Compilation of biographies featuring judges and prosecutors is ready for readers

NordenBladet — The compilation titled “Kohtunikud, kohtu-uurijad ja prokurörid 1918–1940” (Judges, Court Investigators and Prosecutors 1918–1940) will be given as a present by the Supreme Court and the Office of the Prosecutor General to a hundred libraries and information centres, in order to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Republic of Estonia. The new lexicon comprises the careers and biographies of 387 judges and prosecutors who were in office during this time period, and it was compiled by the legal historian Toomas Anepaio. The lexicon is published in Estonian.

The book contains photographs and biographical data about the judges and prosecutors of the independent Republic of Estonia including their: date and place of birth, education and career including their military service, awards, memberships in associations, and the repression suffered by the persons in question as well as by their families. Priit Pikamäe, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, said that quite a few of the judges found the courage to stand up to the regime at that time, and the lexicon is partly a nod of recognition to the loved ones of these judges and prosecutors, many of whom were subject to repression because their fathers or husbands held the position of a judge or a prosecutor.

“I sincerely hope that, in the near future, all the judges and prosecutors who have worked in Estonia will receive a mention – a second volume of the lexicon could concentrate on the period of occupation, while a third might name those judges who assumed office from 1991,” said Pikamäe. “The first prosecutor in Estonia began working in a court a hundred years ago. This was probably considered to be the best way for the court to get the highest quality evidence as a basis for the administration of justice,” said Lavly Perling, the Prosecutor General.

She added that, over time, the prosecutors moved away from the court in terms of constitutional law and they are now a part of the nation’s executive power. The independence of the courts and the equal treatment of judges are considered to be important cornerstones in the administration of justice. “All the same, we are still connected by the umbilical cord of law, so to speak. The prosecutors still have a duty to ensure the best conditions for the high quality administration of justice that will increase people’s trust, through presenting evidence that is acceptable to the court and through sound charges,” said Perling.

The lexicon was presented on 9 February at the Judicial Conference of Estonia and will also be presented on 6 April at the Prosecutors’ Assembly. The book is available for purchase through the website of the University of Tartu Press at The lexicon will be delivered to the one hundred libraries and information centres – including those in every Estonian town and county – during the coming months.

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