws amending the Constitution (amendments to the Constitution) are in line with the substantive and procedural limitations on the alteration of the Constitution, which arise from the Constitution. A different interpretation of the Constitution would render meaningless the substantive and procedural limitations on the alteration of the Constitution, which arise from the Constitution; it would, therefore, create no preconditions for defending the universal values on which the Constitution, as supreme law and as a social contract, and the state, as the common good of all society, are based; it would create no preconditions for protecting these values and the harmony of the provisions of the Constitution and, at the same time, would create no preconditions for ensuring the supremacy of the Constitution.

8.2. The Constitutional Court has noted that the substantive limitations on the alteration of the Constitution are the limitations consolidated in the Constitution in relation to the adoption of constitutional amendments of certain content; the substantive limitations on the alteration of the Constitution stem from the overall constitutional regulation and they are designed to defend the universal values on which the Constitution, as supreme law and as a social contract, and the state, as the common good of all society, are based, as well as to protect the harmony of these values and the harmony of the provisions of the Constitution (rulings of 24 January 2014 and 11 July 2014).

In this context, the following substantive limitations on the alteration of the Constitution, which stem from the Constitution, should be mentioned:

it is not permitted to adopt any such amendments to the Constitution that would abolish the innate nature of human rights and freedoms, democracy, or the independence of the state (ruling of 11 July 2014); this, inter alia, means that, as mentioned before, Article 1 of the Constitution, as well as the provision “The State of Lithuania shall be an independent democratic republic” of Article 1 of the Constitutional Law on the State of Lithuania, may not be amended in such a way as to deny the fundamental constitutional values – the independence of the state, democracy, or the innate nature of human rights and freedoms;

it is not permitted to make any such amendments to the Constitution that would deny one of the constitutional values lying at the foundation of the State of Lithuania, as the common good of all society consolidated in the Constitution – the republic, except in the case where Article 1 of the Constitution would be altered in the manner prescribed by Paragraph 1 of Article 148 of the Constitution, or Article 1 of the Constitutional Law on the State of Lithuania, which is a constituent part of the Constitution, would be altered in the manner prescribed by Article 2 of this law (rulings of 24 January 2014 and 11 July 2014);

it is not permitted to make any such amendments to the Constitution that would deny the provisions of the Constitutional Act on the Non-Alignment of the Republic of Lithuania to Post-Soviet Eastern Unions, except in the case where the respective provisions of this constitutional act would be altered in accordance with the same procedure as provided for in Article 2 of the Constitutional Law on the State of Lithuania (rulings of 24 January 2014 and 11 July 2014);

as long as the constitutional foundations of membership of the Republic of Lithuania in the European Union, which are consolidated in Articles 1 and 2 of the Constitutional Act on Membership of the Republic of Lithuania in the European Union, are not annulled by referendum, it is not permitted to make any such amendments to the Constitution that would deny the obligations of the Republic of Lithuania under its membership in the European Union (rulings of 24 January 2014 and 11 July 2014);

it is not permitted to make any such amendments to the Constitution that would deny the international obligations of the Republic of Lithuania (inter alia, the obligations of the Republic of Lithuania under its membership in NATO, which is implied by the geopolitical orientation of the State of Lithuania) and, at the same time, would deny the constitutional principle of pacta sunt servanda, as long as the said international obligations are not renounced in accordance with the norms of international law (rulings of 24 January 2014 and 11 July 2014);

the Seimas is not permitted to make any such amendments to the Constitution that would deny the provisions of Chapter I “The State of Lithuania” and Chapter XIV “The Alteration of the Constitution” of the Constitution; it is also not permitted to introduce by referendum any such amendments to the Constitution that would, without respectively amending the provisions of Chapter I “The State of Lithuania” and Chapter XIV “The Alteration of the Constitution” of the Constitution, establish the constitutional regulation contrary to the provisions of Chapters I and XIV of the Constitution (rulings of 24 January 2014 and 11 July 2014).

As mentioned before, the provisions of the Law on the Procedure for the Entry into Force of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, with the exception of Article 5 thereof, may not be altered, in view of the fact that they consolidate the transitional constitutional regulation in relation to the entry into force and implementation of the provisions of the Constitution.

8.3. The Constitutional Court has noted that the procedural limitations on the alteration of the Constitution are related to the special procedure for the alteration of the Constitution, which is provided for in the Constitution; under the Constitution, different procedures for amending constitutional law and ordinary law are established; the constitutionally consolidated special procedure for the alteration of the Constitution may not be equated with the adoption of laws (inter alia, constitutional laws) (ruling of 24 January 2014).

The procedures for submitting, deliberating, and adopting laws amending the Constitution are regulated by Chapter XIV “The Alteration of the Constitution”; the provisions of this chapter have greater protection – according to Paragraph 2 of Article 148 of the Constitution, they may be altered only by referendum (ruling of 24 January 2014).

8.3.1. Under Paragraph 2 of Article 147 of the Constitution, the Constitution may not be amended during a state of emergency or martial law; no such prohibition is established with respect to the adoption of laws (ruling of 24 January 2014), inter alia, the adoption or amendment of constitutional laws.

8.3.2. Under Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 148 of the Constitution, the powers of the Seimas to amend the Constitution are limited: the provisions of Article 1 of the Constitution, other provisions of Chapter I “The State of Lithuania” and the provisions of Chapter XIV “The Alteration of the Constitution” of the Constitution may be altered only by referendum (ruling of 24 January 2014).

In addition, as mentioned before, the provisions of the Constitutional Law on the State of Lithuania, the Constitutional Act on the Non-Alignment of the Republic of Lithuania to Post-Soviet Eastern Unions, and the provisions of Articles 1 and 2 of the Constitutional Act on Membership of the Republic of Lithuania in the European Union can be altered only by referendum.

8.3.3. Paragraph 1 of Article 147 of the Constitution specifies the special subjects who have the right to submit a motion to alter or supplement the Constitution to the Seimas: a group of not less than 1/4 of all the members of the Seimas or not less than 300 000 voters; these subjects are, in principle, different from the subjects that, under Article 68 of the Constitution, have the right of legislative initiative – the members of the Seimas, the President of the Republic, the Government, and 50 000 citizens (ruling of 24 January 2014). It should be noted that the subjects specified in Article 68 of the Constitution, inter alia, have the right of legislative initiative for the adoption of constitutional laws.

8.3.4. Paragraph 3 of Article 148 of the Constitution provides for the special procedure for adopting amendments to the Constitution at the Seimas: amendments to the Constitution must be considered and voted on by the Seimas twice; there must be a break of not less than three months between the votes; no such requirement that laws must be considered and voted on by the Seimas twice is established in the Constitution with respect to the adoption of laws (ruling of 24 January 2014). It should be noted that neither is such a requirement established under Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution with respect to the adoption of constitutional laws.

