Highest state bodies and judicial system of Finland

Highest state bodies

Finland is a constitutional republic and the power rests with the people. Finland’s highest state bodies are the President of the Republic, the Parliament, and the Government.  Finland is a parliamentary republic and the Government must enjoy the support of Parliament.

Parliament

Parliament is the utmost decision-making body. Finnish citizens elect 200 Members of Parliament in elections. The elections held every four years are direct, proportional and held by secret ballot. The most important tasks of Parliament includes enacting laws, deciding on the state budget and the approval of the international agreements, treaties and conventions applying to Finland. Parliament enacts the laws and oversees the work of the Government, which is the premier executive body. Members of Parliament use their supervisory powers by presenting motions of censure and oral and written queries to the Government.

Government

The Government comprises of the Prime Minister and the requisite number of other ministers. The ministers are in command of their ministries and the administrative branches of the ministries. The Government is the utmost executive body and it carries out Finland’s foreign policy in cooperation with the President.  It also drafts the legislative proposalsand the state budget, which must both be ratified by Parliament.

President

The President of the Republic is elected for six years term via a direct election. If needed, there are two rounds of voting. The same person may not be elected for more than two consecutive terms. The President approves the state budget and the laws enacted by the Parliament. The President appoints the PM (at the proposal of Parliament) as well as the other ministers and the top public servants (at the proposal of the Prime Minister). The President carries out Finland’s foreign policy in cooperation with the Government. The President is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Finnish Defence Forces.

Judicial system

The Finnish judicial system includes the independent courts, the public legal aid system,the advocates and the prosecution service. The Criminal Sanctions Agencyand the enforcement authorities, which are responsible for implementing the court decisions, are also part and parcel of the Finnish judicial system. Despite the fact that the police are not part of the judicial system, still they are responsible for carrying out the pre-trial investigation, which is the first stage in the judicial investigation of an offence. The courts exercise judicial authority independently. They decide in each and every case what is in accordance with the law. Political actors, like political parties, public administration, Parliament or any other outside party are not entitled to intervene in their decision-making. General courts, administrative courts and special courts are part of the judicial system of Finland.

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