Finland - National Report - World Arbitration Reporter (WAR) - 2nd Edition
Tanja Jussila is a Partner at Waselius & Wist Attorneys-at-law in Helsinki. Her main area of practice is dispute resolution, and she has represented a substantial number of Finnish and foreign clients in litigation and arbitration proceedings in Finland and abroad. She also advises clients on related matters, such as enforcement and interim measures, and she is a trained mediator and also frequently actes as arbitrator. She is an author of various articles in international professional publications and has lectured on several fields of law, particularly on dispute resolution.
Riikka Kuha is a Senior Associate at Waselius & Wist. She works mainly with dispute resolution, corporate and commercial law and and mergers and acquisitions
Originally from World Arbitration Reporter (WAR) - 2nd Edition
I. INTRODUCTION: ARBITRATION IN FINLAND –
HISTORY AND INFRASTRUCTURE
A. History and Current Legislation on Arbitration
1. Historical Evolution of Law Relating to Arbitration
Finnish arbitration has its roots far back in history. Arbitration has, in some form, already been recognised as a means of dispute resolution in the kingdom of Sweden and Finland in the Middle Ages, Finland having been, at that time, a part of the kingdom of Sweden. It would appear that the significance of arbitration as a means of dispute resolution increased considerably during the 17th century, and the statutes and laws of that time have already included different provisions regarding arbitration. Consequently, Finland has a long tradition of arbitration in private disputes and arbitration clauses are today often included in domestic and international agreements involving Finnish parties.
Currently, arbitration in Finland is regulated by the Finnish Arbitration Act (967/1992) (the “Arbitration Act”), which reflects the substance of the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules (1976) and the Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (1985, as amended in 2006) (the “Model Law”). The Arbitration Act entered into force in December 1992, overturning its predecessor from 1929. The Act of 1929 was, in terms of its material content, largely based on a proposal for a statute on arbitrators included in a report by a judicial committee from the very beginning of the 20th century. It was, therefore, already in the 1950’s, considered necessary to update the arbitration legislation. However, the Act of 1929 remained in force almost unchanged until it was in 1992 replaced by the Arbitration Act.
The Arbitration Act is, to a large extent, in compliance with the Model Law and is built on the so called territorial[ity] principle. In accordance with the territoriality principle, the Arbitration Act considers any arbitral proceedings taking place in Finland as “domestic” proceedings. Therefore, provisions of the Arbitration Act apply to proceedings taking place in Finland irrespective of, among others, whether the proceedings involve one or more foreign parties or interests relating to international trade. One of the main aims when drafting the Arbitration Act was to clarify and simplify the provisions of the previous Act relating to international aspects of Finnish arbitration, thus rendering the Arbitration Act in conformity with the essential provisions of the Model Law.