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From Transition to Accession: A New Era of Estonian Constitutional Thinking

ISBN 9985-870-13-1

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Estonian Constitutional Law Institute


The Estonian Constitutional Law Institute is one of the projects of the Estonian Law Centre. The Institute’s overall goal is to stimulate constitutional law scholarship among Estonian legal professionals, and to link this work with that of scholars from the region and abroad. To accomplish that, the Institute brings together Western and Estonian constitutional law scholars, and provides a mechanism by which they may exchange information and ideas, and develop written analysis of current Estonian Constitutional law issues.


Board Members

Currently, the Board members of the institute include the Dean of the Law Faculty of the University of Tartu Professor Kalle Merusk, the Head of the Public Law Institute Professor Raul Narits, the Senior Researcher Extraordinary Dr. iur. Peep Pruks, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Professor Uno Lõhmus, the Senior Adviser to the Legal Chancellor Mr. Enn Markvart, the Director of the EuroCollege Mr. Michael Gallagher, the Adviser to the Minister of Justice Mrs. Ülle Madise, and Judge at Tallinn District Court Lauri Madise.



In the framework of the Constitutional Law Institute there is established cooperation with the Human Rights Institute of Åbo Akademi University in Turku (Finland). The Institute has also reached agreements for frameworks for cooperation with institutions in Germany (Trier University), Sweden (Stockholm University), Finland (University of Helsinki), Russia (Saint Petersburg State University), Latvia (University of Latvia), Lithuania, (Vilnius University), and the United States (New York University).



Each year, the Institute selects the most important themes and solicits research in these areas. This year, research priorities were (1) Paradigms and Models for Interpretation of Constitutional Norms, (2) Relationship Between International Obligations and Constitutional Norms, (3) Connecting the People to the Constitution (Protection of Fundamental Freedoms and Rights) and (4) Independence of Courts.

Besides publishing the results of the research, the Constitutional Law Institute hosts seminars, workshops and conferences on themes in priority areas of research of the Institute.

In this issue of Juridica International eight articles are published written under the auspices of the Constitutional Law Institute:

Mag. iur. Hannes Vallikivi — Domestic Applicability of Customary International Law in Estonia

Anneli Albi — Estonia’s Constitution and the EU: How and to What Extent to Amend It?

Marika Linntam — Building a Just Society: the Role of the Constitutional Judge. Idea of Justice in the Contemporary Value Jurisprudence and the Process of Argumentation

Associate Prof. Dr. iur.Ola Wiklund — The Role of Ideology in Adjudication

Dr. Renata Uitz — Constitutional Activism and Deference Through Judicial Reasoning: Confirming an Indeterminacy Thesis

Ivo Pilving — Rule of Law and Information Society: Constitutional Limits to Active Information Provision by Government

Prof. Dr. iur. Gerhard Robbers — Informationelle Selbstbestimmung und allgemeine Informationsfreiheit in Deutschland

One of the most important Constitutional Law Institute sub-projects is the project “Court Decisions Digests”. With the project, the Institute commissions analyses of each of the decisions of the Supreme Court, and creates a database of the decisions. These facilitate ongoing review of the jurisprudence of the court. These digests will be available at the law centre web site in the near future. They are available also by subscription.

The other important sub-project is related to the theme of European Union accession and amendments to the Estonian constitution. This sub-project involves publication of pro and contra arguments for the constitutional amendments, seminars and workshops. The sub-project is funded by the Open Estonia Foundation.

Special thanks to supervisors of our researchers. Especially to Professor Gerhard Robbers, Professor Ola Wiklund, Dr. Renata Uitz, Dr. Eleanor Spavente and mag. iur. Juhani Kortteinen.

Last but not least we would like in this special issue of Juridica International to thank our funders, namely, the Christian Johnson Endeavor Foundation and the Center for International Management Education (CIME) for their generous support.