At today’s sitting, the Riigikogu heard the overview of the activities of Chancellor of Justice Indrek Teder in 2012.
In Teder’s words, it stood out that he had made notably more proposals to the Riigikogu for bringing Acts into conformity with the Constitution in 2012 than in previous years. “Does this mean that in my opinion the Riigikogu has less respect for the Constitution than it used to? No,” Teder said. He explained that the Chancellor of Justice often has to address the problems that the legislator has avoided provoking, and if these problems had been foreseen then the Act would probably have been adjusted. “In such situation, the Chancellor of Justice and the Riigikogu can fix the matter together. Thus, the nine proposals that were made last year in no way mean loud criticism of the Riigikogu. On the contrary, I would like to thank you for your cooperation,” Teder said.
Teder noted that he was concerned about issues related to the role of the Constitution. It is not connected with any particular provision of the Constitution but involves the understanding of the Constitution as a whole. “The provisions of the Constitution have been established with a long-term perspective in mind. Observance of these provisions forces us to take into account the potential unnoticed and long-term damage caused by some decisions which seem in every way reasonable in a short-term perspective,” the Chancellor of Justice said.
Teder discussed issues related to legislative drafting and the problems that had emerged with them. The Chancellor of Justice noted that one of the most significant changes is our continuing integration with the European Union to which he pays close attention. In his words, it does not only concern big issues such as the ESM. “The Chancellor of Justice has a wider angle of view which focuses on the possibilities of protecting the Constitution in new circumstances. My underlying principle is the following: we must preserve constitutional review to the largest extent possible,” Teder said.
Representatives of the factions of the Riigikogu Kadri Simson, Rait Maruste, Kajar Lember and Marko Pomerants took the floor during the debate. They all expressed their recognition to the Chancellor of Justice for effective cooperation and they presented their positions on the issues of solving the problems that had been the content of the cooperation.
On the motion of the Finance Committee, the Riigikogu rejected at the first reading the Bill on Amendments to § 5 of the Income Tax Act (438 SE), initiated by the Estonian Centre Party Faction. The result of voting: 38 votes in favour, 26 against.
The Riigikogu Press Service
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