No. 48



Quest for Balance of Powers. Endless State Reform versus Development of the State

13 December 2023


RiTo No. 48, 2023

  • Peeter Järvelaid

    Peeter Järvelaid

    Associate Professor, School of Governance, Law and Society, Tallinn University

A sensible balance of powers (cooperation and coordinated powers) between the Government (Prime Minister) and the institution of the President of the Republic developed as the Constitution of 1992 entered into force but after the term of office of Lennart Meri it has gone out of hands.

At present, the Prime Minister of Estonia has taken the Chancellor of Germany as a model and is representing our country even where this would clearly not be necessary.

We would do well to remind ourselves what it means that parliament is the legislative power.

It is existential for our Government now to argue through the constitutional question: what does executive power mean? There is no need to amend the Consti-tution at once. It is necessary to develop a practice whereby the Prime Minister would have more time to attend to domestic business and the majority of international representative functions would lie with the President of the Republic and the Minis-ter of Foreign Affairs.

In terms of the development of our judicial system, the need to establish a constitutional court needs to be argued through. Such an innovation is again often as-sociated with the need to amend the Constitution but if Latvia has been able to establish a constitutional court (on the model of Germany) without amending its Constitution of 1992, this should be possible in Estonia as well.

When we speak of the balance of powers and better coordination between various powers, a well-educated person is the linking factor here. Since a lot of people with legal education work in these fields, one of the keys is to improve the level of trai-ning of our lawyers.