LEGISLATION ON-LINE: FINNISH LEGAL DATA SYSTEMS

1. FINNISH PARLIAMENT

http://www.eduskunta.fi

* The service of the Finnish parliament on the Internet was opened in December 1995


* Duplicates of the parliamentary archives and databases have been prepared for the WWW, updated every night

* Retrieval system: TRIP Highway (traditional TRIP databases with WWW user interface)

* Documents in Finnish and in Swedish

* Full indexation and separate list of keywords

* Tariffs: free of charge


2. FINNISH ELECTRONIC STATUTE SERIES ("OFFICIAL JOURNAL")

http://www.finlex.fi

* Electronic version of the daily Statute Series ("Official Journal"), with laws and decrees, free of charge

* Electronic version of the Finnish Treaty Series, with bilateral, multilateral and Nordic treaties, free of charge

* Documents are published in Adobe Acrobat format (Portable Document Format, PDF), with each booklet as an Acrobat file

* Parallel texts available in English in several treaties

* Searchable index (operated with SQL server)

* Material available in Finnish from September 1995, in Swedish from 1998, treaties from 1999 onwards



3. FINLEX - LEGAL INFORMATION SYSTEM



http://www.finlex.fi

* FINLEX Classic was established in 1980 by the Finnish Ministry of Justice

* The first database already in 1972 (Supreme Administrative Court)

* In the Internet and WWW since May 1996

FINLEX Classic with user-fees was closed in April 2002 and the databases available free-of-charge at http://www.finlex.fi

* Finlex consisted in the "best days" of appr. 40 databases

* Retrieval system was: MINTTU (Finnish) with WWW interface

* Databases have been transferred to the NEW FINLEX

CONTENTS OF FINLEX CLASSIC WERE

Service with charges, tariffs were until April 2002: 0,5 euro/search, 0,5-0,8 euro per document

4. THE NEW FINLEX


http://www.finlex.fi

In Finland a project of new, government-controlled legal data bank was started in 1996. A working group, consisting of experts from the Finnish Parliament, Ministry of Finance, Prime Minister's Office and Ministry of Justice carried out a study on the duty of the government to disseminate legislation electronically.

In the conclusions it was stated that the government has an obligation to give easy access to legislative documents, which have been produced with official funding (tax payers money) and that the documents should be available free of charge. It was also emphasized that the citizen has a right to information as a basic human right. Thereby the duty of the government and the right of the citizen meet in the legal data service, with legislation and case law available free of charge..

The report was published in March 1996 and in the end of 1996 a European call for tenders was published in the Official Journal of the European Communities (S series). The prime contractor for the new data bank is Edita Ltd., Finnish company specialized in electronic publishing. Edita (previously Government Printing Centre) has also printed the paper edition of the official Finnish Statute Series. From April 2003 onwards, Finnish Ministry of Justice will be publisher of the Finnish Statute Series and Finnish Treaty Series.


THE USE AND THE FEEDBACK

The new legislation data bank has been used widely extensively in Finland and also outside Finland, e.g. in Belgium, France, Sweden and Luxemburg. The number of servers, which have been using the service is appr. 80000 ( for example all the users of the University of Helsinki or the Government are are routed to the service from one server).


The feedback has been mostly positive and encouraging. Especially the libraries and educational institutions have been satisfied with the new free-of-charge service. In the beginning there were longer response times due to the heavy use of the service, but the technical platform is nowadays capable to serve a large number of users.

WHAT IS SPECIAL IN THE NEW FINLEX ?


5. EDILEX - LEGAL PORTAL

http://www.edilex.fi

Internet service of the Edita Ltd.

Some databases also available on CD-ROM

Tariffs:
- licence for single user: 270 euro per year
Section of government proposals is free of charge


5. FINNISH LAW INFO


http://www.kauppakaari.fi and http://www.lakiverkko.com

Internet service of the Kauppakaari Ltd. /Talentum Media.

Same databases also available on CD-ROM

Tariffs:
- licence for single user: 950 euro per year
Section of current information is free of charge


6. OTHER LEGAL INFORMATION SYSTEMS


LEGISLATION ON CIVIL SERVANTS
(http://www.vm.fi/vm/liston/page.lsp?r=2756&l=fi)
- database operated and updated by the Ministry of Finance
- acts, decrees and administrative acts

DATA PROTECTION AND PRIVACY
(http://www.tietosuoja.fi/1560.htm)
- acts and decrees on data protection and personal data registers
- publications of the Data Ombudsman's office

FINNISH SUPREME COURT
http://www.kko.fi
- summaries of recent cases of the Finnish Supreme Court
- databases on the case law of the Supreme Court and other courts are available in FINLEX at http://www.finlex.fi/oikeus/index.html

FINNISH SUPREME ADMINISTRATIVE COURT
http://www.kho.fi
- summaries of recent cases of the Finnish Supreme Administrative Court
- database on the case law of the Supreme Administrative Court is available in FINLEX

TRANSLATIONS OF FINNISH LAWS
* Translations are available in FINLEX, at http://www.finlex.fi

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