We Nicholas The Second, by the grace of God, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russia, Tsar of Poland, Grand Duke of Finland etc. etc. etc.
make it known to all our loyal subjects:
The Grand Duchy of Finland which since the beginning of the present century has formed an integral part of the Russian Empire, enjoys, with the generous consent of the ever-lamented Emperor Alexander the Blessed and His Lofty Successors, particular institutions adapted to the local circumstances of the land, for her internal administration and legislation.
But apart from the local legislative needs in Finland deriving from the characteristic social structure of the land, the administration of the Empire brings forth also other legislative questions concerning Finland, which because of their close association to the general interests of the Empire, cannot be exclusively treated by the institutions of the Grand Duchy. On the manner in which questions of this kind are to be decided, the existing legislation contains no definitive provisions, and this absence has resulted in significant inconveniences.
To remove these obstacles We have seen it, in constant consideration for the welfare of all Our loyal subjects without any bias, advantageous for the completion of existing decrees and to be complied with by the appropriate institutions of the Empire and of the Grand Duchy, to lay down a firm and unshaken procedure to be followed in preparation and enacting of generally applicable laws within the Empire.
While We preserve in force and effect the present provisions concerning the enactment of such local decrees which extend exclusively to the needs of Finland, We have deemed it necessary to reserve for Our discretion the exact definition of subjects for the general legislation of the Empire.
In order to accomplish this We have under Our Own Supreme Hand sanctioned the hereby proclaimed Fundamental Rules to be complied with regarding formulation, examination and promulgation of laws, which are passed for the Empire, the Grand Duchy of Finland therein included.
Like Our Ancestors bearing the Imperial Crown We see this closest union with the Empire as a guarantee for Finland's prosperity. Sheltered by the Russian supremacy and strong through her protection, Finland in the course of nearly a whole century has advanced uncessingly in the path of peaceful development, and it has been a great pleasure to Us to find, from the loyalty allegiances lately received from the Estates, that there lives in the hearts of the Finnish people the consciousness of devotion to Us and to Russia.
We are confident that the cooperation between the institutions of the Empire and the Grand Duchy of Finland, based on the firm rules of law in the legislative matters concerning their mutual interests, will serve to the better security of the real advantage and benefit of the Russian Empire.
Given in St. Petersburg on the 3rd day of April in the year eighteen hundred ninety nine from the birth of Christ and in the fifth year of Our reign.
The signature below has been written by The Imperial Majesty with His Own Supreme
The copy affirmed by:
Chairman of the State Council
State Secretary of the State Council
1) The original working out of laws issued for the Empire, including the Grand-Duchy of Finland, is to take place, each time with the gracious Imperial consent, in cases where the general course of administration necessitates the working out of a new law or the alteration or supplementing of a law already in force.
2) This order is observed both with respect to the laws which are applicable throughout the whole Empire, including the Grand-Duchy of Finland, and with respect to the laws which are applied only within the limits of the Grand-Duchy, in case they touch the common interests of the Empire or are connected with the legislation of the Empire.
3) Application for gracious Imperial consent in regard to the execution of the aforesaid laws (articles 1 and 2) shall be made by the duly authorized and appointed Minister of the Empire and the Minister-Secretary of State for the Grand-Duchy of Finland, after having mutually communicated with each other. When the Governor-General of Finland, with respect to the course of the administration of the Grand-Duchy, finds it necessary to supplement the laws in force in the country, in the order fixed and established by these Statutes, he has a right, in order to effect their further treatment, to communicate his proposals on the subject to the proper Minister of the Empire and the Minister-Secretary of State for the Grand-Duchy.
4) After the gracious Imperial consent has been obtained for the issuing of a law or laws for the Empire, including the Grand-Duchy of Finland, the Minister of the Empire shall communicate with the Governor-General of Finland, the Minister-Secretary of State for the Grand-Duchy of Finland, and the Imperial Senate of Finland, in order to get their opinion in regard to the wording of the proposed law.
5) With respect to the legislative proposals, which in accordance with the ordinance for the interior administration of the Grand-Duchy of Finland, are handed over to be treated by the Diet of Finland, it is necessary to have the opinion of the Diet in making the laws mentioned in article 2 of these Statutes. The opinion of the Diet shall be given at its nearest following ordinary session, unless there should be a gracious Imperial command for convening an extraordinary session for this purpose.
6) After the opinion of the Governor-General of Finland, of the Minister-Secretary of State for the Grand-Duchy of Finland, and of the Imperial Senate of Finland, and, in proper cases (see article 5), of the Diet of Finland, have been ascertained, the Minister of the Empire hands over the legislative proposal to the Imperial Council in the form and manner ordained by the Statutes for the Imperial Council. The documents on this subject must be accompanied by a copy of the opinion of the Senate and Diet.
7) This legislative proposal is examined on common principles under the co-operation of the Governor-General of Finland, the Minister-Secretary of State for the Grand-Duchy of Finland, as well as the Senators in the Imperial Senate of Finland, who, after gracious Imperial election, have been especially appointed for this purpose.
8) The gracious decision of the Imperial Council in regard to said legislative proposal shall be promulgated in the duly ordained form and manner both in the Empire and in the Grand-Duchy of Finland.
Chairman of the State Council:
The copy affirmed by:
State Secretary of the State Council