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Nödvärnsexcess - En studie av domstolarnas tillämpning av rekvisitet "svårligen kunde besinna sig"

Våhlin Björklund, Angelica LU (2011) JURM01 20112
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Den som utsätts för ett brott har med stöd av nödvärnsbestämmelsen i 24 kap 1 § BrB rätt att försvara sig. Självklart måste det finnas gränser för hur mycket våld som i sådana situationer får användas. Därför anges i bestämmelsen att våldet inte får ha varit ”uppenbart oförsvarligt”.

Trots att man överskridit rätten till nödvärn kan man enligt svensk rätt gå fri från ansvar. Gärningen ska enligt 24 kap 6 § BrB anses ursäktad om omständigheterna var sådana att gärningsmannen ”svårligen kunde besinna sig”. Syftet med den här uppsatsen är att klargöra innebörden av detta rekvisit i nödvärnssammanhang. Dessutom analyseras huruvida den nuvarande regleringen är utformad på ett lämpligt sätt.

I lagtexten preciseras rekvisitet inte närmre.... (More)
Den som utsätts för ett brott har med stöd av nödvärnsbestämmelsen i 24 kap 1 § BrB rätt att försvara sig. Självklart måste det finnas gränser för hur mycket våld som i sådana situationer får användas. Därför anges i bestämmelsen att våldet inte får ha varit ”uppenbart oförsvarligt”.

Trots att man överskridit rätten till nödvärn kan man enligt svensk rätt gå fri från ansvar. Gärningen ska enligt 24 kap 6 § BrB anses ursäktad om omständigheterna var sådana att gärningsmannen ”svårligen kunde besinna sig”. Syftet med den här uppsatsen är att klargöra innebörden av detta rekvisit i nödvärnssammanhang. Dessutom analyseras huruvida den nuvarande regleringen är utformad på ett lämpligt sätt.

I lagtexten preciseras rekvisitet inte närmre. Av förarbetena framgår att såväl objektiva som subjektiva faktorer (både individuella egenskaper och mer tillfälliga subjektiva tillstånd) har relevans för bedömningen. Vidare anges i förarbetena att bedömningen ska ske med utgångspunkt i hur situationen tedde sig för den angripne utifrån dennes personliga egenskaper.

Förarbetena ger alltså relativt klara anvisningar om vilka variabler som domstolarna ska fästa avseende vid när det gäller excessbedömningen. Dessa omständigheter har sedan tolkats och vidareutvecklats genom praxis. Praxis utgör också det huvudsakliga föremålet för den här studien. Det innebär att samtliga relevanta fall från Högsta domstolen analyseras men också att ett antal hovrättsfall undersöks.

Fastän både förarbeten och doktrin understryker att subjektiva omständigheter ska beaktas vid excessbedömningen tillmäts dessa relativt liten betydelse av domstolarna i praktiken. Individuella egenskaper såsom exempelvis nervositet, lättskrämdhet och häftigt humör tas överhuvudtaget inte upp av domstolarna i något av de undersökta fallen. Däremot tar domstolarna i många fall hänsyn till mer tillfälliga subjektiva tillstånd såsom exempelvis rädsla, panikkänsla och yrvakenhet. Jag anser dock att dessa faktorer inte tillmäts den betydelse som lagstiftaren tänkt sig. Detta är särskilt tydligt i NJA 1977 s. 655 och NJA 2005 s. 237, fall där det verkar som om Högsta domstolen helt bortsåg från den angripnes rädsla. I det senaste fallet från Högsta domstolen inom området, NJA 2009 s. 234, hade de subjektiva faktorerna dock en avgörande inverkan på utgången. Jag menar att fallet kan ses som en markering från Högsta domstolen om att de subjektiva omständigheterna ska tillmätas större betydelse än tidigare.

De objektiva faktorerna tillmäts stor vikt i praxis. Särskilt gäller detta den tid som den tilltalade haft till förfogande. Tidsaspekten anses av domstolarna ofta ha större betydelse än farans art och de subjektiva omständigheterna. Av NJA 2005 s. 237 framkommer att bedömningen av tidsaspekten ska ske på ett strikt sätt. Vidare kan utläsas att prövningen påverkas av om den angripne varit förberedd på angreppet. I sådant fall tycks Högsta domstolen mena att angreppet inte kan sägas ha kommit oväntat.

Trots att förarbetena anger att bedömningen ska ske utifrån den angripnes synvinkel sker detta enligt min uppfattning inte alltid i praktiken. En lösning på det problemet vore att uttryckligen i lagrummet ange att prövningen av om den tilltalade svårligen kunde besinna sig ska ske med utgångspunkt i den angripnes uppfattning av situationen vid gärningstillfället.

