Reservations and Declarations for Treaty No.005 - Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

Nature of declaration : Reservations
Status as of 23/07/2017

Finland

Reservation contained in the instrument of ratification, deposited on 10 May 1990 - Or. Engl. - as amended by the partial withdrawals of reservation dated 20 December 1996, 30 April 1998, 1 April 1999 and 16 May 2001 - Or. Engl.

In accordance with Article 64 of the Convention [Article 57 since the entry into force of Protocol No 11], the Government of Finland makes the following reservation in respect of the right to a public hearing guaranteed by Article 6, paragraph 1, of the Convention.

For the time being, Finland cannot guarantee a right to an oral hearing insofar as the current Finnish laws do not provide such a right. This applies to:

1. proceedings before the Supreme Court in accordance with Chapter 30, Section 20, of the Code of Judicial Procedure and proceedings before the Courts of Appeal as regards the consideration of petition, civil and criminal cases to which Chapter 26 (661/1978), Sections 7 and 8, of the Code of Judicial Procedure are applied if the decision of a District Court has been made before 1 May 1998, when the amendments made to the provisions concerning proceedings before Courts of Appeal entered into force;
and the consideration of criminal cases before the Supreme Court and the Courts of Appeal if the case has been pending before a District Court at the time of entry into force of the Criminal Proceedings Act on 1 October 1997 and to which existing provisions have been applied by the District Court;

2. proceedings, which are held before the Insurance Court as the Court of Final Instance, in accordance with Section 9 of the Insurance Court Act, if they concern an appeal which has become pending before the entry into force of the Act Amending the Insurance Court Act on 1 April 1999;

3. proceedings before the Appellate Board for Social Insurance, in accordance with Section 8 of the Decree on the Appellate Board for Social Insurance, if they concern an appeal which has become pending before the entry into force of the Act Amending the Health Insurance Act on 1 April 1999.

The provisions of the Finnish laws referred to above are attached to this reservation as a separate annex.
Period covered: 10/05/1990 -
Articles concerned : 6

Partial withdrawal of a reservation transmitted by a letter from the Permanent Representative of Finland, dated 20 December 1996, registered at the Secretariat General on 20 December 1996 - Or. Engl.

Whereas the instrument of ratification contained, inter alia, the following reservation to Article 6, paragraph 1, of the Convention:

"For the time being, Finland cannot guarantee a right to an oral hearing insofar as the current Finnish laws do not provide such a right. This applies to:

1. proceedings before the Courts of Appeal, the Supreme Court, the Water Courts and the Water Court of Appeal in accordance with Chapter 26 Sections 7 and 8, as well as Chapter 30 Section 20, of the Code of Judicial Procedure, and Chapter 15 Section 23, as well as Chapter 16 Sections 14 and 39, of the Water Act;

2. proceedings before the County Administrative Courts and the Supreme Administrative Court in accordance with Section 16 of the County Administrative Courts Act and section 15 of the Supreme Administrative Court Act;"

Whereas the relevant provisions of the Finnish legislation have been amended so as to better correspond to Article 6, paragraph 1, of the Convention as far as proceedings before the Water Court of Appeal as well as the County Administrative Courts and the Supreme Administrative Court are concerned;

The Republic of Finland withdraws the reservation in paragraph 1 above as far as it concerns proceedings before the Water Court of Appeal in accordance with Chapter 15 Section 23 of the Water Act, with the exception of consideration of criminal and civil cases and with the exception of consideration of petition, appeal and executive assistance cases relating to a decision given before the entry into force of the Act on Administrative Judicial Procedure on 1 December 1996, as well as of consideration of an appeal on such a matter in a superior appellate authority.

The Republic of Finland also withdraws the reservation in paragraph 2 above, with the exception of consideration of an appeal or a submission from a decision given before the entry into force of the Act on Administrative Judicial Procedure on 1 December 1996, as well as of consideration of an appeal on such a matter in a superior appellate authority.

