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Det är bara ett barn - En redogörelse av straffbarhetsålderns lämplighet i Sverige

Södergren, Andriano LU (2015) LAGF03 20152
Department of Law
Faculty of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Denna uppsats behandlar unga lagöverträdares roll i svensk straffrätt. Syftet med arbetet är att skildra straffbarhetsåldern i svensk rätt. Skildra hur regleringen kommer till uttryck i gällande rätt samt ur ett rättshistoriskt perspektiv. Frågeställningarna för att besvara syftet:

Är 15 år en lämplig straffbarhetsålder?
Uppfylls förutsägbarhetsprincipen för barn under 15 år vad gäller påföljdssystemet?
Hade ett tillräknelighetskriterium varit lämplig att införa för otillräkneliga barn?

Vid landskapslagarnas tid på 1200-talet börjades lagarna tecknas ned. Redan på denna tid särbehandlades unga av okända anledningar. Men att unga ska de facto särbehandlas kom att genomsyra den svenska rättsutvecklingen fram till dagens rätt. Först... (More)
Denna uppsats behandlar unga lagöverträdares roll i svensk straffrätt. Syftet med arbetet är att skildra straffbarhetsåldern i svensk rätt. Skildra hur regleringen kommer till uttryck i gällande rätt samt ur ett rättshistoriskt perspektiv. Frågeställningarna för att besvara syftet:

Är 15 år en lämplig straffbarhetsålder?
Uppfylls förutsägbarhetsprincipen för barn under 15 år vad gäller påföljdssystemet?
Hade ett tillräknelighetskriterium varit lämplig att införa för otillräkneliga barn?

Vid landskapslagarnas tid på 1200-talet börjades lagarna tecknas ned. Redan på denna tid särbehandlades unga av okända anledningar. Men att unga ska de facto särbehandlas kom att genomsyra den svenska rättsutvecklingen fram till dagens rätt. Först vid 1864 års strafflag stiftades en rikstäckande reglering som särbehandlade unga lagöverträdare, nu av kända anledningar. Grunden till varför barn under 15 år inte straffades var att barn inte ansågs fullt utvecklade respektive tillräkneliga och kunde därmed inte straffas för sina gärningar.

Vid 1800-talet särbehandlades inte bara barn vid påföljden, utan även vid frågan om ansvar. Genom existensen av tillräknelighetskriteriumet uttrycktes det bl.a. att gärning som begås av den som är ålderdomssvag är strafflös. Tillräknelighetsrekvisitet innebar att barn inte ansågs kunna begå brott, till skillnad från idag då alla människor anses kunna begå brott. Frånvaron av tillräknelighet innebär att unga kan begå brott. Ett införande av tillräknelighet innebär dock att unga fortfarande kan begå moraliskt klandervärda handlingar utan att de för den delen definieras som brottsliga. Slutsatsen är att skillnaden är endast teoretisk och åtgärderna från socialtjänsten skulle nog vara likadana oberoende av ett införande av tillräknelighet. Det är inte den juridiska klassifikationen av skulden som brottslig som innebär att den unga behöver hjälp och stöd utan gärningen.

I samband lagstiftandet av brottsbalken förändrades synen på tillräknelighet. Lagstiftaren gjorde efter år 1965 inte längre några undantag för de människor som inte ansågs tillräkneliga och 5 kap. 4 § SL överfördes inte till brottsbalken. Detta kompenserades med att barn under 15 år inte kunde bli föremål för påföljdssystemet, 1 kap. 6 § BrB.

Straffbarhet innebär att den som begått brott under 15 år inte får dömas till påföljd 1 kap. 6 § BrB. I svensk rätt är åldern en föreställning som innebär att en individ vid en viss ålder bedöms kapabel att sära på rätt och fel och således kan ställas till svars för brott. Straffbarheten i 1 kap. 6 § BrB tar sikte på påföljden ”får inte dömas till påföljd” och innebär att barn kan föröva brott men inte dömas till påföljd. Brott som hade lett till påföljd om individen varit straffbar, 15 år, kan dock leda till vård med stöd av LVU. Faktumet att barn kan begå ett brott innebär att de kan dömas till påföljd. Stadgandet i 1 kap. 6 § BrB är därför missledande i det avseendet att barn kan dömas till en variant av påföljd, s.k. vård enligt 3 § LVU.

Frågan är diskutabel om det finns någon ”rätt” ålder som är lämplig för straffbarhet. Svaret är ytterst politiskt och motiveras med olika ideologier från tidsperiod till tidsperiod och stat till stat. Straffbarhetsåldern skiftar mellan olika länder och det är inte utan svårighet lagstiftaren kan veta vid vilken ålder unga bör ta ansvar för sina handlingar. England har för tillfället den lägsta straffbarhetsåldern i Europa med 10 år och Polen har den högsta med 17 år. Åldern är i sig ingen garanti för en viss uppnådd förmåga. Stater gör ett antagande om när ett barn kan ha skuld vid angivandet av en straffbarhetsålder. Endast för att Sverige har valt 15 år, är inte detta nödvändigtvis en garanti för rätt ålder att straffa. Det är endast sex länder i Europa som har valt en 15 årig straffbarhetsålder. Den vanligaste åldern för straffbarhet i Europa är 14 år. I övrigt varierar åldern från 10 år upp till 17 år.

