Keres: Opposition does not wish to make Supreme Court appeal text public
The Estonian opposition does not want to make public its appeal to the Supreme Court against a decision by the Riigikogu, which limited its ability to filibuster, said lawyer Paul Keres, who is representing MPs from the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), the Center Party and Isamaa.
"I don't have the authority to do that," Keres said on Thursday in response to ERR's request for the text of the appeal. Asked whether the Riigikogu members were involved in producing the complaint should be asked for it instead, Keres said they were also unlikely to release the details publicly.
"We have come to the conclusion that the wisest thing to do is to have this dispute in the Supreme Court and not in public," the lawyer said.
"In my view, this is perfectly normal. In court proceedings, one does not generally share one's procedural documents with the public," Keres said, adding that the Supreme Court's ruling will be public.
At the same time, Keres stressed that he has not concealed the main content of the appeal and has already discussed it. "I have said what's in there, I'm not hiding it. But in my opinion, the public will not really gain anything from seeing this appeal. The key points of the complaint have already been spelled out. They are there, but simply laid out in more detail and argued in a legal manner."
On Thursday, Keres said that he had not yet sent the appeal as it still needed signatures from some Riigikogu members, who wished to add their names to the appeal.
"I think everyone who has expressed a wish to lodge a complaint should be able to do so. We are still trying to make sure that the train doesn't leave the station until everyone is on board," he said.
The appeal can be filed with the Supreme Court at any point until midnight on Thursday, May 25, Keres explained.
On Wednesday May 17, the opposition announced their intention to appeal to the Supreme Court in response to the actions of the coalition and the Riigikogu's leadership during sessions held on Monday May 15 and Tuesday May 16.
The opposition says that its right to deploy obstruction tactics as part of the democratic process was hindered when MPs from the Reform-Eesti 200-SDE coalition, who make up a majority at the Riigikogu, voted in favor of ending the taking on of legislative amendments and inquiries.
The proposal to end the filibuster was made by the Riigikogu board, namely the speaker, Lauri Hussar (Eesti 200) and his two deputies.
The filibuster itself related to amendments to family law which would cut benefits to families. This bill did then pass its first reading (of three).
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Editor: Michael Cole