Skip to main content

LUP Student Papers

LUND UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES

Stat, straff och sanktionsavgifter - särskilt om de svenska miljösanktionsavgifterna

Hellberg, Birgitta LU (2013) JURM02 20132
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
I en strävan efter att göra brottsbekämpningen mer effektiv har miljösanktionsavgifter kommit att bli allt vanligare på miljörättens område. Kravet på effektivitet är inte alltid lätt att förena med kravet på rättssäkerhet. Sanktionsavgifternas framväxt som respons på den ökade brottsligheten riskerar att leda till att tidigare straffrättsliga principer och rättssäkerhetsgarantier utvidgas allt mer eller rent av frångås.
Miljösanktionsavgifterna regleras i Miljöbalkens 30 kapitel, bl.a. genom att skilja dem åt från de straffbestämmelser som regleras i 29:e kapitlet anses miljösanktionsavgifter formellt sett inte utgöra straff. Hur man väljer att se på sanktionsavgifter får betydelse för vilka krav på rättssäkerhet som kan ställas på... (More)
I en strävan efter att göra brottsbekämpningen mer effektiv har miljösanktionsavgifter kommit att bli allt vanligare på miljörättens område. Kravet på effektivitet är inte alltid lätt att förena med kravet på rättssäkerhet. Sanktionsavgifternas framväxt som respons på den ökade brottsligheten riskerar att leda till att tidigare straffrättsliga principer och rättssäkerhetsgarantier utvidgas allt mer eller rent av frångås.
Miljösanktionsavgifterna regleras i Miljöbalkens 30 kapitel, bl.a. genom att skilja dem åt från de straffbestämmelser som regleras i 29:e kapitlet anses miljösanktionsavgifter formellt sett inte utgöra straff. Hur man väljer att se på sanktionsavgifter får betydelse för vilka krav på rättssäkerhet som kan ställas på tillämpningen av sanktionsavgifterna. I domstolsavgöranden, förarbeten och i doktrin har det framhållits att sanktionsavgifternas delar vissa gemensamma drag med straffrättsliga bestämmelser. På grund av avgifternas straffrättsliga karaktär bör således de regler om rättssäkerhet som återfinns i Europakonventionen respekteras vid användandet av miljösanktionsavgifter. Trots detta står det klart att de svenska myndigheterna stundtals misslyckas med att följa de rättsliga krav som förordas i konventionen. Med hänsyn till de krav som anges i konventionen finns det anledning att ifrågasätta den ökade användningen av miljösanktionsavgifter i Sverige. En artikel som är värd att nämna i sammanhanget och som har betydelse för användandet av sanktionsavgifter är artikel 6 i Europakonventionen. I artikel 6.2 anges att var och en som anklagas för brott ska betraktas som oskyldig till dess att hans skuld lagligen har fastställts.

I doktrin har även argument framförts som pekar på miljöstraffrättens oförmåga att minska den negativa påverkan på miljön, vilket föranlett diskussioner om att straffrätten därigenom hotas av en legitimitetskris. Därför blir det även relevant att i sammanhanget belysa andra medel än de rent straffrättsliga för att förhindra den inflation som tycks ske inom straffrättstillämpningen. I diskussionen om straff kontra avgift aktualiseras även frågor om straffets moralbildande funktion och rent psykologiska aspekter.

Ett första syfte med föreliggande uppsats har varit att ta ställning till om, och i så fall på vilka grunder, som påförandet av miljösanktionsavgift kan likställas med en brottsanklagelse enligt Europakonventionen och vilka rättssäkerhetsgarantier som i så fall bör beaktas.

Ett andra syfte har varit att studera de eventuella konflikter som kan uppstå genom svenska myndigheters hantering av miljösanktionsavgifter i förhållande till de regler för rättsäkerhet och mänskliga fri- och rättighetsgarantier som återfinns i konventionen.
Att åskådliggöra aktuella exempel som påvisar sådana konflikter har varit möjligt genom en omfattande granskning som Centrum för rättvisa lät göra 2013. Jag medverkade själv i denna genom att granska samtliga beslut som fattats gällande miljösanktionsavgifter under perioden januari– juni 2013.