[Note by the Secretariat : Paragraphs 1 and 2 of the reservation now read as follows :

" For the time being, Finland cannot guarantee a right to an oral hearing insofar as the current Finnish laws do not provide such a right. This applies to:

1. proceedings before the Courts of Appeal, the Supreme Court, the Water Courts and the Water Court of Appeal in accordance with Chapter 26, Sections 7 and 8, as well as Chapter 30, Section 20, of the Code of Judicial Procedure, and Chapter 16, Sections 14 and 39, of the Water Act, as well as civil and criminal proceedings in accordance with Chapter 15, Section 23, of the Water Act. This also concerns consideration of petition, appeal and executive assistance cases, relating to a decision given before the entry into force of the Act on Administrative Judicial Procedure on 1 December 1996, before the Water Court of Appeal, in accordance with Chapter 15, Section 23, of the Water Act, as well as consideration of an appeal on such a matter in a superior appellate authority;

2. the consideration by a County Administrative Court or the Supreme Administrative Court of an appeal on a submission from a decision given before the entry into force of the Act on Administrative Judicial Procedure on 1 December 1996, as well as of consideration of an appeal on such a matter in a superior appellate authority;"]
Period covered: 20/12/1996 - 30/04/1998
Articles concerned : 6

Partial withdrawal of a reservation transmitted by a letter from the Permanent Representative of Finland, dated 29 April 1998, registered at the Secretariat General on 30 April 1998 - Or. Engl.

Whereas the instrument of ratification contained inter alia a reservation to Article 6, paragraph 1, of the Convention, whereas after partial withdrawal of the reservation on 12 December 1996 paragraph 1 of the reservation reads as follows:

"For the time being, Finland cannot guarantee a right to an oral hearing insofar as the current Finnish laws do not provide such a right. This applies to:

1. proceedings before the Courts of Appeal, the Supreme Court, the Water Courts and the Water Court of Appeal in accordance with Chapter 26, Sections 7 and 8, as well as Chapter 30, Section 20, of the Code of Judicial Procedure, and Chapter 16, Sections 14 and 39, of the Water Act, as well as civil and criminal proceedings in accordance with Chapter 15, Section 23, of the Water Act. This also concerns consideration of petition, appeal and executive assistance cases, relating to a decision given before the entry into force of the Act on Administrative Judicial Procedure on 1 December 1996, before the Water Court of Appeal, in accordance with Chapter 15, Section 23, of the Water Act, as well as consideration of an appeal on such a matter in a superior appellate authority".

Whereas the relevant provisions of the Finnish legislation have been amended so as to better correspond to Article 6, paragraph 1, of the Convention as far as proceedings before the Courts of Appeal and the Water Court of Appeal are concerned,

The Republic of Finland withdraws the reservation in paragraph 1 above, as far as it concerns proceedings before the Courts of Appeal, with the exception of consideration of petition, civil and criminal cases to which Chapter 26, Sections 7 and 8, of the Code of Judicial Procedure are applied, and with the exception of consideration of criminal cases which have been pending before a District Court at the time of entry into force of the Criminal Proceedings Act on 1 October 1997 and to which existing provisions have been applied by the District Court.

The Republic of Finland also withdraws the reservation as far as it concerns proceedings before the Water Courts, with the exception of proceedings in accordance with Chapter 16, Section 14, of the Water Act, and as far as it concerns the Water Court of Appeal, with the exception of consideration of criminal and civil cases in accordance with Chapter 15, Section 23, of the Water Act, if the decision of the Water Court has been given before the entry into force of the Act Amending the Code of Judicial Procedure on 1 May 1998.

[Note by the Secretariat : Paragraph 1 of the reservation now read as follows :

"For the time being, Finland cannot guarantee a right to an oral hearing insofar as the current Finnish laws do not provide such a right. This applies to:

1. proceedings before the Water Courts when conducted in accordance with Chapter 16, Section 14 of the Water Act; proceedings before the Supreme Court in accordance with Chapter 30, Section 20, of the Code of Judicial Procedure and proceedings before the Courts of Appeal as regards the consideration of petition, civil and criminal cases to which Chapter 26 (661/1978), Sections 7 and 8, of the Code of Judicial Procedure are applied if the decision of a District Court has been made before 1 May 1998, when the amendments made to the provisions concerning proceedings before Courts of Appeal entered into force; the consideration of criminal cases before the Supreme Court and the Courts of Appeal if the case has been pending before a District Court at the time of entry into force of the Criminal Proceedings Act on 1 October 1997 and to which existing provisions have been applied by the District Court; proceedings before the Water Court of Appeal as regards the consideration of criminal and civil cases in accordance with Chapter 15, Section 23, of the Water Act, if the decision of the Water Court has been given before the entry into force of the Act Amending the Code of Judicial Procedure on 1 May 1998; and the consideration of petition, appeal and executive assistance cases, in accordance with Chapter 15, Section 23, of the Water Act, if the decision of the Water Court has been given before the entry into force of the Act on Administrative Judicial Procedure on 1 December 1996;"]

