Ombudsmen and Chancellors of Justices
- National Ombudsmen in the European Union
- National ombudsmen in the applicant countries of the European Union
- Regional ombudsmen in the European Union
- European Ombudspersons for Children
EU institutions and international organisations
- European Court of Human Rights
- Court of Justice of the European Union
- European Commission Directorate-General for Justice
- European Network of Ombudspersons for Children
- Council of Europe’s Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law
- European Ombudsman
- European Centre for Minority Issues
- International Ombudsman Institute
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Conferences and seminar
Conference "The Chancellor of Justice in Estonia and Europe: Continuity and future"
The Chancellor of Justice, Mr Allar Jõks organised a conference on the 7th of March, dedicated to the 90th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia and the 70th anniversary of the Institution of the Chancellor of Justice entitled “THE CHANCELLOR OF JUSTICE IN ESTONIA AND EUROPE: CONTINUITY AND FUTURE”
On the 7th of March, seven years ago, the second Estonian Chancellor of Justice Mr Allar Jõks, appointed by the Parliament after the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Estonia, took an oath of office.
The conference, which was scheduled to take place on the end of his term of office, enabled to make summaries and evaluations on the development of the role of the Chancellor of Justice of Estonia during the last seven years and gave an outlook on the institutions’ substantial development since its re-establishment 1993. The conference gave a wider overview and comparison on the essence of the institution of the Chancellor of Justice in Estonia and Europe, viewing perspectives of social-political and constitutional law.
The aim of the Conference was to give an opportunity to broaden the discussion between the ombudsman’s European-like role in the protection of fundamental rights and freedom, and also to analyse critically the Estonian model of Chancellor of Justice.
The conference opened with the introductory speech of the Chancellor of Justice, Mr Allar Jõks.. The President of the Republic of Estonia Mr Toomas Hendrik Ilves made an opening speech and Mr Peter Kostelka, the Vice President of the International Ombudsman Institute gave his warm regards.
The conference was divided into two panels.
I panel: Chancellor of Justice and Europe. How does the European Ombudsman protect the rights of people to good administration and what are his relations with courts? What are the possibilities to control courts actions for Swedish ombudsman’s institution? Has Denmark also had fervent discussions on topic where is the line between ombudsman’s authority and political decisions? The Secretary-General of the European Ombudsman’s office Mr Ian Harden focussed on good administration in the work of the courts and the ombudsmen. Mr Mats Melin, the Chief Parliamentary Ombudsman of Sweden spoke about the ombudsman‘s control of court activities and Mr Hans Gammeltoft-Hansen, Danish Parliamentary Ombudsmanmade a presentation on the topic “The Ombudsman as a Marker of the Limits of Politics” Moderator for this panel was Mr Lauri Mälksoo, the adviser to the Chancellor of Justice.
II panel: Chancellor of Justice and Estonia. How the Estonian model of the institution of the Chancellor of Justice developed and on what its originality and uniqueness is based upon? Has the combined model of the Chancellor of Justice and Ombudsman been justified? How has the Chancellor of Justice fulfilled its role as the guardian of constitutionality and an initiator of judicial constitutional review? Have the applications, presented by the Chancellor of Justice to the Supreme Court, unjustifiably affected interests of political parties? What is the relation between the Chancellor of Justice and politics and how has the Chancellor of Justice designed Estonia’s democratic political culture? Member of the Riigikogu, Mr Mart Nutt spoke aboutthe institution of the Chancellor of Justice and politics. Judge of the European Court, Mr Uno Lõhmus analyzed the role of the Chancellor of Justice in the judicial constitutional review. Mr Vello Pettai, Professor of Comparative Politics, the University of Tartu presented the last topic - Chancellor of Justice as the Designer of the Political Culture. Moderator for this panel was Mr Madis Ernits, deputy Chancellor of Justice.
