Supreme Court rejects EKRE MPs' appeal

Supreme Court of Estonia in Tartu.
Supreme Court of Estonia in Tartu. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The Supreme Court rejected EKRE's appeal in which they contested the Riiigkogu's decision not to include all the party's amendments on the agenda. It said this was justified due to working capacity.

EKRE's complaint relates to the Riigikogu Chairman Lauri Hussari's (Eesti 200) decision not to put 17 inquiries submitted before the summer break on the agenda of the opening session in September.

The party submitted hundreds of amendments in the spring that needed to be processed over the summer.

The Supreme Court said the Riigikogu Board had found an appropriate balance between EKRE and the Riigikogu, other institutions and MPs.

Members of EKRE's faction complained that their inquiries were not answered within the usual 20-session-day deadline and that the first reading of the bill it initiated did not take place within the seven working weeks provided for by law.

The court said not receiving an answer was acceptable in cases where it would not be possible without significantly damaging the working capacity of the Riigikogu or other constitutional institutions or the rights of other members of the Riigikogu. The same reason was given for missing the first reading's deadline.

Based on the Riigikogu's workflow it takes approximately one hour to process a draft, amendment, or inquiry so processing all of EKRE's submissions would have taken 500 hours, it was found. At the time same time, other issues needed to be dealt with.

As the number of bills and inquiries was unusually large and processing them would have occupied the Riigikogu's usual sessions for the foreseeable future.

Assessing the situation as a whole, it was decided that if the Riigikogu had followed all procedural deadlines, its ability to work would have been significantly impaired.

Supreme Court Judge Juhan Sarv disagreed with the decision. He said the appeal should not have been accepted in the first place.

EKRE, Isamaa, and Center submitted hundreds of amendments last session hoping to delay the passing of the government's legislation.


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Editor: Mait Ots, Helen Wright

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