Everything you need to know about Swedish criminal law – in English

Everything you need to know about Swedish criminal law – in English
Several new laws have been added to the English version. Photo: Naina Helén Jåma/TT
Sweden has released a new English translation of its criminal code for the first time in two decades.

Much of Swedish law is divided up into a number of sections known in Swedish as balk.

For example, there's the Marriage Code (äktenskapsbalken), the Environmental Code (miljöbalken), the Inheritance Code (ärvdabalken) and the most obvious: the Criminal Code (brottsbalken).

They all do what it says on the tin, and the latter outlines most of what counts as offences for which you can be punished in a criminal court. That is the one that has now been published in an updated English version.

“The translation is now ready, and we are very pleased with the final product. As I understand it, there is considerable demand for an English translation of the Swedish Criminal Code, and we hope that the new translation will meet this need,” said Justice and Migration Minister Morgan Johansson in a statement.

The criminal code was last translated into English in 1999. But several new laws have been introduced since then, without being added to the English version. The new translation will be kept up to date electronically, said the justice ministry, with amendments translated as and when they are published in Swedish.

However, the ministry warned that the translation is only intended as a service to English speakers and international partners, and unlike the original Swedish version it is not a legal document in its own right.

The new English translation of the Swedish Criminal Code can be read in full here.

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