Justice chancellor warns against using confidence votes regularly

Ülle Madise.
Ülle Madise. Source: ERR

Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise said passing of bills through votes of confidence should not be used regularly for "convenience" and that it is only constitutional if there is no other option.

Madise analyzed the passing of bills through votes of confidence in response to a question from Isamaa's Riigikogu faction leader Helir-Valdor Seeder, newspaper Postimees reported (link in English).

She said, that according to the Constitution, the parliament and its members have the right to carefully review the bills, find and correct errors, mitigate possible inequality, and get clear answers from the bill's authors and experts about its impacts.

"Therefore, tying a bill to a vote of confidence can only be considered constitutional in truly exceptional cases, where state affairs would otherwise be bogged down, and there is essentially no other way out. It must not be a choice of convenience," she wrote.

The justice chancellor noted that tying the bill to a vote of confidence should definitely be considered unconstitutional if the government starts to use the linking of a vote of confidence to the adoption of the bill as a convenience choice when initiating the bill or before its second reading.

The government tied tax rises and the legalization of same-sex marriage to votes of confidence in June after the opposition submitted hundreds of amendments to block the laws from passing.


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Editor: Helen Wright

Source: Postimees

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