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Horrible legal system of Sweden

Lay judges

whoye
post 20.Nov.2012, 10:35 PM
Post #1
Joined: 29.Mar.2011

As some of you may know that there are lay judges on Swedish courts which are in majority in district courts. A case is reviewed and decision is made by actual judge and three lay judges (through anonymous voting). And these so called lay judges are appointed by political parties that are represented in the parliamentary. Although buffoons like Marten Schultz (law professor at Stockholm University) may toss around claims like "they [lay judges] do not act as politicians in their judicial function, and studies suggest that their political beliefs do not influence their judgments at all" , it is quite obvious that it is not the case, especially when it comes to immigration cases. (Isn't it amazing how everyone so easily backs up their claims by so called "studies" which are mostly done by some law student as a course thesis with a pre-determined results)
Law should be above all, objective and transparent. It should not change according to political zeitgeist and no matter what a legally trained actual judge should have more to say on any case than a hereditary upper-middle class bourgeois.
i rest my case
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electric_magnetic
post 20.Nov.2012, 11:06 PM
Post #2
Location: Malmö
Joined: 21.Nov.2011

why don't you write a longer version of this as a blog, because since you "rested your case" I don't see much room for discussion
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Gamla Hälsingebock
post 20.Nov.2012, 11:23 PM
Post #3
Joined: 21.Dec.2006

What case?

It reads like an opinion!
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Willy
post 20.Nov.2012, 11:24 PM
Post #4
Joined: 10.Jul.2005

What many foreign critics fail to understand is the origins of the system. In, say, 1950s Sweden, recruitment of the nämndemän / lay judges through the parties was an excellent way to ensure participation from all strains of society. Party membership was very widespread among ordinary people and the party system well reflected society as it was back then:

-- Socialdemokraterna: blue-collar workers in industry, agricultural workers
-- Bondeförbundet (centern): farmers
-- Högern (moderaterna): business-owners, high bourgeoisie, the upper classes, some large-scale farmers
-- Folkpartiet: white-collar workers, civil servants, teachers, members of the free churches and the temperance movement
-- Communists

That said, those days are long gone and the system is in urgent need of reform.
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whoye
post 20.Nov.2012, 11:35 PM
Post #5
Joined: 29.Mar.2011

@Willy
Thanks for informing us about historic background of this particular practice. But as you said yourself, it isn't the case anymore. And even then how logical and rational is it to let uneducated group of individuals to make a decision? and by the way, Wikipedia says it has been on practice since Medieval times; there was no political parties back then.
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Yorkshireman
post 21.Nov.2012, 12:14 AM
Post #6
Joined: 22.Nov.2011

And what You haven't said is exactly how? Do you mean, in your quote especially immigration court, that they reject too many appeals, or accept too many? Have You read every single judgement to come to this conclusion or are you basing it upon a specific few cases?

QUOTE (whoye @ 20.Nov.2012, 10:35 PM) *
Law should be above all, objective and transparent. It should not change according to political zeitgeist and no matter what a legally trained actual judge should have more to ... (show full quote)

And here You functioning of Democracy. It is via Political parties being elected into parliament that propose the laws of the land. So, that fact in itself implies that the law will change from time to time according to the political majority!
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whoye
post 21.Nov.2012, 12:54 AM
Post #7
Joined: 29.Mar.2011

@Yorkshire
I think it is be pretty obvious that i am talking about interpretation and execution of law rather than law itself. There is no requirements for being a lay judge, educational that is. This practice is very biased and wrong by definition; so i don't think there is need for "study" to show that. Just look at the immigration statistics which are/were in perfect balance with the political government.
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Bender B Rodriquez
post 21.Nov.2012, 02:14 AM
Post #8
Joined: 25.Mar.2006

I like the idea of lay judges or jury trials. However, I do think that lay judge votes should only count if they are in the defendants favor.
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Yorkshireman
post 21.Nov.2012, 08:47 AM
Post #9
Joined: 22.Nov.2011

QUOTE (whoye @ 21.Nov.2012, 12:54 AM) *
I think it is be pretty obvious that i am talking about interpretation and execution of law rather than law itself. There is no requirements for being a lay judge, educational ... (show full quote)

Again You are making a non-argument, what is it about lay-judges that is wrong? That they may lack education? A judge can also have political bias and be educated! Law is not black-and-white, as you have noted it is about interpretation (not execution, as courts do not execute the law that is done by enforcement authorities eg. Police, Kronofogden etc...) and it is about argument, ie. presenting a case. In addition to that in many laws there are words such as reasonable, presumed, suspected etc... that are not defined which leaves the door open for good argument wink.gif ...with your highlighted area, immigration, there is also the possibility to give positive judgements on grounds of compassion, which has no definition and is an individual choice that does not require education ...just feeling smile.gif
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Puffin
post 21.Nov.2012, 09:54 AM
Post #10
Location: Dalarna
Joined: 5.Apr.2006

QUOTE (whoye @ 20.Nov.2012, 11:35 PM) *
And even then how logical and rational is it to let uneducated group of individuals to make a decision?

