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Current Developments in Legal Interpretation

ISBN 978-9985-870-41-9

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Dear reader,

It is not uncommon to encounter a situation in which one must admit that understandings of many legal situations are varied. On the one hand, everything might appear simple and clear; however, when one delves a bit further into the specifics of a particular legal regulation, the landscape may turn out to be much more complex, and perceptions change. Legal regulation leaves room for different understandings and interpretations. Although the legislator’s goal is to ensure legal regulation that is as precise as possible, there are always some gaps that need to be filled through either analogy or interpretation. Also, case law and the positions of legal professionals have an important role to play in the understanding of legal regulation and in application of the law. Alongside analysis of the bottlenecks found in the current law, historical experience should not be overlooked either. The dissection of a legal situation in the past, one long forgotten, may offer us an unexpected and necessary solution for applicable legislation. Accordingly, studying and analysing historical experiences is necessary and justified in every way.

This issue offers broad-based analysis of various modern legal problems and their solutions, from a wealth of perspectives. It should be noted here that non-lawyers too can be of great help in interpreting legal issues. One good example can be seen in the article ‘Interpretation of Undefined Legal Concepts and Fulfilling of Legal Gaps, in Jüri Lotman’s Semiotic Framework’, on the potential impact of this globally esteemed semiotics luminary’s legacy with regard to legal interpretation.

Legal issues are present in all facets of life. Generalised approaches to various legal issues are addressed in the following papers, among others: ‘(Just) Give Me a Reason’, ‘The General Data Protection Regulation and its Violation of EU Treaties’, and ‘Current Challenges of the Labour Law of Ukraine: On the Way to European Integration’.

The journal’s content is enriched further with approaches to specific legal issues that are relevant for understanding various legal fields and when one is generalising. Some pieces that make this contribution are ‘Shareholders’ Draft Resolutions in Estonian Company Law: An Example of Unreasonable Transposition of the Shareholder Rights Directive’, ‘Which Adverse Environmental Impacts of an Economic Activity Are Legally Acceptable and on What Conditions’, and ‘Digital Inheritance: Heirs’ Right to Claim Access to Online Accounts under Estonian Law’. These analyses demonstrate the role of lawyers in explaining and interpreting various legislative gaps for the purpose of establishing legal clarity.

We have commented on the vital role of historical experience in legal analysis. In this regard, the following articles offer further insight: ‘Limitation of Freedom of Speech and of the Press by Penal Law in the Final Decades of the Russian Empire’ and ‘Land Reform and the Principle of Legal Certainty: The Practice of the Supreme Court of Estonia in 1918–1933’.

In addition to the works highlighted above, the reader will find several other topical, intriguing, and discussion-sparking articles. For example, one addresses a topic that is rarely discussed – dignity at the end of life and analysis of the related ethical, legal, and social arguments. All this only goes to show the diversity of opinions in the legal world.

We wish you pleasant reading and thinking along!