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Straffteori i amerikansk och svensk rätt - Proportionalitet, prevention eller humanitet? En studie på lagstiftnings- och domstolsnivå

Aspman, Johan LU (2013) JURM02 20131
Department of Law
Abstract
This essay concerns the issue of proportionality in penal theory as it is applied in USA and in Sweden. The essay compares two main aspects, or levels of this proportionality; the judicial level and the court level, of each jurisdiction respectively; applying the comparative method.

The essay thus addresses the federal system of American jurisprudence, and the interpreting and guiding role of the Supreme Court as its precedence forces American state law to accept certain boundaries; both in a judicial and a principal sense. The typical American penal theory of retributivism is described as providing essential principal guidelines for existing legislations. This is further shown with examples of the renowned “Three strikes law” and its... (More)
This essay concerns the issue of proportionality in penal theory as it is applied in USA and in Sweden. The essay compares two main aspects, or levels of this proportionality; the judicial level and the court level, of each jurisdiction respectively; applying the comparative method.

The essay thus addresses the federal system of American jurisprudence, and the interpreting and guiding role of the Supreme Court as its precedence forces American state law to accept certain boundaries; both in a judicial and a principal sense. The typical American penal theory of retributivism is described as providing essential principal guidelines for existing legislations. This is further shown with examples of the renowned “Three strikes law” and its exceptions known as “wobblers” – as they exist in the Penal Code of California. As one of the primary sources of law, the Supreme Court cases and their reference have been given lofty space in this essay. The essay also conveys the importance of the American constitution and further questions related to the legislative process and state-federal structure.

The essay further explores the measures available to the U.S. court in which to maneuver according to the existing concepts of proportionality. The portion of the essay concerning the court level in the American sense of proportionality is slightly different than the one concerning the Swedish; since the USA constitutes a rather complex fusion of common law and civil law a substantial effort was made to exemplify this.

There are also portions that highlight the differences between American and Swedish courts and the way in which they are able to apply their own interpretations of penal theory and proportionality.
Also, a substantial number of Supreme Court cases were included in the court level of the American part of the essay, albeit its precedence has a supreme status as a legal source.

Furthering the comparative aspect, the essay describes Swedish penal theory out of a similar context; first the legal sources are outlined and what ideological considerations lay behind them, stating the typical Swedish approach of considering legislative history as a legal source as well as the role of humanitarian principles in the legislative process and level. Legal sources are directly cited and referred, and with reference to the works of some of Sweden’s finest legal experts, are put in to an ideological context with regards to proportionality and penal theory. Existing legislations as well as future ones are discussed out of an ideological context, whether they reflect proportionality and penal theory in a coherent way or not.

On the court level, a selection of cases are presented concerning subjects reflecting (however not exclusively) the cases presented in the American part of the essay. These cases are thought not only to represent the measure of independent reasoning that can be applied by the Swedish court, but also to reflect some typically Swedish approaches and put the previously mentioned legislations into practical examples.

Conclusions are made primarily with respect to providing answers to what ideological reasoning respective jurisdiction or nation provide to rationalize their legislations, and in what primary aspects the both systems differ. There is also a separate, further aspect of the essay that I outline in the introduction, that concerns the questioning of present Swedish penal theory as it is generally perceived, out of a retributivist perspective and my own partaking in the discussion. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Uppsatsen behandlar proportionalitet och straffteori utifrån ett amerikanskt respektive ett svenskt perspektiv. Uppsatsen utgår från en indelning som typiskt görs för att indela straffrättssystemet och avhandlar amerikansk respektive svensk straffteori utifrån ett lagstiftnings- och ett domstolsperspektiv. Det bör understrykas att uppsatsen inte är någon komparation mellan rättsystemen, utan snarare en komparation av de bägge rättsystemens straffteorier och definition av proportionalitet.

Den för USA typiska straffteorin retributivism behandlas och sätts i ett ideologiskt sammanhang, och dess betydelse för modern amerikansk straffrätt utreds. Avseende den delen av uppsatsen som behandlar det amerikanska området har visst utrymme... (More)
Uppsatsen behandlar proportionalitet och straffteori utifrån ett amerikanskt respektive ett svenskt perspektiv. Uppsatsen utgår från en indelning som typiskt görs för att indela straffrättssystemet och avhandlar amerikansk respektive svensk straffteori utifrån ett lagstiftnings- och ett domstolsperspektiv. Det bör understrykas att uppsatsen inte är någon komparation mellan rättsystemen, utan snarare en komparation av de bägge rättsystemens straffteorier och definition av proportionalitet.

Den för USA typiska straffteorin retributivism behandlas och sätts i ett ideologiskt sammanhang, och dess betydelse för modern amerikansk straffrätt utreds. Avseende den delen av uppsatsen som behandlar det amerikanska området har visst utrymme avsatts för att redogöra för den unika blandning av common law och civillag som landet utgör, och hur dess rättskällor interagerar och används. Därför har också de förekommande referaten från Supreme Court en dubbel roll såväl som överordnad rättskälla i lagstiftningsdelen, som relevans för domstolsperspektivet då de utgör landets högsta dömande instans.
Vidare presenteras för uppsatsen relevant innehåll ur den amerikanska konstitutionen och dess tillägg samt delstatlig lagtext.

Sett till domstolsnivån utreder uppsatsen vilket utrymme domstolen har att självständigt resonera kring proportionalitet, och vilka faktorer som typiskt sett beaktas och prioriteras. En särskild del för varje rättsystem beskriver vilket utrymme domstolarna har att självständigt resonera kring proportionalitet och därtill knutna principer inom straffteorin.

