The Little Diet in the History of Lithuanian Parliament


  • Mindaugas Maksimaitis



parliamentary, Constituent Assembly of Lithuania, The Little Diet


The article describes historical and legal prerequisites for the origination of the Little Diet of Lithuania, which makes a significant episode in the history of Lithuanian parliamentarism. The article analyses the origin, the formation and the activity of the institution.

After the country was exposed to the danger of the Polish aggression causing an actual threat to the State of Lithuania the Constituent Assembly decided to temporarily terminate its activities. Therefore the Little Diet was established on 22 October 1920 for the period of three months (till 17 January 1921) to substitute for the Constituent Assembly. This temporary institution was established solely to fill in the break of the Constituent Assembly for the period of almost three months, since in the face of a threat for the country the functioning of the State powers had to be coordinated better, to operate more flexibly and actively.

The special law by the Constituent Assembly was adopted under which the Little Diet was authorized with nearly full jurisdiction, except for the constituent powers in defining the basics of the state and the ratification of international agreements. In setting up the Little Diet which consisted of seven members, the interfraction proportion of the Constituent Assembly was preserved.

During the period of activity of the Little Diet forty five sittings were held, fifty one bills were submitted for consideration and twenty five laws were adopted. One interpellation was submitted for consideration, the answers of ministers to the inquiries given by members of the Constituent Assembly were auditioned.

The incorporation and activity of the Little Diet formed favorable circumstances for authoritative members of the Constituent Assembly to join the direct activities of mobilizing country’s resources to fight against the aggressor. It helped avoid interruptions of the activities of the General Assembly which used most of its time for parliamentary activities in parallel to legislative efforts.



How to Cite

Maksimaitis, M. (2014). The Little Diet in the History of Lithuanian Parliament. Parliamentary Studies, (16), 45–64.