Opposition appeal to reach Supreme Court on Thursday at the latest

Paul Keres.
Paul Keres. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

According to lawyer Paul Keres, an appeal by the three Riigikogu opposition parties against a decision to restrict MPs' abilities to submit queries and bills is set to reach the Supreme Court on Thursday at the latest. Keres also told ERR on Monday, that the complainants do not intend to seek any preliminary legal protection in relation to the issue.

"At the latest on Thursday, because no more can be filed after Thursday. But [it will] probably [be]sooner," said Keres, who will represent the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), the Center Party and Isamaa at the Supreme Court, when asked when the appeal would be filed.

Speaking about the content of the appeal, Keres said that it concerned a decision made by the Riigikogu, which the opposition claim had neither the authority nor the right to make. He added, that the text of the appeal would not be long.

"The basic draft has already been prepared, but we are still checking some additional things there, which concern whether in fact there was a situation, as the coalition claims, whereby the Riigikogu was not able to work and that the work of the Riigikogu was paralyzed." "It appears from the information that we have so far, that in fact, there was no such situation, that the Riigikogu was working and everything was fine," the lawyer said.

Following a proposal by the Riigikogu's leadership, members of the Reform-Eesti 200-SDE coalition voted last Monday and Tuesday in favor of restricting the adoption of bills and queries. The opposition had submitted a large number of bills and queries as a filibuster in order to prevent the coalition from processing its own bills. According to the opposition, in doing so, the coalition has limited their legal right to use obstruction tactics.

Asked whether the complainants planned to seek preliminary legal protection, Keres replied, "No."

In an interview last week, Keres responded to the same question by saying it was an extremely technical matter and therefore declined to comment further.

Spokesperson for the Estonian Supreme Court Arno Põder told ERR, that he could not say when the opposition's appeal might be resolved until the court had had the opportunity to view its content.

"According to the law, an appeal against a decision made by the Riigikogu will be resolved as soon as possible following the submission of a proper complaint to the court. Given the importance of the Riigikogu's work, the Supreme Court would resolve such a dispute at the earliest reasonable opportunity. However, the rights of the parties to the proceedings to be heard and so on, should still be guaranteed."

Põder pointed to the example of a case, which was brought to the Supreme Court during the coronavirus pandemic, relating to the ability of the Riigikogu to complete its work remotely. The case took just over a month for the Supreme Court to resolve.

On Wednesday, the three Riigikogu opposition parties announced that they would appeal to the Supreme Court in response to the actions of the coalition and the Riigikogu leadership during the sessions on Monday and Tuesday.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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