Administration of Justice

Administration of Justice in Europe

Administration of Justice and general administration in Sweden

In the Swedish Constitution: The Instrument of Government (SFS nr: 1974:152)

Chapter 11 of the Instrument of Government has the headline “Administration of justice and general administration”. Here is the content of Chapter 11:

  • Article 1 provides the following: The Supreme Court is the highest court of general jurisdiction, and the Supreme Administrative Court is the highest administrative court. The right to have a case tried by the Supreme Court or by the Supreme Administrative Court may be restricted in law. A person may serve as a member of the Supreme Court or the Supreme Administrative Court only if he holds currently, or has held previously, an appointment as a permanent salaried justice of the Court. A court of law other than the Supreme Court or the Supreme Administrative Court must be established by virtue of law. Provisions prohibiting the establishment of a court of law in particular cases are laid down in Chapter 2, Article 11, paragraph one. There shall be a permanent salaried judge in any court under paragraph two. Exceptions to this rule in respect of courts established to try a specific group or specific groups of cases may however be laid down in law.
  • Article 2 provides the following: No public authority, including the Riksdag, may determine how a court of law shall adjudicate an individual case or otherwise apply a rule of law in a particular case. (see more about the Constitution of Sweden here)
  • Article 3 provides the following: A legal dispute between private subjects may not be settled by an authority other than a court of law except by virtue of law. Provisions concerning examination by a court of law of a deprivation of liberty are set out in Chapter 2, Article 9.
  • Article 4 provides the following: Provisions concerning the functions of the courts relevant to the administration of justice, the principal features of their organisation, and court procedure are laid down in law. (see more about the Constitution of Sweden here)
  • Article 5 provides the following: A person who has been appointed a permanent salaried judge may be removed from office only provided 1. he has shown himself through a criminal act or through gross or repeated neglect of his official duties to be manifestly unfit to hold the office; 2. he has reached the relevant retirement age or is otherwise obliged by law to retire on pension. If a permanent salaried judge has been removed from office by means of a decision of a public authority other than a court of law it shall be possible for him to call for the decision to be examined before a court of law. The same applies to any decision as a result of which a permanent salaried judge is suspended from duty or ordered to undergo examination by a medical practitioner. If organisational considerations so dictate, a person who has been appointed a permanent salaried judge may be transferred to another judicial office of equal status.
  • Article 6 provides the following: The Chancellor of Justice, the Prosecutor General, the central administrative boards and the county administrative boards come under the Government. Other State administrative authorities come under the Government, unless they are authorities under the Riksdag according to the present Instrument of Government or by virtue of other law. Administrative functions may be entrusted to a local authority. Administrative functions may be delegated to a limited company, association, collective, foundation, registered religious community or any part of its organisation, or to a private person. If such a function involves the exercise of public authority, delegation shall be made by virtue of law.
  • Article 7 provides the following: No public authority, including the Riksdag and the decision-making bodies of local authorities, may determine how an administrative authority shall decide in a particular case relating to the exercise of public authority vis-à-vis a private subject or a local authority, or relating to the application of law.
  • Article 8 provides the following: No judicial or administrative function may be performed by the Riksdag except inasmuch as this follows from fundamental law or from the Riksdag Act. (see more about the Constitution of Sweden here)
  • Article 9 provides the following: Appointments to posts at courts of law or administrative authorities coming under the Government are made by the Government or by a public authority designated by the Government. When making appointments to posts within the State administration attention shall be directed only to objective factors such as merit and competence. 22 Only a Swedish citizen may hold or exercise the functions of a judicial office, an office coming directly under the Government, an office or appointment as head of an authority coming directly under the Riksdag or the Government, or as a member of such an authority or its governing board, an appointment in the Government Offices coming directly under a minister, or an appointment as a Swedish envoy. Also in other cases only a person who is a Swedish citizen may hold an office or appointment if the holder of such an office or appointment is elected by the Riksdag. Swedish nationality may otherwise be stipulated as a condition of qualification to hold an office or appointment under the State or under a local authority only with support in law or in accordance with conditions laid down in law.
  • Article 10 provides the following: Basic rules concerning the legal status of civil servants in respects other than those covered in this Instrument of Government are laid down in law. (see more about the Constitution of Sweden here)
  • Article 11 provides the following: Re-opening of closed cases and restoration of lapsed time are granted by the Supreme Administrative Court or, inasmuch as this has been laid down in law, by an inferior administrative court if the case concerns a matter in respect of which the Government, an administrative court or an administrative authority is the highest instance. In all other cases, re-opening of a closed case or restoration of lapsed time is granted by the Supreme Court or, inasmuch as this has been laid down in law, by another court of law which is not an administrative court. More detailed rules concerning the retrial of closed cases and restoration of lapsed time may be laid down in law.
  • Article 12 provides the following: The Government may approve an exception from a provision of a statutory instrument, or from a provision adopted by virtue of a Government decision, unless otherwise provided in an act of law or in a decision concerning a budget appropriation.
  • Article 13 provides the following: The Government may, by exercising clemency, remit or reduce a penal sanction or other legal effect of a criminal act, and remit or reduce any other similar intervention by a public authority concerning the person or property of a private subject. Where exceptional grounds exist, the Government may order that no further action shall be taken to investigate or prosecute a criminal act.
  • Article 14 provides the following: If a court or other public body finds that a provision conflicts with a rule of fundamental law or other superior statute, or finds that a procedure laid down in law has been disregarded in any important respect when the provision was made, the provision may not be applied. If the provision has been approved by the Riksdag or by the Government, however, it shall be waived only if the error is manifest.
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