The exhibition “70 years of the Institution of the Chancellor of Justice in Estonia” was displayed during the conference. It consisted of different exhibits throughout 70 years – documents, photos, different publications regarding Institution’s history and activities of Chancellors of Justice during their term of office, including the original directive from 1938 in which Anton Palvadre was appointed by the President of Estonia, Konstantin Päts, to be the first Chancellor of Justice of Estonia. Anton Palvadre’s case file of surveillance activities (a copy from the KGB archive file) was exhibited and for the first time and the photos of the Chancellor of Justice of Otto Tief’s government Richard Övel (in office 1944-1945) and government-in-exile Chancellor of Justice Artur Mägi (who kept the institution’s continuity) was also on display. Contract of co-operation between Ministry of Foreign Affair of Finland and The Chancellor of Justice of the Republic of Estonia, signed by Jaakko Kurinkoski and Eerik-Juhan Truuväli was shown. Thanks to the contract the international conference dedicated to the 75th anniversary of Finnish Ombudsman’s office took place in 1995 in Elva.
Conference “Variety of life or spoilt life”
On 11 May 2007 the Chancellor of Justice organised a scientific international conference entitled “Variety of life or spoilt life”. The conference was focused on the possibilities to protect a person’s rights in the case of environmental damage, discussions on environment’s monitoring, penalties and judicial practice in Estonian and German environmental law and raised the problems in Estonian environmental legislation.
The conference was organised in cooperation with the German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation.
Topics of the presentations were: European environment’s protection law and it’s surveillance, principles of environmental law in jurisdiction of the Court of Europe, protection of person’s subjective rights in Estonian judicial practice, penalties for damaging environment and problems concerning environmental code in Estonia and Germany.
Conference “Millions and milieu”
In cooperation with the German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation, on 12 May 2006 the Chancellor of Justice organised a conference entitled “Millions and milieu” on the planning and construction law. The purpose of the conference was to highlight important issues in the area, to spark a discussion and to examine the solutions proposed in hitherto practice, in order to bring about change in the legal rules and values governing the field.
The conference was divided into two thematic sections: planning law and construction law.
The first section, which was moderated by the Chancellor Allar Jõks, concentrated on the main characteristics of the planning law in Germany and Estonia, and on analysis of the nature and purpose of planning. The latter should be seen in the creation of a sustainable and balanced living environment that takes into account the needs of the largest possible number of members of the public, achieved by involving the public and giving stakeholders opportunity to defend their interests.
The second thematic section, moderated by Märt Rask, President of the Supreme Court of Estonia, focussed on the right to build and the limits imposed on building, on the requirements of preserving traditional historical settings and of considering the interests of the neighbours, on methods of construction supervision and the case law concerning removal of illegal buildings.
The conference was organised around eight presentations. The speakers from Germany included administrative court judges, renowned legal experts in their areas. The speakers from Estonia were Kaire Pikamäe (court of appeal judge), Indrek Koolmeister (Supreme Court judge), Nele Parrest and Arnika Kalbus (both advisors to the Chancellor of Justice). The Chancellor of Justice Allar Jõks delivered the opening speech of the conference. A welcoming address was pronounced by Jaan Õunapuu, Minister of Regional Affairs, and by Matthias Weckerling, Director of the German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation.
Among the participants of the conference were representatives of the Riigikogu, of the Cabinet of Ministers, of various ministries and courts, local government officials, planning and construction specialists and experts, legal scholars, international guests, etc.
Conference “Hunger for information vs thirst for privacy”
On 13 May 2005, in cooperation with the German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation, an international data protection conference “Hunger for information vs. thirst for privacy” took place. This conference was a continuation of the Chancellor of Justice’s tradition of organising scientific conferences. The objective of the conferences is to draw attention to important problems within Estonian legal order.
The objective of the referred international conference was to draw the attention of the wider public and specialists alike to the issues of the right to information and data protection, to raise problems and lighten up professional debate with the aim of arranging the legal environment.
The conference concentrated on such topics as the constitutional bases for the protection of personal data, European data protection law, and the problems of data protection in Estonia’s public and private sectors. The salutatory speech of the conference was made by the director of the German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation Matthias Weckerling, reports were presented by Dr Marion Albers of Hamburg University, data protection expert Lukas Gundermann, data protection commissioner of Berlin Prof Dr Hansjürgen Garstka and data protection commissioner of Schleswig-Holstein Dr Thilo Weihert. Estonian reporters included a judge of the Tallinn Circuit Court Ivo Pilving, justice of the Supreme Court Prof Eerik Kergandberg and advisers to the Chancellor of Justice Tiina Ilus and Ave Henberg.
