Finland 1999 Constitution (reviewed 2011)

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Fundamental provisions

Section 1. The Constitution

Finland is a sovereign republic.

The constitution of Finland is established in this constitutional act. The constitution shall guarantee the inviolability of human dignity and the freedom and rights of the individual and promote justice in society.

Finland participates in international co-operation for the protection of peace and human rights and for the development of society. Finland is a Member State of the European Union (1112/2011, entry into force 1.3.2012).

Section 2. Democracy and the rule of law

The powers of the State in Finland are vested in the people, who are represented by the Parliament.

Democracy entails the right of the individual to participate in and influence the development of society and his or her living conditions.

The exercise of public powers shall be based on an Act. In all public activity, the law shall be strictly observed.

Section 3. Parliamentarism and the separation of powers

The legislative powers are exercised by the Parliament, which shall also decide on State finances.

The governmental powers are exercised by the President of the Republic and the Government, the members of which shall have the confidence of the Parliament.

The judicial powers are exercised by independent courts of law, with the Supreme Court and the Supreme Administrative Court as the highest instances.

Section 4. The Territory of Finland

The territory of Finland is indivisible. The national borders cannot be altered without the consent of the Parliament.

Section 5. Finnish citizenship

A child acquires Finnish citizenship at birth and through the citizenship of its parents, as provided in more detail by an Act. Citizenship may also be granted upon notification or application, subject to the criteria determined by an Act.

No one can be divested of or released from his or her Finnish citizenship except on grounds determined by an Act and only if he or she is in possession of or will be granted the citizenship of another State.