Finnish courts -
District courts -
A party discontent with the ruling or the decision of the District Court may appeal against the decision.
The consideration of the case will be continued in a Court of Appeal. For the consideration of certain matters of lesser importance, leave to continue the proceedings, granted by a court of appeal, is required.
The appeal process begins with a declaration of intent to appeal, which must be must be given to the District Court within a week of the decision. Thereafter the appeal document should be delivered through the District Court to the Court of Appeal. The appeal document must be delivered within 30 days of the decision. If the appellant fails to give teh declaration of intent to appeal and the appela document to the District Court in time, the decision becomes final. There is a form for the declaration of intent to appeal, but its use is not compulsory. In all its decisions, the District Court provides instructions on how to appeal against it.
Also the opposing party of the appellant may, even without declaring an intent to appeal, submit an appeal against a decision of a district court (a counter-appeal). The counter-appeal must be submitted within two weeks after the end of the appellant’s appeal period. The instructions for submitting a counter-appeal are included in the instructions for appeal enclosed with the decision of the district court.
Written appeal instructions are always attached to the decision.
Leave to continue the proceedings
In a civil matter, the appellant needs leave to continue the proceedings, if the case in the court of appeal only concerns a debt and the difference between the appellant's claim and the decision of the district court does not exceed 10,000 euros.
In a criminal matter, the defendant needs leave to continue the proceedings, if he or she has not been sentenced to a more severe punishment than imprisonment for four months. The prosecutor and a party need leave to continue the proceedings, if the appeal concerns a crime for which the maximum punishment under the circumstances laid down in the indictment is a fine or imprisonment for at most two years. According to separate provisions, there are certain matters where leave to continue the proceedings is not needed despite the above mentioned restrictions. These include i.a. matters concerning a restraining order, passing a conversion sentence for unpaid fines and maintenance payable to a child.
Leave to continue the proceedings must be granted if
- there is reason to doubt the correctness of the decision of the district court,
- the correctness of the decision of the district court cannot be assessed without granting leave to continue the proceedings,
- it is important with regard to the application of law in other similar cases to grant leave to continue the proceedings or
- there is some other justified reason to grant leave.
If leave to continue the proceedings is not needed or leave is granted, the court of appeal continues the proceedings in the matter.
Courts of Appeal
Updated on 19 March 2013