Finland - Central Authority (Art. 2) and practical information

Central Authority(ies):

Ministry of Justice

Contact details:

Address: Ministry of Justice
Unit for International Judicial Cooperation
P.O. Box 25
FIN-00023 Government
Finland
Telephone: +358 9 1606 7628
Fax: +358 9 1606 7524
E-mail: central.authority@om.fi
General website: https://oikeusministerio.fi/en/international-legal-assistance
Contact person: Ms Maija Leppä
Languages spoken by staff: Finnish, Swedish, English

 

Practical Information

Blocking statutes:

Yes, there are two European instruments of this nature:
Council Regulation (EC) No 2271/96 of 22 November 1996 protecting against the effects of the extra-territorial application of legislation adopted by a third country, and actions based thereon or resulting therefrom (see, Article 5(1)).

Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (See, Art. 25(1)).

Chapter I
(Letters of Requests)

Transmission of Letters of Requests: Letters of Request are first sent to the Central Authority of the requesting State before being sent to the Central Authority of the requested State.
Authority responsible for informing of the time and place of the execution of Letter of Request
(Art. 7):
Judicial authority competent to execute the request.
Presence of judicial personnel at the execution of the Letter of Request (Art. 8): Declaration of applicability. See Competent Authority.
Privileges and duties existing under the law of States other than the State of origin and the State of execution
(Art. 11):
No declaration of applicability.
Translation requirements
Arts 4(2) and 33):

Accepts Letters of Requests written in or translated into Finnish and English. By accepting Letters of Request in English, the Republic of Finland does not undertake to execute the request, or transmit the evidence thus obtained in the English language; nor to have translated the documents which establish the execution of the Letter of Request.

Finland also accepts Letters of Request in Swedish. The answer shall be given in the Swedish language if in connection with the Letter of Request this has been specifically requested.

Costs relating to execution of the Letters of Request
(Arts 14(2)(3) and 26):
There are no constitutional limitations with re-gard to the reimbursement of fees and costs, in connection with the execution of Letters of Re-quest, for the service of process necessary to compel the appearance of a person to give evi-dence, the costs of attendance of such persons, and the costs of any transcript of the evidence (Art. 26).
Time for execution: Approximately 3-6 months. 
Pre-trial discovery of documents
Art. 23):
Letter of Request may be executed subject to certain conditions (qualified exclusion).
Information about domestic rules on the taking of evidence: 

European Judicial Network in Civil or Commercial Matters - Finland.
https://e-justice.europa.eu/content_european_judicial_network_in_civil_and_commercial_matters-21-en.do

Act on International Judicial Assistance and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (Laki kansainvälisestä oikeusavusta sekä tuomioiden tunnustamisesta ja täytäntöönpanosta siv-iili- ja kauppaoikeuden alalla, 426/2015), available in Finnish and Swedish: https://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/ajantasa/2015/20150426

An unofficial translation in English: https://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/kaannokset/2015/en20150426.pdf

Code of Judicial Procedure (Oikeudenkäymiskaari, 4/1734), available in Finnish and in Swedish: https://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/ajantasa/1734/17340004

An unofficial translation: https://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/kaannokset/1734/en17340004_20150732.pdf

Finlex Data Bank (an online database of up-to-date legislative and other judicial information of Finland): http://www.finlex.fi/en/

Witness examination under Chapter I

Should Letters of Request include specific questions to be used during witness examination or only a list of matters to be addressed? Both kinds of requests are accepted in practice.
Is it a public or private hearing? Public hearing.
Do the judicial authorities "blue-pencil" Letters of Requests (i.e. rephrase, restructure and / or strike out objectionable questions or offensive wording so that a Letter of Request may be executed under the laws of the requested State)? Yes.
Is the witness provided in advance with a copy of the questions / matters to be addressed as contained in the Letter of Request? Yes.
Are documents produced by the witness authenticated by the court? No.
Is an oath generally administered to the witness? Yes.
Can the witness be made subject to further examination and recall? Yes, but a second Request is necessary.
Are there sanctions for non-appearance of witness? A witness who without a lawful cause refuses to give evidence may be obliged under threat of a fine to fulfill his or her obligation. If despite this the witness does not consent to give evidence, the court may order him or her to be detained until he or she consents to give evidence.
Must interpreters who assist with the witness examination be court-certified? No.
How is the testimony transcribed? The testimony is written down in a protocol.

Chapter II
(Taking of evidence by diplomatic officers, consular agents and commissioners)

Article 15 Applicable.
Article 16 Applicable. Evidence may be taken without the prior permission of the Finnish authorities.
Article 17 Applicable. Evidence may be taken without the prior permission of the Finnish authorities.
Article 18 No declaration of applicability (i.e., a diplomatic officer, consular agent or commissioner may not apply for appropriate assistance to obtain evidence by compulsion).

Taking of evidence by video-links
(under either chapter)

Chapter I

Are there legal obstacles to the use of video links? No.
Technology used: No information available.
Level of interpretation required: No information available.
Simultaneous or in sequence interpretation: No information available.
Interpretation required in which jurisdiction? No information available.
Who pays for the interpretation? No information available.
How would a request for evidence be handled if witness not willing? No information available.

Chapter II

Are there legal obstacles to the use of video links? No.
Technology used: No information available.
Level of interpretation required: No information available.
Simultaneous or in sequence interpretation: No information available.
Interpretation required in which jurisdiction? No information available.
Who pays for the interpretation? No information available.

Other Information

Bilateral or multilateral agreements

Agreement between Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden on Mutual Legal Assistance in Service and Taking of Evidence of 1974.

Bilateral conventions on judicial co-operation: Russian Federation (1978), United Kingdom (1933).

Council Regulation (EC) No. 1206/2001 of 28 May 2001 on cooperation between the courts of the Member States in the taking of evidence in civil or commercial matters.

Useful links:  
Competent authorities (Art. 8) See here.
Additional authorities (Art. 24)  

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