Additional judge appointed to both Harju and Tartu county courts ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Harju County Courthouse.
Harju County Courthouse. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

The Ministry of Justice has proposed appointing an additional judge to both Harju and Tartu county courts in order to alleviate overburdening judges and delays in procedures.

According to chair of Harju County Court Meelis Eerik the number of judges appointed does not correspond to the workload of the court.

"The number of civil matters has grown so the judges determining civil matters have been overburdened in recent years. Constant overusage does not permit meeting the expectations of parties or dealin with a case in a calendar year as set in the development agenda of the courts," Eerik wrote in a letter sent to the ministry.

"Judges in civil courts are at the limit of their capacities. 22 criminal judges are working on 20 substantial pending cases with four investigating judges and the judge responsible for enforcement to be deducted. This also means overburdening," Eerik added.

According to him, respecializing is not possible and the problem could be alleviated by appointing at least one or two additional judges.

The Ministry of Justice has now proposed to rework vacant posts by appointing an additional judge to both Harju and Tartu county courts. At the same time, the number of judges at Tartu administrative court would be reduced by two with eight remaining appointed.

The workload of administrative courts has decreased by 24,8 percent since 2015. An administrative court judge deals with 93,8 administrative matters on average, almost four times less than the average workload at county courts.

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Editor: Anders Nõmm

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