The Ministry of Justice

The Ministry of Justice maintains and develops legal order and legal protection, reinforces the structures of democracy, and safeguards citizens’ fundamental rights. The Ministry is responsible for drafting the key legislation maintaining legal order and for ensuring the proper functioning of the judicial system.  Judicial powers are exercised by the independent courts.

The Minister of Justice bears political responsibility for the activities of the Ministry and its administrative branch.

The administrative branch of the Ministry of Justice is extensive. The Ministry guides and directs the operation of the agencies and public bodies in its administrative branch and monitors their development.  


The duties of the Ministry of Justice are determined in a government decree. Some of the duties are performed by the agencies and public bodies in the Ministry’s administrative branch. The duties are:

  • law drafting in the fields of constitutional law, public law, civil law, and criminal and procedural law, as well as other legislative issues not covered by the mandate of the other ministries
  • the development of law drafting within the Government and the provision of advice on EU law
  • courts, court proceedings and judicial division
  • legal aid and general bar association
  • financial and debt counselling
  • general interest representation
  • prosecution service
  • enforcement service and supervision of the management of bankruptcy estates
  • enforcement of fines, community sanctions and sentences of imprisonment
  • the general planning of crime prevention and other criminal policy
  • improving the position of crime victims, if the issue is not covered by the mandate of the other ministries
  • criminal records and other legal registers
  • issues relating to pardons
  • applications regarding the right to marry
  • international legal matters not covered by the mandate of the other ministries
  • the Office of the Chancellor of Justice excluding its financial administration
  • national elections, municipal elections and referendums, as well as promotion of civic engagement
  • party register and inspection of the parties' accounting and use of funds
  • following the implementation of the Language Act
  • Statute Book of Finland
  • accident investigation
  • the autonomy of the Åland Islands
  • the cultural autonomy of the Sámi people and coordination of Sámi matters
  • Hague Conference on Private International Law
  • equality and promoting good ethnic relations.