Supreme Court of Finland
The Supreme Court of Finland, located in Helsinki, is the court of last resort for cases within the private law of Finland. The Court's counterpart is the Supreme Administrative Court, the court of last resort for cases within the administrative law; the Supreme Court consists of a President and at minimum 15 18, other Justices working in five-judge panels. The most important function of the Supreme Court is to rule on important points of law in cases which are significant for the entire legal order, guiding the administering of justice in future cases. Decisions of the Courts of Appeal, as well as certain decisions of the Insurance Court may be appealed against to the Supreme Court, provided that it grants leave to appeal. In the rare criminal cases where a Court of Appeal acts as the court of first instance, the leave to appeal is not needed; the Supreme Court may annul final decisions of courts on the grounds provided in Chapter 31 of the Code of Judicial Procedure. The Court handles complaints concerning errors in procedure.
In some cases the Court may restore the right of appeal after the expiration of a specified period of time. The Supreme Court gives advice to the President in cases concerning the right to grant a pardon, to the Ministry of Justice in cases concerning extradition, it may provide legal opinions on Government Bills at different stages of the legislative process, the President may consult it on Bills passed by Parliament before ratifying them. The Supreme Court may approach the President on its own initiative, propose enactment of a new Parliament Act or an amendment to an existing Act; the Supreme Court relies on written evidence when deciding on a case. The Court may, hold oral hearings in which the parties and experts are heard in person; the oral hearings are public. The precedents are created in cases for which the applicable Acts of Parliament and decrees do not provide a clear solution for a question of law, or in which there is room for interpretation. 150 such precedents are decided each year.
Under the Finnish legal system, a judicial precedent is not binding. Courts of Appeal and District Courts may depart from earlier decisions made by the Supreme Court, for example when the social circumstances have changed. In practice, precedents of the Supreme Court are followed in cases arising after the precedent has been created and involving a similar point of law; the Supreme Court may itself depart from its earlier precedents, provided that the case is considered by an enlarged chamber or by a full court. Precedents in the Supreme Court cases are published every six months. In addition they are available in a specific database at http://www.finlex.fi/. The panel of the Court deciding the precedents makes the decisions concerning their publication; the title of a judgment sets forth the point of law to which the precedent applied and which constitutes the reason for its publication. In cases containing to precedents, the Supreme Court will have to take a position on questions other than those outlined in the title.
However, such positions are like any other judgments of the Court. A precedent contributes to the development of national law by providing consistency in case law; the objective is that courts throughout the country interpret the law in a uniform manner and apply legal principles by means of consistent assessment and deliberation. Precedents are used in research, for the purpose of analysing the contents of existing law. In cases before the Supreme Court where leave to appeal must first be granted before an appeal is allowed from a decision of a lower court, the proceedings before the Court have two stages: decision on admissibility and decision on the merits of the case; the admissibility of the case, the granting of leave to appeal, must be decided on by two members of the court upon presentation by a referendary. This means that the two members make the decision on the basis of the preliminary work and opinion of the referendary. Under certain circumstances, the decision on admissibility may be made by three members of the Court instead of two.
In case an application for leave to appeal is rejected, the case will be closed and the judgment of the court of appeal will remain final. Should leave to appeal be granted, the merits of the case, the allegations presented in the appeal petition, is decided on by five members of the Court; the decision on the merits is made upon presentation by a referendary, meaning that the referendary prepares the case and is responsible for the outcome of the case. Apart from documentary evidence and applicable legislation, the sources of law on which the decision of the Supreme Court may be based include case law, the legislative history of Acts of Parliament and international conventions. If a question of law to be resolved involves significant principles or if the Supreme Court wishes to depart from an earlier precedent, the case shall be decided on by a grand chamber or by a full court. Administrative matters, including the appointment of judges, shall be decided on by a full court. Referendaries of the Supreme Court present them in the hearing.
