Encyclopedia of Private International Law
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Encyclopedia of Private International Law

Edited by Jürgen Basedow, Giesela Rühl, Franco Ferrari and Pedro de Miguel Asensio

The role and character of Private International Law has changed tremendously over the past decades. With the steady increase of global and regional inter-connectedness the practical significance of the discipline has grown. Equally, so has the number of legislative activities on the national, international and, most importantly, the European level. With a world-class editor team, 500 content items and authorship from almost 200 of the world’s foremost scholars, the Encyclopedia of Private International Law is the definitive reference work in the field. 57 different countries are represented by authors who shed light on the current state of Private International Law around the globe, providing unique insights into the discipline and how it is affected by globalization and increased regional integration. The Encyclopedia consists of three inter-linked pillars, enhanced by sophisticated search and cross-linking functionality. The first pillar consists of A-Z coverage of the scope and substance of Private International Law in the form of 247 entries. The second pillar comprises detailed overviews of the Private International Law regimes of 80 countries. The third pillar presents valuable, and often unique, English language translations of the national codifications and Private International Law provisions of those countries. This invaluable combination represents a powerful research tool and an indispensable reference resource.
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Estonia

Private International Law Act1

Passed 27 March 2002 RT I 2002, 35, 217

Entry into force 1 July 2002

Part 1 General Provisions

  • Scope of application of Act

    • This Act applies in cases where a legal relationship is connected with the law of more than one state.

  • Application of foreign law

    • If, according to an Act, international agreement or transaction, foreign law is to be applied, the court shall apply such law regardless of whether or not application of the law is requested.

    • Foreign law shall be applied pursuant to the interpretation and practice of application of the governing law in the corresponding state.

  • States where national law consists of non-unified system

    • If a provision of this Act refers to the law of a state where national law consists of a non-unified system, the legal order prescribed by the law of such state shall be applied. In the absence of the corresponding provisions in the law of such state, the legal order which is most closely connected with the circumstances of the legal relationship applies.

  • Ascertainment of foreign law

    • The content of foreign law to be applied shall be ascertained by the court conducting the procedure. For such purpose, the court conducting the procedure has the right to request the assistance of the parties.

    • The parties have the right to submit documents to the court for ascertainment of the content of foreign law. The court is not required to act pursuant to the documents submitted by the parties.

    • Courts have the right to request assistance from the Ministry of Justice or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Estonia and to use experts.

    • If the content of foreign law cannot be ascertained within a reasonable period of time despite all efforts, Estonian law applies.

  • Rights of administrative agencies in application of foreign law

    • The provisions of this Act concerning courts apply also to administrative agencies.

  • Renvoi

    • If this Act prescribes the application of foreign law (transmission), the rules of private international law of the corresponding state apply. If such rules prescribe the application of Estonian law (remission), the rules of Estonian substantive law apply.

    • If foreign law prescribes the application of the law of a third state, such transmission shall not be taken into consideration.

    • If the provisions of § 231 or Division 1 of Chapter 1 of Part 6 of this Act prescribe the application of foreign law, the rules of the substantive law of such state apply.

  • Public policy

    • p. 3166Foreign law shall not apply if the result of such application would be in obvious conflict with the essential principles of Estonian law (public order). In such an event Estonian law applies.

  • Formal requirements for transactions

    • A transaction is formally valid if it is in compliance with the formal requirements of the law governing the transaction or the law of the state where the transaction is entered into.

  • Representation

    • The preconditions under which a transaction entered into by a representative results in rights or obligations for the principal with regard to a third party shall be governed by the law of the state in which the representative acted.

    • The law specified in subsection (1) of this section applies also to relationships between a representative without the right of representation and a third party.

    • An authorisation for the disposal of a right in rem in immovable property shall be granted in compliance with the formal requirements of the law of the state of location of the immovable property.

Part 2 Natural Person

  • Residence of natural person

    • Estonian law applies to determination of the residence of a natural person.

  • Citizenship of natural person

    • The citizenship of a natural person shall be determined pursuant to the law of the state the citizenship of which is to be decided on.

    • If a natural person has the citizenship of several states, the citizenship of the state with which the person is most closely connected applies, unless otherwise provided by this Act.

    • If this Act is to be applied to a stateless person, a person whose citizenship cannot be ascertained or to a refugee, the residence of the person shall be taken into consideration instead of their citizenship.

  • Passive and active legal capacity of natural persons

    • The law of the state of residence of a natural person applies to their passive and active legal capacity.

    • A change of residence shall not restrict the active legal capacity already acquired.

    • If a person entered into a transaction although pursuant to the law of the state of their residence, the person does not have active legal capacity or their active legal capacity has been restricted, such person shall not rely on their incapacity if the person would have had active legal capacity pursuant to the law of the state where they entered into the transaction. Such provision does not apply if the other party was or should have been aware of the lack of active legal capacity of the person.

    • The provisions of subsection (3) of this section do not apply to transactions arising from family law or the law of succession or to transactions concerning immovables situated in other states.

  • Declaration of death

    • The grounds and consequences of a declaration of death are governed by the law of the last known state of residence of the missing person.

    • If the law specified in subsection (1) of this section is foreign law, the missing person may be declared dead also pursuant to Estonian law if an interested person has a legitimate interest therein.

Part 3 Legal Person

  • Law governing legal persons

    • A legal person shall be governed by the law of the state on the basis of which the legal person is founded.

    • If a legal person is actually managed in Estonia or the main activities of the person are carried out in Estonia, the legal person shall be governed by Estonian law.

  • p. 3167Scope of governing law

  • On the basis of the law governing a legal person, the following, in particular, shall be determined:

    • the legal nature of the legal person;

    • foundation and termination of the legal person;

    • the passive legal capacity of the legal person;

    • the name or business name of the legal person;

    • the bodies of the legal person;

    • the internal relations of the legal person;

    • liability for the debts of the legal person;

    • legal representation of the legal person.

  • Restrictions on right of representation

    • A legal person shall not rely on a restriction on the right of representation of a body of the legal person or a restriction on the passive legal capacity of the legal person if such restrictions are unknown in the law of the residence or place of business of the other party to the transaction. Such provision does not apply if the other party is aware of the restriction.

  • Other associations of persons and pools of assets

    • The provisions of this Part apply also to other organised associations of persons and pools of assets.

    • Contractual associations without an organisational structure shall be governed by the provisions of this Act concerning contracts.

Part 4 Objects

  • Law governing rights in rem

    • The creation and extinguishment of a right in rem shall be determined pursuant to the law of the state in which the thing was situated at the time of creation or extinguishment of the right in rem.

    • A right in rem shall not be exercised in conflict with the essential principles of the law of the state of location of the thing.

    • If a movable is taken into Estonia and the creation or extinguishment of the right in rem has not been completed abroad, the events which occurred abroad shall be deemed to have occurred in Estonia.

    • Claims which arise from damaging nuisances spreading from immovables shall be governed by § 50 of this Act.

  • Application of law of state of location of thing in event of legal succession

    • If a right in rem is created or extinguishes by way of universal succession, in particular on the basis of family law or the law of succession, the law governing legal succession in general applies to such right in rem as a whole unless and insofar as the law of the state of location of the thing prescribes that the law of the state of location of the thing applies also in the case of universal succession.