APPENDIX INCLUDING THE TEXTS OF THE RESPECTIVE LAWS REFERRED TO IN THE PARTIAL WITHDRAWAL OF THE RESERVATION

Chapter 27, Section 5, of the Act Amending the Code of Judicial Procedure (165/1998)

This Act shall enter into force on 1 May 1998.

This Act shall apply to the consideration of civil cases and petitions, if the appealed decision has been given or pronounced by the District Court after the entry into force of this Act.

This Act shall apply to the consideration of criminal cases, if the matter, in respect of which appeal has been made, has been considered by the District Court in accordance with the Criminal Proceedings Act and if the decision has been given or pronounced after the entry into force of this Act.

Chapter 13, Section 1, of the Criminal Proceedings Act (689/1997)

(This Act has entered into force on 1 October 1997).

Those criminal cases which are pending in a court at the time of entry into force of this Act shall be considered in accordance with the existing provisions at the time of entry into force of this Act.

A criminal case which is to be considered by a court but which is not pending shall become pending at the time of entry into force of this Act.

Chapter 16, section 14, of the Water Act (308/1990)

When an inspection has been arranged upon application and the documents have been received by the Water Court and the prescribed time for objections, claims and complaints has expired, the Water Court shall hold an oral hearing, if the objections, claims or complaints submitted on the basis of the report of the executive officials so require, of if the Court for some other reason deems an oral hearing necessary. The record of proceedings shall be kept available for inspection prior to the oral hearings at the office of the Water Court. The Court may also request the engineer appointed to oversee the proceedings to submit a statement on the objections, claims and complaints.

The applicant, all persons having submitted objections or claims, and the authorities referred to in Section 8 of this Chapter shall be notified of the oral hearings by registered letter or other verifiable manner fourteen days prior to the proposed date.
Period covered: 30/04/1998 - 01/04/1999
Articles concerned : 6

Partial withdrawal of reservations transmitted by a letter from the Permanent Representative of Finland, dated 29 March 1999, registered at the Secretariat General on 1 April 1999 - Or. Engl.

Whereas the instrument of ratification contained inter alia a reservation to Article 6, paragraph 1, of the Convention, whereas after partial withdrawal of the reservation on 12 December 1996 as well as on 24 April 1998, paragraphs 1, 3 and 4 of the reservation read as follows :

"For the time being, Finland cannot guarantee a right to an oral hearing insofar as the current Finnish laws do not provide such a right. This applies to:

1. proceedings before the Supreme Court in accordance with Chapter 30, Section 20, of the Code of Judicial Procedure; proceedings before the Water Courts when conducted in accordance with Chapter 16, Section 14 of the Water Act; proceedings before the Courts of Appeal as regards the consideration of petition, civil and criminal cases to which Chapter 26 (661/1978), Sections 7 and 8, of the Code of Judicial Procedure are applied; and the consideration of criminal cases before a District Court at the time of entry into force of the Criminal Proceedings Act on 1 October 1997 and to which existing provisions have been applied by the District Court; and proceedings before the Water Court of Appeal as regards the consideration of criminal and civil cases in accordance with Chapter 15, Section 23, of the Water Act, if the decision of the Water Court has been given before the entry into force of the Act Amending the Code of Judicial Procedure on 1 May 1998; and the consideration of petition, appeal and executive assistance cases, in accordance with Chapter 15, Section 23, of the Water Act, if the decision of the Water Court has been given before the entry into force of the Act on Administrative Judicial Procedure on 1 December 1996;

3. proceedings, which are held before the Insurance Court as the Court of Final Instance, in accordance with Section 9 of the Insurance Court Act;

4. proceedings before the Appellate Board for Social Insurance in accordance with Section 8 of the Decree on the Appellate Board for Social Insurance."

