A committee at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to pick the next Estonian advocate general at the European Court of Justice has decided to support the candidacy of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Priit Pikamäe. Estonia's previous nominee was turned down earlier this year.
Before he can be appointed, Pikamäe will still need the backing of the Estonian government as well as that of an expert committee at the EU level.
This is the second round of choosing a candidate, after District Judge Madis Ernits, the committee and Estonian government's choice late last year, was turned down in the vetting process at the EU level.
Chief Justice Pikamäe has been a judge since 2001, and with the Supreme Court since 2006. He became Chief Justice in 2013.
The advocates general at the European Court of Justice are appointed for six years. They The position in which Pikamäe is to follow will become vacant in October this year.
Following Ernits' rejection by the EU's expert committee, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced a second round.
Supreme Court will need new Chief Justice
Should the EU expert committee approve Pikamäe's candidacy, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Estonia will need a new Chief Justice. To get there, President of the Riigikogu Eiki Nestor (SDE) will have to nominate a candidate. Some speculate that this candidate could be Heiki Loot, currently in the position of Secretary of State at the Government Office.
At the same time, there are signs that the Justices at the Supreme Court would not agree with such a nomination, but think that the new Chief Justice should be chosen from among Estonia's judges.
Editor: Dario Cavegn