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Uppsåt i Sverige - En komparativ studie av de alternativa uppsåtsbegreppen

Mörner, Hampus LU (2016) LAGF03 20161
Department of Law
Faculty of Law
Abstract
Intent is something that plays a very important role in criminal law. In order for someone to be legally responsible for a criminal act requires not only that he has acted in a certain way, but also that he from a moral point of view can be considered to have guilt. This circumstance is evidenced by the two initial provisions of the Swedish Penal Code (BrB). These provisions state that an act that fulfills only the objective legal requirements for a crime can never establish criminal liability. Criminal liability requires personal guilt, and such guilt arises when the act is undertaken with intent.
A definition of the lower limit of intent is in other words necessary in order to distinguish acts committed with negligence from acts... (More)
Intent is something that plays a very important role in criminal law. In order for someone to be legally responsible for a criminal act requires not only that he has acted in a certain way, but also that he from a moral point of view can be considered to have guilt. This circumstance is evidenced by the two initial provisions of the Swedish Penal Code (BrB). These provisions state that an act that fulfills only the objective legal requirements for a crime can never establish criminal liability. Criminal liability requires personal guilt, and such guilt arises when the act is undertaken with intent.
A definition of the lower limit of intent is in other words necessary in order to distinguish acts committed with negligence from acts committed with intent. Whether the act is deemed intentional or negligent will then be crucial to whether it is considered criminal or not. How the lower limit of intent shall be defined has, however, proved to be a difficult question to answer and there is much disagreement regarding the actual meaning of the word intent. Different models of intent have been presented, proposed and tested in practice and doctrine and these have been based on either will or perception of risk. A possible intent with a hypothetical test was previously used in Swedish law and the use of an intent of probability has been proposed by a public inquiry but the government chose not to go through with it. Today, however, we practice a so called intent of indifference.
When practicing the will-based forms (the intent of indifference and the possible intent with a hypothetical test) a person's attitude will be crucial for determining the existence of intent. In order to assess intent, the offender must first have realized that his actions could have led to a certain effect and it must then be proven that the offender was at least indifferent to this effect. To let a personal attitude stipulate guilt does probably conform to society's general idea of what guilt is. This circumstance, however, leads to significant practical problems. To prove someone's personal attitude is by many means impossible since the proof of an attitude can only be based on psychological factors. Something in the physical world that suggests what kind of opinion an offender had on a possible effect is hard to find and the result of the court's assessment could therefore often be arbitrary. When practicing the possible intent with a hypothetical test, the assessment is mostly based on a man's personal character which tends to result in discrimination. The intent of indifference, however, allows the proofs of a man’s indifference only to be based on the offender's attitude in a specific case. This leads to less discrimination but has proved to be a particularly difficult process.
The intent of probability focuses only on the offender's perception of the possibility or risk that his actions might lead to a certain effect. His personal perception of the risk is what becomes crucial for the evaluation of intent while his attitude to the criminal effect is completely excluded from the assessment. Proof of intent does in this case seem easier to find since other things than just psychological factors can indicate a certain perception of risk. Moreover, the simple construction of the perception-based model opens up for possibilities to introduce a legal definition of intent which would meet the requirements of the principle of legality. Much criticism has, however, been directed also towards this perceptionbased intent. The criticism is based mainly on the common idea of what makes an act reprehensible. In today's society, it seems that the general belief regarding guilt is that it is stipulated by someone's reprehensible attitude rather than someone's perception of a risk.
The issues raised during the discussion on the different forms of intent is primarily based on moral opinions, justice-political ideologies, efficiency and rule of law. It is hard to decide which one of these issues that matter most when it comes to defining the lower limit of intent and that is probably why the legal position is still rather unclear regarding this topic. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Uppsåt spelar en mycket viktig roll inom straffrätten. För att en person skall vara juridiskt ansvarig för ett brottsligt beteende krävs inte bara att han har handlat på ett visst sätt utan även att han ur ett moraliskt perspektiv kan anses bära skuld. Detta framgår tydligt av brottsbalkens inledande bestämmelser. Där konstateras att ett handlande som uppfyller de objektiva brottsrekvisiten aldrig ensamt kan grunda straffrättsligt ansvar. För straffrättsligt ansvar krävs personlig skuld och sådan skuld föreligger om handlandet utförts med uppsåt.
