Parliamentary legislation – the advantage of the free development of the Estonian state
The article provides an overview of the legislative work of the 7th, 8th and 9th composition of the Riigikogu in restoring and strengthening Estonia’s sovereignty, developing fundamental civic rights and setting forth the prerequisites for the state’s transition to a market economy.
The introductory part covers in brief the legislative activity of the Estonian Supreme Council’s 11th and 12th composition, because it was these members that laid the juridical foundation for the restoration of Estonia’s independence and an independent constitutional rule of law.
The main part of the article is devoted to the legislation adopted by the Riigikogu and it is treated according to each major field of regulation – sovereignty and state protection, ensuring fundamental rights, development of the law of obligations and penal power, creating conditions for the reemergence of private property. In the case of several legal acts, its development is shown briefly from an initial superficial act to a set of regulations that regulate the field in depth. As examples of such laws, the Government of the Republic Act and the Commercial Code are profiled. Other laws typical of their sector are also selected for inclusion in the article on the basis of their importance to the state or based on general interest. The article also touches on some opinions from legal scholars on the work of the Riigikogu in various periods and examines the connections of the Estonian legal system to Continental European legal models.
The article attempts to make better sense of the significance of the work of parliament for the entire nation as well as its complexity, considering that all of the relations in society, in their diversity and complexity, are subject to regulation.
A survey of Estonian legislation from the standpoint of economic, social and cultural issues as well as foreign affairs is to be presented in the second part of the same article in the next issue of Riigikogu Toimetised.