The members of the Riigikogu, justices of the Supreme Court, representatives of the courts and several state authorities and inspectorates engaged in data processing, legal scholars and other persons concerned were invited to participate at the conference.
Conference “THE POLICE.THE LAW.THE STATE”
The purpose of the Chancellor of Justice’s scientific conference was to initiate a discussion to develop the understanding of law enforcement law and to speak about the deficiencies of police law. The subject matter of the conference was prompted by the current situation of the police law and the law enforcement law. There is no Act in Estonia specifying the definition of public order and the activities of the police in maintaining it. The rules for the maintenance of public order, that are in force in rural municipalities and cities, have been enacted without a legal basis.
Up to now the maintenance of public order has been considered to be the duty of the police only. This is an out-dated approach, and the protection of law and order should also be the duty of other law enforcement and state supervision agencies, as well as of every member of society in general. At the same time there is no law providing for uniform bases for the coordinated activities of all law enforcement agencies, and empowering the members of society to interfere in the cases of breach of public order.
Maintenance of public order is very much a preventive activity. The basis for the system of prevention of crime has in fact been laid, but this has been done without a specific legal ground, either on the state level or on the level of local governments.
Based on problems relating to this sphere, the conference was divided into three blocks of scientific presentations and a panel discussion. The presentations were made on the following topics:
- the actual state of police law and public order law;
- constitutional and European law framework of police law and public order law;
- the future of police law and public order law – prospects and trends.
Top politicians and leading legal scholars and practicing lawyers of Estonia and Germany were invited to make presentations at and moderate the conference. The opening speeches of the conference were made by Chancellor of Justice Allar Jõks, Minister of Internal Affairs Margus Leivo, and the director of the IRZ Matthias Weckerling. The different topics were moderated by the chairman of the Riigikogu legal affairs committee Märt Rask, justice of the Supreme Court Dr Julia Laffranque, chairman of the constitutional committee of the Riigikogu Urmas Reinsalu and State Secretary Heiki Loot. Presentations were made by justice of the Supreme Court Prof Indrek Koolmeister, Prof Dr Holger Schwemer (Hamburg), adviser to the Chancellor of Justice Katri Jaanimägi, head of a division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany Michael Niemeier (Berlin), judge of Tallinn Circuit Court Oliver Kask and Prof Dr Friedrich Schoch (Freiburg).
In cooperation with the Office of the Chancellor of Justice, the law journal Juridica published a special issue with the presentations delivered at the conference and articles written on the basis of the presentations.
Conference “Political party and/or election coalition”
In cooperation of the Estonian Chancellor of Justice and the German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation, on 15-16 May an international scientific conference “Political party and/or election coalition” was held in Tallinn. The aim of the conference was to discuss topical problems in connection with Estonian political parties and election law and to offer some solutions as a result of the debate. The presentations at the conference were focused on three ranges of topics – the notion of a political party in the Constitution and in the Political Parties Act, election coalitions of citizens and the principles of financing of political parties.
Presenters at the conference included, for example, Professor Dr Jörn Ipsen of the University of Osnabrück, Professor of public law Dr Uwe Volkman of the University of Mainz, Chancellor of Justice Allar Jõks, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Uno Lõhmus, adviser of the Riigikogu Constitutional Affairs Committee Ülle Madise and Professor Kalle Merusk of the University of Tartu.
On the basis of the topical articles and presentations of the conference the Juridica Publishers in cooperation with the Office of the Chancellor of Justice published a special issue.
1st conference of chancellors of justice and ombudsmen of Nordic and Baltic countries
On 11-12 June 2003 the Chancellor of Justice organised the first conference of chancellors of justice and ombudsmen of Nordic and Baltic countries in Tallinn which was dedicated to the 65th anniversary of the establishment of the institution of the Estonian Chancellor of Justice and the 10th anniversary of its reestablishment. The conference discussed the role of the ombudsman and the chancellor of justice in the supervision of legality of the activities of the police and in the protection of the rights of the child. A financial contribution to organising the conference was made by the Nordic Council of Ministers.