En slutsats som kan dras efter genomgången av lagtext, förarbeten och praxis är att det finns ett relativt stort utrymme att bedöma relevanta faktorer på olika sätt. I praktiken skiljer sig bedömningarna också i ganska stor utsträckning åt både när det gäller vilka faktorer som beaktas och hur dessa faktorer viktas mot varandra. Enligt min uppfattning kan rättspraxis i viss mån sägas vara oenhetlig och till och med godtycklig. Detta är problematiskt eftersom det medför brister i den för rättssäkerheten och för den enskilde så viktiga förutsebarheten.

Den oenhetliga och godtyckliga tillämpningen av excessbestämmelsen torde åtminstone delvis bero på lagtextens vaga utformning. I uppsatsen föreslås därför en översyn av excessregleringen. Syftet med översynen skulle vara att i lagrummet låta ange de variabler som ska tillmätas relevans vid bedömningen av om den angripne svårligen kunnat besinna sig. (Less)
Abstract
A person who is being subjected to a crime has, according to Chapter 24 Section 1 Brottsbalken, a right to defend himself. Naturally the right to self-defence must have some kind of limit. Therefore the provision states that the violence used cannot be “clearly indefensible”

Even though an offender has exceeded the right to self-defence he or she can still be excused according to Swedish law. Chapter 24 Section 6 Brottsbalken states that the offender should not be sentenced if the circumstances were such that the offender had ”difficulties in coming to his/her senses". The main purpose of this thesis is to examine and clarify the meaning of this necessary condition in a self-defence context. Furthermore it is examined if the current... (More)
A person who is being subjected to a crime has, according to Chapter 24 Section 1 Brottsbalken, a right to defend himself. Naturally the right to self-defence must have some kind of limit. Therefore the provision states that the violence used cannot be “clearly indefensible”

Even though an offender has exceeded the right to self-defence he or she can still be excused according to Swedish law. Chapter 24 Section 6 Brottsbalken states that the offender should not be sentenced if the circumstances were such that the offender had ”difficulties in coming to his/her senses". The main purpose of this thesis is to examine and clarify the meaning of this necessary condition in a self-defence context. Furthermore it is examined if the current regulation is appropriately constructed.

The meaning of the expression is not specified in the text of the law. Legislative history shows that both objective and subjective factors (including both individual characteristics and more temporary subjective states of mind) are relevant to the assessment. Furthermore legislative history states that the assessment should be based on how the offender experienced the situation.

Legislative history provides relatively clear instructions on what components to be given importance in the assessment of excess. These factors have been interpreted and developed through case law. Case law is also the main object of this thesis. The study is mainly based on relevant cases from the Supreme Court, but a number of cases from the Courts of Appeal are also analyzed.

Although legislative history stresses that subjective factors should be considered in the excess assessment, the courts tend to attach relatively little importance to these factors. The courts do not bring up individual characteristics such as nervousness, anxiety or hot temper in any of the examined cases. More often the courts take temporary subjective states of mind such as fear, stress and drowsiness into account. However, I believe that these circumstances are not considered to the extent that the legislature intends. This is particularly evident in NJA 1977 s. 655 and NJA 2005 s. 237, where the Supreme Court seemingly ignored the offenders fear. In the latest case from the Supreme Court concerning the area in question, NJA 2009 s. 234, the subjective circumstances, however, were crucial to the verdict of acquittal. I belive that the case can be seen as a statement from the Supreme Court that the subjective circumstances should be given greater importance than before.

In the examined cases the courts tend to attach great importance to objective circumstances and in particular the time that the defendant had at his disposal. The aspect of time is often considered to be more important than the nature of the attack and the subjective circumstances. NJA 2005 s. 237 shows that the assessment of the time that the offender had at his disposal should be done in a rigorous manner. Another conclusion that can be drawn from that case is that the assessment is affected by the fact that the offender was prepared for the attack in advance. In such cases the Supreme Court seems to suggest that the attack cannot be seen as unexpected.

Even though the legislative history emphasizes that the assessment should be based on the defendant's point of view, this is in my opinion, not always done in practice. One way of solving this problem would be to explicitly state in the law that the assessment of if the offender had difficulties in coming to his/her senses should be made from the defendant's perspective.

Another conclusion to be drawn from the text of law, the legislative history and the case law, is that there is a relatively large void to assess the relevant circumstances in different ways. The assessments also differ to a large extent between the courts both in terms of which factors that are considered and how these circumstances are weighed against each other. I believe that case law is to some extent inconsistent and even arbitrary. This is problematic since it causes deficiencies in the predictability, a principle that is very important for the individual and for the rule of law.

