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Barnets medfödda underläge - En studie av domstolarnas värdering av barns utsagor i mål om sexuella övergrepp mot bakgrund av rättspsykologisk forskning

Wästerlund, Paulina LU (2017) LAGF03 20171
Department of Law
Faculty of Law
Abstract
Sexual abuse is the most common form of harmful treatment of children globally. Society´s view of the child as particularly worthy of protection has led to the development of specific methods used in the work with children today. In order to avoid the risk of children subject to abuse being forced to relive the events, a custom of not having the child attend the trial has formed. A greater focus is instead placed on the video recorded dictum, which is presented to the court during the main hearing and constitutes the plaintiff’s possibly sole evidence.

Due to their character as undisclosed crimes, cases of sexual crime are difficult to investigate, with the plaintiff and the accused being the only ones present. When words stand against... (More)
Sexual abuse is the most common form of harmful treatment of children globally. Society´s view of the child as particularly worthy of protection has led to the development of specific methods used in the work with children today. In order to avoid the risk of children subject to abuse being forced to relive the events, a custom of not having the child attend the trial has formed. A greater focus is instead placed on the video recorded dictum, which is presented to the court during the main hearing and constitutes the plaintiff’s possibly sole evidence.

Due to their character as undisclosed crimes, cases of sexual crime are difficult to investigate, with the plaintiff and the accused being the only ones present. When words stand against words, the valuation of the plaintiff’s dictum is central to the assessment process. It is therefore important that there is a clear and concrete method of the procedure. The analysis of the dictum applies criteria derived from psychology and judicial experiences.

The rule of law as a concept intends to ensure that the law is applied safely and satisfactory to the purposes for which it was created. Everyone is to be protected from innocent judgements, and everyone should be given a fair chance to present their case in a correct way be-fore a court, and redress. In this regard, it is particularly important to take into account the possibility that a child as a plaintiff has, according to legal psychological research on children’s cognitive abilities, to retell a story in the manner required by criteria of the Supreme Court.

In two out of four analysed cases, the dictum is ruled to be sufficiently reliable and credible to be used as basis of a convicting sentence. Consequently, two out of four statements are considered insufficient in meeting the evidential requirement. The analysis of the adjudication process indicates an inconsistent assessment of judgments due to the fact that the court places different emphasis on different criteria, or randomly selects an assortment for its focus, before making its decision. Dictums considered to be credible may be dismissed due to inadequate supporting evidence, but the assessment of what supporting evidence is considered reliable tends to vary as well.

In a constitutional state, innocent people shall not be sentenced to crime, but this ought not exclude the possibility of redress for the victim. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Sexuella övergrepp är den vanligaste formen av skadlig behandling av barn globalt sett. Samhällets syn på barnet som ett högst skyddsvärt objekt har lett till utvecklingen av särskilda metoder för arbetet med barn idag. För att undvika risken att ett barn som varit med om en traumatisk upplevelse tvingas påminnas om det har en praxis skapats som innebär att barnet inte närvarar i rättegången. Större fokus läggs istället vid det videoförhör som presenteras under rättegången och utgör målsägandes sannolikt enda bevisning.

Sexualbrottsmål är svårutredda p.g.a. sin karaktär av undanskymda brott med den målsägande och den tilltalade som enda närvarande. Då ord står mot ord är värderingen av målsägandes utsaga, den s.k. utsageanalysen,... (More)
Sexuella övergrepp är den vanligaste formen av skadlig behandling av barn globalt sett. Samhällets syn på barnet som ett högst skyddsvärt objekt har lett till utvecklingen av särskilda metoder för arbetet med barn idag. För att undvika risken att ett barn som varit med om en traumatisk upplevelse tvingas påminnas om det har en praxis skapats som innebär att barnet inte närvarar i rättegången. Större fokus läggs istället vid det videoförhör som presenteras under rättegången och utgör målsägandes sannolikt enda bevisning.

Sexualbrottsmål är svårutredda p.g.a. sin karaktär av undanskymda brott med den målsägande och den tilltalade som enda närvarande. Då ord står mot ord är värderingen av målsägandes utsaga, den s.k. utsageanalysen, central i bevisvärderingsförfarandet. Det är av den anledningen angeläget att det finns en tydlig och konkretiserad metod för hur den ska ske. Vid analysen tillämpas kriterier hämtade från psykologin och domarerfarenheter.

