Parliament (Riigikogu) Internal Rules Act (1992, as amended 2003)

Riigikogu Internal Rules Act

Passed 9 November 1992

(RT1 1992, 46, 582; consolidated text RT I 1999, 2, 44),

entered into force 16 November 1992,

amended by the following Acts:

18.12.2002 entered into force 23.01.2003 - RT I 2003, 4, 22;

12.06.2002 entered into force 01.08.2002 - RT I 2002, 57, 356;

12.06.2002 entered into force 02.03.2003 - RT I 2002, 57, 355;

27.03.2002 entered into force 17.10.2005 - RT I 2002, 36, 220;

13.03.2002 entered into force 01.07.2002 - RT I 2002, 29, 174;

14.03.2000 entered into force 29.03.2000 - RT I 2000, 25, 145;

26.01.99 entered into force 28.02.99 - RT I 1999, 16, 271.

Chapter I

Authority of Members of Riigikogu

§ 1.

The authority of the members of the Riigikogu2 shall commence on the day the results of the elections are announced. The authority of the members of the previous composition of the Riigikogu terminates on the same day.

The contract of employment of a person employed under a contract of employment until election as a member of the Riigikogu shall be terminated pursuant to the Act providing for contracts of employment, and a person who is employed as an official until election as a member of the Riigikogu shall be released from service pursuant to the Act providing for public service. Any employment or service relationships with a person to whom the Act providing for contracts of employment or the Act providing for public service does not apply shall be terminated not later than on the day directly preceding the day on which he or she takes the oath of office as a member of the Riigikogu.

(24.11.98 entered into force 14.03.99 - RT I 1998, 107, 1765)

§ 2.

The authority of the President of the Riigikogu as a member of the Riigikogu is suspended for the time during which he or she performs the duties of the President of the Republic.

§ 3.

The authority of a member of the Riigikogu is suspended on the day of his or her appointment as a member of the Government of the Republic, and is restored on the day following his or her release from duties as a member of the Government.

(03.05.1994 entered into force 04.06.1994 - RT I 1994, 37, 569; 24.11.98 entered into force 14.03.99 - RT I 1998, 107, 1765)

§ 4.

Upon suspension of the authority of a member of the Riigikogu, the Board of the Riigikogu shall, not later than on the following working day, decide on the assumption of membership of the Riigikogu by an alternate member, on the basis of § 11 of this Act.

(03.05.1994 entered into force 04.06.1994 - RT I 1994, 37, 569; 24.11.98 entered into force 14.03.99 - RT I 1998, 107, 1765)

If a member of the Riigikogu who is elected to the new composition of the Riigikogu continues his or her activities as a member of the Government of the Republic which is to resign due to the convention of the new composition of the Riigikogu until the new Government of the Republic assumes office, the National Electoral Committee shall, on the day of registration of the elected members of the Riigikogu, decide on the assumption of membership of the Riigikogu by an alternate member, on the basis of § 11 of this Act.

(27.10.98 entered into force 13.11.98 - RT I 1998, 98/99, 1577)

§ 5.

If the President of the Riigikogu completes performance of the duties of the President of the Republic, or if a member of the Riigikogu is released from his or her duties as a member of the Government, their authority is restored as of the day following the day of completion of or release from the duties. The Board of the Riigikogu shall formulate the termination of authority of a member substituting for a member of the Riigikogu by a resolution.

(03.05.1994 entered into force 04.06.1994 - RT I 1994, 37, 569)

§ 6.

(1) The authority of a member of the Riigikogu terminates prematurely:

1) upon his or her assumption of another state office;

2) upon his or her resignation pursuant to the procedure provided for in this Act;

3) if the Supreme Court decides that he or she is incapable of performing his or her duties for an extended period;

4) upon the entry into force of a conviction in respect of him or her;

5) upon his or her death.

(2) In addition to the cases listed in subsection (1), the authority of a member of the Riigikogu also terminates prematurely if he or she loses Estonian citizenship pursuant to the Citizenship Act (RT I 1995, 12, 122; 83, 1442; 1998, 111, 1827; 2000, 51, 323; 2001, 93, 565; 2002, 53, 336; 62, 376; 90, 518) or upon his or her assumption of an office specified in subsection 7 (2) of his Act. If a member of the Riigikogu is elected a member of a rural municipality council or city council, his or her authority as a member of the rural municipality or city council is suspended.

