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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 […]

Finland: Finnish Parliament Revokes Underage Marriage Exception

(Mar. 12, 2019) On February 19, 2019, the Finnish Parliament adopted changes to its Marriage Act, revoking the exception that persons not yet 18 may marry with special prior approval from the Ministry of Justice. (Press Release, Eduskunta [Parliament], Marriage with Underage Individuals Prohibited (Feb. 20, 2019) (in Swedish), Parliament website.) The parliamentary press release […]

Finland: Finnish Transport Safety Agency to Introduce Digital Driver’s License

(Mar. 15, 2018) On January 30, 2018, the Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafiksäkerhetsverket, Trafi) announced it will introduce digital driver’s licenses as of summer 2018, reportedly making Finland the first country in the world to introduce a digital driver’s license. (Digitalt körkort, TRAFI (last updated Jan. 30, 2018); Simon Karlsson, Digitalt körkort redan i sommar […]

Finland: Supreme Court to Make English Summaries of Precedents Available Online and Begin Using ECLI Code in 2018

(Jan. 12, 2018) On January 2, 2018, the Finnish Supreme Court announced it will make some of its precedents available through summaries in English. (Press Release, Finnish Supreme Court, The Supreme Court of Finland Starts to Publish Summaries of Its Precedents in English (Jan. 2, 2018), SUPREME COURT.) The cases will be limited to those […]

Finland: Parliament Approves New Alcohol Law

(Dec. 29, 2017) On December 15, 2017, the Finnish Parliament (Eduskunta/Riksdagen) approved a new Alcohol Act to take effect on January 1, 2018. Under the new provisions, the limit on alcohol content in drinks that may be sold in grocery stores will be increased from 4.7% to 5.5%.  (Press Release, Eduskunta/Riksdagen, Alkohollagen godkänd [Alcohol Act […]