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Domstols riskbedömning - ett alltför stort risktagande? En studie av domstols bedömning av risk för återfall i allvarlig brottslighet vid omvandlingsprövning av livstidsstraff

Straube, Anna LU (2016) LAGM01 20161
Department of Law
Abstract
By the passing of the Act (2006:45) on conversion of imprisonment for life (OmvL), a new system for the release of a prisoner serving life sentence was created, by enabling an entitlement to apply for conversion after having served ten years of the imprisonment. The adjudicate consists of five conversion criteria, one of which involves an assessment of whether there is a risk of a recidivism into serious crime. The recidivism assessment shall be seen in the light of HDs statement in NJA 2008 s. 579, and if there is a concrete and considerable recidivism risk, the application shall be rejected unreservedly, resulting in the risk assessment assumed a special position among OmvLs five conversion criteria.
This risk of recidivism is... (More)
By the passing of the Act (2006:45) on conversion of imprisonment for life (OmvL), a new system for the release of a prisoner serving life sentence was created, by enabling an entitlement to apply for conversion after having served ten years of the imprisonment. The adjudicate consists of five conversion criteria, one of which involves an assessment of whether there is a risk of a recidivism into serious crime. The recidivism assessment shall be seen in the light of HDs statement in NJA 2008 s. 579, and if there is a concrete and considerable recidivism risk, the application shall be rejected unreservedly, resulting in the risk assessment assumed a special position among OmvLs five conversion criteria.
This risk of recidivism is questionable from an ethical perspective since it practically concerns an assessment of the life sentenced future behavior. The assessments were motivated by the importance of social protection and can be likened to a preventive future prognosis. There is thus a risk that the rule of law of the convicted is not catered for, whereby the purpose of the study is to critically investigate OmvLs risk of recidivism assessment based on a theory of formal and substantive rule of law.
The court makes the assessment of the risk of recidivism after obtaining the opinion of the Board of Forensic Medicines (RMV). RMVs assessment is based on a structured clinical method, which means that specific checklists are used where the risk- and protective factors are weighed against each other and lead to an overall assessment. In this assessment, the risk of recidivism is graded as low, medium or high. RMVs assessment is subsequently the basis for the courts assessment of the risk of recidivism is concrete and considerable. The judgment of the court is though not based on a structured clinical method, it is executed in the light of the need of social protection. In a study of all conversion decisions in 2015, it has become clear that the courts use different assessment methods, which, depending on how the risk- and protective factors are weighted, generate different outcomes. Consequently, the assessment possesses a degree of arbitrariness. It has been proved that the validity of the assessment is merely 75%, meaning that approximately one in four assessments are performed incorrectly. It has also been revealed that a large amount of knowledge in terms of research, clinical sensitivity and good judgment are required to carry out risk assessments. The court does not possess such specialist knowledge but despite this it is the court that finalizes the assessment.
Formal rule of law requires that decisions based on law are predictable. Lacking guidelines for the assessment, I consider the risk assessment unpredictable. Consequently, a weak formal rule of law can be considered to exist. Substantive rule of law requires, in addition to foreseeability, that moral and ethical values are considered. Because of the courts lack of adequate assessment model, the assessment appears to be arbitrary in nature. Also, the assessment holds high margin of error and assumes the character of a crime preventive detention, why I do not think that the application of a risk assessment is consistent with the substantive rule of law.
The problems identified above can be concretized to a tradeoff between the right to rule of law of a life sentenced and the society's need of civil protection. A correct answer to how this balance of interests is to be made can hardly be given, but it is clear that by the risk criteria’s strong position, the social protection has override the sentenced's need for rule of law, regardless of which definition is used. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Genom införandet av lag (2006:45) om omvandling av fängelse på livstid (OmvL) skapades ett nytt frigivningssystem för livstidsdömda genom en rätt att ansöka om omvandling hos Örebro TR efter att ha avtjänat tio år av det utdömda livstidsstraffet. Omvandlingsprövningen består av fem kriterier, varav ett innebär en bedömning av om det föreligger risk för återfall i allvarlig brottslighet. Om konkret och beaktansvärd återfallsrisk föreligger ska omvandlingsansökan, mot bakgrund av HDs uttalande i NJA 2008 s. 579, avslås reservationslöst. Detta medför att riskbedömningen intagit en särställning bland OmvLs fem omvandlingskriterier.
