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Riigikogu

The Riigikogu passed seven Acts:

The Riigikogu passed with 69 votes in favour the Government of the Republic Act and Chancellor of Justice Act Amendment Act (675 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. A provision was added to the Chancellor of Justice Act which authorizes the Chancellor of Justice to make a proposal to the President of the European Parliament for removing immunity from a member of the European Parliament. Some provisions were added to the Government of the Republic Act which regulate the role of the Government of the Republic, Prime Minister and ministers in forming and representing the position of Estonia in the decision-making process of the European Union. The Government of the Republic Act was also amended, specified and corrected in matters concerning the representation of the state in judicial proceedings, counter-signing by a minister without portfolio and the descriptions of the areas of governing of the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Riigikogu passed with 68 votes in favour the Peace-Time National Defence Act Amendment Act (758 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The Act includes the principles concerning the mobilisation stockpile (so far stipulated in the National Stockpiles Act) in the Peace-Time National Defence Act and modernises provisions dealing with mobilisation stockpile. Pursuant to the Act, the maintaining and recruitment of mobilisation stockpile are organised by the Minister of Defence. Making use of the mobilisation stockpile for increasing the readiness of the Defence Forces or carrying out mobilisation is decided by the Minister of Defence.

The Riigikogu passed with 70 votes in favour the Providing International Protection to Aliens Act (726 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The Act harmonised the Directives of the European Union and stipulated the regulation concerning temporary protection to aliens. A new redaction of the Refugees Act was established and the valid Refugees Act was therefore repealed. Since the heading of the valid Act no longer clearly shows the content of the Act, the heading of the Act was amended and it was worded as the Providing International Protection to Aliens. The Act is the first in Estonia to regulate the aspects related to temporary protection of asylum seekers. Temporary protection is an exceptional proceeding, the purpose of which is to provide aliens with immediate and temporary protection in case of mass entry or in case of expected mass entry, only if these persons cannot return to their country of origin. Proceeding from the Law of the European Union, the receivers of temporary protection and asylum seekers are also allowed, on certain conditions, the access to the Estonian labour market.

The Riigikogu passed with 66 votes in favour (1 against, 1 abstention) the Act on the Implementation of the council of the European Union Regulation (EC) No 1435/2003 on the Statute for a European Cooperative Society (SCE) (708 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The Act specifies the matters of the implementation of the SCE Regulation in the cases, where the location of the future SCE is Estonia. Pursuant to Article 249 of the Treaty establishing the European Community, the Regulation is directly applicable in Member States and therefore it generally does not need implementing provisions for national transposition. The Regulation of the SCE partially deviates from this general principle, because it involves several guidelines and options to the legislator of a Member State. Therefore it was necessary to establish the implementing provisions of the Regulation.

The Riigikogu passed with 64 votes in favour the Refugees Act, Border Guard Act, State Borders Act, Aliens Act and Obligation to Leave and Prohibition on Entry Act (558 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The need to work out the Act was mainly due to the recent passage and entry into force of four Acts of the European Union, which established the criteria and proceeding for the determination of the Member State responsible for the review of applications for asylum. The Act entitles the officials of the Citizenship and Migration Board, the Border Guard and the Police to take fingerprints from asylum seekers, from aliens caught on illegal entry and from aliens who are illegally in Estonia, and who are at least 14 years of age. The officials of the Citizenship and Migration Board, Border Guard and the Police are also entitled to take biological samples from asylum seekers, from persons illegally staying in the state and from imprisoned persons, if there is no other way for identifying their person.

The Riigikogu passed with 55 votes in favour the Act on the Ratification of the Protocol No. 14 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, Amending the Control System of the Convention (703 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. Pursuant to the Convention, each person who thinks that his/her rights have been violated by the Contracting Party, is entitled to turn to the surveillance institutions, established by the Convention. At first there was a two-level system, which consisted of the Court of Human Rights and a committee. In connection with the involvement of new Member States in the Council of Europe and the increase in complaints, the need to enhance the control system of the Convention became evident and Member States decided to create a permanent Court of Human Rights. Since the entry into force of the Protocol No 11 to the Convention, the permanent Court started its work. As the number of complaints submitted to the Court has multiplied since the permanent Court started its work, its present organisation of work does not allow it to efficiently manage with the settlement of complaints. The Conference of Ministers of the Council of Europe in Rome in 2000, dedicated to the fiftieth anniversary of the passage of the Convention, approved the Resolution on the new reform of the court on the political level. The basic part of the reform has been concentrated in the Protocol No 14, which must ensure that the court could go on with its work in the best and most efficient way, avoiding delay in treating complaints.

The Riigikogu passed with 55 votes in favour the Act on the Repeal of § 3 of the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption Ratification Act (716 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The Act repeals § 3 of the Criminal Law Convention on corruption Ratification Act , pursuant to which Estonia made a reservation on Article 12 of the Convention. This Resolution is the basis for the international withdrawal of the reservation. With the withdrawal of the reservation Estonia undertakes to criminalize the named act in its legislation, including in it certain corruption manifestations, which at present are not punishable pursuant to criminal procedure.

The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of two Bills:

The Bill on Amendments to the Consumer Protection Act (756 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic;

The Bill on Amendments to the Courts Act, Bar Association Act and to Other Acts Arising Therefrom (764 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic.

The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of five Bills:

The Bill on Amendments to the Penal Code, Code of Misdemeanour Procedure and Information Society Services Act (791 SE), initiated by the Legal Affairs Committee;

The Bill on Amendments to the Rescue Act, Explosive Substances Act and Working and Rest Time Act (722 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic;

The Bill on the Accession to the Protocol to the 1979 Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution on Heavy Metals (778 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic;

The Bill on Amendments to the Courts Act and Code of Criminal Procedure (754 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic;

The Bill on Amendments to the Marital Property Register Act, Land Register Act, Bailiffs Act, Law of Maritime Property Act and Associated Acts (779 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic.

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The Riigikogu excluded two Bills from legislative proceeding at the first reading:

The Bill on Amendments to the Participation in Legal Persons in Private Law by the State Act (657 SE), initiated by the Isamaaliit Faction. The result of voting: 51 votes in favour, 12 against.

The Bill on Amendments to the Local Taxes Act (745 SE), initiated by Member of the Riigikogu Trivimi Velliste. The result of voting: 53 votes in favour, 6 against.

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At Question Time Minister of Justice Rein Lang answered the questions about criminal policy and corruption. Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet answered the questions about national interests and foreign policy. Minister of Culture Raivo Palmaru answered the questions about the amount of advertising of television and radio programmes and national culture.

The questions asked at the Question Time and the answers to them as well as the verbatim record of the Riigikogu sitting are available (in Estonian) on the Internet at:

The Riigikogu Press Service

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