The Aims and Discussions of the Foundation of Land Reform in Estonia After the WWI [PDF]

Dr. iur. Marju Luts-Sootak
Faculty of Law, University of Tartu
Professor of Legal History

MA Karin Visnapuu
Law School, University of Tartu
PhD candidate

The land reform was one of the most important tasks of independent Estonia after World War I. The groundwork started even before gaining its independence which shows the significance of this extensive reform. Similar reforms were carried out in other Eastern- and Middle-European countries after World War I, but the Estonian land reform was considered to be among the most radical ones at that time period. The decisions about the scope, intensity and the radicality of a reform would influence the later outcome, therefore it is important to understand the legislative discussions in the beginning and during the reform. In the article we will examine the legislative discussions of Estonian Constituent Assembly and Parliament about the expropriation of largescale estates in Estonia, the legal solutions and, consequently, the reasons why the question about compensation and redistribution of the expropriated land was left unregulated in the Land Reform Act.

Keywords: Republic of Estonia, Land Reform Act 1919, Constitution 1920, parliamentary discussions.

The research for this article has been supported by Estonian Research Council (PRG969).

pp. 111–128

Juridiskā zinātne / Law, No. 14, 2021

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