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En särskild resningsinstans - nödvändig reform för de felaktigt dömdas upprättelse?

Odd Stenvall, Wilhelm (2017) LAGF03 20172
Department of Law
Faculty of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Felaktiga domar sker i både Sverige och andra stater. Detta trots att straffprocessen innehåller starka krav på rättssäkerhet så som oskyldighetspresumtionen och rätten att inte bli lagförd två gånger för samma sak. Den senare principen hänger ihop med regeln om att när en dom inte längre kan överklagas får den rättskraft, innebärande att fallet inte får prövas igen i ny rättegång. Alla ordinära rättsmedel är då uttömda och saken är i princip slutgiltigt avgjord. Detta är ett uttryck för den i svensk rättsordning mycket centrala orubblighetsprincipen.

En annan viktig princip inom svensk processrätt är sanningsprincipen. Principens syfte är att till största möjliga utsträckning tillgodose intresset av att sanningen får genomslag i... (More)
Felaktiga domar sker i både Sverige och andra stater. Detta trots att straffprocessen innehåller starka krav på rättssäkerhet så som oskyldighetspresumtionen och rätten att inte bli lagförd två gånger för samma sak. Den senare principen hänger ihop med regeln om att när en dom inte längre kan överklagas får den rättskraft, innebärande att fallet inte får prövas igen i ny rättegång. Alla ordinära rättsmedel är då uttömda och saken är i princip slutgiltigt avgjord. Detta är ett uttryck för den i svensk rättsordning mycket centrala orubblighetsprincipen.

En annan viktig princip inom svensk processrätt är sanningsprincipen. Principens syfte är att till största möjliga utsträckning tillgodose intresset av att sanningen får genomslag i rättskipningen. För att detta ska möjliggöras finns det extraordinära rättsmedlet resning. Beviljad resning innebär att rättskraften hos en lagakraftvunnen dom upphävs och att målet kan prövas på nytt. Den vanligaste grunden för beviljad resning är att nya omständigheter eller bevis framkommer som får den ursprungliga domen att framstå som felaktig.

I Sverige beslutar Högsta domstolen om resning, om den ursprungliga domen meddelats av hovrätten. Har domen meddelats av tingsrätten beslutar hovrätten om resning. När Justitiekanslerns rättssäkerhetsprojekt år 2006 kom ut med en rapport påstods att det fanns stora brister i det svenska resningsförfarandet, bland annat att den dömde ofta var beroende av ideellt arbetande journalister eller advokater för att få fram nya bevis samt att den som beviljats resning ofta ansökt flera gånger. Vidare ansågs att en del av Högsta domstolens tidigare avslagsbeslut varit rent av felaktiga. Rapporten föreslog, för att råda bot på dessa missförhållanden, att det borde införas en särskild resningsinstans som tar emot ansökningar om resning och bistår den dömde med ytterligare utredning. Sådana särskilda resningsinstanser har införts i Storbritannien och Norge. Dessa myndigheter har befogenheter att tillsätta utredning, granska all bevisning i målet och kan dessutom beordra polismyndigheten att återuppta förundersökningen. Resultatet av dessa reformer har blivit att fler felaktigt dömda än tidigare fått upprättelse genom ny rättegång med helt eller delvis frikännande som utgång. De norska siffrorna är av särskilt häpnadsväckande slag då antalet beviljade resningsansökningar var 163 stycken (13 %) under det nya resningsorganets första sju år.

När en person döms för ett brott denne inte begått sker både en individuell tragedi och ett misslyckande för hela rättsväsendet. Trots orubblighetsprincipen betydelse för rättsstaten måste sanningsprincipen segra när principerna kolliderar och systemet med resning som extraordinärt rättsmedel utformas så att möjligheten för felaktigt dömdas upprättelse är så stor som möjlig. Det svenska systemet brister avseende möjligheten till hjälp med utredning då den dömde ofta är beroende av hjälp från privatpersoner och det enda allmänna organ som disponerar utredningsmöjligheterna är åklagarväsendet, den dömdes motpart. Samtidigt visar erfarenheterna från utlandet att de särskilda resningsinstanserna har goda förutsättningar att bistå den dömde med utredningen och fatta korrekta beslut i resningsärendena. För att åtgärda de missförhållanden som finns i det svenska systemet bör således en särskild resningsinstans införas även i Sverige. (Less)
Abstract
Wrongful convictions happen both in Sweden and other countries, even though the criminal justice system is filled with principles regarding the rule of law, such as the presumption of innocence and the right not to be tried or punished twice. The latter is closely linked with the general rule that once a verdict no longer can be appealed, it enjoys legal force (prejudice), meaning the case cannot be retried when all ordinary means of remedy have been exhausted. This is called the principle of immovability, meaning that a final verdict should be adamant, whose importance in the Swedish legal system cannot be overstated.

Another important principle within Swedish procedural law is the principle of truth, whose purpose is to ensure that... (More)
Wrongful convictions happen both in Sweden and other countries, even though the criminal justice system is filled with principles regarding the rule of law, such as the presumption of innocence and the right not to be tried or punished twice. The latter is closely linked with the general rule that once a verdict no longer can be appealed, it enjoys legal force (prejudice), meaning the case cannot be retried when all ordinary means of remedy have been exhausted. This is called the principle of immovability, meaning that a final verdict should be adamant, whose importance in the Swedish legal system cannot be overstated.

