President nominates Ülle Madise to continue as justice chancellor

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Ülle Madise and Alar Karis in 2017.
Ülle Madise and Alar Karis in 2017. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

After consulting with parliamentary party chairmen, President Alar Karis made a proposal to the Riigikogu to name Ülle Madise as Chancellor of Justice for a second term.

"Ülle Madise, who has been a dignified Chancellor of Justice for the last seven years, has a strong academic background and is a lawyer with long experience in public administration," Karis wrote in the proposal sent to parliament.

Madise's earlier work experience has seen her work on legislation at the Ministry of Justice and the Riigikogu's Constitutional Committee, she has also worked as Auditor-General of the National Audit Office, professor of constitutional law at the University of Tartu and as president Toomas Hendrik Ilves' legal adviser.

"She has worked on issues of constitutional supervision and fundamental rights and has continued to drawn attention to the need to assess the proportionality of restricting rights. She has advocated for state power to be constitutional even during a crisis," the president added.

Karis said Madise has shown herself to be an authoritative and recognized lawyer, as a legal interpreter and reformer of Estonian law. "She has participated in the compilation of all the commentated publications of the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia and has been the editor-in-chief for the latest publications. Madise has been a board member of the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI) for the European Region and on a global level," Karis said.

The Riigikogu named Ülle Madise the Chancellor of Justice on January 20 2015 and she took an oath in front of the Riigikogu in March the same year.

"I think that the matter of filling the position of Chancellor of Justice as an important constitutional institution should be left to the last minute. I have also held the necessary consultations with leaders of parties represented in the Riigikogu to find a candidate who could have the necessary support in a parliamentary vote," Karis said.

The justice chancellor's term is seven years and a chancellor will be appointed to the office by the Riigikogu on the proposal of the president.

Riigikogu will likely choose Ülle Madise for second term

If the respective draft law were to reach the Riigikogu, the parliament would likely appoint Madise for a second term, party representatives told ERR that the initial feelings about Madise's potential second term are positive.

Reform Party Riigikogu group chairman Mart Võrklaev told ERR that the group has not yet discussed a second term. "Ülle Madise has done a good job. She is balanced and constructive. I think Ülle Madise is a good option," Võrklaev said.

Isamaa chairman Helir-Valdor Seeder said their group has also not formed an official position and that the matter should be discussed in the coming weeks. "We should not have any majors complaints for the justice chancellor for her first term. I am sure she will find the parliament's support," Seeder said.

The Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) Riigikogu group has also not discussed appointing Madise for a second term, but group head Henn Põlluaas said Madise has done well. "My personal opinion is that she has gotten more objective and precise over the years and she fulfills the expectations placed on her better than expected. She has grown a spine," Põlluaas noted.

Social Democratic Party (SDE) Riigikogu group member Riina Sikkut said the party will also need to discuss the topic, but she thinks the president's proposal is a sympathetic proposal. "Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise has dealt with multiple topics, which are also important to Social Democrats," Sikkut told ERR.

Center Party Riigikogu group chairman Jaanus Karilaid said the group will support Madise's candidacy. "Ülle Madise has a societal view and legislative logic. We support her," Karilaid said.

Editor's note: This article was updated with party representatives' comments.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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