In this article, the traditional analysis of grammatical case in Finnish - in which the form of the object depends on the presence of an overt subject — is reworked within a formal syntactic framework. Within the Case competition model adopted here, the role of argument structure in case assignment, captured by Burzio's Generalization, plays a vital role in the underlying mechanisms of the case system: only when a verb governs two arguments, one of them Caseless, may it also license accusative case. This dependency is subsumed under universal syntactic relations, including government, binding and the ECP. It is also argued that Finnish incorporates active case subsystems within a main nominative-accusative system. These facts receive a natural account within the adopted framework.