Estonia - Central Authority (Art. 2) and practical information

Central Authority(ies):

Ministry of Justice

Contact details:
Address: Ministry of Justice
Suur-Ameerika 1, 
15006 Tallinn
Estonia
Telephone: +372 6 208 183
+372 6 208 186
Fax: +372 620 8109
E-mail: central.authority@just.ee
General website: http://www.just.ee/
Contact person: Ms Anastasia ANTONOVA, Adviser
International Judicial Co-operation Unit
Ministry of Justice
tel.: +372 620 8183
e-mail: central.authority@just.ee
Languages spoken by staff: Estonian, English, Russian

 

Practical Information
(The following information was provided by the relevant State authorities or was obtained from the replies to the Evidence Convention Questionnaires)
Blocking statutes: Yes, there are two European instruments of this nature:

Council Regulation (EC) No 2271/96 of 22 November 1996 protecting against the effects of the extra-territorial application of legislation adopted by a third country, and actions based thereon or resulting therefrom (see, Article 5(1)).

Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (See, Art. 25(1)).

Chapter I
(Letters of Requests)
Transmission of Letters of Requests: Letters of Request are first sent to the Central Authority of the requesting State before being sent to the Central Authority of the requested State.
Authority responsible for informing of the time and place of the execution of Letter of Request (Art. 7): - Judicial authority competent to execute the request;
- Central Authority.
Presence of judicial personnel at the execution of the Letter of Request (Art. 8): Declaration of applicability. See Competent Authority.
Privileges and duties existing under the law of States other than the State of origin and the State of execution (Art. 11): Declaration of applicability. See declaration.
Translation requirements (Arts 4(2) and 33):  Accepts Letters of Requests written in or translated into Estonian, French and English.
Costs relating to execution of the Letters of Request (Arts 14(2)(3) and 26): Expert assessment costs may be asked to be reimbursed.
Time for execution: Approximately 6-12 months as the time and possibility of taking evidence depends on the circumstances.
Art 23 pre-trial discovery of documents: Letter of Request may be executed subject to certain conditions (qualified exclusion).
Information about domestic rules on the taking of evidence:  The information about national rules on the taking of evidence is stipulated in chapter 25 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
Witness examination under Chapter I
Should Letters of Request include specific questions to be used during witness examination or only a list of matters to be addressed? Yes.
Is it a public or private hearing? It is a public hearing unless declared confidential.
Do the judicial authorities "blue-pencil" Letters of Requests (i.e. rephrase, restructure and / or strike out objectionable questions or offensive wording so that a Letter of Request may be executed under the laws of the requested State)? No.
Is the witness provided in advance with a copy of the questions / matters to be addressed as contained in the Letter of Request? No.
Are documents produced by the witness authenticated by the court? No.
Is an oath generally administered to the witness? The witness is warned about the consequences of giving false testimony.
Can the witness be made subject to further examination and recall? Yes.
Are there sanctions for non-appearance of witness? Section 266 subsection 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure stipulates, that the court may, by a ruling, impose compelled attendance by police escort on a person in the case prescribed by law if the court has warned the person that compelled attendance may be imposed.

Section 266 subsection 2 of the Estonian Code of Civil procedure stipulates, that if a witness refuses to give testimony or sign a caution without good reason, the court may impose a fine or detention of up to fourteen days on the witness.

Must interpreters who assist with the witness examination be court-certified? The interpreters who assist with the witness examination do not have to be court-certified. The interpreter is warned, that she/ he will be responsible for false translation.
How is the testimony transcribed? Minutes of the court hearing are taken.
Chapter II
(Taking of evidence by diplomatic officers, consular agents and commissioners)
Article 15 Applicable.
Article 16 Applicable. No Competent Authority has been designated. However, in practice such requests are considered by the Ministry of Justice.
Article 17 Applicable. No Competent Authority has been designated. However, in practice such requests are considered by the Ministry of Justice.
Article 18 No declaration of applicability (i.e., a diplomatic officer, consular agent or commissioner may not apply for appropriate assistance to obtain evidence by compulsion).
Taking of evidence by video-links
(under either chapter)
 
Chapter I
Are there legal obstacles to the use of video links? No.
Technology used: No information available.
Level of interpretation required: No information available.
Simultaneous or in sequence interpretation: No information available.
Interpretation required in which jurisdiction? No information available.
Who pays for the interpretation? No information available.
How would a request for evidence be handled if witness not willing? No information available.
Chapter II
Are there legal obstacles to the use of video links? No.
Technology used: No information available.
Level of interpretation required: No information available.
Simultaneous or in sequence interpretation: No information available.
Interpretation required in which jurisdiction? No information available.
Who pays for the interpretation? No information available.
Bilateral or multilateral agreements Bilateral conventions on judicial co-operation: Russian Federation (1993), Ukraine (1995).

Council Regulation (EC) No. 1206/2001 of 28 May 2001 on cooperation between the courts of the Member States in the taking of evidence in civil or commercial matters.

Useful links: http://oigusabi.just.ee/tsiv/index.php?th=3&fid=3-3 (Ministry of Justice - in Estonian only)

(This page was last updated on 22 August 2017)

Conventions (incl. Protocols and Principles)