Chancellor of Justice and Constitutional Scholars Criticise Government of Finland

Criticism of the government in Finland has transgressed standard opposition talk.

Today the main newspaper Helsingin Sanomat published an interview of the Chancellor of Justice Jaakko Jonkka. One of his main tasks is to supervise the lawfulness of the official acts of the government. His comments suggested in calm but clear manner that the current government has repeatedly sidestepped constitutional considerations when making law proposals in the parliament.

These kinds of problems have been pointed out before. The news today was that a supreme guardian of the law, as the Chancellor of Justice is officially defined, draws these conclusions.

Various respected professors of law and political science seemed astonished. For example, professor Göran Djupsund suggested that the government might need to step down for reasons of respect for rule of law.

Professor Kimmo Grönlund tweeted an interesting observation: he noticed that various members of the (right-wing) Coalition Party, now in government, also seem to worry about the way the government acts.

I am not suggesting that an all-out constitutional crisis would have emerged. Yet, there are increasing reasons to believe that the current government has been violating rule of law and respect for constitution in ways that seem exceptional in recent Finnish history.

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2 thoughts on “Chancellor of Justice and Constitutional Scholars Criticise Government of Finland

  1. t is difficult to fathom what is the truth anymore, but if PM Sipilä is acting outside the constitution surely it is up to the House of Representatives to bring him and his Government down? Why is no one challenge these acts in High Court ? I live in Australia and we had similar incident here some weeks ago where General Secretary of the Commonwealth of Australia resigned over dispute with the Attorney General both were accusing one another over misleading one another.
    Perhaps the President should ask the Government to call a new elections?

    • Good questions. A couple of brief comments:

      Sipilä’s government has the majority in the parliament, so at least for the time being it is not likely that the parliament would decide to bring him down.

      Also, even is there are many reasons to worry about rule of law, the scandals have not yet been of such magnitude that there would be a generalised outrage.

      Finally, there is no constitutional court in Finland. Today Timo Soini, the Foreign Minister, repeated his earlier proposal to establish a constitutional court. I think we might well see at least some debate on that kind of proposal.

      Greetings to Australia.

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