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En omvälvande dom och dess omedelbara efterverkningar - en studie av straffvärdebedömningen i narkotikamål

Heidenblad, Maria LU (2012) JURM02 20112
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
När domstolar beslutar om vilket straff en gärningsman ska få för ett visst brott måste de först bedöma brottets straffvärde. En grundläggande ideologi i det svenska straffsystemet är att straffet ska stå i proportion till brottets svårighetsgrad. Vid beaktandet av straffvärdet ska rättstillämparna enligt 29 kap. 1 § BrB bland annat ta hänsyn till den skada, kränkning eller fara som gärningen inneburit. Genom praxis har det för narkotikabrotten utvecklats ett annat sätt att göra straffvärdebedömningen på. I de målen har domstolar-na främst utgått från tre faktorer för att avgöra vilket straff en gärning ska få. Dessa faktorer är narkotikans art, mängd och övriga omständigheter och tyngdpunkten har legat på de två förstnämnda.

För... (More)
När domstolar beslutar om vilket straff en gärningsman ska få för ett visst brott måste de först bedöma brottets straffvärde. En grundläggande ideologi i det svenska straffsystemet är att straffet ska stå i proportion till brottets svårighetsgrad. Vid beaktandet av straffvärdet ska rättstillämparna enligt 29 kap. 1 § BrB bland annat ta hänsyn till den skada, kränkning eller fara som gärningen inneburit. Genom praxis har det för narkotikabrotten utvecklats ett annat sätt att göra straffvärdebedömningen på. I de målen har domstolar-na främst utgått från tre faktorer för att avgöra vilket straff en gärning ska få. Dessa faktorer är narkotikans art, mängd och övriga omständigheter och tyngdpunkten har legat på de två förstnämnda.

För bedömningen av artens och mängdens betydelse för straffvärdet använ-der domstolarna sedan många år tillbaka ett schematiskt tillvägagångssätt. I syfte att nå en enhetlig praxis för narkotikabrott har det sammanställts tabel-ler för olika narkotiska preparat där en viss mängd narkotika gett ett visst straffvärde. Dessa tabeller har bland svenska domstolar kommit att användas i mycket hög utsträckning. Användandet av tabellerna är dock inte oproblematiskt. Bland annat har det kommit att kritiseras för att det innebär att straffvärdebedömningen inte blir tillräckligt differentierad. Dessutom medför tabellerna och deras utformning att straffen för narkotikabrott generellt är mycket stränga och resulterar i att den övre delen av straffskalan använts frekvent.

I juni 2011 meddelade HD en dom, NJA 2011 s. 357, som berörde hur straffvärdebedömningen för narkotikabrott bör gå till. I målet sänkte HD straffen från HovR:s 14 års fängelse till fyra års fängelse för de båda tillta-lade. Domen spåddes i efterhand få stora konsekvenser för domstolarnas framtida praxis. I domen diskuterades användningen av tabellerna och det lyftes fram att en alltför schematisk tillämpning kan medföra skillnader i straffvärdebedömningen som är anmärkningsvärda. HD menade till exempel att tabellerna som de är utformade idag inte överensstämmer med de farlig-hetsbedömningar som domstolen tidigare gjort av olika narkotiska preparat. Vidare skrev domstolen att tabellernas inflytande vid bedömningen av den grova narkotikabrottsligheten borde minska och istället borde större fokus ligga på den tredje faktorn, övriga omständigheter. Dessa åsikter har yttrats tidigare, både i förarbeten till NSL och i rättsfall från HD. Trots detta har de inte fått särskilt stor genomslagskraft utan domstolarna har fortsatt att främst beakta arten och mängden.

