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The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to § 167 of the Defence Forces Act (60 SE). The Bill provides specifications on the organisation of the payment of conscript benefit.

The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of four Bills:

Family Law Bill (55 SE) provides a new comprehensive family law regulation which comprises matrimonial legal relationship, legal relationship between parents and children and legal relationship arising between minors and adults in case of guardianship.  The Bill establishes better prerequisites for protecting family law rights and interests of persons by providing specific bases for the submission of claims. In contrast to previous family law, the Bill gives considerably more emphasis to the status of the so-called weaker participant of a family relationship (minor child, dispossessed spouse). In addition, the Bill provides the court with more clearly defined decision criteria. The amended regulations and clear decision bases, first and foremost including detailed provisions regarding the organisation of property relations and parental relations, are likely to lead to a reduction in court actions since the provisions of the Bill enable to predict the result of a court action more clearly.

Law of Succession Bill (56 SE) is aimed at organising the system of private law. The Bill brings the contents of the law of succession into conformity with the changes brought along with the entry into force of the Law of Obligations Act and the new Civil Code. The Bill resolves the problems that have arisen in the law of succession. Several regulations have undergone further elaboration. However, the Bill does not amend the main structure and general principles of the Law of Succession Act. One fundamental change is the introduction of the so-called waiver system to replace the so-called estate acceptance system contained in the Law of Succession Act currently in force. Pursuant to the legislation in force, the estate passes to the successor solely in case the latter accepts it. In the case of the waiver system, the right of succession stipulated in the Act is automatic and in order to waive an estate the successor must submit a corresponding claim.

The purpose of the Equal Treatment Bill (67) is to ensure that everyone is protected against discrimination on the grounds of race, nationality, colour, religion or beliefs, age, disability or sexual orientation. The Bill inter alia provides for appointing a Commissioner for Equal Rights. The Commissioner will be appointed by the Minister of Social Affairs for the term of five years.

The aim of the Bill on the Export and Import of Cultural Valuables (78 SE) is to help towards conserving the national cultural heritage by providing the possibility to restrict the export of cultural valuables pursuant to the procedure stipulated in the Bill. The Bill defines which cultural valuables can only be exported to the Member States of the European Union or to the countries outside the European Union with an export permission issued by the National Heritage Board.

The Riigikogu rejected at the first reading the Draft Resolution of the Riigikogu on Forming a Riigikogu Study Committee for the Elaboration of Important Strategic Directions of Fuel and Energy Economy (86 OE) initiated by the Estonian Green Party Faction which provided for the forming of a Riigikogu study committee for the elaboration of important strategic directions of fuel and energy economy as well as for exercising supervision. The result of voting: 42 votes in favour, 27 votes against, 1 abstention.

At Question Time, the Minister of Justice Rein Lang answered the questions concerning the activity of law enforcement agencies and the punishment for unlawful acts against animals. The Minister of Regional Affairs Vallo Reimaa answered the questions concerning the regional administration reform, the funding of the European Union water economy projects, the preparation of a Civil Society Foundation Capital, the reconstruction of Paide water economy project and amendments to the local government organisation. The Minister of Culture Laine Jänes answered the questions regarding the reorganisation of Estonian National Commission for UNESCO and the law on the protection of natural shrines and intellectual cultural heritage.

The verbatim record of the Riigikogu sitting (in Estonian) can be found at: https://www.riigikogu.ee/?op=steno

The Riigikogu Press Service