So you oppose trial by jury then?
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byke
post 21.Nov.2012, 10:06 AM
Post #11
Location: Europe
Joined: 28.Oct.2008

Anyone remember the Pirate Bay trial?
Where the case was questioned numerous times for bias (from Wikipedia)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pirate_Ba...ias_allegations

QUOTE
Tomas Norström, the same judge that ordered the 2006 raid on The Pirate Bay's servers, came under scrutiny after allegations of bias. Sveriges Radio P3 News organized an investigation that found on April 23 that Norström had several engagements with organisations interested in intellectual property issues. Peter Danowsky, Monique Wadsted and Henrik Pontén from the prosecution side are also members of one of the organisations, the Swedish Copyright Association (SFU).[97] Wadsted commented that all intellectual property lawyers in Stockholm are part of the association.[98] According to Norström, the organisations are involved in discussion about copyright, while the earlier lay judges's organisation advocates further copyright protection.[99] Norström however also sits in the board of the Swedish Association for the Protection of Industrial Property,[97] which along with the SFU are the Swedish branches of International Association for the Protection of Industrial Property (AIPPI) and Association littéraire et artistique internationale (ALAI). AIPPI's website states that "the objective of AIPPI is to improve and promote the protection of intellectual property on both an international and national basis", and ALAI's president Victor Nabhan commented that his organisation is dedicated mostly to defending copyright holders' interests.[100] Several legal experts have commented that the judge should not have taken the case because of the potential conflict of interest or should at least have mentioned it in the beginning of the trial, and that there are grounds for a retrial.[97][101][102] The district court itself however defended judges' membership in these types of organisations,[103] and it is not uncommon for lay judges to even be sitting municipal politicians.[104][105]

Following the discovery on April 23, Peter Sunde's lawyer Peter Althin announced that he would request for a retrial.[97] The Swedish Parliamentary Ombudsman decided not to investigate the bias
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byke
post 21.Nov.2012, 10:12 AM
Post #12
Location: Europe
Joined: 28.Oct.2008

Another example from just the other month :

http://torrentfreak.com/gang-war-trial-bia...e-trial-121017/
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Puffin
post 21.Nov.2012, 10:14 AM
Post #13
Location: Dalarna
Joined: 5.Apr.2006

QUOTE (byke @ 21.Nov.2012, 10:06 AM) *
Anyone remember the Pirate Bay trial?. Where the case was questioned numerous times for bias (from Wikipedia). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pirate_Ba...ias_allegations

But this is a different issue - a professional judge specialising in intellectual property issues - whereas OP is discussing lay-judges (Nämndemän) who are not legally qualified

and then the question is whether Wikipedia is an unbiased source itself cool.gif
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whoye
post 21.Nov.2012, 11:23 AM
Post #14
Joined: 29.Mar.2011

@Yorkshire
Whole point of developing the law (common law), reforming the practices is to perfect it so that it is not dealt subjectively. Cause most of the time we are talking about lives of people. what's a non-argument really? A decision is made by 3 (lay judges) + 1 (judge); and these 3 lay judges do not have any legal training whatsoever and are direct representatives of political parties. there is no way their judgement aren't biased. Don't you still understand what's wrong with it? In Iran your case gets evaluated according to islamic laws; that is an ideology; and here let's say moderates (that is an ideology too) get to make decision. essentially there is no difference between these two. as i said it is all about perfecting it so that it isn't personal matter. and what i am telling is, with this approach in practice you don't get to perfection; what you get to is bunch of uneducated (legally) people imposes their personal beliefs (not facts, not law, not truth but personal beliefs; we call them beliefs because that's what they are; they come and go as the generations pass by and there are far away from reality most of the time ).
but as you said judge also might have a very strong personal beliefs that might affect his/her decision (like that patriotic-everything-swedish-is-perfect guy Martin Schultz). Law practice will never be completely objective; no one really claims that. but if ,let's say, You do not still understand what i am talking about, then the chances are that you won't understand a brief informing of the law that you get as a lay judge either. You don't get to pass the bar, have certain level of intelligence nor basic humanistic decency. In fact you need to specifically Not have these qualities. since "serving" your nation as a lay judge is to putting the innocent poor guy in prison and overlooking big financial crimes of white collar douches that are from your own upper-middle class.
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byke
post 21.Nov.2012, 11:51 AM
Post #15
Location: Europe
Joined: 28.Oct.2008

QUOTE (Puffin @ 21.Nov.2012, 10:14 AM) *
But this is a different issue - a professional judge specialising in intellectual property issues - whereas OP is discussing lay-judges (Nämndemän) who are not legally quali ... (show full quote)

It was on multiple levels where even lay judges had been involved.

In regards to Wikipedia, yes its a questionable source.
But the point is that legal proceedings should not be on par with such groups as Wikipedia.
Given the power they hold, its of upmost importance that any legal system ensures a standard of process that is above all others.
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