För svensk del presenteras relevant lagtext i ett ideologiskt sammanhang, visst utrymme ges också att förklara svensk rättskällelära: Närmare bestämt doktrin och förarbetenas roll och varför detta är relevant ur ett straffteoretiskt sammanhang. Proportionaliteten definieras ur ett svenskt sammanhang, där särskilt tankarna och principerna om humanitet getts tyngd i såväl rättskällor som litteratur.

Då svensk straffteori inte är helt enhetlig ges exempel på där den divergerar och den nya påföljdsutredning som presenterats under 2012 ger vidare bäring för att också andra tankar än de om humanitet har fäste hos lagstiftaren.

Vidare refereras rättsfall relevanta ur uppsatsens synvinkel, vilka speglar inte bara ett visst urval med hänsyn till de amerikanska referaten, men också det utrymme svensk domstol typiskt sett har att beakta tankarna om proportionalitet och resonera kring straffteori.

Uppsatsens slutsatser har främst dragits med hänsyn till uppsatsens komparativa aspekt att förklara hur respektive rättsystem motiverar sina skillnader i påföljdsval. Detta bygger främst på tillämpningen av olika straffteorier men också på vilka principer och tankar man vill prioritera för att definiera proportionaliteten. Det visar sig att sådana skillnader tydligen finns kring vilka olika slutsatser kan dras – som att prioritering av humanitetsprinciper kommer leda till lägre repression och kortare påföljder.

En av uppsatsens huvudsakliga slutsatser är därför att proportionalitet inte kan definieras ensamt, och att respektive rättsystem prioriterar olika värderingar för att komplettera denna definition. För amerikansk del torde tankarna om prevention vara särskilt tongivande.

Uppsatsen har en ytterligare aspekt, som är att presentera vissa argument för en retributiv diskussion i Sverige och svensk straffteori. Denna diskussion saknas i många relevanta avseenden, särskilt i den juridiska debatten. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Aspman, Johan LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Penal Theory in American and Swedish law - Proportionality, Prevention or Humanitarian Aspects? A Study on the Judicial and Court Level
course
JURM02 20131
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
USA, Sverige, individualprevention, allmänprevention, humanitetsprincipen, retributivism, proportionalitet, straffteori, straffrätt
language
Swedish
id
3801006
date added to LUP
2013-06-17 06:58:03
date last changed
2013-06-17 06:58:03
@misc{3801006,
  abstract     = {This essay concerns the issue of proportionality in penal theory as it is applied in USA and in Sweden. The essay compares two main aspects, or levels of this proportionality; the judicial level and the court level, of each jurisdiction respectively; applying the comparative method. 

The essay thus addresses the federal system of American jurisprudence, and the interpreting and guiding role of the Supreme Court as its precedence forces American state law to accept certain boundaries; both in a judicial and a principal sense. The typical American penal theory of retributivism is described as providing essential principal guidelines for existing legislations. This is further shown with examples of the renowned “Three strikes law” and its exceptions known as “wobblers” – as they exist in the Penal Code of California. As one of the primary sources of law, the Supreme Court cases and their reference have been given lofty space in this essay. The essay also conveys the importance of the American constitution and further questions related to the legislative process and state-federal structure. 

The essay further explores the measures available to the U.S. court in which to maneuver according to the existing concepts of proportionality. The portion of the essay concerning the court level in the American sense of proportionality is slightly different than the one concerning the Swedish; since the USA constitutes a rather complex fusion of common law and civil law a substantial effort was made to exemplify this. 

There are also portions that highlight the differences between American and Swedish courts and the way in which they are able to apply their own interpretations of penal theory and proportionality.
Also, a substantial number of Supreme Court cases were included in the court level of the American part of the essay, albeit its precedence has a supreme status as a legal source. 

Furthering the comparative aspect, the essay describes Swedish penal theory out of a similar context; first the legal sources are outlined and what ideological considerations lay behind them, stating the typical Swedish approach of considering legislative history as a legal source as well as the role of humanitarian principles in the legislative process and level. Legal sources are directly cited and referred, and with reference to the works of some of Sweden’s finest legal experts, are put in to an ideological context with regards to proportionality and penal theory. Existing legislations as well as future ones are discussed out of an ideological context, whether they reflect proportionality and penal theory in a coherent way or not. 

On the court level, a selection of cases are presented concerning subjects reflecting (however not exclusively) the cases presented in the American part of the essay. These cases are thought not only to represent the measure of independent reasoning that can be applied by the Swedish court, but also to reflect some typically Swedish approaches and put the previously mentioned legislations into practical examples. 

Conclusions are made primarily with respect to providing answers to what ideological reasoning respective jurisdiction or nation provide to rationalize their legislations, and in what primary aspects the both systems differ. There is also a separate, further aspect of the essay that I outline in the introduction, that concerns the questioning of present Swedish penal theory as it is generally perceived, out of a retributivist perspective and my own partaking in the discussion.},
  author       = {Aspman, Johan},
  keyword      = {USA,Sverige,individualprevention,allmänprevention,humanitetsprincipen,retributivism,proportionalitet,straffteori,straffrätt},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Straffteori i amerikansk och svensk rätt - Proportionalitet, prevention eller humanitet? En studie på lagstiftnings- och domstolsnivå},
  year         = {2013},
}