Supervision of courts of law
The Chancellor of Justice supervises the official actions of the courts of law both on the basis of complaints and his own initiative. The Chancellor of Justice sees to it that an individual’s right to a just trial is realised in practice. Often, in the course of processing a complaint, the Chancellor of Justice is asked to intervene in an ongoing court proceeding or the content of a decision issued by a court of law. The Chancellor of Justice cannot, however, influence the handling of any matter in an ongoing trial nor change the decision issued by a court of law. It is, however, the duty of the Chancellor of Justice to take a stand when, for example, he finds that the court of law has exceeded its discretionary power.
Review of penalty decisions
The Legal Register Centre provides the Office of the Chancellor of Justice with a sample of the judicial decisions of the courts for review. On the basis of these judgements, it is possible to detect potential errors that may have occurred in the course of sentencing. Based on random sampling, the review system does not facilitate the detection of all of the errors made by the courts, but it does, however, effectively uncover repetitive and common errors.
As a consequence of an observed error, the Chancellor of Justice may issue a statement or a reprimand, or an order to initiate actions against the relevant official. An action against an official may be taken if the error constitutes an offence in office, such as the violation of official duty as stipulated in Chapter 40, Section 9 of the Criminal Code (Rikoslaki 39/1889).