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Finland: Municipality Elections Postponed Because of COVID-19 Pandemic

(Apr. 5, 2021) On March 26, 2021, the Finnish Parliament voted to approve a two-month postponement of the country’s municipal elections because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The elections, originally scheduled for April 18, 2021, will now be held on June 13, 2021. In accordance with the decision, early voting was also rescheduled for May 26 […]

Finland: Supreme Court Orders Dissolution of Neo-Nazi Association that Violates Human Rights

(Oct. 16, 2020) On September 22, 2020, the Finnish Supreme Court ordered the dissolution of Nordiska Motståndsrörelsen (NMR) (Nordic Resistance Movement), an unregistered neo-Nazi association. The Supreme Court found that the association is unlawful because its activities and stated objectives violate law and good practice. It also found that the association’s activities are not protected […]

Finland: Institute for Health and Welfare Launches COVID-19 Tracing App

(Sept. 9, 2020) On August 31, 2020, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (Terveyden ja hyvinvoinnin laitos, THL) launched a contact tracing app called Koronavilkuksi (“Corona Indicator”). The official launch came several weeks after a 12-day pilot program involving a few dozen persons in the Helsinki area concluded on August 16, 2020. The goal […]

Finland: Government Issues Recommendation on Wearing Face Masks in Public

(Sept. 1, 2020) On August 13, 2020, the Finnish government issued a resolution on recommendations for wearing face masks in public, echoing recommendations made earlier the same day by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare. In accordance with the new recommendations, people in the country should wear masks when they are in public transport […]

Finland: Government Further Restricts Travel in Effort to Stem Spread of COVID-19

(Apr. 14, 2020) On April 7, 2020, the Finnish government announced new rules for border crossings, affecting particularly Åland (a semi-autonomous Swedish-speaking island in the Baltic Sea) and northern border regions in Finland, Norway, and Sweden. Under the new rules anyone arriving in Finland, including Åland, must spend two weeks in quarantine. The government recommends […]

Finland: Parliament Approves Quarantine of Capital Region

(Apr. 2, 2020) On March 26, 2020, the Finnish government announced a regulation requiring all residents living in Uusimaa/Nyland (the region in which the capital, Helsinki, is located) to remain quarantined within the region’s borders. The regulation was approved the following day by the Finnish Parliament, following the recommendation by the Constitutional Law Committee. (Grundlagsutskottets […]

Finland: Parliamentary Ombudsman Tells Ministry of Justice to Clarify Regulations Limiting Inmates’ Opportunities to Smoke

(Feb. 4, 2020) On October 30, 2019, Finland’s Deputy Ombudsman issued Decision 5349/2019, in which it criticized the smoking prohibition provision of the Finnish Prison Act as ambiguous and called for its review. In 2015, the Finnish Parliament passed legislation allowing for (but not requiring) prohibitions on smoking (including e-cigarettes) in residential quarters at Finnish […]

Finland: Citizens’ Initiative to Expel Persons Sentenced for Sexual Crimes Delivered to Finnish Parliament

(Oct. 3, 2019) On September 3, 2019, a citizens’ initiative (proposal for legislative action) to expel non-citizens who have committed sexual crimese was delivered to the Finnish parliament. The initiative was signed by 118,375 individuals (including the initiative taker, Saila Al-Jewari). The proposal asks the Finnish Parliament to discuss and pass legislation to allow for […]

Finland: Parliament Revokes Law Exempting Jehovah’s Witnesses from Mandatory Military Service

(Apr. 18, 2019) On February 27, 2019, the Finnish Parliament voted to amend its mandatory military service law by revoking a more than thirty-year-old exemption for Jehovah’s Witnesses from basic military training. (Item in the Minutes PR 166/2018 rd, Government Bill for Parliament with Proposed Laws on Revoking the Act Exempting Jehovah’s Witnesses from Performing […]

Finnish Parliament Approves Law to Extend Legal Presence of UK Citizens

(Mar. 21, 2019) On March 5, 2019, the Finnish Parliament approved a government proposal to extend the right of citizens of the United Kingdom (UK) to remain in Finland until December 31, 2020. (Press Release, Eduskunta [Finnish Parliament], The Special Act to Secure British Citizens’ Right of Residence in Finland Approved (Mar. 6, 2019), Eduskunta […]