Tracking Tool for COVID19-related restrictions in 172 countries. (Center for Civil and Politicl Rights)
In its plenary session on 1 March 2021, the Government declared that the country is in a state of emergency as referred to in section 3, paragraph 5 of the Emergency Powers Act (previously declared on the 18th of March 2020). In its plenary session on 27 April 2021, the Government issued decrees repealing the use of powers under the Emergency Powers Act and declared that the current situation in the country no longer constitutes a state of emergency under section 3 of the Emergency Powers Act.
There was no need to adopt the powers laid down in Part II of the Emergency Powers Act, which restrict the fundamental rights of citizens. However, the Government estimated that it was necessary to apply the provisions of sections 106 (communication by the state administrative authorities in emergencies) and 107 (powers in emergencies) of Chapter 15 of the Act once the state of emergency entered into force.
Previous implementation of the Emergency Powers Act
Along with other countries, Finland has encountered a situation in which the coronavirus causing an infectious disease (COVID-19) is spreading widely.
The Government, in cooperation with the President of the Republic, has declared a state of emergency in Finland over coronavirus outbreak. Therefore, decision was taken to implement the Emergency Powers Act.
On 12 March and 16 March 2020 (and on other dates after that), the Government decided on measures to address the coronavirus outbreak in Finland. The aim of the measures is to protect the population and to safeguard the functioning of society and the economy. The measures adopted by the Government will be in force until 13 April 2020.
On 17 March 2020, the Government submitted the commissioning and implementing decrees on the Emergency Powers Act to Parliament. The Parliament approved the commissioning of the Emergency Powers Act on 18 March 2020.
Based on the situational assessment received on Monday 15 June, the Government has determined that the COVID-19 epidemic can be managed using the regular powers of the authorities. In its plenary session, the Government issued decrees repealing the use of powers under the Emergency Powers Act and announced that the current situation in the country no longer constitutes a state of emergency as referred to in section 3 of the Emergency Powers Act. The decrees repealing the use of powers under the Act and the end of the state of emergency will enter into force on Tuesday 16 June.
Constitutional Law Committee
The task of the Constitutional Law Committee is to issue statements on bills sent to it for consideration and on the constitutionality of other matters and their bearing on international human rights instruments.
- committee reports
- agendas (including written opinions given by experts)
- minutes of meetings
Overseeing the implementation of Fundamental and Human Rights
The Chancellor of Justice and the The Parliamentary Ombudsman oversee the implementation of fundamental and human rights in Finland. Their topical statements with regard the COVID-19 can be found in finnish on the website of the Parliamentary Library's thematic LATI-colelction.
Legislative amendments - Finland
Commissioning of the Emergency Powers Act in the situation caused by the coronavirus outbreak
The commissioning of the Emergency Powers Act gives the authorities the right to restrict, as separately provided, the enjoyment of the fundamental rights guaranteed to all.
Restrictions will be and have already been put on the citizens' freedom of movement, access to education, etc.
In a state governed by the rule of law, any restrictions of fundamental rights are always enacted through legislation and only to the extent necessary. The restrictions must also be proportionate and issued for a fixed period.
Legal information package of the Library of Parliament
Legal information package of the Library of Parliament (in finnish only, up to date information) contains all information on the legislative process related to the commissioning of the Emergency Powers Act.
The package includes:
- preparatory documents of the Government
- parliamentary documents (incl. opinions of experts in different committees)
- other legislative amendments related to the Emergency Powers Act and its commissioning
- links to recordings of parliamentary debates
- literature and related research
- press releases about the process
- other materials (link to the blog on the Constitution of Finland, where experts explain the situation in the light of the Constitution, constitutional law, Criminal Code, etc.)
Emergency Powers Act
The Government decided on the measures and submitted the commissioning and implementing decrees on the Emergency Powers Act to Parliament on 17 March 2020. Amendments to the commissioning and implementing decrees and new commissioning decrees were submitted to Parliament on 19 March 2020, 20 March 2020 and 25 March 2020.
The currently applicable Emergency Powers Act 1552/2011 was issued in 2011. The commissioning of the Emergency Powers Act takes place in such a way that the Parliament decides whether the commissioning decrees issued by the Government may remain in force or whether they are to be repealed.
For more information, see the legal information package above.
Websites with regular updates
- preparedness measures taken by various ministries due to the situation
- Government policies
- Government press conferences
(sign language, easy language, Arabic, Russian, Estonian, Somali, Kurdish, Dari, Spanish, Turkish, Albanian, French, Chinese)
- information provided by authorities
- links to news
- links to guidelines issued by local authorities
- live broadcasts
- press releases
- links to websites of other authorities
- situation report
- communications materials
Expert blogs, comments, publications
- reasoned reflections of experts on the state of emergency and related themes
Raoul Wallenberg Institute
- Coronavirus puts democracy to test and links provided on the website