The referendaries are mainly responsible for contacting the parties to the case and for the administrative work relating to hearings, as well as for sending court documents
Democracy is a system of government where the citizens exercise power by voting. In a direct democracy, the citizens as a whole form a governing body and vote directly on each issue. In a representative democracy the citizens elect representatives from among themselves; these representatives meet to form a governing body, such as a legislature. In a constitutional democracy the powers of the majority are exercised within the framework of a representative democracy, but the constitution limits the majority and protects the minority through the enjoyment by all of certain individual rights, e.g. freedom of speech, or freedom of association. "Rule of the majority" is sometimes referred to as democracy. Democracy is a system of processing conflicts in which outcomes depend on what participants do, but no single force controls what occurs and its outcomes; the uncertainty of outcomes is inherent in democracy, which makes all forces struggle for the realization of their interests, being the devolution of power from a group of people to a set of rules.
Western democracy, as distinct from that which existed in pre-modern societies, is considered to have originated in city-states such as Classical Athens and the Roman Republic, where various schemes and degrees of enfranchisement of the free male population were observed before the form disappeared in the West at the beginning of late antiquity. The English word dates back to the 16th century, from the older Middle French and Middle Latin equivalents. According to American political scientist Larry Diamond, democracy consists of four key elements: a political system for choosing and replacing the government through free and fair elections. Todd Landman draws our attention to the fact that democracy and human rights are two different concepts and that "there must be greater specificity in the conceptualisation and operationalization of democracy and human rights"; the term appeared in the 5th century BC to denote the political systems existing in Greek city-states, notably Athens, to mean "rule of the people", in contrast to aristocracy, meaning "rule of an elite".
While theoretically these definitions are in opposition, in practice the distinction has been blurred historically. The political system of Classical Athens, for example, granted democratic citizenship to free men and excluded slaves and women from political participation. In all democratic governments throughout ancient and modern history, democratic citizenship consisted of an elite class, until full enfranchisement was won for all adult citizens in most modern democracies through the suffrage movements of the 19th and 20th centuries. Democracy contrasts with forms of government where power is either held by an individual, as in an absolute monarchy, or where power is held by a small number of individuals, as in an oligarchy; these oppositions, inherited from Greek philosophy, are now ambiguous because contemporary governments have mixed democratic and monarchic elements. Karl Popper defined democracy in contrast to dictatorship or tyranny, thus focusing on opportunities for the people to control their leaders and to oust them without the need for a revolution.
No consensus exists on how to define democracy, but legal equality, political freedom and rule of law have been identified as important characteristics. These principles are reflected in all eligible citizens being equal before the law and having equal access to legislative processes. For example, in a representative democracy, every vote has equal weight, no unreasonable restrictions can apply to anyone seeking to become a representative, the freedom of its eligible citizens is secured by legitimised rights and liberties which are protected by a constitution. Other uses of "democracy" include that of direct democracy. One theory holds that democracy requires three fundamental principles: upward control, political equality, social norms by which individuals and institutions only consider acceptable acts that reflect the first two principles of upward control and political equality; the term "democracy" is sometimes used as shorthand for liberal democracy, a variant of representative democracy that may include elements such as political pluralism.
Roger Scruton argues that democracy alone cannot provide personal and political freedom unless the institutions of civil society are present. In some countries, notably in the United Kingdom which originated the Westminster system, the dominant principle is that of parliamentary sovereignty, while maintaining judicial independence. In the United States, separation of powers is cited as a central attribute. In India, parliamentary sovereignty is subject to the Constitution of India which includes judicial review. Though the term "democracy" is used in the context of a political state, the principles are applicable to private organisations. Majority rule is listed as a characteristic of democracy. Hence, democracy allows for political minorities to be oppressed by the "tyranny of the majority" in the absence of legal protections of individual or group rights. An essential part of an "ideal" representative democracy is competitive elections that are substantively and procedurally "fair," i.e. just and equitable
The Green League, shortened to the Greens, is a green political party in Finland. The Green League is among the largest political parties in Finland; the Greens hold one in the European Parliament. The party is a member of the Global Greens and the European Green Party, while its MEP, Heidi Hautala, sits with The Greens–European Free Alliance in the European Parliament. Split on whether Finland should join the European Union, the Green League is pro-European and was the first Finnish party in favor of the federalisation of the European Union. Founded in 1987, the party absorbed a number of green organisations and their members, including four MPs elected in 1987; the party won ten seats in the 1991 election. Despite falling to nine seats in 1995 election, Pekka Haavisto joined Paavo Lipponen's first cabinet, composed of a rainbow coalition; this move made the Green League the first green party in a national cabinet. The party remained in government until 2002, when it resigned from the cabinet in opposition to nuclear power.
