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Locking in Constitutionality Control in Finland

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 August 2020

Abstract

Monitoring the constitutionality of laws in Finland – Political control rather than judicial control – Understanding why requires a study of historical layers – Evidence that at several historical points certain elemental choices were locked in – Resulting difficulties in later abolishing or changing patterns – Interactive relationship between the political and the legal – Finland’s constitutional past still circumscribes the role of the judiciary in constitutionality control

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Articles
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© The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of European Constitutional Law Review

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Footnotes

*

Professor in Law and Globalisation at the Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki, Finland; email jaakko.husa@helsinki.fi. I am thankful for the formative criticism of the editors and anonymous peer reviewers. The usual disclaimers apply.

References

1 R. Hirschl, ‘The New Constitution and the Judicialization of Pure Politics Worldwide’, 75 Fordham Law Review (2006) p. 721.

2 See, e.g., M. de Visser, Constitutional Review in Europe (Hart Publishing 2014).

3 See, e.g., E. Delaney, ‘Judiciary rising: Constitutional change in the United Kingdom’, 108 Northwestern University Law Review (2014) p. 543. See also A. Kavanagh, ‘Constitutional Review, the Courts, and Democratic Scepticism’, 62 Current Legal Problems (2009) p. 102.

4 A. Kierulf, Judicial Review in Norway: A Bicentennial Debate (Cambridge University Press 2018).

5 J. Husa, ‘Constitutional Mentality’, in P. Letto-Vanamo et al. (eds.), Nordic Law in European Context (Springer 2019) p. 41-60.

6 L. Besselink, ‘Constitutional adjudication in the era of globalization: The Netherlands in comparative perspective’, 18 European Public Law (2012) p. 231 at p. 233.

7 The Constitution of Finland (731/1999, amendments up to 817/2018 included), translation from Finnish. Legally binding only in Finnish and Swedish. In Finnish and Swedish, however, this Act is titled perustuslaki/grundlag, i.e. ‘basic Law’, not valtiosääntö (constitution).

8 The Finnish language sets an obstacle to researchers unable to read it. Even though the country is officially bilingual (Finnish and Swedish), full access to all sources requires skills in Finnish. P. Talroth, ‘Multilingualism in Finland: A Legal Perspective’, 1 International Journal of Language & Law (2012) p. 33.

9 T. Ginsburg, ‘The Global Spread of Constitutional Review’, in K. Whittington and D. Keleman (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Law and Politics (Oxford University Press 2008) p. 81.

10 See, e.g., J. de Poorter, ‘Constitutional Review in the Netherlands: A Joint Responsibility’, 9 Utrecht Law Review (2013) p. 89 and de Visser, supra n. 2, p. 11 ff. Art. 120 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of the Netherlands provides that ‘The constitutionality of Acts of Parliament and treaties shall not be reviewed by the courts’ (De rechter treedt niet in de beoordeling van de grondwettigheid van wetten en verdragen).

11 Combining rights-oriented legal constitutionalism and legislature-oriented political constitutionalism has proved to be an arduous task in the Nordic systems: J. Husa, ‘Nordic Constitutionalism and European Human Rights: Mixing Oil and Water?’, 55 Scandinavian Studies in Law (2010) p. 102.

12 D. Lustig and J.H.H. Weiler, ‘Judicial review in the contemporary world – retrospective and prospective’, 16 International Journal of Constitutional Law (2018) p. 315.

13 E.g. in the 2018 World Economic Forum global judicial independence ranking, Finland ranks in first place. Norway is in third place, Denmark is 12th, and Sweden 13th: ⟨https://reports.weforum.org/pdf/gci-2017-2018-scorecard/WEF_GCI_2017_2018_Scorecard_EOSQ144.pdf⟩, visited 9 July 2020.

14 As Hirschl puts it: ‘even a cursory look at relevant data suggests that the supposed correlation between courts and judicial review as independent variables and democracy as a dependent one may not be nearly as organic and natural as it has been portrayed by proponents of the canonical view. Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Denmark – four of the most developed and prosperous nations on Earth – have long adhered to social democracy while being less than enthusiastic (to put it mildly) about the American notion of rights and judicial review’: R. Hirschl, Comparative Matters: The Renaissance of Comparative Constitutional Law (Oxford University Press 2014) p. 180.

15 For a concise historical view, see P. Kastari, ‘The Historical Background of Finnish Constitutional Ideas’, 7 Scandinavian Studies in Law (1963) p. 61.

