President of European Landowners' Organization
29 May 2006
Member of Lithuanian Human Rights Centre,
(Established in the Republic of Lithuania At the initiative of United Nations Organization)
Dear, Mr. Mark THOMASIN-FOSTER
I request European Landowners' Organization headed by you for a legal consultation on the issues of defence of violated human rights not solved in the inside of Republic of Lithuania. Since 1991 I have been actively working in various public organizations defending human rights. I specialize in defence of ownership rights of land lots managed according to the ownership right by independent Lithuanian state citizens till 15 06 1941 (beginning of the Soviet occupation).
It is declared that in post-Soviet Lithuania the ownership rights of the citizens are restored by law at the same time carrying out land reform. The reality essentially differs from these declarations. So during restoration of ownership rights and carrying out of land reform the following violations of human rights are artificially created:
1. Post-Soviet special laws aimed at the restoration of the ownership rights in their legal essence contradict the norms of civil law and have never been coordinated either with the legal norms of the Republic of Lithuania Constitution in effect or with legal norms of European Human Rights Convention . These laws are based on the false information about the fact that on 22 07 1940 the Soviet -occupational power in Lithuanian carried out the total land nationalization. In reality then only land reform was carried out during which land lots up to 30 ha were left for the eternal use of their owners. And that "eternal use" the state pledged to defend by laws. During the post-Soviet restoration of ownership rights the ownership rights of the citizens who owned up to 30 ha are "restored" as well. As the post-Soviet special laws have in them legal norms permitting un-return of land - it is obvious that in post-Soviet Lithuania masked seizure of land lots of legitimate owners is going on.
2. In the pre-war independent Republic of Lithuania during the performed land reform for the feeding of the owner's family 8 ha area land minimum was left and during the land reform of Soviets up to 30 ha were left for the land owner. The post-Soviet land reform differs from the land reforms carried out in Lithuania earlier that during it for legitimate land owners often even the necessary minimum for feeding of owner's family is not left. That means that the approval of the citizens for the actions of the post-Soviet land reform executors is got by artificial limitation of their opportunities for feeding.
3. From the self-will of this power it is impossible to defend in courts, as the courts follow the special laws passed on the basis of wrong information I have already mentioned. Lithuanian authority do not implement legal provisions of European Convention on Human Rights because it's validity is deniable with acts of Lithuanian authority. These actions flout the legal provisions of Vienna Convention Concerning International Treaties.
4. Instead dreamt of freedom and free work in one's land or after selling that land and using the means for starting one's business the citizens of post-Soviet Lithuania are forced to request a favour at the officials who are robbing them or emigrate abroad.
5. Such "freedom" for the citizens of post-Soviet Republic of Lithuania creates constantly continuing acute emotional stress states. The scientists call them non-reacted affect situations and have already proved that these situations result in completely real human physical and mental health disorders.
I have come to the defence of human rights not as a henchman of authorities, but as a commissioner elected by ordinary people. So the information I present differs from the information of authorities henchmen (only pretending to be human rights defenders). However, the information I present is completely true, as otherwise I would be tossed in courts - due to insult of state official honour and dignity.
This application is attached with a copy of newspaper "Baltijos kelias" ("Baltic road") issued by citizen movement KITAS PASIRINKIMAS ("ANOTHER CHOICE") article "Land Ownership" done by me, Zenonas Jurgelevicius, and printed at 2006-02-13.
You could find this article at the internet: http://www.pilieciai.lt/minerva/index.php.article=852 (only Lithuanian). The fact that this article is printed and facts mentioned in this article only approve a fairness of my words.
I request You to help to restore justice in post-Soviet Republic of Lithuania that legal owners of the land could protect their reasonable interests in the courts. At this moment it is impossible.
Newspaper "Baltijos kelias" ("Baltic Road") issued by citizen movement KITAS PASIRINKIMAS ("ANOTHER CHOICE")
13 February 2006, № 1.
A shortened review of the Republic of Lithuania citizen ownership right to land restoration legitimacy
In post-Soviet Lithuania the authorities and the administrative institution officers explain to the nation that during the soviet occupation lawful landed proprietors' ownership rights to their managed land were legally canceled. As a result now these titles are restored by special laws. At the same time land reform is implemented. Such explanations do not correspond to the reality completely.
