Oversight of the constitutionality of Bills before the Eduskunta is not included in the Ombudsman's remit, Deputy-Ombudsman Maija Sakslin points out in her decision on two complaints.
The complainants criticised a proposed transitional provision in the Environmental Protection Act according to which persons aged 68 or over would be exempted from the wastewater treatment obligations laid down in the Wastewater Decree. The amendment was regarded as being in contravention of the principle of equality that is enshrined in the Constitution and the prohibition on discrimination. The reasoning presented in support of the amendment was likewise criticised in the complaints.
The Bill, which was drafted in the Ministry of the Environment, is currently before the Eduskunta.
Deputy-Ombudsman Sakslin points out that oversight of the constitutionality of Bills is the prerogative of the Constitutional Law Committee, which makes submissions on a Bill and the procedure to be adopted in enacting it. Otherwise, what Bills involve is political choices of a kind in which the Ombudsman has no power to intervene. It is the Eduskunta that decides on approval of the contents of laws.
The Ombudsman is additionally dealing with two complaints concerning possible misleading actions by a former Minister of the Environment during drafting of the Wastewater Decree.
Additional info will be provided by Senior Legal Adviser Erkki Hännikäinen, tel. + 358 (0)9 4321.