An ap­peal may be lodged against a de­ci­sion by which the au­thor­ity has de­cided or failed to in­ves­ti­gate an ad­min­is­tra­tive mat­ter.

An administrative decision may be appealed against by the person to whom the decision has been addressed or whose rights, obligations or interests are directly affected by the decision, i.e. the party concerned. The authority that issued the administrative decision is a party to the proceedings. Sometimes the authority may also be in the position of a party. An authority may also appeal if it has been expressly provided for or if the appeal is necessary for the public interest under its supervision.

The right of appeal is also laid down in a number of different acts. For example, a decision of a municipal council may be appealed against by every local inhabitant regardless of the manner in which the decision concerns him or her. A neighbour, on the other hand, may have the right of appeal in a building matter.

A decision made by an authority may normally be appealed directly to the Administrative Court. In some cases, however, those who are dissatisfied with the decision must first demand that the decision be rectified by the authority that made the decision. For example, in tax matters, municipal matters and matters concerning different fees and compensations, a person dissatisfied with the decision of the authority must first apply to the relevant authority for rectification of the decision. Instructions on the rectification procedure are given in the decision of the authority. A decision obtained in a rectification procedure may be appealed to the administrative court.

A decision of the authority to which appeal may be lodged shall be accompanied by appeal instructions, i.e. instructions on how to lodge a complaint. The appeal instructions show the appellate authority, the authority to which the appellate document is to be submitted, the time of appeal and where it is to be calculated. The appeal instructions describe the provisions on the content, appendices and delivery of the appeal and the fees charged for processing the appeal.

Appeal deadline

The time limit for appeal is indicated in the appeal instructions.

The appeal document, together with the appendices, must be submitted to the Administrative Court within the prescribed time limit in order for the appeal to be admitted. The appeal documents shall be delivered to the Administrative Court no later than the last day of the appeal period before 4:15 pm. This also applies to documents sent by e-services and e-mail. The appeal may be submitted on the following weekday if the last day of the appeal period is a holiday.

An appeal that is out of time is not admitted.

Submission of an appeal

The appeal instructions show the administrative court to which the appeal must be submitted.

An appeal may be lodged with administrative courts in the e-services of administrative and special courts (not with the Åland Administrative Court). The e-service is a secure way of providing confidential and sensitive documents.

Further information on e-services can be found at the webpage for e-services of administrative and special courts.

When documents are transmitted to the court electronically, it is important to name the documents clearly. For instructions on the appointment of electronic documents for appellants, see here.

Judicial documents may be submitted electronically to the court also by e-mail. Submitting documents via the Ministry of Justice's secure e-mail-service is particularly recommended for confidential and sensitive documents.

The appellant or his or her representative may also bring the appeal document to the registry of the administrative court or send it by post. Contact details of administrative courts can be found on the contact information page.


An appeal to the Administrative Court shall be made in writing. The appellant may draw up his or her appeal document itself or use an attorney to draw up it. The appellant may also authorise an attorney to lodge an appeal on his or her behalf. The attorney shall attach to the appeal a power of attorney issued by the appellant. A power of attorney is not required if the attorney is an attorney-at-law, a public legal counsel or a licensed legal counsel referred to in the Licenced Legal Counsel Act.

The appeal may be presented in free form. However, it shall always indicate:

1. Which decision is the subject of the appeal (decision subject to appeal)

The appeal document shall state which decision is to be appealed against.

2. The amendments demanded (demands)

The appeal shall state at what points the decision is appealed against and what changes are demanded to be made to it. In this way, the Administrative Court can give a decision on precisely the part of the decision that the appellant considers to be incorrect. Otherwise, the appeal must be made as clearly as possible.

3. Grounds for the appeal

The grounds may be presented in free form. In his or her reasons, the appellant seeks to prove that his or her demand is correct. If the decision under appeal is not directed at the appellant himself, he or she shall state in the appeal the basis on which the right of appeal is based.

4. The appellant’s name and contact information

The appeal document shall state the name and contact information of the appellant, i.e. the address and telephone number. The municipality of residence of the appellant should also be notified. If the appellant is represented by someone else, such as an attorney, the contact information of him or her shall also be provided. Any change in the contact information shall be notified without delay to the administrative court when the appeal is pending.

The appeal shall also indicate the postal address and any other address (e.g. e-mail address) to which the procedural documents may be sent (process address). If the appellant has provided more than one procedural address, the Administrative Court may choose which of the addresses it submits the documents relating to the proceedings.

The appeal shall be accompanied by the following documents:

  1. Decision subject to appeal with appeal instructions, original or copy
  2. Proof of when the appellant has been notified of the decision, for example a copy of then acknowledgment of receipt or other explanation of the date of commencement of the appeal period.
  3. Documents invoked by the appellant in support of his or her demands. If the documents have already been submitted to the issuing authority, they need not be appended to the appeal.

If the appeal is incomplete, the appellant shall be given an opportunity to supplement it within a time limit. If the appellant fails to supplement the deficiencies sufficiently within the prescribed time limit, the appeal may be dismissed as inadmissible.

Impact of the complaint on the enforcement of the Authority's decision

As a rule, a decision of an authority cannot be enforced until the appeal period has expired or the appeal against the decision has been finally resolved. In other words, the enforcement of the decision requires the finality of the decision.

However, there are exceptions to the main rule in different laws. Taxes and public payments, for example, are normally paid regardless of the appeal. In municipal matters, too, it is a rule that a decision can be enforced even if an appeal has been lodged against the decision.

However, the appellant may always, in the context of his appeal, request that the enforcement of the decision be prohibited or suspended from the administrative court. In such cases, for example, the enforcement of taxes or charges is prohibited or suspended, unless the appeal is manifestly unfounded.

The administrative court may also, on its own initiative, prohibit or suspend the enforcement of the decision or issue another interim order. The court may impose a periodic penalty payment as an effect of the order.

A decision on the main case is usually given separately after the provisional decision.

Published 7.2.2022