Post-Soviet special laws regulating restoration of ownership rights in their legal essence directly contradict the rules of civil law. They have never been coordinated neither with the valid Constitution legislative regulations of the Republic of Lithuania nor with valid in Lithuania European Human Rights Convention legislative regulations (superior legal power acts). These laws are based on false information hereof that on 22 June 1940 occupational government executed universal land nationalization. In fact, occupational government started Soviet land reform. The land up to 30 ha area owned by land proprietors according to ownership right till this land reform during the execution of the reform was officially left for their owners to be used in perpetuity. Up to 15 June 1940, the Soviet occupation in Lithuania, there were 332 050 farms (72%) the owners of which owned up to 30 ha of land. They owned 3 364 970 ha - 74.6% of the whole farmland in independent Lithuania. The Soviet occupation legally never cancelled their ownership rights to that land. On the contrary, the Soviet State declared „perpetual land use" and it committed to defend it by its laws. The land not taken into the state land fond up to 30 ha was owned by its owners according to the right of personal ownership till the implemented collectivization of the year 1947 - 1950 and for this paid the land tax to the then state. Citizen joining into the Soviet collective farms was legally voluntary. Statutes of these collective farms (land farming cooperatives) prohibited to transfer land to the third persons later. Therefore Lithuanian citizen ownership rights to land have never been legally cancelled.
However, after the year 1990 during the beginning to restore the title ownership rights of citizens owning up to 30 ha were „restored" as well. In laws, regulating (i.e. regulating what need not have to be done at all), the post-Soviet special ownership rights „restoration", „legal" norms letting not to return the land are hidden,. Translating from the pharisaical language to ordinary language it means that in post-Soviet Lithuania indeed not the ownership right restoration, but in disguise land of lawful owners embezzlement and legal legitimation (juridical citizen ownership rights to land cancellation) of such embezzlement is going on.
In prewar independent Republic of Lithuania, 8 ha territory land minimum was left to the land owner's family to survive, executing the land reform and up to 30 ha were left to be used to the owners in perpetuity during the execution of the land reform of the year 1940. The post-Soviet land reform differs from the previously executed land reforms in Lithuania thereby that executing it the necessary land minimum is often not left to the legitimate land owners, even for their families to survive. The „reform" itself has been continuing for 15 years already. It means that citizens' approval to the post-Soviet executor actions of land reform is got artificially limiting their opportunities to survive. Thus in post-Soviet Lithuania implemented forced land redistribution in any case cannot be called „ the land reform". It is difficult to imagine for a civilized person such cryptic and perceptible cruelty when the necessary to survive land minimum is forfeitured even from the family of legitimate land owners'. Therefore the civilized people cannot believe in it (cannot believe at all that it can take place in a democratic country at the beginning of the 21st century).
In courts it is impossible to defend from such post-Soviet Lithuanian authority self-will. I explain it in a more detailed way. Honesty, justice and discretion principles consolidated in the Article 1.5. of the Civil Code which is in effect in the LR oblige us all to behave discretely (the beginning of the quotation from CC commentary):
„Discretion is the common law principle requiring that a person would mind his behaviour, with care, closely, justly and honestly. Discretion is honesty in objective attitude, i.e. it basically means moral imperative: „Behave with others in such a way you would like to be behaved and do not behave in such a way how you would not like others to behave with you. A person who behaves absently, carelessly, unreasonably, dishonestly, wrongly, misuses his rights and etc. If he behaves unreasonably, his rights are not asserted. (CC 1.90 Art. p. 5). Criterion of discretion means that people actions are valued in a concrete situation, according to cautious, careful, attentive, i.e. reasoned, discrete people (bonus pater familias) behavior in an adequate situation..." (the end of the quotation)".
However, you will maybe agree that it would be unreasonable for the lawful land proprietor to try to „restore" justice in a legal way, when it is absolutely not needed to be restored. Moreover, it is unreasonable to execute that unnecessary justice restoration in accordance with „a special law" aimed not at justice restoration, but at its destroying. That law denies in its essence generally in the civilized world received citizen ownership right defending norms of the civil law and „legitimates" actions punishable in that civilized world. More unadvisedly is to do it in post-Soviet LR courts the judges of which entirely take no consideration of two essential things. Firstly, the ownership right of the majority of LR citizens to land has never been judicially cancelled and their succession is left. Secondly, the LR Seimas, taking „a special law" of that content, on 1 July 1997, violated country's international obligations, because at that time in the Republic of Lithuania European Human Rights Convention first article of the first protocol legal provisions already were in force.