(27.03.2002 entered into force 17.10.2005 - RT I 2002, 36, 220)

(3) At the request of the Board of the Riigikogu, the authority of a member of the Riigikogu who does not comply with the requirements provided for in the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia or the Riigikogu Election Act (RT I 1994, 47, 784; 93, 1573; 1995, 14, 171; 1996, 29, 578; 1998, 98/99, 1577; 102, 1678) or who refuses to take the oath of office may be terminated prematurely by a judgment of the Supreme Court.

(24.11.98 entered into force 14.03.99 - RT I 1998, 107, 1765; 13.03.2002 entered into force 01.07.2002 - RT I 2002, 29, 174)

§ 61.

Upon premature termination of the authority of a member of the Riigikogu, the Board of the Riigikogu shall decide on the assumption of office by an alternate member instead of the member of the Riigikogu pursuant to the procedure provided for in § 11 of this Act. This resolution shall be adopted promptly after the receipt of the corresponding document which certifies the circumstances which are the basis for the premature termination of authority of the member of the Riigikogu.

(24.11.98 entered into force 14.03.99 - RT I 1998, 107, 1765)

§ 7.

A member of the Riigikogu shall not hold any other state office. Within the meaning of this Act, another state office is the office of President of the Republic and service in an office appointed by the Riigikogu, the President of the Republic, the Government of the Republic, the Prime Minister, or the head of a government agency or other state administrative agency. The office of Chairman of the Bank of Estonia and active service as a professional member of the armed forces are also deemed to be state offices. The office of chairman or member of a board or council is not deemed to be a state office if the appointment is made by the Riigikogu pursuant to law, regardless of the date of appointment.

During his or her term of authority, a member of the Riigikogu shall not:

1) work as a rural municipality or city mayor, a member of a rural municipality or city government, or an official of a local government;

2) receive employment income as a member of the management board of a commercial association;

(14.03.2000 entered into force 29.03.2000 - RT I 2000, 25, 145)

3) be a member of a rural municipality or city council;

(27.03.2002 entered into force 17.10.2005 - RT I 2002, 36, 220)

4) be a Member of the European Parliament.

(18.12.2002 entered into force 23.01.2003 - RT I 2003, 4, 22)

The restrictions on employment and activities of officials provided for in § 19 of the Anti-corruption Act (RT I 1999, 16, 276; 87, 791; 2000, 25, 145; 2001, 58, 357; 2002, 53, 336; 63, 387) do not apply to members of the Riigikogu.

(14.03.2000 entered into force 29.03.2000 - RT I 2000, 25, 145)

§ 8.

If a member of the Riigikogu leaves the Riigikogu on his or her own initiative, he or she is deemed to have resigned. Upon resignation, a member of the Riigikogu shall personally submit a written application to the Board of the Riigikogu which shall inform the Riigikogu of the application not later than on the following plenary working day. The application shall set out the reasons for resignation. During the time the authority of a member of the Riigikogu is suspended pursuant to §§ 2 or 3 of this Act, he or she may not resign.

A member of the Riigikogu shall be deemed to have submitted a letter of resignation if, within ten days as of the date on which the results of elections to the European Parliament are announced, he or she fails to inform the National Electoral Committee that he or she wishes to continue in his or her current office and to decline the mandate of a Member of the European Parliament.

(18.12.2002 entered into force 23.01.2003 - RT I 2003, 4, 22)

Upon resignation, the authority of a member of the Riigikogu terminates on the day on which the Board of the Riigikogu decides on assumption of membership in the Riigikogu by an alternate member.

(24.11.98 entered into force 14.03.99 - RT I 1998, 107, 1765)

§ 81.

If a member of the Riigikogu is unable to perform his or her duties for an extended period due to severe illness or invalidity, or due to a court declaring him or her missing or divesting him or her of active legal capacity, the Board of the Riigikogu shall apply to the Supreme Court for the member of the Riigikogu to be declared unable to perform his or her duties for an extended period on the basis of clause 64 (2) 4) of the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia.

(24.11.98 entered into force 14.03.99 - RT I 1998, 107, 1765; 13.03.2002 entered into force 01.07.2002 - RT I 2002, 29, 174)

Chapter II

Alternate Members

§ 9.

(Repealed - 24.11.98 entered into force 14.03.99 - RT I 1998, 107, 1765)

§ 10.