Miljösanktionsavgifter tillämpas inom ett stort område på olika nivåer. Kraven på att vidta förebyggande åtgärder gäller för samtliga som vidtar sådana åtgärder som är av betydelse för miljöbalkens syfte. Miljöbalkens vida tillämpningsområde innebär således att miljösanktionsavgifter påförs såväl myndigheter, privatpersoner och näringsidkare. I uppsatsen har det visats att ett klart effektivitetstänkande styr den svenska utvecklingen och tillämpningen av miljösanktionsavgifter. Det har även framgått att viktiga rättsprinciper riskerar att åsidosättas vid en sådan tillämpning, och att det är av största vikt att bruket av miljösanktionsavgifter kan ske i harmoni med övrig lagstiftning. (Less)
Abstract
In an attempt to streamline law enforcement, the use of environmental sanction charges has become more and more common within the area of Swedish environmental law. To obtain efficiency without neglecting general principles of fairness and legal certainty, the rule of law, is however easier said than done. The extended use of environmental sanction charges to prevent crimes may even jeopardize former recognized principles for criminalization. Swedish environmental sanction charges are regulated in the Environmental Code. Several provisions in the Environmental Code are sanctioned by a criminal penalty in accordance with chapter 29. Thus, the environmental sanction charges governed by the authorities are found in chapter 30 and hence... (More)
In an attempt to streamline law enforcement, the use of environmental sanction charges has become more and more common within the area of Swedish environmental law. To obtain efficiency without neglecting general principles of fairness and legal certainty, the rule of law, is however easier said than done. The extended use of environmental sanction charges to prevent crimes may even jeopardize former recognized principles for criminalization. Swedish environmental sanction charges are regulated in the Environmental Code. Several provisions in the Environmental Code are sanctioned by a criminal penalty in accordance with chapter 29. Thus, the environmental sanction charges governed by the authorities are found in chapter 30 and hence formally separated from forms of criminal penalty. The way one chooses to regard sanction charges of this sort is of relevance to the different requirements of fairness and legal certainty applicable to the specific regulation. In the academic discussion, as well as in legal cases, it has been stated that environmental sanction charges share certain features to criminal charges. Hence why the use of environmental criminal charges should be considered as a criminal punishment and follow the requirements of fairness and rule of law, which can be found in the European Convention on Human Rights. Still, the Swedish authorities have sometimes failed to follow the necessary legal requirements, by the use of sanctions. Due to the articles in the European Convention on Human Rights, there is reason to question the extended use of environmental sanction charges. Article 6.2 in the Convention is one example of an article of relevance to Swedish authorities in their use of environmental sanction charges. Article 6.2 states that everyone charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.

Arguments have been made in the academic discussion and legal literature that the use of criminal punishment and criminal law lacks ability to prevent actions that may cause harm to human health or the environment. The discussions have also led legal scholars to question the area of criminal law, claiming that the legal area is threatened by a legitimacy crisis. Therefore, in order to prevent the extended use of criminal punishment and criminal charges, in areas where it fails to fill its purpose, it is also important to consider different approaches to crime prevention that can be used without traditional criminal punishment. Even discussions of psychological and moral aspects of the punishment itself have been raised.

A primary aim of this paper is to critically examine the use of Swedish environmental sanction charges in light of EU law. One question of importance is whether environmental sanction charges truly are equivalent, and if so based on which grounds, to criminal charges? I have used the same definition of the term criminal charges as it is used, through established practice, in the Convention.

A secondary aim of mine has been to examine whether administrative authorities, who issue regulations, handle a large part of the permit decisions and have supervisory competence, are acting in accordance with the rule of law. To do so, I have used a survey from Centrum för rättvisa (Swedish organization) to which I myself contributed by examining all cases of environmental sanction charges handled by the authorities during January to June in 2013. I have found that environmental sanction charges should be considered as criminal charges and therefore the use of the sanctions should be in accordance with relevant articles in the Convention. I have also found that the administrative authorities fails to always follow the necessary requirements in order to achieve rule of law.

