Abstracts of doctoral theses

Recent Submissions

  • Wahlbeck, Annina (Suomalainen Lakimiesyhdistys, 2022)
    Enforcement appeal constitutes a special type of legal protection in the Finnish legal system and this type does not have an equivalent in the civil procedure or in the appeal procedure. This specificity of the enforcement appeal has given reason for conducting research on the general theoretical foundation of the enforcement appeal procedure, more precisely enforcement proceedings as subject of appeal and enforcement appeal as remedy, in addition to two barriers to consideration of appeal, namely res judicata of a prior judgment and the effect of final remittance. Res judicata means that a case in which there has been a final judgment that has become legally valid cannot be raised again in court. The effect of remittance in enforcement proceedings means that enforcement appeal cannot be accepted for consideration in court after the final remittance of the funds that have been collected in the enforcement proceedings (Chapter 11, Section 1, Paragraph 2 of the Enforcement Code). Res judicata is a general civil procedure construct. This research investigates whether the civil procedure construct of res judicata is applicable to the enforcement appeal system. As for the remittance effect, it is a construct in enforcement law, and in this regard the question to be answered by the research is whether the remittance effect in enforcement proceedings meets the requirement of access to court which is included in the right to a fair trial. The research is legal-dogmatic. A theoretical method has been applied in the systematisation of the foundations of the enforcement appeal procedure. A practical method has been applied in the interpretation of the prerequisites of the consideration of appeal. The specificities of the enforcement appeal procedure stem from the enforcement features of the first instance. The enforcement proceeding is carried out after the court proceeding and it can be regarded as a separate proceeding where the enforcement authority applies the law, although the authority is not a court. The enforcement proceeding is carried out in phases and the measures that have been taken in each phase can be appealed to court. The appeal targets the enforcement that is carried out simultaneously, unless the court issues a separate order of a stay of enforcement. This enforcement appeal procedure is different from other legal procedures, such as the general procedure in civil cases and appeal. The findings of the research show that the negative (preclusive) effect of res judicata in civil procedure is out of the question as regards enforcement appeal. Nevertheless, the positive (conclusive) effect of res judicata is possible according to the findings of the research. The enforcement remittance system can be regarded as meeting the requirement of access to court as stated in Section 21 of the Constitution of Finland and Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights, considering that the remittance system recognises the possibility of stay of enforcement. However, the system is not flawless; it works only if the regulation on stay of enforcement is applied in practice. The research shows that the system has particular significance in interpretation (systemic rational interpretation). The inapplicability of the negative res judicata effect to enforcement appeal follows from the specifics of the first instance enforcement system and the enforcement appeal system. The enforcement remittance system meets the requirement of access to court, which is included in the right to a fair trial, in civil procedure only when the remittance system and the system for stay of enforcement are taken into account as a whole. The research will hopefully increase the understanding of the relevance of the system as well as the specificity of enforcement appeal.
  • Meri, Otto (Alma Talent Oy, 2023)
    The study examines illegal and immoral contracts and the legal effects of same. The legal order imposes a multitude of restrictions on the freedom of contract, which is afforded relevance by means of the protection of property embedded in Section 15 of the Constitution of Finland. One of the most salient prerequisites for the binding nature of a contract is its non-contravention of the law or good morals. The study systematises the prohibitory provisions pertaining to legal acts. The method of legal dogmatics is employed to explore the criteria for identifying, whether a legal act contravenes the law or good morals, and a position is taken concerning the types of factors that should be considered in the interpretation of whether a legal act contravenes any given prohibition. The study entails an extensive review of the Finnish case law and legal literature involving legal acts contravening the law and good morals. The study also entails an extensive perusal of the case law of the supreme courts of other Nordic countries, as well as the opinions presented in the legal literature of same. The aspects that are evaluated in relation to legal acts contravening the law and good morals include the manner in which fundamental rights and the interpretational practice of the Constitutional Law Committee impact the determination of legal acts contravening the law and good morals. Particular emphasis is placed on assessing the relationship between the protection of property under Section 15 of the Constitution of Finland and the legal protection afforded under Section 21 thereof, and the generic prohibition against acts contravening good morals. The study suggests that fundamental rights may have an expansionary impact on the freedom of contract. The interpretation of an act contravening common good morals should especially consider the individual’s right to self-determination and the right inherent therein to undertake a variety of binding legal acts. It has been considered that the customary legal consequence of legal acts contravening the law and good morals is invalidity. The premise that has been adopted is that contracts contravening the law or good morals cannot be directed to be carried out, and claims based on same are also otherwise not afforded protection of legitimate expectations. Legal acts contravening the law and good morals have been subject to the so-called principle of unenforceability, which entails that a receivable based on such legal acts cannot be collected through judicial means, and payments transmitted based on such legal acts cannot be recovered, even in cases where the other party has defaulted on their contractual obligation. The study highlights that the stance adopted in legal literature towards legal acts contravening the law and good morals has been inconsistent. When determining the legal effects of contracts contravening the law and good morals, the rulings issued have been somewhat diverse. Particularly the assessment of the relationship of the non-interference principle to the obligation to reimburse payments and restitution ensuing from invalidity has varied across rulings. The study assesses the relationship between the non-interference principle and the fundamental underlying principles of the legal order and the law of obligations. One of these is the prohibition against unilateral gains and the restitution related to same. The non-interference principle is evaluated in relation to the prohibition against financial gain well-established within the sphere of criminal law and the restrictions pertaining to criminal sanctions imposed by the Constitutional Law Committee. The study suggests that in assessing whether a legal act is in contravention of the law and the ensuing invalidity, attention should be paid to the purpose of the prohibitory provision, the efficacy of the prohibition, third-party protection and good faith protection. It is, furthermore, suggested that through waiving the application of the noninterference principle, it is feasible to attain more equitable resolutions from the perspective of the legal order as a whole, in individual cases. Reconciling the requirement of compliance with the law and good morals, based on public interest and the objective perception of morality, and the non-interference principle with the legal order comprised of the legal norms in force, is a difficult task.