På frågan om 15 år en lämplig straffbarhetsålder kan det sägas att i dessa fall särbehandlas barnet pga. av en siffra, vilket inte är detsamma som att särbehandla ett barn pga. bristande utveckling eller förmåga. Med hänsyn till att bristande förmågor är bland de främsta skälen till varför en straffbarhetsålder införts är det värt att begrunda varför lagstiftaren valt att fastlägga straffbarhetsåldern till en given ålder då unga generellt inte utvecklas likadant. För att förutsägbarhetsprincipen bäst ska kunna efterlevas behövs en fastställd ålder oavsett barnets förmågor i det enskilda fallet. Det ligger i linje med FN:s barnkommitté att straffbarhetsålder ska ligga runt 14-16 år men när Danmark sänkte straffbarhetsåldern från 15 år till 14 år kritiserades detta. Slutsatsen är att 15 år måste anses vara en lämplig straffbarhetsålder som är förenlig med europeisk och FN:s standard. (Less)
Abstract
This paper deals with young offenders role in Swedish criminal law. The aim is to portray the age of criminal liability in Swedish law. Depict how the regulation is enshrined in the law as well as from a correct historical perspective. The questions to answer the purpose are:
Is 15 years an appropriate age of criminal responsibility?
Is the principle of predictability fulfilled for children under 15 years in terms of penalties?
Is an accountability criterion appropriate to introduce for children?

During the provincial laws of time in the 1200s the laws begun to be written down. Given young people should de facto have special treatment came to influent the Swedish development right up to today's current law. The 1864 Strafflag was... (More)
This paper deals with young offenders role in Swedish criminal law. The aim is to portray the age of criminal liability in Swedish law. Depict how the regulation is enshrined in the law as well as from a correct historical perspective. The questions to answer the purpose are:
Is 15 years an appropriate age of criminal responsibility?
Is the principle of predictability fulfilled for children under 15 years in terms of penalties?
Is an accountability criterion appropriate to introduce for children?

During the provincial laws of time in the 1200s the laws begun to be written down. Given young people should de facto have special treatment came to influent the Swedish development right up to today's current law. The 1864 Strafflag was enacted as the first nationwide regulation that gave special treatment to young offenders. The basis for why children under 15 years are not punished was that children were not considered fully developed and accountable and thus could not be punished for their deeds.

During the 1800s special treatment were not only given children at the penalty, but also the question of responsibility. By the existence of the accountability criterion the offense committed by those who are weak of old age is unpunished. The accountability criterion meant that children were not considered able to commit crimes, unlike today where all people are considered capable of committing crimes. Although, the introduction of the accountability criterion means that young people can still commit morally reprehensible actions but they indeed are not defined as criminal. The conclusion is that the difference is only theoretical and actions of the social services would be the same regardless of the introduction of a accountability criterion. It is not the legal classification of the deed as criminal that means the young needs help and support, it is the deed itself.
In the enactment of brottsbalken the perception of accountability changed. After 1965 the legislature did no longer any exceptions for people who were not considered accountable, therefore the chapter of 5. 4 § SL was not transferred to brottsbalken. This was compensated with a regulation were children under 15 years could not be subject to penalties, chapter 1. 6 § BrB. In Swedish law, the age is a conception that an individual at a given age is judged capable to separate the right and wrong and thus can be held accountable for crimes. In chapter 1. 6 § BrB, the sentence "may not be sentenced to a penalty" means that children can perpetrate crimes, but not be sentenced to a penalty. A crime that had led to penalty if the individual had been punishable can lead to health care under the lagen om särskilda bestämmelser vård av unga. The fact that children can commit a crime means they can be sentenced to a penalty. The chapter 1. 6 § BrB is therefore misleading in the sense that children may be sentenced to a variant of the sanction - care under § 3 LVU.

The question is debatable whether there is a "right" age appropriate for punishment. The answer is highly political and motivated by different ideologies from time to time and state to state. Age of criminal responsibility varies from country to country and it is not without difficulty, the legislature can know at what age young people should take responsibility for their actions. England currently has the lowest age of criminal responsibility in Europe with 10 years and Poland has the highest with 17 years. The age itself is no guarantee of reaching certain ability. States only make an assumption about when a child is considered liable for his deeds. Just because Sweden has chosen 15 years, is not necessarily a guarantee of the right age to punish. There are only six countries in Europe that have chosen 15 years of age for criminal responsibility. The most common age of criminal responsibility in Europe is 14 years. The ages in general are varying from 10 years up to 17 years.

