The main duty of the Ministry of Justice is to plan and to carry out a legal and criminal policy of the state, which will help ensure an open and secure society, where people may be assured of the use and protection of their rights.
To that end, the Ministry of Justice:
- shall coordinate, together with other institution, the combat against crime, in order to reduce the damage inflicted upon society by crime and to increase the feeling of security among the population;
- shall guarantee smoothness of case management by quick and effective proceedings, and by high-quality and available legal assistance;
- shall guarantee legal certainty and create prerequisites for economic growth by insuring protection of economic rights, effective execution proceeding, availability of notarial services, and quality of court registers;
- shall strengthen the principles of a democratic state based on the rule of law by helping to guarantee the fundamental rights of the people and by structuring state management.
As coordinator of legislative drafting, the Ministry of Justice stands for the systematic development of law and supports the formation of quality legislative drafting. To that end, it sees to it that new legislation is drafted in conformity with the constitution and other acts and with the general principles of public and private law.
The institutions in the administrative field of the ministry are the following:
- county, administrative and circuit courts;
- Prosecutor’s Office;
- Centre of Registers and Information Systems;
- Patent Office;
- Estonian Competition Authority
- Data Protection Inspectorate;
- Estonian Forensic Institute.
The ministry manages the institutions of the administrative field strategically, not directly – by developing their trends, specifying the objectives and analyzing the performance, guaranteeing the budget, exercising supervision etc.
The competence of the Ministry of Justice also includes organizing the professional activities and legal services of the notaries’ offices, the work of the service of sworn translators and bailiffs, coordinating crime prevention and harmonization of Estonian legislations with the law of the European Union, processing international rogatory letters, and guaranteeing the legality of the activities of the Bar Association, and organizing the representation of the state in judicial proceedings.
A total of more than 3,300 people are employed in the administrative field of the ministry, 160 of whom work in the ministry.