  • Häikiö, Kristiina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    The collapse of the Soviet Union came as a surprise to the Western world; it was a unique and unpredicted event. The events immediately before and after the end of the Cold War have been studied extensively. In the course of its making, the subject of this study was condensed into two words – Ingrian remigration. The subject is still current, but until now, the beginning of the remigration and the decisions that led to it have not been studied at the level of a doctoral dissertation. The series of events were tied to their context and the events occurred during a time that was unique and short in the history of the world. This study reconstructs that context and the dynamics that enabled the beginning of the remigration of Ingrians in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Ingrians had begun to move to Ingria from Finland some 350 years earlier, and after World War II, they were no longer discussed in public debate in Finland. When the Ingrians begun returning to Finland, the religious, scholarly and cultural connections to Ingria were only known in small circles of experts, even though these connections had existed since Finland was part of Sweden and were maintained while Finland was an autonomous Grand Duchy under the Russian Emperor and until the early years of Finland’s independence. After the Russian Revolution, the Ingrians remained on the other side of the border, and after World War II, information on them reached Finland only rarely. This study shows that Finland did not have a lot of foreign political room for manoeuvre until the Soviet Union finally collapsed. The issue with the remigration of Ingrians, up until it was stopped in 2016, was verifying that a person is an Ingrian Finn. Not all Ingrians had ‘Finnish’ as their nationality in their papers, since it was more beneficial not to advertise this fact in the Soviet Union. Official relationship with the Ingrians was established during the Cold War, when Archbishop Martti Simojoki – also called the ‘Kekkonen of the Church’ – was able to create connections with the Russian Orthodox Church in the end of 1950s. The Archbishop’s connections to the Soviet Union enabled him to promote the status of the Ingrians with a Lutheran background living in Karelia and the Leningrad oblast. After the 1975 OSCE Helsinki Final Act was signed, the Soviet Union was in a rush to find proof to demonstrate that it had made advancements in complying with the principles of respecting human rights and freedom of religion in the follow-up meeting of 1977. The Ingrians became known by the wider audience in the Soviet Union in Petrozavodsk in the autumn of 1987 when the Punalippu (‘Red Flag’) magazine published an issue focused on the Ingrians. One year later the difficult situation of the Ingrian Finns was extensively discussed in Finnish media. This study focuses on the public debate and political acts that enabled the remigration of Ingrian Finns living in the Soviet Union from 1988 onwards. In April 1989, Rudolf Pakki, the chair of the Ingrian society in Estonia, and Paavo Parkkinen, the chair of the Ingrian association Inkeri-Liitto in Leningrad, visited Finland. They expected Finland to help the Ingrians and pushed Finnish and Soviet authorities to take action to improve their status. Since Ingrian Finns were included in the debate on immigration and refugees in the 1980s and 1990s, this discussion is also examined herein. The way these subjects were discussed and the words deemed politically correct were significantly different in those time compared with today. This study examines Finnish immigration policies in the 1980s and the 1990s, the activities of the central government and other administrative bodies and non-governmental organisations as well as the public debate related to the policies and actions. Understanding the swift issuance and implementation of the decisions that enabled the remigration of Ingrian Finns requires knowledge on the special characteristics of those times. It is connected to a broader international context. The actors that had a vital role in setting the targets and making the decisions that enabled the Ingrian remigration are highlighted. The number of public officials that handled matters related to the Ingrians in the central government and the city and municipal administrations was relatively small; the same applies to the church. Nearly all actors knew each other or, at the least, knew of each other. In the autumn of 1989, Rudolf Pakki wrote letters to the President of Finland, the Prime Minister and the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Soon after, the decision to favour Ingrians when granting visas was made. On 5 March 1990, Seppo Tiitinen, the director of the Finnish Security and Intelligence Service Supo, and President Mauno Koivisto discussed the increasing number of applications from Ingrians looking to remigrate. In the meeting, Koivisto tasked Tiitinen with unofficially notifying Felix Karasev – a KGB General and Soviet diplomat – that the President, the Prime Minister and the Minister for Foreign Affairs had adopted the view that Finland was ready to accept all Ingrians to whom the Soviet Union granted permission to migrate to Finland. The key finding of this study is the reason President Mauno Koivisto – with a push from Finland’s political leadership – informed Moscow on 19 March 1990 that Finland would accept Ingrian returnees and stated the same publicly on 10 April. The reason was Finland’s vital foreign policy and security policy interests. The Ingrians living in the Leningrad oblast expected President Koivisto and Finland to support their plans to gain cultural autonomy, and Finland had to sternly distance itself from those plans, as meddling with the internal affairs of the Soviet Union would have been a large risk for Finland.
  • Kokki, Krista (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    In order to survive, all organism require sugars, amino acids and lipids, which are used for energy and growth. The nutritional needs of an organism vary tremendously between species, depending on their environment and physiological period. Despite dietary differences, every organism must maintain their metabolic homeostasis, otherwise they will suffer harmful – and eventually deadly – complications. For example, excess sugar consumption has been linked to metabolic diseases such as metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes. The maintenance of metabolic homeostasis requires regulation and sensing of nutrient levels. Amino acids, lipids and sugars are sensed and monitored through distinct mechanisms that initiate transcriptional responses, which then activate corresponding downstream pathways. Intracellular sugars are sensed by the highly conserved transcription factor ChREBP and Mondo, which heterodimerize with Mlx. The complex then binds to the carbohydrate response elements of their target genes, regulating a variety of metabolic pathways, including glycolysis and lipogenesis. However, despite recent discoveries of new sugar sensors, our understanding of the ChREBP/Mondo-Mlx network remains incomplete. As metabolic regulation, including sugar sensing, is highly conserved between mammals and Drosophila, this organism has been widely used in in vivo studies. Drosophila provides an extensive genetic toolkit, lack of genetic redundancy and a fully sequenced, annotated genome. These features make Drosophila an optimal model for sugar sensing studies. Genome-wide sequencing allows researchers to study organisms’ entire genome at once. However, the organization and analysis of such a large amount of data requires computational methods. A variety of strategies, carried out by computational algorithms, have been developed to best analyze different types of biological data. The focus of this thesis is on usage of in silico methods to uncover novel genetic regulators in sugar sensing. By using in silico methods for both pre-existing and novel data we identified two new sugar responsive members of the Mondo-Mlx sugar sensing network in Drosophila: transcription factors Grain and Clockwork orange (Cwo). Further, we revealed that Grain converges on lipid metabolism with Sugarbabe, a previously known sugar responsive transcription factor. While binding to overlapping genomic sites, Grain contributes to lipogenic gene expression mainly on a low sugar diet, and Sugarbabe under high sugar conditions. We also uncovered tissue-specificity of the sugar-inducible expression of Grain, and established Cwo as a regulatory link between Mondo-Mlx and Myc, both in Drosophila and mouse hepatocytes. We also describe the connection between ChREBP, DEC1 and DEC2 (mammalian orthologs of Cwo) in the regulation of ribosome biogenesis. Lastly, we demonstrate reprogramming of carbohydrate pathways in a relatively short evolutionary timeframe within closely related species. Finally, we identified genes involved in genomic variation of sugar tolerance. All results were achieved through a close co-operation between computational and experimental research. In conclusion, the results of this thesis highlight the potential of computational analyses in driving the identification of new candidate regulators of sugar responsive gene regulation.
  • Ahlfors, Julia (Alma Talent, 2022)
    The dissertation examines the content of the right to terminate a commercial contract. Termination for convenience is a regular way to end a contract for an indefinite duration according to Finnish contract law. It does not require any special or specific reasons, unless otherwise agreed. A reasonable notice period shall apply unless the notice period is agreed by the parties or regulated in legislation. The purpose of the research is to provide interpretative recommendations for the termination of commercial contracts and to structure and systematise the general doctrines of the termination rules using a legal dogmatic method. The main research question of the study is: What kinds of legal rules apply to termination of commercial contracts under Finnish contract law? The research examines in depth when a commercial contract can be terminated, how the right to terminate can be limited by a contract, the legal effects of termination and what kinds of factors may affect the determination of the notice period. The study also assesses interpretation and reasonableness of the terms of contract duration, as well as operational obligations related to termination. As is typical for legal dogmatic research, the results of the dissertation are in many respects interpretations on precise legal questions. However, a few observations on a more general level can be presented on the research topic as follows. The study concluded that there should not be particularly high legal barriers or restrictions for exercising the right to terminate. There are various acceptable commercial interests in favour of allowing broad freedom of termination; for instance, termination enables changing an unsatisfactory contracting party and reacting to changes in a business environment. In principle, protection related to termination should be implemented by determining a sufficient notice period or fixed-term period. According to the study, parties of commercial contracts should be free to enter into even exceptionally long-term obligations. The study indicated that even without an explicit clause, the parties must take into account the commercial risk of termination of the contract in their business. Because commercial contracts involve a financial risk of termination, the parties must, to manage this risk, determine the terms of duration in accordance with their commercial needs and be prepared for changes in circumstances during the contract term. Although the parties bear the risks associated with their own business and performance throughout the contract term, changes in circumstances may, under certain conditions, constitute an exceptional ground for termination under Section 36 of the Finnish Contracts Act.
