Republic of Finland

Rome Statute Oct. 7, 1998 Dec. 29, 2000
APIC Sept. 10, 2002 Dec. 8, 2004

Implementation Notes

Finland has been a strong supporter of the International Criminal Court during and subsequent to the Rome Conference. It was amongst the first States to sign and ratify the Rome Statute. The unique character of Finland’s legal system is reflected in the Finnish approach to implementation. According to the Finnish legal system, provisions of treaties and other international obligations, insofar as they are of a legislative nature, are brought into force by an Act of Parliament. The notion of provisions of a legislative nature is broad and encompasses all issues that may affect the rights of Finnish citizens as well as all matters that would be regulated by law in Finland. Under Finnish Law, an implementing Act adopted by Parliament can contain derogations from the Constitution. In such an instance, the Constitution is not amended, but the derogating Act must be adopted by Parliament with a qualified majority of 2/3 of its members, that is, by means of a special procedure for Constitutional amendments. This is also the approach taken with regard to the legislation implementing the Rome Statute. All provisions of the Rome Statute of a legislative nature are directly applicable in the Finnish legal system. Where the Rome Statute is not sufficiently detailed or with regard to matters that are not regulated, Finnish courts will apply other relevant national legislation. Finland’s ICC Implementation Act regulates only the surrender of persons to the ICC. It is worth noting that Finland has not included any grounds for refusal of an ICC request, even on the grounds of national security. Based on the above legislation, the cooperation between Finland and the Court is likely to be problem-free. Finland criminalised certain crimes under the jurisdiction of the ICC prior to the adoption of the Rome Statute under its Criminal Code. The Finnish definition of war crimes and genocide is, in places, broader than the relevant provisions of the Rome Statute. However, certain amendments to the Finnish Penal Code were deemed necessary in order to achieve full compatibility with the Rome Statute. In April 2008, an Act amending the Penal Code introduced specific provisions on crimes against humanity (previously punishable only as ordinary crimes), superior orders and superior responsibility (previously not included) and amended the provisions dealing with war crimes. As a result, the comprehensive Finnish provisions on genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes implement the Rome Statute and in some cases provide a broader definition of the crimes.

National Implementing Legislation

Finland - Implementation ICC 2000 Finnish
Finland - Implementation ICC Statute 2000 EN
Finland - International Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters 1994 EN
Finland - International Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 1994 Finnish

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