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The third reading of the Act on Amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia (47 SE), initiated by the President of the Republic, was concluded. 58 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour. The purpose of the amendment is to regulate the management of the state defence and to strengthen the civilian control over the Defence Forces. The provisions regulating the directing of the Defence Forces are omitted from the Constitution. If the amendment enters into force, the appointment to office and release from office of the Commander of the Defence Forces and other leaders of the Defence Forces will be regulated by a separate Act.

 

Pursuant to § 163 of the Constitution, the Constitution can be amended by an Act passed by two successive compositions of the Riigikogu. An Act on amendments to the Constitution is passed if the Bill on amendments to the Constitution which receives the support of the majority of the preceding membership of the Riigikogu is passed unamended by the succeeding Riigikogu on the first reading and with a three-fifths majority. The contents of the Bill cannot be altered between these readings and the Bill will be put to a final vote in the next composition with the same contents and the same wording. Nobody voted against this Act and nobody abstained.

On the motion of the Legal Affairs Committee as the leading committee, the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Code of Misdemeanour Procedure (238 SE), initiated by the Government, was concluded. The purpose of the Bill is to amend the Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure such that they would be in conformity with the requirements provided in the Council Framework Decision of 24 February 2005 on the application of the principle of mutual recognition to financial penalties. The purpose of the Framework Decision is to implement mutual recognition of financial penalties by judicial or administrative authorities of Member States as well as to recognise and execute court judgments without further formalities in the states executing the judgments. The Bill was sent to the second reading.

On the motion of the Legal Affairs Committee as the leading committee, the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure (239 SE), initiated by the Government, was concluded. The passing of the Act will increase the clarity and effectiveness of combating bribery of foreign public officials. The amendments are necessitated by Estonia’s aspiration to accede to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions adopted on 21 November 1997. Estonia as an OECD candidate country must achieve full compliance with the requirements of the Convention as an accession criterion. The Bill was sent to the second reading.

On the motion of the Social Affairs Committee as the leading committee, the Bill on Amendments to the State Family Benefits Act (208 SE), initiated by the Estonian Centre Party Faction, was rejected at the first reading. 54 Members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the motion and 32 voted against, nobody abstained. Thus, the Bill was withdrawn from the legislative proceeding.

 

The Riigikogu Press Service

 

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