Ameerika Ühendriikide jt välisriikide abist Eesti õigussüsteemi ja õigushariduse ümberkorraldamisel 1990. aastate alguses. The assistance of USA and other countries in reorganizing the Estonian legal system and education in the early 1990s

  • Irene Kull
  • Merike Ristikivi


The development of Estonian private law is an excellent example of
borrowing from foreign legal systems, successfully using transplants
and implementing different regulatory models. From the early 1990s,
the ‘Continental European legal tradition’ and especially German law
was used as an example owing to the historical relationship between
Germany and Estonia. Even though US law was applied very little in
drafting Estonian private law, the role of US professors and practitioners,
who taught us the basic principles of law and the importance
of judicial independence in a liberal market economy can’t be overestimated.
The option of text-book like legislation was chosen mainly
owing to educational purposes, as this approach was reasonable and
justified in a transitional country.
Lawyer’s freedom is solely based on a perfect command of the
legal method. Already from the 1990s, the main aim of the Faculty
of Law of the University of Tartu was to prepare lawyers who understand
the law and who are trained to apply the legal method in
their profession. Changes were made to the teaching process and the
content of the curricula with the substantial contribution of visiting
lecturers, also from the US. A number of educational programs were
also introduced with the help of US universities, governmental and
professional organizations. Comparative law and jurisprudence were
part of the Faculty of Law’s curriculum since Estonia restoring its