In 2007, the party peaked at 15 seats, joined the centre-right-led government. At the 2011 election, the party fell to ten seats; the Greens were invited to join the six-party Katainen Cabinet. In the 2015 parliamentary election, the party returned to its previous best of 15 seats, at 8.53%, achieved their best share of the overall vote. Since November 2018, the party’s leader and chairman has been Pekka Haavisto; the party is in opposition, has provided vast criticism regarding the actions of the incumbent right-wing Sipilä Cabinet such as financial support for economically well-off companies, Fortum's purchase of Uniper, the expedited process of constitution-changing surveillance laws. The Green League was founded 28 February 1987, was registered as a political party the next year. Political activity had begun in the early 1980s, when environmental activists, disillusioned young politicians from the marginalized Liberal People's Party and other active groups began to campaign on green issues in Finland.
In 1995, it was the first European green party. The party was founded as a popular movement, which explains its name's descriptor liitto, "league". There was much resistance within the movement against the founding of a political party, motivated by Robert Michels' iron law of oligarchy, which claims that movements degenerate into oligarchies when they create a formal organization; the party still stresses openness and democratic decision-making. Though liitto has been dropped from the party's website and advertisements, the word still remains in the official name; the first two parliamentary representatives were elected before the registration, in the 1983 parliamentary election. These were the first independent representatives in the Finnish Parliament. In 1987 the number of seats rose to four, in 1991 to ten. About half of the party’s members were against Finland joining the European Union in 1994. Polls showed that most Greens were anti-Eurozone; the party heads declined to fight against euro adoption.
In the 1995 election, the Green League received a total of nine seats out of 200. The party joined the coalition cabinet led by the Social Democrats, Pekka Haavisto became the Minister of the Environment, thus becoming the first green minister in Europe; the Green League received 7.3% of the vote, gained two additional seats in the 1999 election, raising the total to 11. The Greens continued in the next coalition cabinet, but resigned in protest on 26 May 2002, after the cabinet's decision to allow the construction of a new nuclear plant was accepted by Parliament. In 2003, the Green League received 8.0 % of the vote. They increased their seats to 15 while receiving 8.5 % of the vote. In the 2011 election, the party lost five seats. In the 2009 European Parliament elections, the Greens gained two of the thirteen Finnish seats in the European Parliament, which were occupied by Satu Hassi and Heidi Hautala. At the municipal level, the Greens are an important player in the largest cities of Finland.
In the municipal election of 2008 the Greens received 8.9% of the vote. In several other cities, the Greens achieved the position of the third largest party, its weak spot is the rural countryside in those municipalities experiencing strong outward migration. A 2012 study indicated. By 2017 Green League party congress, Niinistö had served two full terms as the chairman and stepped down according to the rules of the party. In the following leadership election, there were six candidates running for party chair, of whom MP Touko Aalto won the election. Soon after Aalto's election, the popularity of the Green League surged in the polls and raised as the second most popular party in the country. However, in September 2017 the poll numbers turned into a downward slope, which continued until autumn 2018. After taking a month of sick leave due to exhaustion in September 2018, Aalto soon announced that he was resigning from his post, citing depression and fatigue. In November 2018, the Green League decided to choose a temporary chairman to lead the party into the 2019 parliamentary elections and until the next party convention.
In the leadership election, former chairman Pekka Haavisto was once again elected as chairman. The Green League is no longer an alternative movement; some Green candidates reject classifying the party as either
National Coalition Party
The National Coalition Party is a centre-right political party in Finland considered to be liberal and liberal-conservative. Founded in 1918, the National Coalition Party is one of the three largest parties in Finland, along with the Social Democratic Party and the Centre Party; the current party chair is Petteri Orpo, elected on 11 June 2016. The party self-statedly bases its politics on "freedom and democracy, equal opportunities, supportiveness and caring" and supports multiculturalism and gay rights, it is pro-European as well as a member of the European People's Party. The party's vote share was 20% in parliamentary elections in the 1990s and 2000s, it won 44 out of 200 seats in the parliamentary elections of 2011, becoming the largest party in the Finnish Parliament for the first time in its history. On the municipal level, it became the most popular party in 2008. In the 2015 election, the NCP lost its status as the country's largest party finishing second in votes and third in seats, but again joining the governing coalition.
