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.
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 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.
In general, the functions of the Ministry include making proposals for planning national defence politics, implementing the planned activities, and the organisation of national defence, which comprises the following:
- to determine the overall guidelines for national defence;
- to organise international co-operation in the sphere of national defence;
- to arrange the preparation and implementation of mobilisation;
- to implement the subsequent record management and training of reservists;
- to arrange and finance the activities of the Defence Forces and the Defence League;
- to develop the defence industry;
- to supervise the activities of the Defence Forces and the Defence League
- to draft subsequent legislation.
The Ministry’s area of responsibility includes the Defence Forces; the Defence Resources Agency, which organises recruitment and conscription issues; the Information Board; the educational institutions of the Defence Forces; the Estonian War Museum - General Laidoner Museum , which showcases military history; and Seli Health Centre, which provides rehabilitation services to military personnel. The authority of the Minister includes supervision over all the divisions and offices for the purposes of lawfulness and expedience.
The safeguarding of Estonia's security and welfare, as well as the promoting of Estonia's interests in the world, by planning and implementing the nation's foreign policy and co-ordinating its foreign relations.