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Medlingens betydelse vid beslut om åtalsunderlåtelse - En undersökning om medling vid brott avseende unga lagöverträdare och åklagares inställning till medling vid bedömningen av en eventuell åtalsunderlåtelse

Dahan, Deborah LU (2012) JURM02 20122
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Denna uppsats behandlar medling vid brott, samt åtalsunderlåtelseinstitutet avseende unga lagöverträdare, som regleras i 17§ i lagen (1964:167) med särskilda bestämmelser om unga lagöverträdare (LUL). Mitt huvudsakliga syfte är att genom en kvalitativ undersökning försöka utröna i hur stor omfattning och på vilket sätt som medlingsinstitutet påverkar åklagarnas val att meddela åtalsunderlåtelse inom ramen för LUL:s bestämmelser. Därmed är det främst åldersgruppen 15-17 år som kommer att beröras då det endast är de som omfattas av 17§ LUL. Medling vid brott tog sin början i Sverige för mer än 20 år sedan, och står än idag under utveckling. Medlingsinstitutets rättsliga ställning skiljer sig åt länder emellan. I Sverige ses medling som ett... (More)
Denna uppsats behandlar medling vid brott, samt åtalsunderlåtelseinstitutet avseende unga lagöverträdare, som regleras i 17§ i lagen (1964:167) med särskilda bestämmelser om unga lagöverträdare (LUL). Mitt huvudsakliga syfte är att genom en kvalitativ undersökning försöka utröna i hur stor omfattning och på vilket sätt som medlingsinstitutet påverkar åklagarnas val att meddela åtalsunderlåtelse inom ramen för LUL:s bestämmelser. Därmed är det främst åldersgruppen 15-17 år som kommer att beröras då det endast är de som omfattas av 17§ LUL. Medling vid brott tog sin början i Sverige för mer än 20 år sedan, och står än idag under utveckling. Medlingsinstitutets rättsliga ställning skiljer sig åt länder emellan. I Sverige ses medling som ett komplement till vårt rådande rättssystem, och ersätter inte polisutredning eller en eventuell domstolsförhandling. Det svenska medlingsinstitutet skiljer sig därmed från t.ex. Norge, där medling istället ses som ett alternativ till den sedvanliga rättsprocessen.

Den svenska traditionella straffrättsprocessen bygger på retributiv och bestraffande rättvisa där brottet i första hand ses som ett angrepp mot staten och lagen. Till skillnad från detta bygger medlingsförfarandet på den reparativa rättvisan. Medlingsförfarandet går ut på att gärningsperson och brottsoffer möts inför en opartisk medlare med anledning av att brott har begåtts för att tala om brottshändelsen. Det reparativa tar sig uttryck i att medlingsförfarandet strävar efter upprättelse. Det är parterna själva som ska lösa konflikten, och ett brott ses snarare som en kränkning mot människor och relationer än mot staten. Parterna ska tillsammans försöka reparera den uppkomna skadan och sträva efter försoning. Det huvudsakliga syftet med förfarandet är att det för gärnings- personen ska leda till insikt kring vilka konsekvenser dennes brottsliga handlande har orsakat. Avseende brottsoffret ska denne ges möjlighet att bearbeta sina upplevelser för att minska de negativa följderna av brottet. Det finns både svensk och internationell forskning som visar på att den unge lagöverträdarens deltagande i medling kan resultera i en minskad risk att återfalla i brott. För att medling ska kunna initieras måste den unge gärnings- personen ha erkänt brottet eller åtminstone delaktighet. Medlingsförfarandet bygger också på fullständig frivillighet, och båda parter måste samtycka till ett deltagande för att medling ska aktualiseras. Idag regleras förfarandet i Sverige genom lagen (2002:445) om medling med anledning av brott som trädde ikraft år 2002.