That means that our judges, applying the special law № VIII-359 (and later amendments and supplements of this law) of 1 July 1997, since adoption of this law till present constantly flout the legal provisions of European Convention on Human Rights and Main Freedom Security first article of the first protocol and Vienna Convention Concerning International Treaties of 1969,. Pacta sunt servanda principle, adopted in the Article 26 of Vienna Convention Concerning International Treaties (the participant of which RL is as well) of 1969, prohibits countries' adhering to Convention, efforts to justify international treaties non-performance, with reference to its internal law. Such „implementation of justice" common in RL courts directly contradicts European Convention on Human Rights Article 6 „The Right to a Fair Trial" and this convention Article 13 „The Right to an Effective Remedy" legal regulations. Post-Soviet LR courts administer in respect of lawful land owners not justice, but directly discriminate them, that the former Soviet nomenclature (and its congenials) ruling the country could seize the alien property, belonging to the citizens of the Republic of Lithuania, and convert them to pauper and slaves without any rights of the nomenclature' who snapped up their property. Such discrimination is prohibited by "European Convention on Human Rights and Main Freedoms Convention Article 14 provisions.
In summary, it can be stated that after restoration of Lithuanian independence our citizens instead of freely working in their land, or having sold it, and for the got finances beginning their own business are constrained to ask the officers robbing them a favour or to emigrate to foreign states.
Dear Mr Jurgelevieius,
Thank you for your most interesting and informative email which I have only just been able to read as I have been away.
ELO has a close interest in the whole question of property rights at a European level. The situation of which you write is one which I know you are progressing at a National level. This is of course the correct level to be currently working and we shall wish you all success whilst we follow the progress you make.
Thank you for contacting us and naturally if you wish to keep us informed we shall remain most interested.
With best regards
European Landowner's Organisation
To Mr. Mark THOMASIN-FOSTER,
President of European Landowners' Organization
Member of Lithuanian Human Rights Centre,
(Established in the Republic of Lithuania At the initiative of United Nations Organization)
Dear Mr. Mark THOMASIN-FOSTER,
I sincerely thank you for your reply of 15 June 2006 to my letter of May 29, 2006. Thank you that you let me inform you about my work in citizen ownership right defence. This law sphere in post-Soviet Lithuania is explained in a wrong way (in a mistaken way) by official state institution officials and various „human right observers" helping them. So (aiming at complete clearness) I will divide my reply to you into several parts. In such way it will become completely clear and strongly legally reasoned.
First of all I reply to the part of your letter most important to post-Soviet Lithuania legitimate land owners. In your reply to my letter you wrote:
„ELO has a close interest in the whole question of property rights at a European level. The situation of which you write is one which I know you are progressing at a National level. This is of course the correct level to be currently working and we shall wish you all success whilst we follow the progress you make."
That enables to judge that you believe in an opportunity to achieve justice in post-Soviet Lithuania by internal legal measures. To prove the fact that I in my letters justly define the human rights violations performed consciously by the power institution officials of post-Soviet Lithuania (and rightly explain - that the existing problems already cannot be solved by using Lithuanian state internal legal system) - in additional files attached to this letter I am sending you the translations of two documents into English.
By the content of these documents it is obvious that the Judge Council of post-Soviet Lithuania in written form (by official registered document) refuses to perform International obligations of Lithuanian state corresponding Republic of Lithuania Constitution legal norms (presented in my „Petition" to that Council).That means that the Judge Council of post-Soviet Lithuania refuses to carry out justice. Such behaviour of post-Soviet Lithuania Judge Council (and all other judges appointed and headed by that Council) makes the recommendation to me presented in your letter „to work in national level‘ practically impossible to be realized.
To make such my statement not be understood as my personal opinion - I ground it by a quotation from official book of Lithuanian Civil Code Comments (legal explanations). In page 68 of "Republic of Lithuania Civil Code Comments" 1st part "Civil Laws and their Employment" published by publishing house „Justitia" in Vilnius in 2001 the explanation of manifold legal defence principle of civil rights is presented. In that explanation it is stated that:
„10. Principle of manifold civil right legal defence means that into CC the provisions of Constitution Article 30 part 1 and European Human Right and Major Freedom Defence Convention Article 6 part 1 are incorporated. The essence of this principle is that a person is entitled in court to defend any his violated subject right (CC 1.138). So all disputes arising from civil legal relations belong to court competence1. Elimination of these or those civil disputes from court competence would mean the violation of Constitution Article 30 part 1 and European Human Right and Major Freedom Defence Convention..."