  • Goods in transit

    • Creation and extinguishment of rights in rem in goods in transit on the basis of a transaction shall be governed by the law of the state of destination of the goods.

    • The parties may also agree to apply the law of the state of origin of the goods or the law governing the transaction.

    • Agreements concerning governing law shall not affect the rights of third parties in the goods.

  • Document accompanying goods

    • A document accompanying goods shall be governed by the law provided for in the document. If a document accompanying goods does not specify the governing law, the document shall be governed by the law of the state where the place of business of the issuer of the document is situated. A document accompanying goods in transit shall be governed by the law of the state of destination of the goods.

    • p. 3168The law governing a document accompanying goods determines whether, for the purposes of acquisition of the goods, delivery of the document is equal to delivery of the goods. If for the purposes of acquisition of the goods delivery of the document accompanying goods is equal to delivery of the goods, the law governing the document applies also to the goods.

    • If a person relies on the validity of a right in rem on the basis of the law governing a document accompanying goods and another person does so on the basis of the law which would be applicable if the document accompanying goods had not been issued, the law which would be applicable if the document had not been issued applies.

  • Means of transport

    • Aircraft, watercraft and rail vehicles shall be governed by the law of their state of origin. The state of origin is:

    • in the case of aircraft, the state of nationality;

    • in the case of watercraft, the state of the place of registration, in the absence thereof, the state of the home port;

    • in the case of rail vehicles, the state which has issued the permission to use the rail vehicle.

    • Rights of security and rights of retention arising from law which secure claims for compensation for damage caused by means of transport, or claims for compensation for the expenses made on a means of transport shall be governed by the law governing the secured claim. In the case of rights of security created on the basis of the laws of different states, the right of security which was created earlier shall have priority.

  • Intellectual property

    • Intellectual property and the creation, content, extinguishment and protection thereof shall be governed by the law of the state for the territory of which protection of the property is applied for.

  • § 23.1 Registered security

    • Shares, debt obligations and other rights expressed in the form of an entry in a register (registered securities) shall be governed by the law of the state where the respective register is maintained.

    • If a person (custodian) holds a registered security for and at the account of another person in a register or on an account other than the one specified in subsection (1) of this section (respective register), the rights expressed by entries made in the respective register (security held via custodian) shall be governed by the law of the state where the respective register is kept on the security held via the custodian.

    • On the basis of the law governing registered securities and securities held via a custodian the following, in particular, shall be ascertained:

      • the legal nature of the security;

      • the substance, creation and termination of rights in rem with regard to the security;

      • the consequences of disposal of the security for rights arising from the security;

      • the conditions of exercising rights arising from the security;

      • using the security as collateral, including the creation and exercise of the right of sale;

      • the ranking of rights encumbering the security;

      • the rights and duties of the custodian with regard to the security held by the custodian.

Part 5 Right Of Succession

  • Law governing succession

    • Succession shall be governed by the law of the last state of residence of the bequeather.

  • Choice of law

    • A person may make a disposition in their will or a succession contract that the law of the state of their citizenship applies to their estate. Such disposition shall be invalid if the person is no longer a citizen of the corresponding state at the moment of their death.

  • Scope of governing law

  • The law governing succession shall determine, in particular, the following:

    • the types and effect of testamentary dispositions;

    • succession capacity and unworthiness to succeed;

    • p. 3169the extent of succession;

    • the successors and the relationships between them;

    • liability for the debts of the bequeather.

  • Law governing form of will

    • The Hague Convention of 1961 on the Conflicts of Laws Relating to the Form of Testamentary Dispositions (RT II 1998, 16/17, 28) applies to the form of a will.

    • The convention specified in subsection (1) of this section applies also to the form of succession contracts.

  • Capacity to make a will

    • A person may make, amend or revoke their will if the person has corresponding capacity according to the law of the state of their residence at the time of making, amendment or revocation of the will. If according to the law of such state the person does not have the capacity to make a will, they may make, amend or revoke their will if they are entitled thereto according to the law of the state of which the person is a citizen at the time of making, amendment or revocation of the will.

    • A change of residence or citizenship shall not restrict already acquired capacity to make a will.

    • The provisions of this section apply to the capacity of a person to enter into, amend or terminate a succession contract, respectively.

  • Succession contracts and reciprocal wills

    • Succession contracts shall be governed by the law of the state of residence of the bequeather at the time of entry into the contract or, in the case specified in § 25 of this Act, the law of the state of citizenship of the person. The governing law shall determine the admissibility, validity, content and binding force of a succession contract, and the consequences of the contract under the law of succession.

    • At the time of making a reciprocal will, the will shall be made in compliance with the laws of the states of residence of both testators or with the law of the state of residence of one of the spouses, jointly chosen by the testators.

Part 6 Law Of Obligations

Chapter 1 General Provisions Of Law Of Obligations And Contracts

Division 1 General Provisions and Contracts

  • Scope of application

    • The provisions of this Division do not apply to memorandums of association of legal persons or to the personal liability of the bodies, shareholders or members of a legal person arising from law for the obligations of the legal person.

  • Provisions of general application in Estonian law

    • The provisions of this Chapter shall not prejudice application of such provisions of Estonian law which are applicable regardless of the law governing contracts.

  • Choice of governing law

    • Contracts shall be governed by the law of the state agreed upon by the parties.

    • The parties may choose the law governing the whole contract or to a part thereof if the contract is divisible in such manner.

    • The fact that the parties have chosen foreign law to govern the contract, whether or not accompanied by the choice of foreign jurisdiction, shall not, where all the elements relevant to the contract at the time of the choice are connected with one state only, prejudice application of such rules of the law of the state which cannot be derogated from by contract (mandatory rules).

    • Any variation as to the law to be applied made after entry into the contract shall not prejudice the formal validity of the contract under § 37 of this Act nor affect the rights of third parties.

    • p. 3170The provisions of §§ 36 and 37 of this Act apply to the material and formal validity of agreements concerning the choice of law.

  • Law applicable in absence of choice of law

    • If the law governing a contract has not been chosen pursuant to § 32 of this Act, the contract shall be governed by the law of the state with which the contract is most closely connected. If a contract is divisible and a part of the contract has independently a closer connection with another state, such part may be governed by the law of that other state.

    • A contract is presumed to be most closely connected with the state where the residence or the seat of the directing body of the party who is to perform the obligation characteristic of the contract is situated at the time of entry into the contract. If a contract is entered into in the course of the economic or professional activity of the party who is to perform the obligation characteristic of the contract, the contract is presumed to be most closely connected with the state where the principal place of business of such party is situated. If under the terms of a contract the obligation characteristic of the contract is to be performed in a place of business other than the principal place of business, the contract is presumed to be most closely connected with the state where such other place of business is situated.

    • Subsection (2) of this section does not apply if the obligation characteristic of the contract cannot be determined.

    • If the object of a contract is a right in rem in immovable property or a right to use immovable property, the contract is presumed to be most closely connected with the state where the immovable property is situated.