Riskbedömningen är dock ifrågasättbar ur etiskt perspektiv, då det i praktiken rör sig om en bedömning av den... (More)
Genom införandet av lag (2006:45) om omvandling av fängelse på livstid (OmvL) skapades ett nytt frigivningssystem för livstidsdömda genom en rätt att ansöka om omvandling hos Örebro TR efter att ha avtjänat tio år av det utdömda livstidsstraffet. Omvandlingsprövningen består av fem kriterier, varav ett innebär en bedömning av om det föreligger risk för återfall i allvarlig brottslighet. Om konkret och beaktansvärd återfallsrisk föreligger ska omvandlingsansökan, mot bakgrund av HDs uttalande i NJA 2008 s. 579, avslås reservationslöst. Detta medför att riskbedömningen intagit en särställning bland OmvLs fem omvandlingskriterier.
Riskbedömningen är dock ifrågasättbar ur etiskt perspektiv, då det i praktiken rör sig om en bedömning av den livstidsdömdes framtida agerande. Bedömningen motiverades med att samhällets skyddsbehov ej får eftersättas och kan liknas vid en preventiv framtidsprognos. Därmed föreligger risk att den dömdes rättssäkerhet ej tillgodoses, varpå studiens syfte är att kritiskt granska OmvLs riskbedömning utifrån en teori om formell respektive materiell rättssäkerhet.
Bedömning av återfallsrisken sker av domstol efter att ha inhämtat Rättsmedicinalverkets (RMV) yttrande över återfallsrisken. RMVs bedömning sker utifrån en strukturerad klinisk metod, vilket innebär att särskilda checklistor nyttjas där risk- respektive skyddsfaktorer viktas mot varandra för att sedan mynna ut i en sammanvägd bedömning där återfallsrisken graderas som låg, medelhög eller hög. RMVs bedömning ligger sedermera till grund för domstols bedömning om återfallsrisken är konkret och beaktansvärd. Domstols bedömning utgår dock ej från en strukturerad klinisk bedömning, utan sker mot bakgrund av samhällsskyddsbehovet. Genom studie av 2015 års samtliga omvandlingsbeslut har framgått att domstol nyttjar olika bedömningsmodeller härvid, vilka beroende på hur risk- respektive skyddsfaktorerna viktas kan generera olika utfall. Därmed framstår bedömningen inneha ett visst mått av godtycklighet. Vid närmare granskning av riskbedömningen har framkommit att dess validitet endast är 75 %, vilket innebär att ungefär var fjärde riskbedömning är felaktigt utförd. Därtill har uppenbarats att ett stort mått av kunskap om forskning, klinisk känslighet samt ett gott omdöme fordras för att utföra riskbedömningar. Sådan specialistkunskap innehas ej av domstol. Ändock är domstol det organ som lägger sista handen vid riskbedömningen.
För att formell rättssäkerhet ska råda ska de på lagen baserade besluten vara förutsebara. Då domstol saknar riktlinjer för bedömningen anser jag riskbedömningen vara oförutsebar, varvid en svag formell rättssäkerhet kan sägas råda. För att materiell rättssäkerhet ska råda krävs, utöver förutsebarhet, att etiska och moraliska värden beaktas. Mot bakgrund av domstols avsaknad av adekvat bedömningsmodell framstår bedömningen vara av godtycklig karaktär. Då bedömningen även innehar hög felmarginal samt intar karaktären av ett brottspreventivt frihetsberövande anser jag att tillämpning av riskbedömningen ej är förenlig med materiell rättssäkerhet.
