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International ideals and domestic reality: a qualitative study on Sweden’s pre-trial detention practices

Jönsson, Elin LU (2015) RÄSK02 20151
Department of Sociology of Law
Abstract
Sweden is often described as being at the forefront of protecting human rights, but nevertheless Swedish pre-trial detention practices have received criticism from torture committees upholding human rights standards on regional and international levels. This suggests that a discrepancy exists between the legal ideals and the domestic practices. From a sociology of law perspective, the present study aims to further the understanding of why this discrepancy might exist. The methodological approach was two-fold; on one hand by interviewing judges with experience of pre-trial detention hearings, and on the other by using content analysis to examine reports from the torture committees along with the interview data. By applying Bourdieu’s... (More)
Sweden is often described as being at the forefront of protecting human rights, but nevertheless Swedish pre-trial detention practices have received criticism from torture committees upholding human rights standards on regional and international levels. This suggests that a discrepancy exists between the legal ideals and the domestic practices. From a sociology of law perspective, the present study aims to further the understanding of why this discrepancy might exist. The methodological approach was two-fold; on one hand by interviewing judges with experience of pre-trial detention hearings, and on the other by using content analysis to examine reports from the torture committees along with the interview data. By applying Bourdieu’s framework and complementing these analytical tools with Cohen’s concepts on denial, the committees and the judges could be understood as agents in a legal field, engaged in a struggle for the right to determine the law. As the newer agents, the committees reject some of the current structures in the field and aim for gaining more dominant positions, whilst the judges defend their established positions and try to maintain their legitimacy, with support from their habitus. This study also highlights the close ties between the legal field and the field of state power, which might offer an understanding of the juridical accounts describing a position where judges are bound by the legal norms, resulting in domestic practices that do not appear to fulfill international human rights ideals. (Less)
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author
Jönsson, Elin LU
supervisor
organization
course
RÄSK02 20151
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
field, habitus, pre-trial detention, human rights, Cohen, Bourdieu
language
English
id
5472557
date added to LUP
2015-06-25 11:57:03
date last changed
2015-06-25 11:57:03
@misc{5472557,
  abstract     = {Sweden is often described as being at the forefront of protecting human rights, but nevertheless Swedish pre-trial detention practices have received criticism from torture committees upholding human rights standards on regional and international levels. This suggests that a discrepancy exists between the legal ideals and the domestic practices. From a sociology of law perspective, the present study aims to further the understanding of why this discrepancy might exist. The methodological approach was two-fold; on one hand by interviewing judges with experience of pre-trial detention hearings, and on the other by using content analysis to examine reports from the torture committees along with the interview data. By applying Bourdieu’s framework and complementing these analytical tools with Cohen’s concepts on denial, the committees and the judges could be understood as agents in a legal field, engaged in a struggle for the right to determine the law. As the newer agents, the committees reject some of the current structures in the field and aim for gaining more dominant positions, whilst the judges defend their established positions and try to maintain their legitimacy, with support from their habitus. This study also highlights the close ties between the legal field and the field of state power, which might offer an understanding of the juridical accounts describing a position where judges are bound by the legal norms, resulting in domestic practices that do not appear to fulfill international human rights ideals.},
  author       = {Jönsson, Elin},
  keyword      = {field,habitus,pre-trial detention,human rights,Cohen,Bourdieu},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {International ideals and domestic reality: a qualitative study on Sweden’s pre-trial detention practices},
  year         = {2015},
}