    • In the case of a contract of carriage, the contract is presumed to be most closely connected with the state where the principal place of business of the carrier is situated at the time of entry into the contract if the place of departure or destination or, in the case of a contract for carriage of goods, the principal place of business of the consignor or the place of loading or discharge is situated in the same state. The provisions concerning contracts for carriage of goods apply to all contracts the main purpose of which is the carriage of goods.

    • Subsections (2)–(5) of this section do not apply if it becomes evident from the circumstances as a whole that the contract is more closely connected with another state.

  • Consumer contracts

    • In the case of consumer contracts, a choice of law shall not have the result of depriving the consumer of the protection afforded to the consumer by the mandatory rules of their state of residence if:

      • in the state of residence of the consumer, entry into the contract was preceded by a specific offer addressed to the consumer or by advertising, and the consumer has performed in such state all the acts necessary for entry into the contract;

      • the other party or a representative thereof has received the consumer’s order in the state of residence of the consumer;

      • the contract is for the sale of goods and the consumer has travelled from their state of residence to another state and there has given their order, provided that the consumer’s journey was arranged by the seller for the purpose of inducing the consumer to enter into the contract.

    • If the law applicable is not chosen pursuant to § 32 of this Act, the law of the state of residence of the consumer applies to consumer contracts entered into under the circumstances specified in subsection (1) of this section.

    • Subsections (1) and (2) of this section do not apply to contracts of carriage and contracts for the supply of services where the services are to be supplied to the consumer exclusively in a state other than their state of residence. Subsections (1) and (2) of this section apply to package travel contracts.

    • The law of the state of residence of the consumer applies to the form of a consumer contract entered into under the circumstances specified in subsection (1) of this section.

  • Employment contracts

    • In the case of an employment contract, a choice of law shall not have the result of depriving the employee of the protection afforded to the employee by the mandatory rules of the law of p. 3171the state which would be applicable pursuant to subsection (2) of this section in the absence of a choice of law.

    • In the absence of a choice of law, an employment contract shall be governed by the law of the state where:

      • the employee habitually carries out their work in the performance of the contract, even if the employee is temporarily employed in another state;

      • the place of business through which the employee was engaged is situated, if the employee does not habitually carry out their work in any one state.

    • The provisions of subsection (2) of this section do not apply if it becomes evident from all the circumstances that the employment contract is more closely connected with another state. In such case, the law of such other state applies.

  • Substantive validity of contract

    • The validity of a contract, or of any provision of a contract, shall be determined on the basis of the law of the state which would be applicable if the contract or the provision were valid.

    • If it is evident from the circumstances that it would not be fair to apply the law specified in subsection (1) of this section to the consequences of the conduct of one of the parties, such party may rely on the law of the state of their residence to establish that they have not entered into the contract.

  • Formal validity of contract

    • A contract entered into by persons who are in different states shall be formally valid if it is entered into in compliance with the formal requirements of the law of one of such states or with the formal requirements of the law governing the contract.

    • If a contract is entered into through a representative, the state where the representative acts shall be the relevant state for the purposes of application of subsection (1) of this section.

    • A contract the object of which is a right in rem in immovable property or a right to use immovable property shall be formally valid if it is entered into in compliance with the formal requirements of the law of the state where the immovable property is situated.

  • Assignment of claim

    • In the case of assignment of a claim, the relationship between the assignor and the assignee shall be governed by the law of the state which governs the contract between the assignor and the assignee.

    • The law governing a claim to be assigned shall determine the assignability of the claim, the relationship between the assignee and the obligor, the preconditions under which the assignee may require performance of obligations from the obligor, and any question whether the obligor’s obligations have been performed.

    • This section applies also to pledging of claims.

  • Legal subrogation

    • If a third party is to satisfy a claim of an obligee, the law governing the obligation of the third party shall determine whether the third party is entitled to exercise against the obligor the rights which the obligee had against the obligor under the law governing their relationship.

    • Subsection (1) of this section applies also if several persons are subject to the same claim and one of them has satisfied the claim.

Division 2 Insurance Contracts

  • Scope of application

    • The provisions of this Division apply to insurance contracts which insure risks situated in the territory of Estonia or a member state of the European Union. The provisions of this Division do not apply to reinsurance contracts.

  • Location of insured risk

    • In the event of a non-life insurance contract, the state where the insured risk is situated is:

      • p. 3172the state where the property is situated, if the insurance relates to risks associated with immovable property, above all, with structures or constructions, or to risks associated with the contents of structures or constructions insofar as the contents are covered by the same contract;

      • the state of registration, if the insurance relates to risks associated with vehicles to be entered in a register of Estonia or a member state of the European Union;

      • the state where the policy holder has performed the acts necessary for entry into the contract, if the insurance relates to travel or holiday risks under an insurance contract of a duration of up to four months.

    • In the case of life insurance contracts, and non-life insurance contracts not specified in subsection (1) of this section, the state where the insured risk is situated is:

      • the state of residence of the policy-holder if the policy-holder is a natural person;

      • if the policy-holder is not a natural person, the state of the policy-holder’s place of business to which the contract relates.

  • Free choice of governing law

  • A contract shall be governed by the law chosen by the parties if:

    • the insured risk and the residence or the seat of the directing body of the policy- holder are situated in the same member state of the European Union which allows for free choice of the law;

    • the insurance contract is entered into with an insurance company which does not engage in insurance activities in a state specified in § 40 of this Act neither itself nor through intermediaries;

    • in the case of non-life insurance, the contract is an insurance contract specified in subsections 427 (2)–(4) of the Law of Obligations Act (RT I 2001, 81, 487);

    • in the case of non-life insurance, the insurance relates to risks which are associated with the economic or professional activity of the policy-holder and are situated in different states specified § 40 of this Act and one of the insured risks is situated in a member state of the European Union which allows for free choice of the law.

  • Restrictions on choice of governing law in event of non-life insurance

    • If a non-life insurance contract is not entered into in compliance with the requirements specified in § 42 of this Act, the parties may still choose the following as the law governing the contract:

      • the law of the state specified in § 40 of this Act in which the insured risk is situated:

      • the law of the state where the residence or directing body of the policy-holder is situated.

    • If the states specified in subsection (1) of this section allow for the choice of any other law, the parties may take advantage of such choice.

    • If an insurance contract covers insured events which may occur in the state of location of the insured risk as well as in a state specified in § 40 of this Act, the parties may choose the law of the latter state.

  • Restrictions on choice of governing law in event of life insurance

    • If a life insurance contract is not entered into in compliance with the requirements specified in clause 42 1) of this Act, the parties may still choose the contract to be governed by the law of a state allowed by the law of the state where the insured risk is situated.

    • If the residence of a policy-holder who is a natural person is not situated in the state specified in § 40 of this Act which is the state of the person’s citizenship, the parties may choose the contract to be governed by the law of the state of the person’s citizenship.

  • Law applicable in absence of choice of law

    • If the parties to an insurance contract have not agreed on the law governing the contract and the residence or directing body of the policy-holder and the insured risk are situated in the territory of the same state, the law of such state applies.

