The judicial administration consists of independent courts of law, prosecution service, enforcement authorities who see to the enforcement of judgments, the Criminal Sanctions Agency who sees to the enforcement of custodial sentences, and the Bar Association and the other avenues of legal aid.
The police, the customs and the border guard lead the criminal investigation in the pre-trial stage of the criminal process in close cooperation with the prosecutor. When the pre-trial investigation is completed, the prosecutor performs the consideration of charges. If the prosecutor decides to prosecute for an offence, criminal proceedings are initiated in most cases in the district court.
The courts, prosecutors, enforcement authorities, legal aid authorities and the Criminal Sanctions Agency all function in the administrative field of the Ministry of Justice. The Ministry of the Interior is responsible for the guidance and supervision of the police and border guard and the Ministry of Finance of the customs authorities.
There are 20 district courts which all deal with both criminal and civil cases. The decision of the district court can normally be appealed to one of the five Courts of Appeal. The decisions of the courts of appeal, then, can be appealed in the Supreme Court, provided that the Supreme Court grants leave to appeal.
The courts are independent, bound only by the law in force. The independence of the courts is guaranteed by the Constitution.
There are also administrative courts the decisions of which can be appealed in the Supreme Administrative Court. In addition here are special courts (the Market Court, the Labour Court, the Insurance Court, and the High Court of Impeachment).
The prosecutors form an independent part of the Finnish judicial administration, and their decision powers are bound by law.
The National Prosecution Authority comprises of the Office of the Prosecutor General, and five prosecution districts: Southern Finland, Western Finland, Eastern Finland, Northern Finland, and Åland.
The Prosecutor General is independent in his/her task, also from the Government and the Ministry of Justice. The Ministry of Justice however decides on the financial resources of the prosecution service.
Each prosecutor is independent in performing his/her duties. However, the Prosecutor General has the power to take over of a case of a subordinate prosecutor or to assign to a subordinate prosecutor a case where the Prosecutor General has ordered a charge to be brought.
The Office of the Prosecutor General is responsible for the operational prerequisities of the entire National Prosecution Authority and carries out the duties of a central administrative unit. The prosecution districts are responsible for organising operative prosecution activities.
There are 11 Police Departments in Finland.
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