Chancellor of Justice of Finland

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The Chancellor of Justice of Finland (Finnish: oikeuskansleri, Swedish: justitiekanslern) is a Finnish government official who supervises authorities' (such as cabinet ministers and other public officials) compliance with the law and advances legal protection of Finnish citizens. The Chancellor investigates complaints against authorities' activities and may also start an investigation of his own initiative. The Chancellor attends cabinet meetings to ensure that legal procedures and regulations are followed. The Chancellor has wide ranging oversight, investigative and prosecutorial powers.

The Chancellor and his deputy are appointed by the President of Finland. The Chancellor is appointed for life.

The current Chancellor of Justice is LL.D. Jaakko Jonkka.

History[edit]

The Office of the Chancellor of Justice dates back to the 18th century, when Finland was part of the Kingdom of Sweden (see above). When Finland was annexed by the Russian Empire in 1809 as an autonomous Grand Duchy, the legal system remained basically the same. The duties of the Chancellor of Justice were given to the Procurator, who assisted the Governor-General in supervising obedience of the law.

Finland declared its independence in 1917, and year later the title was reverted to Chancellor of Justice. The first Chancellor of Justice was Pehr Evind Svinhufvud, who had served as Speaker of Parliament and who was later to become the third President of Finland. In 1919 also the post of a Parliamentary Ombudsman was created. The Ombudsman and the Chancellor of Justice share many duties.

Duties[edit]

  • supervising the lawfulness of the official acts of the Government and the President of the Republic
  • providing the President, the Government and the Ministries with information and opinions on legal issues
  • supervising that the courts of law, other authorities and civil servants, public employees and other persons obey the law and fulfill their obligations when performing public tasks
  • monitoring the implementation of basic rights and liberties and human rights
  • supervising the conduct of advocates with the Finnish Bar Association

List of Chancellor of Justice[edit]

See also[edit]