Genom att definiera den nedre gränsen för uppsåt kan man med andra ord skilja oaktsamma handlingar uppsåtliga handlingar. Huruvida handlingen bedöms som uppsåtlig eller oaktsam kommer sedan bli... (More)
Uppsåt spelar en mycket viktig roll inom straffrätten. För att en person skall vara juridiskt ansvarig för ett brottsligt beteende krävs inte bara att han har handlat på ett visst sätt utan även att han ur ett moraliskt perspektiv kan anses bära skuld. Detta framgår tydligt av brottsbalkens inledande bestämmelser. Där konstateras att ett handlande som uppfyller de objektiva brottsrekvisiten aldrig ensamt kan grunda straffrättsligt ansvar. För straffrättsligt ansvar krävs personlig skuld och sådan skuld föreligger om handlandet utförts med uppsåt.
Genom att definiera den nedre gränsen för uppsåt kan man med andra ord skilja oaktsamma handlingar uppsåtliga handlingar. Huruvida handlingen bedöms som uppsåtlig eller oaktsam kommer sedan bli avgörande för om den anses är kriminell eller inte. Hur uppsåtets nedre gräns skall definieras har dock visat sig vara en svår fråga att besvara och vad uppsåt egentligen är råder det stor oenighet om. I praxis och doktrin har olika uppsåtsmodeller presenterats, föreslagits och prövats och dessa har varit antingen viljebaserade eller insiktsbaserade. Tidigare tillämpades ett så kallat eventuellt uppsåt med ett hypotetiskt prov. Därefter föreslogs införandet av ett sannolikhetsuppsåt men förslaget gick aldrig igenom utan idag tillämpar vi istället det som kallas likgiltighetsuppsåt.
Vid de viljebaserade uppsåtsformerna (likgiltighetsuppsåtet och det eventuella uppsåtet med hypotetiskt prov) kommer en persons inställning att bli det avgörande för uppsåtsbedömningen. För att uppsåt skall anses föreligga måste bevisas att gärningsmannen åtminstone varit likgiltig inför en effekt som han insett att hans handlande kunnat leda till. Att det är en persons inställning eller attityd som kan stipulera skuld stämmer förmodligen överens med den allmänna åsikten om vad skuld är för någonting. Däremot medför detta faktum flera praktiska problem. Att bevisa någons personliga inställning är ju egentligen omöjligt eftersom denna grundar sig på psykiska omständigheter. Något fysiskt som tyder på hur en gärningsman ställt sig inför en effekt finns sällan att ta hjälp av och bedömningarna riskerar därför att bli godtyckliga. Vid det eventuella uppsåtet grundas bedömningen ofta på en gärningsmans personliga karaktär vilket resulterar i diskriminering. Vid likgiltighetsuppsåtet försöker man istället grunda bedömningen på gärningsmannens inställning i det konkreta fallet. Denna inställning har visat sig vara extra svår att utreda.
Vid det insiktsbaserade sannolikhetsuppsåtet kommer en gärningsmans insikt om risken för att hans handlande kan till en brottslig effekt bli det avgörande i uppsåtsbedömningen. Gärningsmannens personliga inställning till den brottsliga effekten utesluts helt ur bedömningen. Att bevisa uppsåt lär i detta fall förefalla enklare för domstolen eftersom en insikt om risk kan påverkas av andra omständigheter än endast de psykiska föreställningar som en person har. Dessutom innebär denna enklare uppsåtskonstruktion att man skulle kunna införa en definition av uppsåt i lagen vilket uppfyller de krav som legalitetsprincipen ställer på vårt rättssystem. Mycket kritik har dock riktats även mot ett insiktsbaserat sannolikhetsuppsåt. Kritiken grundar sig framförallt i den allmänna uppfattningen om att det som gör en handling klandervärd är gärningsmannens personliga inställning till effekten snarare än hans uppfattning om sannolikheten för effekten.
De frågor som aktualiseras vid diskussionen om de olika uppsåtsformerna bygger i första hand på moraliska åsikter, rättspolitiska ideologier samt effektivitet och rättssäkerhet. Vilken av dessa frågor som väger tyngst vid fastställandet av uppsåtets nedre gräns är svårt att svara på och det är därför som rättsläget fortfarande är oklart beträffande detta ämne. (Less)
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author
Mörner, Hampus LU
supervisor
organization
course
LAGF03 20161
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
straffrätt, criminal law
language
Swedish
id
8874524
date added to LUP
2016-07-04 12:15:44
date last changed
2016-07-04 12:15:44
@misc{8874524,
  abstract     = {Intent is something that plays a very important role in criminal law. In order for someone to be legally responsible for a criminal act requires not only that he has acted in a certain way, but also that he from a moral point of view can be considered to have guilt. This circumstance is evidenced by the two initial provisions of the Swedish Penal Code (BrB). These provisions state that an act that fulfills only the objective legal requirements for a crime can never establish criminal liability. Criminal liability requires personal guilt, and such guilt arises when the act is undertaken with intent. 
A definition of the lower limit of intent is in other words necessary in order to distinguish acts committed with negligence from acts committed with intent. Whether the act is deemed intentional or negligent will then be crucial to whether it is considered criminal or not. How the lower limit of intent shall be defined has, however, proved to be a difficult question to answer and there is much disagreement regarding the actual meaning of the word intent. Different models of intent have been presented, proposed and tested in practice and doctrine and these have been based on either will or perception of risk. A possible intent with a hypothetical test was previously used in Swedish law and the use of an intent of probability has been proposed by a public inquiry but the government chose not to go through with it. Today, however, we practice a so called intent of indifference. 
When practicing the will-based forms (the intent of indifference and the possible intent with a hypothetical test) a person's attitude will be crucial for determining the existence of intent. In order to assess intent, the offender must first have realized that his actions could have led to a certain effect and it must then be proven that the offender was at least indifferent to this effect. To let a personal attitude stipulate guilt does probably conform to society's general idea of what guilt is. This circumstance, however, leads to significant practical problems. To prove someone's personal attitude is by many means impossible since the proof of an attitude can only be based on psychological factors. Something in the physical world that suggests what kind of opinion an offender had on a possible effect is hard to find and the result of the court's assessment could therefore often be arbitrary. When practicing the possible intent with a hypothetical test, the assessment is mostly based on a man's personal character which tends to result in discrimination. The intent of indifference, however, allows the proofs of a man’s indifference only to be based on the offender's attitude in a specific case. This leads to less discrimination but has proved to be a particularly difficult process. 
The intent of probability focuses only on the offender's perception of the possibility or risk that his actions might lead to a certain effect. His personal perception of the risk is what becomes crucial for the evaluation of intent while his attitude to the criminal effect is completely excluded from the assessment. Proof of intent does in this case seem easier to find since other things than just psychological factors can indicate a certain perception of risk. Moreover, the simple construction of the perception-based model opens up for possibilities to introduce a legal definition of intent which would meet the requirements of the principle of legality. Much criticism has, however, been directed also towards this perceptionbased intent. The criticism is based mainly on the common idea of what makes an act reprehensible. In today's society, it seems that the general belief regarding guilt is that it is stipulated by someone's reprehensible attitude rather than someone's perception of a risk. 
The issues raised during the discussion on the different forms of intent is primarily based on moral opinions, justice-political ideologies, efficiency and rule of law. It is hard to decide which one of these issues that matter most when it comes to defining the lower limit of intent and that is probably why the legal position is still rather unclear regarding this topic.},
  author       = {Mörner, Hampus},
  keyword      = {straffrätt,criminal law},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Uppsåt i Sverige - En komparativ studie av de alternativa uppsåtsbegreppen},
  year         = {2016},
}