The Profession of Government: The Public Service in Europe

By Brian Chapman | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 5
Security of Tenure

In all countries civil servants have great security of tenure, a security sometimes sanctioned by the law, sometimes by convention. In the extreme case, Sweden, this security is sanctioned by the constitution itself. Indeed, in all Scandinavian countries except Finland the civil servant's right to his post is almost a vested right. In Sweden the constitution not only guarantees the official against removal except after trial, but also protects him from any transfer except with his own consent. The Norwegian constitution follows this very closely. It protects the official from dismissal unless judgement has gone against him in the proper tribunal; nor may he be transferred against his will. The Danish civil service law also protects officials from arbitrary dismissal or transfer. Only in Finland, among the Scandinavian countries, is this extreme protection modified. Before 1926 Finnish officials had the same security as is still to be found today in Sweden.1 But since the law of 1926 on public functions this right has been substantially modified, and only judges are protected in their posts to anything like the same degree. The other three groups of officials are all liable to dismissal or enforced retirement; the most senior after a special administrative process; the other two grades, contractual employees and simple employees, can be dismissed by ordinary administrative action.2

Although other countries do not go so far as the Swedish or Norwegian constitutional safeguards, all offer very substantial protection to permanent civil servants. Even in the nineteenth

____________________
1
It should be remembered, however, that in Sweden this constitutional protection only applies to a relatively small group of public servants. Those who are appointed by warrant or on contract are not covered by these provisions. Heckscher : op cit. p. 340.
2
V. Merikoski: Précis du Droit Public de la Finlande. Helsinki, 1954 p. 110.

-145-

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The Profession of Government: The Public Service in Europe
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Preface 5
  • Contents 7
  • PART ONE - COMPOSITION 45
  • Chapter 2 - Recruitment 74
  • Chapter 3 - Training 99
  • PART TWO - CONDITIONS OF SERVICE 131
  • Chapter 5 - Security of Tenure 145
  • Chapter 6 - Pensions 153
  • Chapter 7 - Discipline 158
  • Chapter 8 - Promotion 164
  • PART THREE - CONTROL 179
  • Chapter 10 - The Structure and Personnel of Administrative Courts 199
  • Chapter II - The Powers of Administrative Courts 206
  • Chapter 12 - The Ombudsman 245
  • Chapter 13 - Financial Control 260
  • PART FOUR - POLITICS AND PUBLIC 271
  • Chapter 15 - Public Service Trade Unions 296
  • Chapter 16 - Public Officials and the Public 308
  • Bibliography 323
  • Index 345
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