Lithuania / Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania / eI-8-662/2018 I.K. v. The Authority of Audit, Accounting, Property Valuation and Insolvency Management under the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania

Key facts of the case:

On 22 August 2017 Property or Business Valuators’ Honorary Court (Turto arba verslo vertintojų garbės teismas) adopted decision, by which a disciplinary penalty – reprimand, was imposed to the applicant I.K. During the hearing the Honorary Court announced the operative part of the decision, but refused to announce immediately the grounds for the decision. According to the rules on decision-making of the Honorary Court, established in the paras. 39-42 of the Statute, the Honorary Court, having examined the disciplinary case, has no obligation to make the whole decision, including the grounds, on the same day. Honorary Court is obliged to announce only the introductory and operative parts of the decision, later within the prescribed time-limit adding the grounds. Thus, the operative part of the decision of the Honorary Court is announced on the same day as the hearing, but without having written the final complete decision of the Honorary Court. The applicant submitted request to the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (Vilniaus apygardos administracinis teismas) regarding cancellation of the decision of the Honorary Court. Vilnius Regional Administrative Court referred the case to the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania (Lietuvos vyriausiasis administracinis teismas) with request to investigate whether paras. 39-42 of the Statute of the Property or Business Valuators’ Honorary Court are not in conflict with Article 109 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law and justice. 

Key legal question raised by the Court:

Whether paras. 39-42 of the Statute of the Property or Business Valuators’ Honorary Court are not in conflict with Article 109 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law and justice.

Outcome of the case:

Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania declared that provisions of the Statute of the Property or Business Valuators’ Honorary Court are in conflict with Article 109 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law and justice.

Paragraphs referring to EU Charter: 

The right to a fair trial also is guaranteed by the European Union law, which is important in this case, as an additional source of legal interpretation. Article 47 (2) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (hereinafter - the Charter) stipulates, inter alia, that everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal previously established by law. It should be noted that, according to the Article 52 (3) of the Charter, in so far as this Charter contains rights which correspond to rights guaranteed by the Convention [for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms], the meaning and scope of those rights shall be the same as those laid down by the said Convention. This provision shall not prevent Union law providing more extensive protection. Article 6 (3) of the Treaty on European Union enshrines that fundamental rights, as guaranteed by the Convention and as they result from the constitutional traditions common to the Member States, shall constitute general principles of the Union's law. According to the doctrine, it is precisely because of these provisions the content of the right to a fair trial under Article 47 (2) of the Charter, should at least include the guarantees provided in the Convention and in the case-law of the ECtHR interpreting it (Steve Peers, et al. The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. A Commentary. Oxford and Portland, Oregon: Hart Publishing, 2014). As in the case-law of the ECtHR, the CJEU in its case-law also takes the view that all judgments must be substantiated in order for a person to know why he was found guilty and to be able to properly and efficiently file an appeal against a decision (for example, the CJEU judgment of 14 December 2006, ASML Netherlands BV v Semiconductor Industry Services GmbH (SEMIS), C-283/05, EU: C: 2006: 787).

Paragraphs referring to EU Charter (original language): 

Teisė į teisingą teismą garantuojama ir Europos Sąjungos teisėje, kuri šioje byloje yra svarbi, kaip papildomas teisės aiškinimo šaltinis. Europos Sąjungos pagrindinių teisių chartijos (toliau – Chartija) 47 straipsnio 2 dalyje, be kita ko, įtvirtinta, kad kiekvienas asmuo turi teisę, kad jo bylą per kiek įmanoma trumpesnį laiką viešai ir teisingai išnagrinėtų pagal įstatymą įsteigtas nepriklausomas ir nešališkas teismas. Pažymėtina, kad pagal Chartijos 52 straipsnio 3 dalį, šioje Chartijoje nurodytų teisių, atitinkančių Konvencijos garantuojamas teises, esmė ir taikymo sritis yra tokia, kaip nustatyta toje Konvencijoje. Ši nuostata nekliudo Sąjungos teisėje numatyti didesnę apsaugą. Europos Sąjungos sutarties 6 straipsnio 3 dalyje įtvirtinta, kad pagrindinės teisės, kurias garantuoja Konvencija ir kurios kyla iš valstybės narėms bendrų konstitucinių tradicijų, sudaro Sąjungos teisės bendruosius principus. Doktrinoje teigiama, kad būtent dėl šių nuostatų teisės į teisingą teismą pagal Chartijos 47 straipsnio 2 dalį turinys turėtų bent apimti tas garantijas, kurios numatytos Konvencijoje ir ją aiškinančioje EŽTT jurisprudencijoje (Steve Peers, ir kiti. The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. A Commentary. Oxford and Portland, Oregon: Hart Publishing, 2014). Kaip ir EŽTT praktikoje, ESTT savo praktikoje taip pat laikosi pozicijos, kad visi teismo sprendimai turi būti argumentuoti tam, jog asmuo žinotų, kodėl jis buvo pripažintas kaltu ir galėtų tinkamai bei efektyviai pateikti apeliaciją dėl priimto sprendimo (pvz., ESTT 2006 m. gruodžio 14 d. sprendimas ASML Netherlands BV prieš Semiconductor Industry Services GmbH (SEMIS), C-283/05, EU:C:2006:787).

Language: 
Lithuanian
Deciding body (original language): 
Lietuvos Vyriausiasis Administracinis Teismas
Language: 
Lithuanian