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Skandiafallen - en analys av straffets syften och verkningar vid grova trolöshetsbrott

Johansson, Lina (2008)
Department of Law
Abstract
In recent years there has been much attention paid to corporate scandals, and in the Swedish media the Skandia incidents have become a serial as, years after the incidents was revealed, sentences are passed on those involved in the scandal. The former president and vice president of the joint-stock company Skandia were both prosecuted for the economic crime gross breach of faith committed by an agent against his principal (hereinafter breach of faith) regulated in the Swedish Penal Code 10:5. By the district court both were found guilty&semic the president for having abused his position of trust when, without the knowledge of the board, signing a bonus agreement worth more than 150 million Swedish crowns and thereby injuring Skandia, and... (More)
In recent years there has been much attention paid to corporate scandals, and in the Swedish media the Skandia incidents have become a serial as, years after the incidents was revealed, sentences are passed on those involved in the scandal. The former president and vice president of the joint-stock company Skandia were both prosecuted for the economic crime gross breach of faith committed by an agent against his principal (hereinafter breach of faith) regulated in the Swedish Penal Code 10:5. By the district court both were found guilty&semic the president for having abused his position of trust when, without the knowledge of the board, signing a bonus agreement worth more than 150 million Swedish crowns and thereby injuring Skandia, and the vice president for having abused his trust by making Skandia pay for renovations of flats that should have been paid by the tenants themselves. Later, the court of appeal found the president not guilty and reduced the vice president's sentence to one and a half years' imprisonment. Yet, according to Swedish standards this is quite a severe sentence. I believe that it is important to remember what we want to achieve with punishment and to evaluate how far we get in our efforts, and even more so when we talk about these kinds of severe sentences. Therefore the main purpose of this thesis is to analyse how prison sentences for gross breaches of faith achieve the aims of punishment, as these aims are expressed in the preparatory work and legal literature. The Skandia cases are used as examples of such sentences, which means that another question to be answered is how the sentences in the Skandia cases corresponds with earlier gross breach of faith-cases. Thirdly, this thesis deals with the social and ideological movement restorative justice and its potential when it comes to achieving not only the aims of restorative justice itself, i.e. restitution and vindication to the victim, but the aims of retributive justice, proportionate retribution and crime prevention, as well. I argue that the Skandia cases in much are typical examples of earlier gross breach of faith-cases, regarding the sentences as well as the age, gender, social status and positions (presidents and vice presidents of joint-stock companies) of the prosecuted persons. I also suggest that neither the present criminal system, nor the restorative justice process, manages to fully achieve the aims of punishment in gross breach of faith-cases. Retributive justice fails in achieving public deterrence, since the risk of getting detected and sentenced is much too low. For a rational actor it might then still be rational to be a criminal, especially considering the moral environment that some companies provide, but also considering the apparent lack of victims. The public opinion also seems to wish more severe sentences for acts of violence than for economic crimes with its mostly very abstract victims. Altogether, this implicates a need of discussion on whether the sentences for gross breaches of faith are too severe, at least compared to sentences for other kinds of offences. Here, restorative justice could provide some help. Though restorative justice fails to achieve proportionality between the offence and the sanction and also fails to uphold legal security, the process does give indirect victims, such as shareholders and customers, a more important role than retributive justice does. This might lead to awareness that somebody is getting harmed by actions, though they seemingly lack victims. Both public opinions and offenders could then be affected, which might lead us to achieve increased crime prevention and a public legal conscience more in accordance with the courts' sentences in breach of faith-cases like the Skandia cases. (Less)
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author
Johansson, Lina
supervisor
organization
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Straffrätt
language
Swedish
id
1558811
date added to LUP
2010-03-08 15:55:23
date last changed
2010-03-08 15:55:23
@misc{1558811,
  abstract     = {In recent years there has been much attention paid to corporate scandals, and in the Swedish media the Skandia incidents have become a serial as, years after the incidents was revealed, sentences are passed on those involved in the scandal. The former president and vice president of the joint-stock company Skandia were both prosecuted for the economic crime gross breach of faith committed by an agent against his principal (hereinafter breach of faith) regulated in the Swedish Penal Code 10:5. By the district court both were found guilty&semic the president for having abused his position of trust when, without the knowledge of the board, signing a bonus agreement worth more than 150 million Swedish crowns and thereby injuring Skandia, and the vice president for having abused his trust by making Skandia pay for renovations of flats that should have been paid by the tenants themselves. Later, the court of appeal found the president not guilty and reduced the vice president's sentence to one and a half years' imprisonment. Yet, according to Swedish standards this is quite a severe sentence. I believe that it is important to remember what we want to achieve with punishment and to evaluate how far we get in our efforts, and even more so when we talk about these kinds of severe sentences. Therefore the main purpose of this thesis is to analyse how prison sentences for gross breaches of faith achieve the aims of punishment, as these aims are expressed in the preparatory work and legal literature. The Skandia cases are used as examples of such sentences, which means that another question to be answered is how the sentences in the Skandia cases corresponds with earlier gross breach of faith-cases. Thirdly, this thesis deals with the social and ideological movement restorative justice and its potential when it comes to achieving not only the aims of restorative justice itself, i.e. restitution and vindication to the victim, but the aims of retributive justice, proportionate retribution and crime prevention, as well. I argue that the Skandia cases in much are typical examples of earlier gross breach of faith-cases, regarding the sentences as well as the age, gender, social status and positions (presidents and vice presidents of joint-stock companies) of the prosecuted persons. I also suggest that neither the present criminal system, nor the restorative justice process, manages to fully achieve the aims of punishment in gross breach of faith-cases. Retributive justice fails in achieving public deterrence, since the risk of getting detected and sentenced is much too low. For a rational actor it might then still be rational to be a criminal, especially considering the moral environment that some companies provide, but also considering the apparent lack of victims. The public opinion also seems to wish more severe sentences for acts of violence than for economic crimes with its mostly very abstract victims. Altogether, this implicates a need of discussion on whether the sentences for gross breaches of faith are too severe, at least compared to sentences for other kinds of offences. Here, restorative justice could provide some help. Though restorative justice fails to achieve proportionality between the offence and the sanction and also fails to uphold legal security, the process does give indirect victims, such as shareholders and customers, a more important role than retributive justice does. This might lead to awareness that somebody is getting harmed by actions, though they seemingly lack victims. Both public opinions and offenders could then be affected, which might lead us to achieve increased crime prevention and a public legal conscience more in accordance with the courts' sentences in breach of faith-cases like the Skandia cases.},
  author       = {Johansson, Lina},
  keyword      = {Straffrätt},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Skandiafallen - en analys av straffets syften och verkningar vid grova trolöshetsbrott},
  year         = {2008},
}