Do you wish to file a complaint?

You can file a complaint with the Chancellor of Justice if you suspect that 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 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.

The Chancellor of Justice will not investigate a matter that has already been resolved by the Parliamentary Ombudsman or the Deputy Ombudsman or that is currently processed by the Office of the Parliamentary Ombudsman. The Chancellor of Justice also does not deal with matters that are the responsibility of the Parliamentary Ombudsman but instead forwards these to the Parliamentary Ombudsman.

The responsibilities of the Chancellor of Justice are concerned with

  • the Defence Forces, the Border Guard and peacekeeping personnel
  • prisons and other institutions to which individuals have been confined against their will
  • deprivation of liberty, such as apprehension, arrest or detention.

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