Is It Possible to Institute Impeachment Against a Member of the Seimas for a Crime Committed Before Becoming a Member of the Seimas
Keywords:concept of impeachment, grounds for impeachment, legal effects of impeachment
The institute of impeachment is a method of public democratic control over the activity of the state officials listed in Article 74 of the Constitution and a method of holding such officials liable when their powers are terminated by means of a resolution of the Seimas due to the fact that such officials have grossly violated the Constitution, breached the oath, or committed a crime. Article 74 of the Constitution does not directly indicate when the actions serving as grounds for impeaching the persons specified in this article are performed: whether impeachment is possible only for actions performed at the time when they were holding the positions specified in Article 74 of the Constitution, or whether also for actions performed by them before obtaining the positions pointed out in the same article. The Constitutional Court has not yet provided its interpretation whether impeachment is also possible for actions performed by the respective persons before they obtained the positions specified in in Article 74 of the Constitution. A systemic interpretation of the Constitution allows asserting that, according to Article 74 of the Constitution, impeachment must be instituted against the President and justices of the Constitutional Court, the President and justices of the Supreme Court, the President and judges of the Court of Appeal, as well as any members of the Seimas, not only for a crime committed by them at the time when they were holding the positions provided for in Article 74 of the Constitution, but also for a crime committed by them before obtaining the positions specified in the same article where a convicting court judgment in respect of them comes into force at the time when they are holding the positions specified in Article 74 of the Constitution.