THE CONSTITUTIONAL PRINCIPLE OF LEGAL CERTAINTY IN LITHUANIA: A FEW ISSUES OF TAX LEGISLATION

Ingrida Steponavičienė

Abstract


The structure and purpose of this article is two-fold. Firstly, the article identifies the issue of terminology and content of the two constitutional principles defined by the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, namely, the principle of legal certainty and the principle of legal security. Based on the systematic analysis of the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, this article discloses the content of the principle of legal certainty as it is understood in Lithuanian constitutional doctrine. It then focuses on the specifics of the principle of legal certainty in Lithuanian tax legislation by discussing selected issues of ensuring legal certainty in Lithuanian tax law through separate elements of this principle. Such issues as promulgation of tax legal acts, establishing the procedure for calculating taxes, the requirements of establishing the tax laws in advance, and the related issue of retrospective tax regulation together with possible shift of the constitutional doctrine in this field, are discussed from the perspective of the imperatives of the principle of legal certainty. This leads to the conclusion that, although Lithuania has a solid statutory background for ensuring the functioning of the principle of legal certainty, the real operation of this principle in the field of tax law, together with changes in the evolving tax law, poses a number of challenges.

Keywords


principle of legal certainty, content of the constitutional principle, tax law, lex retro non agit

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.13165/j.icj.2020.06.003

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