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President against plan to let people turn to Supreme Court directly

President Kersti Kaljulaid.
President Kersti Kaljulaid. Source: (ERR)

President Kersti Kaljulaid said on Wednesday that she did not support the proposal of Justice Minister Urmas Reinsalu (IRL) to make it possible for Estonians to turn directly to the Supreme Court if they found that a law or regulation was unconstitutional.

“Do we really have to fix what isn’t broken and consider creating another institution during the state reform period? I doubt that it’s a good democratic balance that is being searched for here,” Kaljulaid wrote on social media on Wednesday.

Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise also expressed her disagreement with Reinsalu’s proposal, saying that the initiative was unnecessary and incomprehensible as well as threatening Estonia’s legal order and democracy.

In the current system, constitutional review in Estonia works mainly through the institution of the Chancellor of Justice. Other institutions that can initiate such a review include the president, the country’s courts, and in certain circumstances the local councils.

Reinsalu previously said that the existing Constitutional Review Court Procedure Act did not explicitly regulate the opportunity of individuals to file a complaint with the Supreme Court to defend their freedoms set out in the Constitution. In order to eliminate this shortfall, the Ministry of Justice has drafted an amendment to the law.

Critics of Reinsalu’s proposal argue that it would make the Chancellor of Justice obsolete, and that it had the potential to overload the Supreme Court’s constitutional review chamber, as in the current system the initial appeal directed at the chancellor and the courts worked as a filter that kept smaller cases out of the justices’ work.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

Source: ERR, BNS

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