Preventive Management as the Future Model *
Encounters between citizens and the police mostly revolve around punishment for misdemeanours.
Entry into force of the draft Law Enforcement Act currently proceeded by the Riigikogu would significantly change the Estonian public law system. It would create the foundations for a new mindset, transforming the image of the state and the police from that of a punisher and parking ticket issuer to aid and protector of citizens. The society is in dire need of a new outlook ― the shortcut to punishment for misdemeanours is no longer fitting for the present-day world. For the police, the new law would make life more complicated. Prior to implementing any measure, a police officer would need to evaluate the potential damage, its probability, and implement the principle of proportionality, with all of these steps retaining verifiability in court. The life of judges, too, would be rendered more complicated. In order not to make things too complicated for everyone, an adequate implementation period should be introduced. In a state based on the rule of law, establishment of verifiable criteria for police evaluation of administrative proceeding under substantive law is inevitable.
*The article is based on the report delivered at the meeting of the Estonian Academic Law Society on 16 April 2008 in Tartu.