Citizen’s right to appeal a decision
The law gives you the right to appeal. If you think an authority has made a decision that is wrong, you can appeal against it or make a claim for a revised decision to have it changed. If you suspect that an authority has behaved in a way that is wrong or against the law, you should make a complaint.
You can appeal against almost all decisions made by local and central government authorities. For example, you can appeal against decisions made by authorities on individual person's benefits but also decisions on common and general matters, such as the municipality’s budget or land use planning.
At the end of a document containing an authority’s decision, you will usually find information about how and to whom you can appeal against it. If the decision does not contain this information, the authority that made the decision must give it to you.
If you are unhappy with a decision made by the local executive or a municipal committee or other body, you you must first make a claim for a revised decision (ask the authority to change the decision). If the decision is not changed, you can complain to the administrative court.
The local council has the highest political decision-making power in the municipality. You cannot make a claim for a revised decision concerning its decisions, but in some cases, you can appeal against them to the administrative court.
If you are unhappy with a decision made by local or central government authorities, you can make an administrative appeal. Unless other instructions are given in the decision, you should file an administrative appeal directly with an administrative court. In some cases, you can make an administrative appeal without first making a claim for a revised decision.
If you are unhappy with a decision made by an administrative body of the church and a claim for a revised decision does not help, you can make an appeal concerning church matters. These appeals are also heard by the administrative court.
Appeals against the government’s decisions are made directly to the Supreme Administrative Court. Appeals against the decisions of authorities under the government or the ministries are made to the administrative court.
Anyone living in a municipality can appeal against a decision of a municipal authority, even if the decision does not affect them personally. If you wish to appeal against the decision of a municipal authority, you usually have the make a claim for a revised decision first.
You can only make an administrative appeal against a decision made by local or central government authorities if you are an interested party; this means that the decision concerns your rights, interests or duties.
A decision on a claim for a revised decision may be appealed to the Administrative Court only by the person who made the claim for a revised decision.
Even if you are not 18 years of age, you may have a right to appeal if the authority's decision is related to your income, wealth or personal interests. You may be helped by an agent who is over 18, honest and suitable for the task, who is not bankrupt and whose competency is not restricted.
The agent is often a lawyer, a public legal aid attorney or a licensed legal counsel.
The agent must not
- have been involved in the processing of the matter in a court or in an authority
- represent the opposing party in a conflict of interests
- be a close relative or a family member of the judge or the referendary dealing with the matter.
Your interests may also be protected by a trustee.
If necessary, the authority has the duty to give you basic guidance for appealing. If you need more detailed help, you can buy it from a private attorney, a solicitor’s office or a law firm. If you are poor, you may get help provided by the Legal Aid Office.
A court fee is charged for most administrative court decisions. The amount of this fee is decided every year. If you have appealed against a decision and the administrative court changes it in your favour, no court fee will be charged.
A fee is also not charged in matters that concern a private individual’s social welfare or health care. If you have been given public legal aid, you will not have to pay a court fee to the administrative court.
For example preparative and implementing decisions cannot be appealed against. You cannot appeal against a labour policy statement that concerns your position as an unemployed jobseeker, or preparative decisions on land use planning within the municipality's area. Information on the right to appeal is given at the end of the decision document.