Unga lagöverträdare särbehandlas inom det svenska straffrättssystemet genom att de behandlas på ett mildare sätt än vuxna. Unga som begår brott ska så långt som möjligt hållas utanför kriminalvården. Istället ska de hanteras av socialtjänstens brottsförebyggande insatser för att bemöta de ungas handlande med sådana reaktioner som är anpassade efter deras behov av hjälp och stöd. Från och med den 1 januari 2008 är det enligt lag obligatoriskt för Sveriges kommuner att kunna erbjuda medling till alla unga lagöverträdare under 21 år, och det är socialtjänsten i respektive kommun som har ansvar för att medling erbjuds. De unga lagöverträdarnas särbehandling inom rättssystemet tar sig uttryck i särskilda förfarande- och påföljdsbestämmelser, och en sådan är 17§ LUL som reglerar åklagarnas möjlighet till åtalsunderlåtelse avseende unga i 15-17 års ålder. Åtalsunderlåtelse är ett lagföringsbeslut och ett avsteg från den annars rådande absoluta åtalsplikten. Åtalsunderlåtelse innebär att åklagaren av olika anledningar väljer att inte väcka åtal för ett begånget brott, trots att det är klarlagt att personen ifråga är skyldig. I och med 17§ LUL har åklagaren större möjlighet att meddela ett sådant beslut avseende unga lagöverträdare mellan 15-17 år än för vuxna. År 2007 infördes ett tillägg i 17§ tredje stycket LUL som innebär att åklagarna vid sin bedömning av om huruvida en åtalsunderlåtelse ska meddelas eller inte särskilt ska beakta om den unge visat en god vilja att medverka till att medling enligt medlingslagen kommer till stånd. Detta tillägg var ett sätt för regeringen att förtydliga medlingens ställning i det svenska rättssystemet.

Initialt är det polisen eller socialtjänsten som har det övergripande ansvaret att tillfråga de unga lagöverträdarna om intresset för medling. Enligt en undersökning som företagits av Socialstyrelsen har det dock visat sig att myndigheterna i landet brister i sitt ansvar då alla ungdomar som ska bli tillfrågade om medling inte blir det. Det har också visat sig att kommunernas arbete kring medling skiljer sig avsevärt åt. Nationella undersökningar, och även min egen kvalitativa undersökning bland ungdomsåklagarna i Malmö stad, har visat att medling i viss mån kan vara en faktor som påverkar åklagarnas beslut i åtalsfrågan. Ett deltagande i medling har även visat sig kunna få betydelse vid domstolarnas straffmätning och påföljdsval. Med andra ord kan medling få en effekt på rättsliga beslut genom att den unge visar ånger och en vilja att ställa till rätta. Möjligheten att delta i medling är en lagstadgad rättighet för alla unga lagöverträdare. Om samtliga ungdomar inte får denna chans, bör detta med hänsyn till ovan nämnda betraktas som ett rättssäkerhetsproblem.

Det rådande straffrättssystemet bygger på viktiga rättsprinciper så som förutsebarhet, konsekvens och likabehandling, vilka ska tillgodoses för att upprätthålla kravet på rättssäkerhet. Det är klarlagt att alla ungdomar som omfattas av 17§ LUL inte blir tillfrågade om medlingsintresset. Dessa ungdomar får alltså inte lika stor möjlighet att påverka sin rättsliga utgång. Detta föranleder enligt min mening ett rättsosäkert läge eftersom lagföringen kan skilja sig åt utan information om medlingsintresset. Det är stor skillnad mellan att bli lagförd genom ett åtalsunderlåtelsebeslut, och att bli åtalad och dömd. Mina slutsatser är, i enlighet med vad tidigare forskning visat, att ett deltagande i medling kan leda till en reducering av de negativa effekterna som ett brott medför för brottsoffer och gärningsperson. Ett deltagande i medling kan således vara betydelsefullt för båda parter, och därför är det enligt mig viktigt att alla ungdomar också får denna möjlighet. En positiv inställning till en eventuell medling och ett deltagande i medling har enligt min undersökning och mina slutsatser i viss mån visat sig kunna leda till att åklagaren väljer att meddela åtalsunderlåtelse för det begångna brottet. Dock inte i så stor utsträckning som lagstiftarens bakomliggande intentioner förmodligen varit. Trots detta kan medling i själva verket ändå påverka åtalsfrågan på så sätt att åklagaren kan välja att inte väcka åtal, och eftersom alla unga gärningspersoner inte blir tillfrågade om medlingsintresset och därmed inte får en jämlik möjlighet, kan kravet på rättssäkerhet inte anses vara uppfyllt i detta hänseende. (Less)
Abstract
This essay addresses victim-offender mediation and the institution of abstention from prosecution with regard to young offenders. Focus will be on Section 17 of the Young Offenders (Special Provisions) Act (LUL - 1964:167), as my primary aim is to ascertain, by means of a qualitative investigation, to what extent and in what ways the Swedish National Mediation Office influences a prosecutor's decision to invoke abstention of prosecution within the framework of the LUL's provisions. It is therefore primarily the 15-17 age group who are affected as they are the only ones encompassed by Section 17 of the LUL. The legal status of mediation offices differs from country to country. In Sweden, mediation is seen as a complement to our existing... (More)
This essay addresses victim-offender mediation and the institution of abstention from prosecution with regard to young offenders. Focus will be on Section 17 of the Young Offenders (Special Provisions) Act (LUL - 1964:167), as my primary aim is to ascertain, by means of a qualitative investigation, to what extent and in what ways the Swedish National Mediation Office influences a prosecutor's decision to invoke abstention of prosecution within the framework of the LUL's provisions. It is therefore primarily the 15-17 age group who are affected as they are the only ones encompassed by Section 17 of the LUL. The legal status of mediation offices differs from country to country. In Sweden, mediation is seen as a complement to our existing legal system and thereby does not replace police investigation or a prospective court hearing.

