Justice chancellor: There is room for improvement in the constitution

Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise. Source: ERR

Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise said on ETV's "Esimene stuudio" that while there is no need to change the constitution, there are some questions involving a ever-developing world that the constitution needs to answer.

While big crises often bring forward a discussion on constitutional change, the Chancellor of Justice did not deem change necessary.

Speaking on Monday evening's broadcast, Madise said: "The reference is correct that at times when there are big crises, then seemingly for no reason there are constitutional changes made."

She added: "Right now, if we think about making changes to the Estonian constitution, then there are some places of thought, but it's recommended that these changes are not done aimlessly. There is no need for it because all that's good about it, the spirit of freedom and justice, was written in 1920, with proper grammar. There is no need to rewrite it for lawyers."

If changes need to be made, they should be done one step at a time. But, Madise does think there are some questions the constitution could solve.

She added: "One of them is the question of life and death in the time of technology. Organ donations, genetic technology, and others /.../ give wing to imagining that the life span for people could be prolonged. And there are also severe illnesses that can't be treated, and if people should have the right to be euthanized."

Madise said: "These complex questions, as tragic and difficult as they are, is something to consider on a constitutional level and perhaps could be decided with a referendum."

Another question regards large databases which have been compiled about Estonians.

Madise added: "It should be said that even Estonia, who has collected a lot of data about its people, is dwarfed by Facebook, Google, and other private databases. This is one of the problems that Estonia can't solve by itself. Also the question of how much computing power should one be able to hold."

She said: "Another question is to what extent do Estonians allow the state to use the compiled data. This is not simple. Another difficult question is if a person should have the right to live without the internet."

The Chancellor of Justice noted the constitution should not be easily amended. Otherwise, it would not be a constitution.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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