Protection of fundamental rights

In the case of proceedings on the protection of fundamental rights or the ombudsman proceedings the Chancellor of Justice shall ensure that authorities and officials performing public duties would not violate people’s constitutional rights and freedoms, laws and other legislations of general application, as well as the practice of good administration. The Chancellor of Justice protects people from arbitrary actions of the power and officials.

The Chancellor of Justice supervises the following authorities:

  • state authorities and the authorities under their administration (ministries, agencies and inspectorates, county governments, etc.);
  • local governments and the authorities under their administration (rural municipality governments, city governments, etc.);
  • legal persons governed by public law (the Bank of Estonia, universities, etc.);
  • natural persons performing public duties (notaries, trustees in bankruptcy, bailiffs, etc.);
  • legal persons in private law, performing public duties (public limited company providing parking or ambulance services, etc.).

If the Chancellor of Justice finds that the activity of an authority performing public duties is unlawful, he shall issue a statement that includes the description of how the authority has violated person’s rights and and if necessary, makes a recommendation to the authority for compliance with the practice of legality and good administration or a suggestion for elimination of the violation. In both cases he shall assess before taking a position whether the authority has complied with the law and whether communication with the person has been in conformity with the practice of good administration. In his statement, the Chancellor of Justice may criticise, express his opinion or give concrete recommendations for removal of the violation.

The Chancellor of Justice is authorised to make an inquiry to the authorities under inspection to gain information on how his statement has been taken into consideration. If the Chancellor of Justice’s proposal is not fulfilled or his inquiry is not responded to, he may submit a report to the supervisory authority of the agency in question, the Government of the Republic and the Riigikogu. The Chancellor of Justice has a right to disclose information regarding the case to public. This statement of the Chancellor of Justice is final and cannot be contested in court.