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The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Märt Rask made a report at the sitting “Overview of courts administration, administration of justice and uniform application of law. Beside court statistics, Mr. Rask also focussed on problems of administration of justice, which would be solved through the cooperation of the spheres of power.

Speaking of constitutional supervision, Mr. Rask highlighted cases of symbolic meaning from the point of view of the development of the rule of law. He referred to the example of a provision of the Ownership Reform Act which was proclaimed unconstitutional and which would not solve the problems related to the property of Estonian expatriates. Mr. Rask stated that in spite of the Resolution of the Supreme Court, the legislator has not been able to solve the problem in three years. “We must ask what is the idea of this Resolution if a collective board of decisions, either the parliament or a council, is not able to pass a legislation of general application.” Stating that there are no means for the exercise of such court judgments in the Estonian legal system, he proposed to create a relevant legal mechanism. A constitutional responsibility mechanism would start in a case where the collegial decision-making body does not give a legal act, thus generating a permanent anticonstitutional situation.

Mr. Rask highlighted in depth the problems of administrative court procedure, among other things he criticized the regulation of administrative court procedure. “It may be said that the present indexed and confusing regulation of the administrative court procedure hinders persons in the protection of their legal interests and is in conflict with the principles of the rule of law,” he stated. To improve the situation, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court proposed to take the drafting of the administrative court procedure under parliamentary supervision. In the opinion of Mr. Rask the sphere of state supervision also needs to be profoundly regulated. Stating that an innumerable number of officials is working at this at present, Mr. Rask made a proposal to initiate a bill on the state supervision, in which the general principles and objectives of supervision would be unambiguously stipulated, as well as the specific features of types of supervision and the rights and obligations of the parties. 

Mr. Rask highlighted the high percent of repealed decisions of the first instance as one of the problems. “We cannot speak of legal certainty if approximately half of the decisions of the first instance will be fully repealed,” he said.

Answering the questions of the members of the Riigikogu, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court stressed that Estonia must develop the fairest and the most effective court system in Europe. “There is no need to set a lower objective,” he stated.

Then the representatives of factions made speeches, and Minister of Justice Rein Lang also took the floor.

Due to the end of the working hours of the sitting, the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Electronic Communications Act, Information Society Services Act, Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure and Code of Misdemeanour Procedure (913 SE), initiated by the Estonian Centre Party Faction, Estonian Reform Party Faction and Estonian People’s Union Faction, was .adjourned.

At the beginning of the sitting Priit Pikamäe as a Justice of the Supreme Court took the oath of office before the Riigikogu.

The Riigikogu Press Service

8 June 2006