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The procedure in administrative courts

In administrative courts the proceedings are in the main written, but holding of oral hearings and judicial viewings has become more common during recent years.

Parties involved and the authority who has taken the decision in the matter are obliged to present a report stating their claims and the grounds for claims necessary for the examination of and the decision on the matter. The Administrative Court shall, for its own part, undertake an investigation into the matter to the extent necessary to ensure a process that is objective and fair, taking into account the nature of the matter.

Administrative courts aim to hear their cases in the order they are received. However, certain matters, such as appeals relating to child protection or the dismissal of public officials are heard urgently.

Once a matter has become pending in an administrative court, the referendary prepares the case. Referendaries at the administrative courts are Assistant Judges and Notaries, at times also Administrative Judges.

After the matter has become pending, the opposing party is reserved the opportunity to make a statement. Also other documents may be obtained in a matter, for instance, in a tax appeal the tax returns of the appellant from previous years. If the appeal document or the petition is defective, the appellant or the petitioner is reserved an opportunity to supplement it.

The referendary prepares a draft decision. The judges familiarise themselves with the documents and the draft decision, after which the case is decided in a session of the administrative court.

The administrative court takes all circumstances arising in the case into consideration and decides which circumstances are relevant to the decision. If the members participating in the decision do not reach a consensus, a vote is taken. The decision reached in the session is written down as a decision, which is then handed down to the parties once it has been revised and signed.

Published 12.4.2017