Constitution (1992, as amended 2007) (excerpts)

The Constitution of the Republic of Estonia

passed by a referendum held on 28 June 1992

(RT1 1992, 26, 349),

entered into force 3 July 1992,

amended by the following Acts:

12.04.2007 entered into force 21.07.2007 - RT I 2007, 33, 210;

05.10.2003 entered into force 06.01.2004 - RT I 2003, 64, 429;

25.02.2003 entered into force 17.10.2005 - RT I 2003, 29, 174.

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Chapter I

General Provisions

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§ 3.

The state authority shall be exercised solely pursuant to the Constitution and laws which are in conformity therewith. Generally recognised principles and rules of international law are an inseparable part of the Estonian legal system.

Laws shall be published in the prescribed manner. Only published laws have obligatory force.

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Chapter II

Fundamental Rights, Freedoms and Duties

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§ 44.

Everyone has the right to freely obtain information disseminated for public use.

All state agencies, local governments, and their officials have a duty to provide information about their activities, pursuant to procedure provided by law, to an Estonian citizen at his or her request, except information the disclosure of which is prohibited by law, and information intended exclusively for internal use.

An Estonian citizen has the right to access information about himself or herself held in state agencies and local governments and in state and local government archives, pursuant to procedure provided by law. This right may be restricted pursuant to law to protect the rights and freedoms of others or the confidentiality of a child’s filiation, and in the interests of combating a criminal offence, apprehending a criminal offender, or ascertaining the truth in a criminal procedure.

Citizens of foreign states and stateless persons who are in Estonia have the rights specified in paragraphs two and three of this section equally with Estonian citizens, unless otherwise provided by law.

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Chapter IV

The Riigikogu

§ 59.

Legislative power is vested in the Riigikogu.

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§ 65.

The Riigikogu shall:

1) pass laws and resolutions;

2) decide on the holding of a referendum;

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§ 70.

The quorum for the Riigikogu shall be provided by the Riigikogu Procedure Act. In an extraordinary session, the Riigikogu shall have a quorum if more than one-half of the membership of the Riigikogu are present.

§ 71.

The Riigikogu shall form committees.

Members of the Riigikogu have the right to form factions.

The procedure for the formation of committees and factions, and their rights, shall be provided by the Riigikogu Procedure Act.

§ 72.

Sessions of the Riigikogu shall be public, unless the Riigikogu by a two-thirds majority decides otherwise.

Voting in the Riigikogu shall be open. Voting by secret ballot shall be held in the cases prescribed by the Constitution or by the Riigikogu Procedure Act, only in the election or appointment of officials.

§ 73.

Legislation of the Riigikogu shall be passed by a majority of votes in favour, unless otherwise prescribed by the Constitution.

§ 74.

A member of the Riigikogu has the right to make inquiries to the Government of the Republic and its members, to the Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Estonia, the President of the Bank of Estonia, the Auditor General, the Chancellor of Justice, and the Commander or Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

The inquiries shall be answered at a session of the Riigikogu within twenty session days.

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Chapter V

The President of the Republic

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§ 78.

The President of the Republic shall:

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6) proclaim laws, pursuant to §§ 105 and 107 of the Constitution, and sign instruments of ratification;

7) issue decrees, pursuant to §§ 109 and 110 of the Constitution;

8) initiate amendment of the Constitution;

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