|Parliament name (generic / translated)
||Riigikogu / The Estonian Parliament
|Structure of parliament
|Nature of the mandate
||· Free representation (Art. 62 of the Constitution of 29.06.1992)
|Start of the mandate
||· When the results are declared (Art. 61 (1) of the Constitution, Art. 40 (1) of the Electoral Law)
|Validation of mandates
||· No validation
|End of the mandate
||· On the day when the election results are declared (Art. 61 (1) of the Constitution) (for early dissolution, see Art. 89 (6), 97 (4), 105 (4), and 119 of the Constitution)
|Can MPs resign?
||· Of their own free will (see also Art. 64 (2) No. 3 of the Con-stitution)
· Procedure: application to the Board of the Riigikogu; the reason for resigning must be specified
· Authority competent to accept the resignation:
|Can MPs lose their mandate ?
|| (a) Loss of mandate by judicial decision:
- Loss of eligibility: guilty verdict of a court (Art. 64 (2) No. 2 in connection with Art. 58 and 60 (2) of the Constitution)
- Sentence of the National Court declaring an MP permanently incapable of fulfilling his duties (Art. 64 (2) No. 4 of the Constitu-tion)
(b) Loss of mandate for incompatibilities (Art. 64 (2) No. 1 in con-nection with Art. 63 (1) of the Constitution)
(c) Death (Art. 64 (2) No. 5 of the Constitution)
(d) Loss of mandate for refusal to take the oath of conscience or for confirmation of untrue information by the oath (Art. 6 (2) and 7 (1) of the Law on the Application of the Constitution)
|STATUS OF MEMBERS
|Rank in hierarchy
||· Within Parliament:
1. The President
2. The two Vice-Presidents
3. The Chairmen of the committees
4. The Deputy Chairmen of the committees
5. The Chairmen of the factions
6. The Deputy Chairmen of the factions
· Outside Parliament: the official order of precedence ranks the President in the 2nd position.
|Indemnities, facilities and services
||· Diplomatic passport (at this moment, approximately one third hold diplomatic passports)
Basic salary (see Art. 75 of the Constitution): approx. US$ 1,050 per month (MP), approx. US$ 1,570 per month (President) + Al-lowance for representation expenses: 20% of the basic salary
· Total exemption from tax
· Pension scheme (Law on Remuneration, Pension and other Social Guarantees for Members of Riigikogu)
· Other facilities:
(a) Secretariat, assistants for the factions
(b) Official housing if residence outside of Tallinn
(c) Postal and telephone services
(d) Travel and transport
(e) Others: National Library (Law on the National Library of Estonia)
|Obligation to declare personal assets
|Parliamentary immunity - parliamentary non-accountability
||· The concept does exist (Art. 62 of the Constitution).
· Parliamentary non-accountability is limited to words spoken or written by MPs and votes cast within Parliament.
· Derogations: slander and libel
· Non-accountability takes effect on the day when the mandate begins and offers, after the expiry of the mandate, protection against prosecution for opinions expressed during the exercise of the mandate.
|Parliamentary immunity - parliamentary inviolability
||· The concept does exist (Art. 76 of the Constitution).
· It applies only to criminal proceedings, covers all offences with the exception of minor offences which do not involve criminal proceedings, and protects MPs only from the opening of judicial proceedings.
· No derogations are foreseen.
· Parliamentary inviolability does not prevent MPs from being called as witnesses before a judge or tribunal.
· Protection is provided from the start to the end of the mandate. It does not cover judicial proceedings instituted against MPs before their election.
· Parliamentary immunity (inviolability) can be lifted (Art. 76 of the Constitution):
- Competent authority: the Riigikogu
- Procedure (Art. 76 and 139 (3) of the Constitution). In this case, MPs cannot be heard. They do not have means of appeal.
· Parliament cannot subject the prosecution and/or detention to certain conditions.
· Parliament cannot suspend the prosecution and/or detention of one of its members.
· In the event of preventive custody or imprisonment, the MPs concerned cannot be authorised to attend sittings of Parliament.
|EXERCISE OF THE MANDATE
||· There is a training/initiation process on parliamentary practices and procedures for MPs.
· It is provided by the Chancellery of Parliament.
· Handbook of parliamentary procedure:
- Special Collection of Legal Acts
|Participation in the work of the Parliament
||· It is compulsory for MPs to be present at plenary sittings, committee meetings and other meetings.
· Penalties foreseen in case of failure to fulfil this obligation: no sanction, apart from publication of participation in the press
||· Specific cases : MPs cannot be accused of offending or insulting Parliament.
|Code (rules) of conduct
||· This concept does not exist in the country's juridical system but there are some relevant provisions (Art. 64 (2) No. 1 in connection with Art. 63 (1) of the Constitution, Art. 6 (2) and 7 (1) of the Law on the Application of the Constitution). For the declaration of interests, see Obligation to declare personal assets.
· Penalties foreseen for violation of the rules of conduct (Art. 64 (2) No. 1 in connection with Art. 63 (1) of the Constitution, Art. 6 (2) and 7 (1) of the Law on the Application of the Constitution): loss of mandate (incompatibilities, refusal to take the oath of conscience or confirmation of untrue information by the oath)
|Relations between MPs and pressure group
||· There are no legal provisions in this field.