8.3.5. Paragraph 3 of Article 148 of the Constitution establishes the requirement of a special qualified majority vote of the members of the Seimas in order to adopt a law amending the Constitution: a draft law on amending the Constitution is deemed adopted by the Seimas if, during each of the votes, not less than 2/3 of all the members of the Seimas vote in favour thereof; no such requirement of a special qualified majority of votes is established with respect to the adoption of laws: according to Article 69 of the Constitution, laws are deemed adopted if the majority of the members of the Seimas participating in the sitting vote in favour thereof (Paragraph 2); constitutional laws are adopted if more than half of all the members of the Seimas vote in favour thereof and they are altered by not less than a 3/5 majority vote of all the members of the Seimas (Paragraph 3) (ruling of 24 January 2014).

8.3.6. Paragraph 3 of Article 148 of the Constitution lays down a special limitation on submitting anew a failed constitutional amendment to the Seimas for reconsideration: it may be submitted to the Seimas not earlier than after one year; the Constitution contains no such limitation as regards the adoption of laws (ruling of 24 January 2014). It should be noted that, under the Constitution, there is no such limitation with respect to the adoption of constitutional laws, either.

8.3.7. Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 149 of the Constitution provide for a special procedure for promulgating a law amending the Constitution: the President of the Republic signs an adopted law on the alteration of the Constitution and officially promulgates it within 5 days; if the President of the Republic does not sign and promulgate such a law within the specified time, the Speaker of the Seimas signs and promulgates it (ruling of 24 January 2014).

It should be noted that, when the President of the Republic promulgates a law amending the Constitution, his/her powers are restricted to a greater extent than in the event of the promulgation of other laws (ruling of 24 January 2014): the Constitution does not provide that the President of the Republic has the right of a delaying veto over laws on the alteration of the Constitution (rulings of 19 June 2002 and 24 December 2002). Under Article 71 of the Constitution, the President of the Republic has the right of a delaying veto over laws, inter alia, constitutional laws, adopted by the Seimas: within ten days of receiving a law, inter alia, a constitutional law, adopted by the Seimas, the President of the Republic either signs and officially promulgates the law or, on reasonable grounds, refers it back to the Seimas for reconsideration (Paragraph 1); if a law, inter alia, a constitutional law, adopted by the Seimas is neither referred back nor signed by the President of the Republic within the specified period, such a law, inter alia, a constitutional law, comes into force after it is signed and officially promulgated by the Speaker of the Seimas (Paragraph 2).

8.3.8. Paragraph 3 of Article 149 of the Constitution provides for a special procedure for the entry into force of a law amending the Constitution: a law on the alteration of the Constitution comes into force not earlier than one month after its adoption; no such time limit for the entry into force of a law is established with respect to the entry into force of other laws adopted by the Seimas: under Paragraph 1 of Article 70 of the Constitution, laws adopted by the Seimas come into force after they are signed and officially promulgated by the President of the Republic, unless the laws themselves establish a later date for their entry into force (ruling of 24 January 2014). Thus, constitutional laws adopted by the Seimas come into force in accordance with the procedure laid down in Paragraph 1 of Article 70 of the Constitution.

9. As mentioned before, the institution of constitutional laws is consolidated in Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution. Constitutional laws are expressis verbis also mentioned in Articles 47 and 72 of the Constitution.

Interpreting these provisions of the Constitution, the Constitutional Court has held that, under the Constitution, constitutional laws are: (1) constitutional laws directly specified in the Constitution and adopted in accordance with the procedure laid down in Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution; (2) constitutional laws included in the list of constitutional laws and adopted in accordance with the procedure laid down in Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution (rulings of 2 April 2001, 24 December 2002, and 14 March 2006).

9.1. It should be noted that a constitutional law is directly specified in Paragraph 3 of Article 47 (wording of 23 January 2003) of the Constitution, which stipulates the following: “In the Republic of Lithuania, foreign entities may acquire the ownership of land, internal waters, and forests according to a constitutional law.” Thus, Paragraph 3 of Article 47 (wording of 23 January 2003) of the Constitution expressis verbis provides that certain social relationships indicated in this paragraph are to be regulated by means of a constitutional law (ruling of 24 December 2002).

As held by the Constitutional Court, the fact that certain constitutional laws can be directly indicated in the Constitution implies the constitutional duty of the Seimas to adopt these constitutional laws by paying regard to the requirements, established in Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution, that these constitutional laws may be adopted if more than half of all the members of the Seimas vote in favour thereof and that they may be altered by not less than a 3/5 majority vote of all the members of the Seimas (rulings of 24 December 2002 and 14 March 2006).

9.2. It should also be noted that the provision “The Seimas shall establish the list of constitutional laws by a 3/5 majority vote of the Members of the Seimas” of Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution implies that the list of constitutional laws must be established by means of a constitutional law. As held by the Constitutional Court, given that, under the Constitution, constitutional laws may not be altered or repealed by means of laws other than constitutional (i.e. they may not be altered or repealed by means of ordinary laws) and, given that laws may not be in conflict with the Constitution and constitutional laws, the list of constitutional laws may, under the Constitution, be established only by means of a constitutional law (ruling of 24 December 2002).

It should also be noted that such a constitutional law must be adopted by a 3/5 majority vote of the members of the Seimas (ruling of 24 December 2002). Therefore, under Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution, the constitutional law establishing the list of constitutional laws must be adopted by a higher majority vote of the members of the Seimas than other constitutional laws. Such a higher majority vote of the members of the Seimas for adopting the constitutional law establishing the list of constitutional laws is prescribed in Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution in view of the special significance of this constitutional law. As held by the Constitutional Court, the inclusion of a law in the list of constitutional laws, under the Constitution, means that such a law must be adopted and the legal regulation laid down therein must be amended under a more complex procedure (compared with the procedure for adopting and amending other laws), thereby seeking to create the preconditions for ensuring the stability of this legal regulation (ruling of 15 February 2019); thus, in this way it is ensured that the social relationships governed by means of constitutional laws will not be regulated by laws in a different manner and that the greater stability of the social relationships governed by means of constitutional laws will be guaranteed (rulings of 2 April 2001, 24 December 2002, and 14 March 2006).

