New special tasks for the Chancellor of Justice – the division of tasks of the supreme guardians of the law reformed
The division of tasks of the Chancellor of Justice and Parliamentary Ombudsman is reformed with an act that will enter into force on 1 October 2022.
As a result of the reform, tasks will be more extensively divided between the guardians of the law. However, the reform will not affect the powers of the guardians of the law, as the supervision powers laid down in the Constitution remain unchanged. The new act provides better prerequisites for developing the division of tasks between the Chancellor of Justice and Parliamentary Ombudsman to respond to future needs. The act also aims to improve the efficiency of the use of the resources of the guardians of the law by reducing overlapping tasks.
New special tasks of the guardians of the law and differences in the duties
Finland has two supreme guardians of the law: the Chancellor of Justice of the Government and the Parliamentary Ombudsman. The powers of the guardians of the law are largely similar. Among others, both supervise the legality of the activities of courts, authorities and other public officials.
The new special tasks of the Chancellor of Justice are strongly focused on the future and the future needs of the supervision of legality. The new special tasks of the Chancellor of Justice are concerned with
- the development of automatic administrative systems and general grounds for maintenance
- the organisation of anti-corruption activities
- public procurement, competition and matters related to state aid.
The supervision of the legality of the activities of the Government and the President of the Republic remains a key duty of the Chancellor of Justice. The Chancellor of Justice also supervises the activities of advocates, public legal aid attorneys and licensed legal counsels, which falls outside the Ombudsman’s area of responsibility.
As a result of this reform, many tasks related to supervising the implementation of the rights of the individual will be centralised to the Parliamentary Ombudsman. The processing of complaints is a key part of the Ombudsman’s supervisory duty.
Matters are transferred between the guardians of the law
The aim is to provide complainants with guidance in filing complaints to ensure that they submit their complaints to the correct guardian of the law. Complaints submitted to the Chancellor of Justice are primarily transferred to the Parliamentary Ombudsman if they concern matters centralised to the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman will act similarly with matters that fall under the responsibilities of the Chancellor of Justice. In such cases, the complainant will be notified about the transfer. The guardian of the law to whom the matter has been transferred will make decisions on investigating and resolving the matter.
Secretary General Tuula Majuri, tel. +358 (0)29 516 2522, [email protected].