    • If the parties to an insurance contract have not agreed upon the law governing the contract and the circumstances do not meet the requirements provided for in subsection (1) of this section, the contract shall be governed by the law of the state chosen pursuant to §§ 42 and 43 of this Act with which the contract is most closely connected. It is presumed that from among the states specified in § 40 of this Act the contract is most closely connected with the state in which the insured risk is situated. An independent part of the contract which has a closer connection p. 3173with another state the law of which may be chosen pursuant to §§ 42 and 43 of this Act may be governed by the law of that other state.

    • A life insurance contract shall be governed by the law of the state where the insured risk is situated at the moment of entry into the contract. If the insured risk is situated in several different states, the third sentence of subsection (2) of this section applies, respectively.

  • Obligatory insurance

    • A contract of obligatory insurance shall be governed by the law of the state which prescribes the obligation to enter into the insurance contract.

    • If an insurance contract covers insured risks situated in more than one of the states specified in § 40 of this Act and at least one of those states prescribes obligatory insurance, the contract shall be deemed to consist of several contracts each relating to only one state.

    • An insurance contract is in compliance with the requirements for obligatory insurance if it is in compliance with the provisions governing obligatory insurance in the state which prescribes the obligatory insurance.

    • If, pursuant to the law of a state prescribing obligatory insurance, an insurer must notify the competent authority of expiry of insurance cover, the insurer can rely on the absence of insurance cover with regard to third parties only pursuant to the law of such state.

  • Application of general provisions

    • Other aspects of insurance contracts shall be governed by the general provisions relating to the law governing contracts.

Chapter 2 Non-Contractual Obligations

  • Scope of application

    • The provisions of this Chapter shall apply only insofar as not provided otherwise by Regulation (EC) No 864/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the law applicable to non-contractual obligations.

    • The injured party may exercise the right granted to them in Article 7 of the Regulation specified in subsection (1) of this section to opt for the application of the law of the state where the act constituting the basis for the damage was performed or where the event took place, only in the court of first instance until the end of the first court hearing or until the completion of the written preliminary procedure.

  • Unjust enrichment

    • Claims against unjust enrichment which arise from the performance of an obligation shall be governed by the law of the state which governs the actual or presumed legal relationship on the basis of which the obligation was performed.

    • Claims against unjust enrichment which arise from violation of a right of another person shall be governed by the law of the state in which the violation occurred.

    • In other cases, claims arising from unjust enrichment shall be governed by the law of the state in which unjust enrichment occurred.

  • Negotiorum gestio

    • A claim arising from negotiorum gestio shall be governed by the law of the state where the negotiorum gestor performed the act.

    • Claims arising from performance of the obligations of another person shall be governed by the law governing such obligation.

  • Unlawful causing of damage

    • Claims arising from unlawful causing of damage shall be governed by the law of the state where the act or event which forms the basis for causing the damage was performed or occurred.

    • If the consequences do not become evident in the state where the act or event which formed the basis for causing the damage was performed or occurred, the law of the state where the consequences of the act or event became evident shall be applied at the request of the injured party.

  • Direct right of claim against insurer

    • p. 3174An injured party may submit a claim directly against the insurer of the person required to compensate for damage if so prescribed by the law governing the compensation for damage or to the insurance contract.

  • Restrictions to application of foreign law

    • If a claim arising from unlawful causing of damage is governed by foreign law, compensation ordered in Estonia shall not be significantly greater than the compensation prescribed for similar damage by Estonian law.

  • Closer connection

    • If a non-contractual obligation has a closer connection with the law of a state other than that which would be applicable pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter, the law of such other state applies.

    • A closer connection may arise, above all:

      • from a legal relationship or factual connection between the parties;

      • in the cases specified in subsections 48 (2) or (3) or § 49 or 50 of this Act, from the fact that at the time of occurrence of the event or performance of the act with legal effect, the residence of the parties is in the same state. In the case of a legal person, the location of the management board or the body substituting for the management board of the legal person or the place of business connected with the act or event shall be taken into consideration instead of the residence.

  • Choice of governing law

    • The parties may agree on application of Estonian law after occurrence of the event or performance of the act from which a non contractual obligation arose. A choice of law shall not affect the rights of third parties.

Part 7 Family Law

Chapter 1 Marriage

  • Law governing procedure for contraction of marriage

    • If a marriage is contracted in Estonia, Estonian law applies to the procedure for the contraction of the marriage.

    • A marriage contracted in a foreign state is deemed to be valid in Estonia if it is contracted pursuant to the procedure for contraction of marriage provided by the law of the state where the marriage is contracted and the material prerequisites of the marriage are in compliance with the laws of the states of residence of both spouses.

  • Law governing prerequisites for contraction of marriage

    • The prerequisites of and hindrances to the contraction of a marriage and the consequences arising therefrom shall be governed by the law of the state of residence of the prospective spouses.

    • If a prerequisite does not exist for an Estonian citizen for contraction of marriage arising from the law of the state of their residence, Estonian law applies if pursuant to Estonian law the prerequisite for contraction of marriage would have existed.

    • A previous marriage of a prospective spouse shall not hinder contraction of a new marriage if the previous marriage has been terminated on the basis of a decision made or recognised in Estonia, even if such decision is not in accordance with the law of the state of residence of the prospective spouse.

  • General legal consequences of marriage

    • The general legal consequences of a marriage shall be determined by the law of the state where the common residence of the spouses is situated.

    • If the spouses reside in different states but have the same citizenship, the general legal consequences of the marriage shall be determined by the law of the state the citizens of which the spouses are.

    • p. 3175If the spouses reside in different states and have different citizenship, the general legal consequences of the marriage shall be determined on the basis of the law of the state of their last common residence if one of the spouses still resides in such state.

    • If the law governing the general legal consequences of a marriage cannot be determined pursuant to subsections (1)–(3) of this section, the law of the state with which the spouses are otherwise most closely connected applies.

  • Law governing proprietary rights of spouses

    • The proprietary rights of the spouses shall be governed by the law chosen by the spouses. Regardless of the provisions of subsection 11 (2) of this Act, the spouses may choose the law of the state of residence or the state of citizenship of one of the spouses as the law governing their proprietary rights.

    • The fact of the choice of governing law shall be notarised. If the governing law is not chosen in Estonia, the choice of law is formally valid if the formal requirements prescribed for marital property contracts by the chosen law are complied with.

    • If the spouses have not chosen the governing law, the proprietary rights of the spouses shall be governed by the law applicable to the general legal consequences of the marriage (§ 57 of this Act) at the time of contraction of the marriage.

  • Protection of third parties

    • If the residence of at least one of the spouses is in Estonia or at least one of the spouses engages in economic or professional activity in Estonia, the spouses can rely on proprietary rights other than those prescribed by Estonian law with regard to third parties only if the third party concerned was or should have been aware of such rights at the time of creation of the legal relationship.

  • Law governing divorce and nullity of marriage

    • A divorce shall be governed by such law as specified in § 57 of this Act, which is applicable at the time of commencement of the divorce procedure.

    • If a divorce is not permissible pursuant to the law as specified in § 57 of this Act or is permissible only under extremely strict conditions, Estonian law applies instead if one of the spouses resides in Estonia or has Estonian citizenship or resided in Estonia or had Estonian citizenship at the time of contraction of the marriage.

