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Constitution of Lithuania (1992, rev. 2006)

1The following text is from the Constitute Project, who through a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License, has generously made this content available for use for noncommercial purposes. Follow (right-click) the links and read the annotation to learn more. 1

2


3Preamble

4THE LITHUANIAN NATION

5– having created the State of Lithuania many centuries ago,

6– having based its legal foundations on the Lithuanian Statutes and the Constitutions of the Republic of Lithuania,

7– having for centuries staunchly defended its freedom and independence,

8– having preserved its spirit, native language, writing, and customs,

9– embodying the innate right of the human being and the Nation to live and create freely in the land of their fathers and forefathers—in the independent State of Lithuania,

10– fostering national concord in the land of Lithuania,

11– striving for an open, just, and harmonious civil society and State under the rule of law, by the will of the citizens of the reborn State of Lithuania, adopts and proclaims this

12CHAPTER I. THE STATE OF LITHUANIA

13Article 1

14The State of Lithuania shall be an independent democratic republic.

15Article 2

16The State of Lithuania shall be created by the Nation. Sovereignty shall belong to the Nation.

17Article 3

18No one may restrict or limit the sovereignty of the Nation or make claims to the sovereign powers belonging to the entire Nation.

19The Nation and each citizen shall have the right to resist anyone who encroaches on the independence, territorial integrity, and constitutional order of the State of Lithuania by force.

20Article 4

21The Nation shall execute its supreme sovereign power either directly or through its democratically elected representatives.

22Article 5

23In Lithuania, State power shall be executed by the Seimas, the President of the Republic and the Government, and the Judiciary.

24The scope of power shall be limited by the Constitution.

25State institutions shall serve the people.

26Article 6

27The Constitution shall be an integral and directly applicable act.

28Everyone may defend his rights by invoking the Constitution.

29Article 7

30Any law or other act, which is contrary to the Constitution, shall be invalid.

31Only laws which are published shall be valid.

32Ignorance of the law shall not exempt one from liability.

33Article 8

34Seizure of State power or of its institution by force shall be considered anti-constitutional actions, which are unlawful and invalid.

35Article 9

36The most significant issues concerning the life of the State and the Nation shall be decided by referendum.

37In the cases established by law, the Seimas shall announce a referendum.

38A referendum shall also be announced if not less than 300,000 citizens with the electoral right so request.

39The procedure for the announcement and execution of a referendum shall be established by law.

40Article 10

41The territory of the State of Lithuania shall be integral and shall not be divided into any State-like formations.

42The State boundaries may be altered only by an international treaty of the Republic of Lithuania after it has been ratified by 4/5 [four-fifths] of all the Members of the Seimas.

43Article 11

44The administrative units of the territory of the State of Lithuania and their boundaries shall be established by law.

45Article 12

46Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall be acquired by birth and other grounds established by law.

47With the exception of individual cases provided for by law, no one may be a citizen of both the Republic of Lithuania and another state at the same time.

48The procedure for the acquisition and loss of citizenship shall be established by law.

49Article 13

50The State of Lithuania shall protect its citizens abroad.

51It shall be prohibited to extradite a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania to another state unless an international treaty of the Republic of Lithuania establishes otherwise.

52Article 14

53Lithuanian shall be the State language.

54Article 15

55The colours of the State flag shall be yellow, green, and red.

56The Coat-of-Arms of the State shall be a white Vytis on a red field.

57The State Coat-of-Arms, flag and their use shall be established by laws.

58Article 16

59The anthem of the State shall be “Tautiška giesme” by Vincas Kudirka.

60Article 17

61The capital of the State of Lithuania shall be the city of Vilnius, the long-standing historical capital of Lithuania.

62CHAPTER II. THE HUMAN BEING AND THE STATE

63Article 18

64Human rights and freedoms shall be innate.

65Article 19

66The right to life of a human being shall be protected by law.

67Article 20

68The freedom of a human being shall be inviolable.

69No one may be arbitrarily detained or held arrested. No one may be deprived of his freedom otherwise than on the grounds and according to the procedures which have been established by law.

70A person detained in flagrante delicto must, within 48 hours, be brought before a court for the purpose of deciding, in the presence of the detainee, on the validity of the detention. If the court does not adopt a decision to arrest the person, the detainee shall be released immediately.

71Article 21

72The person of the human being shall be inviolable.

73The dignity of the human being shall be protected by law.

74It shall be prohibited to torture, injure a human being, degrade his dignity, subject him to cruel treatment as well as establish such punishments.

75No human being may be subjected to scientific or medical experimentation without his knowledge and free consent.

76Article 22

77The private life of a human being shall be inviolable.