The National Coalition Party was founded on 9 December 1918 after the Finnish Civil War by the majority of the Finnish Party and the minority of the Young Finnish Party, both supporting Prince Frederick Charles of Hesse as the King of Finland in the new monarchy. The previous day, the republicans of both parties had founded the National Progressive Party. With over 600 representatives, the foundational meeting of NCP declared the following:A national coalition is needed over old party lines that have lost meaning and have too long separated thinking citizens; this coalition's grand task must be to work to strengthen in our nation the forces that maintain society. Lawful societal order must be upheld and there must be no compromise with revolutionary aspirations, but determined constructive reform work must be pursued."The party sought to accomplish their task by advocating for constitutional monarchy and, failing that, strong governmental powers within a republican framework. On the other hand, their goal was to implement a number of social and economic reforms, such as compulsory education, universal health care, progressive income and property taxation.
The monarchist aims failed and Finland became a parliamentary republic—in which NCP advocated for strong presidential powers. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, the threat posed by Joseph Stalin's communist Soviet Union influenced Finnish politics. Communists, backed by Soviet leaders, accelerated their activities while the ideological position of the National Coalition Party shifted to conservative; the new ideology was poorly received by the youth, attracted instead more to irredentist and fascist movements, such as the Academic Karelia Society or Patriotic People's Movement. In the 1933 parliamentary election, the party formed an electoral coalition with the Patriotic People's Movement, founded by former supporters of the radical nationalist Lapua Movement—even though P. E. Svinhufvud, the party's first President of Finland, played a key role in halting the Lapua Movement and vanquishing their Mäntsälä rebellion; the result was a major defeat. The NCP broke ties with the Patriotic People's Movement in 1934 under the newly elected party chair J.
K. Paasikivi, but was shut out from the Finnish Government until the outbreak of the Winter War in 1939 and only regained support. During the Winter War and the Continuation War in 1939–1944, the party took part in the war-time national unity governments and had strong support for its government policies. After the wars, the National Coalition Party sought to portray itself as a defender of democracy against the resurgent Finnish communists. Chair Paasikivi, who had advocated making more concessions to Soviet Union before the Winter War and taken a cautious line regarding cooperation with Germany before the Continuation War, acted first as Prime Minister of Finland and as President of Finland. Paasikivi is remembered as the formulator of Finnish foreign policy after World War II; the conflict between the NCP and the communist Finnish People's Democratic League culminated when President Paasikivi fired the communist Minister of the Interior Yrjö Leino, who had used the State Police to spy on the party's youth wing among other abuses.
In 1951, the party changed its official name from the original Kansallinen Kokoomuspuolue to the current Kansallinen Kokoomus. The 1950s were a time of ideological shifts, as the emphasis on individual liberty and free market reforms increased at the expense of social conservatism and maintenance of a strong government. A minor division in 1958 led to the formation of the Christian Democrats party. From 1966 to 1987, the party was in the opposition. By criticizing Finnish communists and President Urho Kekkonen of the Centre Party, the party had lost the President's trust—and thus governments formed by the Centre Party and left-wing parties followed one another. A new guard emerged within the NCP in the 1970s that sought to improve relations with long-serving President Kekkonen, their work was successful in the late 1970s. However though the NCP supported Kekkonen for president in 1978 and became the second largest party in the country in the 1979 parliamentary election, a spot in the government continued to elude the NCP until the end of Kekkonen's time in office.