    • Nullity of a marriage shall be governed by the law as specified in § 56 of this Act.

  • Law governing maintenance obligations

    • The Hague Convention of 2 October 1973 on the Law Applicable to Maintenance Obligations (RT II 1999, 24, 140) applies to maintenance obligations arising from family relationships.

Chapter 2 Relationships Between Parent And Child

  • Filiation

    • Establishment and contestation of filiation shall be governed by the law of the state of residence of the child at the time of birth.

    • Filiation from a parent may be established and contested also pursuant to the law of the state of residence of the parent. A parent may recognise a child pursuant to the law of the state of residence of the parent.

    • A child may contest their filiation also pursuant to the law of the state in which the child resides at the time of contestation.

  • Adoption

    • Adoption shall be governed by the law of the state of residence of the adoptive parent. Adoption by spouses shall be governed by the law governing the general legal consequences of the marriage at the time of adoption.

    • If pursuant to the law of the state of residence of a child the consent of the child or another person in a family law relationship with the child is necessary for adoption, the law of the state of residence of the child applies to the consent.

    • p. 3176In addition to the requirements provided for in subsections (1) and (2) of this section, all the other requirements for adoption arising from Estonian law shall be complied with in order to adopt a child whose residence is in Estonia.

  • Adoption in foreign state

    • If adoption is governed by foreign law or if a child is adopted on the basis of a judgment of a foreign court, such adoption has the same effect in Estonia as pursuant to the law under which the child was adopted.

  • Relationships between child and parent

    • Family law relationships between a parent and a child shall be governed by the law of the state of residence of the child.

  • Guardianship and curatorship

    • The law of the state where guardianship or curatorship is established applies to the guardianship or curatorship.

Part 8 Implementation Of Act

  • Entry into force of Act

    • This Act shall enter into force at the time provided for in the Act implementing this Act.

Code of Civil Procedure2

Passed 20 April 2005 RT I 2005, 26, 197 Entry into force 1 January 2006

[…]

Part 2 Jurisdiction

[…]

Chapter 11 General Provisions

  • International jurisdiction

    • The provisions concerning international jurisdiction determine the circumstances under which a matter can be adjudicated by an Estonian court.

    • A matter falls under the jurisdiction of an Estonian court if an Estonian court can adjudicate the matter according to competence and pursuant to the provisions concerning jurisdiction or based on an agreement on jurisdiction, unless otherwise provided by law or an international agreement.

    • International jurisdiction is not exclusive unless otherwise prescribed by law or an international agreement.

    • The provisions of this Code concerning international jurisdiction apply upon determination of the jurisdiction between the courts of the Member States of the European Union only to the extent in which this is not regulated by Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (OJ L 012, 16.01.2001, pp. 1–23), Council Regulation (EC) 2201/2003 concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and p. 3177the matters of parental responsibility, repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1347/2000 (OJ L 338, 23.12.2003, pp. 1–29) and Council Regulation (EC) No 4/2009 on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of decisions and cooperation in matters relating to maintenance obligations (OJ L 007, 10.01.2009, pp. 1–79) or other Council regulations.

  • Agreement on jurisdiction

    • In the cases and pursuant to the procedure prescribed by law, parties may enter into an agreement concerning jurisdiction. An agreement concerning jurisdiction is an agreement to settle a dispute in a specific court.

  • Special jurisdiction of Harju County Court

    • If, pursuant to general provisions, a matter does not fall under the jurisdiction of an Estonian court or such jurisdiction cannot be determined and an international agreement or law does not provide otherwise, the matter is adjudicated by Harju County Court if: 1) the case must be adjudicated in the Republic of Estonia pursuant to an international agreement; 2) the petitioner is a citizen of the Republic of Estonia or has a residence in Estonia, and the petitioner has no possibility to defend his or her rights in a foreign state or the petitioner cannot be expected to do so; 3) the matter concerns Estonia to a significant extent due to another reason and the petitioner has no possibility to defend his or her rights in a foreign state or the petitioner cannot be expected to do so.

    • Harju County Court also adjudicates a matter if the matter falls under the jurisdiction of an Estonian court but it is not possible to determine which court has jurisdiction in the matter. The above also applies if Estonian jurisdiction has been agreed upon without specifying which court has jurisdiction.

  • Jurisdiction determined by court

  • Jurisdiction is determined by the chairman of the court of a higher instance based on a petition of a participant in a proceeding or at the request of the court which received such petition, if:

    • the correct court by jurisdiction cannot exercise judicial power in the matter;

    • it is not clear, considering the boundaries of the territorial jurisdiction of courts, which court has jurisdiction in the matter;

    • several courts have decided regarding a matter that the matter does not fall under their jurisdiction but one of those courts could adjudicate the matter.

  • Matters which fall under jurisdiction of several courts and division of matters among courthouses

    • If a matter falls under the jurisdiction of several Estonian courts concurrently, the petitioner has the right to choose the court with which to file the petition. In such case, the matter is adjudicated by the court which was the first to receive the petition.

    • If an action is filed with the court of the residence or seat of the defendant or with the court of exclusive jurisdiction, the matter is heard in the courthouse in the territorial jurisdiction of which is the defendant’s residence or seat or the place according to which the exclusive jurisdiction is determined. If different places determining jurisdiction otherwise remain within the territorial jurisdiction of one county court, but within the service areas of different courthouses, the plaintiff indicates the courthouse wherein the matter is heard. If the plaintiff fails to indicate it, the place of hearing the matter is determined by the court.

    • Matters on petition are heard in the courthouse in the territorial jurisdiction of which is the place according to which jurisdiction is determined. If different places determining jurisdiction remain within the territorial jurisdiction of one county court, but within the service areas of different courthouses, the place of hearing the matter is determined by the court.

  • Verification of jurisdiction

    • The court which receives a petition verifies whether, pursuant to the provisions concerning international jurisdiction, the petition can be filed with an Estonian court. After this, the court verifies whether the matter falls under the jurisdiction of the court with which the petition was filed.

    • If the matter does not fall under the jurisdiction of such court, the court forwards the petition to the court which has jurisdiction in the matter, unless the court finds that according to international jurisdiction, the matter does not fall under the jurisdiction of an Estonian court.

    • p. 3178A person may request, even before filing a petition, that the court make a ruling on whether or not the matter falls within the jurisdiction of that court. In such case, the draft of the intended statement or petition and other documents necessary for determining jurisdiction shall be added to the request. If necessary, the court may ask for the positions of the presumed defendant or other participants in the proceeding on the adjudication of the request and hear them.

    • (31) The ruling specified in subsection (3) of this section whereby the court finds that the matter does not fall under its jurisdiction is subject to appeal by the person who filed the request. A ruling made by a circuit court concerning an appeal against a ruling is not subject to appeal to the Supreme Court.

    • A higher court does not verify or change jurisdiction on any other grounds except by adjudicating an appeal filed against a court ruling concerning jurisdiction, refusal to accept a petition, refusal to hear a matter or termination of a proceeding. A higher court may also verify on the basis of another appeal whether an Estonian court may adjudicate a matter according to international jurisdiction if it is challenged in the county court.

