Delimitation of the powers of the Seimas and the Government: Some aspects of Constitutional doctrine

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    The article deals with the criteria upon which the powers of the Seimas (the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania) and the Government are delimited in the constitutional jurisprudence of Lithuania. It analyses how the Constitutional Court construes the principle of separation of powers as entrenched in the Constitution and evaluates the meaning of the provision of the Constitution that corresponding ‘relations are regulated by law’. If the Constitution provides that certain relations are regulated by means of a law, such relations may be regulated only by means of a legal act, which takes the form of a law, and it is, therefore, not permissible to regulate such relations by Government resolutions or other acts of the executive. The most important elements of legal relations must be regulated (established) by means of a law, whereas Government resolutions might establish the procedure for the implementation of such laws. Rulings of the Constitutional Court reveal that once the powers of a specific branch of state power have been directly established in the Constitution, an institution of state power may not assume the said powers from another state institution. It may not transfer or waive them; and such powers may not be amended or limited by means of a law.
    The question remains, whether the provision of the Law on the Diplomatic Service whereby the candidacy of a diplomatic representative must be reviewed by the Seimas Committee on Foreign Affairs in advance is not in conflict with the Constitution. In the opinion of the author, this provision of the law may also be interpreted as meaning that as long as this has not been done, the Government may not submit a candidacy for a diplomatic representative to the President of the Republic, and the President of the Republic may not appoint this person as a diplomatic representative. Thus, the actions of the Government, as well as those of the President, would be constrained depending on whether the Seimas Committee on Foreign Affairs has reviewed the candidacy of the diplomatic representative in advance. Since, under the Constitution, the President of the Republic is to appoint and dismiss diplomatic representatives of the Republic of Lithuania upon submission by the Government, it is assumed that the said provision of the Law on the Diplomatic Service permits an institution which is not provided for in the Constitution - the Seimas Committee on Foreign Affairs - to interfere with the powers of the Government and the President of the Republic when appointing diplomatic representatives. This is not in line with the Constitution.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)43-68
    JournalJurisprudencija: mokslo darbai
    Issue number119
    Publication statusPublished - 2010



    • Doctrine of separation of powers
    • constitutional jurisprudence

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