Attorney General Thomas Poyste said border controls on the European Union’s internal borders this spring did not conflict with the constitution or freedom of movement within the European Union.
In order to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the government decided in the spring to restrict the travel of Finns across the border without a good reason.
According to a complaint submitted to the Minister of Justice by human rights professor Martin Scheinen, the decision violates the constitution because Finnish citizens have the right to travel in and out of the country.
In addition, the complainant wanted the legal counsel to take a position on how the border guards would inform the new rules.
According to the complainant, legal concepts were used that made it appear as if the law supported border controls.
Border controls are in place to protect the population
The legal advisor explained that freedom of movement was not interfered with through border control points, as it was possible to cross the border if the traveler needed it.
The government is obligated to protect the population from the Coronavirus, which is what the council did, according to the chancellor, by limiting cross-border movement.
Nevertheless, the Minister of Justice considered that the Prime Minister’s Office could have done a better job of communicating the new guidelines to the population.
It is said that it is important for the prime minister to use appropriate, clear and legally accurate expressions in press releases to avoid confusion.
The Ministry of Interior prepared the decisions poorly
In his statement, the legal advisor also indicated that the Ministry of Interior should have done a better job while preparing decisions regarding border controls.
For example, the ministry did not adequately address the decisions’ relationship with European Union law and basic human rights.
This could have been addressed through a more straightforward balance between the problems and the benefits of the decisions.