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Gammal nog att begå brott, för ung för att straffas- En undersökning om huruvida straffbarhetsåldern är lämplig och ändamålsenligt satt

Nählstedt, Madeleine LU (2015) LAGM01 20151
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Syftet med denna uppsats är att belysa och problematisera diskussionen kring straffbarhetsålderns lämplighet. Syftet innefattar även att utreda om straffbarhetsåldern är ändamålsenligt satt.

Sedan år 1902 har Sverige haft en absolut straffbarhetsålder på femton år men åldern har tidigare än så varit lagstadgad runt femton år även om undantag har funnits. Att barn som begår brott inte ska straffas är således ingen nyare reglering.

Sverige har ratificerat barnkonventionen, vilket innebär att konventionen ska följas i Sverige. Konventionen definierar personer under arton år som barn men FN:s barnrättskommitté menar att straffbarhetsåldern inte ska bestämmas till under tolv år. I Sverige har socialtjänsten det största ansvaret när ett... (More)
Syftet med denna uppsats är att belysa och problematisera diskussionen kring straffbarhetsålderns lämplighet. Syftet innefattar även att utreda om straffbarhetsåldern är ändamålsenligt satt.

Sedan år 1902 har Sverige haft en absolut straffbarhetsålder på femton år men åldern har tidigare än så varit lagstadgad runt femton år även om undantag har funnits. Att barn som begår brott inte ska straffas är således ingen nyare reglering.

Sverige har ratificerat barnkonventionen, vilket innebär att konventionen ska följas i Sverige. Konventionen definierar personer under arton år som barn men FN:s barnrättskommitté menar att straffbarhetsåldern inte ska bestämmas till under tolv år. I Sverige har socialtjänsten det största ansvaret när ett barn under femton år begår brott men exempelvis är det polisen som håller eventuella förhör och utför olika tvångsmedel. Denna åldersgräns grundar sig i att forskning visar att barn inte har samma rättsbegrepp som vuxna och att straff skadar även barn på ett djupare psykologiskt plan.

Den officiella kriminalstatistiken från Brå visar att antalet brott som registrerats som tekniskt uppklarade med beslutsgrunden ”misstänkt yngre än femton år” år 2012 låg på 10 600, vilket är en minskning från tidigare år. Detta innebär att många barn faktiskt anmäls även om ett stort mörkerantal kan finnas. De flesta brott som begås av barn under femton år är snatteri och stöld i butik, även om grova brott också förekommer.

År 2010 lade regeringen fram prop. 2009/10:105 som handlade om en skärpning av reglerna i LUL. Regeringen ville se fler utredningar av barn under femton år samt en effektivisering av dessa utredningar. Om inte särskilda skäl talar emot det ska en utredning inledas när en person under femton år misstänks för brott och om det för brottet som begåtts inte är föreskrivet lindrigare straff än ett år i fängelse eller straffbelagt försök, förberedelse eller stämpling till ett sådant brott enligt 31 § LUL. Det är en av skärpningarna i LUL som även enligt Brå har gett resultat. Idag kan även socialnämnden begära att en polisutredning görs, vilket dock har resulterat i en minskning av antalet 31 §- utredningar.

En komparativ studie har gjorts i uppsatsen för att kunna jämföra andra länders lösningar angående straffbarhetsåldern med Sverige. År 2010 sänkte Danmark sin straffbarhetsålder eftersom barn som begick brott skulle mötas av hårdare konsekvenser och framförallt fjortonåringar var överrepresenterade när barn under straffbarhetsåldern begick brott. Skottland som länge haft Europas lägsta straffbarhetsålder höjde åldern till tolv år, efter kritik från bland annat FN. Dock kan barn under tolv år fortfarande ställas till svars i Skottlands unika system child hearings, de flesta barn mellan tolv och sexton år hamnar även de i child hearings istället för det ordinarie domstolsförfarandet.

Som det ser ut nu i Sverige kommer straffbarhetsåldern på femton år inte ändras. Regeringen har inte lyft frågan och genom intervjuer med olika myndigheter och organisationer har det framkommit att de finner att straffbarhetsåldern befinner sig på en lämplig nivå. Även kriminaliteten bland barn under femton år har minskat i landet, vilket tyder på att systemet som finns nu fungerar tillfredsställande. (Less)
Abstract
This essay aims to highlight and frame the discussion of the age of criminal responsibility. This also involves an investigation as to whether the age of criminal responsibility in Sweden is appropriate and contemporary.

Since 1902, Sweden has had an absolute age of criminal responsibility of fifteen years old, subject to some exceptions. This outlines that it is not a new regulation that child offenders under a certain age should not been punished.

Sweden has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which means that the convention must be reflected in Swedish law. The Convention defines a person less than eighteen years old as a child. The UN Child Rights Committee however suggests that that age of criminal responsibility... (More)
This essay aims to highlight and frame the discussion of the age of criminal responsibility. This also involves an investigation as to whether the age of criminal responsibility in Sweden is appropriate and contemporary.

Since 1902, Sweden has had an absolute age of criminal responsibility of fifteen years old, subject to some exceptions. This outlines that it is not a new regulation that child offenders under a certain age should not been punished.

Sweden has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which means that the convention must be reflected in Swedish law. The Convention defines a person less than eighteen years old as a child. The UN Child Rights Committee however suggests that that age of criminal responsibility should not be less than twelve years old. In Sweden, the social services got the greatest responsibility when a child under fifteen commits a crime. The police are in charge for eventual interrogations and to perform different coercive measures. This age limit is chosen because research has indicated that children cannot comprehend a legal system and the consequences for their action in the same way as adults. Also, punishments can have a deeper long-term and psychological effect on children in contrast to adults.

