Submission of his opinion to the Supreme Court in constitutional review proceedings
The Supreme Court can ask for the opinion of the Chancellor of Justice in constitutional review proceedings on constitutionality of the contested legislation of general application.
Replying to the interpellation of a Member of the Riigikogu
A Member of the Riigikogu has a right to turn to the Chancellor of Justice with written interpellations concerning performance of legislations of general application that regulate the powers of the Chancellor of Justice. The Chancellor of Justice shall reply to interpellations on a sitting of Riigikogu within 20 workdays.
Replying to written questions of a Member of the Riigikogu
A Member of the Riigikogu has a right to turn to the Chancellor of Justice with written questions concerning information on individual matters within the competence of the Chancellor of Justice. The Chancellor of Justice shall reply in writing within 10 workdays.
Making a proposal to waive the immunity
The task of the Chancellor of Justice is to propose to the Riigikogu to waive the immunity of a member of the Riigikogu, the President of the Republic, a member of the Government of the Republic, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, or a justice of the Supreme Court, and to prepare a statement of charges on that person on the basis of a request by the Public Prosecutor's Office.
The Chancellor of Justice looks through the materials of criminal file but does not verify or evaluate the gathered evidence. The Chancellor of Justice shall not make a proposal to the Riigikogu if the charges are politically biased or clearly unjustified for some other reason. The Chancellor of Justice does not deal with the question of guilt of an envoy or a higher state public servant.
Initiating a disciplinary proceeding against a judge
The Chancellor of Justice can initiate disciplinary proceedings (incl. preparation of a disciplinary charge) against a judge if his or her guilt manifests itself in failure to perform their occupational obligations, unsatisfactory performance of obligations or commitment of an indecent act. He may initiate a disciplinary proceeding against all judges both at his own initiative and on the basis of an application.
The Chancellor of Justice shall form his opinion on justification of a disciplinary procedure and decide whether to submit a disciplinary charge to the Disciplinary Chamber of judges at the Supreme Court.
First, the Chancellor of Justice shall look through the course of the proceedings and the materials, asks for an opinion from the chairman of the court and an explanation from the judge. After that, he shall form an opinion on justification of disciplinary procedure and decide whether to submit the disciplinary charge. If the Chancellor of Justice decides to prepare a disciplinary charge he shall send it to the Disciplinary Chamber of judges at the Supreme Court. The same College shall make either a judgement of acquittal or conviction. The Chancellor of Justice has no right to punish the judge under disciplinary procedure.
If the violation of rights has been caused by a court official (e.g. the office of the court has delayed in submitting of documents) you can submit an application to the Chancellor of Justice for inspecting the activity of this authority.
Solving discrimination disputes
The Chancellor of Justice shall verify that persons are not being discriminated based on their gender, race, nationality, colour, language, origin, religion or religious beliefs, political or other opinion, proprietary or social situation, age, disability, sexual orientation or other status named in law.
In order to settle a discriminating dispute, the Chancellor of Justice shall initiate conciliation procedure on the basis of an application. Consent of both parties is needed for conciliation procedure. The consent can be withdrawn during the procedure.
First, the Chancellor of Justice shall send a copy of the application to the person accused of discrimination and asks for consent on participating in conciliation procedure. If the person does not give his or her consent, the Chancellor of Justice shall terminate the procedure. If the person agrees, the Chancellor of Justice shall present his proposals for solution to the parties in a written form. The Chancellor of Justice shall end the procedure when the parties agree to the proposals.
If the dispute continues and the proposals are not agreed to, a session shall be held by the parties or their representatives. If the parties agree to the proposals, the Chancellor of Justice shall confirm the agreement and it shall be binding. If the agreement has not been fulfilled in 30 days or the deadline set in the agreement, it may be submitted to a bailiff. If a conciliation procedure is ended upon the request of the parties or if the Chancellor of Justice confirms that no agreement has been reached, the applicant has a right to turn to court or an organ of pre-trial procedure for protection of his or her rights.
The aim of a conciliation procedure is to hear out the parties, clarify the circumstances and conciliate the parties. Due to the Chancellor of Justice Act, conciliation procedures are confidential, therefore no information or documents shall be disclosed on the proceedings either during the proceedings or after that.
National human rights institution (NHRI)
On 20 December 1993, the UN General Assembly adopted by its resolution the so-called Paris Principles that obligate the member states to establish a national human rights institution in accordance with the principles formulated in the resolution. As of 1 January 2019, the Chancellor of Justice is the national human rights institution (NHRI) in Estonia.
Submission of opinions to the drafts of legislation of general application
Committees of the Riigikogu, Ministries and other governmental authorities have turned to the Chancellor of Justice for his opinion on drafts of legislations of general application. The Chancellor of Justice has an obligation to verify conformity with the Constitution and law of accepted legislations of general application, but in some cases he shall also do it on the basis of draft legislations. The Chancellor of Justice may also present his opinion on a draft at his own initiative.