Check out my post at Quickthink about this case study.
The Estonian Supreme Court issued an opinion a few months ago that will make banks a bit grumpy and affect local commercial practice here.
The judgment related to a substantial purchase agreement. Two sureties backed the buyer to the extent of approximately one half of the total sales price. The buyer defaulted and the question was whether each surety would have to chip in to make up the full amount. Answer - no. Based on mandatory protections in the commercial code, they were solidarily liable for half of the amount, but their obligations go no further. The seller was not happy.
Ah well. Looks like this type of security arrangement just got more expensive here.
Civil case No 3-2-1-24-10, OSAÜHING CHE-T vs AS Tsentrum Invest and others
In our legal writing two day course last month, one of the topics was how to weed out relevant from irrelevant facts in a case. Doing this right is critical in managing every stage of a transaction and dispute. Perhaps even more important, amidst the mass of data is a “key fact” — the fact that holds everything together.
This idea comes out very nicely in this editorial by William Cohan about a recent trial of two Bears Stearns brokers. Was the key fact “he lied in an email”? Or was the key fact “from 6 to 60 percent”? You decide.
This is a problem that we should have anticipated. First you provide incentives for cross border commercial activity. Second, you lower the barrier for establishing entities cross border. Third, you provide financing to get people to invest. The result? Insolvencies that spill over borders.
So, is the European Cross Border Insolvency regime up managing this? Good question.
This quote caught my eye from Adam Liptak’s review of a new biography of Louis Brandeis by Prof. Urofsky
Brandeis thought the law an instrument of morality and progress.
How many would share that view these days?
Olivia Judson usually writes about science. But here she has an interesting story to tell about English libel law. This quote caught my eye
the average cost of defending a libel case in England and Wales is 140 times greater than it is in most of the rest of Europe.
A quick note on a digital resource - TANDIS standing for Tolerance and Non-Discrimination Information System. With a survey of reports on Estonia.
QucikLaw is just starting to review the annual reports from the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights in order to draw some conclusions about Estonia’s compliance with its FR obligations. First, we are assembling some useful links
From Developments in Member States from January to November 2008
Developments regarding the bill on equal treatment
The second reading of the draft Equal Treatment Act took place on 23 October 2008, as decided by the Constitutional Committee of the Estonian parliament. The committee has discussed the draft five times in September and October 2008. The adoption of the bill is supposed to finalise the transposition of the Council Directives 2000/43/EC and 2000/78/EC into national legislation.
On october 18, 2006 the Committee for Ellimination of Racial Discrimination issued its Concluding Observations on Estonia’s progress.
The report lists five positive aspects (paras. 4 - 8 )
1. decisions by the Estonian Supreme Court on equal protection and the rights of families (para 4)
2. efforts by the state on integration of minorities (para 5)
3. on the right of non-citizens to participate in local elections (para 6)
4. on efforts to combat trafficking in persons (para 7)
5. on efforts to combat hate speach on the internet (para 8 )
The report lists twelve concerns (paras. 9 - 20)
1. The definition of national minority, provided under the Law on Cultural Autonomy of National Minorities of 1993, excludes noncitizens (para 9)
2. limitations on the Chancellor of Justice in protection of rights and the absence of a Human Rights Institute based on the Paris Principles (para 10)
3. the absence of comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation (para 11)
4. portrayal of discriminatory images of the Roma community in the media (para 12)
5. Russian-speaking minorities are disproportionately represented in the population of convicted prisoners (para 13)
6. article 48 of the Constitution recognizes the right of membership of political parties only for Estonian citizens (para 14)
7. the strict language requirements set forth in the Citizenship Act for the acquisition of Estonian citizenship. The Committee further notes with regret that the State party has not yet implemented the recommendation, made in its previous concluding observations, to become a party to the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness and the Convention relating to the Status of Stateless (para 15)
8. the high rate of unemployment among members of minorities, in particular Russian-speaking minorities (para 16)
9. the high rate of HIV/AIDS among persons belonging to minorities (para 17)
10. the limited proportion of Roma children who attend school (para 18)
11- very few acts of racial discrimination have been prosecuted and punished in the State party (para 19)
12. only 4.8 per cent of Estonian television has bilingual programming (para 20)
After making a number of other recommendations, the Concluding Remarks set forth in para 27 that Estonia should within one year provide information on the way it has followed up on the Committee’s recommendations contained in paragraphs 11, 15 and 16 and submit jointly its eighth and ninth periodic report by 20 November 2008.
The LAF is beginning to update its profile of Estonia’s compliance with fundamental rights obligations. This will be an ongoing process that will take place over the next six months. To make it easier to access this information, we will add new categories to Quicklaw, and post information as we go.