The Supreme Court issued a favourable decision in the main matter of Administrative Reform Act

21.12.2016 The Supreme Court issued a favourable decision in the main matter of Administrative Reform Act

Attorney at law and senior partner Paul Varul led the team that represented the twenty-three municipalities in the Estonian Supreme Court in the matters regarding Administrative Reform Act, stating that the reform violates the constitutional rights of municipalities in too many points.

According to Paul Varul, the Supreme Court made a very favourable decision to the municipalities who required the constitutionality review. "The Supreme Court agreed with the applicants, that the population requirement of 5000 (according to the latest round of administrative reforms, the new government-mandated minimum population required for an independent administrative unit is 5000) is not a relevant factor and there are other criteria," said Paul Varul to ERR.ee.

According to him, the Supreme Court emphasised that if the municipalities can prove that they are still administratively capable, despite the smaller population than 5000, it is possible to prevent the forced merger and the government has a very wide discretion in that.

"The most important conclusion is, and the Supreme Court has also properly addressed it, that it is possible for those municipalities with fewer than 5000 inhabitants to continue independently. It is also possible for municipalities to challenge the forced merger in court," he assured.

On the same topic (in Estonian)

Postimees: Paul Varul: Administrative Reform Act – 5000 is not decisive
ERR: Paul Varul: The Supreme Court issued a very favourable decision in the basic matters

Lawyers

Paul Varul
Triin Raudsepp
Vitali Šipilov