Oral hearing

The main principal is that a hearing in a court is public. This means that the public has the right to be present during a hearing.

However, on the motion of a party or for another specific reason, the court may decide that the hearing is held in full or in part without the presence of the public. Even in this case the parties and their representatives may be present in the hearing.

The legislation includes detailed provisions on the preconditions for holding a hearing without the presence of the public. A hearing can be held without the presence of the public in trials relating to treason or in a trial where sensitive information about an individual’s private life, health, disability or social welfare is disclosed. A hearing may be held without the presence of the public also when a confidential trial document is presented during the hearing, when the person accused of a crime is under 18 and or when a person under 15 is heard.

The chairman of the court may allow photographing, video photography and tape recording in an oral hearing. In practice photographing and recording may be allowed before the hearing begins and during the pronouncement of the judgment or decision. Photographing and recording of the whole trial can be allowed only in exceptional cases.

Published 1.8.2019