Recent case law in Estonia: Revocation of a building permit is a discretionary decision of an administrative body which involves ensuring the individual's right to be heard

  • 2007-02-28
  • By Kaido Loor [ Sorainen Law Offices partner ]
The Administrative Law Chamber of the Supreme Court of Estonia made an important decision regarding the regulation on revocation of building permits. Subsection 28(1) of the Building Act sets out several bases for revoking a building permit. The Supreme Court held that despite the seemingly imperative formulation of the provision, revocation of a building permit is a discretionary decision that requires thorough consideration of both public and private interests as well as the legal and factual effects that follow such revocation.

Revocation of a building permit is an extreme sanction, which may be applied only if a dominant and obvious public interest exists and more lenient means for eliminating the violation or preventing its effects have been exhausted or are missing.

The administrative body must inform the addressee of a revocation procedure initiated against them as well as provide them with an opportunity to be heard. Failure to provide this opportunity is a serious infringement of administrative process, leading to invalidation of the administrative instrument regardless of the content value of the decision.

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