The Constitutional Court has also held that, only after the list of constitutional laws is approved in accordance with the procedure laid down in Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution, the laws included in this list may be treated as constitutional laws, and only these laws must be subject to the procedure established in the Constitution for their adoption and amendment (rulings of 8 November 1993 and 22 December 1994); under the Constitution, as long as the constitutional law establishing the list of constitutional laws is not adopted, the Seimas has no powers to adopt any constitutional law, unless such a constitutional law is directly indicated in the Constitution itself or it is the constitutional law whereby the list of constitutional laws is established (ruling of 24 December 2002).

Thus, the constitutional concept of constitutional laws implies that only the constitutional laws included in the list of constitutional laws, except those directly indicated in the Constitution itself and the constitutional law establishing the list of constitutional laws, may be treated as constitutional laws and the adoption of only these laws may be subject to the rules laid down in Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution (ruling of 24 December 2002). If a law is not included in the list of constitutional laws, the procedure for adopting constitutional laws, as defined in Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution, may not be applied to its adoption (ruling of 18 October 2000); amendments and supplements to an ordinary law may not be adopted according to the rules for adopting constitutional laws (ruling of 8 November 1993).

9.2.1. In view of this, it should be noted that, under Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution, the constitutional law establishing the list of constitutional laws is not an objective in itself: it establishes a list of laws governing social relationships with respect to which greater stability should be ensured compared to social relationships to be governed by ordinary laws.

It should be noted that the Constitution does not directly establish which criteria the Seimas should follow when including concrete constitutional laws in the list of constitutional laws, which is adopted under Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution. However, the Constitution, inter alia, the provisions of Paragraph 3 of Article 69 and Paragraph 2 of Article 72 thereof, which lay down a more complex procedure for adopting and amending constitutional laws, makes it clear that constitutional laws should govern the constitutionally important areas of social relationships and particularly significant issues in the life of the state and society.

9.2.2. It should be emphasised that, according to Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution, the list of constitutional laws may not be meaningless. As mentioned before, the inclusion of a law in the list of constitutional laws, under the Constitution, means that in this way it is ensured that the social relationships governed by means of constitutional laws will not be regulated by laws in a different manner and that the greater stability of the social relationships governed by means of constitutional laws will be guaranteed.

In this context, it should be noted that, as held by the Constitutional Court more than once, when, under the Constitution, the Seimas adopts laws, it is bound not only by the Constitution, but also by laws adopted by itself; this is an essential element of the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (inter alia, the rulings of 11 July 2002, 24 September 2009, and 1 July 2013).

Thus, according to Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution, interpreted in the context of the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, the constitutional law establishing the list of constitutional laws, when adopted by the Seimas, implies the obligation of the Seimas to adopt the constitutional laws specified in this constitutional law, i.e. to regulate the respective social relationships by means of constitutional laws. In other words, upon the adoption by the Seimas of the constitutional law on the list of constitutional laws in accordance with Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution, i.e. after the Seimas decides by a 3/5 majority vote of the members of the Seimas what social relationships, due to their particular importance and the need to ensure the greater stability of their regulation, should be regulated by constitutional laws, these social relationships may not be governed by means of lower-ranking legal acts – laws and substatutory legal acts. However, this does not mean that, under the Constitution, the Seimas may not adopt laws designed for implementing constitutional laws, or that substatutory legal acts may not specify in detail the general rules laid down in constitutional laws.

9.2.3. In this context, it should be noted that Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution does not stipulate when the Seimas must adopt the constitutional laws included in the list of constitutional laws.

As mentioned before, under the Constitution, constitutional laws are those laws that are included in the list of constitutional laws and are adopted in accordance with the procedure laid down in Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution. Therefore, under the Constitution, the mere fact that a constitutional law, which must regulate certain social relationships governed until then by means of an ordinary law, is included in the list of constitutional laws does not mean that the ordinary law governing those social relationships naturally becomes a constitutional law as a result of the inclusion of the constitutional law that will regulate those relationships in the list of constitutional laws. Thus, under the Constitution, upon the adoption of the constitutional law establishing the list of constitutional laws, the Seimas has the duty to adopt, in accordance with the procedure laid down in Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution, inter alia, the constitutional laws included in this list, which would regulate social relationships governed by means of ordinary laws prior to the adoption of the constitutional law establishing the list of constitutional laws.

It should also be noted that, under the Constitution, as long as a constitutional law included in the list of constitutional laws is not adopted in accordance with the procedure laid down in Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution, the ordinary law governing those social relationships is in force; such an ordinary law may be amended by the Seimas in accordance with the procedure laid down in Paragraph 2 of Article 69 of the Constitution. However, such discretion of the Seimas is bound by the above-mentioned obligation of the Seimas, stemming from Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution, interpreted in the context of the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, upon the adoption of the constitutional law establishing the list of constitutional laws, also to adopt the constitutional laws specified therein, i.e. to regulate the respective social relationships by means of constitutional laws. In view of this, it should be noted in the context of this constitutional justice case that, under the Constitution, in cases where the Seimas decides to establish a new overall legal regulation of the respective social relationships that are governed by an ordinary law but, according to the constitutional law establishing the list of constitutional laws, must be regulated by means of a constitutional law, such a new overall legal regulation, under Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution, must be established by means of a constitutional law. If Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution were interpreted differently, i.e. that, purportedly, the Seimas has unlimited discretion to adopt the constitutional laws included in the list of constitutional laws at any time, the list of constitutional laws, in the same way as the above-mentioned obligation of the Seimas, stemming from Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution, interpreted in the context of the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, to adopt the constitutional laws specified in this constitutional law, would be meaningless.

9.3. The special place of constitutional laws in the system of legal acts is determined by the Constitution itself (rulings of 2 April 2001, 24 December 2002, and 14 March 2006). As mentioned before, in the hierarchy of legal acts, constitutional laws have the legal force that is lower than that of the Constitution itself. A constitutional law may not limit the legal force of the Constitution or the legal force of its certain provisions; a constitutional law, inter alia, may not lay down any such a legal regulation that would limit or deny the possibility of applying the Constitution directly (ruling of 24 December 2002). Constitutional laws may not be in conflict with the Constitution, and laws may not be in conflict with the Constitution and constitutional laws; under the Constitution, the Constitutional Court decides whether a constitutional law is in conflict with the Constitution, or whether a law is in conflict with a constitutional law (rulings of 2 April 2001 and 24 December 2002).

Thus, under the Constitution, constitutional laws have the legal force that is lower than that of the Constitution but higher than that of laws. It should be noted that, under the Constitution, all constitutional laws adopted in accordance with the procedure laid down in Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution, regardless of whether they are the constitutional laws directly specified in the Constitution or the constitutional laws included in the list of constitutional laws, have equal legal force; the constitutional law establishing the list of constitutional laws has the same legal force.