  • […]

Chapter 12 General Jurisdiction

  • Jurisdiction over person

    • An action against a natural person can be filed with the court of his or her residence and an action against a legal person can be filed with the court of its seat.

    • If the residence of a natural person is not known, an action against the person can be filed with the court of his or her last known residence.

  • Jurisdiction over citizens of Republic of Estonia residing in foreign state

    • An action against a citizen of the Republic of Estonia living in a foreign state who is an extra-territorial person or against a citizen of the Republic of Estonia working in a foreign state who is a civil servant can be filed with the court of the person’s last residence in Estonia.

    • If a person specified in subsection (1) of this section has not had a residence in Estonia, an action can be filed against him or her with Harju County Court.

  • Jurisdiction over Republic of Estonia and local governments

    • An action can be filed against the Republic of Estonia or a local government with the court of the seat of the state agency or local government agency whose activity is the basis for the intended action against the state or local government agency.

    • If the state agency specified in subsection (1) of this section cannot be determined, the action is filed with Harju County Court. If the local government agency specified in subsection (1) of this section cannot be determined, the action is filed with the court of the seat of the rural municipality or city government.

    • A plaintiff can also file an action specified in subsection (1) or (2) of this section with the court of his or her residence.

  • [Repealed]

Chapter 13 Optional Jurisdiction

  • Jurisdiction by place of stay

    • An action involving a proprietary claim can be filed against a natural person also with the court of his or her place of stay if the person has stayed in such place for a longer period of time due to an employment or service relationship, studies or for other such reason.

  • Jurisdiction by place of business

    • An action related to the economic or professional activities of the defendant can also be filed with the court of the place of business thereof.

  • Jurisdiction by seat of legal person

    • p. 3179A legal person based on membership, including a company, or a member, partner or shareholder thereof can file an action arising from membership or holding against a member, partner or shareholder of the legal person also with the court of the seat of the legal person.

  • Jurisdiction by location of property

    • If a person has residence or seat in a foreign state, an action involving a proprietary claim can be filed against such person with the court of the location of the property with respect to which the claim is filed or with the court of the location of other property of the person.

    • If property has been entered in a public register, the action specified in subsection (1) of this section can be filed with the court of the location of the register in which the property is registered.

    • If the property is a claim under the law of obligations, the action specified in subsection (1) of this section can be filed with the court of the residence or seat of the debtor. If the claim is secured by a thing, the action can be filed with the court of the location of the thing.

  • Jurisdiction of action involving claim secured by mortgage or encumbered with real encumbrance

    • An action for the collection of a claim secured by a mortgage or encumbered with a real encumbrance or another action involving a similar claim can also be filed with the court of the location of the immovable provided that the debtor is the owner of the registered immovable which is secured by the mortgage or encumbered with the real encumbrance.

  • Jurisdiction of action arising from apartment ownership

    • An action against an apartment owner which arises from a legal relationship related to apartment ownership can also be filed with the court of the location of the immovable which is the object of the apartment ownership.

  • Jurisdiction by place of performance of contract

    • An action arising from a contract or an action for ascertainment of the invalidity of a contract can also be filed with the court of the place of performance of the contested contractual obligation.

    • In the case of a contract for the sale of a movable, the place where the movable was delivered or had to be delivered to the buyer and, in the case of a contract for provision of a service, the place where the service was provided or had to be provided is deemed to be the place of performance of the obligation within the meaning of subsection (1) of this section. In other cases, the place of business or in the absence thereof, the residence or seat of the debtor is deemed to be the place of performance of the obligation within the meaning of subsection (1) of this section.

    • The provisions of subsection (2) of this section apply insofar as the parties have not agreed otherwise.

  • Jurisdiction by residence of consumer

    • An action arising from a contract or relationship specified in §§ 35, 46 or 52, subsection 208 (4), §§ 379 or 402, subsection 635 (4) or §§ 709, 734 or 866 of the Law of Obligations Act or an action arising from another contract concluded with an undertaking having a seat or place of business in Estonia can also be filed by a consumer with the court of the residence of the consumer. The above does not apply to actions arising from contracts of carriage.

  • Jurisdiction of action arising from insurance contract

    • A policyholder, beneficiary or other person entitled to demand performance from the insurer on the basis of an insurance contract can also file an action arising from the insurance contract against the insurer with the court of the residence or seat of the person.

    • In the case of liability insurance, or insurance of a construction works, immovable or movables together with a construction works or immovable, an action can also be filed against the insurer with the court of the place of performance of the act or occurrence of the event which caused the damage or the place where the damage was caused.

  • Jurisdiction by residence or place of work of employee

    • An employee can also file an action arising from his or her employment contract with the court of his or her residence or place of work.

  • Jurisdiction of action arising from bill of exchange or cheque

    • An action arising from a bill of exchange or cheque can also be filed with the court of the place of payment for the bill of exchange or cheque.

  • p. 3180Jurisdiction of action arising from illegal causing of damage

    • An action for compensation for illegally caused damage can also be filed with the court of the place of performance of the act or occurrence of the event which caused the damage or the place where the damage was caused.

  • Jurisdiction of action arising from maritime claim, rescue work or rescue contract

    • An action arising from one or several maritime claims specified in the Law of Maritime Property Act can also be filed with the court of the location of the ship of the defendant or of the home port of the ship.

    • An action arising from rescue works or a rescue contract can also be filed with the court of the place of performance of the rescue works.

  • Jurisdiction over action for division of estate

    • An action the object of which is the establishment of the right of succession, a successor’s claim against the possessor of the estate, a claim arising from a legacy or succession contract or a claim for a compulsory portion or for division of an estate can also be filed with the court of the residence at the time of the death of the bequeather.

    • If the bequeather was a citizen of the Republic of Estonia but at the time of death had no residence in Estonia, the action specified in subsection (1) of this section can also be filed with the court of the bequeather’s last residence in Estonia. If the bequeather had no residence in Estonia, the action can be filed with Harju County Court.

  • Action against co-defendants and several actions against same defendant

    • An action against several defendants can be filed with the court of the residence or seat of one co-defendant at the plaintiff’s choice.

    • If several actions can be filed against one defendant on the basis of the same fact, the actions can also be filed with the court with which an action with one claim or some of the claims arising from the same fact could be filed.

  • Jurisdiction of counterclaim and action by third person with independent claim

    • A counterclaim can be filed with the court with which the action was filed provided that the conditions for filing a counterclaim are complied with and the counterclaim does not fall under exclusive jurisdiction. The above also applies in the cases where pursuant to general provisions, the counterclaim should be filed with a court of a foreign state.

    • An action by a third party with an independent claim can be filed with the court hearing the main action.

  • § 981. Jurisdiction in bankruptcy proceedings

    • An action concerning bankruptcy proceedings or bankruptcy estate against a bankrupt, trustee in bankruptcy or a member of the bankruptcy committee, including an action for exclusion of property from a bankruptcy estate, can also be filed with the court which declared the bankruptcy. An action for acceptance of a claim can also be filed with the court which declared the bankruptcy.

