The Act passed by the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) today provides for the possibility to restrict the validity of certain rights and permits that have been granted, or the possibility to apply for such rights and permits to persons who evade the Constitutional obligation to participate in conscript service and reservist trainings of the Defence Forces.
72 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the Act on Amendments to the Military Service Act and Other Acts (607 SE), initiated by the Government. Seven were against, and there were two abstentions.
The Act will enable the Defence Forces and the Defence Resources Agency, in addition to imposing penalty payments and punishments for misdemeanours, to file an action with an administrative court to suspend the validity or the issuing of a weapon permit, a weapon acquisition permit, a fishing card, hunting rights, the right to drive power-driven vehicle and the right to command a recreational craft and personal watercraft. The Act enters into force on 1 January 2019.
Besides amendments to the Military Service Act, the relevant provisions of other Acts that deal with the procedures relating to applying for and validity of the above-mentioned rights and permits are also amended.
The coercive measures provided by the Act are similar to those that are already in force in regard to maintenance debtors. They will be imposed only by a decision of administrative court, and they will be implemented in exceptional cases.
The coercive measures will be used mainly against the persons who have evaded conscription several times, and in the case of whom other measures, like precepts, fines and penalty payments, have not given any results. It will also be possible to use these measures against those who have evaded reservist trainings of the Defence Forces several times.
Pursuant to the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia, all citizens of Estonia have a duty to participate in national defence in accordance with the principles and procedure provided by the law. The national defence and the defence capabilities of Estonia are based on reservist forces that are formed of the persons who are trained during conscription service and whose skills are maintained and improved at reservist trainings.