Sweden to replace top legal official

Sweden’s highest legal official, Chancellor of Justice (Justitiekanslern – JK) Göran Lambertz, is stepping down from his post and will be replaced by supreme court justice Anna Skarhed, the government announced on Thursday.

Lambertz is leaving the position after eight years to accept an appointment to serve as a judge on Sweden’s Supreme Court.

Since assuming the role in October 2001, Lambertz has been in charge of ensuring that actions by Sweden’s public authorities don’t contravene the law, as well as adjudicating cases involving possible freedom of speech violations.

Prior to becoming Chancellor of Justice, Lambertz served as a top legal advisor in the Ministry of Justice as well as an assistant judge with the Svea Court of Appeal.

Skarhed has been a judge on the Supreme Court since 2005, after serving as a chief district judge with the Linköping District Court between 2003 and 2005.

Earlier in her career she worked as an assistant judge in district courts in Eskilstuna and Uppsala, and has also served in the Ministry of Justice.

Since 2008, Skarhed has been conducting a government-mandated review of Swedish legislation outlawing the purchase of sexual services. Her investigation is expected to be completed in the spring of 2010.

She has also been called as an expert in an inquiry into the police’s internal affairs activities.

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