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Hatbrott och heteronormativitet - En granskning av homo- och bifobiska motiv i straffvärdebedömningar

Ivarsson, Cecilia LU (2013) JURM02 20131
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
En fjärdedel av de homosexuella, bisexuella och transpersoner som deltagit i en stor undersökning år 2013 hade blivit utsatta för hot och våld. Personerna utsätts bland annat för att de inte tillhör normen.

Enligt straffskärpningsregeln i 29 kap. 2 § 7 p. BrB är det en försvårande omständighet vid bedömningen av straffvärdet om ett motiv för en brottslig gärning varit att kränka en person, folkgrupp eller liknade grupp av personer på grund av bland annat sexuell läggning. Syftet med denna bestämmelse är att skydda de grupper som är utsatta för hatbrott. Rapporter visar att 29 kap. 2 § 7 p. BrB sällan tillämpas och det finns omständigheter som tyder på att bestämmelsen inte fungerar som avsett. I uppsatsen utreds därför om syftet med... (More)
En fjärdedel av de homosexuella, bisexuella och transpersoner som deltagit i en stor undersökning år 2013 hade blivit utsatta för hot och våld. Personerna utsätts bland annat för att de inte tillhör normen.

Enligt straffskärpningsregeln i 29 kap. 2 § 7 p. BrB är det en försvårande omständighet vid bedömningen av straffvärdet om ett motiv för en brottslig gärning varit att kränka en person, folkgrupp eller liknade grupp av personer på grund av bland annat sexuell läggning. Syftet med denna bestämmelse är att skydda de grupper som är utsatta för hatbrott. Rapporter visar att 29 kap. 2 § 7 p. BrB sällan tillämpas och det finns omständigheter som tyder på att bestämmelsen inte fungerar som avsett. I uppsatsen utreds därför om syftet med straffskärpningsregeln kan uppfyllas med den nuvarande utformningen av 29 kap. 2 § 7 p. BrB och om bestämmelsen kan utformas på ett annat sätt. Dessutom diskuteras eventuella problem med tillämpningen av 29 kap. 2 § 7 p. BrB.

Eftersom bestämmelsen anger att brott får ett högre straffvärde om motivet varit kopplat till sexuell läggning kan den sägas ha en allmänpreventiv prägel. Studier visar att allmänprevention ofta har marginell effekt, vilket innebär att det allmänpreventiva syftet med bestämmelsen inte har goda chanser att uppfyllas. Den försvårande omständigheten inriktar sig dessutom på gärningspersonens motiv till brottet, något som gör att åklagaren ska bevisa att gärningen utfördes för att kränka brottsoffret på grund av sexuell läggning. Detta kan vara svårt och skyddet för de utsatta blir därför litet. Av denna anledning diskuteras en alternativ utformning av bestämmelsen. En jämförelse görs därför med liknande lagstiftning i Danmark, Finland och Norge.

I de rättsfall som analyserats är kränkande ord i samband med gärningen vanligt förekommande. Uttrycken används ibland men inte alltid som ett bevis för att ett motiv för gärningen varit att kränka på grund av sexuell läggning. Jag kan med hjälp av teorier kring heteronormativitet se att dessa kränkande uttryck normaliseras och inte anses vara kopplade till ett kränkande motiv utan snarare ses som allmänna skällsord. När domstolarna inte diskuterar motivet eller ger mycket kortfattade domskäl gällande den försvårande omständigheten osynliggör de sexualiteten och på så sätt reproduceras heterosexualiteten som norm.

Jag kommer fram till att regleringen gällande motiv med koppling till sexuell läggning har svårt att leva upp till sitt syfte att skydda de utsatta grupperna och att tillämpningen inte är enhetlig och reproducerar heteronormen. Jag föreslår därför att lagstiftningen förändras så att de kränkande orden i samband med gärningen är tillräckligt för att straffvärdet ska höjas och att domstolarna är noga med att ange skäl för sina straffvärdebedömningar. (Less)
Abstract
A quarter of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons participating in a survey in 2013 had been exposed to threat and violence. One of the reasons for them being targeted was that they do not conform to the norm.

According to the penalty enhancement provision in Chapter 29, Section 2, Subsection 7 of the Swedish Penal Code if a motive for a crime is to aggrieve a person, ethnic group or some other similar group of people by reason of, among other things, sexual orientation is viewed upon as an aggravating circumstance in terms of assessing the penal value. The purpose of this provision is to protect the groups that are subject to hate crimes. Reports reveal that the provision is rarely enforced and that there are... (More)
A quarter of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons participating in a survey in 2013 had been exposed to threat and violence. One of the reasons for them being targeted was that they do not conform to the norm.

