Persons sentenced for refusing non-military service not to be ordered back into service
The Government proposes an amendment to the Non-Military Service Act to clarify the status of persons who have refused non-military service and have received a sentence. Those who have been acquitted by a court would no longer be ordered back into service during peacetime.
In Finland, persons liable for military service must complete either military service or non-military service. A person can apply for non-military service for reasons of conscience based on conviction. In the Act, a person liable for non-military service means a person whose non-military service application has been approved.
If a person liable for non-military service refuses non-military service, the Centre for Non-Military Service will submit a report of an offence to the police and the matter will be referred to a prosecutor. Under the current legislation, if a court dismisses charges against a person for refusing non-military service, the Centre for Non-Military Service must order the person back into service.
After the legislative amendment, such persons would no longer be ordered back into service during peacetime. The amendment would improve the legal protection of those liable for non-military service. It would also save the resources of the judiciary and the Centre for Non-Military Service.
The Government gave the proposal concerning amendments to the Conscription Act and the Non-Military Service Act to Parliament on 21 October 2021. An amendment to the Non-Military Service Act is included in the Government proposal as an annexed Act. The legislative amendments are due to enter into force on 1 January 2022.
Satu Ylikorpi, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 238