Expert Workshop to assess proposals for amending the Sámi Parliament Act in Finland on 2 September

An Expert Workshop to assess proposals for amending the Sámi Parliament Act in Finland will be held at the Faculty of Law at the University of Lapland on Thursday 2 September 2021. The Worksop is organized in collaboration with the Sámi Parliament and the Ministry of Justice. The organizer of the workshop is Professor Martin Scheinin in his capacity as part-time professor in indigenous peoples’ rights at the University of Lapland. The main purpose of the event is to provide a forum for a range of international, Finnish and Sámi experts to provide and discuss their assessment of the draft by the drafting commission. 

Kuva: Ville Fofonoff

The President of the Sámi Parliament Tuomas Aslak Juuso will participate in the seminar and give one of the opening speeches. – The reform of the Sámi Parliament Act is a very current topic and I look forward with great interest to the expert workshop. It is important that the workshop provides a forum for international human rights experts to evaluate and discuss their assessment of the draft by the drafting commission, says Juuso. 

The members of the drafting commission appointed by the Sámi Parliament will also attend to the workshop.  

The event will be organized in hybrid mode, so that speakers and other participants will be able attend either in person or remotely through online videoconferencing. Registration to the workshop has ended on 15 August. Registered participants will receive materials and logistical information related to the event.  

In May 2021, a government-appointed Drafting Commission chaired by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Justice and composed, in equal numbers, of persons nominated by the Sámi Parliament in Finland, and the five political parties forming the government coalition, delivered a draft for amendments to the Sámi Parliament Act. The proposed amendments would recognize Sámi self-determination, implement Final Views issued by the UN Human Rights Committee related to the criteria and procedure for determining who may be included in the electoral roll of the Sámi Parliament, and strengthen domestic law provisions related to the principle of free, prior and informed consent, as enshrined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. 

The full report exists only in Finnish but the summary and the proposed legal texts are included also in Sámi and Swedish languages. Persons who register for the 2 September workshop will be sent English-language excerpts, as far as they already exist or will become available.  

More information: 

Tuomas Aslak Juuso 
The president of the Sámi Parliament 
+358 40 687 3394