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När statens anställda gör fel - Tillämpning och avvägning av straffrättsligt- och arbetsrättsligt ansvar i offentlig verksamhet

Lindblom, Anna LU (2011) JUR092 20111
Department of Law
Abstract
For state employees and those who exercise public authority, special liability rules apply in regards to professional misconduct. The essay focuses on investigating the application of disciplinary offence (breach of duty) in both criminal law and labour law. Disciplinary offence in criminal law is regulated in the Penal Code (brottsbalken) which applies when the violation committed is made within the exercise of public authority. Disciplinary offence in labour law is an administrative procedure which the authorities (as employers) may resort to when their employees fail to uphold employment obligations due to wrongful conduct. This offence requires an existing employment but not that the wrongful conduct is made within the exercise of... (More)
For state employees and those who exercise public authority, special liability rules apply in regards to professional misconduct. The essay focuses on investigating the application of disciplinary offence (breach of duty) in both criminal law and labour law. Disciplinary offence in criminal law is regulated in the Penal Code (brottsbalken) which applies when the violation committed is made within the exercise of public authority. Disciplinary offence in labour law is an administrative procedure which the authorities (as employers) may resort to when their employees fail to uphold employment obligations due to wrongful conduct. This offence requires an existing employment but not that the wrongful conduct is made within the exercise of public authority. The different liability regimes are intended to complement each other. The criminal liability shall be strictly reserved for the most serious attacks on civil interests.

Disciplinary offence in labour law was originally a public judicial proceeding within the area of public law. As employment law in the Public sector evolved in order to resemble the private sector, the employee's obligations to the employer came to rest on contractual basis. In spite of this, matters concerning disciplinary offence are regulated in a special law, LOA, instead of being regulated in collective agreements. This solution is a result of the Instrument of Government (Regeringsformen) which requires that basic matters concerning state employees shall be regulated by law due to political democracy and civil interests. The primary purpose of disciplinary offence in labour law is to act as a safeguard to correct handling of public matters and interests. The secondary purpose is to ensure that employees comply with their obligations to the employer.

Disciplinary offences in criminal law and labour law overlap in many cases, meaning that both liability regimes can be applied to cases of professional misconduct. Over the years, some criticisms emerged against this but in my opinion it does not represent a problem. It is clearly regulated by law which area of liability that is applicable in these cases.

The criminal disciplinary offence has the sole purpose of protecting citizens against the mishandling of civil interests. It is limited to cases concerning exercise of public authority because they constitute the most drastic form of the state exercising power against individual citizens. Liability for disciplinary offence in criminal law is imposed by court and subject to public prosecution, which allows no room for arbitrary judgments. It is a secure legal proceeding. Disciplinary offence in labour law is an internal administrative action imposed by the authority. The employer decides which cases to investigate as disciplinary matters. If the authority’s Disciplinary Offence Board imposes a disciplinary punishment the employee has a possibility to appeal to court.

What is remarkable is that there is no inspection of, or control over, which disciplinary matters the employer must investigate. There is a considerable scope for arbitrary judgment and the authority has the possibility to hide wrongful conducts. The primary purpose of disciplinary offence in labour law is pompous, it is meant to secure constitutionally guaranteed civil interests. The discrepancy between the purpose of disciplinary offence on the one hand and its actual application and the uncertain legal process on the other hand is remarkable and problematic. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
För statligt anställda och statligt verksamma gäller speciella ansvarsregler. Uppsatsen inriktar sig på att utreda tillämpningen av tjänstefel och disciplinansvar. Det första är en straffrättslig sanktion då fel begåtts i tjänsten i samband med myndighetsutövning. Det andra är ett arbetsrättsligt/förvaltningsrättsligt administrativt förfarande som myndigheter kan tillgripa gentemot sina anställda då fel begåtts. Disciplinansvaret förutsätter en anställning men inte att felet ska ha begåtts vid myndighetsutövning. De olika ansvarssystemen är avsedda att komplettera varandra och det straffrättsliga ansvaret ska vara förbehållet de allvarligaste angreppen på medborgarnas intresse av att offentliga uppgifter sköts korrekt.

... (More)
För statligt anställda och statligt verksamma gäller speciella ansvarsregler. Uppsatsen inriktar sig på att utreda tillämpningen av tjänstefel och disciplinansvar. Det första är en straffrättslig sanktion då fel begåtts i tjänsten i samband med myndighetsutövning. Det andra är ett arbetsrättsligt/förvaltningsrättsligt administrativt förfarande som myndigheter kan tillgripa gentemot sina anställda då fel begåtts. Disciplinansvaret förutsätter en anställning men inte att felet ska ha begåtts vid myndighetsutövning. De olika ansvarssystemen är avsedda att komplettera varandra och det straffrättsliga ansvaret ska vara förbehållet de allvarligaste angreppen på medborgarnas intresse av att offentliga uppgifter sköts korrekt.

Disciplinansvaret var ursprungligen ett offentligrättsligt förfarande. Allteftersom arbetsrätten på det statliga området utvecklats till att efterlikna den privata har arbetstagarens skyldigheter gentemot arbetsgivaren kommit att vila på avtalsrättslig grund. Trots det regleras frågor om disciplinansvar i en speciallag, LOA (lag om offentlig anställning), istället för att kollektivavtalsregleras. Anledningen till det återfinns i RF (Regeringsformen) som kräver att grundläggande frågor angående statligt anställda ska regleras i lag p.g.a. hänsyn till den politiska demokratin och medborgerliga intressen. Det primära syftet med disciplinansvaret är således att verka som en säkerhet för att offentliga uppgifter sköts korrekt. Det sekundära syftet är att säkra att anställda fullgör sina skyldigheter gentemot arbetsgivaren.

