The Rule of Law Centre operates under the auspices of the University of Helsinki’s Faculty of Law. The Centre has a director, a board and a steering group. The activities of the Centre are funded from development cooperation appropriations administered by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.


The rector of the University appoints the Board of the Centre after consulting the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Faculty of Law. The Board has five members, two of whom are appointed by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The Board approves the Centre’s action plan, annual budget and work plan, and monitors their implementation. The Board also reviews the annual report on the operations and use of funds of the Rule of Law Centre. After the Board’s review, the report is submitted to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and issues relating to staff resources are submitted to the University for decision-making. 

The Chair is Vice-Rector Hanna Snellman University of Helsinki. Members are Ambassador Pekka Hukka Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Senior Adviser Jaakko Jakkila Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Dean Johanna Niemi Faculty of Law University of Helsinki and Research Director, Professor Kimmo Nuotio University of Helsinki. 

Steering group

The steering group of the Rule of Law Centre meets no less than twice a year. The steering group is in charge of strategic guidance and supports the work of the Centre by assisting its national and international networking efforts and helping to identify legal experts necessary for the work of the Centre. In addition to representatives of the founding institutions, a representative from the Ministry of Justice is invited to the steering group along with other experienced experts in the rule of law and international cooperation from various institutions, universities and research institutes. 

The Chair is Dean Johanna Niemi Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki. Members are Head of the Unit Eeva Aittoniemi Ministry of Justice, Under-Secretary of State Pasi Hellman Ministry for Foreign Affairs, President Niilo Jääskinen Court of Justice of the European Union, Executive Director Gary Klaukka Demo Finland, President Kari Kuusiniemi Supreme Administrative Court, Chair Fingo, Senior Researcher Liisa Laakso The Nordic Africa Institute, President Tatu Leppänen Supreme Court, Committee Counsel Parliament of Finland - Constitutional Law Committee, Professor, Director Elina Pirjatanniemi Institute for Human Rights, Åbo Akademi, Deputy Chancellor of Justice Mikko Puumalainen The Office of the Chancellor of Justice, Deputy Prosecutor General Jukka Rappe National Prosecution Authority, Director Sirpa Rautio Human Rights Centre, Chair Hanna Räihä-Mäntyharju Finnish Bar Association, Deputy-Ombudsman Maija Sakslin Office of the Parliamentary Ombudsman, Deputy Director General Juha Savolainen Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Director General Johanna Suurpää Ministry of Justice and Director General Laura Yli-Vakkuri Ministry of the Interior.