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Bör folkets åsikt beaktas? - en rättslig analys av det allmänna rättsmedvetandet

Gullers Ahlin, Victor LU (2017) JURM02 20171
Department of Law
Abstract
The purpose of this essay has been to review the concept “the public’s sense of justice”. Ever since the 1980s, the term has become increasingly prevalent in preparatory work aswell as political and mediocre discussions on legislation and justice. The public’s sense of justice is particularly common in Swedish crime policy. Despite its topicality, questions surrounding the concept, such as its definition and content, have not yet attracted any greater interest from the legal point of view.

In order to enable a discussion about the the public’s sense of justice, the essay contains a brief overview of the history of Swedish criminal law until the concepts occurrence in the 1970s. The idea behind this historical overview has been to... (More)
The purpose of this essay has been to review the concept “the public’s sense of justice”. Ever since the 1980s, the term has become increasingly prevalent in preparatory work aswell as political and mediocre discussions on legislation and justice. The public’s sense of justice is particularly common in Swedish crime policy. Despite its topicality, questions surrounding the concept, such as its definition and content, have not yet attracted any greater interest from the legal point of view.

In order to enable a discussion about the the public’s sense of justice, the essay contains a brief overview of the history of Swedish criminal law until the concepts occurrence in the 1970s. The idea behind this historical overview has been to highlight the thoughts and ideas regarding the design of the penal system, which has led to the current situation, in which the public’s sense of justice plays a central role.

In addition to this historical review, the basic parts of the public’s sense of justice, such as its actual existence and definition, its application and criticism are examined within the framework of this essay.

Due to the lack of legal research regarding the term, materials from different scientific disciplines have been applied. The essay deals with both criminological research and preliminary work, case law and certain legal doctrine. The material has led to the following conclusions.

The public’s sense of justice is a hard-defined concept, which changes content based on the information provided to the population. On the other hand, there is no doubt that the public’s sense of justice exists. Likewise, it is clear that the public’s sense of justice affects legislation as well as the rule of law. The greatest importance is attached to the concept in the legislative work, as a reason for change. Regarding rule of law, the public’s sense of justice should not affect individual cases, but a widespread opinion against the application of existing law may lead to a change in the matter.

However, there is extensive criticism against the use of this term as a basis for changing the law. This criticism is directed primarily to the difficulty of content-determining the concept. Critics believe that the content of the public’s sense of justice will change depending on the amount of information provided, although the question at hand does not change. This makes the concept attractive from a political perspective, but may lead to legislative changes that the citizens of a society do not really stand behind. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Syftet med denna uppsats har varit att granska begreppet ”det allmänna rättsmedvetandet”. Allt sedan 1980 – talet har begreppet förekommit alltmer frekvent i såväl förarbeten som politiska och mediala diskussioner rörande lagstiftning och rättsskipning. Det allmänna rättsmedvetandet är för svenskt vidkommande särskilt vanligt förekommande inom kriminalpolitiken. Trots dess aktualitet har frågor rörande begreppet, såsom dess definition och innehåll, ännu inte attraherat något större intresse från juridiskt håll.

För att möjliggöra en diskussion rörande det allmänna rättsmedvetandet innehåller uppsatsen en kort genomgång av den svenska straffrättens historia fram till begreppets inträde under 1970 – talet. Tanken bakom denna historiska... (More)
Syftet med denna uppsats har varit att granska begreppet ”det allmänna rättsmedvetandet”. Allt sedan 1980 – talet har begreppet förekommit alltmer frekvent i såväl förarbeten som politiska och mediala diskussioner rörande lagstiftning och rättsskipning. Det allmänna rättsmedvetandet är för svenskt vidkommande särskilt vanligt förekommande inom kriminalpolitiken. Trots dess aktualitet har frågor rörande begreppet, såsom dess definition och innehåll, ännu inte attraherat något större intresse från juridiskt håll.

För att möjliggöra en diskussion rörande det allmänna rättsmedvetandet innehåller uppsatsen en kort genomgång av den svenska straffrättens historia fram till begreppets inträde under 1970 – talet. Tanken bakom denna historiska överblick har varit att belysa de tankar och idéer rörande straffsystemets utformning som lett fram till det nu gällande, där det allmänna rättsmedvetandet spelar en central roll.

