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Straffansvar för juridiska personer i svensk och engelsk rätt

Seemann, Fredrik LU (2012) JURM02 20122
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Detta examensarbete består av en kritisk komparativ studie av olika modeller för juridiska personers straffansvar i svensk och engelsk rätt. Från tidigt 1800-tal till dags dato går det att skönja tre olika grundmodeller för sådant ansvar: vikarierande straffansvar, identifikationsdoktrinen, samt objektivt straffansvar.

Engelsk rätt har i olika tider tillämpat de första två. Sedan ikraftträdandet av Corporate Manslaughter Act 2007 har man även börjat tillämpa ett självständigt objektivt ansvar för juridiska personer. Den svenska rättsordningen är mer konservativt inställd till straffansvar: endast individer kan begå brott. Därmed erkänns än idag inte renodlat straffansvar för juridiska personer i svensk rätt. Sedan 1986 kan dock... (More)
Detta examensarbete består av en kritisk komparativ studie av olika modeller för juridiska personers straffansvar i svensk och engelsk rätt. Från tidigt 1800-tal till dags dato går det att skönja tre olika grundmodeller för sådant ansvar: vikarierande straffansvar, identifikationsdoktrinen, samt objektivt straffansvar.

Engelsk rätt har i olika tider tillämpat de första två. Sedan ikraftträdandet av Corporate Manslaughter Act 2007 har man även börjat tillämpa ett självständigt objektivt ansvar för juridiska personer. Den svenska rättsordningen är mer konservativt inställd till straffansvar: endast individer kan begå brott. Därmed erkänns än idag inte renodlat straffansvar för juridiska personer i svensk rätt. Sedan 1986 kan dock juridiska personer åläggas en sk. företagsbot för brott som begåtts i dess näringsverksamhet. Företagsboten kan dock i allt väsentligt likställas med en rent straffrättslig sanktion, men dess teoretiska byggstenar vilar i vissa mån på oklar grund. I olika delar uppvisar den likheter med såväl vikarierande som objektivt straffansvar, liksom med ledande befattningshavares identifikation som den juridiska personen själv.

Företagsboten har sedan sin senaste reformrunda kommit att tillämpas mycket frekvent. Corporate Manslaughter Act 2007 har hittills endast lett till fällande dom i tre fall. Betyder detta att den svenska modellen bör ses som en framgång, och den engelska som ett misslyckande? Som arbetet visar är detta inte nödvändigtvis fallet.

Arbetets jämförelse lägger särskild tyngdpunkt på företagsstyrning som bedömningsgrund för straffansvar. Denna faktor är av yttersta vikt i all lagstiftning som söker komma till rätta med brott i näringsverksamhet: sättet som företag styrs på är ju det närmaste man kommer till att identifiera den juridiska personens egna ”handlingar”. Lagstiftarna måste dock iaktta stor noggrannhet då de utformar brottsrekvisit baserade på företagsstyrning. Alla rättssubjekt som kan bli föremål för repressiva sanktioner från statens sida behöver förutsägbarhet i rättsliga angelägenheter, samt en rimlig chans att rätta sig efter gällande lagstiftning. Företagsboten förtjänar viss kritik i detta hänseende. Dess lagtekniska utformning har i någon mån lett till ojämn rättsskipning - oklarhet i teorin har således lett till oklarhet i praktiken.

Om lagstiftaren vill fortsätta rikta repressiva sanktioner mot företag borde bestämmelserna om företagsbot reformeras. Ansvarssubjektet bör i rättssäkerhetens namn också göras till gärningsman. Företagsbotens kärnrekvisit bör omformuleras från att baseras på underlåtenhet att förhindra annans brott till ett mer traditionellt kommissivdelikt likt det i Corporate Manslaughter Act 2007. Detta kräver dock ett fullt erkännande av juridiska personers straffansvar. (Less)
Abstract
This masters’ thesis consists of a critical comparative study of different concepts of corporate criminal liability under Swedish and English law. In the realm of corporate criminal liability, thee main strands of thought can be discerned from the early 19th century onwards: vicarious liability, the identification doctrine and organisational liability.

English law has applied the first two concepts in different times. Since the enactment of the Corporate Manslaughter Act 2007, it now also applies the concept of organisational liability. Swedish criminal law has been more conservative in this regard: only individuals are deemed capable of committing crimes. Thus, Swedish law does not acknowledge a pure notion of corporate criminal... (More)
This masters’ thesis consists of a critical comparative study of different concepts of corporate criminal liability under Swedish and English law. In the realm of corporate criminal liability, thee main strands of thought can be discerned from the early 19th century onwards: vicarious liability, the identification doctrine and organisational liability.