The conference convened ombudsmen and chancellors of justice from Nordic and Baltic countries, ambassadors of the participating countries and several representatives of the Estonian state authorities and international organisations. Attending the conference was also Jacob Söderman who was the European Ombudsman in 1995-2003.
3rd seminar of ombudsmen and chancellors of justices of CBSS
On 29 August 2003, the Chancellor of Justice Allar Jõks hosted the third seminar of ombudsmen and chancellors of justices of the Baltic Sea countries held in Tallinn in the framework of Estonia’s presidency of the Council of Baltic Sea States. Topics discussed at the seminar included the efficiency of the institution of the chancellor of justice and of the ombudsman and the possibilities of its measurement, the powers given to the institution of the chancellor of justice and the restriction of the powers. Keynote speakers were the Chancellor of Justice Allar Jõks and the Deputy Ombudsman of the Republic of Poland Jerzy Swiatkiewiecz. The moderator of the seminar was the Council of Baltic Sea States Commissioner Helle Degn.
Enhancing administrative capacity
Priority area “Enhancing administrative capacity” is a measure in the National Development Plan 2007-2013 under the priority of human resource development. The objective of this priority area is to raise strategic planning and managing capabilities of the public sector organisations through developing professional competences of civil servants. The measure helps to strengthen managing capabilities of the state and social coherence.
Priority area “Enhancing administrative capacity” is divided into five sub areas:
- Raising the level of the strategic planning and management capability of public sector organisations and NGO-s.
- Developing better legislation.
- Raising the professionalism of officials in state and local government institutions, of employees in agencies and NGOs.
- Developing a high-quality and sustainable training system for public sector workers.
- Supporting regional development .
The Office of the Chancellor of Justice has successfully organised many study visits and trainings for its officials with the help of the measure “Enhancing administrative capacity”.
Program period 2004-2006
Office of the Chancellor of Justice organised three projects with the help of the measure 1.4 "Enhancing Administrative Capacity".
- Trainings about strategic management, motivating and solving conflicts for the management of the Office.
- Study visit to APT (Association for the Prevention of Torture).
- Study visit to the Court of Justice of the European Communities, European Court of Human Rights and to the office of the European Ombudsman.
Program period 2007-2013
2009-2012 the Office of the Chancellor of Justice organised a project to raise the quality of Office’s work with the help of the measure’s “Raising the professionalism and training of officials in state and local government institutions, of employees in agencies and NGOs” sub measure “Internship programme for civil servants”.
1. Study visits to the cooperation institutions of the European Union and member states.
- Parliamentary Ombudsman of Denmark (main aspects of ombudsman’s work and principles of organisation’s work).
- Federal Constitutional Court of Germany (procedural and substantial questions about constitutional review).
- Court of Justice of the European Communities (case law of the Court of Justice in the field of commercial law, principles of the Court’s work).
- Council of State of the Netherlands (law-drafting proceedings, procedural and substantial questions of the work of the highest administrative court).
2. Study visit to Great Britain’s prisons and to prisons’ supervisory agencies. The aim of the project was learn from their experience of executing custodial sentence and protecting fundamental rights and freedoms of persons who are deprived of their liberty.
- Her Majesty´s Prison Wormwood Scrubs
- Her Majesty´s Prison and Young Offenders Institution Isis
- Her Majesty´s Prison and Young Offenders Institution Bronzefield
- Her Majesty´s Inspectorate of Prisons
- Prison Reform Trust
- Penal Reform International
- Independent Monitoring Board
- International Centre for Prison Studies
- Ministry of Justice Human Rights Policy Division
3. Study visit to the office of the Ombudsperson of Children of France and to the Commission de déontologie de la sécurité.
4. Study visit to the Ministry of Climate and Energy of Denmark, its division and to Danish Wind Turbine Secretariat.
5. Study visit to the Danish Parliamentary Ombudsman Office and the Environmental Board of Appeal on spatial planning law.
6. Study visit to the Danish Parliamentary Ombudsman Office and the Danish Court Administration on court reform matters.
- Developing questioning skills which are useful in the work of national preventive mechanism.
- Strategic management, assessing and motivating personnel for the management.
- EU competition law.
- Structure and interpretation methodology of judicial decisions.
- EU state aid regulation.
- EU energy law.
- EU state budget rules.
- Spatial planning law. Danish experience.