Do you wish to file a complaint?

You can file a complaint with the Chancellor of Justice if you suspect that the President of the Republic, the Government, a ministry, a minister, an authority, public official or some other person performing a public duty has acted unlawfully or failed to fulfil their obligations. Anyone can file a complaint.

The Chancellor of Justice does not provide legal advice to complainants.

The authorities under the supervision authority of the Chancellor of Justice include: 

  • Government agencies and institutions
  • authorities in the wellbeing services counties, such as the boards and committees of the wellbeing services counties and joint municipal authorities
  • municipal authorities, such as the boards and committees of municipalities and joint municipal authorities.

Public officials are persons who work in a public-service employment relationship with central government, a municipality or other public organisation.

Other bodies performing public duties include unemployment funds and insurance institutions when they manage statutory compensation, subsidies and pensions. Public duties are also carried out for example by private companies from which municipalities purchase health services.

A complaint does not alter or revoke the decision issued

The Chancellor of Justice cannot change or revoke a decision issued by an authority. The Chancellor of Justice can also not obligate the authority to reconsider the matter. If the complainant wishes to appeal a decision they have received, the decision must be appealed by following the provided appeal instructions. Before filing a complaint, it is often advisable to first directly contact the authority that you consider to have acted unlawfully. This way, you may be able to resolve the matter without a complaint.

Read about the consequences of a complaint in: How does the complaint process progress?

What kinds of complaints does the Chancellor of Justice not process?

The Chancellor of Justice will not investigate a matter that has already been resolved by the Parliamentary Ombudsman or the Deputy Ombudsman or which is currently processed by the Office of the Parliamentary Ombudsman. The Chancellor of Justice also does not deal with matters that are the special responsibility of the Parliamentary Ombudsman, but instead transfers these to the Parliamentary Ombudsman. In such cases, the complainant will be notified about the transfer. The Office of the Parliamentary Ombudsman decides whether the transferred matter needs to be investigated. In matters concerning the Ombudsman’s special tasks, complaints should be filed directly with the Ombudsman.

The special tasks of the Parliamentary Ombudsman are concerned with

  • the Defence Forces, the Border Guard, military crisis management personnel, the National Defence Training Association and military court proceedings
  • police investigations, the powers laid down for the police or customs authorities and coercive measures in criminal proceedings and pre-trial investigation
    • However, the Ombudsman’s special tasks do not include matters concerning the failure to conduct, suspend or restrict the pre-trial investigation.
  • secret intelligence gathering, secret coercive measures and intelligence activities and related supervision of legality
  • prisons and other closed institutions and restrictions on the individual’s right to self-determination through other measures
    • for example, restrictive measures in educational institutions and different housing units and the powers of guards
  • supervisory duties related to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
  • supervisory duties related to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • implementation of the rights of children 
    • for example, the rights of the child in early childhood education and care, basic education and upper secondary education, and child welfare matters
  • implementation of the rights of older people, persons with disabilities and asylum seekers
  • implementation of the rights of individuals in social welfare and health care
    • for example, the rights of patients and the rights of social welfare clients
  • implementation of the rights of individuals in social insurance 
    • for example, pensions and social benefits applied from Kela
  • general advocacy
  • implementation of the rights safeguarded for the Sami people as indigenous people
  • implementation of the rights of maintaining and developing one's language safeguarded for the Roma and other groups
    • for example, the implementation of the rights of sign language users

Read more about the differences between the tasks of the Chancellor of Justice and the Parliamentary Ombudsman.

In addition, the Chancellor of Justice will not deal with the complaint if:

  • the complaint concerns a matter that is more than two years old unless there is special reason for the processing
  • the matter is pending with the competent authority
  • the decision on the matter can be appealed by regular (normal) appeal procedures
  • the complaint does not fall within the area of responsibility of the Chancellor of Justice.

The Chancellor of Justice’s area of responsibility does not include the supervision of

  • the activities of the Parliament or Members of Parliament
  • the activities of individuals and entities governed by private law when they do not perform public duties. Entities governed by private law include e.g. limited liability companies, cooperatives, associations, banks, investment funds, housing companies, mutual insurance companies, trade unions and religious associations.

The Chancellor of Justice, the Deputy Chancellor of Justice and the substitute for the Deputy Chancellor of Justice decide independently on matters that are within their competence and powers. They will not investigate decisions already made by one another.