Courts of appeal

The main purpose of the courts of appeal is to function as appellate courts, i.e. make decisions in appeals against decisions and judgments of the district courts.  In addition, the courts of appeal consider cases of treason and high treason as well as certain cases of offences in public office as the first instance. The courts of appeal shall also monitor the activities of the district courts located in their judicial district. A court of appeal participates in the procedure for appointing the members of the court and the judges of the district courts in its judicial district by issuing statements to the Judicial Appointments Board. The courts of appeal also award the honorary title of Master of Laws with court training to those Trainee District Judges who have passed their court training.

There are five courts of appeal in Finland. The courts of appeal have altogether approximately 450 employees.  The operations of a court of appeal are led by the President of the Court of Appeal. In addition to the President, cases are heard by Senior Judges and Judges of the Court of Appeal. Assistant Judges work as referendaries.

The general qualification requirements for a judge are a higher academic degree in law, just mind, Finnish citizenship, and the knowledge and skills required in the tasks of a judge. The qualification requirements for a referendary are a Master of Laws degree and experience of working as a judge. The office personnel usually have upper secondary or lower third level education.

The courts of appeal have a very important role in society. The right to protection under the law, one of the fundamental rights under the Constitution of Finland, means that every person has the right to have his or her case dealt with appropriately and without undue delay by a legally competent court of law.  In Finland, everyone has the right to a fair trial.

Published 2014-12-03 at 15:19, updated 2021-06-29 at 13:50

Helsinki Court House.

Picture: Panu Kajova.

Contact Information

The website of the courts of appeal