Openness in court proceedings

The principle of openness in court proceedings means that the trial and the trial documents are public. Thereby the public has the right to be present in an open court proceeding and the right of access to trial documents in the public domain.

Exceptions to the principle of openness can, however, be made for valid reasons. Certain information presented in court proceedings is directly by virtue of law confidential. Under certain statutory conditions, the court may also order that the hearing shall for necessary parts be held without the presence of the public or that the trial documentation, where appropriate, shall be kept secret. Also the publicity of the judgment may be restricted. The name of the defendant, the offence of which the defendant has been found guilty, and the demand for punishment are, however, always public information.

Provisions on the publicity of trials in district courts are included in the Act on the publicity of court proceedings in general courts (370/2007), which entered into force on 1 October 2007.

Published 1.8.2019