In my report made in the sitting of Republic of Lithuania Judge Court of 9 June 2006 and the text of that report registered in RL Judge Council under No. 85 on the same day (it is in the first additional file attached to this letter called „Petition") I informed RL Judge Council about specific mass law and justice violation carried out by all RL courts. In reply No. 01-E2-7191 of 4 July 2006 (to information presented by me) Judge Council Secretary Albertas Milinis states (he is Kaunas County Court Chairman as well) that RL judges cannot correct the spoilage of their work - as the contradictions of internal that Constitution legal meaning have been included into RL Constitution text by the very lawyers. The RL Judge Council ‚forgets" that judges must always carry out justice. It also „forgets" that in RL Constitution Chapter 1 „Lithuanian State" these imperative legal norms have been established:
The State of Lithuania shall be an independent democratic republic.
The State of Lithuania shall be created by the Nation. Sovereignty shall belong to the Nation.
No one may restrict or limit the sovereignty of the Nation or make claims to the sovereign powers belonging to the entire Nation.
The 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.
The Nation shall execute its supreme sovereign power either directly or through its democratically elected representatives.
In Lithuania, State power shall be executed by the Seimas, the President of the Republic and the Government, and the Judiciary.
The scope of power shall be limited by the Constitution.
State institutions shall serve the people.
The Constitution shall be an integral and directly applicable act.
Everyone may defend his rights by invoking the Constitution.
Any law or other act, which is contrary to the Constitution, shall be invalid.
Only laws which are published shall be valid.
Ignorance of the law shall not exempt one from liability.
(I have already explained about failure to implement international obligations.) It is obvious that for judges of Soviet school only the will of members of protective barrier named „Constitutional Court" created to protect the self will of those politicians who have adopted „special laws" on false basis is valid. By the facts presented in this letter and additional documents attached to it the following conclusion should be arrived at: in post-Soviet Lithuania the creation of democracy is only imitated as in reality the seizure of citizen property performed by former Soviet nomenclature is performed according to the aim expressed in communist international „..who was nobody, will become all mighty".
I request you to announce all my letters (and their appendices) in ELO internet website and press publications.
Note: My „Petition" has been addressed to Lithuanian „Court Council" and later I ( and the very Judge Council) are using the term „Judge Council". That is because (at that moment) the name of that Council was being changed.
Faithfully yours, Zenonas Jurgelevicius
Stamp: "JUDGE COUNCIL
09 June 2006
To: Lithuanian Court Council Chairman
Resp. Virgilijus Valancius
9 June 2006
Res. at Jaunimo 28 Ringaudai
4324 Kaunas Reg.
For 16 years I have been engaged in active human right defence activity in various public organizations: "Lithuanian Landowners Union", "Lithuanian Human Right Protection Association", "Lithuanian United Nation Association", "Lithuanian Human Right Centre", "Lithuanian Sajudis" and "Lithuanian Person Authorized Representative Society". I am specializing in protection of rights of landownership acquired by the citizens of the Republic of Lithuania till 15 June 1940 (beginning of Soviet occupation of independent Lithuania state). Doing this work I have noticed that significant internal contradictions of their legal meaning really exist in the legal acts of the Republic of Lithuania regulation ownership rights of Lithuanian citizens. These contradictions manifest themselves by the fact that by RL internal law the legal norms of European Human Right Convention of higher legal power are denied. I have exhaustively and reasonably considered this problem in my article "Kas yra Kas posovietineje Lietuvoje" (Who is Who in Post-Soviet Lithuania) published in daily "Lietuvos Aidas" of autumn of 2005. At present the text of mentioned article is accessible for everybody freely in rubric "Zmogaus teises" (Human Rights) existing in information portal http://www.straipsniai.lt/.
The Republic of Lithuania courts till present moment in court practice apply Art.1 of the first protocol of European Human Rights Convention which is already in force in the Republic of Lithuania, "Law on Restoration of the Republic of Lithuania Citizens Ownership Rights to Remaining Real Estate" No. VIII-359 of 1 July 1997 passed on the basis of false information by RL Seimas (Parliament) and openly contradicting the legal norms of mentioned Convention. That means that the courts (judges) of post-Soviet RL completely do not take into account the continuance of most RL citizens ownership rights which have never been cancelled and the inability of RL Seimas on 01 07 1997 to pass "special" law of such content which would be passed without violating the international obligations. That means that during practical application of the mentioned special law the mentioned judges since the day of this law coming into force till this moment themselves constantly violate the legal provisions of the first article of first protocol of European Human Right and Major Freedoms Protection Convention and legal provisions of Article 26 of "Vienna Convention Regarding International Agreement Law" of 1969 (The participant of which the RL is as well) prohibiting to deny the imperative legal norms of International obligations accepted by that country principle of pacta sunt servanda) by the internal legal norms of the state. Such RL court "execution of justice" openly contradicts the legal norms established by Article 6 of European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms: "Right to a Fair Trial" and Article 13 of this Convention "Right to an Effective Remedy". Courts of Post-Soviet RL execute not justice but open discriminations in respect of legitimate landowners, so that the former Soviet nomenclature (and its congenials) "Having the Power" in post-Soviet Lithuania could seize alien property. Legal provisions of Article 14 of Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms prohibit such discrimination.