  • Mäenpää, Kalle (Alma Talent Oy, 2022)
    This study investigates the legal effects of contract negotiations under Finnish law. As a rule, contract negotiations are not binding. There is always a risk that negotiations are terminated before a binding contract has been concluded. Negotiating parties can incur considerable costs and losses during the negotiations. For example, it may be necessary to start preparing the contractual relationship even before the conclusion of the contract. However, if the negotiations are terminated before the conclusion of the contract, these efforts go to waste. Negotiations may also be terminated due to the reprehensible conduct of one of the negotiating parties. A party can also enter the negotiations with no real intention of reaching an agreement with the other party. In these situations, the party who has broken off the negotiations may be liable for the losses caused to the other party. The liability for broken negotiations has traditionally been referred to as culpa in contrahendo. Traditionally a contract has been seen to come into existence when the contracting parties have exchanged their expressions of will. However, it is generally accepted in legal praxis and in jurisprudence that the conclusion of contract based on expressions of will is not the only possible way to conclude contracts. In contract negotiations, the parties can also show their agreement merely by conduct. A contract is concluded in contract negotiations when the parties intend to be legally bound, and they reach a sufficient agreement. However, these criteria must be interpreted in a way that contractual obligations do not arise accidentally. In this study culpa in contrahendo is understood as an independent form of non-contractual liability. Liability is based on non-statutory norms that derive from established business practices. Compensation for so called pure property damage based on culpa in contrahendo does not require compliance with the special conditions of the Finnish Tort Liability Act. Culpa in contrahendo is a failure to exercise sufficient care in contract negotiations. In contract negotiations, the parties are required to negotiate in good faith with an intention to reach an agreement. Parties must provide each others with sufficient and correct information about their intentions of concluding the contract and the content of their contractual obligations. The other party should not be unduly pressured into concluding the agreement. Violation of these obligations during contract negotiations may give rise to an obligation on the party in breach to compensate the injured party. Compensation for culpa in contrahendo is measured by reliance interest, which is a form of standard compensation for participating in negotiations. Reliance interest covers the costs of contract negotiations and in some cases the loss caused by the lost opportunities to conclude contracts with third parties. Reliance interest is usually greater than the damage determined by causal relationship of the culpa and its effects, but less than expectation interest. However, the amount of compensation cannot be determined according to reliance interest in all situations. The method of determining damages according to the causal relationship between actions of the party in breach and the result may also be used in a situation where these two are in conflict. However, the legal effects of culpa in contrahendo are not, in principle, determined by expectation interest.
  • Turconi, Giorgio (2022)
    Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) is a protein that supports dopamine neurons and regulates multiple cellular processes in the brain and peripheral systems. Because of this, GDNF holds promising potential as a disease-modifying agent for several neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s disease. However, currently available tools used in basic and translational research to study GDNF bear several limitations and often results in side effects due to ectopic expression, hindering the discovery of new GDNF functions and the development of GDNF-based therapies. The main aim of this thesis was to investigate how endogenous GDNF regulates the motor function and cholinergic transmission in the brain using animal models generated in our laboratory where the level of endogenous GDNF can be constitutively or conditionally increased in a spatiotemporally controlled manner. The results presented in this thesis provide the rationale for future research on GDNF signaling as a drug target to treat currently incurable neurological conditions characterized by motor and cholinergic dysfunctions.
  • Koppelmäki, Kari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    The use of fossil fuels and external nutrient inputs in food production have created a need for systems which will produce enough food for a growing population while simultaneously reducing the environmental impacts from food production. In order to move towards sustainability, the relatively short history of fossil fuel use in food production needs to be left in the past and food production returned to a reliance on renewable energy without food-fuel competition. The aim of this thesis was to provide a design for circular food production which utilizes the synergies of the interconnected nexus of biomass-nutrients-energy. To do that, I studied the biophysical and economic impacts of such an integrated food and energy production design through case studies ranging from the farm scale to the regional food system scale in the context of Finnish food systems. This thesis provides a design for circular food production which relies on localized resources. In this design, biomass-energy-nutrients integration takes place at a feasible spatial scale that enables efficient nutrient recycling and integrated energy production. I propose the concept of Agroecological symbiosis (AES) as a design for circular food production. Multiple AES systems together form a Network of Agroecological symbiosis (NAES). These concepts represent a place-based food production network thereby providing an alternative to the current consolidated commodity chains. At the regional food system scale, I propose a novel concept of Nested Circularity to understand the circularity in the context of food system. Informed by the results of this thesis, I propose that a circular food production system design is built from the following elements 1) the integration of biomass-nutrient-energy, 2) the multifunctional use of perennial leys, and 3) the horizontal and vertical integration of actors and operations at the food systems scale which is functional both from the biophysical and physical perspective. Finally, I propose six steps that need to be taken simultaneously and to be implemented across all actors in the food system to transform the current food system towards circularity.
