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Legal alerts / 21 Apr 2017

Legal Alert – Finnish Government Aims to Expedite Handling of Appeals Regarding Industrial and Infrastructure Projects

One of the goals of the Government Programme is to streamline legal proceedings. As a means to achieve this goal, the Government proposes extending the retrial permit system to cover a set of environmental laws. According to the draft Government Bill, a retrial permit would be required when appealing an administrative court’s decision to the Supreme Administrative Court. The draft Government Bill covers the Environmental Protection Act, Water Act, Land Extraction Act, and the Land Use and Building Act as well as most decisions made based on the Nature Conservation Act.

Taking into account the long handling times of appeal permits in the Supreme Administrative Court, the bill is not likely to significantly shorten the total handling times of environmental permits, for example. However, the key impact of the amendment would be that various decisions made based on the environmental laws would be enforceable directly after the administrative court’s ruling. Thus, projects could be initiated despite a pending retrial permit application unless the Supreme Administrative Court suspends enforcement.

The draft Government Bill is being finalised, and we will monitor the outcome.

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