There are two ethics committees on biomedical research involving human subjects. The committees review all kind of human studies (including psychological and behavioural studies), biomedical research and clinical trials: Tallinn Medical Research Ethics Committee and Ethics Review Committee on Human Research of the University of Tartu. The committees are independent bodies coordinated by the Council of Ethics located at the Ministry of Social Affairs. Projects are reviewed by only one REC so that if a project is rejected by a REC, it should be resubmitted to the same committee. Both RECs have obligation to disclose in their webpage’s all research projects that has been approved during a year.
Approval from an ethics committee is mandatory for clinical and health research performed on humans as well as other human research, if danger to the physical or mental health of human(s) may occur with conducting the aforementioned research.
According to the Personal Data Protection Act, it is also required, among others, to receive the opinion of an ethics committee before personal data is being processed for scientific research or official statistics purposes without the consent of the data subject (cf. Article 16-3).
Research Ethics Committee of the University of Tartu
Tallinn Medical Research Ethics Committee
Statute of the Research Ethics Committee of the University of Tartu
Tallinn Medical Research Ethics Committee statues
The Personal Data Protection Act
European Network of Research Ethics Committees. National Information: Estonia [online] Available at: <http://www.eurecnet.org/information/estonia.html> [Accessed 4. June 2014].
Veidebaum, T. 2005. Research Ethics in Estonia. In: D. Beyleveld, D. Townend and J. Wright, ed. 2005. Research Ethics Committees, Data Protection and Medical Research in European Countries. Ashgate. pp. 41-43.