  • Laapas, Mikko (Helsingin Kamari Oy, 2022)
    The focus of this dissertation is on analyzing the effect of the right against self-incrimination – known as a procedural principle in criminal law – in tax proceedings. The right against self-discrimination affects both the procedural principles applicable to the tax procedure and the imposition of tax sanctions. In concreto this means influencing the reporting obligations under tax law which could not be applied to traditional criminal proceedings for reasons of self-incrimination. At the same time protection against self-incrimination may in certain situations affect the use of tax increases and other administrative sanctions as a coercion to fulfill taxpayers’ disclosure obligations. The legislative changes that may be required to ease the tension between right of self-incrimination and tax regulations are also introduced as part of the research. The legal research observes the present doctrine in Finland. The perspectives of the research analysis take into account both the legal protection of taxpayers and the implementation of an efficient tax procedure. Based on the research analysis, the status and applicability of the right against self-discrimination in tax proceedings are considered local. The concept of prosecution under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights and the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights have been the driving force behind the practice of this subject. However, the scope of the right against self-incrimination in tax law is not entirely clear in the case-law either. It must also be kept in mind that the privilege against self-incrimination is not entirely absolute, even in the core area of the criminal procedures. Based on the case-law we can find that the right is flexible and not an absolute procedural rule. The key issue is the fairness of the procedure, for which case-specific conclusions must be drawn. Before determining the scope of the right against self-incrimination in tax proceedings the core content of the right and its significance in general must first be assessed. In the research it is concluded that the core includes the right to remain silent. However, especially in proceedings outside the core area of criminal law the right against self-incrimination should not be seen as a right to give disinformation in the process without adverse consequences. The reason for this are the tax procedural rules which on the other hand require the taxpayer to disclose true and fair information. It is also justified to assume that the scope of the protection against self-incrimination can be applied to legal persons in addition to natural persons. It is essential to emphasize that requiring information from a taxpayer solely for the purpose of assessment of taxes is not problematic. The interpretative parts relate firstly to the earliest starting point for the right against self-incrimination in cases in which the tax procedure has a sufficient connection to a criminal matter. In the Finnish national legal praxis the privilege is applied mainly when a preliminary investigation is pending and related to the same facts with the tax proceedings. However, the views expressed in the legal literature are more diverse and it is not possible to set such a categorical starting point for this privilege. The natural starting point could be the time when an authority develops an actual suspicion of a criminal offense against the taxpayer. In this case one can also talk about an imminent threat of prosecution. An actual and imminent suspicion of a criminal offense may therefore also arise during an investigation done by the tax authorities. On the other hand, one kind of an open question is the applicability of the right against self-incrimination in the tax procedure as such when it has no connection to a traditional criminal procedure. The tax increases used in the tax procedure are not a recent phenomenon but have for a long period of time been an essential part of the sanction system of tax law. It remains somehow open if a tax procedure may be categorized as a ‘criminal proceeding’, because tax increases as administrative sanctions might be seen as ‘criminal’ penalties. Consequently, there is a danger of differentiated legal remedies and the creation of a two-tier control system, even though systematic and presumed tax increases have been considered possible and necessary to safeguard an effective tax system. According to the case-law tax increases may become problematic if they are used in a double sanction context, i.e. both a procedural and a substantive tax sanction would be imposed at the same time. This however does not seem to be a serious problem in Finland. A local special feature is also the problem of voluntary disclosures and the so-called problem of a blank tax return. These problems exist mainly due to the fact that the tax procedure is based on the obligation to file a tax return on one’s own initiative. This applies even in situations in which a taxpayer has committed a tax offence (or another crime) in the past and would be incriminated by filing a tax return. It is not possible to completely eliminate these problems, neither can the tension associated with them be significantly alleviated by means of legal interpretation. As a result the legislator should consider measures to better combine the taxpayers’ rights with the efficient tax procedure. Some recommendations for the legislator are introduced in this research. According to the case law, a distinction can also be made between the statements of a taxpayer and the pre-existing real evidence for the purposes of privilege against self-discrimination. This practice, called the Saunders Doctrine, is logical when pursuing the material truth. Especially in cases that presumably are potential targets of criminal proceedings it is often necessary to use objective real evidence when investigating the case. Obtaining real evidence is not as problematic as demanding statements from the taxpayer. In addition to the recommendations related to the interpretation of the law, the conclusions of this dissertation include some suggestions relating to the reform of legislation. For the sake of clarity, the application of the taxpayers’ right against self-incrimination – and the authorities’ duty to notify taxpayers of this right – should be provided in the Tax Procedure Act. The scope of the tax increases could also be clarified by adjusting the provisions related to tax increases. In that case the legislature could ensure that procedural tax increases are not used as a coercion in cases which proceed to criminal proceedings. In addition the procedural penalties should not be imposed in cases in which substantive tax increases are used. On the other hand in order to ensure an efficient tax procedure certain new coercive means, e.g. the right to seize accounting records, should be granted to the Tax Administration. The problems related to the voluntary disclosure situations can be alleviated through a new regulation of effective repentance. The legislative reforms suggested in the dissertation should be discussed in more detail in further research. In addition, broader comparative legal aspects would be valuable topics to be analyzed further.
  • Väisänen, Tiina (Alma Talent, 2022)
    This study examines whether the spouses’ statutory employment pension rights should be taken into account in the division of matrimonial property following a divorce. In Finnish marriage regulation, the basic premise is the principle of equal sharing. This means that, at the end of the marriage, the value of the spouses’ marital property is shared equally. The aim of this principle is to ensure that spouses are treated equally and in a socially fair way. According to the established interpretation of the marriage regulation, the spouses’ pension rights are not divided. This interpretation has been established in the literature, almost without discussion. However, no legal policy decision on the subject has been made, and neither has it been specifically examined in legal research, although the need for that has long been raised. The issue is important, as employment pension rights can be said to be the most important asset of spouses. The issue is also significant because different spouses’ pension rights are treated differently in the divorce division, as savings in voluntary pension insurance are often divided. The importance of pensions following a divorce has been widely discussed internationally, such as in England, Germany, and the other Nordic countries. Also, The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) has raised the issue in its recommendations as statistics show that pensions are often distributed unevenly among spouses, particularly to the detriment of women. Therefore, this study focuses on whether the principle of equal sharing would support spouses’ pensions being shared following a divorce. The research question is examined through three sub-questions. First, from the point of view of whether the fundamental principles of the matrimonial property regime, in particular the objective of spouses being treated equally, would support an interpretation that statutory employment pension rights be divided. Secondly, whether the division of statutory employment pension rights would be possible by interpreting the current marriage regulation. And thirdly, by assessing whether and in what way there would be a need for regulatory change. Internationally there is a consensus that the marital property regulation is still mainly a matter for national actors. Therefore, the focus in this study is the national perspective and the main source material is national legal material: the regulation of marriage law, its preliminary work, preliminary rulings on it and the legal literature. In addition, the study also reviews legal comparative material, especially Nordic legislation. The adopted research trend is a combination of theoretical and practical dogmatic research. However, the study has also a legal policy and a comparative approach, as it seeks to find an answer to the question of whether there is a need to change the current marriage legislation and whether good models would be available in other countries. The results of the study show that Finnish employment pension rights are not only one spouse’s social security, but also assets that the other spouse usually indirectly affects during the marriage. They can thus be equated with the spouses’ earned property. Dividing this type of earned property accumulated during marriage has typically been considered fair both in Finland and elsewhere in Europe. Earnings related pension rights can also lead to unbalanced division outcomes, as different pension rights are sometimes treated differently in the division. The main argument of the study is that it would be justified to take the spouses’ employment pension rights into account in the division following a divorce. However, this is not possible by interpreting the current marriage law, and it would require changes in legislation. The best way to achieve this goal would be to achieve a comprehensive solution by dividing the spouses’ employment pension rights in a separate process (so called pension sharing). Perspectives on the overall solution are available, for example, from German law. The division of pension rights would require solutions to many issues, and the subject is difficult overall. In the other Nordic countries, therefore, the possibility of dividing employment pension rights has been ruled out, even if the main principles of marriage legislation support it. Taking into account the Nordic comparative data it is possible that the same result would be reached in Finland. Therefore, it remains to be seen, whether the most unreasonable situations caused by the pension rights should be remedied with similar partial solutions as in other Nordic countries. The study therefore concludes by proposing the addition of special regulation in the marriage act, as a partial solution, the possibility of supplementing the adjustment regulation such as in Sweden and the compensation regime such as in Norway and Denmark. The models proposed are a preliminary reflection to support further discussion. It is hoped that further discussion will take place, as the subject is of social importance.