Utöver denna historiska genomgång undersöks dels det allmänna rättsmedvetandets basala delar, såsom dess faktiska existens och definition, dels dess tillämpning och kritik mot denna inom ramen för denna uppsats.

Till följd av bristande juridisk forskning rörande begreppet har material från olika vetenskapliga discipliner tillämpats. Uppsatsen behandlar såväl kriminologisk forskning som förarbeten, rättsfall och viss juridisk doktrin. Materialet har lett fram till följande slutsatser.

Det allmänna rättsmedvetandet är ett svårdefinierat begrepp, som skiftar innehåll beroende på den information som tillförs befolkningen. Klarlagt är däremot att det allmänna rättsmedvetandet i högsta grad existerar. Likaså är det klarlagt att det allmänna rättsmedvetandet inverkar på såväl lagstiftning som rättsskipning. Störst vikt tillmäts begreppet i lagstiftningsarbeten, såsom ett skäl för att förändra. Rörande rättsskipning bör det allmänna rättsmedvetandet inte inverka i det enskilda fallet, men en folklig opinion emot tillämpning av gällande rätt kan leda till en förändring av densamma.

Det finns dock omfattande kritik emot användandet av detta begrepp såsom grund för förändring av rätten. Denna kritik riktar sig främst emot svårigheten att innehållsbestämma begreppet. Kritiker menar att det allmänna rättsmedvetandets innehåll kommer förändras beroende på mängden information som tillförs, även om den aktuella frågan inte förändras. Detta gör begreppet attraktivt ur ett politiskt perspektiv, men kan komma att leda till lagändringar som medborgarna i ett samhälle egentligen inte står bakom. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Gullers Ahlin, Victor LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Should the people's opinion be taken into consideration? - an analysis of the public's sense of justice
course
JURM02 20171
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
legal history, law, criminal law
language
Swedish
id
8908630
date added to LUP
2017-06-08 11:24:43
date last changed
2017-06-08 11:24:43
@misc{8908630,
  abstract     = {The purpose of this essay has been to review the concept “the public’s sense of justice”. Ever since the 1980s, the term has become increasingly prevalent in preparatory work aswell as political and mediocre discussions on legislation and justice. The public’s sense of justice is particularly common in Swedish crime policy. Despite its topicality, questions surrounding the concept, such as its definition and content, have not yet attracted any greater interest from the legal point of view.

In order to enable a discussion about the the public’s sense of justice, the essay contains a brief overview of the history of Swedish criminal law until the concepts occurrence in the 1970s. The idea behind this historical overview has been to highlight the thoughts and ideas regarding the design of the penal system, which has led to the current situation, in which the public’s sense of justice plays a central role.

In addition to this historical review, the basic parts of the public’s sense of justice, such as its actual existence and definition, its application and criticism are examined within the framework of this essay.

Due to the lack of legal research regarding the term, materials from different scientific disciplines have been applied. The essay deals with both criminological research and preliminary work, case law and certain legal doctrine. The material has led to the following conclusions.

The public’s sense of justice is a hard-defined concept, which changes content based on the information provided to the population. On the other hand, there is no doubt that the public’s sense of justice exists. Likewise, it is clear that the public’s sense of justice affects legislation as well as the rule of law. The greatest importance is attached to the concept in the legislative work, as a reason for change. Regarding rule of law, the public’s sense of justice should not affect individual cases, but a widespread opinion against the application of existing law may lead to a change in the matter.

However, there is extensive criticism against the use of this term as a basis for changing the law. This criticism is directed primarily to the difficulty of content-determining the concept. Critics believe that the content of the public’s sense of justice will change depending on the amount of information provided, although the question at hand does not change. This makes the concept attractive from a political perspective, but may lead to legislative changes that the citizens of a society do not really stand behind.},
  author       = {Gullers Ahlin, Victor},
  keyword      = {legal history,law,criminal law},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Bör folkets åsikt beaktas? - en rättslig analys av det allmänna rättsmedvetandet},
  year         = {2017},
}