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Muntlig bevisning i hovrätten - en straffprocessuell studie ur ett nordiskt perspektiv

Pochill, Anna LU (2011) JURM01 20102
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Muntlig bevisning har länge medfört problem i den svenska hovrätten. När ett mål når den andra instansen har kvaliteten på muntlig bevisning blivit sämre, inte minst på grund av att minnesbilder hos förhörspersoner försvagas med tiden. Trots det har utgångspunkten, allt sedan det muntliga och omedelbara förfarandet introducerades genom 1948 års rättegångsbalk (RB), varit att principen om det bästa bevismaterialet kräver att muntlig bevisning tas upp på nytt i hovrätten. Detta gör att hovrätten riskerar att ändra tingsrättens bevisvärdering på ett sämre underlag än det som tingsrätten haft för sin bedömning samtidigt som processen blir en kostsam och icke ändamålsenlig upprepning av tingsrättsprocessen.

Regleringen av förebringande av... (More)
Muntlig bevisning har länge medfört problem i den svenska hovrätten. När ett mål når den andra instansen har kvaliteten på muntlig bevisning blivit sämre, inte minst på grund av att minnesbilder hos förhörspersoner försvagas med tiden. Trots det har utgångspunkten, allt sedan det muntliga och omedelbara förfarandet introducerades genom 1948 års rättegångsbalk (RB), varit att principen om det bästa bevismaterialet kräver att muntlig bevisning tas upp på nytt i hovrätten. Detta gör att hovrätten riskerar att ändra tingsrättens bevisvärdering på ett sämre underlag än det som tingsrätten haft för sin bedömning samtidigt som processen blir en kostsam och icke ändamålsenlig upprepning av tingsrättsprocessen.

Regleringen av förebringande av muntlig bevisning i hovrätten har dock förändrats radikalt genom reformen En modernare rättegång (EMR). Sedan reformen trädde ikraft är muntlig och omedelbar bevisupptagning en undantagsföreteelse i hovrätten. Istället läggs bevisningen fram genom uppspelning av i tingsrätten gjorda videoupptagningar. Förnyad upptagning, i form av tilläggsförhör eller omförhör, sker endast om nya frågor behöver ställas. Sverige är än så länge ensamt i Norden om att ha genomfört denna typ av reform, men förändringarna ligger i linje med utvecklingstendenserna i övriga nordiska länder. Utgångspunkten i samtliga nordiska rättsordningar är att principen om det bästa bevismaterialet förutsätter en handläggning och en bevisföring grundad på principerna om muntlighet, omedelbarhet och koncentration. Senare års rättsutveckling har dock medfört att principerna mjukats upp allt mer och istället har vikten av flexibilitet och effektivitet i rättsgångsförfarandena betonats. Vidare har nya alternativ vid valet mellan olika handläggningsformer tillkommit i takt med kommunikationsteknikens utveckling.

Vid en jämförelse med rättsläget i Finland kan konstateras att rättssystemet där uppvisar många likheter med det svenska, vad gäller såväl grundläggande principer, processuella regleringar, funktionsfördelning i instansordningen som utvecklingsmål. Vidare brottas även den finska hovrätten med problemen kring förnyad upptagning av muntlig bevisning. Någon reform motsvarande svenska EMR-reformen har dock inte skett. Muntlig och omedelbar bevisupptagning anses utgöra en nödvändighet för att principen om det bästa bevismaterialet ska tillgodoses även i hovrätten. Anledningen till att det finska rättsläget avseende muntlig bevisning i hovrätten skiljer sig från det svenska kan för det första förklaras utifrån historiska faktorer. Då principerna om muntlighet och omedelbarhet kom att introduceras i det finska rättegångsförfarandet först under 1990-talet har uppmjukningen av principerna inte kommit lika långt som i Sverige. För det andra är huvudförhandlingar inte lika vanligt förekommande i den finska hovrätten som i den svenska, vilket gör att behovet av att undvika förnyade förhör minskar.