According to the penalty enhancement provision in Chapter 29, Section 2, Subsection 7 of the Swedish Penal Code if a motive for a crime is to aggrieve a person, ethnic group or some other similar group of people by reason of, among other things, sexual orientation is viewed upon as an aggravating circumstance in terms of assessing the penal value. The purpose of this provision is to protect the groups that are subject to hate crimes. Reports reveal that the provision is rarely enforced and that there are circumstances indicating that the provision does not serve as intended. This thesis investigates if the purpose of the penalty enhancement provision can be attained based on its current formulation and if it can be formulated differently. Furthermore, potential problems with the application of the provision are discussed.

Since the provision stipulates that a crime will be subject to an increased penal value if the motive was connected to sexual orientation, it can be seen as having a general preventive purpose. Studies show that general prevention often renders only marginal effect, which means a lesser chance of the purpose of the provision being fulfilled. The aggravating circumstance is also tied to the motive of the perpetrator, which leaves the prosecutor to prove that the act was intended to aggrieve the victim due to the victim's sexual orientation. Since this can be difficult, those subjected to these crimes are not very well protected. For this reason an alternative formulation of the provision is discussed. A comparison with similar legislation in Denmark, Finland and Norway is made.

In the analysed cases the most common scenario is that derogatory language has been used in conjunction with the act. The words used are sometimes, but not always, used as proof that the motive of the act was intended to aggrieve on the ground of sexual orientation. By employing theories of heteronormativity I can discern that these derogatory words and expressions are being normalised and are no longer connected to an aggrieving motive but rather seen as conventional slur. When courts do not discuss the motive or submit very brief grounds for their ruling with regards to the aggravating circumstance they conceal the sexuality and thus the heterosexual norm is reproduced.

My conclusion is that the provision related to motives based on sexual orientation struggles to fulfil its purpose to protect those who are subject to hate crimes and that the adjudication process lacks consistency and reproduces the heterosexual norm. I therefore propose a change in the legislation so that the aggrieving language in connection to the act is sufficient to increase the penal value and that the courts are careful to provide the reasoning when assessing penal values. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Ivarsson, Cecilia LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Hate crime and heteronormativity - a review of homo- and bi-phobic motives in assessments of penal value
course
JURM02 20131
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
homofobi, heteronormativitet, queerteori, hatbrott, straffskärpningsregel, försvårande omständighet, straffrätt, straffvärde
language
Swedish
id
3800032
date added to LUP
2013-06-13 15:20:08
date last changed
2013-06-13 15:20:08
@misc{3800032,
  abstract     = {A quarter of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons participating in a survey in 2013 had been exposed to threat and violence. One of the reasons for them being targeted was that they do not conform to the norm.

According to the penalty enhancement provision in Chapter 29, Section 2, Subsection 7 of the Swedish Penal Code if a motive for a crime is to aggrieve a person, ethnic group or some other similar group of people by reason of, among other things, sexual orientation is viewed upon as an aggravating circumstance in terms of assessing the penal value. The purpose of this provision is to protect the groups that are subject to hate crimes. Reports reveal that the provision is rarely enforced and that there are circumstances indicating that the provision does not serve as intended. This thesis investigates if the purpose of the penalty enhancement provision can be attained based on its current formulation and if it can be formulated differently. Furthermore, potential problems with the application of the provision are discussed.

Since the provision stipulates that a crime will be subject to an increased penal value if the motive was connected to sexual orientation, it can be seen as having a general preventive purpose. Studies show that general prevention often renders only marginal effect, which means a lesser chance of the purpose of the provision being fulfilled. The aggravating circumstance is also tied to the motive of the perpetrator, which leaves the prosecutor to prove that the act was intended to aggrieve the victim due to the victim's sexual orientation. Since this can be difficult, those subjected to these crimes are not very well protected. For this reason an alternative formulation of the provision is discussed. A comparison with similar legislation in Denmark, Finland and Norway is made.

In the analysed cases the most common scenario is that derogatory language has been used in conjunction with the act. The words used are sometimes, but not always, used as proof that the motive of the act was intended to aggrieve on the ground of sexual orientation. By employing theories of heteronormativity I can discern that these derogatory words and expressions are being normalised and are no longer connected to an aggrieving motive but rather seen as conventional slur. When courts do not discuss the motive or submit very brief grounds for their ruling with regards to the aggravating circumstance they conceal the sexuality and thus the heterosexual norm is reproduced.

My conclusion is that the provision related to motives based on sexual orientation struggles to fulfil its purpose to protect those who are subject to hate crimes and that the adjudication process lacks consistency and reproduces the heterosexual norm. I therefore propose a change in the legislation so that the aggrieving language in connection to the act is sufficient to increase the penal value and that the courts are careful to provide the reasoning when assessing penal values.},
  author       = {Ivarsson, Cecilia},
  keyword      = {homofobi,heteronormativitet,queerteori,hatbrott,straffskärpningsregel,försvårande omständighet,straffrätt,straffvärde},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Hatbrott och heteronormativitet - En granskning av homo- och bifobiska motiv i straffvärdebedömningar},
  year         = {2013},
}