English law has applied the first two concepts in different times. Since the enactment of the Corporate Manslaughter Act 2007, it now also applies the concept of organisational liability. Swedish criminal law has been more conservative in this regard: only individuals are deemed capable of committing crimes. Thus, Swedish law does not acknowledge a pure notion of corporate criminal liability. Since 1986 however, corporations can be held liable to pay a ”corporate fine”, levied upon the establishment of criminal acts in their activities. In essence, imposition of such corporate fines are mostly comparable to establishing corporate criminal liability. The theoretical underpinnings of corporate fines are somewhat unclear. In different parts, its legal design bears resemblance to vicarious and organisational liability, as well as the identification doctrine.

Legislation concerning corporate fines has been applied frequently since its last round of reform. This stands in stark contrast the Corporate Manslaughter Act 2007, which has only led to three convictions so far. Does this mean that the Swedish model can be held as a success, and that the English model has failed? As this thesis shows, it is not necessarily so.

The thesis especially concerns itself with corporate management as a basis for assessment of corporate criminal liability. This factor is of great importance to any legislative attempt seeking to combat crime within corporations: this is because the ways in which an organisation manages its activities is as close as one can get to assessing the ”actions” of that organisation. However, lawmakers must take care when they draft such criminal elements into legislative form. Any entity capable of being subjected to repressive sanctions deserves an environment of legal certainty. From this viewpoint, the corporate fine system deserves some criticism. Its legal framing has led to somewhat uneven judicial application - theoretical uncertainty has led to practical uncertainty.


If the Swedish legislature wishes to keep directing repressive sanctions against corporations, it should consider additional reform to provisions on corporate fines. For reasons relating to legality and the rule of law, corporate fines legislation should be aligned so that corporations are deemed to be offenders in addition to their status as liable entities. The key corporate management provision should be redrafted from its present day form of an omission based negligence to prevent crime, into a commissive form reminiscent of key provisions in the Corporate Manslaughter Act 2007. This would require full acceptance of the notion corporate criminal liability. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Seemann, Fredrik LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Corporate Criminal Liability under Swedish and English Law
course
JURM02 20122
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Straffrätt, Straffansvar, Juridiska personer, Företagsbot, Corporate Manslaughter
language
Swedish
id
3350465
date added to LUP
2013-01-28 13:07:30
date last changed
2013-01-28 13:07:30
@misc{3350465,
  abstract     = {This masters’ thesis consists of a critical comparative study of different concepts of corporate criminal liability under Swedish and English law. In the realm of corporate criminal liability, thee main strands of thought can be discerned from the early 19th century onwards: vicarious liability, the identification doctrine and organisational liability. 

English law has applied the first two concepts in different times. Since the enactment of the Corporate Manslaughter Act 2007, it now also applies the concept of organisational liability. Swedish criminal law has been more conservative in this regard: only individuals are deemed capable of committing crimes. Thus, Swedish law does not acknowledge a pure notion of corporate criminal liability. Since 1986 however, corporations can be held liable to pay a ”corporate fine”, levied upon the establishment of criminal acts in their activities. In essence, imposition of such corporate fines are mostly comparable to establishing corporate criminal liability. The theoretical underpinnings of corporate fines are somewhat unclear. In different parts, its legal design bears resemblance to vicarious and organisational liability, as well as the identification doctrine.

Legislation concerning corporate fines has been applied frequently since its last round of reform. This stands in stark contrast the Corporate Manslaughter Act 2007, which has only led to three convictions so far. Does this mean that the Swedish model can be held as a success, and that the English model has failed? As this thesis shows, it is not necessarily so.

The thesis especially concerns itself with corporate management as a basis for assessment of corporate criminal liability. This factor is of great importance to any legislative attempt seeking to combat crime within corporations: this is because the ways in which an organisation manages its activities is as close as one can get to assessing the ”actions” of that organisation. However, lawmakers must take care when they draft such criminal elements into legislative form. Any entity capable of being subjected to repressive sanctions deserves an environment of legal certainty. From this viewpoint, the corporate fine system deserves some criticism. Its legal framing has led to somewhat uneven judicial application - theoretical uncertainty has led to practical uncertainty.


If the Swedish legislature wishes to keep directing repressive sanctions against corporations, it should consider additional reform to provisions on corporate fines. For reasons relating to legality and the rule of law, corporate fines legislation should be aligned so that corporations are deemed to be offenders in addition to their status as liable entities. The key corporate management provision should be redrafted from its present day form of an omission based negligence to prevent crime, into a commissive form reminiscent of key provisions in the Corporate Manslaughter Act 2007. This would require full acceptance of the notion corporate criminal liability.},
  author       = {Seemann, Fredrik},
  keyword      = {Straffrätt,Straffansvar,Juridiska personer,Företagsbot,Corporate Manslaughter},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Straffansvar för juridiska personer i svensk och engelsk rätt},
  year         = {2012},
}