Dissertation process in the Faculty of Law

Please read carefully the Guidelines for Dissertation Defence. This page contains dissertation and graduation instructions for the doctoral candidates in the Doctoral Programme in Law.

Preliminary examination and permission to defend the dissertation

After consulting with the supervisor(s), or the supervisory group, a doctoral candidate must apply for permission to defend the dissertation from the Faculty Council. The application is submitted in UGIS-system with an electronic form `Send in your dissertation maniscript and attachements` and should include an electronic version of the dissertation. The supervisor or the supervisors must make a statement to the Council on whether the research is ready for preliminary examination. The supervisor also proposes preliminary examiners, opponent, custos using the electronic form ´Proposal of people involved in the dissertation process`. The application will be delivered to the coordinator of the doctoral programme who takes care of matters related to the preparation of the doctoral defence.

All dissertations, for which a pre-examination permit is applied, must include a plagiarism check certificate. The supervisor conducts the electronic check by using the plagiarism detection program provided by the University.

The studies included in the doctoral degree should be completed before the manuscript is delivered for the preliminary examination. In case the studies are not completed, the doctoral candidate should present a plan for completing their studies to the Board of the Doctoral Programme in Law. The studies must be completed before the permission to defend a dissertation is granted.  

The Faculty Council appoints at least two pre-examiners for the study. The pre-examiners are generally given a time frame of two months in which to complete the preliminary examination. The pre-examiners must make a well-founded statement on whether the study meets the prerequisites for granting a permission to defend the dissertation. A pre-examiner cannot give a provisory statement.

After receiving the statements of the pre-examiners, the Faculty Council will decide about granting the permission to defend the dissertation. If the permission is not granted, the pre-examination process ends. The doctoral candidate can restart the process by reapplying for permission.


Opponent and custos

The Faculty Council appoints the opponent after hearing the supervisor. The supervisor cannot act as the opponent. If there is a good reason, two opponents may be appointed.

The Council will also appoint the Custos who can be the supervisor, a Professor of the Department or a Professor from a related field. The Custos must be employed by the University of Turku.

The supervisor proposes opponent and custos using the electronic form ´Proposal of people involved in the dissertation process`.

Distribution of the dissertation

There are different options for publishing the dissertation, such as

  • The University of Turku Annales-series
  • Some other scientific publisher
  • Self-publishing
  • Online publication

The doctoral candidate can choose the way of publishing the dissertation. In most cases the disseration is published both electronically and in print. Electronic publishing promotes open science and is therefore recommended. Also the financial support for printing is only available if the dissertation is published in the electronic form in the University of Turku repository.

The Faculty's publishing, printing and distribution instructions for the dissertation follows the general guidelines of the University.

> Publishing a Doctoral Dissertation

> University's instructions on the minimum printing requirement and distribution of doctoral dissertations


Support for publishing the dissertation

It is possible to receive publishing support for the publication of a doctoral dissertation. The amount of the support is based on the University of Turku Rector’s decision.

The maximum support for printing for a doctoral dissertation is 600 euros (+ value-added tax 24 %) from 1 October 2019 onwards. The doctoral candidates use printing houses tendered by the University.

The printing house delivers the electronic invoice directly to the University. Please find the contact information of the printing houses at Guidelines for Disseration Defence (Distribution and Release).

Press release on the public examination

The Faculty informs other faculties of law as well as other universities organising education in law on the public examination. In addition, the doctoral candidate must follow the general guidelines set by the University of Turku. For the practical arrangements regarding the formulation of the aforementioned press release, the doctoral candidate is requested to contact the Faculty office (oik-vaitos@utu.fi) early on.

Evaluating and Approving the Dissertation

The task of the Opponent is to present the Faculty Board, within four weeks of the public examination, with a statement recommending either the approval or rejection of the dissertation. The Opponent must justifiably evaluate the quality of the dissertation, and the criteria used by the Opponent should be clearly defined in their statement. The statement of the Opponent should evaluate the research and the research problem on the basis of their academic attractiveness, innovativeness and scholarly significance, the candidate’s familiarity with the discipline and their ability to examine their own and earlier research critically, the application of research methods, the structure, delimitation and style of presentation as well as the ability of the author to publicly defend their research.

The Faculty Board will decide on the approval of the dissertation after having received the evaluation from the Opponent.


Dissertation defences can be found in Event calendar of University of Turku.