Too many laws, warns Justice ministry

The Cabinet of Ministers Tuesday accepted a Justice Ministry report that says state involvement in legislating has been excessive, creating an overly regulated environment for individual and commercial activities.

“At this number of regulations an individual’s ability to freely orient inside the normative environment comes into doubt, also those engaged in commercial activity lose trust in the existing system’s rule-of-law, when regulations are amended so frequently, thus hampering enterprise and therefore the entire national economy’s development,” said the ministry’s report to the Cabinet.

The number of laws and regulations passed by the Cabinet of Ministers for approval by Saeima has grown in recent years. Joining the EU with its extremely detailed system of regulatory legislative acts, plus the adoption of the euro, which required amending 114 laws and 805 Cabinet regulations, contributed immensely to the proliferation process of legislative acts originating in the government. Last year by September 1 there were altogether 1441 laws in effect, not counting amendments, as well as 3707 separately passed Cabinet regulations.

The statistics on how often the government intervenes in the legislative process testify as well to other problems – inconsistent tax, economic, health and employment policies, which essentially affect society’s most critical spheres of existence and development.

The ministry report urges the government to use its legislative option only as a last resort when other solutions are unavailable. There needs to be a decision to refrain from attempts to manage all existing situations at the level of Cabinet regulations, giving preference to lower levels: court rulings, methodological instructions, guidelines.

The report also calls for better inter-ministry coordination and sharing of information about planned regulations to avert excessive amendments to the same draft coming in within a short period of time.  

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