The inconsistent and arbitrary application of the excess provision is, according to my opinion, at least partly due to the vague formulation of the law. Therefore this thesis proposes a review of excess regulation. The purpose of the revision would be to in the text of the law define the variables that are relevant to the assessment. (Less)
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author
Våhlin Björklund, Angelica LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Excessive self-defence – A study of how ”difficulties in coming to one’s senses” is applied in court
course
JURM01 20112
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
straffrätt, nödvärnsrätt, subjektiva ansvarsfrihetsgrunder, nödvärnsexcess, svårligen kunde besinna sig
language
Swedish
id
2205917
date added to LUP
2011-11-24 13:43:00
date last changed
2011-11-24 13:43:00
@misc{2205917,
  abstract     = {A person who is being subjected to a crime has, according to Chapter 24 Section 1 Brottsbalken, a right to defend himself. Naturally the right to self-defence must have some kind of limit. Therefore the provision states that the violence used cannot be “clearly indefensible”

Even though an offender has exceeded the right to self-defence he or she can still be excused according to Swedish law. Chapter 24 Section 6 Brottsbalken states that the offender should not be sentenced if the circumstances were such that the offender had ”difficulties in coming to his/her senses". The main purpose of this thesis is to examine and clarify the meaning of this necessary condition in a self-defence context. Furthermore it is examined if the current regulation is appropriately constructed.

The meaning of the expression is not specified in the text of the law. Legislative history shows that both objective and subjective factors (including both individual characteristics and more temporary subjective states of mind) are relevant to the assessment. Furthermore legislative history states that the assessment should be based on how the offender experienced the situation.

Legislative history provides relatively clear instructions on what components to be given importance in the assessment of excess. These factors have been interpreted and developed through case law. Case law is also the main object of this thesis. The study is mainly based on relevant cases from the Supreme Court, but a number of cases from the Courts of Appeal are also analyzed. 

Although legislative history stresses that subjective factors should be considered in the excess assessment, the courts tend to attach relatively little importance to these factors. The courts do not bring up individual characteristics such as nervousness, anxiety or hot temper in any of the examined cases. More often the courts take temporary subjective states of mind such as fear, stress and drowsiness into account. However, I believe that these circumstances are not considered to the extent that the legislature intends. This is particularly evident in NJA 1977 s. 655 and NJA 2005 s. 237, where the Supreme Court seemingly ignored the offenders fear. In the latest case from the Supreme Court concerning the area in question, NJA 2009 s. 234, the subjective circumstances, however, were crucial to the verdict of acquittal. I belive that the case can be seen as a statement from the Supreme Court that the subjective circumstances should be given greater importance than before.

In the examined cases the courts tend to attach great importance to objective circumstances and in particular the time that the defendant had at his disposal. The aspect of time is often considered to be more important than the nature of the attack and the subjective circumstances. NJA 2005 s. 237 shows that the assessment of the time that the offender had at his disposal should be done in a rigorous manner. Another conclusion that can be drawn from that case is that the assessment is affected by the fact that the offender was prepared for the attack in advance. In such cases the Supreme Court seems to suggest that the attack cannot be seen as unexpected.

Even though the legislative history emphasizes that the assessment should be based on the defendant's point of view, this is in my opinion, not always done in practice. One way of solving this problem would be to explicitly state in the law that the assessment of if the offender had difficulties in coming to his/her senses should be made from the defendant's perspective. 

Another conclusion to be drawn from the text of law, the legislative history and the case law, is that there is a relatively large void to assess the relevant circumstances in different ways. The assessments also differ to a large extent between the courts both in terms of which factors that are considered and how these circumstances are weighed against each other. I believe that case law is to some extent inconsistent and even arbitrary. This is problematic since it causes deficiencies in the predictability, a principle that is very important for the individual and for the rule of law.

The inconsistent and arbitrary application of the excess provision is, according to my opinion, at least partly due to the vague formulation of the law. Therefore this thesis proposes a review of excess regulation. The purpose of the revision would be to in the text of the law define the variables that are relevant to the assessment.},
  author       = {Våhlin Björklund, Angelica},
  keyword      = {straffrätt,nödvärnsrätt,subjektiva ansvarsfrihetsgrunder,nödvärnsexcess,svårligen kunde besinna sig},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Nödvärnsexcess - En studie av domstolarnas tillämpning av rekvisitet "svårligen kunde besinna sig"},
  year         = {2011},
}