Ne bis in idem and its lis pendens -effect, KKO 2013:59

The Supreme Court of Finland has stated in its judgment KKO 2010:45 and in the decisions given after that, that a tax increase prevents a procedure regarding tax evasion only if the tax increase decision has gained legal force. The Supreme Court has changed this interpretation in its judgment KKO 2013:59 so that in a corresponding situation there is an obstacle to examine the tax evasion already after a decision regarding a tax increase has been made either by determining a tax increase or by rejecting it. The Supreme Court states, as did The Constitutional Affairs Committee, that an interpretation preventing a possibility of two parallel procedures corresponds best to the purpose of the ne bis in idem -prohibition. The Supreme Court has confirmed the legal status consistent to the new guidelines in its ruling KKO 2013:78 by stating that the tax increase determined by the customs prevents a procedure concerning a gross tax evasion.

The Supreme Court has given the judgment KKO 2013:59 in strengthened 11 person assembly and the judgment has been a strict voting decision, in which five legal Counsellors have disagreed with the majority. However two of the disagreed five Counsellors would have made the same decision as the majority but would have justified the decision slightly differently.

Before the judgment KKO 2013:59 prevailed legal status has been described in our earlier article “The prohibition to prosecute and judge twice in a same matter”.