The main work with the drafts of the legal acts is done in the committees. Because of that, committees have been called the brains of the parliament in many countries. Each committee deals with a different field of life.
A member of the Riigikogu belongs to one standing committee and may, on the basis of the decision of the faction, be a deputy member in other standing committees.
The work of the committee is directed by the chairman of the committee or, in his absence, the deputy chairman. A committee is competent to pass resolutions if at least one third of the members of the committee are present at its regular session. The committee passes resolutions by majority vote.
According to the Constitution, committees have the right to initiate laws.
The main task of standing committees is working with the drafts of legal acts that are processed by the Riigikogu. The Board of the Riigikogu sends all draft laws that have been submitted to the Riigikogu to a standing committee which becomes a leading committee. The leading committee looks through proposals for changes and amendments and is responsible for the draft law until the Riigikogu passes the final decision about it. The committee studies the field of life the draft law concerns in more detail, tries to see if all issues have been dealt with sufficiently and to find solutions to problems.
As generally all factions are represented in each committee, the members of the Riigikogu can get information and have the possibility to co-ordinate their points of view through the member of their faction.
Each committee has officials whose task is advising the committee, register documents etc.