The Supreme Court declared unconstitutional the prohibition on officials to belong to directing bodies of companies
The Constitutional Review Chamber of the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional and invalid the provision of the Anti-Corruption Act which prohibited officials from being a member of a directing or supervisory body of a company.
The Chamber noted that the prohibition under dispute helps, above all, to ensure the illusory impartiality of officials. The prohibition was also extended to a number of cases when a person’s official duties and the activity of the company do not overlap and when a person is therefore theoretically not in a position to take steps favouring the company. Relationships involving risk of corruption can be avoided in such cases also by more lenient measures, e.g. by an obligation to request in a specific case permission for belonging to a directing body of a company. The Supreme Court also stressed that irrespective of the prohibition under dispute there are procedural restrictions on officials, e.g. they shall not engage in self-dealing, or conclude transactions with a company directed by them.
In keeping with the aforesaid, the Constitutional Review Chamber held that the prohibition on belonging to directing bodies of companies was too extensive. As such, the prohibition violated the right to freely choose a person’s area of activity, profession and place of work.
However, the Supreme Court conceded that the Riigikogu may, if need be, establish a similar restriction on activities in a narrower manner with regard to certain groups of officials.
Head of Communication Office