Participation and elections

The Ministry of Justice oversees the structures of democracy and the fundamental rights of citizens. Legislation regarding participation and elections is drafted in the Ministry of Justice.

Information about Finnish elections, electoral legislation and political parties can be found in English on the website

Links to the various democracy-related websites and news about matters to be decided have been gathered to the website

Citizens can participate in the preparation of legislation and different kinds of projects by commenting current issues on the website where citizens can discuss and follow projects.

According to the Act on citizens' initiative at least fifty thousand Finnish citizens entitled to vote have the right to submit an initiative for the enactment of an act to the Parliament. Initiatives can be launched in the online service

There is also an online service for launching residents' initiatives, It is meant for both municipal residents and municipalities.

Website enables statutory consultation online. (in Finnish) (in Finnish) (in Finnish) (in Finnish) (in Finnish) (in Finnish)

Judicial system

Information about the judicial system, i.e. Finnish courts, prosecution service, legal aid and enforcement, is available in English on the website The site contains, among other things, information about judicial procedures and applying for legal aid. Additionally, the site contains different kinds of forms for citizens. is a service provided by the Finnish public administration that contains e-services and forms for citizens, information about public services and news from the public administration. It contains useful information and guidance according to topics relevant in different phases of life.

Legislation in Finlex

The web service Finlex is a public database which provides judicial material free of charge.

The service includes legislation, case law, government proposals, secondary legislation and international treaties. It also contains translations of Finnish acts and decrees. Online guidelines on law drafting also are published in Finlex, e.g Legislative Drafting Process Guide.

Criminal offences and penalties

The Criminal Sanctions Agency, which operates under the Ministry of Justice, is the executive authority for the enforcement of sentences of imprisonment and community sanctions. The Criminal Sanctions Agency aims to prevent recidivism and increase security in the society.

The aim of crime prevention is to reduce crime and its effects and to increase safety and the sense of security in the society. Special goals within the administrative branch of the Ministry of Justice include preventing recidivism and decreasing violence.

Violence is prevented through cooperation with other actors and local crime prevention projects. Citizen participation in developing a safe environment is encouraged. Efforts are also made to improve the position of crime victims.

Criminal Sanctions Agency
National Council for Crime Prevention
Website on safety planning (in Finnish)
Website on decreasing violence (in Finnish)


Democracy indicators provide a means of monitoring the state and development of Finnish democracy e.g. in connection with elections and participation in political party activity and organisational activity. The Ministry of Justice finances the data collection during parliamentary elections and the reporting on the indicators. The Finnish Social Science Data Archive publishes the indicators within the Finnish Election Study Portal.

The European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control, affiliated with the United Nations (HEUNI), is a part of a global network that promotes the implementation of UN's decisions and recommendations relating to criminal policy. HEUNI also conducts research on criminal policy.

Institute of Criminology and Legal Policy conducts independent research on legal policy. It monitors and analyses legal policy and crime and reports on their development.

Statistics about court decisions, crime and penalties and debt matters, among other things, are compiled by Statistics Finland.

Finnish Election Study Portal
The European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control, affiliated with the United Nations
Institute of Criminology and Legal Policy
Statistics on justice by Statistics Finland
Statistics on elections
Findicator - Statistical service provided by Statistics Finland and the Prime Minister's Office

Suomeksi - På svenska - In English - Other languages

Ministry of Justice, Finland

Ministry of Justice, Finland

Department of Criminal Policy

Department of Criminal Policy is responsible for the strategic planning and direction of criminal policy and the monitoring and assessment of the functionality of the criminal law system.

Furthermore, the department performs tasks in relation to crime prevention and international crime prevention cooperation.

The duties also include drawing up strategies for the enforcement of penalties, strategic guidance of the Criminal Sanctions Agency, and preparing legislation on the enforcement of penalties. The central administration unit of the Criminal Sanctions Agency is responsible for directing the practical operations of the Agency.

The tasks of the department also include the resource management regarding the Prosecution Service as well as other issues relating to the Prosecution Services that the Ministry of Justice attends to.

Director General Arto Kujala, tel. +358 2951 50408

Contact details of the Department of Criminal Policy

Published 1.9.2014
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