Such behaviour of officials of RL courts - as a state institution which must ensure justice in the state of Lithuania raises the following grounded citizen doubts - are RL courts really executing justice? The basis for such conclusions is the following facts:
1. The abuse executed to petty landowners by land managers continuing 16 years to agree with legally ungrounded demands of those land managers and refuse all or major part of the land ownership bequeathed by them is equaled to legitimately executed land reform. However, in world practice such behaviour is called corruption.
2. Soviet-occupational power in 1940 executed not the complete land nationalization of all Lithuanian citizens (It left land up to 30 ha for eternal citizen use) but Soviet land reform. That has been proved by documents. Why do RL courts not acknowledge this fact and violate RL international obligations (already enumerated in this petition)?
3. RL citizen cannot defend his violated rights in post-Soviet Lithuania court -as RL courts basing on internal laws contradicting the RL Constitution and international law norms valid in RL (Article 56 of RL Civil Procedure Code) recognize that citizen as insufficiently clever to understand his legal situation and due to that do not let for that citizen at his free will to choose a person who would represent the interests (of that citizen) in court best of all. Are the citizen constitutional rights to have and express their opinion (see: valid RL Constitution Art.25 1, 2 and 3 parts) and constitutional right to equality and by the same to personal freedom (see: valid RL Constitution Art. 29) not denied in the very most barbaric way? What human freedom can we talk of - if law prohibits for the person to defend that freedom himself in court? Such self-will of the persons having power did not exist even during the Soviet period! How is it combined with democratic order?
4. When courts conduct cases according to the legitimately ungrounded special RL laws which I have already named cases are possible when the citizens lose cases due to causes regulated by Adjective Law. Dear RL Court Council Chairman, how is it possible to loose a case - which cannot be initiated - due to office work and similar to it regulations? That is not execution of justice - it is complete absurd. So it is necessary to decide urgently: what "violations" of adjective law and when can be the cause of loosing of a citizen civil case in court.
5. Don't the facts stated in the first four paragraphs of this petition mean that in RL courts the citizen duty consolidated in RL Civil Code Art.1,5 and the right to behave wisely is limited artificially and that determines their loss in courts?
6. (Supplementing the 5th) Can a law limit the person right to behave wisely and if the fact is such: should such "law" be executed?
7. Why in general the citizens of legal state must defend from the self-will of abusing law persons in courts? Isn't the major function of the state the defence of its citizens from internal and external self-will executors?
8. Who and when will cover the legitimate RL landowners the damage made (and still being made) by execution of legal groundless special "laws"?
It is obvious that after eliminating the cases I have stated - in Lithuania state the way to corruption carried out by state officials and their seizure of alien property would be blocked. I request the Court Council headed by you to consider the facts stated in this petition preventing the RL courts from carrying out justice and take measures to eliminate them.
Lithuanian Human Right Centre member (signature)
A.Jaksto 13-1, LT-01105 Vilnius, tel. (8 5) 268 5186, fax (8 5) 268 5187
To: Mr. Zenonas Jurgelevicius
04 07 2006 No. 01-E2-7191
Jaunimo str. 28, Ringaudai,
4324, Kaunas Region
On 12 06 2006 in Judge Council your petition has been received in which it is indicated that a number of the Republic of Lithuania Law statutory acts, to be precise, the Republic of Lithuania Citizen Ownership Right to Remaining Real Estate Restoration Law, RL CPC 56 establishing the circle of person able to be representatives according to commission in court in conducting civil cases contradict the international law acts ratified by the Republic of Lithuania, among them European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamentals Freedoms and the protocols supplementing it. The courts of the Republic of Lithuania applying these law norms in conducting cases also violate the mentioned international law norms and human rights.
In accordance with the Republic of Lithuania Constitution Art. 109 part 3 the judges conducting cases listen only to the law. In Constitution Article 110 part 1 it is indicated that a judge cannot apply a law which contradicts the Constitution. At the same time only the Constitutional Court is competent in acknowledging the law statutory act as contradicting to Constitution. Subjects entitled to address the Constitutional Court regarding elucidation if legal norms act corresponds the provisions of the Constitution have been enumerated in the Republic of Lithuania Constitution Article 106. The Judge Council does not dispose such a right.
Judge Council Secretary (signature) Albertas Milinis