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The President of the Republic opened an anniversary conference of the Supreme Court

The President of the Republic today in Tartu opened a ceremonial conference dedicated to the 85th anniversary of the Supreme Court.

In his opening speech, President Rüütel said that the history of judicature is a part of the history of our state and that it holds traditions as well as contradictions originating in the past. "Unfortunately, the chronology of jubilee years and years of actual functioning of our state and its institutions do not correspond. Thus, the tradition of independent national judicature is separated from the judicial system of again independent Estonia by more than half a century long period of occupation and annexation. This period has distorted many values of legal culture, has influenced everybody's individual legal consciousness, and has left an unavoidable mark on the restoration of legal order of a democratic society," the President of the Republic stated.

President Rüütel added that in order to get rid of the legacy of the past, after the restoration of its independence, Estonia needed a well functioning judiciary that would be based on the traditions of our independent national state, would integrate with European democratic experience and would secure the development of Estonia.

The President of the Republic noted, that the judicial reform had a central role among the reforms initiated to secure our independence. "First of all, the legal order, which often contained contradictions and gaps, needed a competent implementer. Secondly, there was a need to create a stabilizing power in the system of separation of powers that would guarantee lawfulness and legality. That power was the judicial power alongside with the executive and legislative powers," the Head of State said.

President Rüütel accentuated that as a Member State of the European Union we now have a possibility, but also a responsibility to shape a common European economic, culture and legal space. "Due to this we have to understand and adopt also such values of judicature as ethicality, tolerance and citizen-centred attitude. In this work we can get essential guidance from the principles of our independent national state, legal order and judicature, which have been checked out during a long history and have established themselves through practice. I am convinced that the Supreme Court will also in future respect those values and follow them in its activities," the President of the Republic said.

The Head of State congratulated everybody on the occasion of the 85th anniversary of the Supreme Court and wished all Estonian justices success and satisfaction in their noble work of administration of justice.

Public Relations Unit of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, January 14, 2005

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