Advanced

Rätten att försvara sig mot en närstående person - En undersökning av nödvärnsrätten ur ett genusperspektiv

Dantorp, Anna LU (2018) JURM02 20181
Department of Law
Faculty of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
I Sverige finns det en nödvärnsrätt som ger en person rätt till ansvarsfrihet när denna försvarat sig mot ett brottsligt angrepp på sin person. Denna rätt har dock kritiserats för att vara utformad att fungera bättre i typiskt sett manliga våldssituationer, d.v.s. då en man attackeras av en annan för honom okänd man. Situationer då den fungerar sämre har ansetts vara då kvinnor använt dödligt våld för att försvara sig mot en manlig partner som misshandlat dem frekvent under förhållandet. I denna uppsats undersöks därför nödvärnsrätten, inklusive tillhörande bestämmelser om excess och putativt nödvärn, ur ett genusperspektiv för att se om det finns fog för denna kritik. Nödvärnsrättens tillämpning och gränser studeras såväl som hur mäns... (More)
I Sverige finns det en nödvärnsrätt som ger en person rätt till ansvarsfrihet när denna försvarat sig mot ett brottsligt angrepp på sin person. Denna rätt har dock kritiserats för att vara utformad att fungera bättre i typiskt sett manliga våldssituationer, d.v.s. då en man attackeras av en annan för honom okänd man. Situationer då den fungerar sämre har ansetts vara då kvinnor använt dödligt våld för att försvara sig mot en manlig partner som misshandlat dem frekvent under förhållandet. I denna uppsats undersöks därför nödvärnsrätten, inklusive tillhörande bestämmelser om excess och putativt nödvärn, ur ett genusperspektiv för att se om det finns fog för denna kritik. Nödvärnsrättens tillämpning och gränser studeras såväl som hur mäns våld mot kvinnor yttrar sig och ska förstås. Även svensk och internationell doktrin som diskuterar kvinnans rätt till nödvärn behandlas. En rättsfallsunder-sökning görs dessutom för att studera hur nödvärnsrätten tillämpas när en kvinna åberopar nödvärn gentemot en närstående man. I uppsatsen används en rättsanalytisk metod.

Den första frågeställningen som besvaras är när och hur en person har rätt att försvara sig vid våld i en nära relation. En person har rätt att försvara sig när denna utsätts för eller tror att den utsätts för ett konkret brottsligt pågående eller överhängande angrepp på sin person. Preventivt nödvärn, d.v.s. nödvärn mot icke konkreta framtida angrepp, tillåts inte. I en nära relation innebär detta att ett angrepp aldrig är pågående eller överhängande i en situation då partnern är passiv, t.ex. då den sover eller tittar på tv, även om det står klart att denna kommer att fortsätta att misshandla sin partner i framtiden. Våldet som tillämpas vid nödvärn får därutöver inte vara uppenbart oförsvarligt. Om våldet är uppenbart oförsvarligt kan personen fortfarande ursäktas p.g.a. excess om den haft svårt att besinna sig, t.ex. för att den känt stor rädsla p.g.a. att personen misshandlat denna tidigare.

Den andra frågeställningen som besvaras är om nödvärnsrätten är könsneutral och tillgodoser båda könens intresse av att försvara sig. Nödvärnsrätten fungerar bäst när parterna är jämnstarka, såväl fysiskt som psykiskt. En kvinna som utsätts för våld av en närstående man är oftast både fysiskt och psykiskt svagare än sin angripare. Eftersom en större andel av de våldsdrabbade kvinnorna än männen, utsätts för våldet i en nära relation blir detta särskilt missgynnande för kvinnor. Då rätten dessutom är dekontextualiserad, d.v.s. bara fokuserar på omständigheterna i gärningsögonblicket, exkluderas information om kvinnans liv som kan göra att ett angrepp anses överhängande tidigare än enligt nuvarande lydelse eller att dödligt våld kan vara tillåtet i en mer preventiv situation. Högre krav på sinnesnärvaro ställs även vid försvar med vapen istället för med knytnävarna vilket drabbar misshandlade kvinnor värst p.g.a. att det tidigare våldet brutit ner dem mentalt. Nödvärnsrätten är således inte reellt könsneutral.

