Abstract: The article gives an overview of how new legislation was drafted and adopted in Estonia after the country regained its independence. Estonia was one of the republics of the Soviet Union and became independent again in 1991. The new situation suddenly necessitated new legislation, which had to suit a democratic state with a market economy, and also be in line with the standards of developed European countries. It took ten years (1991–2001) to create the new legislation, the cornerstones of which are the Civil Code and the Commercial Code. The Civil Code was adopted in five parts: the General Part of the Civil Code Act (1994, replaced with a new version in 2001), Family Law Act (1995), Law of Property Act (1993), Law of Succession Act (1997) and Law of Obligations Act (2001); the Commercial Code was passed in 1995. The article introduces the content of all the aforementioned laws. The comparative method was the main method in drafting the new laws. The laws of Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, France, Italy, and the Scandinavian countries, as well as the Civil Codes of the State of Louisiana and the Province of Quebec were followed as the most important examples. Internationally harmonized legislation, such as the Vienna Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, as well as sample laws such as the Principles of European Contract Law and Principles of International Commercial Contracts were also used as sources. Drafting the new private law legislation largely fell into the period when Estonia was a candidate state to the European Union, which is why he European Union law was already taken into account when preparing the drafts. By the time Estonia became a Member State of the EU (2004), its private law legislation was in harmony with the EU requirements. Although the legislations of former USSR republics and socialist countries have developed at varying paces, the legislative analysis of Estonia, which is the subject of the article, also reflects the developments of the ‘countries in transition’ that are in the same situation and where new social and economic conditions necessitated new laws. A major objective in drafting the new laws was to make them understandable and acceptable to persons from other countries, thus paving the way for international cooperation.
Résumé: L’article donne un aperçu de la manière dont l’Estonie, de nouveau indépendante, a procédé à l’élaboration et à l’adoption d’une nouvelle législation. L’Estonie est une ancienne République de l’Union soviétique qui regagna son indépendance en 1991. Dans ce nouveau contexte, le besoin s’est rapidement fait sentir d’avoir une législation qui soit adaptée à un État démocratique, dans lequel fonctionne l’économie de marché et qui satisfasse aux normes des pays développés de l’Europe. L’Estonie a mis dix ans (de 1991 à 2001) pour établir une nouvelle législation, dont les principaux textes de base sont le Code civil et le Code de commerce. Le Code civil a été adopté en cinq parties: la loi relative à la partie gènérale du Code civil (1994, remplacée par une nouvelle version en 2001), la loi sur la famille (1995), la loi sur les biens (1993), la loi sur les successions (1997) et la loi sur les obligations (2001), le Code de commer European Review of Private Law