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The President of the Republic addresses matters of law

The President of the Republic today discussed matters related to Estonian court system with Uno Lõhmus, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Estonia. Uno Lõhmus presented a summary of his visions concerning the draft of the Courts Act and the needs of judicial institutions.

Yesterday, the President of the Republic had a meeting with the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice to hear the Government's position on the improvement of the judicial system.

The President stated that the improvement of Estonian court system is the key to Estonia's accession to the European Union, and vice versa: all actions that delay accession to the European Union reduce Estonia's capacity to find efficient solutions to legal problems.

On Tuesday, the President of the Republic met Professor Jaan Sootak from Tartu University in Kadriorg, and proposed to nominate him as candidate of Legal Chancellor. The President and Professor Sootak discussed the need to approve the Penal Code as soon as possible, in order to terminate the validity of the Criminal Code, which dates back to the period of Soviet occupation. Professor Sootak did not consider it possible for himself to be nominated as Legal Chancellor candidate. Also Peep Pruks, Doctor of Law from Tartu University, as well as Justice of the Supreme Court Eerik Kergandberg and several other lawyers have preferred their current work and considered their nomination as Legal Chancellor candidates impossible.

The President of the Republic continues to look for new Legal Chancellor candidates. The President believes that the factions of the Riigikogu consider needs of the Estonian legal system on a broader plane when appointing the Legal Chancellor.

Press Service of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, January 18, 2001


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