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Constitution of Finland


In Finland sovereign power lies with the people represented by the Parliament in session.

The Constitution is the cornerstone of all legislation and exercise of public power. It contains provisions on state organisation, checks and balances and on civil rights. No other enactment may contradict the Constitution. The new Constitution entered into force on 1 March 2000. The new Constitution is based on four old constitutional acts: the Constitution Act of Finland, the Parliament Act and two acts on ministerial liability.
These were passed during the first years of independence. The Parliament has amended the acts in the course of the years, but the principal constitutional traits have remained unchanged. According to the Constitution sovereign power rests with the people. Democracy includes the individual right to influence decisions that affect us all. The Constitution guarantees civil rights and liberties.

To amend or change the constitution, the majority in two consecutive Parliaments must adopt the changes.

When the Finnish Parliament adopted the Declaration of the Independence of Finland on 6 December 1917, the new state already had a rich national culture and centuries of experience in managing its own affairs. The makings of an independent nation derived partly from the times of Swedish rule (from the 12th Century until 1809) and especially from the period when Finland was an autonomous Grand Duchy of the Russian Empire (from 1809 until 1917).

The text of the Constitution (731/1999) is in the Data Bank Finlex in Finnish and Swedish.

The Constitution of Finland is also available in English ( Constitution of Finland), German ( Grundgesetz Finnlands), French ( Constitution de la Finlande),  Russia (Конституция Финляндии ) Spanish ( Constitución de Finlandia) and Sami ( Suoma vuoddoláhka).
Guided tours

Guided tours for groups (6-25 people) are available from Monday to Friday from 9.00 a.m. to 4.15 p.m. (not during plenary sessions). The tours require prebooking. Further information >>

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