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General information

Legal system of Finland is a civil law. However, EU law is directly applicable and takes precedence over national legislation.

The Finnish legal system has developed in close connection with that of the other Nordic countries. Above all most influential has been Swedish legislation due to the common historical past of the two countries. Therefore, it can be argued that the Finnish legal system is generally the same as that of other Nordic states.

The Finnish legal system is based on the principle of the rule of law. Furthermore, general European legal traditions are followed, such as the fundamental rights of the citizen and the sanctity of law.


Sources of Finnish legislation

The prime source of Finnish legislation is the written law. Therefore, Finland has a statutory legal system. The most essential source of domestic legislation is Parliamentary Acts as well as decrees and orders issued by the government or ministries.


Finnish Court system

As enacted in the Finnish Constitution, judicial power belongs to independent courts of law. At the top of the system are the Supreme Court and the Supreme Administrative Court.

Furthermore, Finnish court system can be separated into two categories. Firstly, general courts that deal with civil and criminal matters. Secondly, administrative courts that mainly deal with disputes between a public authority and private individuals. Further to this, special courts also exist: the Market Court, the Labor Court, the Insurance Court and the High Court of Impeachment.