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- Eesti vabariigi põhiseadus -

This year's Yearbook of Courts focuses on the publicity in the administration of justice

18 June 2021

The Yearbook of Estonian Courts 2020 is dedicated to the publicity of administration of justice and the closely related data protection issues.

"Each judge should take the public interest and control over the activities of the court in his or her work into account. The more open the court proceedings, the more reliable the court presumably seems to the average person," Nele Parrest, Justice of the Supreme Court and the editor-in-chief of the yearbook, noted. "If a person trusts the decision maker, the decision is accepted even if he or she does not understand all the legal twists and turns of the solution."

On the other hand, the right to address court has constitutional weight. The fear of publicity and disclosure or simply the desire to avoid unnecessary attention should not deter people from defending their rights. "The fact that the word once launched will remain available on the internet for years, if not decades, may have negative and sometimes unexpected consequences in both professional and personal life," the Justice of the Supreme Court stated.

The Yearbook of Estonian Courts 2020 seeks to contribute to this complex debate on how to achieve a good and right balance between public access to justice and data protection. Thus, the thorough analyses by Parrest, Justice of the Supreme Court, Maris Juha, Supervisory Director of the Data Inspection Inspectorate and Külli Vallimäe-Tuberg, data protection specialist of courts, can be found in the yearbook on the legal acts to be proceeded from when accessing the data and about when the access is available.

Attorney-at-law Hannes Vallikivi offers interesting and thought-provoking historical reviews in the article "Names in court decisions".

A comparative view from elsewhere in Europe is provided in the yearbook by data protection professionals in the courts of the Netherlands, Ireland, United Kingdom and Bulgaria. These countries have set up special bodies to deal with the issues related to the personal data processing and raise awareness within the judiciary, as well as to deal with the complaints about the activities of the courts.

Raina Loom analyzes the last year’s most important decision of the Supreme Court concerning the constitutionality of the pension reform. The yearbook also includes an overview of the year in the Estonian judicial and legal system and statistics of court proceedings prepared by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Villu Kõve and his adviser Karin Leichter-Tammisto.

The Yearbook of Estonian Courts is published by the Supreme Court and this is already the thirteenth edition. For the last few years the book has only been published electronically and can be viewed here.

The articles of the yearbook can be freely distributed, but please make a note that the article has been published in the Yearbook of Estonian Courts and add a web link to the yearbook.