Today, the Tallinn Cultural Hub will host the opening session of the Chancellor of Justice’s Advisory Committee on Human Rights. The Advisory Committee’s 50 members were selected via an open competition and include people from various walks of life from all across Estonia, featuring seasoned specialists in social welfare, violence prevention, education and research, health care, genetic engineering, medical ethics, architecture, labour law, personal data protection, ethnology and language, religious freedom and environmental protection. The general meeting of the committee is held twice a year with field-specific discussions taking place more frequently, as required.
The Advisory Committee’s first meeting will explore the manifestation of material and social deprivation in committee members’ fields of expertise. If the discussion should result in the identification of specific cases where a person has found themselves in a situation that is in conflict with the constitution, the Chancellor of Justice’s authorities will endeavour to resolve them within the limits of their powers.
Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise expects the Advisory Committee members to provide both information about potential violations of human rights, and research-based support in resolving any complicated issues that may arise – be it in relation to genetic engineering, medical ethics or the accessibility of the architecture of streets, squares and public buildings.
Upon detecting an unconstitutional situation, the Chancellor of Justice initiates an investigation into unconstitutional laws and regulations. If the situation is caused by the ignorance or negligence of a state or local government official rather than laws, an explanation is provided on how to resolve it. This method has helped to cooperate with the parliament, government ministers, cities, municipalities and officials to solve a number of human rights issues, which are sometimes widespread. The Advisory Committee will help to create an even more comprehensive overview of issues affecting people’s lives and find ways to improve the situation in Estonia in general.