Estonia’s legal system is based on a civil law system, and is mainly derived from the German, Swedish, and Russian legal systems. The Estonian legal system is comprised of four main sources of law: the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia, acts of Parliament, international treaties, and subsidiary legislation.
The Constitution of the Republic of Estonia is the supreme law of the land and sets out the fundamental rights and freedoms of the people of Estonia. It also outlines the structure of the government, and the responsibilities of the different branches of government.
Acts of Parliament provide the legal framework for the day-to-day running of the state. All acts must be consistent with the Constitution. International treaties, such as those signed by the European Union, are also binding in Estonia.
Subsidiary legislation, such as regulations and orders, are issued by the Government, ministries, and other public bodies. These are subordinate to acts of Parliament and must comply with the Constitution.
The Estonian legal system is administered by the courts. The Supreme Court is the highest court in the country, and is responsible for reviewing the decisions of lower courts and ensuring that they comply with the law. The court system is divided into three levels: District Courts, Administrative Courts, and the Supreme Court.
In addition to the court system, Estonia also has an administrative system, which is responsible for ensuring that citizens and businesses comply with the law. The administrative system is overseen by the Ministry of Justice, the Police and Border Guard Board, the Tax and Customs Board, and the Financial Supervisory Authority.