78Personal correspondence, telephone conversations, telegraph messages, and other communications shall be inviolable.

79Information concerning the private life of a person may be collected only upon a justified court decision and only according to the law.

80The law and the court shall protect everyone from arbitrary or unlawful interference in his private and family life, from encroachment upon his honour and dignity.

81Article 23

82Property shall be inviolable.

83The rights of ownership shall be protected by laws.

84Property may be taken over only for the needs of society according to the procedure established by law and shall be justly compensated for.

85Article 24

86The home of a human being shall be inviolable.

87Without the consent of the resident, entrance into his home shall not be permitted otherwise than by a court decision or the procedure established by law when this is necessary to guarantee public order, apprehend a criminal, save the life, health, or property of a human being.

88Article 25

89The human being shall have the right to have his own convictions and freely express them.

90The human being must not be hindered from seeking, receiving and imparting information and ideas.

91Freedom to express convictions, to receive and impart information may not be limited otherwise than by law, if this is necessary to protect the health, honour and dignity, private life, and morals of a human being, or to defend the constitutional order.

92Freedom to express convictions and to impart information shall be incompatible with criminal actions—incitement of national, racial, religious, or social hatred, violence and discrimination, with slander and disinformation.

93The citizen shall have the right to receive, according to the procedure established by law, any information concerning him that is held by State institutions.

94Article 26

95Freedom of thought, conscience and religion shall not be restricted.

96Each human being shall have the right to freely choose any religion or belief and, either alone or with others, in private or in public, to profess his religion, to perform religious practices, to practice and teach his belief.

97No one may compel another person or be compelled to choose or profess any religion or belief.

98Freedom of a human being to profess and spread his religion or belief may not be limited otherwise than by law and only when this is necessary to guarantee the security of society, the public order, the health and morals of the people as well as other basic rights and freedoms of the person.

99Parents and guardians shall, without restrictions, take care of the religious and moral education of their children and wards according to their own convictions.

100Article 27

101A human being’s convictions, practiced religion or belief may not serve as justification for a crime or for failure to execute laws.

102Article 28

103While implementing his rights and freedoms, the human being must observe the Constitution and the laws of the Republic of Lithuania and must not restrict the rights and freedoms of other people.

104Article 29

105All persons shall be equal before the law, the court, and other State institutions and officials.

106The rights of the human being may not be restricted, nor may he be granted any privileges on the ground of gender, race, nationality, language, origin, social status, belief, convictions, or views.

107Article 30

108The person whose constitutional rights or freedoms are violated shall have the right to apply to court.

109Compensation for material and moral damage inflicted upon a person shall be established by law.

110Article 31

111A person shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to the procedure established by law and declared guilty by an effective court judgement.

112A person charged with the commission of a crime shall have the right to a public and fair hearing of his case by an independent and impartial court.

113It shall be prohibited to compel one to give evidence against himself, his family members or close relatives.

114Punishment may be imposed or applied only on the grounds established by law.

115No one may be punished for the same crime a second time.

116A person suspected of the commission of a crime and the accused shall be guaranteed, from the moment of their detention or first interrogation, the right to defence as well as the right to an advocate.

117Article 32

118A citizen may move and choose his place of residence in Lithuania freely and may leave Lithuania freely.

119These rights may not be restricted otherwise than by law and if it is necessary for the protection of the security of the State, the health of the people as well as for administration of justice.

120A citizen may not be prohibited from returning to Lithuania.

121Everyone who is Lithuanian may settle in Lithuania.

122Article 33

123Citizens shall have the right to participate in the governance of their State both directly and through their democratically elected representatives as well as the right to enter on equal terms in the State service of the Republic of Lithuania.

124Citizens shall be guaranteed the right to criticise the work of State institutions or their officials and to appeal against their decisions. Persecution for criticism shall be prohibited.

125Citizens shall be guaranteed the right of petition; the procedure for implementing this right shall be established by law.

126Article 34

127Citizens who, on the day of election, have reached 18 years of age, shall have the electoral right.

128The right to be elected shall be established by the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and by the election laws.

129Citizens who are recognised incapable by [the] court shall not participate in elections.

130Article 35

131Citizens shall be guaranteed the right to freely form societies, political parties and associations, provided that the aims and activities thereof are not contrary to the Constitution and laws.

132No one may be compelled to belong to any society, political party, or association.

133The founding and activities of political parties and other political and public organization shall be regulated by law.

134Article 36

135Citizens may not be prohibited or hindered from assembling unarmed in peaceful meetings.

136This right may not be limited otherwise than by law and only when it is necessary to protect the security of the State or society, public order, people’s health or morals, or the rights and freedoms of other persons.