Whereas, due to the amendments made to the provisions concerning the procedure before the Courts of Appeal, neither the provisions concerning the procedure before the Courts of Appeal nor the provisions concerning the procedure before the Supreme Court any longer set obstacles for holding an oral hearing before the Supreme Court in accordance with Article 6, paragraph 1, of the Convention as interpreted by the European Court of Human Rights; and whereas the relevant provisions of the Finnish legislation have been amended so as to better correspond to Article 6, paragraph 1, of the Convention as far as proceedings before the Insurance Court and the Appellate Board for Social Insurance are concerned;

Now therefore Finland withdraws the reservation in paragraph 1 above, as far as it concerns proceedings before the Supreme Court, with the exception of consideration of cases in which the decision of a District Court has been made before 1 May 1998, when the amendments made to the provisions concerning proceedings before Courts of Appeal entered into force. Finland also withdraws the reservations in paragraphs 3 and 4 above, with the exception of consideration of cases which have become pending before the entry into force of the Acts amending the Insurance Court Act and the health Insurance Act on 1 April 1999.

[Note by the Secretariat : Paragraphs 1, 3 and 4 of the reservation now read as follows :

"For the time being, Finland cannot guarantee a right to an oral hearing insofar as the current Finnish laws do not provide such a right. This applies to:

1. proceedings before the Water Courts when conducted in accordance with Chapter 16, Section 14 of the Water Act; and proceedings before the Supreme Court in accordance with Chapter 30, Section 20, of the Code of Judicial Procedure and proceedings before the Courts of Appeal as regards the consideration of petition, civil and criminal cases to which Chapter 26 (661/1978), Sections 7 and 8, of the Code of Judicial Procedure are applied if the decision of a District Court has been made before 1 May 1998, when the amendments made to the provisions concerning proceedings before Courts of Appeal entered into force; and the consideration of criminal cases before the Supreme Court and the Courts of Appeal if the case has been pending before a District Court at the time of entry into force of the Criminal Proceedings Act on 1 October 1997 and to which existing provisions have been applied by the District Court; and proceedings before the Water Court of Appeal as regards the consideration of criminal and civil cases in accordance with Chapter 15, Section 23, of the Water Act, if the decision of the Water Court has been given before the entry into force of the Act Amending the Code of Judicial Procedure on 1 May 1998; and the consideration of petition, appeal and executive assistance cases, in accordance with Chapter 15, Section 23, of the Water Act, if the decision of the Water Court has been given before the entry into force of the Act on Administrative Judicial Procedure on 1 December 1996;

3. proceedings, which are held before the Insurance Court as the Court of Final Instance, in accordance with Section 9 of the Insurance Court Act, if they concern an appeal which has become pending before the entry into force of the Act Amending the Insurance Court Act on 1 April 1999;

4. proceedings before the Appellate Board for Social Insurance, in accordance with Section 8 of the Decree on the Appellate Board for Social Insurance, if they concern an appeal which has become pending before the entry into force of the Act Amending the Health Insurance Act on 1 April 1999."]

APPENDIX INCLUDING THE TEXTS OF THE RESPECTIVE LAWS REFERRED TO IN THE PARTIAL WITHDRAWAL OF RESERVATIONS

Act amending the Health Insurance Act
issued on 5 March 1999

Section 54
The Act on Administrative Judicial Procedure (586/1996) shall apply to the consideration of cases before the Appellate Board for Social Insurance unless otherwise provided elsewhere in the law. The Appellate Board for Social Insurance holds an oral hearing, when it is necessary for the purpose of resolving the case, in accordance with the provisions in Section 37 of the Act on Administrative Judicial Procedure. In a case where the decision of the Appellate Board for Social Insurance cannot be appealed against, the Appellate Board for Social Insurance shall hold an oral hearing on request by an individual party to the proceedings, in accordance with the provisions in Section 38 of the Act on Administrative Judicial Procedure.

This Act shall enter into force on 1 April 1999. The Act shall apply to appeals which have become pending after the entry into force of the Act.