On the issue of if 15 years is an appropriate age of criminal responsibility must be said that in these cases special treatment the child due to a number, which is not the same as to special treatment because of lack of development or ability. Given that lack of skills is among the main reasons why an age of criminal responsibility exists, it is worth pondering why the legislature chose to define the age of criminal liability to a given age when young people generally do not develop the same.

But to in order to meet the requirements of the principle of prediction, it is most suitable that an age is determined in all given situations, regardless of a child’s abilities in the individual case. It is in line with the UN Children's Committee that the age of criminal responsibility should be around 14-16 years but when Denmark lowered the age of criminal responsibility from 15 to 14 years the act was widely criticized. The conclusion must be that 15 years is regarded as an appropriate age of criminal responsibility, which is compatible with European and UN standards. (Less)
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author
Södergren, Andriano LU
supervisor
organization
course
LAGF03 20152
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
straffrätt, criminal law, straffbarhetsåldern, straffmyndighet, tillräknelighet
language
Swedish
id
8509956
date added to LUP
2016-02-23 17:39:10
date last changed
2016-02-23 17:39:10
@misc{8509956,
  abstract     = {This paper deals with young offenders role in Swedish criminal law. The aim is to portray the age of criminal liability in Swedish law. Depict how the regulation is enshrined in the law as well as from a correct historical perspective. The questions to answer the purpose are:
Is 15 years an appropriate age of criminal responsibility?
Is the principle of predictability fulfilled for children under 15 years in terms of penalties?
Is an accountability criterion appropriate to introduce for children?

During the provincial laws of time in the 1200s the laws begun to be written down. Given young people should de facto have special treatment came to influent the Swedish development right up to today's current law. The 1864 Strafflag was enacted as the first nationwide regulation that gave special treatment to young offenders. The basis for why children under 15 years are not punished was that children were not considered fully developed and accountable and thus could not be punished for their deeds.

During the 1800s special treatment were not only given children at the penalty, but also the question of responsibility. By the existence of the accountability criterion the offense committed by those who are weak of old age is unpunished. The accountability criterion meant that children were not considered able to commit crimes, unlike today where all people are considered capable of committing crimes. Although, the introduction of the accountability criterion means that young people can still commit morally reprehensible actions but they indeed are not defined as criminal. The conclusion is that the difference is only theoretical and actions of the social services would be the same regardless of the introduction of a accountability criterion. It is not the legal classification of the deed as criminal that means the young needs help and support, it is the deed itself.
In the enactment of brottsbalken the perception of accountability changed. After 1965 the legislature did no longer any exceptions for people who were not considered accountable, therefore the chapter of 5. 4 § SL was not transferred to brottsbalken. This was compensated with a regulation were children under 15 years could not be subject to penalties, chapter 1. 6 § BrB. In Swedish law, the age is a conception that an individual at a given age is judged capable to separate the right and wrong and thus can be held accountable for crimes. In chapter 1. 6 § BrB, the sentence "may not be sentenced to a penalty" means that children can perpetrate crimes, but not be sentenced to a penalty. A crime that had led to penalty if the individual had been punishable can lead to health care under the lagen om särskilda bestämmelser vård av unga. The fact that children can commit a crime means they can be sentenced to a penalty. The chapter 1. 6 § BrB is therefore misleading in the sense that children may be sentenced to a variant of the sanction - care under § 3 LVU.

The question is debatable whether there is a "right" age appropriate for punishment. The answer is highly political and motivated by different ideologies from time to time and state to state. Age of criminal responsibility varies from country to country and it is not without difficulty, the legislature can know at what age young people should take responsibility for their actions. England currently has the lowest age of criminal responsibility in Europe with 10 years and Poland has the highest with 17 years. The age itself is no guarantee of reaching certain ability. States only make an assumption about when a child is considered liable for his deeds. Just because Sweden has chosen 15 years, is not necessarily a guarantee of the right age to punish. There are only six countries in Europe that have chosen 15 years of age for criminal responsibility. The most common age of criminal responsibility in Europe is 14 years. The ages in general are varying from 10 years up to 17 years.

On the issue of if 15 years is an appropriate age of criminal responsibility must be said that in these cases special treatment the child due to a number, which is not the same as to special treatment because of lack of development or ability. Given that lack of skills is among the main reasons why an age of criminal responsibility exists, it is worth pondering why the legislature chose to define the age of criminal liability to a given age when young people generally do not develop the same. 

But to in order to meet the requirements of the principle of prediction, it is most suitable that an age is determined in all given situations, regardless of a child’s abilities in the individual case. It is in line with the UN Children's Committee that the age of criminal responsibility should be around 14-16 years but when Denmark lowered the age of criminal responsibility from 15 to 14 years the act was widely criticized. The conclusion must be that 15 years is regarded as an appropriate age of criminal responsibility, which is compatible with European and UN standards.},
  author       = {Södergren, Andriano},
  keyword      = {straffrätt,criminal law,straffbarhetsåldern,straffmyndighet,tillräknelighet},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Det är bara ett barn - En redogörelse av straffbarhetsålderns lämplighet i Sverige},
  year         = {2015},
}