Advanced

Ett svenskt kronvittnessystem? Billighetsskälen och en ny strafflindringsgrund

Lööf, Annie LU (2011) JURM01 20111
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Den förhärskande straffrättsideologin i Sverige idag är nyklassisk, där proportionalitetsprincipen, ekvivalensprincipen och humanitetsprincipen är ledstjärnor vid utdömande av straff. Principen om proportionalitet innebär att straffen ska vara rättvisa, det vill säga att lika brott ska behandlas lika i ljuset av vilka straff som ska tilldelas.

Vid den stora svenska brottsbalksreformen 1989 infördes i svensk lagstiftning billighetsskälen i 29 kap. 5 § brottsbalken (1962:700). Det är strafflindringsgrunder som är knutna till gärningsmannens personliga förhållanden och som domstolen behöver ta hänsyn till så att inte straffet kan ses som oskäligt eller obilligt.

Diskussionen kring att utvidga billighetsskälen har varit omfattande men... (More)
Den förhärskande straffrättsideologin i Sverige idag är nyklassisk, där proportionalitetsprincipen, ekvivalensprincipen och humanitetsprincipen är ledstjärnor vid utdömande av straff. Principen om proportionalitet innebär att straffen ska vara rättvisa, det vill säga att lika brott ska behandlas lika i ljuset av vilka straff som ska tilldelas.

Vid den stora svenska brottsbalksreformen 1989 infördes i svensk lagstiftning billighetsskälen i 29 kap. 5 § brottsbalken (1962:700). Det är strafflindringsgrunder som är knutna till gärningsmannens personliga förhållanden och som domstolen behöver ta hänsyn till så att inte straffet kan ses som oskäligt eller obilligt.

Diskussionen kring att utvidga billighetsskälen har varit omfattande men såväl svenskt utredningsväsende som regeringar under decennier har varit avogt inställda till att utvidga billighetsskälen till att också omfatta då den tilltalade anger andras brottslighet. Denna form av kronvittnessystem, som är vanligt i anglosaxiska länder har avvisats då nackdelarna har övervägt fördelarna. Fördelarna som främst lyfts fram har varit av processekonomiskt hänsyn och nackdelarna har främst varit att det strider mot svensk rättstradition och det låga bevisvärde som dessa uppgifter kan väntas få.

Denna uppsats utreder det svenska rättsläget vad gäller möjligheten till strafflindring då man som tilltalad anger andra personers brottslighet. Uppsatsen gör också en komparativ jämförelse mellan de nordiska grannländerna Danmark, Norge och Finland.

Bakgrunden är ett prejudikat från Högsta domstolen, NJA 2009 s. 599, som behandlade den nuvarande svenska bestämmelsen och omfattningen i ett uppmärksammat mål. Högsta domstolen fastslog att straffrabatt inte kunde ges enbart på den grund att man varit behjälplig att utreda brott och ange andra, men väl på grunden om den tilltalade riskerade hot om allvarliga repressalier och framgent inte kunde leva ett normalt liv. Denna möjlighet menade Högsta domstolen rymdes i 29 kap. 5 § första stycket åttonde punkten brottsbalken (BrB).

Prejudikatet väckte debatt i juristkåren om Sverige på detta sätt genom rättspraxis infört ett kronvittnessystem bakvägen och uppsatsen tar upp debattörernas invändningar. I ljuset av den debatt som billighetsskälens omfattning har skapat finns det anledning att röja klarhet i rättsläget i Sverige, analysera rättsläget i våra grannländer och tydliggöra vilken möjlighet det finns för den pågående statliga utredningen En översyn av påföljdssystemet att lägga fram förslag på området både vad gäller strafflindring om man anger andras brottslighet och om man medverkar i sin egen utredning.

De skandinaviska länderna har valt olika vägar i frågan om strafflindring vid angivelse av andra. I Danmark och Norge har man infört lagstiftning vad gäller strafflindring då en tilltalad anger andras brottslighet. I Finland däremot har man avvisat en sådan reglering och har strafflindringsgrunder som är jämförbara med svensk brottsbalk.

Uppsatsens slutsats är att Sverige de facto genom rättspraxis under vissa förutsättningar öppnat upp för att ge straffrabatter till personer som anger andras brottslighet även om det inte står skrivet i lagtext. Högsta domstolens tolkning av det snäva utrymmet som 29 kap. 5 § första stycket åttonde punkten BrB är rimlig och av den anledningen förordas inte något förtydligande av rättsläget genom lagstiftning. Författaren menar att det skulle strida mot svensk rättstradition att genom lag öppna upp för ett renodlat kronvittnessystem men ser värdet i att det finns en möjlighet för den dömande verksamheten att ge strafflindring till personer som på grund av angivelser aldrig kan leva ett normalt liv. Något annat vore både oskäligt och obilligt. (Less)
Abstract
The prevailing ideology of criminal justice in Sweden is neo-classical. The principles of proportionality, of equivalence and of humanity are the guiding principles of sentencing. The principles of proportionality and of equivalence mean that the punishment should be fair, e.g. the same crime should be treated equally in the light of the penalties.

In the large Swedish penal code reform in 1989 the equitable grounds were introduced in Swedish law under chapter 29 § 5 of the Penal Code. They are clemency pleas related to the defendant’s personal circumstances and the court needs to take these clemency pleas into account in order to eliminate penalties from being viewed as unreasonable or unfair.

Discussions of expanding the equitable... (More)
The prevailing ideology of criminal justice in Sweden is neo-classical. The principles of proportionality, of equivalence and of humanity are the guiding principles of sentencing. The principles of proportionality and of equivalence mean that the punishment should be fair, e.g. the same crime should be treated equally in the light of the penalties.

In the large Swedish penal code reform in 1989 the equitable grounds were introduced in Swedish law under chapter 29 § 5 of the Penal Code. They are clemency pleas related to the defendant’s personal circumstances and the court needs to take these clemency pleas into account in order to eliminate penalties from being viewed as unreasonable or unfair.

Discussions of expanding the equitable grounds in the Penal Code chapter 29 § 5 have been extensive both in the Swedish state official reports and by governments for decades. They have been averse to expanding the equitable grounds to include even when the defendant reveals other people's crime. This form of a crown witness system, which is common in Anglo-Saxon countries, has been rejected because the disadvantages outweigh the advantages.

The advantages are mainly the process of economic considerations and the disadvantages have mainly been that a crown witness system is contrary to the Swedish legal tradition and the fact that the information from a crown witness can be expected to have a low probative value.

This essay investigates the Swedish legal situation regarding the possibility of clemency pleas when the defender reveals another people's crime. The essay also makes a comparison between the neighboring Nordic countries Denmark, Norway and Finland.

The background is a precedent from the Supreme Court, NJA 2009 s. 599, which deals with the current Swedish rule in the Penal Code chapter 29 § 5 and the extent of the Penal Code chapter 29 § 5 paragraph 8. The Supreme Court held that penal discounts can not be made solely on the basis that the defender is helpful and reveals other people’s crime. But penal discounts can be given on the basis if the defender could threaten serious reprisals when he reveals other people’s crime, and if he in the future will have difficulties to live a normal life. The Supreme Court concludes that this opportunity to penal discounts when the defender can be threaten serious reprisals can be interpreted in the Penal Code Chapter 29 § 5 paragraph 8.

The precedent from the Supreme Court provoked a debate in the legal profession in Sweden if the court with the precedent - through case law – had introduced a crown witness system. The essay raises the debater’s objections.

In the light of the debate about the extent of the equitable grounds, it is necessary to clear out the legal situation in Sweden, analyze our neighbors legal situation and make clear what opportunity there is for the ongoing state official report, En översyn av påföljdssystemet, to make proposals both in terms of penalty discounts if you as a defendant reveals other people's crime and if the defendant participates in his own investigation.

The Scandinavian countries have chosen different ways in the matter of sentence, when an accused person reveals other people’s crime. Denmark and Norway have introduced legislation when a defendant reveals other’s crime. Finland, however, has rejected such a rule of law and has clemency pleas that are comparable with the Swedish penal code.

The essay's conclusion is that Sweden in fact by case law under certain conditions has opened up to give penalty discounts to people who reveals other people's crime - even if this is not explicitly stated in the law. The Supreme Court's interpretation of the narrow space in the Penal Code chapter 29 § 5 paragraph 8 is reasonable and therefore does the essay not endorse any clarifying of the legal situation by the rule of law. The author believes that it would be contrary to Swedish law tradition to open up for a pure crown witness system, but sees the value that there is an opportunity for the judiciary to give clemency pleas and penal discounts to people who, because of their reveals never can live a normal life. Anything else would be both unfair and inequitable. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Lööf, Annie LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
A Swedish crown witness system - the equitable grounds and new clemency pleas
course
JURM01 20111
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Strafflindringsgrund, Billighetsskäl, Kronvittne
language
Swedish
id
2155879
date added to LUP
2011-09-12 09:14:10
date last changed
2011-09-12 09:14:10
@misc{2155879,
  abstract     = {The prevailing ideology of criminal justice in Sweden is neo-classical. The principles of proportionality, of equivalence and of humanity are the guiding principles of sentencing. The principles of proportionality and of equivalence mean that the punishment should be fair, e.g. the same crime should be treated equally in the light of the penalties.

In the large Swedish penal code reform in 1989 the equitable grounds were introduced in Swedish law under chapter 29 § 5 of the Penal Code. They are clemency pleas related to the defendant’s personal circumstances and the court needs to take these clemency pleas into account in order to eliminate penalties from being viewed as unreasonable or unfair.

Discussions of expanding the equitable grounds in the Penal Code chapter 29 § 5 have been extensive both in the Swedish state official reports and by governments for decades. They have been averse to expanding the equitable grounds to include even when the defendant reveals other people's crime. This form of a crown witness system, which is common in Anglo-Saxon countries, has been rejected because the disadvantages outweigh the advantages.

The advantages are mainly the process of economic considerations and the disadvantages have mainly been that a crown witness system is contrary to the Swedish legal tradition and the fact that the information from a crown witness can be expected to have a low probative value.

This essay investigates the Swedish legal situation regarding the possibility of clemency pleas when the defender reveals another people's crime. The essay also makes a comparison between the neighboring Nordic countries Denmark, Norway and Finland. 

The background is a precedent from the Supreme Court, NJA 2009 s. 599, which deals with the current Swedish rule in the Penal Code chapter 29 § 5 and the extent of the Penal Code chapter 29 § 5 paragraph 8. The Supreme Court held that penal discounts can not be made solely on the basis that the defender is helpful and reveals other people’s crime. But penal discounts can be given on the basis if the defender could threaten serious reprisals when he reveals other people’s crime, and if he in the future will have difficulties to live a normal life. The Supreme Court concludes that this opportunity to penal discounts when the defender can be threaten serious reprisals can be interpreted in the Penal Code Chapter 29 § 5 paragraph 8. 

The precedent from the Supreme Court provoked a debate in the legal profession in Sweden if the court with the precedent - through case law – had introduced a crown witness system. The essay raises the debater’s objections. 

In the light of the debate about the extent of the equitable grounds, it is necessary to clear out the legal situation in Sweden, analyze our neighbors legal situation and make clear what opportunity there is for the ongoing state official report, En översyn av påföljdssystemet, to make proposals both in terms of penalty discounts if you as a defendant reveals other people's crime and if the defendant participates in his own investigation. 

The Scandinavian countries have chosen different ways in the matter of sentence, when an accused person reveals other people’s crime. Denmark and Norway have introduced legislation when a defendant reveals other’s crime. Finland, however, has rejected such a rule of law and has clemency pleas that are comparable with the Swedish penal code. 

The essay's conclusion is that Sweden in fact by case law under certain conditions has opened up to give penalty discounts to people who reveals other people's crime -  even if this is not explicitly stated in the law.  The Supreme Court's interpretation of the narrow space in the Penal Code chapter 29 § 5 paragraph 8 is reasonable and therefore does the essay not endorse any clarifying of the legal situation by the rule of law. The author believes that it would be contrary to Swedish law tradition to open up for a pure crown witness system, but sees the value that there is an opportunity for the judiciary to give clemency pleas and penal discounts to people who, because of their reveals never can live a normal life. Anything else would be both unfair and inequitable.},
  author       = {Lööf, Annie},
  keyword      = {Strafflindringsgrund,Billighetsskäl,Kronvittne},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Ett svenskt kronvittnessystem? Billighetsskälen och en ny strafflindringsgrund},
  year         = {2011},
}