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Senate of Finland

The Senate of Finland (Finnish: Suomen senaatti) combined the functions of cabinet and supreme court in the Grand Duchy of Finland from 1816 to 1917 and in the independent Republic of Finland from 1917 to 1918.

The body that would become the Senate was established in 1809, when the Diet of Porvoo was requested to, and drew up regulations for a Government Council.[1] In 1816, this institution was renamed the Senate by the tsar, to demonstrate that it was equal to, rather than subsidiary to its Russian equivalent.[2]

The Senate was headed by the Governor-General of Finland. The members of the Senate had to be Finnish citizens.[1] The Senate was divided into the economic division and the judicial division. In 1822 both divisions were given a Finnish vice-chairman. From 1858 and onwards the members of the senate were formally known as senators. After the February Revolution in Russia the Vice Chairman of the Economic Division became the Chairman of the Senate. Due to the Civil War in 1918 the Senate was relocated to the town of Vaasa from January 29 to May 3.

In 1918 the economic division became the Cabinet and the judicial division became the Supreme Court and the Supreme Administrative Court of the independent Republic of Finland. The vice chairman of the economic division became the Prime Minister of Finland, and the other senators became ministers.


  • Vice Chairman of the Economic Division (1822–1917) 1
  • Chairmen of the Senate (1917–1918) 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4

Vice Chairman of the Economic Division (1822–1917)

The Senate building at the Senate Square in central Helsinki

Chairmen of the Senate (1917–1918)

See also


  1. ^ a b Jutikkala, Eino and Pirinen, Kauko. A History of Finland. Dorset Press, 1988 p. 162. ISBN 0-88029-260-1
  2. ^ Jutikkala, Eino and Pirinen, Kauko. A History of Finland. Dorset Press, 1988 p. 163. ISBN 0-88029-260-1
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