Together with the two deputy ombudsmen, the Ombudsman is responsible for the oversight of legality. The deputy ombudsmen have the same powers as the Ombudsman and decide on their respective cases autonomously.
The constitution requires the Ombudsman and the deputy ombudsmen to have outstanding knowledge of the law.
Selected by the Eduskunta
The Eduskunta chooses the Ombudsman and the deputy ombudsmen for four-year terms.
Before the selection is made, the Constitutional Law Committee assesses the candidates for the post and the selection itself is made by a secret ballot at a plenary session of the parliament. Both the Ombudsman and the deputy ombudsmen can be selected for reappointment at the end of their terms.
A term does not coincide with the parliamentary term.
The post of Parliamentary Ombudsman was created in 1919 and the first Ombudsman was chosen that year.
The first post of Deputy-Ombudsman was created in 1972. A second was added when a constitutional amendment came into force in 1997 and the second Deputy Ombudsman began his work in September 1998.
A substitute for a Deputy Ombudsman
The Ombudsman Act was amended in 2007 in order to enable a substitute for a Deputy Ombudsman to be appointed.
The Ombudsman can invite a substitute to perform the duties of a Deputy-Ombudsman if the latter is prevented from attending to them. The term of office of the person chosen as a substitute for a Deputy-Ombudsman is maximally four years. The Ombudsman consults the Constitutional Law Committee before choosing the substitute. The current substitute is Mr Mikko Sarja, LL Lic., LL.M. with court training.