During the long years in opposition, the party's support grew and in 1987 it attained the best parliamentary election result in its history so far. Harri Holkeri became the party's fi
Finland the Republic of Finland, is a country in Northern Europe bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, Gulf of Finland, between Norway to the north, Sweden to the northwest, Russia to the east. Finland is situated in the geographical region of Fennoscandia; the capital and largest city is Helsinki. Other major cities are Espoo, Tampere and Turku. Finland's population is 5.52 million, the majority of the population is concentrated in the southern region. 88.7% of the population is Finnish and speaks Finnish, a Uralic language unrelated to the Scandinavian languages. Finland is the eighth-largest country in Europe and the most sparsely populated country in the European Union; the sovereign state is a parliamentary republic with a central government based in the capital city of Helsinki, local governments in 311 municipalities, one autonomous region, the Åland Islands. Over 1.4 million people live in the Greater Helsinki metropolitan area, which produces one third of the country's GDP. Finland was inhabited when the last ice age ended 9000 BCE.
The first settlers left behind artefacts that present characteristics shared with those found in Estonia and Norway. The earliest people were hunter-gatherers; the first pottery appeared in 5200 BCE. The arrival of the Corded Ware culture in southern coastal Finland between 3000 and 2500 BCE may have coincided with the start of agriculture; the Bronze Age and Iron Age were characterised by extensive contacts with other cultures in the Fennoscandian and Baltic regions and the sedentary farming inhabitation increased towards the end of Iron Age. At the time Finland had three main cultural areas – Southwest Finland and Karelia – as reflected in contemporary jewellery. From the late 13th century, Finland became an integral part of Sweden through the Northern Crusades and the Swedish part-colonisation of coastal Finland, a legacy reflected in the prevalence of the Swedish language and its official status. In 1809, Finland was incorporated into the Russian Empire as the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland.
In 1906, Finland became the first European state to grant all adult citizens the right to vote, the first in the world to give all adult citizens the right to run for public office. Following the 1917 Russian Revolution, Finland declared itself independent. In 1918, the fledgling state was divided by civil war, with the Bolshevik-leaning Red Guard supported by the new Soviet Russia, fighting the White Guard, supported by the German Empire. After a brief attempt to establish a kingdom, the country became a republic. During World War II, the Soviet Union sought to occupy Finland, with Finland losing parts of Karelia, Kuusamo and some islands, but retaining their independence. Finland established an official policy of neutrality; the Finno-Soviet Treaty of 1948 gave the Soviet Union some leverage in Finnish domestic politics during the Cold War era. Finland joined the OECD in 1969, the NATO Partnership for Peace in 1994, the European Union in 1995, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in 1997, the Eurozone at its inception, in 1999.
Finland was a relative latecomer to industrialisation, remaining a agrarian country until the 1950s. After World War II, the Soviet Union demanded war reparations from Finland not only in money but in material, such as ships and machinery; this forced Finland to industrialise. It developed an advanced economy while building an extensive welfare state based on the Nordic model, resulting in widespread prosperity and one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. Finland is a top performer in numerous metrics of national performance, including education, economic competitiveness, civil liberties, quality of life, human development. In 2015, Finland was ranked first in the World Human Capital and the Press Freedom Index and as the most stable country in the world during 2011–2016 in the Fragile States Index, second in the Global Gender Gap Report, it ranked first on the World Happiness Report report for 2018 and 2019. A large majority of Finns are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, freedom of religion is guaranteed under the Finnish Constitution.
The earliest written appearance of the name Finland is thought to be on three runestones. Two have the inscription finlonti; the third was found in Gotland. It dates back to the 13th century; the name can be assumed to be related to the tribe name Finns, mentioned at first known time AD 98. The name Suomi has uncertain origins, but a candidate for a source is the Proto-Baltic word *źemē, meaning "land". In addition to the close relatives of Finnish, this name is used in the Baltic languages Latvian and Lithuanian. Alternatively, the Indo-European word * gʰm-on "man" has been suggested; the word referred only to the province of Finland Proper, to the northern coast of Gulf of Finland, with northern regions such as Ostrobothnia still sometimes being excluded until later. Earlier theories suggested derivation from suomaa or suoniemi, but these are now considered outdated; some have suggested common etymology with saame and Häme, but that theory is uncertain
Centre Party (Finland)
The Centre Party of Finland is a centrist, agrarian political party in Finland. Founded in 1906 as the Agrarian League, the party represented rural communities and supported decentralisation of political power from Helsinki. In the 1920s, the party emerged as the main rival to the Social Democratic Party, the party's first Prime Minister, Kyösti Kallio, held the office four times between 1922 and 1937. After World War II, the party settled as one of the four major political parties in Finland. Urho Kekkonen served as President of Finland from 1956 to 1982: by far the longest period of any President; the name'Centre Party' was adopted in 1965, and'Centre of Finland' in 1988. The Centre Party was the largest party in Parliament from 2003 to 2011, during which time Matti Vanhanen was Prime Minister for seven years. Following the 2011 election, the party was reduced in parliamentary representation from the largest party to the fourth largest, but in 2015 it reclaimed its status as the largest party.
