Estonian Bar Association operates via its bodies.
The bodies of the Bar are the General Assembly, the Board, the President, the Audit Committee, the Ethics Tribunal and the Admissions and Aptitude Assessment Committee. The competency of the bodies of the Bar is set out in a statute. The legal instruments, resolutions and decisions of the bodies of the Bar are mandatory for members of the Bar.
The General Assembly is the highest body of the Bar. The General Assembly comprises all members of the Bar. Attorneys-at-law have the right to vote. The annual meeting of the General Assembly is convened by the Board at least once a year.
The President represents the Bar in all legal operations. The President is a member of the Board of the Bar, organises the work of the Board and chairs the meetings of the Board. The President is elected from among attorneys-at-law for three years. In the absence of the President, their functions are performed by the Vice President.
The Board is the permanent management body of the Bar. The Board has at least seven members. The Board is elected from among attorneys-at-law for three years.
1) manages the Bar;
2) manages the assets of the Bar and organises the Bar’s accounting;
3) elects the Vice President of the Bar from among its members;
4) appoints the Executive Secretary who performs executive and organisational tasks given by the Board;
5) appoints attorney members of the Admissions and Aptitude Assessment Committee and their substitute members;
6) decides the admission to the Bar and the awarding of the professional title of an attorney-at-law;
7) decides the granting of the right to act as an associate member of the Bar;
8) oversees the legal practices of and adherence to the rules of professional ethics by members of the Bar;
9) oversees the legal practices of and adherence to the rules of professional ethics by attorneys of foreign countries practising in Estonia;
10) appoints a patron for an assistant attorney-at-law;
11) at the request of an attorney or on another ground set out in this Act excludes the attorney from the Bar;
13) organises the continuing training of attorneys;
14) organises the verification of the professional aptitude of attorneys;
15) where elements characteristic of a disciplinary offence become evident, makes a proposal to the Ethics Tribunal to institute proceedings against an attorney;
16) issues Bar membership cards and attorney certificates;
17) organises the provision of state-funded legal aid by attorneys in accordance with the State-funded Legal Aid Act and establishes a procedure for provision of legal aid;
18) performs other statutory functions or functions related to managing the Bar.
The Audit Committee checks the economic activities of the Bar and the clerical business of the President, the Board and the Executive Secretary. The organisation of provision of state-funded legal aid and the use of funds allocated from the state budget are also considered the Bar’s economic activities.
The Ethics Tribunal hears disciplinary offence cases of attorneys and other matters placed within the competence of the Ethics Tribunal by a statute.