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Finland: Supreme Court to Make English Summaries of Precedents Available Online and Begin Using ECLI Code in 2018

(Jan. 12, 2018) On January 2, 2018, the Finnish Supreme Court announced it will make some of its precedents available through summaries in English. (Press Release, Finnish Supreme Court, The Supreme Court of Finland Starts to Publish Summaries of Its Precedents in English (Jan. 2, 2018), SUPREME COURT.) The cases will be limited to those involving interpretations of the European Convention on Human Rights, the law of the European Union (EU), and international law. (Id.) Some earlier precedents have already been summarized in English and made available on the Court’s website. (Summaries of Selected Precedents in English, SUPREME COURT (Dec. 11, 2017).)

Under Finnish law, the Supreme Court must make its decisions available in Finnish or Swedish, depending on what language the lower courts have used, unless the court and parties decide differently. (3 kap. 17 § Språklagen [Language Act] No. 2003/423 (in Swedish), FINLEX website.)

Also in 2018 the Court will begin using ECLI (European case law identifier) codes for its decisions. (Press Release, Finnish Supreme Court, HD:s prejudikat börjar förses med ECLI-kod 2018 (Jan. 3, 2018) (in Swedish), SUPREME COURT.) The first Supreme Court case of 2018 has been assigned ECLI number ECLI:FI:KKO:2018:1. (Id.) The ECLI code is meant to create a uniform manner in which to cite cases within the EU; the individual countries decide whether to adopt the code or not. (Id.) Finland will become the first Nordic country to adopt the standard.