- Statute: Article
- Penalty: Repealed
Gay and Lesbian Association World Legal Survey
Article 118 of the Estonian Penal Code
(inherited from the days of the Soviet Union), which prohibited "anal
intercourse between men" was repealed on 21 April 1992 (ILGA Bulletin
3/92 p. 9). However, the age of consent for homosexual male contacts was fixed
at 16 years of age whereas it is 14 years of age for heterosexual contacts. (ILGA
From Ahto Pahk
1. Homosexual acts are regulated in Penal Code’s (PC) Art. 118 sec.-s 1
2. Homosexual acts can be committed without any legal consequences from
beginning of age 16. This age is same for heterosexual and homosexual boys.
Females can engage in sexual act starting with age of 14. It includes, of
3. Punishment for having sexual act with under aged partner is quite
severe, so, better to watch! But the governmental surveillance on that matter
is extremely weak, so do not pay almost any attention to that matter law
enforcement institutions as well. Problems start when there is complaint
4. Punishment depends on the act’s nature. When there is a reason to
believe that it has been rape, the punishment is 2-5 years of imprisonment. If
the act is committed with under aged person, the punishment is 2-10. Pay
attention on the punishment rates- they do not refer to "up to" but
have firm limits.
5. Lesbians will not be punished by this Article (§118), they will be
punished, if proven, according to the other Article of the PC. Those are:
§115; §115- 1; §116; §117. Since homosexual acts are regulated only with
the Art. 118, lesbians can be set responsible according to all those articles
I mentioned above. Mostly are those meant for heterosexual acts.
6. §115- rape; punishment 2-10 years; §115-1- satisfying sexual passion
in unnatural way; punishment up to 6 years;
§116- sexual act with the female person that is under 14 years of age;
punishment arrest (up to 3 months) or up to 4 years imprisonment;
§117- sexual indecency towards to person under 16 years of age; punishment
up to 4 years.
Legal advice is very much available. Just go to the address www.gay.ee
and you’ll find it there! For those that do not speak Estonian, here’s the
AIDS Support Centre
Dr.Mr. Jüri Kalikov
Kopli St. 32
Phone: +372 6413 165
AIDS Prevention Centre
Dr.Mrs. Nelli Kalikova
Narva Road 48
Phone: +372 6273 505
Legal Advice (also in English)
Mr. Silvar Laanemäe
Endla St. 6
GSM +372 5023 584 email@example.com
I received a letter from the Estonian Embassy in Germany.
It appears to be that they were asked to provide information about the state
of homosexuals in the Republic of Estonia. One of the diplomats contacted me
based on the article I wrote earlier for your web site. Estonian laws have
gone through a great enhancement. And therefore I’d like to give a brand new
overlook of present situation.
On the 1st September this year (2002) Estonian legislative
body (Riigikogu) enforced brand new penal law. It has changed a lot.
Firstly, there are no articles referring to gayety. It
means, no article deals with gays directly. When the old Penal Code had
article no 118 then the new one deals just with the rape, gross indecency and
some other crimes. It is still punishable to engage in sexual intercourse with
a minor (a male or female under 14 years of age), to rape a female or male
(males could not have been raped in the meaning of a law before, now it has
been changed as well). The law is still brand new and legal practice is almost
zero. Therefore I cannot give more detailed information. When the significant
law cases are discussed, I may provide feedback and updates.
One thing that should be remembered is that the old
Criminal Code that I talked about before, is still in force. But only to these
crimes committed before the 1st September 2002. Crimes committed after that
date are dealt according to the Penal Law.
The articles that are most important are situated in the
law like this:
Articles § 141- § 147.
If anyone is interested, one could easily contact www.riigiteataja.ee
for further assistance. They probably need you to have the questions in
Estonian, or you may ask about these matters from any Estonian Embassy
throughout the world.
If you have any questions please feel free to ask them.