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Att lägga ett pussel - om bevisningen i indiciemål

Carlquist, Caroline LU (2012) JURM02 20112
Department of Law
Abstract
In this essay the judgements of the courts of law regarding circumstantial evidence, both in cases of convictions and in verdicts of acquittal, are analysed. The purpose of this thesis is to investigate and elucidate the strength of circumstantial evidence in relation to the requirement of beyond reasonable doubt. An ambitious evidential requirement for a conviction in criminal cases is one of the most important requirements for the Swedish rule of law.

To fulfil the purpose of this thesis, it is important to define the meaning of the terms item of circumstantial evidence and structural evidence. In the legal doctrine, circumstantial evidence is defined as indirect traces of the criminal act. For example motives, threats or subsequent... (More)
In this essay the judgements of the courts of law regarding circumstantial evidence, both in cases of convictions and in verdicts of acquittal, are analysed. The purpose of this thesis is to investigate and elucidate the strength of circumstantial evidence in relation to the requirement of beyond reasonable doubt. An ambitious evidential requirement for a conviction in criminal cases is one of the most important requirements for the Swedish rule of law.

To fulfil the purpose of this thesis, it is important to define the meaning of the terms item of circumstantial evidence and structural evidence. In the legal doctrine, circumstantial evidence is defined as indirect traces of the criminal act. For example motives, threats or subsequent actions. An item of circumstantial evidence alone can not proof or disproof a factum probandum but it can serve as a value of evidence, either for or against the factum probandum, provided that it is attributable to the structure of the evidence. Consequently the purpose of structural evidence is to depict the circumstances that altogether form a structure, which make the factum
probandum explainable and comprehensible.

Considering the statements of the courts of law in the eight selected cases, a number of general implications regarding circumstantial evidence can be concluded. In the case NJA 1991 p. 56 the Supreme Court stated that only in exceptional cases, a conviction can be based solely on the negative circumstance that the investigation does not appear to provide room for an alternative offender. In addition to this, it requires at least supportive evidence that elucidate the essential parts of the course of events and positively incriminates the prosecuted to the crime. This statement has gained great importance to the courts assessment of circumstantial evidence.

In the case study, both weaknesses and strengths of the circumstantial evidence have been distinguished. A comparison of the cases that resulted in a conviction and in an acquittal apparently shows what kind of requirements is needed to classify a defendant's guilt as beyond reasonable doubt. A prominent weakness of the cases in which the courts of the final instances have dismissed the charges, is that the investigations shows substantial weaknesses. Reasonably, this leads to higher requirements on the circumstantial evidence. A conviction based solely on hypotheses is not consistent with the former Justice of the Supreme Court Gregow's statement regarding the standard of proof in criminal cases, the fact that it practically needs to be ruled out that the defendant is innocent. In those cases where the courts of the final instances have convicted the defendant, the lack of shortages in the investigations and presence of several circumstantial evidence with a high value of proof has led to the conclusion that alternative perpetrators have been ruled out. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
I framställningen studeras rättstillämparens bedömning av indiciebevisning i praktiken, vid såväl friande som fällande domar. Syftet med examensarbetet är att utreda och klarlägga bevisningens styrka i indiciemål i förhållande till beviskravet ställt bortom rimligt tvivel. Ett högt ställt beviskrav för en fällande dom i brottmål är ett av de viktigaste kraven för rättssäkerheten i Sverige.

För att uppfylla syftet är det betydelsefullt att bestämma betydelsen av begreppen indicium och struktural bevisning. I den juridiska doktrinen definieras indicier som indirekta spår av den brottsliga gärningen. Exempel på sådan bevisning är motiv, hotelser eller efterföljande handlande. Ett indicium kan inte ensamt bevisa eller motbevisa ett... (More)
I framställningen studeras rättstillämparens bedömning av indiciebevisning i praktiken, vid såväl friande som fällande domar. Syftet med examensarbetet är att utreda och klarlägga bevisningens styrka i indiciemål i förhållande till beviskravet ställt bortom rimligt tvivel. Ett högt ställt beviskrav för en fällande dom i brottmål är ett av de viktigaste kraven för rättssäkerheten i Sverige.

För att uppfylla syftet är det betydelsefullt att bestämma betydelsen av begreppen indicium och struktural bevisning. I den juridiska doktrinen definieras indicier som indirekta spår av den brottsliga gärningen. Exempel på sådan bevisning är motiv, hotelser eller efterföljande handlande. Ett indicium kan inte ensamt bevisa eller motbevisa ett bevistema men däremot ha bevisvärde för eller emot detsamma, förutsatt att det är hänförligt till en bevisstruktur. Den strukturala bevisningens syfte är således att visa upp en bild av kringomständigheter som tillsammans bildar en struktur, vilken gör bevistemat förklarligt och förståeligt.

