Principal Problems of the Rules of Procedure of the Estonian Riigikogu
Jüri Adams, member of four Riigikogus and a co-author of the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia, discusses the story of the development of the rules of procedure of the Riigikogu in his series of writings. This part is a sequel to Part I that was published in “Riigikogu Toimetised” (“Proceedings of the Riigikogu”) No. 39.
Part II. The development of the rules of procedure of the Riigikogu during the 7th Riigikogu
With regard to the Acts (and other legislative acts) concerning the activities of the Riigikogu, the principle that the preparation and amendment thereof is an internal matter of the legislative power (i.e. the Riigikogu) has been applied in Estonia so far. No important Bill concerning the activities of the parliament has ever been prepared in a governmental authority, and such Bills have never been officially sent for gathering opinions or approval. It has become a tradition that the Government also does not express its opinion on Bills to such effect.
As regards the rules of procedure of the Riigikogu, starting from 1992, there have been four periods when rules of procedure clearly distinct from one another have been in force. Timewise, these periods have been the following: the first period was 1992–1994, the second 1994–2003, the third 2003–2007, and the fourth started in 2007. Several sub-periods or stages can also be distinguished in majority of them.
By today, the principle of total freedom as regards the formation of factions has been reached in the rules of procedure (probably on the example of the Riigikogu of the 1920s). The minimum number of members has been set at six. It has been reduced to five later. This number seems to be generally accepted by now.