Finnish Private Law: Statutory System Without a Civil Code
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Finland counts as a civil law jurisdiction, but Finnish private law is not based on a comprehensive civil code. As in the other Nordic countries, codification of private law has taken place in the form of statutes, that is, various individual acts. General principles and other contents of the “general part” of private law are largely uncodified and will most likely remain so. The absence of a civil code and a comprehensive statutory general part leaves the system of private law open-ended, which accounts for several aspects of the Finnish overall approach to private law. These concern interpretation and application of law, the relative weight of different sources of law, the role of legal science, and the openness of law to external influence. Despite the absence of a civil code, Finnish lawyers perceive domestic private law as a systematic whole, a doctrinal structure. Systematisation is entrusted to legal science, rather than predetermined by legislation.