Chancellor of Justice: Municipalities responsible for gravestones in cemeteries | News

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Accordingly, the Chancellor recommends that local governments and ministries agree on whether or not to amend the relevant legislation.

Since the paraphernalia is on municipal land, managed by the local government, this makes it the property and responsibility of the local government, she added.

According to Madise, they cannot be transferred to the property of others by a decree of the council. “Neither the law on cemeteries nor any other law gives the council such a right,” Madise noted.

Madise said: “Among the provisions of the rules on the use of cemeteries, it can be concluded, among other things, that most rural and urban municipalities have no desire to become owners of funeral facilities and permanently connected terminals. to municipal land. “

However: “During the resolution of the requests submitted to the Chancellor of Justice, it became clear that according to the rules of use in most municipal cemeteries, funeral structures and markers installed on the cemetery should be considered as the ownership of the user cemetery, ”Madise noted, especially since the councils started them this ownership.

Given the nature of the land use, the Chancellor called for sensitivity in the proceedings.

“The principles of legal peace and clarity, the need to bear in mind any situation arising from the repeal of illegal provisions and the social sensitivity of the issue of cemeteries should guide such a solution”, added the Chancellor of the justice.

The majority of municipalities have in fact come to consider tombstones, funeral stelae and others as the property of “users”, reports the ERR, probably referring to the families or wards of those buried rather than to those buried themselves. themselves.

Madise therefore appealed to the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Finance, as well as the Association of Estonian Cities and Municipalities (Eesti Linnade ja Valdade Liit) to discuss property rights issues related to cemeteries and memorials. , including the rights and obligations associated with the use of a cemetery.

The Chancellor expects a response from these bodies by nest month.

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