Administrative courts

The judicial oversight of administrative acts is the task of the administrative courts and the Supreme Administrative Court. Other judicial matters are seen to by the general courts and the special courts.

It is required by the Constitution of Finland that the law is conscientiously observed in all public activity. A person or a corporation considering that a decision of a state or local authority in a matter pertaining to that person or corporation is illegal is as a rule entitled to appeal against the decision.

When making a decision, an authority must provide information on how and where to appeal against the decision. In many cases, it is possible first to seek self-rectification, after which it is possible to lodge an appeal with an administrative court. The judicial districts of the administrative courts are based on the provinces, so that one district covers from one or several provinces.

On appeal, the administrative court reviews the legality of the decision of the authority. If the appellant is discontent with the decision of the administrative court, it is in most cases possible to appeal further to the Supreme Administrative Court, or at least apply to the Supreme Administrative Court for leave to appeal.

There are six regional administrative courts in Finland: the Administrative Courts of Helsinki, Hämeenlinna, Eastern Finland, Northern Finland, Turku and Vaasa. In addition, the autonomous Åland Islands have a separate administrative court, called the Administrative Court of Åland.

Some 20,000 appeals are lodged with the administrative courts annually; their personnel total some 440.

These web pages are provided for purposes of information only. They do not constitute a source of administrative law. You are advised to obtain legal representation if you do not think that you can otherwise pursue a case through the administrative courts.

The Ministry of Justice assumes no responsibility for possible errors or omissions on these web pages.

Legislation

Statutes marked with an asterisk (*) are available in English through the Finlex data bank.

Constitution of Finland (731/1999) *

Act on Administrative Courts (430/1999)

Decree on Administrative Courts (438/1999)

Administrative Judicial Procedure Act (586/1996) *