Home page » Types of matter

Types of matter

The appeals, administrative litigation cases and submissions dealt with by the administrative courts have been divided by type into categories, most of which are within the competence of all administrative courts.

For purposes of centralisation, however, only one administrative court is competent to deal with certain types of matters.

  • The Administrative Court of Helsinki has exclusive competence over matters of value added tax and customs duties.
  • The Administrative Court of Vaasa has exclusive competence over permit and compulsion matters under the Water Rights Act and the Environmental Protection Act.
  • Hämeenlinna Administrative Court considers appeals concerning agricultural subsidies, supports for rural development and structural support to agriculture.
  • Northern Finland Administrative Court considers appeals in matters concerning subsidies to reindeer husbandry and natural livelihoods as well as appeals in certain matters decided under the Skolt Act.

Below a list of the most common matters in the different categories. The list is not exhaustive.

Constitutional law and general administration

Access to documents and protection of privacy, matters concerning passports, population information and names, guardianship services, legal aid decisions, trial charges, prison service, employment issues, rescue services and civil defence, matters relating to firearms, lottery and fund-raising licences, citizenship

Municipal matters

Appeals against decisions by municipal councils, municipal governments and municipal boards, appeals against decisions by federations of municipalities and other municipal matters.

Ecclesiastical matters

Appeals against decisions of a Cathedral Chapter and a Diocese Council as well as a parish and an assembly of parishes and other ecclesiastical appeals.

Immigration matters

Residence permits, deportations, refusals of entry and asylum

Land use and building

Zoning, building permits and permit exceptions, building prohibition and restriction on action, plot division, streets and public areas, decisions concerning the need for planning, maintenance of the environment and maintenance of buildings

Roads and real estate

Matters relating to public roads and the expropriation rights and the right of pre-emptive purchase concerning real estate

Environmental protection and environmental permits

Environmental permits, health control, waste management, combating oil pollution, environmental tax and charge, environmentally hazardous substances, matters according to the emission trading act, off-road and water traffic

Water management

Matters according to the Water Act

Nature conservation

Matters according to the Nature Conservation Act, animal protection, land resources, antiquities, protection of buildings

Social matters

Income support, taking into care and other child protection, child maintenance subsidies, special care for people with mental retardation, assistance for the handicapped, treatment for intoxicant abusers, care by relatives, child day-care and compensation for social welfare costs and customer charges

Health care

Public health work, mental health, health care, nursing services, food control, compensation for health care costs and customer charges

Medicine issues and pharmacy services

Pharmacy licences

Legal persons and industrial rights

Trade Register, Register of Associations, trademark


Supervision of the financial market, insurance operations, food commerce, explosives, real estate and housing agencies, accommodation and restaurant services, licence to dispense alcohol

Agriculture and forestry

Forestry, crop protection, reindeer husbandry, hunting and fishing

Support from the EU’s structural funds

Transport and communication

Driving licence and other driving permits, driving school, professional motor vehicle traffic, railway traffic, shipping and aviation, speed and weight limits and speed competitions, inspection and registration of vehicles, parking tickets, highway overload penalties, public transport penalty fees, charges for towed vehicles, televisions fees, data communication


Income and wealth taxes, tax withholding, social security payments, real estate taxes, value added taxes, automobile and vehicle taxes and fees, customs and excise duties, inheritance and gift taxes, lottery taxes, stamp duties and asset transfer taxes

Published 11.4.2017