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Finland - Ministerial Responsibility Act 1922 Index Page Document Table of Contents

    { Adopted on: 25 Nov 1922 }
    { ICL Document Status: 21 Dec 1990 - repealed }

    { Editor's Note
    This version of the document is no longer in force!  It has been repealed by Section 131 of the 1999 Constitution.  We only keep the old document for comparison with the new old.  The raw text is a translation by Martin Scheinin provided to ICL in 1996.  The ICL edition features additional article titles for better overview in the table of contents. }

 

Section 1  [Examination of Lawfulness]

(1) Parliament shall have the right, according to this Act, to examine the lawfulness of the official acts of the members of the Council of State, the Chancellor of Justice and the Parliamentary Ombudsman, and of the Assistant Chancellor of Justice, the Assistant Parliamentary Ombudsman and their deputies, and to make decisions arising from such examination.
(2) The provisions of Section 2 (1)-(3) and Sections 3 to 7 of this Act concerning a member of the Council of State and the Chancellor of Justice shall apply correspondingly to the Parliamentary Ombudsman and also to the Assistant Chancellor of Justice and the Assistant Parliamentary Ombudsman and their deputies.
 

Section 2  [Committee for Constitutional Law]

(1) When considering matters under preparation, the Committee for Constitutional Law shall, whenever there is cause for this, investigate the lawfulness of the official acts of the members of the Council of State and the Chancellor of Justice.
(2) If another committee finds cause to complain that a member of the Council of State or the Chancellor of Justice has proceeded in an unlawful manner in an official act, the matter shall be submitted to the Committee for Constitutional Law for consideration.
(3) A complaint concerning the unlawfulness of an official act of a member of the Council of State or the Chancellor of Justice may also be filed in Parliament. Such a complaint shall be submitted to the Speaker in writing and signed by no fewer than five representatives. On presentation of such a complaint the matter shall be sent to the Committee for Constitutional Law without discussion.
(4) A statement submitted to Parliament by the Chancellor of Justice pursuant to Section 47 of the Constitution Act, or by the Parliamentary Ombudsman in accordance with Section 49 of the Constitution Act, concerning the unlawfulness of an official act of the Council of State or a member thereof, shall likewise be sent to the Committee for Constitutional Law without discussion.
 

Section 3  [Explanation for Challenges of Unlawfulness]

If a complaint is filed concerning the unlawfulness of an official act of a member of the Council of State or the Chancellor of Justice while a matter is under consideration in the Committee for Constitutional Law, and the Committee considers that the matter is worthy of attention, or if a complaint against a member of the Council of State or the Chancellor of Justice has been sent to the Committee for Constitutional Law, the Committee shall give him an opportunity to submit a written or oral explanation within a certain period of time.
 

Section 4  [Complaints Against Members]

If a complaint has been filed against a member of the Council of State or the Chancellor of Justice, the Committee for Constitutional Law shall consider whether the member of theCouncil of State or the Chancellor of Justice has proceeded in an unlawful manner, and shall submit a statement on the matter to Parliament, unless the complaint was filed in the Committee for Constitutional Law and the Committee found it to be unjustified.
 

Section 5  [Quorum for Complaints]

No fewer than seventeen members shall be present when a complaint referred to in Sections 3 and 4 is considered in the Committee for Constitutional Law. If controversy arises on the question of whether or not a member of the Council of State or the Chancellor of Justice has proceeded in an unlawful manner, and the votes are divided equally, then he shall be deemed not to have done so.
 

Section 6  [Decision by Parliament]

(1) After the Committee for Constitutional Law has submitted its statement, Parliament shall be empowered to decide whether charges under this Act are to be brought against the member of the Council of State or the Chancellor of Justice in the High Court of Impeachment, or whether the matter is to be dismissed.
(2) If Parliament does not immediately decide that the matter is to be dismissed, then the member of the Council of State or the Chancellor of Justice shall be requested to submit a written or oral explanation to Parliament. The explanation shall be submitted within ten days of receipt of the request.
 

Section 7  [Unlawful Acts]

The following shall be considered unlawful acts for which charges under this Act may be brought against a member of the Council of State or the Chancellor of Justice:
If, in an official act, he has aided or abetted manifest unlawfulness;
If he has intentionally abused his official position to manifestly harm the country, and the abuse is to be deemed an offence in office; or
If he has otherwise, in some official act, proceeded in a manifestly unlawful manner.
 

Section 8  [Application]

This Act shall enter into force as a Constitutional Act. It shall not apply to official acts engaged in before 17 June 1918.
 

Section 9  [Repeal]

This Act shall repeal the Act on the Right of the Parliament of Finland to Examine the Lawfulness of the Official Acts of the Members of the Council of State and the Procurator (17 June 1918).

For methodology see: Comparing Constitutions and International Constitutional Law.
© 1994 - May 29th, 2010 / Translation provided by M. Scheinin.
For corrections please contact A. Tschentscher.