Category Archives: Law and justice

Oikeus on puhunut

[Korkeimman oikeuden presidentti Pauliine] Koskelo on tosin muutaman kerran ollut sen näköinen, että hän aikoo sanoa jotain painokasta.

kirjoittaa Kemppinen aiheenaan oikeusoppineiden tapa tulla tai olla tulematta julkisuuteen, kun keskustellaan yksittäisten oikeustapausten kummallisuuksista, viimeisimpänä tapaus, jossa varas jätettiin tuomitsematta rangaistukseen, jotta hänelle ei tulisi rikosrekisterimerkintää.

Oma kokemukseni käräjäoikeuden lautamiehenä on, että oikeusjuttujen uutisoinnissa on aina puutteita, joskus suoranaisia virheitä. Olen ottanut ohjenuorakseni – ja olen sitä muillekin ojennellut – että oikeuden ratkaisua ei pidä arvostella uutisoinnin perusteella, vaan vähintään pitäisi lukea virallinen vuosikirjaselostus (joita annetaan useimmista korkeimman oikeuden ratkaisuista ja toisinaan hovioikeuden ratkaisuista) tai sitten virallinen tuomio, jos sellaisen vaivautuu luettavakseen hankkimaan (yleensä maksaa sivullisilta rahaa). Juttuja, joissa olen toiminut itse oikeuden jäsenenä, en tietenkään kommentoi mitenkään, kaikki tarvittavan olen sanonut suljettujen ovien takana päätösneuvottelussa ja puheenjohtaja on sen keskustelun perusteella kirjoittanut tuomion.

Sen verran poikkean periaatteestani (sillä en ole tuomiota itse lukenut), että totean tämänhetkisen kohujutun tuomion kummastuttavan minuakin. Oikeus on kuitenkin asian näin hyväksi harkinnut, ja tuomio on lainvoimainen, joten se siitä.

Enemmän ihmettelen, että näin erikoisen tuomion saanut virallinen syyttäjä ei vienyt asiaa hovioikeuden ratkaistavaksi. Toisaalta se kai tarkoittaa, että syyttäjä on todennut oikeuden tuominneen oikein, joten oikeaksi se on katsottava.

Nixforce, cease and desist

Update Amazingly, they seem to have complied with this notice by taking down my content :)

Nixforce, you are republishing (parts of) my blog without permission, and without indicating that you are republishing stuff written elsewhere.

You are required to do all of the following, or cease and desist from republishing my content:

  • Modify your templates in such a way to make it clear that the content on your site is not original.
  • Provide a link from each article of mine that you republish back to my blog or to Planet Debian (where you presumably get your Debian content from).

If you do both, you have my permission to continue republishing my content.

Additionally, you should verify that you have the legal right to republish content by the other authors.

(This has been mailed to their contact email address.)

Ai että eduskuntako kumileimasin?

Eduskunnan sivustouudistus on ollut positiivinen kokemus. Olen oikein paljon pitänyt uudesta palvelusta: voin pyytää eduskuntaa lähettämään minulle tiedon aina, kun minua kiinnostavien valiokuntien lausuntoja tai mietintöjä valmistuu.

Paljon on puhuttu siitä, että eduskunta olisi vain hallituksen kumileimasin. Tämän kumoaa kyllä äsken lukemani lakivaliokunnan mietintö LaVM 20/2006 vp:

[...]
Päätösehdotus

Edellä esitetyn perusteella lakivaliokunta ehdottaa,

että lakiehdotus hylätään.

035 years old

I was born on 19771102T2018+0200. Thus, it is now almost an hour into my 29th, that is, 035th, that is, 0x1Dth birthday. And what am I doing right now? Celebrating? No, actually I am writing a novel.

This is the fourth time I participate in the interNational Novel Writing Month. The MissionImpossible is to write 50 000 words of fiction, a single story, in thirty days. That makes about 1667 words a day, roughly half a dozen pages of manuscript for each 24 hours of this month.

