Estonian government to mull creation of victim support fund

  • 2019-02-17
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - The Estonian Ministry of Justice has proposed for the government to create a victim support fund in order to offer assistance to victims in cases where enforcement proceedings against the offender do not yield any results for the victim, public broadcaster ERR reports.

Pursuant to the proposal, victims as natural persons to whom payment of compensation for damage cause has been ordered in a criminal matter could turn to the support fund. Advisor to the Justice Ministry's criminal policy department, Katlin-Chris Kruusmaa, told ERR that compensation would be prompted by initiation of enforcement proceedings and, if that does not yield any results, a corresponding application appended with the bailiff's certification will be issued to the victim support fund.

"After the sum has been compensated, the right of claim will be fully transferred to the state, which shall continue the recovery of the sum from the offender," Kruusmaa said.

The Ministry of Justice has proposed to the government that the victim support fund should be governed by the National Social Insurance Board, in which the department for victim support is currently performing similar functions. The current target group of the department, however, is very narrow and few victims receive support, whereas the number thereof should be much higher.

"In accordance with the proposal, compensation will be awarded in full from the victim support fund in case of damages up to 1,000 euros, claims exceeding that are subject to 80 percent compensation, but not less than 1,000 euros," Kruusmaa said, adding that the annual size of the fund according to preliminary calculations could be some two million euros.

The proposal's entry into force requires that the Ministry of Social Affairs as well as the Ministry of Justice should introduce relevant amendments to legislation, which have yet to be initiated.