Den sista frågeställningen berör hur rätten kan bli mer könsneutral och vad det finns för skäl för och emot olika förändringar. Om personer som utsätts för våld i nära relation och som är fysiskt och psykiskt svagare än sina partners, tillåts försvara sig i mer preventiva situationer och med mer våld än som tillåts idag, kan lagen bli mer könsneutral. Kvinnor skulle då få en reell chans att försvara sig på ett ansvarsbefriande sätt i fler situationer. För att detta skulle tillåtas skulle det antingen behöva rättfärdigas enligt 24 kap. 1 § BrB, eller ursäktas enligt putativt nödvärn, excess eller en helt ny ursäktande lagparagraf. Det största skälet för att rättfärdiga det är att det är mer tillfredställande ur ett genusperspektiv att även kvinnors försvarsgärningar ses som tillåtna. Att ursäkta dessa personer istället stämmer däremot bättre överens med den rättsdogmatik vi har idag. För att nå en mer könsneutral nödvärnsrätt krävs dock att någon förändring företas. (Less)
Abstract
Swedish law contains a right to self-defense which means that a person should not always be held criminal responsible if it uses violence to defend his- or herself against a violent attack from another person. The right to self-defense has however been criticized for being designed to work better in violent situations that are typical for men, i.e. when a man is attacked by another man that is unknown to him. It is though considered to be useless when a woman uses deadly force to defend herself against a male partner that has been abusing her frequently during their relationship. This paper therefore examines the right to self-defense, including related regulations about excess and putative self-defense, from a gender perspective to see if... (More)
Swedish law contains a right to self-defense which means that a person should not always be held criminal responsible if it uses violence to defend his- or herself against a violent attack from another person. The right to self-defense has however been criticized for being designed to work better in violent situations that are typical for men, i.e. when a man is attacked by another man that is unknown to him. It is though considered to be useless when a woman uses deadly force to defend herself against a male partner that has been abusing her frequently during their relationship. This paper therefore examines the right to self-defense, including related regulations about excess and putative self-defense, from a gender perspective to see if there is reason for this criticism. The application and limits of self-defense are studied, as well as how men’s violence against women is expressed and understood. Furthermore, both Swedish and international doctrines discussing women’s right to self-defense are studied. A case law investigation is also conducted to study how the right to self-defense apply when a woman claims self-defense against a male partner. A legal analysis method is being used to fulfil this essays’s purpose.

The first question that is answered is when and how a person is entitled to defend itself in a close relationship. A person has the right to defend itself when it is subjected to, or believes that it is subjected to, a concrete crimi-nal ongoing or imminent attack on its person. Preventive self-defense, i.e. self-defense against non-specific future attacks, are not allowed. In close relationships, this means that an attack is never ongoing or imminent in a situation where the partner is passive, e.g. when it is sleeping or watching television, although it is clear that this person will continue to abuse its partner in the future. Furthermore, the violent defense-action must not be clearly unjustifiable. The person can however still be excused if the defense-action is clearly unjustifiable if the person had difficulties limiting its actions due to excess. A person can for an example have difficulties limiting itself because it felt acute fear towards the attacker due to earlier abuses.

The second question that is answered is whether the right to self-defense is gender-neutral and satisfies both sexes’ interest in defending themselves. The law about self-defense works best when both parties are equally strong, both physically and mentally. A woman subjected to violence by a male partner is usually both physically and mentally weaker than her attacker. As a larger proportion of women than men that are subjected to violence, are being subjected to the violence within a relationship, the law disbene-fits women more than men. Moreover, because the application of law is decontextualized, i.e. focusing on the direct circumstances of the act, it excludes information about a woman’s life that can make an attack seem imminent at an earlier stage than according to present law, or make more fatal violence allowed in a more preventive situation. Higher demands on the presence of the mind are also being upheld when a person defends itself with a weapon instead of its hands. This affects frequently beaten women most since the previous violence has broken them mentally. The right to self-defense is therefore not really gender-neutral.

The last question concerns how the law can become more gender-neutral and what reasons there are for and against different changes. The law may become more gender-neutral if people that are subjected to violence in close relationships, and who are physically and mentally weaker than their partners, are allowed to defend themselves in more preventive situations and with more violence than is allowed today. That would give women a real chance to defend themselves without being held criminal responsible. In order for this to be allowed, it would either have to be justified according to 24 chpt. 1 § BrB, or excused according to putative self-defense, excess or a new act of law. The main reason for justifying it is that it is more satisfying from a gender perspective that the women’s defense actions also are being permitted. To excuse these people instead, is however better in line with how the legal system is organized today. In order to achieve a more gender-neutral law, some change however needs to be done. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Dantorp, Anna LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
The right to self-defense in a close relationsship - An investigation of the right to self-defense from a gender perspective
course
JURM02 20181
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
straffrätt, criminal law, nödvärn, genus, excess, putativt nödvärn, mäns våld mot kvinnor
language
Swedish
id
8941144
date added to LUP
2018-06-08 10:16:03
date last changed
2018-06-08 10:16:03
@misc{8941144,
  abstract     = {Swedish law contains a right to self-defense which means that a person should not always be held criminal responsible if it uses violence to defend his- or herself against a violent attack from another person. The right to self-defense has however been criticized for being designed to work better in violent situations that are typical for men, i.e. when a man is attacked by another man that is unknown to him. It is though considered to be useless when a woman uses deadly force to defend herself against a male partner that has been abusing her frequently during their relationship. This paper therefore examines the right to self-defense, including related regulations about excess and putative self-defense, from a gender perspective to see if there is reason for this criticism. The application and limits of self-defense are studied, as well as how men’s violence against women is expressed and understood. Furthermore, both Swedish and international doctrines discussing women’s right to self-defense are studied. A case law investigation is also conducted to study how the right to self-defense apply when a woman claims self-defense against a male partner. A legal analysis method is being used to fulfil this essays’s purpose. 

The first question that is answered is when and how a person is entitled to defend itself in a close relationship. A person has the right to defend itself when it is subjected to, or believes that it is subjected to, a concrete crimi-nal ongoing or imminent attack on its person. Preventive self-defense, i.e. self-defense against non-specific future attacks, are not allowed. In close relationships, this means that an attack is never ongoing or imminent in a situation where the partner is passive, e.g. when it is sleeping or watching television, although it is clear that this person will continue to abuse its partner in the future. Furthermore, the violent defense-action must not be clearly unjustifiable. The person can however still be excused if the defense-action is clearly unjustifiable if the person had difficulties limiting its actions due to excess. A person can for an example have difficulties limiting itself because it felt acute fear towards the attacker due to earlier abuses. 

The second question that is answered is whether the right to self-defense is gender-neutral and satisfies both sexes’ interest in defending themselves. The law about self-defense works best when both parties are equally strong, both physically and mentally. A woman subjected to violence by a male partner is usually both physically and mentally weaker than her attacker. As a larger proportion of women than men that are subjected to violence, are being subjected to the violence within a relationship, the law disbene-fits women more than men. Moreover, because the application of law is decontextualized, i.e. focusing on the direct circumstances of the act, it excludes information about a woman’s life that can make an attack seem imminent at an earlier stage than according to present law, or make more fatal violence allowed in a more preventive situation. Higher demands on the presence of the mind are also being upheld when a person defends itself with a weapon instead of its hands. This affects frequently beaten women most since the previous violence has broken them mentally. The right to self-defense is therefore not really gender-neutral. 

The last question concerns how the law can become more gender-neutral and what reasons there are for and against different changes. The law may become more gender-neutral if people that are subjected to violence in close relationships, and who are physically and mentally weaker than their partners, are allowed to defend themselves in more preventive situations and with more violence than is allowed today. That would give women a real chance to defend themselves without being held criminal responsible. In order for this to be allowed, it would either have to be justified according to 24 chpt. 1 § BrB, or excused according to putative self-defense, excess or a new act of law. The main reason for justifying it is that it is more satisfying from a gender perspective that the women’s defense actions also are being permitted. To excuse these people instead, is however better in line with how the legal system is organized today. In order to achieve a more gender-neutral law, some change however needs to be done.},
  author       = {Dantorp, Anna},
  keyword      = {straffrätt,criminal law,nödvärn,genus,excess,putativt nödvärn,mäns våld mot kvinnor},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Rätten att försvara sig mot en närstående person - En undersökning av nödvärnsrätten ur ett genusperspektiv},
  year         = {2018},
}