The Minister of Justice Urmas Reinsalu gave the Riigikogu a report on the implementation of the development objectives of legal policy.
The overview focused on the implementation of the development objectives during the whole time they were in force, but also summarised the major activities in the most recent overview period. 2018 is the last year of the implementation of the current development objectives of legal policy. “The development objectives that have been in force since 2011 have brought about several positive trends. On the basis of the development objectives, the Government has established the Rules for Good Legislative Practice and Legislative Drafting, the impact assessment methodology and the Good Practice of Engagement,” Reinsalu said. Compared to the time before the implementation of the development objectives, the impact analyses have improved in terms of content, and interest groups are engaged more systematically and that is seen as necessary. The legislative intents have undergone a remarkable positive development and have improved in terms of content. The impact analyses of Bills are also better in terms of content and more systemic, the Minister of Justice explained. Reinsalu said that while before 2012 legislative intents had used to be ordinary texts of one paragraph which had simply announced the Act proposed, the picture had changed considerably over time. “The Resolution of the Riigikogu on the development objectives of legal policy was indeed the impetus that gave rise to positive changes, and a new stage must be introduced now,” the minister noted.
During the debate, Urve Tiidus (Reform Party), Marko Pomerants (Isamaa), Peeter Ernits and Jüri Adams (Estonian Free Party) took the floor.
The Riigikogu passed four Resolutions
The Resolution of the Riigikogu “Appointment of Velmar Brett a Justice of the Supreme Court” (753 OE), submitted by Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, provides for the appointment of Velmar Brett a justice of the Supreme Court as of 1 February 2019.
In the opinion of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Velmar Brett is an experienced and recognised lawyer whose life and professional experience allow him to contribute significantly to the work of the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court and the further development of Estonian criminal law.
67 members of the Riigikogu supported the passage of the Resolution, and there was one abstention.
The Resolution of the Riigikogu “Release of the Justice of the Supreme Court Malle Seppik from the Office of Justice” (707 OE), submitted by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, provides for release of justice of the Supreme Court Malle Seppik from the office of justice as of 1 September 2019 at her request.
62 members of the Riigikogu supported the passage of the Resolution.
The Resolution of the Riigikogu “Release of the Justice of the Supreme Court Eerik Kergandberg from the Office of Justice” (708 OE), submitted by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, provides for release of justice of the Supreme Court Eerik Kergandberg from the office of justice as of 1 September 2019 at his request.
60 members of the Riigikogu supported the passage of the Resolution.
The Resolution of the Riigikogu “Amendment of the Resolution of the Riigikogu “Formation of the Riigikogu Study Committee to Solve the Demographic Crisis”” (754 OE), submitted by the Estonian Free Party Faction, provides for the appointment of Jüri Adams as a member of the study committee to replace Monika Haukanõmm.
52 members of the Riigikogu supported the passage of the Resolution.
The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of two Bills
Under the Bill on Amendments to the European Union Common Agricultural Policy Implementation Act, the Fisheries Market Organisation Act, the 2014–2020 Structural Assistance Act and the 2007–2013 Structural Assistance Act (687 SE), initiated by the Rural Affairs Committee, the calculation of the late interest applied upon recovery of payments, aid and support will become more flexible and take more account of the rights of beneficiaries. According to the Bill, late interest will no longer be applied upon deferral of the recovery of payments, aid or support granted under this Act. As another significant amendment, the Acts will be amended by including the principle established in judicial practice in private law according to which the amount of late interest must not exceed the principal debt.
The Bill on Amendments to the Population Register Act and Amendments to Other Associated Acts (724 SE), initiated by the government, will change the date of termination of the validity of the data on residence in cases where the residence of the person is indicated to the accuracy of the city or city district or rural municipality at the reasoned request of the owner of the space. The amendment concerns people who have not updated the data on their residence after moving, and in the case of whom the owner of their previous apartment or house has requested that they terminate their registration at that residence. As a result of that, the residence of a person is indicated to the accuracy of the city or rural municipality – e.g. the city of Viljandi (the street or the house is not indicated).
Under the Act that is to enter into force on 1 January 2019, the validity of such data on residence will terminate upon the entry into force of the Act. As the amendment will affect to a significant extent the accrual of income tax of local governments and the accrual of the equalisation fund, and the data of the population register as at 1 January are used to calculate the income tax and the equalisation fund, the term for the revocation of the data on residence will be postponed by one day, i.e. to 2 January 2019.
The amendment will prevent the negative impact on the local government budget for 2019 and will give local governments additional time to give notice to the people whose data on their residence is expiring.
In order to simplify the records management, the residences indicated to the accuracy of local government (e.g. Tallinn, Kristiine District), registered for the Riigikogu elections, will be in force for four months instead of the current 30 days. This way, people will also be able to use the same data when voting in the European Parliament elections.
The Riigikogu did not pass a Resolution
The Draft Resolution of the Riigikogu “Proposal to the Government of the Republic to Organise the Provision of Preschool and School Education in Estonia Uniformly and in the Estonian Language” (682 OE), submitted by the Estonian Reform Party Faction, did not gain the support needed for it to be passed and was dropped from the proceedings. The draft Resolution was intended to give the executive power the task of drawing up a comprehensive implementation plan for the relevant political decision, including cooperation with local governments.
50 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the passage of the Resolution, two were against, and there were also two abstentions. However, at least 51 votes in favour were needed for the Resolution to be passed.
The Bill on Amendments to the Riigikogu Election Act (701 SE), initiated by the Estonian Free Party Faction, provides for also allowing the election coalitions of political parties to nominate candidates for the election of the Riigikogu. The explanatory memorandum notes that that had been possible in the 1990s, but the Act which is currently in force does not provide for such a possibility. The deliberation was adjourned due to the end of the working hours of the sitting. It will continue at tomorrow’s sitting.
Due to the end of the working hours, the Bill on Amendments to the Alcohol, Tobacco, Fuel and Electricity Excise Duty Act and the Act on Amendments to the Income Tax Act, the Social Tax Act and Other Acts (697 SE), initiated by the Estonian Reform Party Faction, will also be deliberated at tomorrow’s sitting.
The sitting ended at 1.57 p.m.
Video recordings of the sittings of the Riigikogu can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/riigikogu
(NB! The recording will be uploaded with a delay.)
Riigikogu Press Service
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