Constitutional provisions pertaining to Parliamentary Ombudsman of Finland
THE CONSTITUTION OF FINLAND
11 June 1999 (731/1999), entry into force 1 March 2000
Section 38 - Parliamentary Ombudsman
The Parliament appoints for a term of four years a Parliamentary Ombudsman and two Deputy Ombudsmen, who shall have outstanding knowledge of law. The provisions on the Ombudsman apply, in so far as appropriate, to the Deputy Ombudsmen.
The Parliament, after having obtained the opinion of the Constitutional Law Committee, may, for extremely weighty reasons, dismiss the Ombudsman before the end of his or her term by a decision supported by at least two thirds of the votes cast.
Section 48 - Right of attendance of Ministers, the Ombudsman and the Chancellor of Justice
The Parliamentary Ombudsman and the Chancellor of Justice of the Government may attend and participate in debates in plenary sessions of the Parliament when their reports or other matters taken up on their initiative are being considered.
Section 109 - Duties of the Parliamentary Ombudsman
The Ombudsman shall ensure that the courts of law, the other authorities and civil servants, public employees and other persons, when the latter are performing a public task, obey the law and fulfil their obligations. In the performance of his or her duties, the Ombudsman monitors the implementation of basic rights and liberties and human rights.
The Ombudsman submits an annual report to the Parliament on his or her work, including observations on the state of the administration of justice and on any shortcomings in legislation.
Section 110 - The right of the Chancellor of Justice and the Ombudsman to bring charges and the division of responsibilities between them
A decision to bring charges against a judge for unlawful conduct in office is made by the Chancellor of Justice or the Ombudsman. The Chancellor of Justice and the Ombudsman may prosecute or order that charges be brought also in other matters falling within the purview of their supervision of legality.
Provisions on the division of responsibilities between the Chancellor of Justice and the Ombudsman may be laid down by an Act, without, however, restricting the competence of either of them in the supervision of legality.
Section 111 - The right of the Chancellor of Justice and Ombudsman to receive information
The Chancellor of Justice and the Ombudsman have the right to receive from public authorities or others performing public duties the information needed for their supervision of legality.
The Chancellor of Justice shall be present at meetings of the Government and when matters are presented to the President of the Republic in a presidential meeting of the Government. The Ombudsman has the right to attend these meetings and presentations.
Section 112 - Supervision of the lawfulness of the official acts of
the Government and the President of the Republic
If the Chancellor of Justice becomes aware that the lawfulness of a decision or measure taken by the Government, a Minister or the President of the Republic gives rise to a comment, the Chancellor shall present the comment, with reasons, on the aforesaid decision or measure. If the comment is ignored, the Chancellor of Justice shall have the comment entered in the minutes of the Government and, where necessary, undertake other measures. The Ombudsman has the corresponding right to make a comment and to undertake measures.
If a decision made by the President is unlawful, the Government shall, after having obtained a statement from the Chancellor of Justice, notify the President that the decision cannot be implemented, and propose to the President that the decision be amended or revoked.
Section 113 - Criminal liability of the President of the Republic
If the Chancellor of Justice, the Ombudsman or the Government deem that the President of the Republic is guilty of treason or high treason, or a crime against humanity, the matter shall be communicated to the Parliament. In this event, if the Parliament, by three fourths of the votes cast, decides that charges are to be brought, the Prosecutor‑General shall prosecute the President in the High Court of Impeachment and the President shall abstain from office for the duration of the proceedings. In other cases, no charges shall be brought for the official acts of the President.
Section 114 - Prosecution of Ministers
A charge against a Member of the Government for unlawful conduct in office is heard by the High Court of Impeachment, as provided in more detail by an Act.
The decision to bring a charge is made by the Parliament, after having obtained an opinion from the Constitutional Law Committee concerning the unlawfulness of the actions of the Minister. Before the Parliament decides to bring charges or not it shall allow the Minister an opportunity to give an explanation. When considering a matter of this kind the Committee shall have a quorum when all of its members are present.
A Member of the Government is prosecuted by the Prosecutor‑General.
Section 115 - Initiation of a matter concerning the legal responsibility of a Minister
An inquiry into the lawfulness of the official acts of a Minister may be initiated in the Constitutional Law Committee on the basis of:
(1) A notification submitted to the Constitutional Law Committee by the Chancellor of Justice or the Ombudsman;
(2) A petition signed by at least ten Representatives; or
(3) A request for an inquiry addressed to the Constitutional Law Committee by another Committee of the Parliament.
The Constitutional Law Committee may open an inquiry into the lawfulness of the official acts of a Minister also on its own initiative.
Section 117 - Legal responsibility of the Chancellor of Justice and the Ombudsman
The provisions in sections 114 and 115 concerning a member of the Government apply to an inquiry into the lawfulness of the official acts of the Chancellor of Justice and the Ombudsman, the bringing of charges against them for unlawful conduct in office and the procedure for the hearing of such charges.