The Nature of Legal Regulation of Political Party Funding: Interaction Between Public and Private Law


Abstract
This article presents the dual conception of legal regulation of funding of political parties. In general, funding of political parties is considered as part of public law, however, this article explains that it also could be understood as an institute of private law. When funding of political parties is analysed not only through the conception of public law, but also taking into consideration the idea of private law, it is possible to apply different (than usual) principles of legal regulation of such relations. Those principles are followed in this article in order to reveal different practical problems pertaining to legal regulation of political party funding. A conclusion is made that the legal provisions on funding of political parties form an integral system that consists of both public law and private law provisions. The relations when natural and legal persons assign property to political parties are considered as part of private law and those property relations that are based on state subsidies to political parties or other financial support by the state are the object of public law regulation. In the case of Lithuania, all such relations are regulated by the Law on Funding of, and Control Over Funding of Political Parties and Political Campaigns, which is an act of private law and also a source of public law. The legal regulation that stems from this law is supplemented by the Civil Code of the Republic of Lithuania and other related laws. The legislator, while regulating the legal relations pertaining to the funding of political parties, and the courts, when dealing with disputes related to those relations, are advised to take into consideration the general principles of civil law. It is important to point out that some legal provisions of the Law on Funding of Political Parties that are in force as of 1 January 2012 are against those principles. A prohibition for legal persons and limitations for natural persons to fund political parties should be critically considered, since those restrictions limit the possibilities for private persons to dispose their property and for political parties – to acquire it. Moreover, it is important to point out that such restrictions can be circumvented by assigning property through a third party and by other legal means. In order to avoid such cases, it is recommended to provide an opportunity for natural and legal persons to fund political parties, but with reasonable limitations for such donations
Keywords funding of political parties  political parties  politinės partijos  turtiniai politinių partijų santykiai  politinių partijų finansavimas  legal regulation of funding of political parties  išorinis politinių partijų finansavimas  politinių partijų finansavimo teisinis reglamentavimas  external funding of political parties  property relations of political parties
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