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The Riigikogu deliberated the Proposal No 23 of the Chancellor of Justice “Notifying of a surveillance activity and monitoring thereof (section 251 of the Code of Criminal Procedure Implementation Act)” and decided not to support it. The result of voting: 28 votes in favour, 35 against. 

The Chancellor of Justice Indrek Teder said that, as a result of a legal analysis, he had reached the opinion that section 251 of the Code of Criminal Procedure Implementation Act is in conflict with the Constitution. 

The Chancellor of Justice indicated that the Act does not provide an efficient and systematic control of the postponement of the notification of a surveillance activity as regards the permissions for surveillance granted before 1 January 2013, and it even allows for situations where the person concerned is not notified of a surveillance activity. In the opinion of the Chancellor of Justice, failure to notify of surveillance brings about a continuous infringement of the fundamental rights of the person concerned. The Chancellor of Justice found that the legislator should adopt a transition regulation that would also provide an efficient and systematic monitoring of the permissions for surveillance granted before 1 January 2013. 

The Chairman of the Constitutional Committee Rait Maruste analysed the proposal of the Chancellor of Justice and gave an overview of the discussion that had been held in the Constitutional Committee. “Besides the legal aspects, the legislator as a body must also take into account the feasibility of a proposal, and its significance in the light of the protection of constitutional order and rights and freedoms on a wider scale,” Maruste said. He pointed out that the proposal concerns a situation which today is history, the establishment of a regulation retroactively. “In principle, legal provisions can be established retroactively but it does not have to be done. Weighty and good reasons are needed for such a step. It must be expedient; however, in this case, it is not because notification of persons of surveillance activities retroactively would bring about an excessive administrative burden for the state,” Maruste said. He added that the door was not completely closed for the people. According to the Constitution, everyone has the right to obtain information concerning him or her from a state authority, that is, to turn to a state authority to obtain the relevant information. 

The Chairman of the Legal Affairs Committee Marko Pomerants gave an overview of the discussion that had been held in the Committee and the conclusions that had been made: “The Legal Affairs Committee reached the same decision as the Constitutional Committee.” 

On the motion of the Economic Affairs Committee, the Riigikogu concluded the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Advertising Act (426 SE), initiated by the Estonian Centre Party Faction. The purpose of the Bill is to restrict the advertising of energy drinks. 

The Riigikogu Press Service

 

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