9.4. In the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court, it is noted that constitutional laws differ from other laws primarily in terms of the procedure for their adoption and amendment (ruling of 2 April 2001); the procedure for adopting and amending constitutional laws is related to their special place in the legal system and the specific relations between the norms of constitutional laws and constitutional norms (ruling of 1 December 1994).

9.4.1. As mentioned before, the subjects that are specified in Article 68 of the Constitution and have the right of legislative initiative – members of the Seimas, the President of the Republic, the Government, and 50 000 citizens – have the right of legislative initiative for the adoption of constitutional laws. However, it has also been mentioned that, under Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution, constitutional laws, except for the constitutional law establishing the list of constitutional laws, are adopted if more than half of all the members of the Seimas vote in favour thereof; the constitutional law establishing the list of constitutional laws is adopted by a 3/5 majority vote of the members of the Seimas. Thus, the majority vote required under Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution to adopt constitutional laws is higher than the majority vote – of the members of the Seimas participating in the sitting of the Seimas – required under Paragraph 2 of Article 69 of the Constitution to adopt ordinary laws.

9.4.2. Constitutional laws may not be altered or repealed by ordinary laws – under the Constitution, they may be altered only by means of constitutional laws (rulings of 2 April 2001 and 14 March 2006). Under Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution, constitutional laws, inter alia, the constitutional law establishing the list of constitutional laws, are altered by not less than a 3/5 majority vote of all the members of the Seimas. Thus, the majority vote required under Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution to alter constitutional laws is higher than the majority vote – of the members of the Seimas participating in the sitting of the Seimas – required under Paragraph 2 of Article 69 of the Constitution to amend ordinary laws.

9.4.3. Paragraph 1 of Article 71 of the Constitution prescribes that, within ten days of receiving a law adopted by the Seimas, the President of the Republic either signs and officially promulgates the law or, upon reasonable grounds, refers it back to the Seimas for reconsideration. As mentioned before, under Paragraph 1 of Article 71 of the Constitution, the President of the Republic has the right of a delaying veto, inter alia, over constitutional laws. Paragraph 2 of Article 72 of the Constitution prescribes that “The law reconsidered by the Seimas shall be deemed adopted if the amendments and supplements submitted by the President of the Republic are adopted, or if more than 1/2 of all the Members of the Seimas vote for the law, or, in cases where such a law is a constitutional law, if not less than 3/5 of all the Members of the Seimas vote in favour thereof”.

Thus, under Paragraph 2 of Article 72 of the Constitution, the Seimas may overturn а veto of the President of the Republic, inter alia, over constitutional laws. It should be noted that this paragraph provides for a higher majority vote of the members of the Seimas (not less than 3/5 of all the members of the Seimas) required to overturn a veto of the President of the Republic over constitutional laws, compared with the majority vote required to overturn a veto of the President of the Republic over ordinary laws, which are adopted and amended in accordance with the procedure laid down in Paragraph 2 of Article 69 of the Constitution. It should also be noted that such a higher majority vote of the members of the Seimas (not less than 3/5 of all the members of the Seimas) is necessary in order to overturn a veto of the President of the Republic in connection to both constitutional laws adopted by the Seimas in accordance with the procedure laid down in Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution and constitutional laws altered by the Seimas in accordance with the procedure laid down in Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution.

9.5. The Constitutional Court has held that, under the Constitution, the list of constitutional laws is established only by the Seimas (rulings of 1 December 1994 and 11 July 2014); the list of constitutional laws may not be adopted by referendum (ruling of 11 July 2014). However, this does not mean that the constitutional laws included in the list of constitutional laws in accordance with the Constitution, as well as the constitutional laws directly indicated in the Constitution, may not be adopted or amended by referendum. In other words, the above-mentioned requirement that constitutional laws, except the constitutional law establishing the list of constitutional laws, must be adopted and amended in accordance with the procedure established in Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution, cannot be made absolute.

9.5.1. In this context, it should be noted that, under Paragraph 4 of Article 69 of the Constitution, the provisions of laws of the Republic of Lithuania may also be adopted by referendum. Interpreting this provision of the Constitution, the Constitutional Court has noted that the concept “the provisions of laws” used in the Constitution can be understood both as an integral law and as separate norms thereof (ruling of 22 July 1994). The Constitutional Court has held in its jurisprudence more than once that the Constitution may not be interpreted only literally, by applying the sole linguistic (verbal) method (inter alia, the rulings of 25 May 2004, 24 September 2009, and 27 February 2012); if the literal (linguistic, verbal) interpretation of the Constitution is made absolute, then, at the same time, the content of the overall constitutional legal regulation is downgraded and, if not all, then at least some values consolidated, defended, and protected by the Constitution are ignored, as well as the preconditions can be created for undermining the aspirations consolidated by the People in the Constitution, adopted by referendum (rulings of 6 June 2006 and 27 February 2012).

In view of this, it should be noted that, under Paragraph 4 of Article 69 of the Constitution, not only ordinary laws or provisions thereof, but also the constitutional laws included in the list of constitutional laws or directly specified in the Constitution, may be adopted, as well as their provisions may be amended, by referendum. As mentioned before, constitutional laws should govern the constitutionally important areas of social relationships and particularly significant issues in the life of the state and society. Thus, a different interpretation of the Constitution, according to which, purportedly, the adoption and amendment of all constitutional laws is the exclusive competence of the Seimas, would be incompatible, inter alia, with: Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Constitution, under which the most significant issues concerning the life of the State and the People are decided by referendum; Article 4 of the Constitution, under which the People execute supreme sovereign power, inter alia, directly; and Paragraph 1 of Article 33 of the Constitution, under which citizens have the right to participate in the governance of their state, inter alia, directly; thus, the said different interpretation of the Constitution would also be incompatible with the above-mentioned universal and unquestionable values on which the Constitution is based: such as the sovereignty belonging to the People, democracy, and the recognition of and respect for human rights and freedoms.

9.5.2. It should also be noted that constitutional laws adopted by referendum and constitutional laws amending these laws should be subject to the procedure for signing and official promulgation laid down in Paragraphs 3 and 4 of Article 71 of the Constitution: a constitutional law adopted by referendum must, within 5 days, be signed and officially promulgated by the President of the Republic; if the President of the Republic does not sign and promulgate such a law within the specified period, such a law comes into force after it is signed and officially promulgated by the Speaker of the Seimas.

