Refereed article in compilation book (A3)

“To Poor and Rich Alike”: Legal Modernisation, the Women’s Movement, and Legal Aid in Late-Nineteenth-Century Finland




List of Authors: Vasara-Aaltonen Marianne

Publication year: 2021

Book title *: Histories of Legal Aid: A Comparative and International Perspective

Title of series: World Histories of Crime, Culture and Violence

ISBN: 978-3-030-80270-7

eISBN: 978-3-030-80271-4

ISSN: 2730-9630

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-80271-4_6


Abstract

As explored in this chapter, public legal aid was first established in Finland in the late nineteenth century. Industrialisation and urbanisation in the second half of the nineteenth century brought about great social change in Finland. An urban working-class population emerged facing new kinds of legal problems, often related to their employment. In 1885, to help tackle these problems, the town council of Helsinki decided to employ an advocate for the poor. Inspiration was drawn from Gothenburg in Sweden where such an office had been established a decade earlier. This chapter shows how the rising women’s movement in Finland was actually behind the initiative and how the Finnish Women’s Association actively pursued the idea of public legal aid as a means to help poor women. Thus, legal aid is connected to the rise of philanthropies in the late nineteenth century. Moreover, establishing legal aid also coincides with a period of legal modernisation and the growth of the legal profession in Finland. Finally, this chapter discusses what kinds of cases the advocate for the poor dealt with and who his clients were.


Last updated on 2022-26-01 at 16:03