16 J. Mahoney, ‘Path Dependence in Historical Sociology’, 29 Theory and Society (2000) p. 507 at p. 508-510.

17 This claim is not, as such, an original one, as constitutional history is constantly referred to in legal scholarship. For a concise discussion, see M. Les Benedict, ‘Constitutional History and Constitutional Theory’, 108 Yale Law Journal (1999) p. 2011 (discussing Ackerman’s theory).

18 T. Boas, ‘Conceptualizing Continuity and Change: The Composite-Standard Model of Path Dependence’, 19 Journal of Theoretical Politics (2007) p. 33.

19 J. Husa, ‘Guarding the Constitutionality of Laws in the Nordic Countries’, 48 American Journal of Comparative Law (2000) p. 345.

20 Husa, supra n. 5.

21 E. Helgadóttir, ‘Nonproblematic Judicial Review: A Case Study’, 9 International Journal of Constitutional Law (2011) p. 532.

22 See V-P. Hautamäki, ‘Novel Rules in the Finnish Constitution – The Question of Applicability’, 52 Scandinavian Studies in Law (2007) p. 133.

23 Art. 22 of the Constitutional Act provides that all ‘public authorities shall guarantee the observance of basic rights and liberties and human rights’.

24 See J. Husa, The Constitution of Finland – A Contextual Analysis (Hart Publishing 2011) p. 186-187.

25 The yearly number of statements is somewhere between 60 and 80.

26 See I. Koivisto, ‘Experts and Constitutionality Control in Finland: a Crisis of Cognitive Authority?’, 40 Retfaerd (2017) p. 22.

27 Legislative matters are constitutionally so-called ordinary matters; s. 41 of the Constitution Act provides that ‘Decisions in plenary session are made by a simple majority of the votes cast, unless specifically otherwise provided in this Constitution’. In the case of enacting, amending or repealing the Constitution Act the procedure consists of two parts: first, a majority of the votes cast leaves the proposal in abeyance; second, after the following parliamentary elections the proposal can be passed (without material alterations) by a decision supported by at least two-thirds of the votes cast (s. 73(1)).

28 See Husa, supra n. 24, p. 78-88.

29 See J. Lavapuro et al., ‘Rights-Based Constitutionalism in Finland and the Development of Pluralist Constitutional Review’, 9 International Journal of Constitutional Law (2011) p. 505.

30 Vasa’s constitutional heritage is still debated and it is not quite clear what his role was. Hence, one can ask whether he was the Father of the Nation or a tyrant: L.-O. Larsson, Gustav Vasa – Landsfader eller tyrann? (Prisma 2002).

31 Although it is not quite clear what the practical significance of this constitutional document was, nevertheless it introduced a principle according to which decision-making by the monarch was bound by the law, i.e. it required the compliance of the Estates (s. 4. ‘Konungen äger styra och råda borgom och landom och allom sin och cronone rätt, som lag säger’). In any case, the 1634 Act may be regarded as the starting point for a system that can be described as a constitutional system and this Act can be regarded as a de jure constitution: N. Stjernquist, Land skall med lag byggas. Sveriges statförfattningshistoria [The Land will be Built by Laws: Swedish Constitutional History] (SNS Författingsprojekt 1999) p. 14.

32 The term ‘constitution’ is used here in a broad sense. It would be possible to use the technically more correct term ‘fundamental law’ (lex fundamentalis): A. Jyränki, Lakien laki [Law of the Laws] (Lakimiesliiton kustannus 1989) p. 60-61.

33 P. Karonen, Pohjoinen Suurvalta: Ruotsi ja Suomi 1521-1809 [The Great Northern Power: Sweden and Finland 1521-1809] (WSOY 1999) p. 196-197.

34 In international literature, regeringsform is normally translated as the Instrument of Government; however, literally it means ‘form of government’. Besides, the Instrument of Government refers to the constitutional document of 1653, which was a written constitution of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

35 M. Roberts, The Age of Liberty: Sweden 1719-1772 (Cambridge University Press 2003).

36 J. Scherp, De ofrälse och makten. En institutionell studie av riksdagen och de ofrälse ståndens politik i maktdelningsfrågor 1660–1682 (Stockholm University 2003).

37 Karonen, supra n. 33, p. 408. The term ‘Riksdag’ comes from two Swedish words: ‘rike’ meaning the Realm and ‘dag’ meaning day. Together these make ‘day of the Realm’ i.e. the gathering day of the legislative assembly.

38 C. Wolff, Noble Conceptions of Politics in Eighteenth-century Sweden (circa 1740–1790) (Studia Fennica Historica 2016) p. 29.

39 Kongl. Maj:ts Nådige Försäkran Gifwen Thess trogne undersåtare Samtelige Riksens Ständer på Riks-Salen Then 21 augusti 1772, Stockholm, 1772 [Kongl. Maj:ts refers to the ‘Royal Majesty’ i.e. Gustav III].

40 Karonen, supra n. 33, p. 403.

41 In Swedish: § 40 ‘Ej må Konunger någon ny Lag utan Ständernes vetskap och samtycke göra, eller någon gammal afskaffa’. § 41 ‘Ej måge Riksens Ständer någon gammal Lag afskaffa eller ny Lag göra, utan Konungens Ja och samtycke’.

42 In Swedish (§ 1): ‘äger full magt att styra’ and ‘på sätt konungen nyttigast synes’.

43 Wolff, supra n. 38, p. 34.

44 Karonen, supra n. 33, p. 416-417.

45 E. Hakkila, Suomen tasavallan perustuslait [Constitutional Laws of the Republic of Finland] (WSOY 1939) p. 13-14.

46 J. Kekkonen, ‘The Main Trends in Finnish Legal History during the Period of Autonomy’, in M. Branch et al. (eds.), Finland and Poland in the Russian Empire. A Comparative Study (School of Slavonic and East European Studies 1995) p. 105.

47 Landtag refers to land, i.e. an area rather than the whole country. In other words, it is a lesser form of gathering than the Riksdag, which involves the whole country. The distinction between these two follows the German Landtag – Reichstag separation.

48 The Russian approach can be regarded as a policy of pacification in Finland 1808–1809. This is described by P. Karonen, who also describes how the oath of allegiance actually took place and how it was repeated throughout Finland, in ‘Introduction: Sweden, Russia and Finland 1808-1809’, in C. von Heijne and T. Talvio (eds.), Monetary Boundaries in Transition. A North European Economic History and the Finnish War 1808–1809 (Museum of National Antiquities Stockholm 2010) p. 9.

49 The whole pledge was actually broader and covered more than fundamental laws, i.e. the Lutheran religion, Swedish laws and legal system: Finnish translation (from Russian) in K. Grotenfelt (ed.), Suomenkielisiä historiallisia asiakirjoja Ruotsin vallan ajalta [Finnish Historical Documents from the Swedish Period] (Acta Historica Fennica 1912) p. 344-445. Of course it was not only constitutional laws but also other forms of Swedish laws such as the Swedish Law of the Realm of 1734 (1734 års lag). For a broader discussion on Swedish/Finnish private law, see H. Pihlajamäki, ‘Why was private law not codified in Sweden and Finland?’, in O. Moréteau et al. (eds.), Comparative Legal History (Edward Elgar Publishing 2019) p. 465 (where the 1734 Law is described as ‘the jewel in the crown of Swedish statutory measures in the premodern era’, at p. 477).

50 Karonen, supra n. 33, p. 429. The text of the Act says that the Emperor promised to ‘confirm and ratify’ the religion and the fundamental laws as well as ‘privileges and rights’ (the sovereign’s pledge was originally written in the language in which it was orally presented i.e. French; the quotations here are translated from the Swedish version).

51 F. Lagerroth, Moderna författningar mot historisk bakgrund [Modern Constitutions against Historical Background] (Norstedts 1955) p. 192.

52 H.T. Klami, The Legalists: Finnish Legal Science in the Period of Autonomy 1809-1917 (Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters 1981).

53 O. Jussila, Suomen suuriruhtinaskunta [Grand Duchy of Finland] (WSOY 2004) p. 74-77.

54 Jussila, supra n. 53, p. 232-254.

55 In doing so, the Russian Emperor actually continued earlier Swedish practice following 1772; the Estates convened only on the call of the King, which meant that the King used de facto legislative power single-handedly through administrative regulations that came into force without the consent of the Riksdag: Jyränki, supra n. 32, p. 76.

56 § 6: ‘… Riksdag inga andra ämnen än dem konungen proponerar’. This section, then, directly refers to the constitutional law existing before the Age of Liberty by continuing that ‘as was usually the case before 1680’ (‘på sätt som före 1860 var vanligt’).

57 J. Kekkonen, ‘“Golden Age of Legislation” in Finland 1863–79’, 2 Russian Law Journal (2014) p. 63.

58 Y. Koskinen, a prominent Finnish nationalist leader of late nineteenth-century Finland, famously coined the long inactive period as ‘state night’ (valtioyö) or ‘stateless night’ by writing that ‘[our] state night, over a half-century long, had come to its end’, Suometar 17 August 1864 (Suometar was a newspaper published from 1847 to 1866).

59 J. Kekkonen, ‘The Finnish Path to a State Based on the Rule of Law: from 1850 to the Present’, in K. Nuotio et al. (eds.), Introduction to Finnish Law and Legal Culture (Forum Iuris 2012) p. 75 at p. 76-78.

60 As Jyränki, supra n. 32, p. 403 comments: ‘The continuity in legal thinking from the period of autonomy to independence was remarkably strong, stronger than is usually thought’.

61 O. Pekonen, ‘The political transfer of parliamentary concepts and practices in the European periphery: the case of obstruction in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Finland’, 37 Parliaments, Estates and Representation (2017) p. 281 at p. 282.

62 Valtiopäiväjärjestys Ask 11/1869 [Ask is an abbreviation of Asetuskokoelma, i.e., the Official Collection of Enactments], the Diet Act.

63 Jussila, supra n. 53, p. 346-347.

64 Jyränki, supra n. 32, p. 408.

65 Jyränki, supra n. 32, p. 403.

66 It is quite possible that one of the unintentional consequences of the 1772 Form of Government was a slowly growing idea according to which governance should be solely laid down in a written constitutional document. Therefore, the idea of some kind of constitutional legal positivism was taking shape in the shadows of day-to-day politics and the tug-of-war between the nobility and the King: Jyränki, supra n. 32, p. 74.

67 Husa, supra n. 24, p. 17-19.

68 L. Björne draws interesting parallels between Finland and Norway in his book ‘Threat from the East’, Hotet från öster: drag i finsk och även norsk konstitutionell historia fram till 1809/1814 (Dreyers Forlag 2014).

69 Husa, supra n. 24, p. 228-229.

70 The Diet Act (1869), 7 §. ‘An Estate Representative, in his work, is not under any other rules than constitutional laws of the country’ (‘Valtiopäivämies ei ole tätä tointa käyttäessä muiden määräysten kuin maan perustuslakien alainen’).

71 Jyränki, supra n. 32, p. 492-500; Husa, supra n. 24, p. 227-232. For a broader contemporary discussion see J. Lavapuro et al., ‘Rights-based Constitutionalism in Finland and the Development of Pluralist Constitutional Review’, 9 International Journal of Constitutional Law (2011) p. 505.

72 R. Erich, Valtiosääntöjen säätäminen ja muuttaminen [Passing and Changing Constitutions] (WSOY 1909) p. 272-273 (which also mentions the 1878 Military Service Act as an example).

73 E. Riepula, Eduskunnan perustuslakivaliokunta perustuslakien tulkitsijana [Constitutional Committee of the Parliament as Interpretator of Constitutional Laws] (Suomalainen Lakimiesyhdistys 1973) p. 73.

74 The idea itself was not completely novel because a similar type of idea had already been developed in the late eighteenth century: Jyränki, supra n. 32, p. 68.

75 The statement by the Law Committee is part of the Finance Committee’s Report (3/1882) on Bill 33/1882. Formally the issue concerned § 18 of the 1772 Constitution, although in practice the problem arose because so-called seat farms enjoyed certain freedoms from taxes and tithes. The paragraphs of this law do not indicate that it is an exceptive law; instead, the legislative order can be seen in the introductory words – a custom that is still followed today.

76 From the point of view of comparison, there are certain similarities with the UK House of Lords Constitution Committee. However, the institutional, historical, contextual, and practical differences are perhaps too great for a meaningful juxtaposition. For more about the UK institution, see Select Committee on the Constitution, 15th Report of Session 2010–12 The Process of Constitutional Change (HL 177 2011) p. 34-36.

77 Jyränki, supra n. 32, p. 442-444.

78 Jyränki, supra n. 32, p. 446-447.

79 See also M. Hidén, ‘Constitutional Rights in the Legislative Process’, 17 Scandinavian Studies in Law (1973) p. 95.

80 S.D. Huxley, Constitutional Insurgence in Finland (Studia Historica 1990). See also Pekonen, supra n. 61, p. 295.

81 Riepula, supra n. 73, p. 117 (with exact numerical data).

82 Keisarillisen Majesteetin Armollinen Julistuskirja Ask 3/1899 [The Gracious Manifesto of the Imperial Majesty].

83 Jyränki, supra n. 32, p. 451; Jussila, supra n. 53, p. 619.

84 See also Jussila, supra n. 53, p. 615-634.

85 P. Kastari, Suomen valtiosääntö [Constitution of Finland] (Suomalainen lakimiesyhdistys 1977) p. 46-47.

86 A. Jyränki and J. Husa, Valtiosääntöoikeus (Lakimiesliiton kustannus 2012) p. 29.

87 Kastari, supra n. 85, p. 45.

88 In Précis du droit public du Grand-Duché de Finlande (1886) Mechelin strongly defended Finland’s constitutional position. This short publication, a learned pamphlet, was later also published in German (enlarged version) and English. Mechelin’s text had an impact especially outside Russia and it spread effectively the idea according to which Finland was a state, distinct from Russia: Jussila, supra n. 53, p. 542. Mechelin was certainly not the only Finnish legal scholar presenting these arguments, though. See also, e.g. R. Hermanson, Finlands statsrättsliga ställning [Finland’s Constitutional Position] (Edlund 1892).

89 Jyränki, supra n. 32, p. 439-442.

90 For a general description, see A. Jyränki, ‘Die neue Verfassung Finnlands’, 56 Zeitschrift für öffentliches Recht (2001) p. 113. According to the 2000 Constitution (§ 106), the courts must give preference to the Constitution when they decide a case if the application of a parliamentary law would be in manifest conflict (in Finnish ‘ilmeinen ristiriita’) with the Constitution. This article was adopted as ‘an alternative’ to establishing a Constitutional Court: Government Proposal (Hallituksen esitys 1/1998) p. 53-54. In a small number of cases, starting from 2004, the courts have applied Art. 106 but in the overall picture judicial review by the courts plays a minor role in terms of guarding the constitutionality of parliamentary laws: Husa, supra n. 23, p. 186-187. Weak judicial review was a modified legal transplant from Sweden (such as it was in 1979-2010): J. Nergelius, ‘Judicial Review in Swedish Law: a Critical Analysis’, 27 Nordic Journal of Human Rights (2009) p. 142 (which explains the Swedish situation just before the 2010 reform).

91 Jyränki and Husa, supra n. 86, p. 32.

92 R.B. Mckean, ‘The Constitutional Monarchy in Russia, 1906–17’, in I.D. Thatcher (ed.), Regime and Society in Twentieth-Century Russia (Palgrave Macmillan 1999) p. 44-67.

93 According to the Russian Constitution of 1906 ‘The Grand Duchy of Finland, while comprising an inseparable part of the Russian state, shall be governed in its internal affairs by special decrees founded upon special legislation’. For a more detailed discussion on this constitutional reform, see e.g., G. Doctorow, ‘The Fundamental State Laws of 23 April 1906’, 35 Russian Review (1976) p. 33.

94 Suomen Suuriruhtinaanmaan Valtiopäiväjärjestys Ask 26/1906 [The Parliament Act of the Grand Duchy of Finland].

95 J. Teljo, Suomen valtioelämän murros [Turning Point of Finnish State Life] (WSOY 1949) p. 228.

96 In Finnish 40.1 § ‘Perustuslakivaliokunnan tulee valmistella sinne lähetetyt asiat, jotka koskevat perustuslain säätämistä, muuttamista, selittämistä tai kumoamista’.

97 Kastari, supra n. 85, p. 44-48.

98 Jyränki, supra n. 32, p. 503.

99 Valtiopäiväjärjestys (7/1928) § 46 declared that it was the Constitutional Law Committee’s obligation to ‘prepare the matters sent to it relating to the enactment, amendment, expounding or repeal of a Constitutional Act or to legislation that is in close substantive connection with a Constitutional Act’.

100 P. Letto-Vanamo and D. Tamm say that ‘… the relation to Russia has had an impact on Finnish society as well as on societal and legal thinking, which may differ from that of the other Nordic countries. Especially, attitudes towards law have been more legalistic than in the other Nordic countries’: ‘Nordic Legal Mind’, in Letto-Vanamo et al., supra n. 5, p. 1 at p. 6-7.

101 PeVL 15/1924 [PeVL is an acronym of perustuslakivaliokunnan lausunto, i.e. a Statement by the Constitutional Law Committee]. According to this doctrine, if later changes do not go further than the original exception, then they can be passed in the normal legislative order.

102 Hallitusmuoto (AsK 94/1919) was the first and most important Finnish constitutional document from 1919 to 2000. In literature, hallitusmuoto is typically translated as the Constitution but a literal – and more fitting – translation is ‘form of government’. In this, it followed the Swedish tradition. In Swedish, the title was more exact, as it was Regeringsform för Finland, i.e. ‘Form of Government for Finland’.

103 Jussila, supra n. 53, p. 704-710.

104 Jussila, supra n. 53, p. 754.

105 Riepula, supra n. 73, p. 49-52.

106 For a broad analysis of the civil war, T. Tepora and A. Roselius (eds.), The Finnish Civil War 1918: History, Memory, Legacy (Brill 2014).

107 Riepula, supra n. 73, p. 336-338; Jyränki, supra n. 32, p. 515-519.

108 Jyränki, supra n. 32, p. 515-516.

109 The Form of Government (1919) enabled (§ 92.2) the courts to review the constitutionality of Decrees but not Parliamentary Acts. There was no direct prohibition for the courts (and other public authorities) to control the constitutionality of laws passed by parliament but, in practice, the prohibition was made on an e contrario basis, i.e., because the norm was silent about it, it was not deemed legally possible. In other words, the prevailing interpretation was that the courts had no role in constitutionality control of laws passed by the legislature. Kastari, supra n. 85, p. 256-258.

110 Jyränki, supra n. 32, p. 511-515.

111 Jyränki and Husa, supra n. 86, p. 353 say that ‘As it is the expert-institution has developed so regular, frequent and broad that it can be seen – though not formally – as an elemental part of the institution’.

112 Husa, supra n. 24, p. 224-227.

113 For a wider discussion on how constitutionality control actually works, see V. Saario, ‘Control of the Constitutionality of Laws in Finland’, 12 American Journal of Comparative Law (1963) p. 194 and P. Länsineva, ‘The Constitutional Committee of Parliament: The Finnish model of norm control’, in M. Sakslin (ed.), The Finnish Constitution in Transition (Finnish Society of Constitutional Law, 1991) p. 68.

114 However, in 1772 the general qualifications for public office said (§ 10) such that the chosen person should be ‘the most skilled, worthiest, and best qualified for the vacant place’ (‘förståndigaste, värdigaste och til then lediga beställningen tienligaste Personer’, the 2000 Constitution (§ 125.2) says that the ‘general qualifications for public office shall be skill, ability and proven civic merit’ (‘Yleiset nimitysperusteet julkisiin virkoihin ovat taito, kyky ja koeteltu kansalaiskunto’).

115 T. Ojanen, ‘From Constitutional Periphery toward the Center’, 27 Nordic Journal of Human Rights (2009) p. 194. For a broader historical analysis, from the post-war years to the mid-1990s, see J. Salojärvi, Human Rights Redefining Legal Thought: The History of Human Rights Discourse in Finnish Legal Scholarship (Springer 2020).

116 B. Ackerman, We the People: Foundations (Belknap Press 1991). For a more concise discussion on Ackerman’s book, see M. Klarman, ‘Constitutional Fact/Constitutional Fiction: A Critique of Bruce Ackerman’s Theory of Constitutional Moments’, 44 Stanford Law Review (1992) p. 759.

117 See B. Ackerman, The Future of Liberal Revolution (Yale University Press 1992) (applying the idea of constitutional moments against the backdrop of transformations that took place in the early 1990s in Central and Eastern Europe).

118 Ackerman, supra n. 116, p. 6-7 spoke of higher law-making that would take place during an intense period of political deliberation so that the (American) people would have a direct role leading to enduring constitutional change. During moments like these, the public would speak as ‘We the People’.

119 We can also see that Ackerman’s theory is based on an idea of temporal compression and not the extended period that the path dependency idea is based on. See also M Tushnet, The New Constitutional Order (Princeton University Press 2003) p. 3-4.

120 Perustuslain tarkistamiskomitean mietintö (KM 9/2010) [Report of the Constitution Act Checking Committee] p. 126-128.

121 M. Suksi, ‘Markers of Nordic Constitutional Identity’, 37 Retfærd (2014) p. 66 at p. 77.

122 J. Husa, Nordic Reflections on Constitutional Law (Peter Lang 2002) p. 185.

123 During 2015-2019 the Government struggled (and failed) to achieve a huge social, health care, and regional government reform. Numerous Bills were rejected over and over again by the Constitutional Law Committee, drawing the experts into the political arena. About the failed reform, see Final Report of the Regional Government, Health and Social Services Reform (Ministry of Finance Publications 2019).

124 Boas, supra n. 18, p. 49.

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