As a Nordic agrarian party, the Centre Party's political influence is greatest in small and rural municipalities, where it holds a majority of the seats in the municipal councils. Decentralisation is the policy, most characteristic of the Centre Party; the Centre has been the ruling party in Finland a number of times since Finnish independence. 12 of the Prime Ministers of Finland, three of the Presidents and a former European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs have been from the party. The Finnish Centre Party is the mother organisation of Finnish Centre Youth, Finnish Centre Students, Finnish Centre Women, it is one of the four largest political parties in the country, along with the National Coalition Party, SDP and Finns Party. It has 49 seats in the Finnish Parliament; the Centre Party chairman is Juha Sipilä, elected in June 2012 to follow Mari Kiviniemi, the former Prime Minister of Finland. The party was founded in 1906 as a movement of citizens in the Finnish countryside.
Before Finnish independence, political power in Finland was centralised in the capital and to the estates of the realm. The centralisation gave space for a new political movement. In 1906 two agrarian movements were founded, they merged in 1908 to become one political party known as Maalaisliitto. An older, related movement was the temperance movement, which had overlapping membership and which gave future Agrarian League activists experience in working in an organisation. Soon the ideas of humanity, the spirit of the land, peasant-like freedom, decentralisation, "the issue of poor people", the "green wave" became the main political phrases used to describe the ideology of the party. Santeri Alkio was the most important ideological father of the party. At the dawn of Finnish independence conservative social forces made an attempt to establish the Kingdom of Finland; the Agrarian League opposed monarchism fiercely though monarchists claimed that a new king from the German Empire and Hohenzollern would have safeguarded Finnish foreign relations.
At this time, anti-anarchist peasants threatened the existence of the party. Because around 40 Social Democratic members of the Parliament had escaped to Russia after the Finnish Civil War and about 50 others had been arrested, the Agrarian League members of the Parliament became the only republicans in Parliament in 1918; the news about the problems of the German Empire from German liberals encouraged the fight of Agrarian League in the Parliament. The Agrarian League managed to maintain the republican voices in the Parliament until the fall of the German Empire, which ruined the dreams of the monarchists; the relentless opposition to the monarchy was rewarded in the parliamentary election 1919 and the party became the biggest non-socialist party in Finland with 19.7% of the votes. After the 1919 election, the centrist and progressive forces, including the Agrarian League, were constant members in Finnish governments, their moderate attitude in restless post-war Finland secured a steady growth in following elections.
The Party formed many centrist minority governments with National Progressive Party and got its first Prime Ministers Kyösti Kallio 1922 and Juho Sunila 1927. For the Agrarian League, the centrist governments were just a transitional period towards an era, which would integrate the "red" and "white" sides of the Civil War into one nation. Not everyone were happy with the conciliatory politics of centrist governments; the extreme right Lapua Movement grew bigger and bigger in the Agrarian League strongholds in the countryside. Many party members joined the new radical movement; the Lapua Movement organised assaults and kidnappings in Finland between 1929 and 1932. In 1930, after the kidnapping of progressive president Kaarlo Juho Ståhlberg, the Agrarian League broke off all its ties to the movement and got a new political enemy in the countryside - The Patriotic People's Movement, founded after the Lapua Movement was outlawed. In the parliamentary election 1933 the main campaign issues were the differing attitudes towards democracy and the rule of law between the Patriotic Electoral Alliance and the Legality Front.
