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Ethnic profiling in Sweden – can it be legalised through the test of proportionality?

Sjöberg, Elin LU (2019) JURM02 20192
Department of Law
Faculty of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
I USA och Storbritannien är termer såsom “driving while black” (översatt ungefär till ”vara mörkhyad och köra bil”) välkända och båda länderna kräver att deras polismyndigheter samlar in data rörande polisens arbete och etnicitet. Detsamma går inte att säga gällande Sverige där termen ”etnisk profilering” inte är lika välkänd. 2013 avslöjades det dock att polismyndigheten i Skåne haft ett register med cirka 4 000 romer kallat ”Kringresande”. Justitiekanslern medgav i hovrätten att registret innebar en överträdelse av diskrimineringsförbudet i Artikel 14 av Europeiska konventionen om skydd för de mänskliga rättigheterna och de grundläggande friheterna. Domstolen konstaterade att registret skapats med utgångspunkt i individernas etnicitet.
... (More)
I USA och Storbritannien är termer såsom “driving while black” (översatt ungefär till ”vara mörkhyad och köra bil”) välkända och båda länderna kräver att deras polismyndigheter samlar in data rörande polisens arbete och etnicitet. Detsamma går inte att säga gällande Sverige där termen ”etnisk profilering” inte är lika välkänd. 2013 avslöjades det dock att polismyndigheten i Skåne haft ett register med cirka 4 000 romer kallat ”Kringresande”. Justitiekanslern medgav i hovrätten att registret innebar en överträdelse av diskrimineringsförbudet i Artikel 14 av Europeiska konventionen om skydd för de mänskliga rättigheterna och de grundläggande friheterna. Domstolen konstaterade att registret skapats med utgångspunkt i individernas etnicitet.

Det kan argumenteras att etnisk profilering inte är lagstridigt då överrepresentationen av ”icke-vita” i kriminalstatistik visar verkligheten, vilket medför att etnisk profilering är ett nödvändigt ont. Det kan dock också argumenteras att statistiken är ett resultat av polisens fördomar och att polisen därför oftare kontrollerar ”icke-vita” än ”vita”. Det finns ingen legal definition av etnisk profilering och den juridiska regleringen är inte tydlig. Europarådet har emellertid uttryckt att etnisk profilering utgör etnisk diskriminering.

Denna uppsats analyserar huruvida kriminalstatistiken visar tecken på institutionell och strukturell diskriminering inom polismyndigheten samt huruvida användning av etnisk profilering kan legaliseras genom proportionalitetstestet i Artikel 14 i Europeiska konventionen om skydd för de mänskliga rättigheterna och de grundläggande friheterna eller om utövandet är lagstridigt. (Less)
Abstract
In the USA and the UK, terms such as “driving while black” are well known and the countries require their law enforcement to present statistics on the correlation between law enforcement and ethnicity. This is not the case in Sweden, where the term “ethnic profiling” is fairly new to the population. However, in 2013, it was revealed that a district of the Swedish law enforcement had processed personal information on around 4 000 individuals with Roma descent in a list called “Travellers”. During the proceedings in the Court of Appeal, the Chancellor of Justice agreed that the registration constituted a breach of the protection against discrimination in Article 14 of the European Convention of Human Rights and the Court concluded that the... (More)
In the USA and the UK, terms such as “driving while black” are well known and the countries require their law enforcement to present statistics on the correlation between law enforcement and ethnicity. This is not the case in Sweden, where the term “ethnic profiling” is fairly new to the population. However, in 2013, it was revealed that a district of the Swedish law enforcement had processed personal information on around 4 000 individuals with Roma descent in a list called “Travellers”. During the proceedings in the Court of Appeal, the Chancellor of Justice agreed that the registration constituted a breach of the protection against discrimination in Article 14 of the European Convention of Human Rights and the Court concluded that the individuals had been registered because of their ethnicity.

There are arguments that ethnic profiling is not unlawful because the overrepresentation of non–Caucasians in criminal statistics display reality, making the use of ethnic profiling a necessary evil. However, there are also arguments that criminal statistics is a result of the law enforcement’s prejudice, that people of colour are more regularly targeted by officers than whites. There is not a legal definition of ethnic profiling and the legal regulation of the practice is not clear, however the Council of Europe articulates that ethnic profiling constitutes ethnic discrimination.

The thesis analyses whether there are signs of institutional and structural discrimination in the Swedish law enforcement and if ethnic profiling can be legitimised through the test of proportionality articulated in Article 14 of the European Convention of Human Rights or if the practice is unlawful. (Less)
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author
Sjöberg, Elin LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM02 20192
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
EU-rätt, Etnisk profilering, etnisk diskriminering, Artikel 14 EKMR, polis, EU law, Ethnic profiling, Racial profiling, Article 14 ECHR, police, Law enforcement
language
English
id
9000237
date added to LUP
2020-01-31 12:51:45
date last changed
2020-01-31 12:51:45
@misc{9000237,
  abstract     = {In the USA and the UK, terms such as “driving while black” are well known and the countries require their law enforcement to present statistics on the correlation between law enforcement and ethnicity. This is not the case in Sweden, where the term “ethnic profiling” is fairly new to the population. However, in 2013, it was revealed that a district of the Swedish law enforcement had processed personal information on around 4 000 individuals with Roma descent in a list called “Travellers”. During the proceedings in the Court of Appeal, the Chancellor of Justice agreed that the registration constituted a breach of the protection against discrimination in Article 14 of the European Convention of Human Rights and the Court concluded that the individuals had been registered because of their ethnicity.

There are arguments that ethnic profiling is not unlawful because the overrepresentation of non–Caucasians in criminal statistics display reality, making the use of ethnic profiling a necessary evil. However, there are also arguments that criminal statistics is a result of the law enforcement’s prejudice, that people of colour are more regularly targeted by officers than whites. There is not a legal definition of ethnic profiling and the legal regulation of the practice is not clear, however the Council of Europe articulates that ethnic profiling constitutes ethnic discrimination.

The thesis analyses whether there are signs of institutional and structural discrimination in the Swedish law enforcement and if ethnic profiling can be legitimised through the test of proportionality articulated in Article 14 of the European Convention of Human Rights or if the practice is unlawful.},
  author       = {Sjöberg, Elin},
  keyword      = {EU-rätt,Etnisk profilering,etnisk diskriminering,Artikel 14 EKMR,polis,EU law,Ethnic profiling,Racial profiling,Article 14 ECHR,police,Law enforcement},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Ethnic profiling in Sweden – can it be legalised through the test of proportionality?},
  year         = {2019},
}