(Repealed - 03.05.94 entered into force 04.06.94 - RT I 1994, 37, 569)

§ 11.

The alternate member of a member of the Riigikogu who is elected in an electoral district is the first candidate of the same political party to be registered as an alternate member who stood as a candidate in the same electoral district. The alternate member of a member of the Riigikogu who is elected on the basis of a compensation mandate is the first candidate of the same political party to be registered as an alternate member who stood as a candidate in the national list.

If the political party has no more candidates who are registered as alternate members in the electoral district, the first candidate of the same political party to be first registered as an alternate member who stood as a candidate in the national list shall be the alternate member.

If a member of the Riigikogu to be substituted stood as a candidate outside the lists or if there are no more registered alternate members in the same list, the alternate member designated on the basis of an additional mandate which is distributed between the national lists and registered with the National Electoral Committee shall become a member of the Riigikogu.

The authority of the person who last assumes membership of the Riigikogu as an alternate member from among the candidates of the same political party in the same electoral district or in the national list terminates due to restoration of the authority of the member of the Riigikogu either:

1) on the day on which the President of the Riigikogu ceases to perform the duties of the President of the Republic, or

2) on the day on which the member of the Riigikogu is released from the duties of a member of the Government of the Republic.

(12.06.2002 entered into force 02.03.2003 - RT I 2002, 57, 355)

§ 12.

(1) The assumption of membership of the Riigikogu by an alternate member or the termination of his or her authority, on the basis of § 11 of this Act and the list of alternate members of the Riigikogu registered by a resolution of the National Electoral Committee, shall be formulated by a resolution of the Board of the Riigikogu or, in the case provided for in subsection 4 (2) of this Act, by a resolution of the National Electoral Committee.

(12.06.2002 entered into force 02.03.2003 - RT I 2002, 57, 355)

The authority of an alternate member as a member of the Riigikogu commences on the day following the day on which the Board of the Riigikogu adopted the resolution. In the case provided for in subsection 4 (2) of this Act, the authority of an alternate member commences on the day following the day of publication of the decision of the National Electoral Committee in the Riigi Teataja.

(24.11.98 entered into force 14.03.99 - RT I 1998, 107, 1765)

During the period of their authority in the Riigikogu, alternate members have all the rights and obligations of members of the Riigikogu.

(24.11.98 entered into force 14.03.99 - RT I 1998, 107, 1765)

§ 13.

An alternate member shall assume membership of the Riigikogu by taking the oath of office before the Riigikogu.

(03.05.1994 entered into force 04.06.1994 - RT I 1994, 37, 569)

Chapter III

Employment Status of Members of Riigikogu

§ 14.

The primary place of employment of members of the Riigikogu is the Riigikogu. If a member of the Riigikogu assumes an office with which it is prohibited by law to combine the status of member of the Riigikogu, then his or her authority shall be suspended or terminate prematurely pursuant to the procedure provided for in this Act.

(19.01.93 entered into force 19.02.93 - RT 1993, 6, 97)

The rights, obligations and liability of members of the Riigikogu in possessing state assets of which they are granted use are similar to the corresponding rights, obligations and liability of state public servants provided for in the State Assets Act (RT I 1995, 22, 327; 1996, 36, 738; 40, 773; 48, 942; 81, 1446; 1997, 45, 724; 1998, 30, 409; 1999, 10, 155; 16, 271; 2000, 39, 239; 49, 306; 51, 319; 2001, 7, 17; 24, 133; 93, 565; 2002, 53, 336; 64, 393).

(24.11.98 entered into force 14.03.99 - RT I 1998, 107, 1765)

§ 141.

Members of the Riigikogu have the right to access state secrets in order to perform their duties. Members of the Riigikogu shall not be permitted access to state secrets if this endangers the performance of duties provided for in clauses 8 (1) 2), 3) or 4) of the Surveillance Act.

Members of the Riigikogu who belong to a Riigikogu committee have the right to access state secrets to the extent which is necessary for the performance of duties imposed on the committee and which is provided for in the Act concerning the formation of the committee or in a resolution of the Riigikogu.

(26.01.99 entered into force 28.02.99 - RT I 1999, 16, 271)

Chapter IV

Taking Oath of Office

§ 15.

Members of the Riigikogu shall, before assuming their duties, take the oath of office to remain loyal to the Republic of Estonia and its constitutional order.

§ 16.

