At today’s sitting of the Riigikogu, the Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise gave an overview of the duties assigned to her. They include international tasks, the protection of disabled people, the protection and promotion of the rights of children, the inspection of prisons and old people’s homes, and the general protection and promotion of human rights.
According to the Chancellor of Justice, during a year, her agency can see all aspects of the life in Estonia in complaints. “People can write to us as they can and describe their problem. No legal aid is needed for that. And it is our task to understand what the crux of the matter is,” Madise said.
The Chancellor of Justice said that, when they saw a probable infringement of someone’s rights, they added argumentation that the person could transpose directly into an action to an administrative court if they wished. According to her, there is a large number of such cases, and they include, for example, cases related to nursery places. Under the law, children must be ensured nursery places and pre-school education.
“To quote a very wittily written decision of the Supreme Court, children and parents must not be placed in a disadvantageous situation because their place of residence is in a rural municipality or city that has decided just not to comply with the law,” Madise pointed out. According to her, the judicial practice has begun to help parents, but the shortage of nursery places continues to be a systemic problem. “There are also local governments who honestly write in a regulation – and the word ‘honest’ has no positive meaning here – that they will provide a nursery place when there is place. Actually, it is known on the basis of the data in the population register how many children who are about to reach nursery or school age live in the local government,” she explained.
According to the Chancellor of Justice, there are certainly also cases where it is beyond their competence to resolve the matter according to the law. They must explain as an institution that they do not change court decisions, do not change the diagnoses made by doctors, and cannot grant social housing either. There are people who do not understand this and remain angry. “And it is of no avail to blame people for not making decisions if one or another decision is not within their competence. If it makes people feel better, I do not mind. But it is a little better if people spend their energy and time on turning to the authorities where they could really get help,” Madise said.
During the debate, Anti Allas took the floor on behalf of the Social Democratic Party Group, Maris Lauri on behalf of the Reform Party Group, Anastassia Kovalenko-Kõlvart on behalf of the Centre Party Group, Urmas Reinsalu on behalf of Isamaa Parliamentary Group, Hendrik Johannes Terras on behalf of Estonia 200 Parliamentary Group and Anti Poolamets on behalf of the Estonian Conservative People’s Party Group.
The first reading of a Bill was adjourned
The first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Higher Education Act (9 SE), initiated by the Estonian Conservative People’s Party Group, will continue at the plenary sitting beginning at 2 p.m. tomorrow. It provides for stopping the domination of the English language in Estonian universities in public law and national institutions of professional higher education.
The first reading of two Bill was deferred to the next plenary sitting
Due to the end of the working hours of the sitting, the first reading of two Bills was also postponed to tomorrow’s plenary sitting. They are the Bill on Amendments to the Study Allowances and Study Loans Act (16 SE), initiated by the Estonian Conservative People’s Party Group, and the Bill on Amendments to the Value Added Tax Act (32 SE), initiated by Members of the Riigikogu Rene Kokk and Siim Pohlak.
Photos (Author: Erik Peinar, Chancellery of the Riigikogu)
The video recording of the sitting can be viewed on the Riigikogu YouTube channel.
(Please note that the recording will be uploaded with a delay.)
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