I won last year, but whether I cheated or not only $DEITY can tell. I certainly can’t. This year, I want to finish with flying colors.

Yesterday (the first day of the hellride) I learned a valuable lesson. If my writing slows to a crawl, then I am writing something I should not be writing. Rethinking the scene in question, to include some sort of jeopardy, usually helps. Not that my writing is anything close to stellar when it flows; but in NaNoWriMo it doesn’t matter. Quantity is the only thing that matters, quality is left as an exercise to the reader. Um. No. Quality is the worry of the National Novel Editing Month, in March.

Last year I cat-vacuumed by writing blog posts about the Finnish judicial system. This time I wised up and made it a topic of my novel. It is a sf story, set in a future colony world populated by Finns. Who have refrigerated the Finnish system. Well, almost. They have changed it enough that I can call it fiction. Um. Also to be able to write about things that cannot be written. If it is fiction (in fact, not just in fiction), I am not breaking my oath to keep the deliberations secret. Because it’s fiction, I am not actually writing any court case I have sat in. Setting it in a different world allows me to create court cases that would not exist in the real world. Like trying someone for a murder they are alleged to have committed fifty years ago on another planet, with no physical evidence. Oh wait, almost sounds like the Lake Bodom murders. Damn. Oh right, I forgot. I didn’t sit in that panel of judges.

Here is a bit of infodump I wrote two hours ago:

Some of the first-generation boardmen had told him stories about grand courthouses with metal detectors at the doors, a dozen courtrooms, the same number of judges and hundreds of boardmen. That was in Finland on Old Earth, of course. Not so here. The courthouse was really a modified small apartment building. There were no metal detectors; the technology was hellishly expensive and wasteful. There were no guns on the planet (except in the Old Earth Museum) and knives were not a problem. There were only eight thousand people, so one judge was quite enough, and twenty boardmen. Well, four judges, one at the Thing’s Court and three at the Apellate court. And occasionally a new graduate from the university doing their clerking to obtain their attorney status.

The courthouse had two large courtrooms. The larger generally hosted criminal trials of the Thing’s Court; the smaller was used by the Apellate court when they wanted to hear evidence themselves. Which was not very often. Civil cases sometimes used both rooms at the same time; the wall separating them could be easily removed and put back. The old-timers did approve of the layout and furnishing of the big room. Apparently they did much resemble the Old Earth system.

Riku went in, said hello to the janitor and used the ultra secret boardman access hatch to reach the back room. He was the first boardman there, so he took his time to check his appearance, took a crap and made coffee. Justice must not only be just, it must also look just and stay sharp.

Wish me luck in this insane journey, would you?

(Notice how I cleverly avoided asking for conga rats for the birthday. Tee hee. Or something.)

Villen vankilavihkot

Ex-kansanedustaja Ville Komsi seurasi mielenosoitusta ja päätyi putkaan.

Voin paljastaa, että on mukavampiakin tapoja viettää aikaansa kuin olla 17 tuntia 6 neliön juoppoputkassa, jossa kolme jäpikästä jakaa yhtä ohutta patjaa yläruumiinsa alla joutuen ainakin puoliksi makaamaan kylmällä betonilattialla. Peitteitäkään ei ollut. Saati mitään lukemista, tekemistä, kynää tai paperia. Pirullinen päänsärky oli henkilökohtainen bonus.

Kännykkä takavarikoitiin pariksi vuorokaudeksi. Sormenjäljet ja dna-koodi ovat nyt tallessa siltä varalta, että sattuisin unohtamaan, kuka olen.

The Finnish presidential elections

Today is the election day in Finnish presidential elections. The polls close at eight (18:00 UTC), and the preliminary result is expected to be all but done at eleven (around 21 UTC). If you are a Finnish citizen and happen to be in Finland near your home, please vote if you haven’t already done so!

