Country Listing

Finland Table of Contents



The Swedish penal code was retained in Finland until 1889, when the Grand Duchy of Finland adopted a new code that was derived from the familiar Swedish practice but allowed for more precise definition of crimes. Judges were given considerable latitude in interpreting the law, but the new code limited the punishments that could be exacted for particular categories of offenses. Although frequently amended over the ensuing decades, the Penal Code of 1889 remained in force in the 1980s. In 1977 the government authorized establishment of the Penal Law Committee to study the system of corrections and to reconsider the principles on which criminal policy was based in order to make recommendations for revisions in the penal code. No action had been taken on penal code reform as of 1988, however.

Data as of December 1988