The official crime statistics from Brå shows that the number of crimes registered as technically solved with the characteristic of a "suspect younger than fifteen years" in 2012 was 10 600 cases, although this is a lower number than previous years. There however may be quite a significant number of children who are not reported in this statistic. The crimes that children in this category have committed often include shoplifting and theft. They have also committed some serious criminal acts as well.

In 2010 the government presented bill 2009/10:105, which proposed the tightening of the rules in the LUL. The government would like to see more investigations conducted into crimes committed by children under the age of fifteen and greater efficiency. Unless there are some specific reasons against it, an investigation should be initiated if a person under fifteen is suspected of a crime and the committed offense has a corresponding punishment of at least one year in prison. This applies also to crimes involving the preparation or conspiracy to commit the crime according to 31 § LUL. The Brå reports that this tightening of the LUL has yielded results. This law also allows the Social Services Committee to request a police investigation to be done. In spite of this tightening, there has been an overall reduction of 31 §- investigations.

A cross-country comparative study has been conducted in order to compare different approaches to the age of criminal responsibility in Sweden. In Denmark, the age of criminal responsibility was lowered in 2010, which made children face harder consequences for their actions. It was also reported that criminal acts by children in the fourteen-year-old age group were overrepresented among children under the age of criminal responsibility who committed crimes. Scotland has had Europe’s lowest age of criminal responsibility for a long time. In response to pressure exerted by the United Nations, Scotland raised its age of criminal responsibility to twelve years. Children under the age of twelve years can however still be called to participate in Scotland's unique children’s hearings system. Most children between twelve and sixteen years are already taking part in child hearings instead of the ordinary court proceedings.

Sweden’s age of criminal responsibility is set to remain at fifteen years. The government has not raised the issue and through interviews with various authorities and organizations, it has emerged that they find that the age of criminal responsibility is at the right level. This may be reflective of the fact that crime among children under fifteen years has decreased in the country, indicating that the system is functioning satisfactorily. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Nählstedt, Madeleine LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Old enough to commit crimes, too young to be punished- An evaluation of whether the age of criminal responsibility is appropriate
course
LAGM01 20151
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Straffrätt
language
Swedish
id
5431512
date added to LUP
2015-06-05 13:01:52
date last changed
2015-06-05 13:03:24
@misc{5431512,
  abstract     = {This essay aims to highlight and frame the discussion of the age of criminal responsibility. This also involves an investigation as to whether the age of criminal responsibility in Sweden is appropriate and contemporary.

Since 1902, Sweden has had an absolute age of criminal responsibility of fifteen years old, subject to some exceptions. This outlines that it is not a new regulation that child offenders under a certain age should not been punished.

Sweden has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which means that the convention must be reflected in Swedish law. The Convention defines a person less than eighteen years old as a child. The UN Child Rights Committee however suggests that that age of criminal responsibility should not be less than twelve years old. In Sweden, the social services got the greatest responsibility when a child under fifteen commits a crime. The police are in charge for eventual interrogations and to perform different coercive measures. This age limit is chosen because research has indicated that children cannot comprehend a legal system and the consequences for their action in the same way as adults. Also, punishments can have a deeper long-term and psychological effect on children in contrast to adults.

The official crime statistics from Brå shows that the number of crimes registered as technically solved with the characteristic of a "suspect younger than fifteen years" in 2012 was 10 600 cases, although this is a lower number than previous years. There however may be quite a significant number of children who are not reported in this statistic. The crimes that children in this category have committed often include shoplifting and theft. They have also committed some serious criminal acts as well.

In 2010 the government presented bill 2009/10:105, which proposed the tightening of the rules in the LUL. The government would like to see more investigations conducted into crimes committed by children under the age of fifteen and greater efficiency. Unless there are some specific reasons against it, an investigation should be initiated if a person under fifteen is suspected of a crime and the committed offense has a corresponding punishment of at least one year in prison. This applies also to crimes involving the preparation or conspiracy to commit the crime according to 31 § LUL. The Brå reports that this tightening of the LUL has yielded results. This law also allows the Social Services Committee to request a police investigation to be done. In spite of this tightening, there has been an overall reduction of 31 §- investigations.

A cross-country comparative study has been conducted in order to compare different approaches to the age of criminal responsibility in Sweden. In Denmark, the age of criminal responsibility was lowered in 2010, which made children face harder consequences for their actions. It was also reported that criminal acts by children in the fourteen-year-old age group were overrepresented among children under the age of criminal responsibility who committed crimes. Scotland has had Europe’s lowest age of criminal responsibility for a long time. In response to pressure exerted by the United Nations, Scotland raised its age of criminal responsibility to twelve years. Children under the age of twelve years can however still be called to participate in Scotland's unique children’s hearings system. Most children between twelve and sixteen years are already taking part in child hearings instead of the ordinary court proceedings.

Sweden’s age of criminal responsibility is set to remain at fifteen years. The government has not raised the issue and through interviews with various authorities and organizations, it has emerged that they find that the age of criminal responsibility is at the right level. This may be reflective of the fact that crime among children under fifteen years has decreased in the country, indicating that the system is functioning satisfactorily.},
  author       = {Nählstedt, Madeleine},
  keyword      = {Straffrätt},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Gammal nog att begå brott, för ung för att straffas- En undersökning om huruvida straffbarhetsåldern är lämplig och ändamålsenligt satt},
  year         = {2015},
}