The new intelligence laws will enable security authorities to respond to the increasingly diverse security threats facing Finland, views Antti Häkkänen (NCP), the Minister of Justice. (Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva)


THE FINNISH PARLIAMENT has unanimously approved the last of the bills for overhauling civilian and military intelligence laws in Finland.

The legislative reform has been under preparation since the start of the electoral term in 2015. The Parliament approved the constitutional amendments needed to fast-track the reform at the end of last year and the bills for supervising intelligence operations in February 2019.

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“Finland will finally get its long-awaited intelligence laws. The newly approved laws will grant our security authorities up-to-date powers to guarantee the safety of our country,” rejoiced Antti Häkkänen (NCP), the Minister of Justice.

“Finland is faced with more diverse security threats, which is why we must make sure security authorities have the powers needed to respond to them.”

Members of the Parliament on Friday approved the contents of the intelligence laws, with the only votes against coming from 10 members of the Left Alliance. On Monday, however, not a single lawmaker demanded that the bills be rejected, meaning there was no need to hold a vote on the issue.

The legislative project faced some unexpected headwinds in February, following criticism from two constitutional law experts: Juha Lavapuro, a professor of public law at the University of Turku, and Martin Scheinin, a professor of international law and human rights at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy.

The bills were consequently sent for further review to the Parliament’s Administration Committee and Constitutional Law Committee.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi