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Urkundsförfalskning – den oföränderliga paragrafen

Hallström, Håkan LU (2011) JURM01 20102
Department of Law
Abstract
Summary
The legislation of Sweden has gradually been updated in order to keep up with changes in IT. The paragraph relating to forgery in chapter 14 § 1 of the Penal Code has not been changed since 1948 and has also survived various revisions. The purpose of this paper is to make clear that there is a need to modify chapter 14 § 1 of the Penal Code in order to accommodate developments in IT and to discuss some potential modifications to it.

There is a strong argument to indicate that chapter 14 § 1 of the Penal Code is not adequately formulated for our society. NJA 1991 p. 739 and NJA 2009 p. 111 are two current cases where it is possible to see that the outer limit of the paragraph has been exceeded by the Supreme Court of Sweden.... (More)
Summary
The legislation of Sweden has gradually been updated in order to keep up with changes in IT. The paragraph relating to forgery in chapter 14 § 1 of the Penal Code has not been changed since 1948 and has also survived various revisions. The purpose of this paper is to make clear that there is a need to modify chapter 14 § 1 of the Penal Code in order to accommodate developments in IT and to discuss some potential modifications to it.

There is a strong argument to indicate that chapter 14 § 1 of the Penal Code is not adequately formulated for our society. NJA 1991 p. 739 and NJA 2009 p. 111 are two current cases where it is possible to see that the outer limit of the paragraph has been exceeded by the Supreme Court of Sweden. Some legal analysts have posited that the Supreme Court of Sweden’s judgments have been so far off from the wording of the paragraph that it is doubtful if the legal position is within the principle of legality. This doubt is created when old terms are applied to new legal areas where they do not really belong. The research SOU 2007:92 was conducted to clarify the legal position. This legal position is now even more doubtful if you compare the more recent case NJA 2009 p. 111 to SOU 2007:92. Above all, the Supreme Court of Sweden used the accessory of “original character” in a context were it did not belong. SOU 2007:92 indicated instead that it was better to use “original containment” as an accessory because it is possible to duplicate electronic documents in a different way. In that case it is easy to see difficulties in how chapter 14 § 1 of the Penal Code can be used to protect the common reliance that these original documents can be used as proof and hence, legislation is needed to remove this uncertainty in order to adapt the original document concept to IT developments.

How chapter 14 § 1 of the Penal Code should be formulated to accommodate IT development nowadays has been the focus of discussion of different research. It is difficult to create a technology-neutral legislation where there are no differences between traditional and electronic documents, especially with regard to any expected developments in IT that may take place in the foreseeable future. It will therefore be possible to point out some terms that will be important in order to formulate the accommodation of “original document” as a legal term. It is necessary to clarify a way to connect the accommodation of the text to support the common faith to protect these original documents so they work as proof generally, especially with the increasing pervasiveness of the Internet and use of electronic documents. In the same way, it is important to also note the differences that appear in comparing a traditional and an electronic environment. Forgery, as a function to protect messages as proof, should be more connected in that part of the paragraph that will point out the outer limit of what that is worth preserving. Therefore it is a good argument to distinguish the connection between “the character of original documents” and “the danger of use in regard of the proof” and those accessories’ connections to a general faith of original documents. The use of Internet is characterized by an openness that also distinguishes differences and in the same way shows different arguments of protection that have to be more powerful than the original document to continue a general faith. When it comes to an original document as a legal term and its influence on both traditional and electronic documents, there are two alternatives in how this term could be solved: one alternative is to have a mutual term and the other is to have separate terms that show any differences. If an alternative with two different terms is chosen there are risks that it will not be technology-neutral and it could create ambiguities for the courts to solve. That would increase the level of doubt. It is difficult to create a uniform definition of original documents that is useful in both environments even though there are few common parallels. In the same way, it is not beneficial to lock these “hidden accessories”, as SOU 2007:92 wanted, in to the text in the paragraph when those accessories should be different depending on which kind of original document is prescribed. A new form of chapter 14 § 1 of the Penal Code should point out the point of proof connected to the original document: at the same time, it should emphasize its criminal purpose. If a legal text is too detailed it is possible to see the disadvantages that are unknown today and connect them to the nature of IT developments that result from fast development. It is hard to foresee how these developments and what kind of original documents will require the most protection in the Penal Code. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Sammanfattning
I takt med en ökad betydelse för IT-inriktade lösningar har den svenska lagstiftningen i flera avseende uppdaterats allteftersom det har funnits behov. Urkundsförfalskningsparagrafen i 14 kap. 1 § BrB har däremot haft samma ordalydelse sedan 1948. Uppsatsen har syftat till att genom en egen utredning klarlägga ifall det föreligger ett behov av förändring även för 14 kap. 1 § BrB. Frågeställningen knöts därför till att behandla frågan hur 14 kap. 1 § BrB bör vara utformad för att vara anpassad till dagens IT-samhälle.

NJA 1991 s. 739 och NJA 2009 s. 111 är två aktuella fall där den yttre straffbara gränsen för urkundsförfalskning utökades av HD. Bedömningarna som domstolen gjorde har fått kritik i doktrinen av att hålla... (More)
Sammanfattning
I takt med en ökad betydelse för IT-inriktade lösningar har den svenska lagstiftningen i flera avseende uppdaterats allteftersom det har funnits behov. Urkundsförfalskningsparagrafen i 14 kap. 1 § BrB har däremot haft samma ordalydelse sedan 1948. Uppsatsen har syftat till att genom en egen utredning klarlägga ifall det föreligger ett behov av förändring även för 14 kap. 1 § BrB. Frågeställningen knöts därför till att behandla frågan hur 14 kap. 1 § BrB bör vara utformad för att vara anpassad till dagens IT-samhälle.

NJA 1991 s. 739 och NJA 2009 s. 111 är två aktuella fall där den yttre straffbara gränsen för urkundsförfalskning utökades av HD. Bedömningarna som domstolen gjorde har fått kritik i doktrinen av att hålla sig så långt från ordalydelsen att det skapar osäkerheter huruvida fallen håller sig inom legalitetsprincipens gränser. Det har därigenom naturligt skapats osäkerheter för urkunder då gamla traditionella begrepp har applicerats på områden där de inte riktigt hör hemma. Det är framförallt därigenom som det har blivit ett rättsosäkert läge.

För att belysa rättsläget för urkund som begrepp tillsattes en utredning: SOU 2007:92. Det tidigare rättsosäkra läget har förtydligades än mer om man ställer NJA 2009 s. 111 mot utredningen SOU 2007:92. Framförallt med anledning av att HD till trots valde att använda sig av rekvisitet ”originalkaraktär” i ett sammanhang där man enligt utredningen inte kan prata om samma begrepp. Det finns trots allt inte någon ”originalkaraktär” att tala om utan snarare ett ”originalinnehåll” som istället kan dupliceras. Då det går att se svårigheter i hur 14 kap. 1 § BrB framöver kan användas för att skydda allmänhetens tillit av att kunna använda sig av urkunder som bevismedel i elektroniska sammanhang finns det stor anledning att klargöra rättsläget genom lagstiftning.

Hur 14 kap. 1 § BrB sedan bör vara utformad för att vara anpassad till dagens IT-samhälle har varit föremål för diskussioner i flertalet utredningar. Svårigheten ligger i att få till ett teknikneutralt begrepp där inte åtskillnad görs mellan traditionella och elektroniska handlingar samt att begreppet också ska kunna överleva med tiden trots en fortsatt teknikutveckling. Ett antal punkter pekas därför ut som särskilt viktiga vid utformandet av begreppet. Till att börja med är det av särskild vikt att se till syftet med att skydda urkundsförfalskning. Utformandet bör därigenom på ett tydligt vis kopplas till hur allmänhetens tillit till urkunder som bevismedel ska kunna överföras det annars mer osäkra nätet. Det måste samtidigt beaktas att det faktiskt finns skillnader mellan den digitala och den traditionella världen. Urkunders roll som meddelandefunktion av bevis är dock densamma och bör vara det rekvisit som sätter den yttersta gränsen för vad som skall innefattas att vara skyddsvärt. Därigenom finns det en poäng med att särskilt förtydliga kopplingen mellan ”urkundens karaktär” och ”fara i bevishänseende” och på så vis stärka den generella tilltron till urkunden. Den öppenhet som nu präglar framförallt Internetanvändningen påvisar en markant skillnad mot den traditionella världen och samtidigt krävs därför en annan vinkling i det skyddsbehov som behöver täckas för att allmänhetens tillit ska bestå.

