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Minister of Justice Rein Lang gave an overview of the implementation of tendencies of criminal policy in 2006. Mr. Lang mentioned in his report that the Estonian penal power and criminal procedure law are some of the most up-to-date in the whole Europe and thus the colleagues from other countries turn to Estonia increasingly often when modernizing their laws. The most important measures in criminal policy in 2006 were the updating of the legal environment, the passage of important national development programmes, the cooperation with research institutions and the analysing of crime statistics. Among the essential developments were the drafting of the Maintenance of Law and Order Act, the creation of possibilities for expedited and conciliation procedures, the reshaping of the Penal Code, the reduction of juvenile crime, but also the development plan against trafficking in persons and the reduction of the number of prisoners. The prevention of criminal offences was also an essential part of it. Elaboration of the regional police work development programme continued, much importance was attached to the promotion of children’s growing environment and to the fight against alcoholism and drug addiction, the purchase of rehabilitation and support person services for released convicts. Mr. Lang considered the year 2006 to have been successful for criminal policy. It would now be necessary, in the opinion of the Minister of Justice, to launch a discussion on and start thinking about new tendencies, consider the ways to move forward in the field of criminal policy from the year 2010. The presentation of this item of the agenda included the speeches by Minister of Internal Affairs Kalle Laanet and Members of the Riigikogu Ken-Marti Vaher, Margus Leivo and Väino Linde.

On the motion of the Legal Affairs Committee as the leading committee, the second reading of the Rescue Service Bill (1057 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, was concluded. The Bill was sent to the third reading.

On the motion of the Legal Affairs Committee as the leading committee, the second reading of the Disallowed Construction Removal Bill (1000 SE), initiated by the Estonian Reform Party Faction, Social Democratic Party Faction, Res Publica Faction and Isamaaliit Faction, was concluded. During the second reading the text of the Bill was amended. According to the new text, it is prohibited to erect or expose a construction in a public place which glorifies the occupation of the Republic of Estonia, mass repressions in Estonia or may compromise life, health or property of persons, incites hatred or may cause breaches of public order. It is also prohibited to erect or expose memorials, works of monumental art or other constructions which glorify historical persons who have conducted mass destruction of the Estonian people or extensively devastated the Estonian historical settlement area. An implementing provision was added to the Bill, pursuant to which the construction at Kaarli pst 13 in Tallinn is considered to be a disallowed construction and the Government must organise its transfer in 30 days beginning from the entry into force of this Act. The entry into force of the Act is planned to take place on the date following its publication in the Riigi Teataja. The Bill was sent to the third reading which will be on the sitting of the present working week, on Thursday, 15 February.

On the motion of the Rural Affairs Committee as the leading committee, the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Fisheries Market Regulation Act (1082 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, was concluded. The Bill was sent to the third reading.

On the motion of the Constitutional Committee as the leading committee, the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Public and National Holidays Act (963 SE), initiated by the Res Publica Faction and Isamaaliit Faction, was concluded. The Bill was sent to the third reading.

On the motion of the Social Affairs Committee as the leading committee, the second reading of the Bill on the Repeal of § 18 of the Social Benefits for Disabled Persons Act (1059 SE), initiated by the Estonian Centre Party Faction, Estonian People’s Union Faction and Estonian Reform Party Faction, was concluded. The Bill was sent to the third reading.

On the motion of the Social Affairs Committee as the leading committee, the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Parental Benefits Act (1085 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, was concluded. The purpose of the Bill is to bring the Parental Benefits Act in conformity with judicial practice, the promotion of gender equality and the regulation of issues proceeding from free movement of labour force between the Member States of the European Union. The entry into force of the Act is planned to be on 1 September 2007. The Bill was sent to the second reading.

On the motion of the National Defence Committee as the leading committee, the first reading of the Draft Resolution of the Riigikogu On the Use of the Estonian Defence Forces Unit in Performance of International Duties of the Estonian State in Post-Conflict Peacekeeping Missions in Lebanon, Israel, Egypt and Syria (1100 OE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, was concluded. The Bill was sent to the second reading.

Due to the end of the working hours of the sitting, the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act and Republic of Estonia Education Act (1088 SE), initiated by 24 members of the Riigikogu, was adjourned. The deliberation will be resumed on Wednesday, 14 February, at the sitting beginning at 2 p.m.

The Riigikogu Press Service

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