  • Maroni, Marta (Unigrafia, 2022)
    This dissertation looks at the right to access the Internet through a conceptual analysis, which considers the normativity of the Internet. It points out how the question of inclusion and exclusion is determined by the mediating power of internet technologies. Based on internet governance studies, this thesis moves beyond a techno deterministic understanding of access to the Internet (framed as access/non-access) and identifies major problematic trends transforming and shaping the use of the Internet. In particular, it focuses on the incremental centralization of the Internet into the hands of a few transnational private companies, and as a result, how these actors are in a position to determine not only what is accessible or not, but also our societal values. Further, the dissertation underscores how none of these private actors operates in a lawless way and it traces back how the legal system has been constitutive of the abovementioned dynamics and is at the same time being transformed by them. By applying systems theory, this dissertation argues that the right to access the Internet should be understood as based on an organizational principle for the Internet aiming to maintain equal access and a diverse and plural ecosystem. Different facets of access to the Internet are discussed and analysed in three case studies: ICANN, network neutrality, and platform content moderation. Each case uncovers constitutional problems relating to the practices and procedures of different private companies. While recognizing these actors as new constitutional subjects, this dissertation questions the vocabulary of digital constitutionalism when conceived merely as a way of reacting to and limiting the power of private companies. Building on the sociology of constitutions, this dissertation looks at the institutive and legitimizing function of constitutions and examines the question of which and whose order is being constituted while promoting the language of constitutionalism. Methodologically, the dissertation uniquely combines systems theory, legal analysis, transnational constitutionalism, media theories, science and technology studies and brings to light democratic problems arising from the interplay between law and internet technologies. The thesis thus sets up a theoretical background for further research on internet regulation and related constitutional issues.
  • Mattila, Tuomas (Suomalainen Lakimiesyhdistys, 2022)
    Who should be considered to be an author of a collectively created and copyrighted work if the individual input of each participant is difficult or even impossible to measure? Sometimes the identity of individual participants of a collective creative work may also remain anonymous. Such may be in the case of traditional cultural expressions or collectively created works in a digital world. How can copyright that belongs originally to an anonymous and collective author be administered under the current copyright laws? What kind of legal substance do the concepts of authorship and creativity consist of, and how can these concepts be interpreted and used to advance collective creativity under the Finnish copyright law? Finland’s copyright law is ambiguous on several key questions, such as what subjects can claim authorship of a work, and what activities should be considered to be creative inputs and serve as the basis for a claim of authorship. Furthermore, if individual people participating in a joint creative process cannot be recognised, as might be the case in crowdsourced creative processes, it is not clear how the copyright can be administered. One of the key questions is, could the authorship of a work be attributed to, or deemed to relate to communities or groups, if individual people within the groups cannot be identified. The interpretation of legal concepts of authorship and creativity can be made by using the legal-doctrinal method, but also teleological interpretations are examined, considering the purposes and objectives of copyright law in its entirety. The suitability of these key concepts to enhance and support creative work in processes based on cooperation and communality is then examined through four case studies. These examples concern traditional cultural expressions by indigenous people, collaborative scientific research, communal arts, and collaborative writing. These case studies illustrate the challenges and problems which arise when primarily individualistic concepts of authorship and creativity are applied in predominantly communal contexts. In the study it is argued that legally recognising customary rules and norms would enhance the opportunity for copyright law to facilitate creative work in collective processes. Secondly, it is argued that the authorial subjectivity in creative processes based on cooperation and communality is not necessarily ipso facto authorship in individualistic terms. Thirdly, it is argued that even under existing copyright law, copyright pertaining to anonymous and collective authors can be represented by a legal representative.
  • Huhta, Helena (Punamusta Oy, 2022)
    This dissertation is an ethnographic study of the roles and meanings that ethnicity has for the daily life in Finnish male prisons. I study how ethnic and racial demarcations manifests in the prison environment and how they are used in steering social relations. Moreover, this is a study of equality in the societal institution that exercises the most coercive power over the people in it. The statistics demonstrate a twentyfold increase in the number of imprisoned foreign nationals since the beginning of the 1990s, and although this is only one indicator of the variety of ethnic backgrounds, the change in the prisoner population begs the question of what we know about the social reality of our prisons today. This research is situated within the tradition of sociological prison studies, which aim to comprehend social life in closed institutions. It draws from pragmatist philosophy, which has directed the focus on collective action in its specific context and on recognizing its creativity and fallibility. At its centre is the socially shared understanding of the prison everyday life. The ethnographic data was collected in three closed male prisons during nine months of fieldwork, including 68 interviews. First, I illustrate how ethnic and racial categories are constructed, acted out, and established in the prison material space. The spatial organization of social order has strong symbolic meaning that points to the borders, social segregation, and hierarchy of ethnic and racial categories. The segregation is maintained by violence, and it has concrete consequences for prisoners’ capacity to attend workshops and training during their sentences. I then show how the hierarchy of ethnic and racial categories is mediated by contextual stereotypes, which tie together ethnic prejudices and prisoner culture. The interconnection with prisoner culture, connects the ethnic stereotypes further with masculine ideals which affects prisoners’ masculine statuses. Ethnicity as externally defined categories and stereotypes is highly influential on social life in Finnish prisons. Ethnicity has, however, also meanings for internal understanding of collective identification and belonging. Ethnically and racially defined groups form distinct coping practices that come close to the idea of separate prisoner cultures. The Finnish ethnic majority members form the majority also of the prison population and these prisoners hold a privileged position both among prisoners and in the institution. Within institutional arrangements, religious, linguistic, and national minorities face various difficulties, which should be removed or relieved. Moreover, attention should be paid to the racist conduct of some officers. The meanings of ethnicity in social relations in prison are undergoing a constant process of change. Ethnic hierarchy is not an indigenous aspect of prisoner culture (or criminal subculture) and since it has no integral role in coping in prison environment, it is more malleable than many other aspects of prisoner culture. Furthermore, I claim that ethnic hierarchy poses a threat to the existence of one dominant prisoner culture. Finnish prisons can take two possible paths. In the first scenario, ethnic hierarchy remains rigid or becomes stronger, and prisoners who are excluded from the opportunities and prestige of the dominant prisoner culture form parallel cultures that become antagonist in relation to it. This scenario might be enhanced as the number of ethnic minority prisoners grows. In the second scenario, prisoners find their position equal in the institutional arrangements and within the prisoner community regardless of their ethnicity. In this case, there is no such pressure to create separate coping practices and challenge the existing social order. Thus, the hierarchical element of prisoner culture would be preserved, but the significance of ethnicity and racial distinctions in it diminishes.
  • Ämmälä, Antti-Jussi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    ABSTRACT The Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) hypothesis states that several prenatal, perinatal, childhood, and adolescence factors may program the future health of an individual. These preprograming factors include maternal stress, anxiety, depression, or sleep during pregnancy or adverse life experiences in childhood or stress during adolescence. The programming processes may be changes in deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) methylation or shortening of leukocyte telomere length (LTL). DNA methylation refers to an epigenetic mechanism that affects gene expression and is modified by external conditions. Telomere shortening is an event where the end of a chromosome shortens slightly in each cell division, ultimately leading to programmed cell death. Therefore, LTL is considered a marker for biological age. We studied this with a large birth cohort of newborns and calculated based on existing literature that our sample size was sufficient to detect previously reported findings. Despite sufficient statistical power, we could not replicate previous findings. Several reasons for this are discussed. Childhood is a phase of rapid brain development, and adverse events in early life are linked to a wide range of adverse health outcomes in adulthood. Several mechanisms behind this association have been proposed, among them LTL shortening. In turn, this shortening is also affected by current mental health disorders, stress, and lifestyle factors. We studied the effect of adverse life events (ACE) during childhood on adult LTL in a large, population-based nationally representative cohort of adults. Current mental disorders, stress, sleep, and various lifestyle and socioeconomic variables were considered. While current stress or mental health did not affect LTL, early adverse experiences had a cumulative effect on adult LTL, even when confounding factors were considered. This suggests that programming of cellular age can occur during childhood and persist into adulthood independent of later health and lifestyle. Adolescence is another phase where rapid brain development occurs and thus the brain is vulnerable to external and internal stressors. We explored this by studying epigenome-wide methylation in a sample of adolescent boys with or without depression and sleep disturbances. Due to the small sample size, we could not identify any significant genome-wide results. However, when the 500 best differentially methylated positions (DMP) were explored, a pathway related to synaptic pruning, the long-term depression (LTD) pathway, was identified as the most significant pathway. In a post-hoc analysis, a flattened slow-wave sleep dissipation, tiredness, and depression correlated with several individual sites in that pathway, suggesting that methylation changes in the LTD pathway may be one potential mechanism behind widespread adverse effects of sleep disturbances. Biological programming may occur in rapid phases of brain development and these effects may last for longer periods of time. However, careful methodological consideration is required to detect these effects.
