The last time I addressed our readers was 20 years ago in the Juridica International issue ‘Legislation and Legal Policy’.
This year, all eyes on the legal landscape have been turned to the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the first Constitution of Estonia. The adopting of the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia on 15 June 1920 provided Estonia with a source document that was used to direct life towards a state based on justice and the protection of democracy, fundamental rights and the rights of ethnic minorities.
The 100th anniversary of the Constitution is the central theme of the major forum of the Estonian legal community – Estonian Lawyers' Days. The conference kicks off with plenaries and the days will continue with sixteen panels. Under the guidance of experienced moderators more than eighty presenters will take the stage. The programme can be found in this issue.
Publication of the thoroughly updated commented edition of the Constitution holds a special place in the event programme dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the first Constitution of Estonia.
Commented editions of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Estonia have been published since 2002. The above is a collection of scientific articles, which brings together knowledge on constitutional law that has been accumulated over the years, including looks back at history, a comparison to other legal systems, Estonian and international case-law. Over the course of the past few decades, dozens of lawyers have participated in the preparation of comments on the Constitution; their aim has been to create and constantly update the guide to understanding the Constitution, by means of cooperation and debates. Since 2012, the comments have been published by the Iuridicum Foundation as a web publication, and they are freely available to the public.
Some of the scientists who commenced commenting on the Constitution in 2002 have since retired, departed, or distanced themselves from the field. Their duties have been taken over by researchers of a younger generation and practitioners with an academic background who are specialised and competent on the topic of the commented section or chapter. Completely new comments have been written in several parts in an interdisciplinary manner, expanding the legal-philosophical dimension. It is of the utmost importance to primarily continue with the approach introducing different points of view.
The target audience of the comments are not just lawyers, but the whole of the Estonian public. The fifth edition of the comments on the Constitution will be presented on 21 December 2020.
A selection of articles has been presented on the cover of this year’s issue of Juridica International – from the century-old approach to personal freedom in Estonian Marriage Law, to finding answers to the question of whether it is possible, at the current level of artificial intelligence, to delegate making atypical and more complex administrative decisions to kratts. It is of particular pleasure to note that this time a number of contributions from doctoral students at the beginning of their research careers have made it into this issue of the journal – the future belongs to young people who are able to change the world.
Thank you to everyone who, with their initiative and activities, have significantly contributed to the maintenance and development of Estonian rule of law. Happy 100th anniversary of the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia!