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Parliament begins debate on intelligence gathering legislation

Published 3/13/2018 6:00 PM
Modified 3/14/2018 10:28 AM

Parliament begins debate on intelligence gathering legislation

​In late February, Parliament began a debate on the so-called intelligence legislation package. The project is based on Finland’s Cyber Security Strategy from 2013, which the Government used to formulate targets for the development of legislation.

Government proposals concerning the oversight of the gathering of civilian and military intelligence were handed over to Parliament in late January, and they were the subject of parliamentary debate on 20 January.

The package also includes a proposal by the Speaker’s Council to establish an Intelligence Oversight Committee in Parliament.

After the parliamentary debate has been concluded, the matter will be discussed by the committees. The committees that have the most influence over how Parliament votes are the Constitutional Law Committee, the Administrative Committee and the Defence Committee.

The Government proposes that the package, which requires amendments to the constitution, is processed as urgent. Amendments to the constitution may be declared urgent if five-sixths of Parliament are in favour. After that, the proposal can be approved by a two-thirds majority.

Government proposals and the Speaker’s Council proposal included in the intelligence legislation package (in Finnish):

Government proposal to Parliament for an act to amend Section 10 of Finland’s constitution: HE 198/2017 vp

Government proposal to Parliament for an act on the oversight of intelligence gathering and an act to amend Section 7 of the State Civil Servants’ Act: HE 199/2017 vp

Government proposal to Parliament for legislation concerning civilian intelligence gathering: HE 202/2017 vp

Government proposal to Parliament for an act on military intelligence gathering and certain related acts: HE 203/2017 vp

Speaker’s Council proposal to amend Parliament’s Rules of Procedure and Section 9 of the Act on Parliamentary Civil Servants: PNE 1/2018 vp

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