  • Rantasalo, Mikko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    Aims Elective total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is one of the most common in-hospital surgeries for patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA) when conservative treatment has failed. In Finland, approximately 13,000 TKAs were performed in 2020. Given the projections that the incidence of TKA will increase, this causes a significant burden to health care, even though TKA is a cost-effective procedure. Despite enhancements in surgery and postoperative care, up to 20 percent of patients are dissatisfied following TKA. High-level evidence regarding the effects of a widely used surgical tourniquet, and spinal anesthesia (SA) or general anesthesia (GA) on patient recovery, patient-reported outcomes, and patient satisfaction with TKA remains scarce. This trial aimed to determine the optimal combination of tourniquet and anesthesia methods used during TKA regarding immediate recovery, patient-reported and functional outcomes, adverse events, and patient satisfaction with TKA in a 12-month follow-up. Methods We conducted a randomized trial comprising 404 patients aged 18–75 years with Kellgren-Lawrence Grade 3 or 4 OA, body mass index (BMI) ≤ 40, American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) Class I–III, and eligible for elective fast-track TKA. The trial was conducted in a single tertiary care arthroplasty center in Helsinki University Hospital between October 2016 and December 2019. We evaluated the effect of tourniquet (T) or no tourniquet (NT) use, and the effects of SA and GA on postoperative oxycodone consumption with patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) in the first 24 hours, surgical and tourniquet times, blood loss, postoperative pain and nausea, length of stay (LOS), adverse events, knee range of motion (ROM), patient-reported outcome measures assessed using the Oxford Knee Score (OKS), health-related quality of life (HRQoL) using the 15D tool (15D), prolonged pain using the Brief Pain Inventory short form (BPIsf), and patient satisfaction with TKA. Study I describes the previous literature and rationale for our study, as well as a rigorous and detailed research protocol and statistical analysis plan. Study II describes the in-hospital results of the studied regimens regarding postoperative oxycodone consumption with PCA in the first 24 hours as a primary outcome and postoperative pain and nausea, surgical blood loss, in-hospital complications, and LOS as secondary outcomes. Study III, comprising 391 patients, discusses the 3- and 12-month functional outcomes of the operated-on knees assessed with OKS as a primary outcome. Secondary outcome measures included operative and tourniquet times, adverse events, ROM, the proportion of patients reaching OKS minimal important change (MIC) and OKS patient acceptable symptom state (PASS), satisfaction with TKA and anesthesia methods, and HRQoL assessed with 15D. Study IV, a comparative retrospective analysis, describes the etiological factors and patient-reported outcomes on patients with a postoperative stiff knee who underwent manipulation under anesthesia (MUA) three months after TKA. The patients of Study IV comprised the prospective patient cohort of the original Studies II and III. Main results In Study II, comprising 395 patients, we found no significant differences between the groups regarding the cumulative oxycodone consumption in the first 24 hours postoperative. Additionally, pain at 24 hours postoperatively, blood transfusion rates, in-hospital complications, or LOS between the two-group (NT vs. T and SA vs. GA) or the four-group (NT/SA, T/SA, NT/GA, and T/GA) comparisons did not differ. Tourniquet use decreased blood loss, but it did not have a significant effect on blood transfusion rates. Postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) incidence was higher in the SA group than in the GA group but without affecting general recovery. In Study III, comprising 391 patients, in the two-group comparisons, the NT group reached OKS PASS more seldom than the T group (77.0% vs. 84.8%, odds ratio [OR] 0.59, 95% confidence intervals [CI] 0.35–0.997, p = 0.049). Surgical time, adverse events, total OKS, and 15D score at 12 months postoperatively did not differ regardless of tourniquet use. The SA group reported more substantial improvement in OKS (16.21 vs. 14.1, mean difference 2.13, 95% CI 0.55–3.71, p = 0.008) and 15D score (0.051 vs. 0.033, mean difference 0.016, 95% CI 0.003–0.030, p = 0.019). In addition, the SA group had a higher proportion of patients reaching OKS MIC (91.7% vs. 81.7%, OR 2.49, 95% CI 1.32–4.69, p = 0.005) and OKS PASS (86.0% vs. 75.7%, OR 2.00, 95% CI 1.18–3.39, p = 0.010), than the GA group. Satisfaction with the anesthesia method used during TKA was very high in both groups without significant difference. Surgical time, adverse events, and 15D score at 12 months postoperatively did not differ significantly. In the four-group comparisons, patients in the T/SA had the most substantial improvements in OKS (16.82) and the highest proportion of patients reaching OKS MIC (95.7%) and OKS PASS (92.6%). Regarding 90-day adverse events and 15D score at 12 months postoperatively, we found no significant differences between the four groups. In Study IV, we found a 10% incidence of MUA (39/391). A younger age, higher preoperative pain severity scores assessed using BPIsf, and higher postoperative in-hospital opioid consumption seemed to be prognostic factors for MUA. Patients with stiff knees gained significant ROM benefit from MUA performed at three months postoperative (mean gain of 39 degrees). The final OKS at 12 months after TKA in MUA patients was comparable to patients without postoperative stiff knees (42.0 vs. 43.0, p = 0.15). No MUA-related complications appeared. The final ROM at the 12-month follow-up in the MUA group was approximately ten degrees less (115 vs. 124, p = < 0.001) than in the no-MUA group. Conclusions We found the use of a surgical tourniquet and both anesthesia regimens safe in TKA without clinically significant differences in terms of surgical time, postoperative pain, the number of blood transfusions, LOS, adverse events, total OKS, and quality of life assessed using 15D at 12 months postoperatively. According to these results, a surgical tourniquet has no detrimental effect on the outcomes of TKA. The patients undergoing TKA benefit from SA in terms of improvements in OKS and 15D score. At the 12-month follow-up, T/SA resulted in the most substantial improvements in OKS and had the highest proportion of patients reaching OKS MIC and OKS PASS. Patients with postoperative stiff knee benefit from MUA performed three months postoperatively. In a 12-month follow-up, the patients who received MUA resulted in nearly comparable functional outcomes to patients who did not have postoperative stiff knee.