Environmental sanction charges are used within a large area since the scope of application of the Environmental Code is not explicitly stated. Requirement to take preventive measures applies to everyone who performs an operation or takes a measure that is of significance for the achievement of the purpose of the Code. The wide scope of the Code thus has effect on authorities and consumers as well as professional operators of industry. This paper shows that the development and increased use of environmental sanction charges is clearly driven by a purpose to streamline law enforcement. It is also clear that important legal principles risk to be neglected, and that it is of great importance, that the use of environmental sanction charges is both corresponding, and in harmony with other relevant regulations. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Hellberg, Birgitta LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Swedish environmental sanction charges in light of principles of fairness and legal certainty in EU-law
course
JURM02 20132
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
EU-rätt, miljörätt, straffrätt, förvaltningsrätt, EU law, environmental law, criminal law, administrative law
language
Swedish
id
4230725
date added to LUP
2014-01-27 08:48:45
date last changed
2014-01-27 08:48:45
@misc{4230725,
  abstract     = {In an attempt to streamline law enforcement, the use of environmental sanction charges has become more and more common within the area of Swedish environmental law. To obtain efficiency without neglecting general principles of fairness and legal certainty, the rule of law, is however easier said than done. The extended use of environmental sanction charges to prevent crimes may even jeopardize former recognized principles for criminalization. Swedish environmental sanction charges are regulated in the Environmental Code. Several provisions in the Environmental Code are sanctioned by a criminal penalty in accordance with chapter 29. Thus, the environmental sanction charges governed by the authorities are found in chapter 30 and hence formally separated from forms of criminal penalty. The way one chooses to regard sanction charges of this sort is of relevance to the different requirements of fairness and legal certainty applicable to the specific regulation. In the academic discussion, as well as in legal cases, it has been stated that environmental sanction charges share certain features to criminal charges. Hence why the use of environmental criminal charges should be considered as a criminal punishment and follow the requirements of fairness and rule of law, which can be found in the European Convention on Human Rights. Still, the Swedish authorities have sometimes failed to follow the necessary legal requirements, by the use of sanctions. Due to the articles in the European Convention on Human Rights, there is reason to question the extended use of environmental sanction charges. Article 6.2 in the Convention is one example of an article of relevance to Swedish authorities in their use of environmental sanction charges. Article 6.2 states that everyone charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law. 

Arguments have been made in the academic discussion and legal literature that the use of criminal punishment and criminal law lacks ability to prevent actions that may cause harm to human health or the environment. The discussions have also led legal scholars to question the area of criminal law, claiming that the legal area is threatened by a legitimacy crisis. Therefore, in order to prevent the extended use of criminal punishment and criminal charges, in areas where it fails to fill its purpose, it is also important to consider different approaches to crime prevention that can be used without traditional criminal punishment. Even discussions of psychological and moral aspects of the punishment itself have been raised.
 
A primary aim of this paper is to critically examine the use of Swedish environmental sanction charges in light of EU law. One question of importance is whether environmental sanction charges truly are equivalent, and if so based on which grounds, to criminal charges? I have used the same definition of the term criminal charges as it is used, through established practice, in the Convention. 
 
A secondary aim of mine has been to examine whether administrative authorities, who issue regulations, handle a large part of the permit decisions and have supervisory competence, are acting in accordance with the rule of law. To do so, I have used a survey from Centrum för rättvisa (Swedish organization) to which I myself contributed by examining all cases of environmental sanction charges handled by the authorities during January to June in 2013. I have found that environmental sanction charges should be considered as criminal charges and therefore the use of the sanctions should be in accordance with relevant articles in the Convention. I have also found that the administrative authorities fails to always follow the necessary requirements in order to achieve rule of law. 
 
Environmental sanction charges are used within a large area since the scope of application of the Environmental Code is not explicitly stated. Requirement to take preventive measures applies to everyone who performs an operation or takes a measure that is of significance for the achievement of the purpose of the Code. The wide scope of the Code thus has effect on authorities and consumers as well as professional operators of industry. This paper shows that the development and increased use of environmental sanction charges is clearly driven by a purpose to streamline law enforcement. It is also clear that important legal principles risk to be neglected, and that it is of great importance, that the use of environmental sanction charges is both corresponding, and in harmony with other relevant regulations.},
  author       = {Hellberg, Birgitta},
  keyword      = {EU-rätt,miljörätt,straffrätt,förvaltningsrätt,EU law,environmental law,criminal law,administrative law},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Stat, straff och sanktionsavgifter - särskilt om de svenska miljösanktionsavgifterna},
  year         = {2013},
}