The Patriotic Electoral Alliance favoured continuing the search for suspected Communists - the Communist Party and its affiliated organisations in the spirit of the Lapua Movement. The Legality Front did not want to spend any significant time on searching suspected Communists, but rather wanted to concentrate on keeping the far-right in check; the Legality Front won the elections, but the Agrarian
Finnish Declaration of Independence
The Finnish Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Parliament of Finland on 6 December 1917. It declared Finland an independent nation, among nations ending its autonomy within Russia as its Grand Duchy of Finland, with reference to a delivered bill to the Diet to make Finland an independent republic instead. Declaring the independence was only part of the long process leading to the independence of Finland; the declaration is celebrated as the Independence Day in Finland. After the February Revolution and the abdication of Grand Duke Nicholas II on 2 March 1917, the personal union between Russia and Finland lost its legal base – at least according to the view in Helsinki. There were negotiations between Finnish authorities; the resulting proposal, approved by the Provisional Government, was rewritten in the Finnish Parliament and transformed into the so-called Power Act, whereby the Parliament declared itself to now hold all powers of legislation, except with respect to foreign policy and military issues, that it could be dissolved only by itself.
At the time of the vote it was believed that the Provisional Government would be defeated by the rebellion in Saint Petersburg. The Provisional Government survived, disapproved of the Power Act and dissolved the Parliament. After new elections and the ultimate defeat of the Provisional Government in the October Revolution, the Finnish Parliament decided to set a three-man regency council, based on Finland's Constitution, more on clause §38 of the old Instrument of Government of 1772, enacted by the Estates after Gustav III's bloodless coup; this paragraph provided for the election of a new monarch in case of the extinction of the royal line and was interpreted in Finland as vesting sovereignty in the estates the Parliament, in such an interregnum. The regency council was however never elected because of the strong opposition of Finnish socialists and their general strike which demanded for more radical action. On 2 November 1917, the Bolsheviks declared a general right of self-determination, including the right of complete secession, "for the Peoples of Russia".
On the same day the Finnish Parliament issued a declaration by which it assumed, pro tempore, all powers of the Sovereign in Finland. The old Instrument of Government was however no longer deemed suitable. Leading circles had long held monarchism and hereditary nobility to be antiquated, advocated a republican constitution for Finland; the Senate of Finland, the government that the Parliament had appointed in November, drafted a Declaration of Independence and a proposal for a new republican Instrument of Government. Chairman of the Senate Pehr Evind Svinhufvud read the Declaration to the Parliament on 4 December; the Declaration of Independence was technically given the form of a preamble of the proposition, was intended to be agreed by the Parliament, which adopted the Declaration on 6 December. On 18 December the Soviet Russian government issued a Decree, recognizing Finland's independence, on 22 December it was approved by the highest Soviet executive body, the All-Russian Central Executive Committee.
With reference to the declaration of 15 November, the declaration says: The people of Finland have by this step taken their fate in their own hands. The people of Finland feel that they cannot fulfil their national and international duty without complete sovereignty; the century-old desire for freedom awaits fulfilment now. The people of Finland dare to confidently await how other nations in the world recognize that with their full independence and freedom, the people of Finland can do their best in fulfilment of those purposes that will win them a place amongst civilized peoples. Estonia, Lithuania declared their independence from Russia during the same period. See Estonian War of Independence, Latvian Independence and Lithuanian Wars of Independence; these three countries were occupied by, annexed into, the Soviet Union. See Occupation of the Baltic states. To The Finnish People; the Finnish Parliament has on 15th day of the last November, in support of Section 38 of the Constitution, declared to be the Supreme holder of the State Authority as well as set up a Government to the country, that has taken to its primary task the realization and safeguarding Finland’s independence as a state.
The people of Finland have by this step taken their fate in their own hands: a step both justified and demanded by present conditions. The people of Finland feel that they cannot fulfil their national duty and their universal human obligations without a complete sovereignty; the century-old desire for freedom awaits fulfilment now. Achieving this goal requires some measures by the Parliament. Finland’s current form of government, incompatible with the conditions, requires a complete renewal and therefore has the Government now submitted a proposition for a new Constitution to the Parliament’s council, a proposition, based on the principle that Finland is to be a sovereign republic. Considering that, the main features of the new polity has to be carried into effect the Government has at the same time delivered a bill of acts in this matter