  • Stepanova, Polina (2021)
    Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Huntington’s disease (HD) are characterized by loss of function or death of definite cell populations in the basal ganglia. HD is triggered by an expanded polyglutamine tract (glutamine repeats) in the huntingtin protein, leading to misfolding of the protein and subsequent accumulation of mutant huntingtin (mHtt) in the nuclei of different types of neurons. In contrast, in PD, dopamine (DA) neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) degenerate; moreover, there is also the accumulation of misfolded proteins associated with the neuropathology of PD. Additionally, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress has been detected in both of these diseases. Currently, no effective treatment for PD or HD is available to slow, stop, or reverse the progression of neurodegeneration. Cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor (CDNF) is an evolutionarily conserved protein with neurotrophic properties. CDNF protects and restores the function of DA neurons in preclinical models of PD more effectively than other neurotrophic factors (NTFs), making it a promising drug candidate as a disease-modifying treatment of PD. Additionally, CDNF was safe and well-tolerated, showing therapeutic effects in some PD patients in phase 1/2 clinical trials. This thesis aimed to investigate the potential of CDNF as a drug candidate in cellular and rodent models of both HD and PD. We focused on studying the effect of coadministration of CDNF with another NTF, glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), in a 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) rat model of PD. Moreover, we wanted to evaluate the difference in the mode of action between the two factors in this model. We found an additive neurorestorative effect after intrastriatal CDNF and GDNF coadministration in the 6-OHDA toxin model of PD. CDNF alone and in combination with GDNF showed a trend toward an increase in the density of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-positive fibers in the lesioned striatal area, and moreover, the combination of the two factors significantly protected TH-positive cells in the SNpc area. CDNF activated the PI3K/AKT pathway, whereas GDNF activated two signaling pathways: PI3K/AKT and MAPK/ERK. We found a delay in activating the prosurvival pathway by CDNF compared to GDNF. Additionally, in comparison with GDNF, CDNF alone significantly enhanced the phosphorylation of ribosomal protein S6 downstream of the PI3K/AKT pathway in lesioned rats. Finally, CDNF, but not GDNF, reduced striatal levels of some ER stress markers in the above model. PD and HD show a wide range of commonalities, and as CDNF has been successful in preclinical trials and demonstrated a positive effect in clinical trials of PD, we expected to observe some beneficial effects of CDNF administration in the experimental HD models. We studied the neuroprotective and neurorestorative potential after different delivery paradigms of CDNF in preclinical models of HD to find the optimal paradigm for possible future application in clinical trials. First, we investigated the protective effects of CDNF in in vitro and in vivo quinolinic acid (QA) toxin models of HD. We demonstrated that CDNF improved motor coordination in QA-lesioned animals, which could be explained by the neuroprotective and neurorestorative effects of CDNF in the cell populations that are vulnerable in HD. Moreover, we found a protective effect after a single intrastriatal injection of CDNF in an in vivo QA-lesion model of HD. Second, we tested the therapeutic efficacy of CDNF in a transgenic mouse model of HD. CDNF was delivered as a chronic intrastriatal infusion using Alzet minipumps for N171-82Q mice. Chronic CDNF administration ameliorated the behavioral deficits and showed a trend toward reduced the nuclear staining and intranuclear inclusions in N171-82Q transgenic mice. Additionally, chronic delivery of CDNF demonstrated a trend toward a decrease in ER stress markers in the striatum in the above model. Furthermore, we found a significant increase in hippocampal BDNF mRNA levels after chronic CDNF administration in N171-82Q mice. In conclusion, CDNF shows a unique beneficial effect in several models of HD independent of the etiology of the disease. Notably, this thesis reports the first beneficial effects of CDNF in different models of HD.
  • Pradhan, Barun (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Transposable elements (TEs) comprise almost half of the human genome because of their mobile activity during genome evolution. Although most families of TE are currently inactive in the human genome, one young TE family called Long Interspersed Nuclear Element (LINE)-1 is found to be active in germ cells, during embryonic development, and in diseases such as cancer, especially epithelial cancer types. LINE-1 is an RNA transposon (retrotransposon) which means it moves from one genomic location to another via an RNA intermediate by a process called retrotransposition. By following this replicative cycle, LINE-1 has already made more than 500,000 near-identical copies of itself and hence occupied 17% of the human genome. However, most of these copies have accumulated inactivating mutations and/or truncations and are retrotransposition-incompetent. The diploid genome in an individual is estimated to have only 80-100 potentially active LINE-1s. These potentially active LINE-1s are epigenetically silenced in normal cells. Widespread epigenetic modification during cancer alters this silencing mechanism and activates these LINE-1s which have the potential to generate mutagenic insertions in the genome. Detection of de novo LINE-1 insertions among more than 500,000 pre-existing LINE-1 copies remains challenging. To address this unmet need, we developed a novel PCR-based method that detects de novo insertions originating from one of the most active LINE-1 loci in the human genome (located within the TTC28 gene, hereafter referred to as TTC28 LINE-1). Compared to whole-genome sequencing (WGS), this approach is substantially more sensitive, identifying nearly three times more de novo TTC28 LINE-1 insertions in two colorectal cancer samples. Moreover, by taking advantage of long-read single-molecule sequencing, we were able to characterize de novo LINE-1 insertions in their entirety at nucleotide-level resolution. Using uterine leiomyoma as the disease model, we show that LDI-PCR is also suited for detecting DNA rearrangements in rearrangement-prone genomic regions with high sensitivity. Next, we traced the activity of TTC28 LINE-1 in a panel of ten high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma (HGSOC) cell lines, five of which were proficient for homologous recombination (HR), an error-free DNA double-strand break repair pathway, and the other five were HR-deficient. Although TTC28 LINE-1 mRNA was expressed in all HGSOC cell lines, HR-proficient HGSOC cell lines showed a higher frequency of de novo TTC28 LINE-1 insertions in comparison to HR-deficient cell lines. We speculate that the simultaneous loss of HR-mediated DNA repair and gain of LINE-1 activity (which generates DNA double-strand breaks as part of the insertional process) could be detrimental to HR-deficient cell lines. HR-proficient cell lines, in contrast, might tolerate LINE-1 activity and thus have accrued more de novo LINE-1 insertions. Altogether, this thesis provides a highly sensitive method to detect and characterize de novo LINE-1 retrotransposition events. By employing this approach, this thesis also demonstrates that LINE-1 retrotransposition is more frequent in HGSOC cell lines that are proficient in repairing DNA double-strand breaks by the HR pathway.