Den svenska EMR-reformen har inneburit en lösning på de sedan länge förekommande problemen kring muntlig bevisning i hovrätten, men samtidigt har nya problem uppkommit. Idag handlar kritiken framförallt om att videoupptagningar inte utgör ett lika gott underlag för bevisvärdering som förhör ”live”, att koncentrationen hos rättens aktörer försämras samt att tillämpningen av reglerna om när tilläggsförhör ska hållas är alltför restriktiv. Enligt min mening är det främst det sistnämnda som utgör ett faktiskt problem. Möjligheten att få till stånd ett tilläggsförhör eller omförhör kan vara av stor vikt inte minst för att hovrätten ska ha ett komplett bevisunderlag för sin bedömning. Då det befarade överutnyttjandet av förnyade förhör inte realiserats går dock utvecklingen mot en allt mindre restriktiv tillämpning. Med beaktande av denna utveckling, anser jag att hovrätten idag har ett bättre underlag för den fria bevisprövningen och större möjligheter att nå ett materiellt riktigt resultat än vad domstolen hade innan EMR-reformens ikraftträdande. (Less)
Abstract
Oral evidence has caused problems in the Swedish courts of appeals for a long time. When a case reaches the higher court, the quality of oral evidence has deteriorated, primarily because the recollections of witnesses and parties have weakened over time. The starting point has, nevertheless, been that the principle of the best evidence requires renewed questioning of witnesses and parties in the court of appeal. This means that the court might modify the evaluation of the evidence made by the district court based on weaker evidence than what the district court had for its assessment. In addition the process becomes a costly and inexpedient repetition of the process at the district court.

The situation has changed radically by the reform... (More)
Oral evidence has caused problems in the Swedish courts of appeals for a long time. When a case reaches the higher court, the quality of oral evidence has deteriorated, primarily because the recollections of witnesses and parties have weakened over time. The starting point has, nevertheless, been that the principle of the best evidence requires renewed questioning of witnesses and parties in the court of appeal. This means that the court might modify the evaluation of the evidence made by the district court based on weaker evidence than what the district court had for its assessment. In addition the process becomes a costly and inexpedient repetition of the process at the district court.

The situation has changed radically by the reform En modernare rättegång (EMR). Verbal and immediate hearing of evidence is, since the reform came into force, an exceptional phenomenon in the court of appeal. Instead, evidence is presented through video recordings made by the district court. Renewed questioning, either as a rehearing or as an additional hearing, happens only if new questions need to be asked. Until now, Sweden is the only among the Nordic countries to have implemented this type of reform. The change is, however, in line with the developments in other Nordic countries. The starting point in all the Nordic legal systems is that the principle of the best evidence requires a procedure based on the principles of orality, immediacy and concentration. Yet, the development of the last couple of years has led to a relaxation of the principles and one has stressed on the importance of flexible and effective processes. Furthermore, new communication technology has increased the number of alternatives when choosing between different forms of procedural communication.

The judicial system in Finland has many similarities with the Swedish system concerning basic principles, procedural regulations, the courts’ purposes and goals of development. Also the problems connected to renewed questioning in the court of appeal are to be found in Finland. A reform similar to the Swedish EMR-reform has however not occurred. Oral and immediate hearing is regarded necessary to be able to guarantee the principle of the best evidence in the court of appeal. The differences between the Finnish and the Swedish regulation regarding oral evidence in the court of appeal can be explained by historical factors. As the principles of orality and immediacy were not introduced in the Finnish trial proceedings until the 1990s, the relaxation of the principles has not come as far as in Sweden. Furthermore, main proceedings are not as common in the Finnish court of appeal as in the Swedish and therefore the need to avoid renewed questioning is less crucial in Finland.

