A court specializing in administrative issues, mainly disputes concerning the exercise of public power, is called an administrative court. Determining that official acts are consistent with the law is the main role of this court. These courts differ from general courts.
The administrative acts are recognized from the hallmark that they become binding without the consent of the other involved parties. And the contracts between authorities and private persons fall usually to the jurisdiction of the general court system. The following are what official decisions contested in administrative courts include:
• dispensation of monetary profits
• environmental licenses
• building inspection
• child custody
• involuntary commitment
• immigration decisions
• summary public payments
Some countries also have a separate system of administrative court, where the general and administrative systems do not have jurisdiction over each other. Consequently, there is a local administrative court of first instance, possibly an appeals court and a Supreme Administrative Court separate from the general Supreme Court.
The Nordic Countries, Greece, Germany, France have the parallel system. This system has three levels like the general system, with local courts, appeals courts and a Supreme Administrative Courts in France, Greece and Sweden. And in Finland and Poland, the system has two levels, where the court of first instance is a regional court. The system is more complex, and courts are more specialized in Germany.
As for Finland, there legality of decisions of both state agencies and municipal authorities can be appealed to the administrative courts. But administrative courts can only review and rule on the formal legality of the decision, and not its content. This is accordingly to the principle of the legal autonomy of municipalities. But in the case of state agencies, administrative courts may rule on the actual content of the decision.