Finland, along with the other Nordic or Scandinavian countries, belongs to the so-called civil law tradition. Countries following this tradition include Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. All of these nations are advanced, industrialized welfare states. The Nordic countries have pursued economic, social and cultural development along similar lines, and have cooperated intensively in legal and political matters.
Various means of Nordic cooperation have been developed since the Second World War, and these interstate activities have become even more diversified since the 1960s. The objectives and organs of cooperation between the States were laid down in a special treaty signed in 1962. The treaty covers cooperation in the legal, cultural, social and economic spheres as well as in traffic and environmental matters. Efficient cooperation in criminal law is based on a variety of sources, consisting primarily of the treaties between the Nordic countries, multilateral European conventions, common basic approaches in crime control and human rights policies, uniform legislation in relevant areas, and established practice between state authorities.