- Project Runeberg -  A Précis of the Public Law of Finland /
96

(1889) [MARC] Author: Leo Mechelin Translator: Charles J. Cooke
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96 THE PUBLIC LAW OF FINLAND.

I

by special laws or by legislative reforms,
modifying in general the social conditions. Yet the
nobles have retained a precious privilege by
way of legacy from past ages—that of
constituting a part of the Diet (vide section 29).
But if this right of representation is a privilege,
which is beyond all doubt, it implies at the
same time a public duty, a political function
outside the pale of the common law.

As touching the order of burgesses, its
privileges have all been abrogated by modern
legislation. The guilds and bodies of wardens,
which formed exclusive corporations of
merchants and manufacturers, no longer exist ; the
right of administering the local affairs of towns
and representing them at the Diet no longer
belongs exclusively to the enrolled burgesses.

The rights of the peasantry have also been
the object of special confirmations. These
rights concern more especially the free usufruct
of certain public lands—a right which was
formerly limited in order to secure the interests
of the treasury. As to the right of
representation at the Diet, it is 110 longer exclusively

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