How to appeal?

Anyone who is dissatisfied with a decision of a public authority in an administrative matter may lodge an appeal against it to the administrative court. When making a decision, a public authority must indicate how and to whom the decision can be appealed against. An appeal to the administrative court must be filed in writing.

The appellant may self draft the appeal document or have an attorney do it. The appellant may also empower an attorney to file the appeal on his or her behalf. Unless the attorney is an advocate or a public legal aid attorney, the power of attorney, signed by the appellant, must be attached to the appeal.

Appeal document

The appeal may de presented in free form. However, The appeal document must indicate:

1. The decision challenged

The appeal document must indicate the decision appealed against.

2. The amendments demanded

For the administrative court to be able to address exactly the part of the decision that the appellant considers erroneous, the appeal document must indicate the points in the decision that should be amended and what kind of amendments are requested. The appeal should also in other respects be as clear as possible.

3. The grounds on which the challenge is based.

The grounds for the appeal may be presented in free form, with the intent to show that the requests that are being made are justified.

4. The appellant’s name, municipality of domicile and contact information

The appeal document must indicate the appellant’s name and municipality of domicile, as well as his or her contact information, i.e., the address and telephone number where communications in the matter can be directed. An email address may also be given.

5. Signature

The appellant or a legal representative must sign the appeal. If the appellant has empowered an attorney to file the appeal, the signature of the attorney suffices. A signature, in this context, means a hand-written signature.


The following shall be appended to the appeal document:

1. The decision challenged and the appeal instructions, in the original or as a copy

2. A certificate on the date of notice of the decision, for example a copy of the acknowledgement of receipt, or other evidence on the date when the appeal period began to run

3. The documents on which the appellant relies in support of his demand, unless

these have already earlier been delivered to the authority

4. The power of attorney, the attorney is an advocate or a public legal aid attorney

Time limit and delivery of the appeal

In addition to the decision appealed against, also a certificate of the date when the decision was served on the appellant must be attached to the appeal document; alternatively, other proof of the beginning of the appeal period is required. This information is necessary for the determination of the time limit of the appeal. For an appeal to be admitted, it must have reached the administrative court on the last day of the appeal period, before 4:15pm. This also applies to documents submitted in the e-services and via email.

An appeal that is out of time is not admitted.

The appellant or a representative may deliver the appeal document to the registry of the administrative court or send it by post. Process documents can also be sent to the court by telefax or e-mail. More detailed information is available on the page Service by agencies of judicial administration. The e-mail addresses of the administrative courts can be found on the contact information pages.

Appeals to the Administrative Court of Helsinki, Hämeenlinna, Eastern Finland, Northern Finland, Turku and Vaasa may also be lodged in the e-services of administrative and special courts.

The electronic services are available in Finnish and Swedish.

Supplementing the appeal

If the appeal is defective, the appellant is reserved an opportunity to supplement it within a set period. If the appellant does not remedy the shortcomings within the time limit, the defective appeal may be ruled inadmissible.

Published 14.6.2018