    • A bankrupt can also file an action concerning the bankruptcy estate, including an action for recovery, with the court which declared the bankruptcy.

Chapter 14 Exclusive Jurisdiction

  • Jurisdiction by location of immovable

    • An action with the following objects is filed with the court of the location of the immovable:

      • a claim related to the recognition of the existence of the right of ownership, limited real right or other real right encumbrance concerning an immovable, or recognition of absence of such rights or encumbrances, or a claim related to other rights in immovables;

      • determination of boundaries or division of an immovable;

      • protection of the possession of an immovable;

      • a claim with respect to a real right arising from apartment ownership;

      • a claim related to compulsory enforcement of an immovable;

      • p. 3181a claim arising from a lease contract or commercial lease contract concerning an immovable or other contract for the use of an immovable under the law of obligations, or from the validity of such contracts.

      • An action related to real servitude, real encumbrance or right of preemption is filed with the court of the location of the servient or encumbered immovable.

  • Claim for termination of application of standard terms

    • An action for termination of application of an unfair standard term or for termination and withdrawal of recommendation of the term by the person recommending application of the term (§ 45 of the Law of Obligations Act) is filed with the court of the place of business of the defendant or, in the absence thereof, with the court of the residence or seat of the defendant. If the defendant has no place of business, residence or seat in Estonia, the action is filed with the court under whose territorial jurisdiction the standard term was applied.

  • Jurisdiction of matter of revocation of decision of body of legal person or establishment of invalidity thereof

    • An action for revocation of a decision of a body of a legal person or for establishment of invalidity thereof is filed with the court of the seat of the legal person.

  • Jurisdiction of matrimonial matters

    • Matrimonial matters are civil matters for the adjudication of actions the object of which is:

      • divorce;

      • annulment of marriage;

      • establishment of existence or absence of marriage;

      • division of joint property or other claims arising from the proprietary relationship between the spouses;

      • other claims arising from the marital relationship of a spouse filed against the other spouse.

    • An Estonian court is competent to adjudicate a matrimonial matter if:

      • at least one of the spouses is a citizen of the Republic of Estonia or was a citizen at the time of contracting the marriage;

      • the residences of both spouses are in Estonia;

      • the residence of one spouse is in Estonia, except where the judgment to be made would clearly not be recognised in the country of nationality of either spouse.

    • In a matrimonial matter to be adjudicated by an Estonian court, an action is filed with the court of the joint residence of the spouses and in the absence thereof, with the court of the residence of the defendant. If the residence of the defendant is not in Estonia, the action is filed with the court of the residence of a common child of the parties who is a minor and, in the absence of a common child who is a minor, with the court of the residence of the plaintiff.

    • If custody has been established over the property of an absent person due to the person going missing or a guardian has been appointed to a person due to his or her restricted active legal capacity or if imprisonment has been imposed on a person as punishment, a divorce action against such person can also be filed with the court of the residence of the plaintiff.

  • Jurisdiction of filiation matter and maintenance matter

    • A filiation matter is a civil matter where an action with the object of establishment of filiation or contestation of an entry concerning a parent in the birth registration of a child or in the population register is adjudicated.

    • An Estonian court can adjudicate a filiation matter if at least one of the parties is a citizen of the Republic of Estonia or at least one of the parties has a residence in Estonia.

    • In a filiation matter to be adjudicated by an Estonian court, the action is filed with the court of the residence of the child. If the residence of the child is not in Estonia, the action is filed with the court of the residence of the defendant. If the residence of the defendant is not in Estonia, the action is filed with the court of the residence of the plaintiff.

    • The provisions of subsections (2) and (3) of this section also apply to maintenance matters. A maintenance matter is a civil matter for the adjudication of an action the object of which is a claim for:

      • p. 3182performance of maintenance obligation of a parent arising from law with respect to a minor child;

      • performance of a maintenance obligation between parents;

      • performance of a maintenance obligation between spouses;

      • performance of other maintenance obligation arising from law.

  • […]

Chapter 62 Recognition And Enforcement Of Court Decisions In Civil Matters And Other Enforcement Instruments Of Foreign States

  • Recognition of court decisions and other enforcement instruments of Member States of European Union

    • The provisions of this Code apply to the recognition and enforcement in Estonia of court decisions and other enforcement instruments of Member States of the European Union to the extent not otherwise provided by Council Regulation 44/2001/EC on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters, Council Regulation 2201/2003/EC concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility, repealing Regulation 1347/2000/EC, Regulation (EC) No 805/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council, creating a European Enforcement Order for uncontested claims (OJ L 143, 30.04.2004, pp. 15–39), Regulation (EC) No 896/2006, Regulation (EC) No 861/2007, Council Regulation (EC) No 4/2009 on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of decisions and cooperation in matters relating to maintenance obligations and other regulations of the European Parliament and of the Council.

    • [Repealed]

    • [Repealed]

  • § 6191. Implementation of Regulation (EC) No 805/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council

    • Certificates under Articles 6(2), 6(3), 9(1) and 24(1) of Regulation (EC) No 805/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council are issued by the county courts having made the court decision. According to Article 25(1) of the regulation, certification of a public document prepared concerning a claim as a European Enforcement Order is issued by Harju County Court.

    • The issue of a certificate specified in subsection (1) of this section is adjudicated by the court in written proceedings. The certificate is served on the defendant or debtor and sent to the person having requested the certificate. A ruling on refusal to issue a certificate is served on the petitioner and the petitioner may file an appeal against the ruling.

    • In the case specified in Article 10(1)(a) of the regulation specified in subsection (1) of this section, the court having made the decision may rectify the ruling on certification of the decision as a European Enforcement Order on the same grounds and pursuant to the same procedure as Estonian court decisions.

    • In the case specified in Article 10(1)(b) of the regulation specified in subsection (1) of this section, the court having issued a certificate may withdraw the certificate by a ruling on the basis of a petition by the defendant or debtor if the certificate was issued incorrectly. The defendant or debtor may file a petition for withdrawal of the certificate within 30 days after the service of the court decision or another enforcement order and certificate, in the case of service abroad within two months after the service of the court decision or another enforcement order and certificate. An appeal may be filed against a ruling on withdrawal of the certificate or refusal to do so.

    • In conformity with Article 20(2)(c) of the regulation specified in subsection (1) of this section, a European Enforcement Order is accepted for enforcement in Estonia only if it is prepared in Estonian or English or if Estonian or English translation is annexed to the certificate.

    • p. 3183The provisions concerning enforcement proceedings in Estonia apply to the enforcement of a European Enforcement Order in the enforcement proceeding in Estonia and the debtor’s legal remedies insofar as not prescribed otherwise by the regulation specified in subsection (1) of this section.

