Dear reader

Author:Paul Varul
Dear reader,
The rst issue of Juridica International was published in 1996, meaning that we
can now celebrate the journal’s 20-year anniversary. Peep Pruks, dean of the Fac-
ulty of Law at that time and the editor and head of publisher Iuridicum Foundation
throughout the years, started the foreword of the rst Juridica International with
the following words: ‘The purpose of Juridica International is to give an overview of
[the] Estonian legal system and report on the developments in legal reform’*1. The
journal has ful lled this purpose for the full 20 years of its existence thus far, while
the objectives have become somewhat wider and more ambitious. In addition to
the developments in justice in Estonia, Juridica International has addressed global
legal problems, mainly those arising within the European Union.
In the mid-’90s, the main issue facing Estonian jurisprudence surrounded the
creation of a new legal system in the wake of the 1991 re-establishment of Estonian
national independence. After Estonia become a European Union membership can-
didate in 1995 and then a member state in 2004, harmonisation of Estonian legis-
lation with that of the European Union, alongside the law of the European Union
itself, gained increasing focus. The harmonisation of Estonia’s law with the law of
the European Union largely coincided with the intense work to create Estonia’s new
legal system. Therefore, in numerous cases, there was no need for harmonising an
existing act with the law of the European Union – the EU law was taken into account
in the preparation of the new acts. With the new legal system mostly completed as
the 2000s rolled in, our objective was no longer so much to provide an introduc-
tion to Estonian law as to participate in international discussion of important legal
issues. We are very glad that the authors contributing to Juridica International
include many internationally recognised lawyers, which is why the main focus of the
journal has shifted from expounding on Estonian law to addressing issues of greater
international relevance. The primary emphasis has been on developments in the law
of the European Union, including the possibilities for harmonisation across the vari-
ous elds of law in the countries of Europe*2. However, Estonian law has not been
neglected. Estonia’s new legal system is special in that, in its creation, mainly for
establishment of the new private law, international models, among them the Prin-
ciples of European Contract Law and the Principles of Commercial Contracts, have
been used as relevant sources. Therefore, the Estonian example can be utilised for
monitoring the actual ef ciency of the so-called sample provisions and principles –
the effects in practice. The Estonian experience may, accordingly, prove interesting
also for legislators in other countries. In a way, Juridica International has become a
chronicle that re ects the 20 years over which a new legal system for a country has
been built, in tandem with its combination with the legal system of the European
Union. It enables one to observe that in today’s Europe, increasing numbers of legal
issues are similar between countries, and it shows how the law has become global in
nature. I am extremely pleased that the international readership of Juridica Inter-
national has increased steadily throughout the years. Since January 2002, our read-
ers have had the opportunity to access the online version of the journal, with more
1 See Juridica International 1996, p. 1.
2 Let us note here that the rst article in the rst issue of Juridica International was the paper
by Prof. Heiki Pisuke titled ‘Estonia and the European Union: European Integration in Estonia’
(Juridica International 1996, pp. 2–5).

To continue reading