Act amending the Insurance Court Act
issued at Helsinki on 5 March 1999

Section 9 (1)
The Act on Administrative Judicial Procedure (586/1996) shall apply to the consideration of cases before the Insurance Court unless otherwise provided elsewhere in the law. The Insurance Court holds an oral hearing, when it is necessary for the purpose of resolving the case, in accordance with the provisions in Section 37 of the Act on Administrative Judicial Procedure. The Insurance Court shall hold an oral hearing on request by an individual party to the proceedings, in accordance with the provisions in Section 38 of the Act on Administrative Judicial Procedure.

Section 10 (2)
This Act shall enter into force on 1 April 1999. The Act shall apply to the consideration of appeals which have become pending after the entry into force of the Act.
Period covered: 01/04/1999 - 16/05/2001
Articles concerned : 6

Partial withdrawal of reservation transmitted by a Note Verbale from the Permanent Representation of Finland, dated 16 May 2001, registered at the Secretariat General on 16 May 2001 - Or. Engl.

Whereas the instrument of ratification contained a reservation to Article 6, paragraph 1, of the Convention, whereas after partial withdrawals of the reservation on 20 December 1996, 30 April 1998 and 1 April 1999, the reservation reads as follows:

"For the time being, Finland cannot guarantee a right to an oral hearing insofar as the current Finnish laws do not provide such a right. This applies to:

1. proceedings before the Water Courts when conducted in accordance with Chapter 16, Section 14 of the Water Act;
and proceedings before the Supreme Court in accordance with Chapter 30, Section 20, of the Code of Judicial Procedure and proceedings before the Courts of Appeal as regards the consideration of petition, civil and criminal cases to which Chapter 26 (661/1978), Sections 7 and 8, of the Code of Judicial Procedure are applied if the decision of a District Court has been made before 1 May 1998, when the amendments made to the provisions concerning proceedings before Courts of Appeal entered into force;
and the consideration of criminal cases before the Supreme Court and the Courts of Appeal if the case has been pending before a District Court at the time of entry into force of the Criminal Proceedings Act on 1 October 1997 and to which existing provisions have been applied by the District Court;
and proceedings before the Water Court of Appeal as regards the consideration of criminal and civil cases in accordance with Chapter 15, Section 23, of the Water Act, if the decision of the Water Court has been given before the entry into force of the Act Amending the Code of Judicial Procedure on 1 May 1998; and the consideration of petition, appeal and executive assistance cases, in accordance with Chapter 15, Section 23, of the Water Act, if the decision of the Water Court has been given before the entry into force of the Act on Administrative Judicial Procedure on 1 December 1996;

2. the consideration by a County Administrative Court or the Supreme Administrative Court of an appeal on a submission from a decision given before the entry into force of the Act on Administrative Judicial Procedure on 1 December 1996, as well as of consideration of an appeal on such a matter in a superior appellate authority;

3. proceedings, which are held before the Insurance Court as the Court of Final Instance, in accordance with Section 9 of the Insurance Court Act, if they concern an appeal which has become pending before the entry into force of the Act Amending the Insurance Court Act on 1 April 1999;

4. proceedings before the Appellate Board for Social Insurance, in accordance with Section 8 of the Decree on the Appellate Board for Social Insurance, if they concern an appeal which has become pending before the entry into force of the Act Amending the Health Insurance Act on 1 April 1999."

Whereas the relevant provisions of the Finnish legislation have been amended so as they no longer correspond to the present reservation as far as they concern proceedings before the Water Courts and the Water Court of Appeal, and as the present reservation concerning the proceedings before the County Administrative Courts and the Supreme Administrative Court is no longer relevant,

Now therefore Finland withdraws the reservation in paragraph 1 above, as far as it concerns proceedings before the Water Courts and before the Water Court of Appeal. Finland also withdraws the reservation in paragraph 2 above concerning proceedings before the County Administrative Courts and the Supreme Administrative Court.