9.5.3. It should be mentioned that, as held by the Constitutional Court, under the Constitution, there may not be and there is no confrontation between the supreme sovereign power executed by the People directly and the supreme sovereign power executed by the People through their democratically elected representatives – members of the Seimas; the direct (through a referendum) and indirect (through the representation of the People – the Seimas) forms of the execution of supreme sovereign power by the People may not be opposed against each other (ruling of 11 July 2014).

In view of this, it should be noted that constitutional laws adopted by referendum have the same legal force as constitutional laws adopted by the Seimas in accordance with the procedure laid down in Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution; the Seimas has the powers, in accordance with the procedure laid down in Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution, i.e. by not less than a 3/5 majority vote of all the members of the Seimas, to amend constitutional laws adopted by referendum.

II

The legal regulation consolidated in the Constitutional Law on the List of Constitutional Laws

10. From the aspect relevant to this constitutional justice case, it should be noted that, on 15 March 2012, the Seimas adopted the Constitutional Law on the List of Constitutional Laws, which came into force on 27 March 2012.

It is stipulated in the preamble to this constitutional law that this law is adopted, inter alia, by taking into account the constitutionally established place of constitutional laws in the system of legal acts, as well as while emphasising the importance of constitutional laws for the Lithuanian legal system and recognising the necessity to regulate particularly significant social relationships by means of constitutional laws and, thereby, to ensure their stability.

10.1. Article 1 of the Constitutional Law on the List of Constitutional Laws provides that this law is aimed at creating the legal preconditions for adopting constitutional laws in accordance with the requirements set out in Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution. Under Paragraph 2 of Article 2 of the Constitutional Law on the List of Constitutional Laws, the constitutional laws included in the list of constitutional laws may be adopted only in accordance with the Constitution and the legislative procedures, established in the Statute of the Seimas, in relation to constitutional laws.

Consequently, by adopting the Constitutional Law on the List of Constitutional Laws, the Seimas implemented the provision of Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution, which stipulates that “The Seimas shall establish the list of constitutional laws by a 3/5 majority vote of the Members of the Seimas”.

10.2. Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Constitutional Law on the List of Constitutional Laws prescribed the following:

The following laws shall be included in the list of the Republic of Lithuania’s constitutional laws:

(1) the Republic of Lithuania’s Constitutional Law on the State Language;

(2) the Republic of Lithuania’s Constitutional Law on the Coat of Arms of the State, Other Coats of Arms, and Armorial Insignia;

(3) the Republic of Lithuania’s Constitutional Law on the Flag of the State and Other Flags;

(4) the Republic of Lithuania’s Constitutional Law on the Anthem of the State;

(5) the Republic of Lithuania’s Constitutional Law on Referendums;

(6) the Republic of Lithuania’s Constitutional Law on the Approval, Entry into Force, and Implementation of the Electoral Code;

(7) the Republic of Lithuania’s Constitutional Law on the Legislative Initiative of Citizens;

(8) the Republic of Lithuania’s Constitutional Law on Petitions;

(9) the Republic of Lithuania’s Constitutional Law on the State of Emergency.”

Thus, implementing the provisions of Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution, according to which the Seimas must establish the list of constitutional laws by a 3/5 majority vote of the members of the Seimas, in Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Constitutional Law on the List of Constitutional Laws, the Seimas laid down a list of the laws to be adopted as constitutional laws in accordance with the procedure provided for in Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution.

10.3. The Constitutional Law on the List of Constitutional Laws was amended by the Constitutional Law Amending Article 2 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Constitutional Law (No XI-1932) on the List of Constitutional Laws, which was adopted by the Seimas on 9 October 2014; by means of this law, Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Constitutional Law on the List of Constitutional Laws was set out in a new wording, by supplementing it with the new Item 10 “The Republic of Lithuania’s Constitutional Law on the Implementation of the Fiscal Treaty”.

It should be mentioned in this context that, on 6 November 2014, the Seimas adopted the Constitutional Law on the Implementation of the Fiscal Treaty. It should also be noted that this is the only adopted constitutional law out of the constitutional laws specified in Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 October 2014) of Article 2 of the Constitutional Law on the List of Constitutional Laws.

11. If Item 5 of Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 October 2014) of Article 2 of the Constitutional Law on the List of Constitutional Laws is interpreted in conjunction with the provisions of the preamble to this constitutional law, it should be noted from the aspect relevant to this constitutional justice case that, under Item 5 of Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 October 2014) of Article 2 of the Constitutional Law on the List of Constitutional Laws, referendum relationships, as particularly significant social relationships, must be regulated by the Constitutional Law on Referendums. Therefore, in accordance with Item 5 of Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 October 2014) of Article 2 of the Constitutional Law on the List of Constitutional Laws, in order to regulate referendum relationships, it is necessary to adopt a law that, by its form, must be a constitutional law – the Constitutional Law on Referendums.

In this context, it should be noted that, in its rulings of 11 July 2014 and 15 February 2019, the Constitutional Court held that the Seimas has the obligation to adopt the Constitutional Law on Referendums. The Constitutional Court also emphasised that the inclusion of the law on the legal regulation governing the relationships connected with the organisation of referendums in the list of constitutional laws, under the Constitution, means that such a law must be adopted and the legal regulation consolidated therein must be amended under a more complex procedure (compared with the adoption and amendment of other laws), thus seeking to create the preconditions for ensuring the stability of this legal regulation (ruling of 15 February 2019).

Consequently, Item 5 of Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 October 2014) of Article 2 of the Constitutional Law on the List of Constitutional Laws gives rise to the duty of the legislature to regulate referendum relationships by means of a constitutional law and to adopt such a law in accordance with the procedure laid down in Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution.

III

The impugned legal regulation

12. In this constitutional justice case, the petitioner requests an investigation into the compliance of the Law on Referendums (wording of 20 December 2018), in terms of the procedure of its adoption, with the Constitution.

13. On 4 June 2002, the Seimas adopted the Law on Referendums, which came into force on 1 January 2003; by means of this law, the Seimas established the procedure for implementing the right of the citizens of the Republic of Lithuania to referendums, the types of referendums, and the procedure for initiating, calling, organising, and conducting referendums (Article 1).

The Law on Referendums has been amended and/or supplemented on more than one occasion, inter alia, by the Law Amending the Law (No IX-929) on Referendums, which was adopted by the Seimas on 20 December 2018 and came into force on 1 January 2019 (with the exceptions specified); by Article 1 of this law, the Law on Referendums was set out in its new wording, inter alia, by changing the numbering of the articles of this law.