Rättssäkerhet som begrepp är tänkt att se till att den gällande rätten tillämpas på ett säkert sätt och tillgodoser de ändamål den skapats för. Alla ska skyddas mot att oskyldigt dömas, och alla ska ges en rättvis chans att anföra sin sak på ett fulländat sätt inför en domstol och en möjlighet till upprättelse. Det är i detta avseende särskilt viktigt att hänsyn tas till den möjlighet ett barn som målsägande har, enligt rättspsykologisk forskning kring barns kognitiva förmåga, att återge en berättelse på det sätt som erfordras av HD:s kriterier.

I två av fyra analyserade fall bedöms utsagan vara tillräckligt tillförlitlig och trovärdig för att läggas till grund för en fällande dom. Detta innebär följaktligen att två av fyra utsagor bedömts vara för otillräckliga för att uppfylla beviskravet. Analysen av domstolarnas rättstilllämpning i dessa fall tyder på en inkonsekvent bevisvärdering då domstolarna lägger olika mycket vikt vid olika kriterier, eller slumpartat väljer ett urval kriterier att fokusera på, innan de fattar sitt beslut. Utsagor som bedömts vara trovärdiga kan falla p.g.a. bristande stödbevisning, men bedömningen av vad som är tillförlitlig stödbevisning tenderar också att vari-era.

I en rättsstat ska oskyldiga personer inte dömas för brott, men det ska inte utesluta möjligheten till upprättelse för offret. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Wästerlund, Paulina LU
supervisor
organization
course
LAGF03 20171
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
processrätt, straffrätt, sexualbrott, sexuellt övergrepp mot barn, bevisvärdering, trovärdighet, tillförlitlighet
language
Swedish
id
8908381
date added to LUP
2017-06-30 12:57:41
date last changed
2017-06-30 12:57:41
@misc{8908381,
  abstract     = {Sexual abuse is the most common form of harmful treatment of children globally. Society´s view of the child as particularly worthy of protection has led to the development of specific methods used in the work with children today. In order to avoid the risk of children subject to abuse being forced to relive the events, a custom of not having the child attend the trial has formed. A greater focus is instead placed on the video recorded dictum, which is presented to the court during the main hearing and constitutes the plaintiff’s possibly sole evidence. 

Due to their character as undisclosed crimes, cases of sexual crime are difficult to investigate, with the plaintiff and the accused being the only ones present. When words stand against words, the valuation of the plaintiff’s dictum is central to the assessment process. It is therefore important that there is a clear and concrete method of the procedure. The analysis of the dictum applies criteria derived from psychology and judicial experiences.

The rule of law as a concept intends to ensure that the law is applied safely and satisfactory to the purposes for which it was created. Everyone is to be protected from innocent judgements, and everyone should be given a fair chance to present their case in a correct way be-fore a court, and redress. In this regard, it is particularly important to take into account the possibility that a child as a plaintiff has, according to legal psychological research on children’s cognitive abilities, to retell a story in the manner required by criteria of the Supreme Court. 

In two out of four analysed cases, the dictum is ruled to be sufficiently reliable and credible to be used as basis of a convicting sentence. Consequently, two out of four statements are considered insufficient in meeting the evidential requirement. The analysis of the adjudication process indicates an inconsistent assessment of judgments due to the fact that the court places different emphasis on different criteria, or randomly selects an assortment for its focus, before making its decision. Dictums considered to be credible may be dismissed due to inadequate supporting evidence, but the assessment of what supporting evidence is considered reliable tends to vary as well. 

In a constitutional state, innocent people shall not be sentenced to crime, but this ought not exclude the possibility of redress for the victim.},
  author       = {Wästerlund, Paulina},
  keyword      = {processrätt,straffrätt,sexualbrott,sexuellt övergrepp mot barn,bevisvärdering,trovärdighet,tillförlitlighet},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Barnets medfödda underläge - En studie av domstolarnas värdering av barns utsagor i mål om sexuella övergrepp mot bakgrund av rättspsykologisk forskning},
  year         = {2017},
}