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Responsible for the service Supreme Court

Supreme Court

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  • Public service

The Supreme Court exercises judicial power as the final instance in civil and criminal matters and supervises the judicial procedure within its field of competence.

You can appeal to the Supreme Court against decisions of the courts of appeal and certain decisions of district courts, the Market Court, and the Insurance Court. In order for an appeal to be considered, the Supreme Court must usually grant the appellant leave to appeal. The most important and most frequently used ground for granting leave to appeal is that of a precedent ruling, i.e., the need for the Supreme Court to rule on a case in order to apply the law in subsequent similar cases.

The Supreme Court is the court for precedents. Precedents are issued on issues on which the law does not provide a clear answer. Precedents provide legal guidance for similar disputes in the future and aim to ensure that courts across the country interpret the law in the same way.

Whether there is a right of appeal and what is required in order to appeal is indicated in the decision of the lower court or in the notice of appeal attached to it, as well as in the provisions of the law.

The Supreme Court can also set aside or annul the final decision issued by a court, i.e., a decision that been rendered legally valid, or restore a time limit that has expired. These are exceptional procedures which require that the very strict criteria laid down by law are met.

Do the following

Applications for leave to appeal and appeals themselves are usually sent to the registry of the court that most recently ruled on the case, such as the office of a court of appeal. It is advisable to use the help of a legal expert to draft the documents. A procedural lawyer must meet certain eligibility criteria.

The Supreme Court receives pleadings in writing and the procedure itself is generally in writing, too. There is no possibility of meetings in person.

Because courts musts be impartial, they cannot give legal advice to any party to a case or to any other entity. For assistance in legal matters, you can turn to a legal aid office or a lawyer, for example.

To whom and on what terms

The first step is to apply for an appeal within the time limits laid down by law. Applications and appeals must be submitted in writing.

In general, the admissibility of a case by the Supreme Court also requires the Supreme Court to grant leave to appeal.

Apart from the exceptions provided for by law, an application to the Supreme Court to have a conviction annulled or set aside may be made only if the application is made by a lawyer, a legal aid attorney or a licensed legal counsel.

A fee is charged for the service.

The fee is 530€. In Market Court cases, the fee is determined on the same basis as in Market Court cases.

As a general rule, no fee is charged

-in an appeal by a private individual against a decision of the Insurance Court;

-in an appeal by a person who has been granted legal aid;

-when the Supreme Court changes the outcome of a decision in a criminal case in favour of the appellant,

-or allows an extraordinary appeal, or

-refers the case back or transfers it in its entirety to another authority

Basic information

The service is provided bySupreme Court
Responsible for the serviceSupreme Court
Area Whole Finland
Available languagesSwedish, Finnish
Text edited by: Supreme Court
Updated: 10/8/2022