Constitutional Law Committee On Mäenpää.


I finally got MathML template up and running. I even have first proof (of solving quadratic equation) in those templates... yeah not really using math page for something right now. Least, I can get rid of horrible iframe and one under construction sign. Anyway to subject.

Finish parliament had session 12.6.2019. In that session (16/2019) discussion was about the government's program. Representatives were just picking their favourite/hated parts. No decent discussion could be had. However, Juha Mäenpää True Finns representative got speaking time at 22:27 [source,alt][video]. He earlier ranted about wind turbines ... for some reason... I have to investigate that, but now he ranted about migration. It is normal True Finns fare, migrations from the middle east aren't religiously compatible since Finland is Christian country (fuck that) and YLE had documentary which shows that some are just tourist or rapist. Not particle interesting stuff but he ended by saying:

»Täällä hallitusohjelmassa on yksi hyvä kirjaus. Täällä lukee: ”Tehostetaan vieraslajien torjuntaa sekä lainsäädännöllä että torjuntatoimenpiteiden rahoitusta lisäämällä.” Tämä valitettavasti lukee väärässä kohdassa."»
»There is one good item in the government's program. In it reads: "Intensive prevention of non-native species with both legislation and increasing funding to preventive measures. This, unfortunately, reads in the wrong section."»

Speaker at the time didn't note anything. Since Juho Eerola from True Finns was in the speaker's chair at the time. Next representative Kimmonen from Social Democrats did note the fact and didn't want to respond to Mäenpää. After the fact, the main speaker (at time Matti Vanhanen) discussed the matter with Mäenpää. This happened 27.6.2019 apparently. Couldn't find source beyond upcoming reference mention it. I don't really doubt it. Representative in Finland must act according to article 31 second moment of the constitution which has sentence "A Representative shall conduct himself or herself with dignity and decorum, and not behave offensively to another person." [Official Finnish,Official English,alt for official English]. Rest of the moment describes the punishment for a representative with a max of 2 weeks out of parliament's sessions. As such the speaker asked Mäenpää to pay attention article 31. Essentially a warning. This was not enough for four individuals (or they complaint before) and police got complaints to start investigation [source]. This seem to have made official round 13.8.2019 [source1,source2]. Then at 16.1.2020 Mäenpää was "charged" [source,alt]. I am getting back to dates mentioned later, but prosecutor general (Raija Toiviaisen) had to get permission from the parliament because article 30 second moment:

"A Representative shall not be charged in a court of law nor be deprived of liberty owing to opinions expressed by the Representative in the Parliament or owing to conduct in the consideration of a matter, unless the Parliament has consented to the same by a decision supported by at least five sixths of the votes cast."

The request was sent by prosecutor general to the parliament and it landed (of course) to the desk of Constitutional Law committee. The final vote was come down being favour of the letting prosecution go ahead. I am going to analyse here mostly committee's options[alt] (PeVM 21/2020 vp majority and minority). But, let's write down that True Finns blocked the matter with Christian Democrats and portion of National Coalition and Centre Party. After all, you need five sixth of the representatives according to article 30. A high count is to prevent politically motivated attacks via the legal system. After all government power should be separated.

The committee was full agreement on one thing. Prosecutor's weird opinion that even if the prosecutor wouldn't prosecute, the prosecutor still would have to get permission from the parliament. Furthermore, the prosecutor apparently didn't finish prosecution analysis but treated permission gaining a special part of the process that can run parallel. Prosecutor generals opinion was based upon the fact that the prosecutor can think crimes have happened but for the crime being small or other circumstance prosecutor does not have to prosecute. She read article 30 second moment mean that parliament has to be given option change if the prosecutor thinks crime happened. I don't think that is what article 30 says as it clearly says "charged in a court". The majority did give prosecutor-general earful and made clear:

"Yleisemmin perustuslakivaliokunta katsoo, ..., valtakunnansyyttäjän on suoritettava syyteharkinta loppuun."
"More generally Constitutional Law Committee sees, ..., prosecutor general has to finnish consideration of charges."

For actual case in question, the committee didn't have many previous cases drawn from. Unfortunately, none of them is online far as I know, I have to trust that committee knows its shit. There have been a couple cases in the past, which all of them are regular defamation from private individuals. Some things related to what questions parliament should answer in their process and hand waving about when should parliament decided let it through was concluded. I come back to this later. Main think from there should be that parliament shouldn't do the job of the judge. None of the past cases has passed in the parliament.

Passed cases aren't really on point however court decision can be used. For me, a notable case among majorities option is Feret v. Belgium (in France so I read google translated version) which stands for article 10 of European Convention Of Human Rights was not violated when Belgium charged politician for pamphlets. Pamphlets said that immigrants cause property damage, noise, waste and sometimes violent altercations hence immigration policy should be changed. Reason sound xenophobic. Rather close or lighter then what Mäenpää said.

Minority tries to play down what Mäenpää said. They have to admit it was in poor taste which points the majority starts to beat the minority with Feret v. Belgium. One thing minority does is point out that prosecutor general doesn't think that Mäenpää has violated article 17 in the convention on Human Rights. I didn't know this but article 17 orders that government, group, or individual can't abuse right in the convention to destroy the convention. Current case law states that if one in her speech states something that would violate article 17 then article 10 analysis is not necessary (minority cites Seurot v. France 2004, and Ivanov v. Russia 2007). Mostly things falling to article 17 is something like holocaust denial. Minority then uses this fact that to state it isn't that bad. Feret v. Belgium didn't fall under article 17. In fact, court, in that case, denied the government's argument under article 17. As such I have a hard time understand why minority makes so much out of the fact this isn't under article 17. It goes beyond just a summary of current case law.

Even though I'm repulsed what case law is so far I'm more on majority option. Committee can't override case law far as I'm concerned. Maybe one could make an argument that this was just offensive speech which is allowed by article 10. Minority tries to make that case. Fails by trying to point out that the speaker already punished Mäenpää. Let's take back those dates I mention. Speaker took 2 weeks to issue the punishment. Police and prosecutor started roughly two months later and ended half a year later from Mäenpää opening his mouth. What kind of speed does minority think police and prosecutor had to work to nullify effect from the speaker. To me whatever speaker does should not count in criminal prosecution since the speaker is not a judge. It is parliament's internal punishment by separation of powers it does not count.

I'm now very certain that if I were sitting at Constitutional Law Committee I would be in favour of letting prosecution through. Probably would write different option from the majority. I would blast the case law on it but also try to make rules about how the committee should process these request more clearly. The committee shouldn't be the judge because the separation of powers so the only thing they can ask is should representative be prosecuted? Majority nor minority are really clear where the line is on this. The minority is perhaps more "it should be higher than avarage person" and the majority is more "it should be equal" but neither really explain a solid rule. It is just vague did or did not someone complain about it or hate speech is not allowed so it isn't allowed. To me, this vagueness is just bullshit. The answer is simple. The committee is supposed to be other prosecutor checking that first one isn't completely insane on her analyses. Constitutional Law Committee should make their own consideration of charges. That said I don't know what I would vote in plenary. Separation of powers is good but on the other hand to democracy to function freedom of speech has to work in practice.

Well, this took longer I wanted it to. Have to write My next life as a Villainess turbo speech now. Maybe one a day... nah one at least this week. I really want to post about programming though... Let's see maybe I can squeeze one between episode reviews. When last episode review comes I probably post a full review as well.