Rebuilding the Court System of Estonia after the Communist Regime

  • Katre Luhamaa
  • Merike Ristikivi
Keywords: judicial system, law reforms, rule of law, transition period


A thorough and fundamental reorganisation of the Estonian judicial system and replacement of judges took place in 1987–1993. The judicial system of the Estonian SSR was part of the repressive communist state power, with the courts’ independence being very limited: the courts in Estonia were subject to the control of the USSR’s courts, and the law was applied in close co operation with the executive power. The article shows how the perception of the judiciary and the role of judges changed during the transition period. The main focus is on the stages of judicial reform from the beginning of the transitional period until the implementation of the new Courts Act in 1993. The article analyses how the role of the judiciary in the emerging democratic society was seen in the transition era’s debates, which addressed changes in the professional requirements for judges and the process of becoming a judge.


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How to Cite
Luhamaa, K., & Ristikivi, M. (2022). Rebuilding the Court System of Estonia after the Communist Regime. Juridica International, 31, 81-89.

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