The Estonian legal system has over the last decade and a half undergone a tremendous change. Quite often we have had to start from almost nothing and to develop our law very fast compared to societies with long lasting traditions of stable and well established democracy where similar reforms have taken hundreds of years instead of ten. The years that have passed since the reestablishment of Estonia's independence are characterised by reforms of the legal system, preparation for them, and finally their implementation. All these activities have stemmed from a single underlying idea - to develop a legal order appropriate to a democratic state based on the rule of law. Reforms in public and private law as well as in penal law were finalised ten years after the entry into force of the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia in 1992.