Interview with trainee: Finnish law student Tommi Keranen
At the beginning of 2016 student from Finland (Helsinki) took part in internship in Gencs Valters Law firm. Intern took practical internship in Estonian office, Tallinn. Tommi Keranen was glad to share his experiences about the internship and describe legislation differences between Estonia and Finland.
Please tell little bit about yourself. What do you study currently?
I study for my 2nd year of the bachelor of International law in Tallinn University of Technology. This semester, my studies focus on EU internal market law, EU justice and home affairs, EU competition law, comparative family law, penal law, International humanitarian law, international tax law and international sales law.
How was it like to do internship in our Law firm?
I really enjoyed working in the Tallinn office as the office lawyer, Kati, was really friendly and helpful when I need some assistance. Also working with the other interns, Aleksi and Nino, has been easy and there have not been any problems.
What did you expect from this internship? Was your expectations met?
I expected to learn everyday work of a lawyer especially in the area of business establishment. I have had contacts with clients almost daily and even participated in meetings with them. I really have felt like I would be doing the work that I may do in the future as a lawyer.
Please tell about legislation in your country? Maybe you can give a few examples? What was different in Estonian law system?
Finland, as a Nordic country, follows similar rules and regulations other Nordics like Sweden, but it still has lots of similarities with Estonia as they both have their roots in central-European legal systems. The biggest difference may be that Finland has many ombudsmen, e.g. in addition to the normal ombudsman, to whom people complain misuse of powers by public officials, there is the consumer ombudsman that a person can write a complaint if for example a store works in a manner that is against the consumers.
Please describe the proceeding process in your country?
Finland has constitutional protection of right of procedure in the Finnish constitutional law section 21:
“Section 21 - Protection under the law
Everyone has the right to have his or her case dealt with appropriately and without undue delay by a legallycompetent court of law or other authority, as well as to have a decision pertaining to his or her rights or obligationsreviewed by a court of law or other independent organ for the administration of justice.
Provisions concerning the publicity of proceedings, the right to be heard, the right to receive a reasoned decisionand the right of appeal, as well as the other guarantees of a fair trial and good governance shall be laid down by an Act.”
The Finnish court system is divided into common courts, administrative courts and special courts.
The common courts have 3 tiers, lowest being the käräjäoikeus (i.e. district court), then Hovioikeus (i.e. court of appeal – literally means the royal court) and the highest tier being Korkein oikeus (i.e. the supreme court). The court system works almost identically to Estonia.
The administrative courts are two-tiered: Administrative courts and then the supreme administrative court. The aim of administrative courts is to see that correct procedure is used in the governmental agencies and in the other courts alike.
Special courts include Court of work matters, market court and the court called Valtakunnanoikeus (court of the nation).
How did the internship affect your study plans?
I had to move one course to the next year so I could work more effectively in the office, but the timetables have been quite flexible and this has made it quite easy and enjoyable to balance between work and studies.
On what area would you like to focus later?
I have interest in international sales law or international tax law, alternatively I may continue my studies in Finland and try to become a judge, but I have not decided yet.