13.1. It is clear from the travaux préparatoires of the Law Amending the Law on Referendums that, by means of this law, the Law on Referendums was amended, because “many of its provisions had become outdated and were no longer in line with the established practice of organising elections (referendums)” and “it is necessary to unify all the procedures and conditions for organising elections, as well as to make more precise certain provisions”. In the explanatory note to the draft Law Amending the Law on Referendums, it is also noted that, “in view of a large number of the submitted amendments, it is proposed to set out the law in a new wording”. The above-mentioned explanatory note indicates the purpose of the draft law – to specify the concepts used in the law, as well as to make more precise its provisions on the procedures for organising referendums and provisions on campaigning, to increase the number of polling places abroad, to set the payment of remuneration to the members of voting commissions, to extend the time of voting, and to make more precise the provisions on the counting of votes.

It is also clear from the explanatory note to the draft Law Amending the Law on Referendums that, by means of the draft Law Amending the Law on Referendums, among other things, it was proposed to consolidate in the Law on Referendums the following legal regulation: to establish the institution that, when a referendum is called or after a referendum has been called, informs the public about the importance of the issue put to the referendum for the life of the state; to define the concept of outdoor political advertising and the duties of persons with regard to the handling of such advertising; to consolidate stricter requirements concerning the reputation of the members of a referendum commission; to additionally regulate the organisation of the work of referendum commissions; to make more precise the provisions on the rolls of citizens entitled to participate in a referendum; to amend the provisions on polling places abroad; to consolidate the concept “poll card” and the use of the poll card; to bring forward the time limits for the delivery of referendum ballot papers; to newly regulate the voting time in a referendum; and to make more precise the provisions on the counting of votes in referendum districts and municipal commissions.

13.2. The comparison of the legal regulation laid down in the Law on Referendums as set out in its new wording of 20 December 2018 by the Law Amending the Law on Referendums with the previous legal regulation laid down in the Law on Referendums (wording of 4 June 2002 with subsequent amendments) makes it clear that the Law on Referendums (wording of 20 December 2018) lays down, in more than half of its articles, a different legal regulation of referendum relationships; for instance, it:

lays down a new regulation on some aspects of investigation into voter bribery, inter alia, provides that the facts of voter bribery are examined and assessed not by the Central Electoral Commission, but by municipal referendum commissions (Paragraph 3 of Article 3);

provides for additional requirements applicable to draft decisions put to a referendum: i.e. a decision put to a referendum must be in line with the requirements deriving from the Constitution; it must be submitted in a clear and non-misleading manner; and it may not cover several questions unrelated by their content and nature, or several unrelated amendments to the Constitution, or several unrelated provisions of laws (Paragraph 1 of Article 7);

provides that, at the request of representatives of an initiative group of citizens, the Office of the Government, and not the Office of the Seimas, must ensure support in drafting the text of a decision proposed for a referendum (Paragraph 3 of Article 7);

consolidates the requirement to separately collect signatures for questions put to a referendum if they are unrelated by their content and nature (Paragraph 7 of Article 11);

establishes the duty of the Central Electoral Commission to ensure the compliance of a decision proposed for a referendum with the Constitution and other requirements, as well as its duty to decide on the registration of an initiative group of citizens and on the issuance of forms for collecting the signatures of citizens (Paragraph 9 of Article 11);

makes more precise and supplements the provisions on the processing and protection of personal data (Paragraph 5 of Article 12 and Articles 35 and 39);

clearly defines the cases in which the Seimas does not call a referendum (Paragraph 3 of Article 13 and Paragraph 3 of Article 15);

sets a different time limit for correcting deficiencies in the collection of signatures: provides that a time limit of up to 25 days, instead of the former time limit of 15 days, may be set for correcting the said deficiencies (Paragraph 2 of Article 14);

regulates in more detail the use of electronic means of communication in the course of organising and conducting a referendum (Paragraph 1 of Article 15 and Articles 36, 40, and 54);

makes more precise the concept of outdoor political advertising and lays down the duties of persons with regard to the handling of such advertising (Paragraph 6 of Article 18 and Paragraphs 5, 6, and 8 of Article 19);

newly provides that, when a referendum is called or after a referendum has been called, the Government or an institution authorised by it, upon the instruction of the Seimas, informs the public about the importance of the issue put to the referendum for the life of the state (Paragraph 7 of Article 18);

imposes the prohibition on taking advantage of an official position in carrying out referendum campaigning (Paragraph 10 of Article 18);

makes more precise the procedure for holding debates on public (national) radio and television, inter alia, provides for at least 5 hours (instead of the formerly accorded 7 hours) of the public (national) radio and television time, of which not less than one fourth of the time is accorded for holding mutual debates (Paragraph 1 of Article 19), and prescribes that all broadcasters have the right to produce debate programmes (Paragraph 4 of Article 19);

lays down the previously not established requirements for good repute, as well as other requirements, to be met by persons nominated as members of referendum commissions (Paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 21);

provides for the possibility of organising training for the members and chairpersons of referendum commissions in accordance with the procedure established by the Central Electoral Commission (Paragraph 4 of Article 21);

modifies the procedure for the formation of municipal referendum commissions: prescribes that candidates for these commissions, inter alia, are nominated by the director of the municipal administration and not by the mayor (Articles 23 and 26);

newly regulates the organisation of the work of referendum commissions, inter alia, provides for the state budget funds for organising a referendum, their use and accounting (Article 32);

newly regulates the payment of remuneration to the members of referendum commissions: provides for the specific rates for commission members according to the duties held, the accurate accounting of the time of work in referendum commissions, as well as incentives for commission members (Article 33);

consolidates the concept “poll card” instead of “voter certificate” and regulates the use of the poll card, inter alia, provides for a longer and more flexible time and the manner for delivering it to a voter; no longer contains the provision that voting is not allowed without a poll card: it is required not in all cases, but only when a citizen votes not on the referendum day and outside a referendum district (Articles 40 and 41);

modifies the time limits for delivering referendum ballot papers to referendum districts: referendum ballot papers must be delivered to district referendum commissions at least 12 hours prior to the beginning of voting, and not at least 7 days prior to the day of voting in the referendum, as it was established previously (Article 49);

in principle, newly regulates the institution of referendum observers: inter alia, establishes who may be and who may not be referendum observers; consolidates the subjects entitled to propose referendum observers; regulates the role of non-governmental organisations in monitoring a referendum; provides for the procedure for registering referendum observers; and specifies the rights and duties of referendum observers (Article 51);

no longer provides for voting by post – instead of it, consolidates voting at special polling places; the functions previously performed by postal employees are assigned to the members of district referendum commissions, who are appointed by the chairperson of the respective commission to work at special polling places (Articles 56–62);

instead of the provision “the specific procedure for counting votes shall be established by the Central Electoral Commission”, consolidates a new legal regulation on the counting of votes: inter alia, prescribes that, after ballot papers are sorted out into valid and invalid ballot papers in a referendum district, they must be counted at least twice by different members of the commission and the results of the vote counting must be entered in the vote counting record; also, regulates the procedure for declaring a ballot paper invalid (Article 66); provides that the vote counting documents of a referendum district must be delivered to the municipal referendum commission not later than within 12 hours after the close of poll, and not within 6 hours, as it was established previously (Article 70); regulates in detail the counting of votes in a municipal referendum commission, inter alia, the procedure for checking the ballot papers received, as well as the procedures for investigating and removing deficiencies in documents, etc. (Articles 71 and 72).

