Pension reform dispute will reach Supreme Court, says law professor

University of Tartu (TÜ) Professor Jaan Ginter. Source: ERR

According to Jaan Ginter, a professor at the University of Tartu (TÜ) School of Law, it is likely that the disagreement between the ruling government coalition and Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise over the planned pension reform will only be resolved in the Supreme Court of Estonia.

"It's possible that this thing will reach the Supreme Court, because the chancellor of justice has stated her position, and the authors of the bill are not prepared to go along with it and change the bill," Ginter told ETV news broadcast "Aktuaalne kaamera."

A statement by the chancellor of justice clearly always influences policy, he said. "Is this interference within permitted limits or has it crossed these boundaries? That is another question entirely, should the Supreme Court hear this matter," he added.

According to Ginter, however, if the chancellor of justice is going to be accused of unjustifiably interfering in politics, then there need to be several examples involved.

"Cases in which the justice chancellor has highlighted undue constitutional infringement in one act or another and the Supreme Court hasn't agreed must be highlighted," he explained. "You cannot draw any major conclusions based on one standalone matter right now."

The law professor noted that he did not agree 100 percent with the arguments the justice chancellor made regarding the pension reform.

"Compiled opinions from various law offices regarding the second pension pillar have also noted that the pension reform includes infringements on constitutional rights, however they may not be undue," he said. "That is why we have to understand why proponents of the reform reacted so badly in response to the justice chancellor's statement."

Madise herself also said that the Supreme Court would make the final decision on the matter if necessary.

"Things may go the way they did in the unemployment insurance case — that it is unconstitutional — or the way they did in the breach of legitimate expectations case when excise duties were increased — where the court revised previous practice and ruled that the excise duty rate increases were constitutional," Madise said.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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