The courts are divided into general courts and administrative courts. District courts, Courts of appeal and the Supreme Court are general courts; Administrative Courts and the Supreme Administrative Courtare administrative courts. In addition, there are certain special courts.
Courts of Appeal hear appeals against District Court judgments. The Helsinki Court of Appeal is the court of first instance for, among other things, certain cases involving international family law.
The most important function of the Supreme Court is to give preliminary rulings, giving directions on the application of the law. The Supreme Court may hear appeals against Court of Appeal decisions, but this is subject to leave, which is given by the Supreme Court itself.
Administrative Courts deal with appeals against decisions made by the authorities and administrative disputes.
The Supreme Administrative Court is the supreme appeal instance in matters of administrative law. Appeals against decisions by an Administrative Court can be filed with the Supreme Administrative Court. In some categories of matters, the right of appeal is subject to permission.
The Market Court handles cases involving public procurement, restrictions on competition and trading conduct.
The Labour Court hears disputes relating to collective labour agreements and civil servants' employment contracts. Disputes relating to agreements between individual employers and employees do not come under the jurisdiction of the Labour Court.
The Insurance Court deals with cases involving such matters as pensions and welfare assistance, but it is not responsible for vehicle insurance, home insurance or other private insurance cases.
Last update: 05-10-2007