Estonian Court System

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Chapter XIII of the Constitution of the Republic Estonia provides the basis for court administration. The Courts Act contains a more detailed regulation of court administration.

Estonia has a three-level court system. County courts and administrative courts adjudicate matters in the first instance. Appeals against decisions of courts of first instance shall be heard by courts of second instance. Courts of appeal are courts of second instance (sometimes also called circuit courts or district courts). The courts of appeal are situated in Tartu and Tallinn. The Supreme Court, situated in Tartu, is the court of the highest instance.

A statement of claim is filed with the court of first instance, an appeal with the court of second instance and an appeal in cassation with the court of third or the highest instance. A matter shall be heard in the Supreme Court only after all previous court instances have been passed. The filing of an appeal is governed by respective codes of court procedure.

The decisions of courts of first and second instances shall be made public in full in the database of court statistics and court decisions

All reasoned judgements of the Supreme Court shall be published in Part III of the State Gazette. Supreme Court decisions are electronically available on the homepage of the Supreme Court.