The President of the Republic, as the official title goes, is the Commander-in-Chief of the Finnish Defense Forces (though he or she can delegate that authority to another person), is in charge of Finnish foreign policy in cooperation with the Prime Minister’s Cabinet. The President has also some miscellaneous powers of appointment (including the exclusive power to appoint judges to permanent offices) and the general power to grant pardon in individual cases. The President also has certain tightly constrained roles in legislation, the forming and dissolution of government, and the dissolution of the parliament.

It should be noted that the President is not the most powerful person in the Finnish government any more. After the almost royal tenure, a quarter of century long, of Urho Kekkonen, the trend has been to limit the powers of the President. Limits were placed on the number of terms a person may serve as President (two), to the President’s veto powers (can only veto a specific bill once), to the President’s foreign policy powers (cooperation with the cabinet is now required), to the President’s role in forming a government (limited from choosing the Prime Minister to the current, mostly ceremonial, role), et cetera. However, the Finnish people still seems to see the President as the people’s champion against the dirty politicians in the cabinet and parliament; this may explain the popularity of presidential elections (it has the best voter turnaround of all the general elections in Finland).

The President is now for the third time elected with a popular vote. There are eight candidates. If nobody achieves majority, a run-off election is held after two weeks between the two candidates who received the most votes. The newly elected president is inaugurated on the 1st of Februari, if there was no run-off, and on the 1st of March otherwise.

The eight candidates have been allocated numbers between 2 and 9. A voter writes the number of their candidate on the ballot. The same numbers are reused for the runoff. A voter could also vote in advance at the numerous advance polling stations between 4th and 10th off January (excluding the 6th).

The eight candidates are (the candidate number and a recent polling result in parentheses)

  • Bjarne Kallis (2, 1 %), an MP, representing the Christian Democrats
  • Sauli Niinistö (3, 20 %), former Finance Minister, representing the National Coalition Party
  • Timo Soini (4, 4 %), an MP, representing True Finns
  • Heidi Hautala (5, 4 %), a former MEP and current MP, representing the Green League
  • Henrik Lax (6, 1 %), a MEP, representing the Swedish People’s Party
  • Matti Vanhanen (7, 18 %), the Prime Minister, representing the Centre Party
  • Arto Lahti (8, 1 %), professor, not representing any formal party
  • Tarja Halonen (9, 52 %), the incumbent, representing the Social Democratic Party

The most interesting guestion in these elections is whether the incumbent can get majority, forgoing a runoff election. In the latest polls, more than 25 % of the polled refused to indicate their choice, if any.

The incumbent is the eleventh President of the Republic. The full list:

  1. K. J. Ståhlberg (1919–1925), elected by Parliament
  2. L. K. Relander (1925–1931), elected by electoral college elected by proportional vote
  3. P. E. Svinhufvud (1931–1937), elected by electoral college elected by proportional vote
  4. Kyösti Kallio (1937–1940), elected by electoral college elected by proportional vote
  5. Risto Ryti (1940–1944), elected twice by the 1937 electoral college
  6. C. G. E. Mannerheim (1944–1946), elected via special enactment
  7. J. K. Paasikivi (1946–1956), elected by electoral college elected by proportional vote
  8. U. K. K. Kekkonen (1956–1982), elected four times by electoral college elected by propotional vote, once via special enactment
  9. Mauno Koivisto (1982–1994), elected once by electoral college elected by proportional vote and once by a run-off electoral college elected by proportional vote
  10. Martti Ahtisaari (1994–2000), elected by run-off popular vote
  11. Tarja Halonen (2000–2006), elected by run-off popular vote

Pain and suffering and other immaterial personal damage

Martin-Éric Racine asked in the comments to my previous mini-essay on crime-related damage compensation about how immaterial losses, such as pain and suffering, are given monetary value in court.

In this essay, which is again part of my essay series on Finnish criminal justice, I will try and sketch an answer. As usual, I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice, and this is not an exhaustive treatise on the subject.

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