Den problematik som påvisats ovan kan konkretiseras till en avvägning mellan den livstidsdömdes rätt till rättssäkerhet och samhällets behov av rättstrygghet i form av samhällsskydd. Ett korrekt svar på hur denna intresseavvägning ska göras kan svårligen ges, men klart är att genom riskbedömningskriteriets starka ställning vid omvandlingsprövningen har samhällsskyddet kommit att överskugga den dömdes rätt till rättssäkerhet, oaktat vilken rättssäkerhetsdefinition som nyttjas. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Straube, Anna LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Court of Law´s risk assessment - too much of a risk? A study of Court of Law´s assessment of whether there is a risk of a recidivism into serious crime by a revision of the conversion of life sentences
course
LAGM01 20161
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Omvandlingslagen, livstidsstraff, fängelse på livstid, riskbedömning, formell rättssäkerhet, materiell rättssäkerhet, straffrätt, straffprocessrätt
language
Swedish
id
8841157
date added to LUP
2016-03-30 14:53:08
date last changed
2016-03-30 14:53:08
@misc{8841157,
  abstract     = {By the passing of the Act (2006:45) on conversion of imprisonment for life (OmvL), a new system for the release of a prisoner serving life sentence was created, by enabling an entitlement to apply for conversion after having served ten years of the imprisonment. The adjudicate consists of five conversion criteria, one of which involves an assessment of whether there is a risk of a recidivism into serious crime. The recidivism assessment shall be seen in the light of HDs statement in NJA 2008 s. 579, and if there is a concrete and considerable recidivism risk, the application shall be rejected unreservedly, resulting in the risk assessment assumed a special position among OmvLs five conversion criteria.
This risk of recidivism is questionable from an ethical perspective since it practically concerns an assessment of the life sentenced future behavior. The assessments were motivated by the importance of social protection and can be likened to a preventive future prognosis. There is thus a risk that the rule of law of the convicted is not catered for, whereby the purpose of the study is to critically investigate OmvLs risk of recidivism assessment based on a theory of formal and substantive rule of law.
The court makes the assessment of the risk of recidivism after obtaining the opinion of the Board of Forensic Medicines (RMV). RMVs assessment is based on a structured clinical method, which means that specific checklists are used where the risk- and protective factors are weighed against each other and lead to an overall assessment. In this assessment, the risk of recidivism is graded as low, medium or high. RMVs assessment is subsequently the basis for the courts assessment of the risk of recidivism is concrete and considerable. The judgment of the court is though not based on a structured clinical method, it is executed in the light of the need of social protection. In a study of all conversion decisions in 2015, it has become clear that the courts use different assessment methods, which, depending on how the risk- and protective factors are weighted, generate different outcomes. Consequently, the assessment possesses a degree of arbitrariness. It has been proved that the validity of the assessment is merely 75%, meaning that approximately one in four assessments are performed incorrectly. It has also been revealed that a large amount of knowledge in terms of research, clinical sensitivity and good judgment are required to carry out risk assessments. The court does not possess such specialist knowledge but despite this it is the court that finalizes the assessment. 
Formal rule of law requires that decisions based on law are predictable. Lacking guidelines for the assessment, I consider the risk assessment unpredictable. Consequently, a weak formal rule of law can be considered to exist. Substantive rule of law requires, in addition to foreseeability, that moral and ethical values are considered. Because of the courts lack of adequate assessment model, the assessment appears to be arbitrary in nature. Also, the assessment holds high margin of error and assumes the character of a crime preventive detention, why I do not think that the application of a risk assessment is consistent with the substantive rule of law.
The problems identified above can be concretized to a tradeoff between the right to rule of law of a life sentenced and the society's need of civil protection. A correct answer to how this balance of interests is to be made can hardly be given, but it is clear that by the risk criteria’s strong position, the social protection has override the sentenced's need for rule of law, regardless of which definition is used.},
  author       = {Straube, Anna},
  keyword      = {Omvandlingslagen,livstidsstraff,fängelse på livstid,riskbedömning,formell rättssäkerhet,materiell rättssäkerhet,straffrätt,straffprocessrätt},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Domstols riskbedömning - ett alltför stort risktagande? En studie av domstols bedömning av risk för återfall i allvarlig brottslighet vid omvandlingsprövning av livstidsstraff},
  year         = {2016},
}