all Scandinavian: appeal instructions


Senior Member
English, USA
In Swedish-language legal documents, I sometimes see the term överklagandehänvisning "appeal instructions" used.
There are some additional closely related legal terms involving hänvisning, such as fullföjldshänvisning "notice of right to appeal".

My Swedish is not expert-level, but this use of "hänvisning" strikes me as slightly unusual (perhaps archaic?).
I'm accustomed to seeing hänvisning used with the meanings "reference", "referral", whereas anvisning(ar), vägledning(ar), etc. are the words I'd normally expect to be used for "instructions".

How do the other Scandinavian languages, including Icelandic, express this concept?

I.e., in the court documents of Norway/Denmark/Iceland, what term(s) are normally used for "appeal instructions"?

Thanks for any info,
  • MattiasNYC

    Senior Member
    Yeah, I'm sort of expecting the same in Swedish, "anvisning", not "hänvisning". I think I would label for example instructions on how to use something "anvisning".

    One of two differences are that I would use "hänvisning" when 'referring' to something. So "med hänvisning till" I would translate to "in reference to", and "anvisning" would never be used this way. .If I want to direct you to a specific study I would "hänvisa dig till", and never "anvisa". "References" in the context of sourcing data would be "källhänvisningar". If I wanted to direct you to the correct gate while connecting at an airport I would use "hänvisa dig till" which then would be more literal or physical.

    Having said all that it is listed as a possible synonym to "anvisning" though at Perhaps the thinking is that the instructions refers you to different places 'figuratively' speaking. So if you're operating a machine the user guide will direct you to a place rather than direct how you do something. In other words something akin to "Step 4: Go to the back of the device and.." Perhaps that's how it is thought of when "hänvisningar" is used, and come to think of it that would be closer to your proposed "vägledning".

    But like I said, like Ben I'd expect "anvisnignar".


    Senior Member
    Swedish, Finnish
    In this case the meaning of "hänvisning" can be found in SAOB (Svenska Akademins Ordbok) under "Hänvisa" in 1a), it's been known since 1686. hänvisning | SAOB
    I understand it as "where to send the appeal", and "anvisning" would be more as "how to construct/fill in an appeal".


    Senior Member
    English, USA
    The Swedish term appears to have been the model for Finnish valitusosoitus "appeal instructions", which parallels Swedish's unusual choice of words for "instructions". (osoitus typically means "demonstration, sign, pointing-out", whereas the normal term for "instructions" is ohjeet.)

    What is the usual term for "appeal instructions" in Norwegian/Danish/Icelandic?


    Senior Member
    I am not sure if any standard term for "appeal instructions" exists in Norwegian. But I suppose that it would be described as a "veiledning om anke" or "rettledning om anke".


    Senior Member
    Icelandic & Swedish
    1. This is surprisingly complex subject in Swedish. Besvär (in the plural) has been used in the sense ‘appeal’ since at least the 17th century (in phrases such as anföra besvär), while both fullföljd and överklagande appear to have come into use later. As for why the second part of the compound word is hänvisning (rather than anvisning), the reason—as already pointed out—is probably that people were being referred (as they often still are) to a specific authority or tribunal, while the formalities for making the appeal were not necessarily specified.

    In laws passed by parliament, besvärshänvisning is the usual term, although fullföljdshänvisning is also seen. In other contexts, however, överklagandehänvisning has been gaining ground in recent decades, and courts and tribunals seem to prefer that word nowadays. Interestingly, all of besvärsanvisning, fullföljdsanvisning and överklagandeanvisning also occur in official texts, although apparently not in any actual law.

    Sometimes, all three words are used in the same document. See, for example, the ruling issued on 18 August 2015 by Mark- och miljödomstolen vid Nacka tingsrätt (the Land and Environmental Court at Nacka District Court) in Case M 3628-15 (my boldface):

    Eftersom beslutet mottagits av fastighetskontorets handläggare först efter det att tre veckor från beslutsdatumet förflutit, förutsattes mot bakgrund av länsstyrelsens överklagandehänvisning, att besvärsfristen löpt ut och att det var för sent att överklaga. Därför överklagades inte beslutet inom tre veckor från delgivningsdatumet. Först senare upptäcktes att fullföljdshänvisningen var felaktig.​

    and later:

    Till beslutet, som mark- och miljödomstolen har fått in från länsstyrelsen, har två besvärshänvisningar bifogats. Den ena anger att beslutet ska överklagas inom tre veckor från delgivning av beslutet och den andra att beslutet ska överklagas inom tre veckor från det att beslutet meddelades.​

    As already pointed out, the Finland Swedish word is besvärsanvisning, and to further complicate matters the earlier term was besvärsundervisning.

    The reason why the term besvär is gradually being abandoned seems to be that the word normally means ‘trouble’ and its legal use to mean ‘appeal’ may appear puzzling. This is probably also why the actual “besvärshänvisning” contained in the court ruling referred to above simply reads as follows:

    HUR MAN ÖVERKLAGAR, se bilaga 2 (DV427)​
    Överklagande senast den 8 september 2015. Prövningstillstånd krävs.​

    2. In Icelandic, the only term I am familiar with is kæruleiðbeiningar.