Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 June 2013
An attorney's duty of confidentiality is one of the basic notions of the Finnish legal system. Trust in the client relationship is based on confidentiality, and the duty of confidentiality protects the client's privacy and forms one of the prerequisites for a fair trial. The duty of confidentiality is regulated both in statute and in soft law, and it is enforced by the Finnish Bar Association and the courts.
The Bar Association derives its supervisory and disciplinary mandate from the Finnish Advocates Act (12.12.1958/496, as amended – the Advocates Act). Lawyers admitted to the Bar in Finland must comply with the Code of Conduct (Fin. Hyvää asianajotapaa koskevat ohjeet, Swe. Reglerna om god advokatsed). The Bar Association adopted the Code of Conduct in 1972, and in 2009 the Code of Conduct went through a full reform, without, however, major changes to the fundamental principles. The term ‘attorney’ (Fin. asianajaja, Swe. advokat) is used here when referring to admitted members.