The Ombudsman and the Eduskunta

The Eduskunta, the Parliament of Finland, chooses the Ombudsman and the deputy ombudsmen, each for terms of four years at a time.

The constitution stipulates that the Ombudsman and the deputy ombudsmen must have outstanding knowledge of the law. Before they are chosen, the Constitutional Law Committee assesses the candidates for the posts.

Both the Ombudsman and the deputy ombudsmen can be reappointed when their term ends. Their term in office does not correspond to the parliamentary term.

If there are especially compelling grounds for doing so, the Eduskunta can dismiss an Ombudsman during his or her term. It is also the task of the legislature to prosecute an Ombudsman who has acted illegally. An individual citizen cannot do this. The prosecution of an Ombudsman is brought about by the High Court of Impeachment.

When deemed necessary, committees of the Eduskunta invite the Ombudsman or a Deputy Ombudsman to a formal hearing as an expert on questions of legislative drafting. There are 10?20 of these hearings each year.

Annual report and special reports

The Ombudsman provides the Eduskunta with an annual report. It describes the situation with respect to the administration of law and any shortcomings which have been observed in legislation.

Special attention in devoted to the implementation of fundamental and human rights. The report can include proposals that the Eduskunta redresses shortcomings observed by the Ombudsman.

When necessary, the Ombudsman can also give the Eduskunta reports concerning specific problems.

Deliberation of the annual report by the Eduskunta

Deliberation of the Ombudsman's annual report by the Eduskunta begins with a preliminary debate in a plenary session. The Ombudsman presents the report, which is then referred to the Constitutional Law Committee for deliberation.

The Committee consults experts concerning the report and drafts a submission on it. When the submission has been completed, both it and the report are deliberated in a plenary session.

At the end of this process, the Eduskunta adopts the Committee's submission. The submission and its deliberation by the Eduskunta set the guidelines for developing the functions of the Ombudsman.

When a report by the Ombudsman or any other matter raised by him or her are being discussed in a plenary session, he or she is entitled to be present and take part in the discussion.


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