137Article 37

138Citizens belonging to ethnic communities shall have the right to foster their language, culture, and customs.

139CHAPTER III. SOCIETY AND THE STATE

140Article 38

141The family shall be the basis of society and the State.

142Family, motherhood, fatherhood and childhood shall be under the protection and care of the State.

143Marriage shall be concluded upon the free mutual consent of man and woman.

144The State shall register marriages, births, and deaths. The State shall also recognise church registration of marriages.

145In the family, the rights of spouses shall be equal.

146The right and duty of parents is to bring up their children to be honest people and faithful citizens and to support them until they come of age.

147The duty of children is to respect their parents, to take care of them in their old age, and to preserve their heritage.

148Article 39

149The State shall take care of families that raise and bring up children at home, and shall render them support according to the procedure established by law.

150The law shall provide to working mothers a paid leave before and after childbirth as well as favourable working conditions and other concessions.

151Under-age children shall be protected by law.

152Article 40

153State and municipal establishments of teaching and education shall be secular. At the request of parents, they shall provide religious instruction.

154Non-state establishments of teaching and education may be founded according to the procedure established by law.

155Schools of higher education shall be granted autonomy.

156The State shall supervise the activities of establishments of teaching and education.

157Article 41

158Education shall be compulsory for persons under the age of 16.

159Education at State and municipal schools of general education, vocational schools and schools of further education shall be free of charge.

160Higher education shall be accessible to everyone according to his individual abilities. Citizens who are good at their studies shall be guaranteed education at State schools of higher education free of charge.

161Article 42

162Culture, science and research, and teaching shall be free.

163The State shall support culture and science, and shall take care of the protection of Lithuanian historical, artistic and cultural monuments and other culturally valuable objects.

164The law shall protect and defend the spiritual and material interests of an author which are related to scientific, technical, cultural, and artistic work.

165Article 43

166The State shall recognise the churches and religious organization[s] that are traditional in Lithuania, whereas other churches and religious organization shall be recognised provided that they have support in society and their teaching and practices are not in conflict with the law and public morals.

167The churches and religious organization[s] recognised by the State shall have the rights of a legal person.

168Churches and religious organization[s] shall be free to proclaim their teaching, perform their practices, and have houses of prayer, charity establishments, and schools for the training of the clergy.

169Churches and religious organization[s] shall conduct their affairs freely according to their canons and statutes.

170The status of churches and other religious organization[s] in the State shall be established by agreement or by law.

171The teaching proclaimed by churches and religious organization[s], other religious activities and houses of prayer may not be used for purposes which are in conflict with the Constitution and laws.

172There shall not be a State religion in Lithuania.

173Article 44

174Censorship of mass information shall be prohibited.

175The State, political parties, political and public organization, and other institutions or persons may not monopolise the mass media.

176Article 45

177Ethnic communities of citizens shall independently manage the affairs of their ethnic culture, education, charity, and mutual assistance.

178Ethnic communities shall be provided support by the State.

179CHAPTER IV. NATIONAL ECONOMY AND LABOUR

180Article 46

181Lithuania’s economy shall be based on the right of private ownership, freedom of individual economic activity and initiative.

182The State shall support economic efforts and initiative that are useful to society.

183The State shall regulate economic activity so that it serves the general welfare of the Nation.

184The law shall prohibit monopolisation of production and the market and shall protect freedom of fair competition.

185The State shall defend the interests of the consumer.

186Article 47

187The underground, internal waters, forests, parks, roads, historical, archaeological and cultural objects of State importance shall belong by the right of exclusive ownership to the Republic of Lithuania.

188The Republic of Lithuania shall have exclusive rights to the airspace over its territory, its continental shelf and the economic zone in the Baltic Sea.

189In the Republic of Lithuania foreign entities may acquire ownership of land, internal waters and forests according to a constitutional law.

190Plots of land may belong to a foreign state by right of ownership for the establishment of its diplomatic missions and consular posts according to the procedure and conditions established by law.

191Article 48

192Each human being may freely choose a job or business, and shall have the right to have proper, safe and healthy conditions at work, to receive fair pay for work and social security in the event of unemployment.

193The work of foreigners in the Republic of Lithuania shall be regulated by law.

194Forced labour shall be prohibited.

195Military service or alternative service performed in place of military service as well as citizens’ work in time of war, natural disaster, epidemics, or other extreme cases shall not be considered forced labour.

196Work performed by persons convicted by [the] court, the work being regulated by law, shall not be considered forced labour, either.

197Article 49

198Each working human being shall have the right to rest and leisure as well as to an annual paid leave.

199The length of working time shall be established by law.

200Article 50

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