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The Riigikogu passed three Acts:  

The Act on Amendments to the Aliens Act and the State Fees Act (212 SE), initiated by the Government, the aim of which is to reduce the risk of misuse of the living permits integrally and to ensure that the immigration quota is fulfilled with those persons whose settling in Estonia is in the public interests, that is, who contribute to the development of Estonian society, was passed with 76 votes in favour. The Act specifies the bases and purposes of issuing of a temporary residence permit for employment as a member of a managing body of a company or as a posted worker, for enterprise as well as in case of substantial public interest. 

The Act on Amendments to the Securities Market Act (220 SE), initiated by the Government, which specifies the procedure for the preparation and disclosure of security prospectuses and reduces the administrative burden for securities issuers and brokers upon the preparation of prospectuses, was passed with 74 votes in favour. At the same time, it increases the protection of investors with the obligation to submit sufficient information in prospectuses which must meet above all the needs of common investors (retail investors). 

The Act on Amendments to the Liquid Fuel Act (228 SE), initiated by the Finance Committee, which brings the Act into conformity with the recommendations arising from a Supreme Court decision, was passed with 76 votes in favour. On the basis of these, the bases for reducing the security are regulated in more detail in order to simplify the activities of the Tax and Customs Board, to facilitate the inspection of its activities and to reduce the number of potential complaints. The bases and criteria similar to those which regulate the increasing of the security are established also for reducing the security. The Act additionally provides as criteria in deciding on the reduction of the security the capability of the person as a member of the management or controlling body, that is, the competence to operate in the field of fuel handling, as well as the previous experience in engaging in enterprise and the investments made by the undertaking in the field of fuel handling. The aim of the Act is to reduce the possibility that a security of less than 100 000 euro is granted to an undertaking who wishes to operate in the area of fuel sale who uses a “dummy” as the representative person and who lacks the knowledge and previous experience in fuel handling. 

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Märt Rask gave an overview of courts administration, administration of justice and uniform application of Acts. 

Pursuant to the Courts Act, once a year, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court gives to the parliament an overview on courts administration, administration of justice and the uniform application of Acts in Estonia. Rask noted that this report covers a selection of problems which, from the point of view of the judicial power, need to be discussed and resolved in cooperation of legislators and the executive power. While the previous year’s report had focused on civil proceedings with keywords such as high state fees, delivery and reasonable duration of proceedings, then in today’s report the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court discussed administrative court proceedings in more detail, of all legal spheres. He explained that the points of emphasis of the report had been discussed in the Council for Administration of Courts in May this year and therefore it can be said that the report brings to the Riigikogu, as it were, the concerns and problems of the court system and not those of the person who presents the report. 

Rask stressed that the state is obliged to guarantee flawless functioning of administration of justice. Looking at the statistical average of the duration of court proceedings, it can be confirmed that, last year, the court system worked more efficiently than the year earlier as regards the court of first instance, that is, county and administrative courts. Both in civil and criminal proceedings, the durations of the proceedings have reduced in the last five years, only in administrative courts the duration of proceedings is slightly longer. Rask repeated his last year’s report and stressed that it is indisputably right to speed up the proceedings and achieving the average of hundred days is a bold goal. “It is no good criticising the goal. Speeding up court proceedings until this does not bring down the quality of court proceedings is in every way justified,” the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court said. He admitted that a person who seeks protection when his or her rights have been violated is only interested in how long the whole proceeding will last and not how quickly the proceeding is conducted in one or another court instance. Too hasty and superficial approach should be avoided. Rask underlined that the reasons of the inefficiency of the work of courts cannot be eliminated with propaganda projects of legislative drafting which create an illusion that the dozens of circumstances hindering the smooth running of administration of justice can be eliminated with a simple legislative amendment. When conducting legislative proceedings of the draft Acts which reorganise the work of courts, it is reasonable for the legislator to hear the judges, Rask explained. 

Rait Maruste and Marko Pomerants took the floor during the debate. 

The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Republic of Estonia Education Act and Other Associated Acts (223 SE), initiated by the Government. The Bill provides for the transfer of the functions of the National Examinations and Qualifications Centre to the foundation Innove administrated by the Ministry and, respectively, termination of the activities of the National Examinations and Qualifications Centre. According to the Bill, after the conclusion of the contract under public law, the Foundation Innove will become a central authority coordinating the general and vocational education programmes and developments. The renewed Foundation Innove will be divided into three structural units: the general education and monitoring agency, the vocational education agency and the structural assistance agency. 

The Riigikogu Press Service

 

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