Another important principle within Swedish procedural law is the principle of truth, whose purpose is to ensure that the facts a verdict is based on are real and that the truth has an impact on the justice system. To see this through, there is a possibility for review as an extraordinary means of remedy. Once a final verdict has been subject to review, the case may be reopened and brought to trial once again, despite the principle of immovability. The most common reason for reopening cases is that new circumstances or evidence are brought up which make the original verdict seem incorrect.

In Sweden, the power to reopen cases lies with the Supreme Court, if the final verdict was given by the Court of Appeal. If the final verdict was given by the District Court, the power to reopen the case lies with the Court of Appeal. When the Swedish Chancellor of Justice in 2006 released a report on the rule of law in the criminal justice system, assessments of great shortcomings and flaws were made, such as convicted persons often had to rely on journalists and pro bono-lawyers for help to investigate and discover new evidence. Moreover, it was claimed that people who got their case reopened often had to apply several times before it was granted and that some of the Supreme Court’s previous decisions to refuse reopening were incorrect. To fix these problems, the report suggested a new independent review commission to be introduced who would receive applications for reopening cases and assist the applicant with further investigation if deemed appropriate. Such special review commissions have been introduced in the United Kingdom and Norway. These public bodies have the authority to start investigations, critically review all evidence and order the police to resume preliminary investigations. The result of these reforms has been that more wrongfully convicted people than before get their cases reopened and subsequently are fully or partially acquitted. The Norwegian numbers are especially astounding, with 163 cases (13 %) being reopened during the commission’s first seven years of operation.

A person being convicted for a crime he or she did not commit is both an individual tragedy and a failure for the entire criminal justice system. Despite the importance of the principle that a final verdict shall be immovable, the principle of truth must prevail when the two collide. Furthermore, the review system should enable the exoneration of the wrongfully convicted to the largest extent possible. The Swedish system is lacking regarding assistance with investigation since the applicant often must rely on certain individuals and the only public body which holds all the resources for investigation is the prosecutor, the applicant’s counterpart. At the same time, independent review commissions seem to have given a welcoming result in foreign legal systems. Consequently, to fix the problems in the current system, Sweden should introduce an independent review commission. (Less)
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author
Odd Stenvall, Wilhelm
supervisor
organization
course
LAGF03 20172
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
processrätt, criminal procedure, resning, resningsinstans, resningsinstitut, resningsorgan
language
Swedish
id
8929443
date added to LUP
2018-02-06 12:05:04
date last changed
2018-02-06 12:05:04
@misc{8929443,
  abstract     = {Wrongful convictions happen both in Sweden and other countries, even though the criminal justice system is filled with principles regarding the rule of law, such as the presumption of innocence and the right not to be tried or punished twice. The latter is closely linked with the general rule that once a verdict no longer can be appealed, it enjoys legal force (prejudice), meaning the case cannot be retried when all ordinary means of remedy have been exhausted. This is called the principle of immovability, meaning that a final verdict should be adamant, whose importance in the Swedish legal system cannot be overstated. 

Another important principle within Swedish procedural law is the principle of truth, whose purpose is to ensure that the facts a verdict is based on are real and that the truth has an impact on the justice system. To see this through, there is a possibility for review as an extraordinary means of remedy. Once a final verdict has been subject to review, the case may be reopened and brought to trial once again, despite the principle of immovability. The most common reason for reopening cases is that new circumstances or evidence are brought up which make the original verdict seem incorrect. 

In Sweden, the power to reopen cases lies with the Supreme Court, if the final verdict was given by the Court of Appeal. If the final verdict was given by the District Court, the power to reopen the case lies with the Court of Appeal. When the Swedish Chancellor of Justice in 2006 released a report on the rule of law in the criminal justice system, assessments of great shortcomings and flaws were made, such as convicted persons often had to rely on journalists and pro bono-lawyers for help to investigate and discover new evidence. Moreover, it was claimed that people who got their case reopened often had to apply several times before it was granted and that some of the Supreme Court’s previous decisions to refuse reopening were incorrect. To fix these problems, the report suggested a new independent review commission to be introduced who would receive applications for reopening cases and assist the applicant with further investigation if deemed appropriate. Such special review commissions have been introduced in the United Kingdom and Norway. These public bodies have the authority to start investigations, critically review all evidence and order the police to resume preliminary investigations. The result of these reforms has been that more wrongfully convicted people than before get their cases reopened and subsequently are fully or partially acquitted. The Norwegian numbers are especially astounding, with 163 cases (13 %) being reopened during the commission’s first seven years of operation. 

A person being convicted for a crime he or she did not commit is both an individual tragedy and a failure for the entire criminal justice system. Despite the importance of the principle that a final verdict shall be immovable, the principle of truth must prevail when the two collide. Furthermore, the review system should enable the exoneration of the wrongfully convicted to the largest extent possible. The Swedish system is lacking regarding assistance with investigation since the applicant often must rely on certain individuals and the only public body which holds all the resources for investigation is the prosecutor, the applicant’s counterpart. At the same time, independent review commissions seem to have given a welcoming result in foreign legal systems. Consequently, to fix the problems in the current system, Sweden should introduce an independent review commission.},
  author       = {Odd Stenvall, Wilhelm},
  keyword      = {processrätt,criminal procedure,resning,resningsinstans,resningsinstitut,resningsorgan},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {En särskild resningsinstans - nödvändig reform för de felaktigt dömdas upprättelse?},
  year         = {2017},
}