The Chancellor of Justice's presentation focused on the need to bring the legal norms in force in Estonia in the near future into line with the international obligations that Estonia has assumed for the purpose of environmental protection.
The motivation for the presentation was the statements of several Estonian companies, in which they referred to the legal ambiguity in the field of mining permits, etc., which makes it difficult for them to plan their activities in the long term. Issuance of the necessary permits is delayed as the responsible government authorities refer to national development plans and sometimes to the provisions of the coalition agreement.
"Neither the development plan nor the coalition agreement creates any rights, obligations, or expectations for anyone. After the adoption of the development plan, even if the Riigikogu does it by its own decision, the time for adapting to the changes does not start. The time to adapt to changes in the sense of the constitution can only begin to run if a sufficiently specific law is published in the Riigi Teataja, from which a person can understand that it applies to him, and he can understand what these future rights and obligations are," said Chancellor of Justice in the Riigikogu.
Madise emphasized that since specific deadlines for achieving environmental goals have already been set within the framework of the European Union's climate agreements, Estonia's domestic legal space must also be brought into line with these goals. This must be done by talking to the people openly and without fear, listening to all interested parties, and taking Estonia's interests and peculiarities into account as much as possible.
Please read the transcript of the presentation, the subsequent questions and answers, and the Riigikogu members' opinions here (available in Estonian): https://stenogrammid.riigikogu.ee/et/202304191400
Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise at the Riigikogu lectern. Photo: Erik Peinar