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2020.06.29 10:32

Lithuanian judge turns to court over rule of law

BNS2020.06.29 10:32

On Friday, Sigita Rudėnaitė was reinstated to the Supreme Court of Lithuania, pending a Vilnius DIstrict Court’s decision on her previous dismissal which she says could have been unconstitutional and contrary to the rule of law.

Rudėnaitė asked Vilnius District Court to deem her dismissal unlawful and apply interim measures by reinstating her, pending the final ruling.

Read more: Vote on Supreme Court candidate 'negates' rule of law in Lithuania – Judicial Council

She also asked the Constitutional Court to rule on whether the Lithuanian parliament’s decision to dismiss her on April 21 didn’t run counter to the constitution, as well as the rule of law, constitutional primacy, judicial independence and responsible governance.

The Seimas and the Supreme Court of Lithuania are named defendants in this case, with the country's president named a third party in the case.

On April 21, the parliament rejected Rudėnaitė, the then acting president of the country's Supreme Court, to lead the top court. She was also dismissed from her position as the head of Supreme Court’s civil case division.

In a procedural move, President Gitanas Nausėda had proposed to the parliament to dismiss Rudėnaitė as head of the civil case division and appoint her president of the Supreme Court.

But during a secret ballot, Lithuanian MPs lawmakers backed her dismissal, but rejected her appointment as the president of the Supreme Court.

Under the Constitution, the president of the Supreme Court is appointed and dismissed by the Seimas upon the president's nomination.

The Supreme Court has had no permanent president since July when Rimvydas Norkus was dismissed and left to work at the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg. Rudėnaitė has been acting president since then.

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