Ministry seeks resolution implementing legislation for registered partnerships Registered Partnership Act (2)

Same-sex couple. Photo is illustrative. (Reuters/Scanpix)
11/7/2016 3:31 PM
Category: News

Siseministeerium palub riigikogu õiguskomisjonilt lahendust kooseluseaduse rakendusaktide puudumise tõttu tekkinud õigusselgusetusele.

The ministry is concerned first and foremost by the fact that due to the lack of implementing legislation, it is not currently possible to enter either partnership agreements concluded by notaries based on the Registered Partnership Act or adoption decisions made on the basis of these agreements into the country’s national population register.

"Issues with the Estonian residency applications of reigstered partners who are foreign citizens have also caught the public’s attention," Minister of the Interior Hanno Pevkur wrote in his letter.

According to the Ministry of the Interior’s information, judicial decisions have been handed down on five separate occasions already involving same-sex partership agreements and applications for internal adoption based on the provisions of the Family Law Act and the Registered Partnership Act.

In one of these court decisions, the courts conlduded that not a single current law prevented a child from being registered in the population register with two same-sex parents. Three court decisions provided that amendments to individuals’ population register records and the entry of the second legal parent [into the register] must be completed after the implementing legislation of the Registered Partnership Act enters into force.

The Ministry of the Interior has received two challenges in which the individuals demanded that the marital authority submit an entry regarding the second registered partner as a parent on the basis of the court’s adoption decision. One of the ministry’s decisions on the challenge has also been appealed in the Tallinn Administrative Court, where the appellant has demanded the reversal of the decision and for the Ministry of the Interior to be required to enter data concerning the second parent into the population register.

Due to the continued lack of this implementing legislation, it is not currently possible under the precedent of existing judicial decisions to enter information about the custody rights of a second parent who is registered partner of the first, as the legal basis does not exist for the appointment of custody in such situations.

The administrative act, including the marital entry, must remain strictly within the bounds of legal basis, however. The ministry found that in this case, the situation did not involve merely the lack of procedural requirements but also the lack of a legal basis as well, the letter stressed.

The Ministry of the Interior has received two challenges in which the individuals demanded that the marital authority submit an entry regarding the second registered partner as a parent on the basis of the court’s adoption decision. One of the ministry’s decisions on the challenge has also been appealed in the Tallinn Administrative Court, where the appellant has demanded the reversal of the decision and for the Ministry of the Interior to be required to enter data concerning the second parent into the population register.

"Not entering registered partnership information into the population register is not merely a technical issue; legal issues must be resolved in advance, including first and foremost by the Riigikogu on the legislative level," Pevkur stressed in his letter.

"We are requesting the President of the Riigikogu and the Legal Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu to draw the MPs’ attention to the issues that have arisen due to the lack of implementing registration," the ministry concluded in its letter. "One opportunity to try to find solutions to the current legal ambiguity is for the President of the Riigikogu to convene the Riigikogu’s Council of Elders."

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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