[Note by the Secretariat : The reservation now read as follows : "For the time being, Finland cannot guarantee a right to an oral hearing insofar as the current Finnish laws do not provide such a right. This applies to:
1. proceedings before the Supreme Court in accordance with Chapter 30, Section 20, of the Code of Judicial Procedure and proceedings before the Courts of Appeal as regards the consideration of petition, civil and criminal cases to which Chapter 26 (661/1978), Sections 7 and 8, of the Code of Judicial Procedure are applied if the decision of a District Court has been made before 1 May 1998, when the amendments made to the provisions concerning proceedings before Courts of Appeal entered into force;
and the consideration of criminal cases before the Supreme Court and the Courts of Appeal if the case has been pending before a District Court at the time of entry into force of the Criminal Proceedings Act on 1 October 1997 and to which existing provisions have been applied by the District Court;
2. proceedings, which are held before the Insurance Court as the Court of Final Instance, in accordance with Section 9 of the Insurance Court Act, if they concern an appeal which has become pending before the entry into force of the Act Amending the Insurance Court Act on 1 April 1999;
3. proceedings before the Appellate Board for Social Insurance, in accordance with Section 8 of the Decree on the Appellate Board for Social Insurance, if they concern an appeal which has become pending before the entry into force of the Act Amending the Health Insurance Act on 1 April 1999."]

APPENDIX INCLUDING A SUMMARY OF THE RESPECTIVE LAWS REFERRED TO IN THE PARTIAL WITHDRAWAL OF RESERVATIONS

The Water Court of Appeal was abolished by the Administrative Courts Act (430/1999) which entered into force on 1 November 1999. The Water Court of Appeal was merged with the Vaasa County Administrative Court, and the new court is called the Vaasa Administrative Court.

Chapter 15 of the Water Act, concerning the water courts, was repealed by the Act on the Amendment of the Water Act (88/2000) which entered into force on 1 March 2000, being part of a reform of the Finnish environmental legislation. The water courts were abolished and replaced by three environmental permit authorities.

According to Section 11 (1) of the Act on the Implementation of Environmental Legislation, the cases pending before the water courts were transferred to the environmental permit authorities insofar as petitions and requests for executive assistance referred to in the Water Act were concerned, appeal cases were transferred to the Vaasa Administrative Court and criminal cases to the competent district courts. As regards civil cases, the water courts were to decide which of them would still be considered as civil cases and which ones could be converted into petition cases to be handled by the environmental permit authorities. According to Section 17 of the Act on the Implementation of Environmental Legislation, also the Vaasa Administrative Court was to transfer the pending civil and criminal cases to the competent courts of appeal, applying, where appropriate, Section 11 (2) of the same Act to the civil cases.

Because there no longer are any provisions on the consideration of civil cases in the Water Act, and nor does the Act on the Implementation of Environmental Legislation contain separate provisions on the application of the earlier legislation to cases which have been brought before a water court or the Water Court of Appeal as a civil case and the consideration of which shall continue before another competent court as a civil case, the transferred cases shall be covered by the procedural rules existing at the time of transfer. Therefore it is no longer possible that the transferred civil cases could become subject to one of the procedures in respect of which the reservation to the Convention was made.

The reservation made in respect of proceedings before Water Courts when conducted in accordance with Chapter 16, Section 14 of the Water Act, concerning the holding of an oral hearing in a petition case after inspection, may also be withdrawn as a result of the reform of the environmental legislation. According to Chapter 16, Section 14 of the Act on the Amendment of the Water Act, the competent authorities for the consideration of petitions are the environmental permit authorities. The reservation made to Article 6 of the Convention only concerned the administrative judicial procedure applied to administrative courts and not the administrative procedure applied to other authorities.

The transitional provision concerning civil and criminal cases before the water courts may be withdrawn as there are no longer such pending cases to which the provisions of the Code of Judicial Procedure, which were in force before the Act on the Amendment of the Code of Judicial Procedure entered into force on 1 May 1998, could be applied.

According to the transitional provision in Section 82 of the Administrative Judicial Procedure Act, the Act shall not be applied to appeals or submissions made in respect of decisions given before the entry into force of the Act, nor to the consideration of such cases by a superior appellate authority on account of appeal. There are hardly any appeal cases pending before the administrative courts and the Supreme Administrative Court, where the decision subject to appeal has been given before the entry into force of the Administrative Judicial Procedure Act on 1 December 1996.
Period covered: 16/05/2001 -
Articles concerned : 6


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