The Supreme Court is the highest court in Estonia and shall review court judgements by way of cassation proceedings. The Supreme Court is also the court of constitutional review.
The Supreme Court is competent to:
• review appeals in cassation and protests;
• hear petitions for review filed against court judgments;
• hear petitions for constitutional review;
• resolve certain matters pertaining to court administration.
There are 19 justices in the Supreme Court and the court is composed of the Civil Chamber, Criminal Chamber, Administrative Law Chamber and the Constitutional Review Chamber.
In civil, criminal and administrative cases an appeal in cassation, an appeal against a court ruling or a petition for the review of a court decision can be filed with the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court does not accept all filed appeals.
The Supreme Court shall accept a matter for proceedings if:
- the circuit court has evidently applied a provision of substantive law incorrectly in its judgment or has materially violated a provision of procedural law in making the judgment and this could have resulted in an incorrect judgment;
- the adjudication of the appeal in cassation has fundamental importance with respect to guaranteeing legal certainty and developing a uniform judicial practice.
No pre-trial proceedings are required when appeals are filed with the Constitutional Review Chamber.
Appeals may also be heard by Special (ad hoc) Panels or by the Supreme Court en banc. The Supreme Court en banc, comprised of all justices of the Supreme Court, is the highest body of the Court.