Med beaktande av domstolarnas uttalanden i de åtta utvalda rättsfallen har ett antal generella slutsatser vad gäller indiciebevisning kunnat dras. I rättsfallet NJA 1991 s. 56 uttalade HD att det endast i undantagsfall kan komma ifråga att grunda en fällande dom enbart på den negativa omständigheten att utredningen inte synes ge utrymme för någon alternativ gärningsman. Som regel måste härutöver krävas åtminstone stödjande bevisning som klargör de väsentliga delarna av händelseförloppet och positivt knyter just den tilltalade vid brottet. Uttalandet har fått stor betydelse för domstolarnas bedömning av indiciebevisningen.

Vid rättsfallsstudien urskiljs såväl indiciebevisningens svagheter som styrkor. Vid jämförelsen av de domar som blivit friande respektive fällande har det i stor utsträckning framgått vad som krävs för att den tilltalades skuld skall vara ställd bortom rimligt tvivel i ett indiciemål. En framträdande svaghet i de rättsfallen där domstolarna i sista instans har meddelat friande domar är att det i väsentliga avseenden har funnits luckor i utredningarna. Rimligtvis har detta inneburit att kraven på den övriga indiciebevisningen blivit högre. En fällande dom enbart grundad på hypoteser är inte heller förenlig med förra justitierådet Gregows formulering av beviskravet i brottmål, att det praktiskt sett skall framstå som uteslutet att den åtalade är oskyldig. I de rättsfallen där domstolarna har meddelat fällande domar i sista instans har avsaknaden av luckor i utredningarna samt förekomsten av flera indicier med högt bevisvärde medfört att även alternativa gärningsmän har kunnat uteslutas. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Carlquist, Caroline LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
A case study regarding circumstantial evidence
course
JURM02 20112
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
indiciemål, bevisning, indiciebevisning, beviskrav
language
Swedish
id
2292949
date added to LUP
2012-02-16 14:27:15
date last changed
2012-02-16 14:27:15
@misc{2292949,
  abstract     = {In this essay the judgements of the courts of law regarding circumstantial evidence, both in cases of convictions and in verdicts of acquittal, are analysed. The purpose of this thesis is to investigate and elucidate the strength of circumstantial evidence in relation to the requirement of beyond reasonable doubt. An ambitious evidential requirement for a conviction in criminal cases is one of the most important requirements for the Swedish rule of law.

To fulfil the purpose of this thesis, it is important to define the meaning of the terms item of circumstantial evidence and structural evidence. In the legal doctrine, circumstantial evidence is defined as indirect traces of the criminal act. For example motives, threats or subsequent actions. An item of circumstantial evidence alone can not proof or disproof a factum probandum but it can serve as a value of evidence, either for or against the factum probandum, provided that it is attributable to the structure of the evidence. Consequently the purpose of structural evidence is to depict the circumstances that altogether form a structure, which make the factum
probandum explainable and comprehensible.

Considering the statements of the courts of law in the eight selected cases, a number of general implications regarding circumstantial evidence can be concluded. In the case NJA 1991 p. 56 the Supreme Court stated that only in exceptional cases, a conviction can be based solely on the negative circumstance that the investigation does not appear to provide room for an alternative offender. In addition to this, it requires at least supportive evidence that elucidate the essential parts of the course of events and positively incriminates the prosecuted to the crime. This statement has gained great importance to the courts assessment of circumstantial evidence.

In the case study, both weaknesses and strengths of the circumstantial evidence have been distinguished. A comparison of the cases that resulted in a conviction and in an acquittal apparently shows what kind of requirements is needed to classify a defendant's guilt as beyond reasonable doubt. A prominent weakness of the cases in which the courts of the final instances have dismissed the charges, is that the investigations shows substantial weaknesses. Reasonably, this leads to higher requirements on the circumstantial evidence. A conviction based solely on hypotheses is not consistent with the former Justice of the Supreme Court Gregow's statement regarding the standard of proof in criminal cases, the fact that it practically needs to be ruled out that the defendant is innocent. In those cases where the courts of the final instances have convicted the defendant, the lack of shortages in the investigations and presence of several circumstantial evidence with a high value of proof has led to the conclusion that alternative perpetrators have been ruled out.},
  author       = {Carlquist, Caroline},
  keyword      = {indiciemål,bevisning,indiciebevisning,beviskrav},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Att lägga ett pussel - om bevisningen i indiciemål},
  year         = {2012},
}