Law and Compliance in Finland

Overview by

Business Contract

General Observation
Obligations of the vendor and the methods of quality control must be stated clearly.
Law Applicable to the Contract
Finland is a signatory to the Vienna Convention on International Contracts. Click here to visualize the list of signatory countries.
Advisable Incoterms
FINNTERMS are the terms often used in domestic trade. Preferred and the most used general terms in are CIF, FOB and DDU.
Language of Domestic Contract
Finnish, Swedish, English
Other Laws Which Can Be Used in Domestic Contracts
The laws and courts of the United States, The Great Britain and Switzerland provide fair justice and are understandable in English, which is likely to be accepted by the Finnish supplier.

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Legal Framework of Business

Equity of Judgments

Independence of Justice
Equal Treatment of Nationals and Foreigners
The Language of Justice
Finnish and Swedish
Recourse to an Interpreter
In connection with certain matters involving the fundamental rights of an individual, such as taking a child into custody, the party concerned is, according to the Language Act, always entitled to use his or her own language regardless of the language of the municipality. If necessary, interpreters can be used.
Legal Similarities
Finland has a parliamentary system. The main source of the law is the constitution of March 2000. The legal system is based on civil law system which originates from the Swedish law. European Community law is directly applicable and takes precedence over national legislation. The country accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, but with reservations.

The Different Legal Codes

Foundation of the state, rights of individuals The Constitution
Civil law, right of possession, consumer rights The Civil Code
Company law The Business Code
Taxation law The Taxation Code
Work and social affairs law The Work and Social Affairs Code
Environment law The Environment Code
Criminal law The Penal Code
State law, law on education, safety law The Public Code
Checking National Laws Online
Constitution of Finland
Legislation in Finland
Other Useful Resources
Judicial system in Finland
Country Guides
Jurist World Law
The Library of U.S. Congress

Find Legal Experts in Finland on

The Jurisdictions

61 District courts District courts that operate on a local level deal with criminal cases, civil cases and petitionary matters, such as divorce, the custody of children or debt adjustment.
6 Courts of Appeal Most of the cases dealt with by the Courts of Appeal are. In addition, Courts of Appeal decide, as the first instance, matters of treason and high treason, as well as certain offences in public office. The Helsinki Court of Appeal has special responsibilities, such as decisions of pardoning felons serving a life sentence.
The Supreme Court The most important function of the Supreme Court is to establish judicial precedents in leading cases thus ensuring uniformity in the administration of justice by the lower courts (District courts and Courts of appeal).
8 Regional administrative courts A person or a corporation that believes a decision of a state or local authority relating to them is illegal is entitled to appeal against the decision. The administrative acts are recognized from the hallmark that they become binding without the consent of the other involved parties. The contracts between authorities and private persons fall usually to the jurisdiction of the general court system.
The Supreme Administrative Court The court has three chambers that focus on different cases and deal with appeals against decisions of the Regional Administrative courts.
Special Courts Market Court, Labor Court and Insurance Court deal cases on the field indicated in the name of the court.

Court Officials

District Court judges
A district court is headed by the Chief Judge and the other judges have the title District Judge. In certain cases, the district court may also have Lay Judges. The cases are handled and resolved either in a session, where the parties are summoned to, or in chambers, where the decision is based solely on documents. In simple cases decisions can be made by notaries training at the court and by trained office staff.
Courts of Appeal judges
The head of a Court of Appeal is the chief justice. The other judges of the court are called senior justices or justices. All the judges of the Courts of Appeal are appointed by the President, on the basis of a draft decision presented by the government.
Supreme Court judges
The president and other judges called justices of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President of the Republic. According to the law, the Supreme Court shall have a President and at least 15 members. At present the Court consists of 18 members. The average age of a justice is 48 when he/she is appointed
The Supreme Administrative Court judges
The judges of the Supreme Administrative Court include the President and twenty Justices, as well as a few temporary Justices.
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