Då själva urkundsbegreppet och dess betydelse för utformning av skyddsområdet för både traditionella som elektroniska urkunder bör kvarstå finns det två alternativ till förändring: antingen ett gemensamt begrepp eller två åtskilda definitioner som visar på skillnaden däremellan. Finns två begrepp aktualiseras risker för att det trots allt inte handlar om teknikneutralitet och det kan samtidigt uppstå gråzoner däremellan som praxis sedan får lösa. Dock talar detta för fortsatt rättsosäkerhet. Svårigheten att utforma en enhetlig definition av urkund är att få med begrepp som är användbara på bägge förhållandena trots dess brist på beröringspunkter. Det bör heller inte vara till fördel att låsa de ”dolda rekvisiten” – som framarbetats genom praxis – knutna till lagtexten då dessa rekvisit kan te sig olika beroende på vilken form av urkund det är frågan om. Istället bör utformningen av 14 kap. 1 § BrB istället poängtera urkundens betydelse som bevismedel samtidigt som man understryker dess straffrättsliga syfte. Nackdelen med en för detaljerad lagtext kan innebära oförutsedda svårigheter då det ligger i IT-utvecklingens natur att verkligheten förändras snabbt. Detta leder till att det är svårt att förutse hur handlingarna kommer se ut vilka handlingar som faktiskt kommer användas mest i framtiden och på så vis ha det största behovet av straffrättsligt skydd. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Hallström, Håkan LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Forgery - the unchangeable paragraph
course
JURM01 20102
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Urkundsförfalskning, IT-rätt, Straffrätt
language
Swedish
additional info
Mitt telefonnummer: 0705-587371
Mitt mejl: hallstrom83@gmail.com
Mitt personnummer: 830116-3310
id
1888154
date added to LUP
2011-04-07 13:29:47
date last changed
2011-04-07 13:29:47
@misc{1888154,
  abstract     = {Summary
The legislation of Sweden has gradually been updated in order to keep up with changes in IT. The paragraph relating to forgery in chapter 14 § 1 of the Penal Code has not been changed since 1948 and has also survived various revisions. The purpose of this paper is to make clear that there is a need to modify chapter 14 § 1 of the Penal Code in order to accommodate developments in IT and to discuss some potential modifications to it.

There is a strong argument to indicate that chapter 14 § 1 of the Penal Code is not adequately formulated for our society. NJA 1991 p. 739 and NJA 2009 p. 111 are two current cases where it is possible to see that the outer limit of the paragraph has been exceeded by the Supreme Court of Sweden. Some legal analysts have posited that the Supreme Court of Sweden’s judgments have been so far off from the wording of the paragraph that it is doubtful if the legal position is within the principle of legality. This doubt is created when old terms are applied to new legal areas where they do not really belong. The research SOU 2007:92 was conducted to clarify the legal position. This legal position is now even more doubtful if you compare the more recent case NJA 2009 p. 111 to SOU 2007:92. Above all, the Supreme Court of Sweden used the accessory of “original character” in a context were it did not belong. SOU 2007:92 indicated instead that it was better to use “original containment” as an accessory because it is possible to duplicate electronic documents in a different way. In that case it is easy to see difficulties in how chapter 14 § 1 of the Penal Code can be used to protect the common reliance that these original documents can be used as proof and hence, legislation is needed to remove this uncertainty in order to adapt the original document concept to IT developments.

How chapter 14 § 1 of the Penal Code should be formulated to accommodate IT development nowadays has been the focus of discussion of different research. It is difficult to create a technology-neutral legislation where there are no differences between traditional and electronic documents, especially with regard to any expected developments in IT that may take place in the foreseeable future. It will therefore be possible to point out some terms that will be important in order to formulate the accommodation of “original document” as a legal term. It is necessary to clarify a way to connect the accommodation of the text to support the common faith to protect these original documents so they work as proof generally, especially with the increasing pervasiveness of the Internet and use of electronic documents. In the same way, it is important to also note the differences that appear in comparing a traditional and an electronic environment. Forgery, as a function to protect messages as proof, should be more connected in that part of the paragraph that will point out the outer limit of what that is worth preserving. Therefore it is a good argument to distinguish the connection between “the character of original documents” and “the danger of use in regard of the proof” and those accessories’ connections to a general faith of original documents. The use of Internet is characterized by an openness that also distinguishes differences and in the same way shows different arguments of protection that have to be more powerful than the original document to continue a general faith. When it comes to an original document as a legal term and its influence on both traditional and electronic documents, there are two alternatives in how this term could be solved: one alternative is to have a mutual term and the other is to have separate terms that show any differences. If an alternative with two different terms is chosen there are risks that it will not be technology-neutral and it could create ambiguities for the courts to solve. That would increase the level of doubt. It is difficult to create a uniform definition of original documents that is useful in both environments even though there are few common parallels. In the same way, it is not beneficial to lock these “hidden accessories”, as SOU 2007:92 wanted, in to the text in the paragraph when those accessories should be different depending on which kind of original document is prescribed. A new form of chapter 14 § 1 of the Penal Code should point out the point of proof connected to the original document: at the same time, it should emphasize its criminal purpose. If a legal text is too detailed it is possible to see the disadvantages that are unknown today and connect them to the nature of IT developments that result from fast development. It is hard to foresee how these developments and what kind of original documents will require the most protection in the Penal Code.},
  author       = {Hallström, Håkan},
  keyword      = {Urkundsförfalskning,IT-rätt,Straffrätt},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Urkundsförfalskning – den oföränderliga paragrafen},
  year         = {2011},
}