In contrast to the customary Swedish penal law process, which is based on retributive and punishable justice where crime is seen firstly as an attack against the State and its laws, mediation represents the restorative approach. The mediation procedure involves an offender and the victim of the crime meeting before an impartial mediator, with the pretext that a crime has been committed, in order to talk about the incident. The primary purpose of the procedure is to give the offender insight in terms of the consequences of their criminal behaviour. The benefit for the victim is that they are given the opportunity to process their experience and to obtain answers to questions, in order to reduce the negative effects of the crime. There is both Swedish and international research which demonstrates that the young offender's participation in mediation can result in a reduced propensity to relapse into crime in the future. The restorative element is expressed in the striving for redress of the mediation procedure. The difference to the retributive justice system is that it is up to the parties themselves to resolve the conflict, and a crime is seen more as a violation against people and relationships than against the State. The parties shall together attempt to repair the damage caused and strive towards reconciliation. For it to be possible to initiate mediation, the young offender must have confessed to the crime or at least participation in it. The mediation procedure is also carried out on an entirely voluntary basis, and for mediation to take place, both parties must consent to participation. The procedure is regulated in Sweden through the Mediation Act (2002:445).

Young people who commit crimes shall be kept outside of the correctional treatment system as far as possible. They are handled by the social service's preventive initiatives instead, in order to treat the actions of young people with the types of reactions that are adapted to their need for help and other support measures, and thereby prevent them from entering criminal patterns. Since 1 January 2008, Sweden's municipalities are obliged by law to offer mediation to all young offenders below 21 years of age, and it is the responsibility of social services in the respective municipalities to ensure that this is done. The special treatment of young offenders in the legal system manifests itself in particular provisions concerning procedures and sanctions, one of which is Section 17 of the LUL, which regulates the possibility for prosecutors to make a decision of abstention from prosecution. Abstention from prosecution is a decision concerning legal proceedings and is a departure from the absolute obligation to prosecute that otherwise prevails. Abstention from prosecution means that the prosecutor decides, for various reasons, not to institute a prosecution for a crime that was committed despite it having been ascertained that the person in question is guilty. Section 17 of the LUL gives prosecutors greater power to invoke such a decision in relation to young offenders between 15-17 years of age than for adults. In 2007 an amendment was made to Section 17, third paragraph of the LUL which means that in a prosecutor's assessment of whether or not an abstention from prosecution shall be invoked, special consideration shall be taken to whether the young person demonstrated a strong willingness to cooperate in the arrangement of mediation in accordance with the Mediation Act. This amendment was a way for the Government to clarify the standing of mediation in the Swedish legal system.

