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What we do

What we do

The Finnish Bar Association is a public corporation provided for in the Advocates Act. The purpose and activities of the Association are therefore defined in Finnish law. The Finnish Bar Association is not an attorneys’ trade union, business association or registered association.

We ensure that everyone in Finland has access to professional assistance in important legal matters. Our task is to promote the availability of independent and professional attorney services for all of us – whatever our means or place of residence. Every attorney-at-law is obliged to adhere to strict ethical guidelines both in their work and free time.

The attorney safeguards the rule of law

In every constitutional state, such as Finland, there exists a body of attorneys-at-law independent from governmental authority, which offers high-quality, reliable legal services to both individuals and corporations.

An attorney-at-law must always be loyal to his or her client, free of conflicts of interest and independent of other parties. They are also bound by a closely supervised obligation to confidentiality: information provided by the client stays between him or her and the attorney. Attorneys are also required to act “in a manner befitting the dignity of an attorney-at-law”, and these values constitute the daily guidelines for all practitioners of the profession. Adherence to the values ensures that the client has a professional advocate who will support the client in all circumstances.

As a Bar Association, we ensure that our members fulfil their obligations, such as attending 18 hours of supplementary training every year. We also provide guidance and supervision in order to ensure that our attorneys perform the tasks given by their clients with diligence and integrity. We are in turn supervised by the Chancellor of Justice to ensure that we discharge our statutory duties correctly.

The Bar Association is an active issuer of statements and advocate in the legislative process.

The Finnish Bar Association was founded in 1919. Under the Advocates Act of 1959, it also acquired statutory duties.

The Bar Association includes 19 teams of experts representing different fields of legal specialisation who issue statements on bills for new legislation. The legislators pay close attention to our statements during the drafting of new laws, and our experts are frequently heard by various Parliamentary committees. In 2019, the Bar Association issued about 35 statements which is less than normally due to the upcoming election year.


Attorneys for fundamental and human rights

There is a broad consensus in Finnish society on the role of attorneys-at-law in the development of judicial conditions. The Finnish Bar Association is primarily known for its statutory duties and promotion of fundamental and human rights.

We communicate prominently on current judicial issues and matters related to the work of attorneys, on public figures and people who deserve publicity, but also on injustices. For this, we use channels such as the Finnish Bar Association’s own Advokaatti magazine, our events, various statements, media releases and campaigns, and our active social media channels. Of these, the Association’s Twitter account is especially active at all hours.

We have the worthy task of defending fundamental and human rights and equal access to legal aid.