Members of the new composition of the Riigikogu shall take the oath of office at the first sitting after the sitting is opened by the President of the Republic.

Each member of the Riigikogu shall be given the text of the oath of office:

Riigikogu liikme ametivanne. Asudes täitma oma kohustusi Riigikogu liikmena Riigikogu ... koosseisus, annan vande jääda ustavaks Eesti Vabariigile ja tema põhiseaduslikule korrale. (Nimi. Allkiri. Kuupäev.)”. [“Oath of Office of Member of the Riigikogu. As I assume my duties as a member of the … Riigikogu, I swear to remain loyal to the Republic of Estonia and its constitutional order. (Name. Signature. Date.)”]

At the first sitting of the new composition of the Riigikogu, the eldest member of the Riigikogu shall read aloud the text of the oath of office. Thereafter, the members of the Riigikogu shall sign the oaths of office. The signed oaths of office shall be submitted to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Oaths of office signed at following sittings of the Riigikogu shall be sent to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

(24.11.98 entered into force 14.03.99 - RT I 1998, 107, 1765)

§ 17.

An alternate member shall take the oath of office before the Riigikogu at the beginning of the first sitting in which he or she participates. After reading aloud the text of the oath of office before the Riigikogu, he or she shall sign it and it shall be sent to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

(24.11.98 entered into force 14.03.99 - RT I 1998, 107, 1765)

Chapter V

Chancellery of Riigikogu

§ 18.

Services to the Riigikogu and its bodies and members shall be provided by the Chancellery of the Riigikogu which is directed by the Secretary General of the Riigikogu who is appointed by the Board of the Riigikogu by way of public competition.

(24.11.98 entered into force 14.03.99 - RT I 1998, 107, 1765)

§ 19.

The Chancellery of the Riigikogu shall:

1) consult the Riigikogu and its bodies and members on legislative drafting and on issues concerning the performance of other functions of the Riigikogu;

2) provide services to the Riigikogu, manage its operations and create the necessary conditions for the Riigikogu to perform its functions;

3) provide assistance to the Riigikogu upon communication with other state bodies and with the public, and manage the foreign relations of the Riigikogu;

4) manage issues concerning the benefits related to office of members of the Riigikogu;

5) provide services to the National Electoral Committee;

6) organise the administration of state assets pursuant to the State Assets Act;

7) prepare the draft budget of the Riigikogu and implement the approved budget.

The Chancellery of the Riigikogu shall also perform functions arising from other Acts and imposed thereon by bodies of the Riigikogu pursuant to Acts.

(24.11.98 entered into force 14.03.99 - RT I 1998, 107, 1765)

§ 20.

The rights and main functions of the Chancellery of the Riigikogu, and the organisation of management and the competence of structural units thereof shall be provided by the statutes of the Chancellery of the Riigikogu, which shall be approved by the Board of the Riigikogu. In order to perform its functions, the Chancellery of the Riigikogu has the right to obtain relevant documents and information from other state and local government administrative agencies.

(24.11.98 entered into force 14.03.99 - RT I 1998, 107, 1765)

§ 201.

The structure, composition of staff, titles of positions and support staff positions, salary scale and salary rates of the Chancellery of the Riigikogu shall be established by the Board of the Riigikogu.

Public servants at the Chancellery of the Riigikogu shall be employed in service and released from service by the Secretary General of the Riigikogu.

(24.11.98 entered into force 14.03.99 - RT I 1998, 107, 1765)

§ 202.

The Chancellery of the Riigikogu shall be financed from the state budget. The Chancellery of the Riigikogu shall have a seal bearing its name and the small national coat of arms of the Republic of Estonia.

(24.11.98 entered into force 14.03.99 - RT I 1998, 107, 1765)

§ 203.

The Chancellery of the Riigikogu shall be registered in the state register of state and local government agencies pursuant to the procedure provided for in the statutes of the register.

(12.06.2002 entered into force 01.08.2002 - RT I 2002, 57, 356)

Chapter VI

Publication and Entry into Force of Acts and Resolutions

§§ 21-25. (Repealed - 24.11.98 entered into force 14.03.99 - RT I 1998, 107, 1765)

Chapter VII

Final Provisions

§ 26.

The Riigikogu Internal Rules Act enters into force as of the working week following the proclamation thereof.

1 RT = Riigi Teataja = State Gazette

2 Riigikogu = the parliament of Estonia