It is initially the police or social services that have the overall responsibility to ask the young offenders about their interest in mediation. However, according to investigations undertaken by the National Board of Health and Welfare, among others, it was evident that Swedish authorities were failing in their responsibility to question all young people about mediation. It was also revealed that the work of municipalities with regard to mediation differs considerably. National investigations, including my own qualitative investigation of juvenile prosecutors in the City of Malmö, have demonstrated that mediation can, to a certain extent, be a determining factor in the prosecutor's decision to commence a prosecution or not. Participation in mediation can also have significance in other legal regards as a mitigating circumstance, such as when the courts mete out a punishment and the choice of sanction. As the opportunity to participate in mediation is a statutory right for all young offenders and can affect legal rulings by means of the young person demonstrating regret and a desire to rectify matters, it should be regarded as a legal security issue that not everybody is offered this chance. The existing penal law system is based on important legal principles such as predictability, consistency and equal treatment, which must be satisfied in order to maintain the requirement for legal security. It has been established that not all young people who are encompassed by Section 17 of the LUL are being asked about their interest in mediation. Consequently, these young people are not given the same opportunities to affect their legal outcomes. I feel that this leads to a situation of legal insecurity, as the legal proceedings may take a different course if there is no information regarding interest in mediation. There is a major difference between the legal proceedings involving a decision for abstention from prosecution and being prosecuted and sentenced. The conclusions of this essay are that victim-offender mediation has been shown to reduce the negative effects of the crime for the victim whilst also leading to insight and reflection for the young offender with regard to their own criminal behaviour. Participation in mediation may therefore have significance for both parties, and for this reason I believe it is important that all young people are also given that opportunity. According to my investigation and conclusions, a positive attitude to prospective mediation and participation in mediation have to some extent proven to be determining factors in the prosecutor's decision to invoke abstention from prosecution for the crime that was committed, though perhaps not to the extent that the legislators' had intended. In spite of this, mediation can in reality affect the matter of prosecution, and since not all young offenders are questioned about their interest in mediation or given equal opportunity, the requirement for legal security cannot be considered to be satisfied in this regard. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Dahan, Deborah LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Mediation in juvenile criminal cases - An investigation of victim-offender mediation and how prosecutors view the attitudes of young people towards mediation during the assessment of a prospective abstention from prosecution.
course
JURM02 20122
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Unga lagöverträdare, Straffrätt, Medling vid brott, Åtalsunderlåtelse
language
Swedish
id
3349672
date added to LUP
2013-01-28 13:09:17
date last changed
2013-01-28 13:09:17
@misc{3349672,
  abstract     = {This essay addresses victim-offender mediation and the institution of abstention from prosecution with regard to young offenders. Focus will be on Section 17 of the Young Offenders (Special Provisions) Act (LUL - 1964:167), as my primary aim is to ascertain, by means of a qualitative investigation, to what extent and in what ways the Swedish National Mediation Office influences a prosecutor's decision to invoke abstention of prosecution within the framework of the LUL's provisions. It is therefore primarily the 15-17 age group who are affected as they are the only ones encompassed by Section 17 of the LUL. The legal status of mediation offices differs from country to country. In Sweden, mediation is seen as a complement to our existing legal system and thereby does not replace police investigation or a prospective court hearing. 

In contrast to the customary Swedish penal law process, which is based on retributive and punishable justice where crime is seen firstly as an attack against the State and its laws, mediation represents the restorative approach. The mediation procedure involves an offender and the victim of the crime meeting before an impartial mediator, with the pretext that a crime has been committed, in order to talk about the incident. The primary purpose of the procedure is to give the offender insight in terms of the consequences of their criminal behaviour. The benefit for the victim is that they are given the opportunity to process their experience and to obtain answers to questions, in order to reduce the negative effects of the crime. There is both Swedish and international research which demonstrates that the young offender's participation in mediation can result in a reduced propensity to relapse into crime in the future. The restorative element is expressed in the striving for redress of the mediation procedure. The difference to the retributive justice system is that it is up to the parties themselves to resolve the conflict, and a crime is seen more as a violation against people and relationships than against the State. The parties shall together attempt to repair the damage caused and strive towards reconciliation. For it to be possible to initiate mediation, the young offender must have confessed to the crime or at least participation in it. The mediation procedure is also carried out on an entirely voluntary basis, and for mediation to take place, both parties must consent to participation. The procedure is regulated in Sweden through the Mediation Act (2002:445).