Frågan är vilka efterverkningar NJA 2011 s. 357 kommer att få för straff-värdebedömningarna i narkotikamål. I rättsfallsstudien i kapitel 5 visas att domen redan har fått omfattande konsekvenser. Studien åskådliggör att praxis har förändrats såtillvida att tabellerna inte längre tillmäts lika stor vikt som före NJA 2011 s. 357. Övriga omständigheter och då i synnerhet orga-nisationsgraden, har blivit mer avgörande vid bedömningen. Detta har med-fört att strafftiderna överlag har förkortats eftersom de övre delarna av straffskalan ska vara förbehållna den allra allvarligaste organiserade narko-tikabrottsligheten.

En sådan omvälvande förändring av praxis medför ur en rättssäkerhetssyn-punkt viss problematik. Det är i nuläget svårt att förutse hur långa straff ett visst narkotikabrott ska ge. Detta gäller i synnerhet för de narkotiska prepa-raten ecstasy och amfetamin samt med dem jämställda nyare preparat. Mot bakgrund av detta är det angeläget att HD fortsätter att meddela prövnings-tillstånd för att därigenom klarlägga rättsläget. (Less)
Abstract
When a court decides on what punishment an offender should acquire for a certain crime they must first assess the penal value of the crime. In Swedish penal law a basic ideology is that the punishment should be proportionate to the penal value of the crime. While assessing the penal value the court must consider the damage, wrong or danger occasioned by the criminal act. Through case law regarding drug offences a different way of assessing the penal value has been established. In those cases the courts have primarily regarded three factors when determining which punishment a criminal act should bring. The regarded factors are the kind of narcotics used, the quanti-ty of narcotics and other circumstances. Emphasis has mainly been put on the... (More)
When a court decides on what punishment an offender should acquire for a certain crime they must first assess the penal value of the crime. In Swedish penal law a basic ideology is that the punishment should be proportionate to the penal value of the crime. While assessing the penal value the court must consider the damage, wrong or danger occasioned by the criminal act. Through case law regarding drug offences a different way of assessing the penal value has been established. In those cases the courts have primarily regarded three factors when determining which punishment a criminal act should bring. The regarded factors are the kind of narcotics used, the quanti-ty of narcotics and other circumstances. Emphasis has mainly been put on the kind of narcotic and the quantity.

While assessing the penal value the courts use a schematic approach. With the purpose of reaching a consistent sentencing for drug offences, different charts have been compiled for different narcotics where a certain amount lead to a certain penal value. These charts are to a great extension used among Swedish courts. The schematic approach could however be proble-matic. Critique against the use of charts includes that the assessment of pen-al value is not sufficiently differentiated. The way the charts are used and designed, generally results in very severe punishments for drug offences where the upper parts of the range of punishments are frequently applied.

In June of 2011 the Supreme Court passed a judgment, NJA 2011 p. 357, which concerned how the assessment of penal value for drug offences should be carried out. In the case the Supreme Court reduced the sentence from fourteen years imprisonment to four years. The judgment was after-wards said to have consequences for the courts’ future case law. The Su-preme Court discussed, among other things, the use of charts. It was said that a schematic approach could result in remarkable differences in the as-sessment of penal value. The Supreme Court also noted that the charts are not compatible with how the Court has assessed the danger of different nar-cotics in other cases. Therefore, the use of charts in cases of grave narcotics offences should be limited, with focus instead on the third factor, other cir-cumstances. The opinion of the Supreme Court has been delivered before, in both legislative history for the act (1968:64) on penal law on narcotics, as well as in earlier case law from the Supreme Court. Despite this, the influ-ence of these earlier opinions has been minor and the courts have continued on primarily considering the kind and the quantity of narcotics.

The question is which consequences NJA 2011 p. 357 will have on the as-sessment of penal value in drug offences. In the case study in chapter 5 it is shown that the judgment has already had a major effect. The study visualiz-es that the assessment has changed in regards that the charts are not being used to the same extent as prior to NJA 2011 p. 357. Other circumstances, mainly the degree of organization, are predominantly considered in the as-sessment. Since the upper parts of the range of punishments should be used for the most serious organized crimes, it has resulted in that the length of the sentences generally has been shortened.