  • Recognition of court decisions of other foreign states in civil matters

    • A court decision in a civil matter made by a foreign state is subject to recognition in the Republic of Estonia, except in the case where:

      • recognition of the decision would be clearly contrary to the essential principles of Estonian law (public order) and, above all, the fundamental rights and freedoms of persons;

      • the defendant or other debtor was unable to reasonably defend the rights thereof and, above all, if the summons or other document initiating the proceeding was not served on time and in the requisite manner, unless such person had a reasonable opportunity to contest the decision and the person failed to do so within the prescribed term;

      • the decision is in conflict with an earlier decision made in Estonia in the same matter between the same parties or if an action between the same parties has been filed with an Estonian court;

      • the decision is in conflict with a decision of a foreign court in the same matter between the same parties which has been earlier recognised or enforced in Estonia;

      • the decision is in conflict with a decision made in a foreign state in the same matter between the same parties which has not been recognised in Estonia, provided that the earlier court decision of the foreign state is subject to recognition or enforcement in Estonia;

      • the court which made the decision could not make the decision in compliance with the provisions of Estonian law regulating international jurisdiction.

    • A court decision of a foreign state is recognised in Estonia only if the decision has entered into force pursuant to the law of the state which made the decision unless, pursuant to law or an international agreement, such decision is subject to recognition and enforcement as of the time such decision can be enforced in the state of the location of the court which made the decision.

    • A court decision of a foreign state is recognised in Estonia without a need to conduct separate court proceedings. However, adjudication of its recognition may be requested pursuant to the procedure prescribed in this Chapter for declaring a decision enforceable if there is a dispute on recognition or if it is necessary to a person due to another reason for the purpose of exercising his or her rights.

    • If adjudication of another court matter depends on the recognition of a court decision of a foreign state, the recognition may be decided by the court adjudicating such court matter.

  • Procedure for enforcement of court decision of foreign state

    • Unless otherwise provided by law or an international agreement, a court decision of a foreign state is subject to enforcement in Estonia only after the decision has been declared to be subject to enforcement by the Estonian court.

  • Petition for declaring court decision of foreign state enforceable

    • A petition for declaring a court decision of a foreign state enforceable is submitted in writing, and the following is annexed thereto:

      • a transcript of the court decision authenticated pursuant to the requirements of the law of the state of the location of the court which made the decision;

      • a document which confirms that an action, summons or other document initiating the proceeding has been served in time on at least one occasion pursuant to the law of such state on the defendant or based on the decision, on another debtor who did not participate in the proceeding;

      • a document which certifies that the decision has entered into force pursuant to the law of the state where the decision was made and has been communicated to the defendant or based on the decision, another debtor;

      • p. 3184documents concerning the enforcement of the decision if enforcement has already been attempted;

      • documents concerning the enforcement of the decision if the decision has already been enforced;

      • translations into Estonian of the documents specified in clauses 1)–5) of this subsection made by a sworn translator or certified by a notary.

    • A court may set the petitioner a term for submission of the documents specified in subsection (1) of this section. If the circumstances allow, the court may adjudicate a matter without requiring such documents.

    • In order to secure a petition, the court may apply the measures for securing an action by way of provisional legal protection.

  • Ruling on declaring court decision of foreign state enforceable

    • Upon adjudication of a petition for declaring a court decision of a foreign state enforceable, the court examines the prerequisites for recognition of the court decision. The court does not verify the correctness of the court decision in the part of the merits of the matter.

    • [Repealed]

    • If necessary, the court may hear the debtor and the claimant, and obtain an explanation from the court whose decision is to be recognized or enforced.

    • If enforcement of a decision depends on the provision of a security by the person who, based on the decision, is the claimant, or on other circumstances, or if declaration of enforceability of a decision is requested by a person other than the person specified in the decision as the claimant, or if enforcement of a decision is requested in respect of a person other than the person specified in the decision as the debtor, the court evaluates the existence of the prerequisites for enforcement of the decision based on the law of the state of the location of the court which made the decision and based on the evidence provided by the participants in the proceeding.

    • [Repealed]

    • In a ruling, the court makes a reference to the right of the claimant to submit the court decision declared to be subject to enforcement to an Estonian bailiff for enforcement.

    • A ruling on refusing to satisfy a petition is served on the claimant. A ruling on satisfying a petition is served on the claimant and debtor.

  • Amendment or annulment of court decision declared to be subject to enforcement

    • If a court decision declared to be subject to enforcement is annulled or amended in the state of the location of the court which made the decision, and the debtor can no longer rely on such fact in the proceeding for declaring the decision enforceable, the debtor may file a petition for annulment or amendment of the declaration of enforceability of the decision with the court which declared the decision to be subject to enforcement.

    • The court adjudicates the petition specified in subsection (1) of this section pursuant to the procedure for adjudicating a petition for declaration of a court decision enforceable.

    • Among other, the court may, in order to secure a petition by way of provisional legal protection, suspend the enforcement proceeding arising from the decision declared to be subject to enforcement, permit the continuation of the enforcement proceeding only against a security or revoke the enforcement action.

    • If a petition is satisfied, the court annuls or amends the declaration of a court decision to be subject to enforcement.

  • Filing of appeal against ruling

    • The claimant may file an appeal against a ruling on refusal to declare a court decision of a foreign state to be subject to enforcement or a ruling on annulment of declaring such decision enforceable.

    • The claimant and the debtor may file an appeal against a ruling on declaring a court decision of a foreign to be subject to enforcement or a ruling on amendment of declaring such decision enforceable. The term for filing an appeal against a ruling is one month after the date of service of the ruling or, in the case of service of the ruling in a foreign state, two months after the date of service thereof.

    • p. 3185Until the end of the term for filing appeals against a ruling on declaring a decision of a foreign state to be subject to enforcement or the entry into force of a decision made concerning an appeal against the ruling, only the measures prescribed for securing an action may be applied for the compulsory enforcement of a court decision of a foreign state. The debtor has the right to prevent compulsory enforcement by providing a security in the amount in which the petitioner is entitled to request compulsory enforcement of the judgment. However, seized movables may be sold in the course of an enforcement proceeding and the money received from the sale may be deposited with the permission of the court if the seized property could otherwise be destroyed or its value could significantly decrease or if deposition of the property is unreasonably expensive.

  • Compensation for damage caused to debtor

    • If a ruling on declaring a court decision of a foreign state to be subjectto enforcement or declaration of such court decision to be subject to enforcement is annulled or amended, the claimant shall compensate the debtor for the costs incurred by the debtor as a result of the enforcement proceeding or the costs incurred thereby in order to prevent compulsory enforcement.

  • Recognition of other enforcement instruments of foreign states

    • The provisions of this Chapter correspondingly apply to the recognition and enforcement of enforcement instruments notarially authenticated in a foreign state or other public enforcement orders, unless otherwise provided by this section.

    • A public document prepared in a foreign state is recognised in Estonia as an enforcement instrument if:

      • its format complies with the requirements set for enforcement instruments subject to immediate enforcement prepared in Estonia, and

      • it is subject to immediate enforcement is the state of its preparation, and

      • it is not contrary to Estonian public order.

  • […]

Translation reproduced from <www.riigiteataja.ee/en/eli/513112013009/consolide> (last accessed on 26 January 2016). The editors wish to thank the Estonian Ministry of Justice for the permission to reprint the translation.

Translation reproduced from <www.riigiteataja.ee/en/eli/514022014002/consolide> (last accessed on 26 January 2016). The editors wish to thank the Estonian Ministry of Justice for the permission to reprint the translation.