In the light of the above, it should be held that a new overall legal regulation of referendum relationships was established in the Law on Referendums (wording of 20 December 2018) after more than half of its articles had been substantially amended.

13.3. It should be noted from the aspect relevant to this constitutional justice case that:

the drafts (No XIIIP-2559 and No XIIIP-2559(2)) of the Law Amending the Law on Referendums were not registered as draft constitutional laws (inter alia, the explanatory note of 20 September 2018 to the draft Law (No XIIIP-2559) Amending the Law on Referendums (No IX-929) and the conclusion of 7 December 2018 of the main committee on the draft Law (No XIIIP-2559(2)) Amending the Law on Referendums (No IX-929));

the draft Law (No XIIIP-2559) Amending the Law on Referendums was not submitted for deliberation at the sitting of the Seimas as a draft constitutional law (verbatim report of the morning sitting (No 215) of 9 October 2018 of the Seimas);

the draft Law (No XIIIP-2559(2)) Amending the Law on Referendums was not deliberated as a draft constitutional law (verbatim report of the afternoon sitting (No 247) of 13 December 2018 and the verbatim report of the afternoon sitting (No 249) of 18 December 2018 of the Seimas);

the Law Amending the Law on Referendums was adopted by the majority vote of the members of the Seimas applicable to the adoption of ordinary laws: when adopting the Law Amending the Law on Referendums, votes were cast by 85 members of the Seimas, of whom 65 voted in favour of the adoption of this law, 2 votes were against it, and there were 18 abstentions (verbatim report of the morning sitting (No 250) of 20 December 2018 of the Seimas).

Thus, at the sitting of 20 December 2018 of the Seimas, the Law Amending the Law on Referendums, which set out the previously valid Law on Referendums in a new wording, was adopted as an ordinary law in accordance with the legislative procedure laid down in Paragraph 2 of Article 69 of the Constitution.

It should also be noted from the aspect relevant to this constitutional justice case that the Law on Referendums (wording of 20 December 2018), as an ordinary law, was adopted by a majority vote of the members of the Seimas participating in the sitting as established in Paragraph 2 of Article 69 of the Constitution already after the adoption and entry into force of the Constitutional Law on the List of Constitutional Laws, according to Item 5 of Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 October 2014) of Article 2 whereof, as mentioned before, referendum relationships must be regulated by means of a constitutional law.

13.4. In summing up the legal regulation established by the Law Amending the Law on Referendums, as well as its travaux préparatoires, it should be held that, by means of the Law on Referendums (wording of 20 December 2018), inter alia, by making more precise those provisions on the practice of organising and conducting referendums that were no longer in line with the electoral practice and by unifying the procedure for organising referendums and the procedures for organising elections, the legislature substantially revised and newly regulated the procedure for calling, organising, and conducting referendums, i.e. a new overall legal regulation of referendum relationships was established, by adopting the Law Amending the Law on Referendums as an ordinary law in accordance with the procedure laid down in Paragraph 2 of Article 69 of the Constitution.

IV

The assessment of the compliance of the Law on Referendums (wording of 20 December 2018) with the Constitution and the Constitutional Law on the List of Constitutional Laws

14. In this constitutional justice case, the petitioner requests an investigation into the compliance of the Law on Referendums (wording of 20 December 2018) with Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution.

15. It has been mentioned that, according to the petitioner, following the adoption of the Constitutional Law on the List of Constitutional Laws by the Seimas on 15 March 2012 and the inclusion of the Constitutional Law on Referendums in the list of constitutional laws, the Law on Referendums could not be set out in its new wording by adopting it in accordance with the procedure for adopting ordinary laws, as established in Paragraph 2 of Article 69 of the Constitution, but it had to be adopted in accordance with the procedure for adopting constitutional laws, as laid down in Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution, i.e. it had to be adopted as a constitutional law.

16. It has been mentioned that, at the sitting of the Seimas of 20 December 2018, the Law Amending the Law on Referendums, which set out the previously valid Law on Referendums in a new wording, was adopted as an ordinary law in accordance with the legislative procedure laid down in Paragraph 2 of Article 69 of the Constitution. It has also been mentioned that, by means of the Law on Referendums (wording of 20 December 2018), inter alia, by making more precise the provisions on the practice of organising and conducting referendums, which were no longer in line with the electoral practice, and by unifying the procedure for organising referendums and the procedures for organising elections, a new overall legal regulation of referendum relationships was established.

17. The Constitutional Court has held that, having found that an impugned legal act (part thereof) is in conflict with the articles (parts thereof) of the Constitution not indicated by the petitioner, the Constitutional Court has the powers to state this fact (inter alia, the rulings of 13 June 2000, 24 December 2002, and 30 December 2015). It should be noted that this provision is mutatis mutandis applicable also in cases where the Constitutional Court finds that an impugned legal act (part thereof) is in conflict with a higher-ranking legal act that is not indicated by the petitioner and is other than the Constitution, inter alia, that an impugned law is in conflict with a constitutional law.

18. As regards the compliance of the Law on Referendums (wording of 20 December 2018) with Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution, it should be noted that, as mentioned before:

under Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution, interpreted in the context of the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, the constitutional law adopted by the Seimas on establishing the list of constitutional laws implies the obligation of the Seimas to adopt the constitutional laws specified in this constitutional law, i.e. to regulate the respective social relationships by means of constitutional laws; after the Seimas has adopted the constitutional law on the list of constitutional laws in accordance with Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution and has decided what social relationships must be regulated by constitutional laws, those social relationships may not be regulated by means of lower-ranking legal acts – laws and substatutory legal acts;

Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution does not stipulate when the Seimas must adopt the constitutional laws included in the list of constitutional laws; however, under the Constitution, in cases where the Seimas decides to establish a new overall legal regulation of the respective relationships that are governed by an ordinary law but, according to the constitutional law establishing the list of constitutional laws, must be regulated by means of a constitutional law, such a new overall legal regulation, under Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution, must be established by means of a constitutional law; if Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution were interpreted differently, i.e. that, purportedly, the Seimas has unlimited discretion to adopt the constitutional laws included in the list of constitutional laws at any time, then the list of constitutional laws, in the same way as the above-mentioned obligation of the Seimas, stemming from Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution, interpreted in the context of the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, to adopt the constitutional laws specified in the constitutional law establishing the list of constitutional laws, would be meaningless.

