How to file a complaint?

Complaints are made in writing. The complaint can be sent by post to the Chancellor of Justice, P.O. Box 20, FI-00023 Government or by email to [email protected] Complaints containing confidential or otherwise sensitive information should not be sent by regular email. If the complaint contains such information, you can use the Government’s secure email system to send your email securely.

Read more about using the secure email system. 

Under legislation, the risk of delivery of an electronic message containing confidential or sensitive information is borne by the sender (Section 8 of the Act on Electronic Services and Communication in the Public Sector, 13/2003).

Complaint documents can be personally brought to the Government’s distribution centre at Ritarikatu 2 B, 00170 Helsinki. The distribution centre is open Monday through Friday from 8.00 to 16.15 o’clock. Only completed complaints or attachments to a complaint submitted electronically can be brought to the distribution centre. It is not possible to file a complaint at the distribution centre, or to obtain advice on how to file a complaint or information on how to process it.

The registry at the Office of the Chancellor of Justice receives the complaint and sends the complainant information on the receipt of a complaint sent electronically.

Complaints are public documents unless they contain information that is held secret under valid legislation. Some of the decisions are published anonymously on the website of the Chancellor of Justice, which means that the complainant and, if necessary, the subject of the complaint can no longer be identified from the decision.

A decision made on a complaint may not be appealed. The processing of a complaint is free of charge.

What should the complaint contain?

The complaint must include sufficiently specific information to be investigated by the Office of the Chancellor of Justice. The complaint answers the questions: who, what, when and why.

The complaint must contain detailed information on the following:

  • what is the authority, public official, public organisation or other person performing a public duty whose conduct or procedure the complaint concerns
  • what conduct or procedure is suspected to be unlawful
  • when this conduct or procedure occurred
  • a description of the conduct or procedure and a justification of why the complainant considers that the authority or public official has acted unlawfully.

The above-mentioned matters must be written in the complaint.

The complaint should be accompanied by the decisions made on the matter, correspondence and any other relevant documents. However, simply referring to attachments is not enough to personalise the complaint. For example, sending a newspaper article is not a complaint. For security reasons, attachments cannot be sent using a flash drive.

The complaint must contain the name and other contact details of the complainant. The contact details are needed for sending the complaint reply and any other documents.

You can file a complaint on behalf of another person. In this case, it is recommended to attach a power of attorney to the complaint.

Processing of personal data

Read about processing of personal data by the Office of the Chancellor of Justice

More information about complaints 

For more information about complaints and how to draw up a complaint, see the Frequently Asked Questions section.