  • Hirvonen-Ere, Suvi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This monograph is a multidisciplinary doctoral dissertation under the socio-legal umbrella. The topic dictating the chosen methods is Contract Management. The context is large and complex project type of business contracts between global corporations and other large international private sector businesses. Although the underlying perspective is from inside of an operating business organization and its professional in-house Contract Management department mainly on the sell-side, examples on the buy-side are also utilized. The industry field is primarily ICT, but sources from construction and military are also used. Via utilizing, inter alia, the goal-oriented teleological method, the values underpinning the study are looking at a contract and contracting through the so-called Contract Management lens and proactively seeking coherence, collaboration, and mutually beneficial contract outcomes between the parties on a long-term basis. The study defines Contract Management as an international systemic business contract approach to manage the contract lifecycle and to orchestrate a corporation's legal, commercial and contractual business contract activity in a coherent manner, on a high-end maturity level. Such an approach brings significant direct monetary value and strategic competitive advantage to companies that apply it. Contract Management aims to increase the contractual quality, efficiency and risk/reward balance of a company’s business contracts, and decrease the amount of wasted money, time, resources and quality. This leads to a better relationship between the parties, and fewer disputes and contractual conflicts. Contract Management provides the parties, inter alia, with a flexible framework to agree upon changes and settle claims and proactively prevent risks over the contract lifecycle. Contract Management achieves this via utilization of so-called war stories and lessons learned and developing them further to produce best practices, processes and policies, and via using tools, such as software systems, to facilitate the Contract Management modus operandi. This study acknowledges that there is no one-size-fits-all Contract Management applicable globally and approaches the broad topic of Contract Management via the following research questions: 1. What is Contract Management and why does it matter? 2. How does Contract Management lead to the expected benefits in the contracting practice? 3. Are the legal aspect and passing the legal test sufficient to constitute a large and complex project type of a business contract? 4. What are the other aspects of a contract? Are they needed to constitute a coherent ‘contract (as) integrity’ (ex analogia Ronald Dworkin’s iconic law as integrity)? 5. One underlying question of the research is asked by an American philosopher, pragmatist William James: “What concrete difference does it being true make in any one’s actual life…?” Translated into the legal and business language: if what this dissertation argues is true, what difference would enhanced adoption of Contract Management modus operandi make to the legal quality of contracts and to the businesses that apply it? What should companies start doing differently tomorrow? The study is structured as follows. The Prologue sets the scene by presenting the scandalous Enron case and its relation to Contract Management. Chapter 1 introduces the study. Chapter 2 explains various definitions of Contract Management. Chapter 3 presents an example of contracts in action via the scope creep problem and Contract Management solutions to it, and explains how the choices over the commercial model, delivery model and contract strategy affect the likelihood for scope creep to arise. It also explains how to mitigate the impact of scope creep. Chapter 4 explains why the legal aspect of a contract is not sufficient in itself, and Chapter 5 explains what the other contractual aspects are and how they affect the coherence of contract. Chapter 6 concludes the study by presenting a contract as a multi-aspect, multidisciplinary, coherent ‘contract as integrity’. Contract Management is the glue, or mortar, between the bricks, that binds all aspects of a contract and a company’s contracting activity together. This study proposes several solutions that can be implemented in the contract practice to mutually benefit both parties. In addition, the study has resulted in the creation of a visual metaphor, showing a contract as a multi-cup scale (inspired by the scales of justice). Further, the dissertation takes steps towards creating a theory of contractual balances. As Contract Management is a very broad theme, it also proposes topics for future research. The Epilogue ponders whether it will be possible to close the circle started by the Enron case. If yes, what would that imply? What did we learn from the Enron case, if indeed we learned anything? Key words: Contract Management, Contract Lifecycle Management, Enron, scope creep, change management, contract as integrity, coherence
  • Cerejeira-Matos, Rita (Unigrafia, 2021)
    The survival of any organism depends on many factors, including their ability to adapt to novel environments. Nutrient accessibility in the environment is crucial for the development, growth, fertility, metabolism, and other biological functions of animals. Nutrients such as sugars, amino acids, and lipids are not only essential building blocks for the maintenance of a typical bioenergetic and cellular homeostasis of animals, but they also serve as signals to regulate cellular functions. The integration of such signals sent by the availability or scarcity of nutrients provided by the environment are sensed by nutrient sensors. Different nutrient sensors are activated or inactivated by specific nutrients, and ultimately mediate the physiological function of an animal through regulation of gene expression. The regulation of gene expression implicated in nutrient sensing can be studied using Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism. The fruit fly has several advantages for studying nutrient sensing and the impact of regulatory gene expression on the physiology of reproduction, growth, and metabolism. Examples of such advantages are reflected in the publicly available genetic toolkit, and the highly conserved molecular mechanisms to humans. This thesis used Drosophila melanogaster as a model to study novel regulatory mechanisms in gene expression. The first study demonstrated the physiological role of the heterodimeric basic-helix-loop-helix zipper (BHLH/Zip) transcription factor, Mondo-Mlx, in the adult reproductive system of fruit flies. Specifically, the impact of its loss of function in the fertility of female flies was shown for the first time. This result led to the discovery of several defects in the oogenesis progression. Finally, ribosome and oogenesis gene clusters were identified as target genes of Mlx. In the second study, evidence was shown for the role of the chromatin binding periodic tryptophan protein 1 homolog (PWP1) as a direct regulator of RNA Polymerase III (Pol III) target genes in a nutrient-dependent manner. Specifically, it was shown that PWP1 directly binds to the 5S rRNA gene, a well-known Pol III target, and induces its expression in a nutrient-dependent manner. By conducting this study, both in Drosophila melanogaster larvae and mammalian cells, it was shown that this biological role of PWP1 was conserved among organisms. The third study was the first to demonstrate the physiological role of actin in the reproductive system of adult flies and its requirement for Drosophila melanogaster oogenesis progression through direct regulation of RNA Polymerase II (Pol II) transcribed genes. In conclusion, using Drosophila melanogaster as a model, these three studies identified previously unknown mechanisms in gene expression that ultimately affect biological functions such as fertility and growth of the fruit fly.
  • Taipale, Antti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This thesis examines how religious arguments, concepts and viewpoints were used as instruments to instruct soldiers and dehumanise enemies in the first English Civil War (1642-1646). I argue that religion had an important role in encouraging soldiers, enforcing military discipline and creating group cohesion and comradery. Furthermore, I suggest that religion was used to delegitimise the enemy and thus prepare the soldiers to fight their fellow countrymen in an efficient and bloody manner. The differences between the ways in which the King and Parliament understood religious warfare form the main argument of the thesis. The Royalist ministers and Puritan preachers had quite opposite views on the use of religion as a tool of war. Whereas the King’s clergymen underlined peaceful aspects of the Christian faith and merciful and compromising attitudes of its practitioners, the Parliamentarian chaplains thundered harsh words and black-and-white images of an eschatological battle between God and the anti-Christ, which left room for neither peace nor compromise. The Royalists took the nation’s sins on their shoulders, accepting God’s wrath and judgement and praying for the calamities to end with the passive submission of a martyr. The Puritans, by contrast, portrayed themselves as actively participating in Christ’s battles against the Devil as saints. They did not hesitate to frame the conflict in religious terms and use the martial aspects of the Protestant faith to advance their cause. I examine printed sermons and pamphlets to produce a comprehensive view on the public press and its significance in propagating these different ideas about the relationship between religion and war. The more radical, revolutionary approach of the Parliamentarian ministers and authors is evident from the beginning of the conflict, and I suggest that, even though the pinnacle of religious-martial education was reached when the New Model Army was formed in 1645, in itself it was not exceptional in its religious character compared to earlier Parliamentarian armies. The Royalist clergymen, for their part, were equally constant in combatting the sins of the King’s soldiers instead of preparing them to fight the war. Similar differences manifested in the dehumanisation of the enemy. On the one hand, the Puritan ministers stressed the judgemental, uncompromising work that they had to do in order to wash the nation’s sins away with blood. They juxtaposed the King’s men with the Catholic Irish, who had rebelled in 1641 and who had been very harshly treated both in publications and in battle. On the other hand, the Royalists were hesitant to condemn the Parliamentarians to an equal extent; they were rather trying to reclaim the Parliamentarians from their revolt back to the good graces of the King by offering mercy and pardon in exchange for repentance. The thesis re-evaluates the role of religion in the English Civil War by focusing on military preaching and publishing. In this way it contributes to the debates about the significance of religion in the political and societal landscapes of the period. Furthermore, I seek to show that religion was an important instrument of war, whose different uses by the Royalists and Parliamentarians played a part in how the conflict proceeded and culminated.

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