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Finland

Constitution as adopted on 17 July 1919.

Article 14

    (1)Finnish and Swedish shall be the national languages of the Republic.

    (2) The right of Finnish citizens to use their mother tongue, whether Finnish or Swedish, before the courts and the administrative authorities, and to obtain from them documents in these languages, shall be guaranteed by law; care shall be taken that the rights of the Finnish speaking population and the rights of the Swedish speaking population of the country shall be promoted by the state upon an identical basis.

    (3) The state shall provide for the intellectual and economic needs of the Finnish speaking and the Swedish speaking populations upon a similar basis.

Article 22

    Laws and decrees as well as bills submitted by the Government to Parliament and the replies, recommendations, and other documents addressed by Parliament to the Government shall be drawn up in the Finnish and the Swedish languages.

Article 50

    (3) In redrawing the boundaries of the administrative districts, it is to be observed that these shall, as far as circumstances permit, be so constituted as to contain populations speaking only one language, Finnish or Swedish, or to make the language minorities as small as possible.

Article 75

    (2) Every conscript, unless he otherwise desires, shall if possible be enrolled in a military unit of which the rank and file speak his own mother tongue (Finnish or Swedish) and shall receive his training in that language. Finnish shall be the language of command of the Armed Forces.

Note: The complete text of the Constitution and further information on the constitutional background of Finland are provided by the International Constitutional Law Project at the University of Bern.


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