It should also be noted that, as mentioned before, in accordance with Item 5 of Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 October 2014) of Article 2 of the Constitutional Law on the List of Constitutional Laws, referendum relationships, as particularly significant social relationships, must be regulated by the Constitutional Law on Referendums; in order to regulate referendum relationships, it is necessary to adopt a law that, by its form, must be a constitutional law – the Constitutional Law on Referendums; Item 5 of Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 October 2014) of Article 2 of the Constitutional Law on the List of Constitutional Laws gives rise to the duty of the legislature to regulate referendum relationships by means of a constitutional law, by adopting such a law in accordance with the procedure laid down in Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution.

18.1. It should be held that, already after the adoption and entry into force of the Constitutional Law on the List of Constitutional Laws, according to Item 5 of Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 October 2014) of Article 2 whereof referendum relationships must be regulated by means of a constitutional law, having adopted, by a majority vote of the members of the Seimas participating in the sitting, the Law on Referendums (wording of 20 December 2018), which, as mentioned before, laid down a new overall legal regulation of referendum relationships, the Seimas disregarded its obligation, stemming from Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution, interpreted in the context of the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, to adopt, in accordance with the procedure laid down in Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution, the constitutional laws specified in the list of constitutional laws in cases where an overall legal regulation is laid down on the respective social relationships and it is different from that established previously.

18.2. It should also be held that, by adopting the Law on Referendums (wording of 20 December 2018) as an ordinary law by a majority vote of the members of the Seimas participating in the sitting, the Seimas disregarded the duty, which stems from Item 5 of Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 October 2014) of Article 2 of the Constitutional Law on the List of Constitutional Laws, to regulate referendum relationships by means of a constitutional law, i.e. the Seimas did not comply with the requirement set for the form of a legal act as implied by this provision of the Constitutional Law on the List of Constitutional Laws.

19. Taking into account the foregoing arguments, the conclusion should be drawn that the Law on Referendums (wording of 20 December 2018), in terms of the procedure of its adoption, is in conflict with Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law and, in terms of its form, it is in conflict with Item 5 of Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 October 2014) of Article 2 of the Constitutional Law on the List of Constitutional Laws.

V

On the official publication of the ruling of the Constitutional Court

20. By this ruling of the Constitutional Court, the Law on Referendums (wording of 20 December 2018) has been found to be in conflict with the Constitution and Item 5 of Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 October 2014) of Article 2 of the Constitutional Law on the List of Constitutional Laws.

21. Under Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution, a legal act (or part thereof) may not be applied from the day of the official publication of the decision of the Constitutional Court that the legal act in question (or part thereof) is in conflict with the Constitution.

The Constitutional Court has held on more than one occasion that the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law implies that laws may not contradict the Constitution and constitutional laws, and substatutory legal acts may not contradict laws, constitutional laws, and the Constitution.

In view of this, it should be noted that the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution also mean that a legal act (or part thereof) may not be applied from the day of the official publication of the decision of the Constitutional Court that the legal act in question (or part thereof) is in conflict with another higher-ranking legal act, inter alia, that a law is in conflict with a constitutional law.

22. It has been held in the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court that, under the Constitution, having assessed, inter alia, what a legal situation might arise after a ruling of the Constitutional Court becomes effective, the Constitutional Court may determine the date of the official publication of that ruling; the Constitutional Court may postpone the official publication of its ruling if this is necessary to give the legislature time to remove those lacunae legis that would occur if the respective ruling of the Constitutional Court were officially published immediately after its public pronouncement at the hearing of the Constitutional Court and if such lacunae legis created the preconditions for denying, in essence, certain values defended and protected by the Constitution. The said postponement of the official publication of a ruling of the Constitutional Court (inter alia, a ruling by which a certain law (or part thereof) is ruled to be in conflict with the Constitution) is a precondition stemming from the Constitution for avoiding certain consequences unfavourable to society and the state, as well as to human rights and freedoms, that might arise if the respective ruling of the Constitutional Court were officially published immediately after its public pronouncement at the hearing of the Constitutional Court and if it became effective on the day of its official publication (inter alia, the rulings of 19 January 2005, 6 February 2012, and 29 September 2015).

23. It should be noted that, under Paragraph 3 of Article 84 “The Publication and Entry into Force of the Acts of the Constitutional Court and Announcements of the President of the Constitutional Court” (wording of 14 May 2015), taking into account the specific circumstances of a particular case, the Constitutional Court may set another, a later, date for the publication of its ruling by which a certain legal act (part thereof) is declared to be in conflict with the Constitution or laws.

24. Under the Constitution and the Law on the Constitutional Court, after the official publication of this ruling of the Constitutional Court, the Law on Referendums (wording of 20 December 2018), which has been declared to be in conflict with the Constitution and the Constitutional Law on the List of Constitutional Laws by this ruling of the Constitutional Court, will not apply from the date of the official publication of this ruling of the Constitutional Court.

Therefore, if the ruling of the Constitutional Court in this case were officially published immediately after its public pronouncement at the hearing of the Constitutional Court, a gap and uncertainty would occur in the legal regulation of calling, organising, and conducting referendums, due to which no referendum could be called, organised, or conducted.

25. In view of the fact that a certain period of time is necessary to remove the said gap and uncertainty in the legal regulation of referendum relationships, this ruling of the Constitutional Court is to be officially published in the Register of Legal Acts on 1 July 2021.

Conforming to Articles 102 and 105 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and Articles 1, 53, 531, 54, 55, 56, and 84 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 Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Referendums (wording of 20 December 2018; Register of Legal Acts, 28-12-2018, No 21715), in terms of the procedure of its adoption, is in conflict with Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law and, in terms of its form, it is in conflict with Item 5 of Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 October 2014) of Article 2 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Constitutional Law on the List of Constitutional Laws.

2. This ruling of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania must be officially published in the Register of Legal Acts on 1 July 2021.

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

Justices of the Constitutional Court:               Elvyra Baltutytė
                                                                                   Gintaras Goda
                                                                                   Vytautas Greičius
                                                                                   Danutė Jočienė
                                                                                   Gediminas Mesonis
                                                                                   Vytas Milius
                                                                                   Janina Stripeikienė
                                                                                   Dainius Žalimas