1.1 General description and key data of the constitutional system

According to the Constitution, Estonia is an independent and sovereign democratic republic wherein the supreme power of the state is vested in the people. The people exercise their supreme power of the state on the elections of the Riigikogu (The Parliament of the Republic of Estonia) through citizens who have the right to vote and through a referendum.
The Constitution (Eesti Vabariigi Põhiseadus) in force was adopted by the people of Estonia, on the basis of § 1 of the Constitution, which entered into force in 1938, and by a referendum held on 28 June 1992.
The Constitution could be amended by an Act which has been passed by:
  1. a referendum;
  2. two successive memberships of the Riigikogu;
  3. the Riigikogu, as a matter of urgency.
The Constitution says that the state authority shall be exercised solely pursuant to the Constitution and laws which are in conformity therewith. Generally recognised principles and rules of international law are an inseparable part of the Estonian legal system. Laws shall be passed in accordance with the Constitution. The following have the right to initiate laws:
  1. a member of the Riigikogu;
  2. a faction of the Riigikogu;
  3. a committee of the Riigikogu;
  4. the Government of the Republic;
  5. the President of the Republic, for amendment of the Constitution.
The Constitution defines following institutions as the constitutional parts of the Republic of Estonia:
  • The Riigikogu
  • The President of the Republic
  • The Government of the Republic
  • The Bank of Estonia
  • The State Audit Office
  • The Chancellor of Justice
  • The Courts
  • Local Governments