From a perspective of rule of law, such a revolutionizing change of case law could be considered problematic. It is today hard to predict how long pu-nishments a certain drug offence should result in. This is particularly relevant regarding the narcotics ecstasy and amphetamine as well as newer narcotics that are alike these. Given this, it is pressing that the Supreme Court continues to leave to appeal, cases concerning drug offences, to clarify the legal position. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Heidenblad, Maria LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
A revolutionizing judgment and its immediate aftermath - a study of penal value in cases concerning narcotics
course
JURM02 20112
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Straffrätt, Narkotika, Straffvärdebedömning
language
Swedish
id
2292788
date added to LUP
2012-02-16 15:09:20
date last changed
2012-02-16 15:09:20
@misc{2292788,
  abstract     = {When a court decides on what punishment an offender should acquire for a certain crime they must first assess the penal value of the crime. In Swedish penal law a basic ideology is that the punishment should be proportionate to the penal value of the crime. While assessing the penal value the court must consider the damage, wrong or danger occasioned by the criminal act. Through case law regarding drug offences a different way of assessing the penal value has been established. In those cases the courts have primarily regarded three factors when determining which punishment a criminal act should bring. The regarded factors are the kind of narcotics used, the quanti-ty of narcotics and other circumstances. Emphasis has mainly been put on the kind of narcotic and the quantity.

While assessing the penal value the courts use a schematic approach. With the purpose of reaching a consistent sentencing for drug offences, different charts have been compiled for different narcotics where a certain amount lead to a certain penal value. These charts are to a great extension used among Swedish courts. The schematic approach could however be proble-matic. Critique against the use of charts includes that the assessment of pen-al value is not sufficiently differentiated. The way the charts are used and designed, generally results in very severe punishments for drug offences where the upper parts of the range of punishments are frequently applied.

In June of 2011 the Supreme Court passed a judgment, NJA 2011 p. 357, which concerned how the assessment of penal value for drug offences should be carried out. In the case the Supreme Court reduced the sentence from fourteen years imprisonment to four years. The judgment was after-wards said to have consequences for the courts’ future case law. The Su-preme Court discussed, among other things, the use of charts. It was said that a schematic approach could result in remarkable differences in the as-sessment of penal value. The Supreme Court also noted that the charts are not compatible with how the Court has assessed the danger of different nar-cotics in other cases. Therefore, the use of charts in cases of grave narcotics offences should be limited, with focus instead on the third factor, other cir-cumstances. The opinion of the Supreme Court has been delivered before, in both legislative history for the act (1968:64) on penal law on narcotics, as well as in earlier case law from the Supreme Court. Despite this, the influ-ence of these earlier opinions has been minor and the courts have continued on primarily considering the kind and the quantity of narcotics.

The question is which consequences NJA 2011 p. 357 will have on the as-sessment of penal value in drug offences. In the case study in chapter 5 it is shown that the judgment has already had a major effect. The study visualiz-es that the assessment has changed in regards that the charts are not being used to the same extent as prior to NJA 2011 p. 357. Other circumstances, mainly the degree of organization, are predominantly considered in the as-sessment. Since the upper parts of the range of punishments should be used for the most serious organized crimes, it has resulted in that the length of the sentences generally has been shortened.

From a perspective of rule of law, such a revolutionizing change of case law could be considered problematic. It is today hard to predict how long pu-nishments a certain drug offence should result in. This is particularly relevant regarding the narcotics ecstasy and amphetamine as well as newer narcotics that are alike these. Given this, it is pressing that the Supreme Court continues to leave to appeal, cases concerning drug offences, to clarify the legal position.},
  author       = {Heidenblad, Maria},
  keyword      = {Straffrätt,Narkotika,Straffvärdebedömning},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {En omvälvande dom och dess omedelbara efterverkningar - en studie av straffvärdebedömningen i narkotikamål},
  year         = {2012},
}