Court of law as employer

The courts are doing meaningful work to ensure legal protection. Legal protection under human fundamental rights means the right to have your case heard in court appropriately and without undue delay. In Finland, everyone has the right to a fair trial.

The judiciary, which includes not only the courts but also the National Courts Administration and the Judicial Appointments Board and the Judicial Training Board, employs a total of approximately 3500 people.

The majority of court employees are legally trained judicial staff. The general qualification requirements for a judge are a university degree in law, righteousness, Finnish citizenship and sufficient familiarity with the scope of the task.

A large group of staff in the courts is also staff responsible for assisting in the administration of justice or for various administrative tasks, such as personnel and financial administration, communications, information services or agency services. In addition, the district courts employ summoners. Administrative courts and special courts have ad hoc expert members.

Clerical staff and other administrators have appropriate upper secondary or lower or higher tertiary education. In addition to a higher university degree, an expert member is required to be suited to the expertise of the group of subjects in which he or she participates. The educational background of summoners varies.

Court traineeships and posts as junior judge candidates

The courts also have trainees conducting court training. The term “court traineeship” refers to a year-long traineeship system that familiarises trainees with judicial tasks. The trainees must have a Master's degree in law. All judges shall provide a judge’s oath. The training may take place either in full in a district court or in part in a court of law or administrative court. After the training, the trainees may apply for the title Trained on the bench.

The Court of Appeal, the Administrative Court, the Market Court, the Labour Court and the Insurance Court may hold temporary posts for junior judges for training purposes. A judge's general qualification requirements, a minimum of three years' experience of judicial duties and the successful completion of the pre-selection examination for the training of judges are required.

Further information on court training and training for junior judges is available on the website of the Judicial Training Board.

The employers of the judiciary

National Courts Administration

is responsible for the central administration and development of all courts and for the administrative support tasks of the Judicial Appointments Board and the Judicial Training Board. The Agency employs about 60 experts in education, communications, economy, administration and judicial work.

District courts

are dealing with criminal matters, disputes and applications. The chief of the district court is the chief judge and the other judges are district judges. In addition to judges, the district courts also employ clerical staff and summoners as well as trainees conducting court training. There are also lay judges in the district court. In addition, the district court may include military members who participate in the consideration and judgments of military court cases. The district court, which acts as a land court, is composed of a district judge dealing with land law matters (judge responsible for land law matters) and a land court engineer.

Courts of appeal

act as an appeal court, that is to say, decide on appeals against judgments and decisions of district courts. The court of appeal operates under the leadership of the President of the Court of Appeal. Judges are, besides the President, also senior judges and judges of the court of appeal as well as senior assistant judges. The duties of the referendaries are also carried out by the assistant judges of the court of appeal, and the administrative and office services are carried out by the clerical staff. In addition, the court of appeal may have trainees conducting court training. In addition, the Helsinki Court of Appeal has military members.

Supreme Court

is the supreme court in civil and criminal matters. The Supreme Court is headed by the President and other members of the Supreme Court are called justices of the Supreme Court. The referendaries' titles include the referendary counsellor of the Supreme Court, senior judicial secretary and judicial secretary of the Supreme Court. In addition, the Supreme Court employs clerical staff.

Administrative courts

are dealing with appeals against decisions taken by public authorities. Administrative courts provide judgments to appeals concerning, for example, taxation, construction, environmental matters, social and health care and immigration. The administrative court is headed by the chief judge. The judges are not only the chief judge but also the judges of the administrative court and assistant judges. The duties of the referendaries’ are also carried out by the referendaries of the administrative court, and the administrative and office services are carried out by the clerical staff. In addition, the administrative court employs ad hoc expert members and can employ trainees conducting court training.

Supreme Administrative Court

is the Supreme Court in administrative judicial matters. The Supreme Administrative Court is headed by the President and other members of the Supreme Administrative Court are called Justices. The referendaries' official titles are Referendary Counsellor and Judicial Secretary. In addition, the Supreme Administrative Court employs clerical staff.

The Market Court

is the special court on competition and control matters and procurement matters, intellectual property matters and market legal matters. The operation of the Market Court is led by the chief judge. Other judges are market judges, Market Court engineers and referendaries. In the preparation of matters, judges are assisted by draftsmen of market law. The clerical staff is responsible for administrative and office services. In addition, the Market Court has ad hoc expert members.

The Labour Court

handles disputes arising from the application and interpretation of collective labour agreements. The Labour Court shall be chaired by either the President or the Vice President. In addition, the Labour Court has part-time members and referendaries. Administrative and office services are carried out by clerical staff.

Insurance Court

is a special court for social security matters. The Chief Justice is in charge of the Insurance Court. Other judges are insurance court judges and assistant judges. The duties of referendaries’ are also carried out by the referendaries at the Insurance Court. The administrative and office services are carried out by the clerical staff. There is a Chief Physician in the Insurance Court who acts as a full-time member. In addition, the Insurance Court includes physicians working as part time members of the court, as well as part time members with knowledge of working conditions or business activities and military disability issues.

Published 22.1.2021