The Swedish EMR-reform has brought a solution to the long existing problems attached to oral evidence in the court of appeal, but at the same time, new problems have arisen. Today's criticisms is mainly about the fact that video recordings may not be an equally good basis for the evaluation of evidence as hearing a person 'live', that the focus of the members of the court is reduced when having to watch video recordings and that the application of the regulation of when additional hearings should be held is too restrictive. In my opinion, it is the latter that could pose a real problem. The possibility to bring about a rehearing or an additional hearing may be of great importance not least to present a complete base of evidence for the court’s assessment. Since the frequent use of renewed questioning, which was feared when the reform was introduced, has not become a reality the development is moving towards a less restrictive application. With this development in consideration, I believe that the court of appeal has better conditions for evaluating oral evidence and is more likely to reach a materially accurate result today in comparison with the time prior to the EMR-reform. (Less)
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author
Pochill, Anna LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Oral Evidence in the Court of Appeal - A Study in Criminal Procedure From a Nordic Viewpoint
course
JURM01 20102
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
komparativ, funktionsfördelning, processuella handläggningsformer, en modernare rättegång, hovrätt, bevisvärdering, muntlig bevisning, processrätt, civil and criminal procedure
language
Swedish
id
1761958
date added to LUP
2011-01-13 14:57:23
date last changed
2011-01-13 14:57:23
@misc{1761958,
  abstract     = {Oral evidence has caused problems in the Swedish courts of appeals for a long time. When a case reaches the higher court, the quality of oral evidence has deteriorated, primarily because the recollections of witnesses and parties have weakened over time. The starting point has, nevertheless, been that the principle of the best evidence requires renewed questioning of witnesses and parties in the court of appeal. This means that the court might modify the evaluation of the evidence made by the district court based on weaker evidence than what the district court had for its assessment. In addition the process becomes a costly and inexpedient repetition of the process at the district court.

The situation has changed radically by the reform En modernare rättegång (EMR). Verbal and immediate hearing of evidence is, since the reform came into force, an exceptional phenomenon in the court of appeal. Instead, evidence is presented through video recordings made by the district court. Renewed questioning, either as a rehearing or as an additional hearing, happens only if new questions need to be asked. Until now, Sweden is the only among the Nordic countries to have implemented this type of reform. The change is, however, in line with the developments in other Nordic countries. The starting point in all the Nordic legal systems is that the principle of the best evidence requires a procedure based on the principles of orality, immediacy and concentration. Yet, the development of the last couple of years has led to a relaxation of the principles and one has stressed on the importance of flexible and effective processes. Furthermore, new communication technology has increased the number of alternatives when choosing between different forms of procedural communication. 

The judicial system in Finland has many similarities with the Swedish system concerning basic principles, procedural regulations, the courts’ purposes and goals of development. Also the problems connected to renewed questioning in the court of appeal are to be found in Finland. A reform similar to the Swedish EMR-reform has however not occurred. Oral and immediate hearing is regarded necessary to be able to guarantee the principle of the best evidence in the court of appeal. The differences between the Finnish and the Swedish regulation regarding oral evidence in the court of appeal can be explained by historical factors. As the principles of orality and immediacy were not introduced in the Finnish trial proceedings until the 1990s, the relaxation of the principles has not come as far as in Sweden. Furthermore, main proceedings are not as common in the Finnish court of appeal as in the Swedish and therefore the need to avoid renewed questioning is less crucial in Finland.

The Swedish EMR-reform has brought a solution to the long existing problems attached to oral evidence in the court of appeal, but at the same time, new problems have arisen. Today's criticisms is mainly about the fact that video recordings may not be an equally good basis for the evaluation of evidence as hearing a person 'live', that the focus of the members of the court is reduced when having to watch video recordings and that the application of the regulation of when additional hearings should be held is too restrictive. In my opinion, it is the latter that could pose a real problem. The possibility to bring about a rehearing or an additional hearing may be of great importance not least to present a complete base of evidence for the court’s assessment. Since the frequent use of renewed questioning, which was feared when the reform was introduced, has not become a reality the development is moving towards a less restrictive application. With this development in consideration, I believe that the court of appeal has better conditions for evaluating oral evidence and is more likely to reach a materially accurate result today in comparison with the time prior to the EMR-reform.},
  author       = {Pochill, Anna},
  keyword      = {komparativ,funktionsfördelning,processuella handläggningsformer,en modernare rättegång,hovrätt,bevisvärdering,muntlig bevisning,processrätt,civil and criminal procedure},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Muntlig bevisning i hovrätten - en straffprocessuell studie ur ett nordiskt perspektiv},
  year         = {2011},
}