Tjänstefel och disciplinansvar överlappar varandra i många fall, vilket betyder att båda kan tillämpas på samma fall av felaktigt handlande. Genom åren har viss kritik framkommit mot detta men enligt min åsikt utgör inte detta ett problem. Det finns tydligt reglerat i lag vad som gäller i dessa fall.

Det straffrättsliga tjänstefelet har som enda syfte att skydda medborgarna mot att offentliga uppgifter missköts. Att tjänstefel är begränsat till fall av myndighetsutövning beror på att det utgör den mest ingripande formen av statlig maktutövning mot enskilda medborgare. Ansvar för tjänstefel utdöms av allmän domstol i en mycket säker straffprocess och faller under allmänt åtal, vilket inte ger utrymme för godtyckliga bedömningar. Disciplinansvaret är ett myndighetsinternt administrativt förfarande. Arbetsgivaren bestämmer vilka fall som ska utredas som disciplinärenden. Om myndighetens personalansvarsnämnd ålägger arbetstagaren en disciplinpåföljd finns möjlighet att överklaga beslutet till allmän domstol.

Det anmärkningsvärda är att det inte finns något kontrollorgan för vilka eventuella disciplinärenden som arbetsgivaren bör utreda. Det finns ett stort utrymme för godtyckliga bedömningar och en möjlighet för myndigheten som arbetsgivare att dölja fel som begåtts. Det primära syftet med disciplinansvaret är högtravande; det ska säkra grundlagsskyddade medborgerliga intressen. Diskrepansen mellan disciplinansvarets syfte å ena sidan och dess faktiska tillämpning och rättsosäkra process å andra sidan är anmärkningsvärd och problematisk. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Lindblom, Anna LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Professional Misconduct of State Employees - The Application of Rules Regarding Disciplinary Offence in Criminal and Labour Law
course
JUR092 20111
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Disciplinansvar, Tjänstefel, Myndighetsutövning, Statlig anställning
language
Swedish
id
1769707
date added to LUP
2011-01-31 16:20:45
date last changed
2011-01-31 16:20:45
@misc{1769707,
  abstract     = {For state employees and those who exercise public authority, special liability rules apply in regards to professional misconduct. The essay focuses on investigating the application of disciplinary offence (breach of duty) in both criminal law and labour law. Disciplinary offence in criminal law is regulated in the Penal Code (brottsbalken) which applies when the violation committed is made within the exercise of public authority. Disciplinary offence in labour law is an administrative procedure which the authorities (as employers) may resort to when their employees fail to uphold employment obligations due to wrongful conduct. This offence requires an existing employment but not that the wrongful conduct is made within the exercise of public authority. The different liability regimes are intended to complement each other. The criminal liability shall be strictly reserved for the most serious attacks on civil interests. 

Disciplinary offence in labour law was originally a public judicial proceeding within the area of public law. As employment law in the Public sector evolved in order to resemble the private sector, the employee's obligations to the employer came to rest on contractual basis. In spite of this, matters concerning disciplinary offence are regulated in a special law, LOA, instead of being regulated in collective agreements. This solution is a result of the Instrument of Government (Regeringsformen) which requires that basic matters concerning state employees shall be regulated by law due to political democracy and civil interests. The primary purpose of disciplinary offence in labour law is to act as a safeguard to correct handling of public matters and interests. The secondary purpose is to ensure that employees comply with their obligations to the employer.

Disciplinary offences in criminal law and labour law overlap in many cases, meaning that both liability regimes can be applied to cases of professional misconduct. Over the years, some criticisms emerged against this but in my opinion it does not represent a problem. It is clearly regulated by law which area of liability that is applicable in these cases.

The criminal disciplinary offence has the sole purpose of protecting citizens against the mishandling of civil interests. It is limited to cases concerning exercise of public authority because they constitute the most drastic form of the state exercising power against individual citizens. Liability for disciplinary offence in criminal law is imposed by court and subject to public prosecution, which allows no room for arbitrary judgments. It is a secure legal proceeding. Disciplinary offence in labour law is an internal administrative action imposed by the authority. The employer decides which cases to investigate as disciplinary matters. If the authority’s Disciplinary Offence Board imposes a disciplinary punishment the employee has a possibility to appeal to court.

What is remarkable is that there is no inspection of, or control over, which disciplinary matters the employer must investigate. There is a considerable scope for arbitrary judgment and the authority has the possibility to hide wrongful conducts. The primary purpose of disciplinary offence in labour law is pompous, it is meant to secure constitutionally guaranteed civil interests. The discrepancy between the purpose of disciplinary offence on the one hand and its actual application and the uncertain legal process on the other hand is remarkable and problematic.},
  author       = {Lindblom, Anna},
  keyword      = {Disciplinansvar,Tjänstefel,Myndighetsutövning,Statlig anställning},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {När statens anställda gör fel - Tillämpning och avvägning av straffrättsligt- och arbetsrättsligt ansvar i offentlig verksamhet},
  year         = {2011},
}