Young people who commit crimes shall be kept outside of the correctional treatment system as far as possible. They are handled by the social service's preventive initiatives instead, in order to treat the actions of young people with the types of reactions that are adapted to their need for help and other support measures, and thereby prevent them from entering criminal patterns. Since 1 January 2008, Sweden's municipalities are obliged by law to offer mediation to all young offenders below 21 years of age, and it is the responsibility of social services in the respective municipalities to ensure that this is done. The special treatment of young offenders in the legal system manifests itself in particular provisions concerning procedures and sanctions, one of which is Section 17 of the LUL, which regulates the possibility for prosecutors to make a decision of abstention from prosecution. Abstention from prosecution is a decision concerning legal proceedings and is a departure from the absolute obligation to prosecute that otherwise prevails. Abstention from prosecution means that the prosecutor decides, for various reasons, not to institute a prosecution for a crime that was committed despite it having been ascertained that the person in question is guilty. Section 17 of the LUL gives prosecutors greater power to invoke such a decision in relation to young offenders between 15-17 years of age than for adults. In 2007 an amendment was made to Section 17, third paragraph of the LUL which means that in a prosecutor's assessment of whether or not an abstention from prosecution shall be invoked, special consideration shall be taken to whether the young person demonstrated a strong willingness to cooperate in the arrangement of mediation in accordance with the Mediation Act. This amendment was a way for the Government to clarify the standing of mediation in the Swedish legal system.

It is initially the police or social services that have the overall responsibility to ask the young offenders about their interest in mediation. However, according to investigations undertaken by the National Board of Health and Welfare, among others, it was evident that Swedish authorities were failing in their responsibility to question all young people about mediation. It was also revealed that the work of municipalities with regard to mediation differs considerably. National investigations, including my own qualitative investigation of juvenile prosecutors in the City of Malmö, have demonstrated that mediation can, to a certain extent, be a determining factor in the prosecutor's decision to commence a prosecution or not. Participation in mediation can also have significance in other legal regards as a mitigating circumstance, such as when the courts mete out a punishment and the choice of sanction. As the opportunity to participate in mediation is a statutory right for all young offenders and can affect legal rulings by means of the young person demonstrating regret and a desire to rectify matters, it should be regarded as a legal security issue that not everybody is offered this chance. The existing penal law system is based on important legal principles such as predictability, consistency and equal treatment, which must be satisfied in order to maintain the requirement for legal security. It has been established that not all young people who are encompassed by Section 17 of the LUL are being asked about their interest in mediation. Consequently, these young people are not given the same opportunities to affect their legal outcomes. I feel that this leads to a situation of legal insecurity, as the legal proceedings may take a different course if there is no information regarding interest in mediation. There is a major difference between the legal proceedings involving a decision for abstention from prosecution and being prosecuted and sentenced. The conclusions of this essay are that victim-offender mediation has been shown to reduce the negative effects of the crime for the victim whilst also leading to insight and reflection for the young offender with regard to their own criminal behaviour. Participation in mediation may therefore have significance for both parties, and for this reason I believe it is important that all young people are also given that opportunity. According to my investigation and conclusions, a positive attitude to prospective mediation and participation in mediation have to some extent proven to be determining factors in the prosecutor's decision to invoke abstention from prosecution for the crime that was committed, though perhaps not to the extent that the legislators' had intended. In spite of this, mediation can in reality affect the matter of prosecution, and since not all young offenders are questioned about their interest in mediation or given equal opportunity, the requirement for legal security cannot be considered to be satisfied in this regard.},
  author       = {Dahan, Deborah},
  keyword      = {Unga lagöverträdare,Straffrätt,Medling vid brott,Åtalsunderlåtelse},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Medlingens betydelse vid beslut om åtalsunderlåtelse - En undersökning om medling vid brott avseende unga lagöverträdare och åklagares inställning till medling vid bedömningen av en eventuell åtalsunderlåtelse},
  year         = {2012},
}