94. årgang, 2007

Marts 2007 - 94. årgang Nr. 1

1. Peter Garde:
To the Fatherland One Owns All that One is Able to Accomplish.

This article, the title of which comes from a well-known 19th century quotation, commemorates the 150th anniversary of Carl Theodor Ussing (1857-1934) and describes his unique career as one of the most influential civil servants of his time. Ussing was one of the founding fathers of the Danish Society of Criminal Law and Criminology in 1899, and remained on its board of directors for many years. As Chief Justice of the Copenhagen Court of Appeals he engineered important reforms in the administration of justice. As a criminologist, he stressed the necessity of regulating public houses and pawnshops in order to combat the emergence of criminal milieus. His most enduring achievement was the creation of the first Industrial Court, which he chaired for many years, thus securing a high level of social peace and orderly relations between employers and workmen. During the First World War he was Director of the National Bank of Denmark. His writings, especially in the field of civil ethics, are impressive.

2. Per Ole Träskman:
The European Arrest Warrant.

The European arrest warrant, which emanates from the intensified EU efforts to combat crime, was introduced as a new legal tool for use by EU Member States in connection with the framework decision of the Council of Ministers from June 13, 2002. In Sweden, as well as in Denmark and Finland, the regulations of the framework decision were implemented through new national legislation. This article focuses on the Swedish legislation, but also provides some comparative comments regarding the Danish and the Finnish situations. Previous guidelines for transferring suspects or offenders by use of extradition are compared with new practices - especially in regard to legal rights and legal security. The European arrest warrant has quickly become an important and frequently used measure which the authorities laud as a significant part of a modern and efficient European crime prevention scheme. Viewed from a legal rights perspective the evaluation becomes somewhat more negative. From that perspective, implementation of the European arrest warrant can be seen as just one more sign of the ongoing shift within the EU towards a new paradigmatic model for adjudication and criminal proceedings. The leading paradigm is no longer a legal rights model with emphasis on legal protections and security but rather a control model with emphasis on efficiency.

3. Peter Lindström:
Three Strikes and You’re Out European Style.

There is a strong belief among some politicians and other individuals in Europe that US law enforcement and punishment strategies have yielded great successes in curbing crime in the US and that our countries should follow suit. In terms of sentencing practices, three strikes and you’re out laws, characterized by a 25-year-to-life prison term for a third offence, represent an American innovation that has been discussed as suitable for adoption in at least some European countries. The current paper begins with a review of US research on the impact of three-strikes laws on serious crime. The overwhelming majority of criminological and economical studies conducted in this area have failed to find a significant effect for three-strikes laws on serious offending. Some researchers have actually identified an association between three-strikes laws and a slower decrease in the homicide rate than that found in non-three-strikes states and cities. However, at least three recently published studies conclude that three-strikes policies are an effective strategy for crime reduction. The second part of the current paper briefly discusses a three-strikes-inspired law enacted in England and Wales and, at more length, an opposition party motion made to the Swedish Parliament for a “three-strikes light” version. The overall conclusion is that much of contemporary crime policy is based on catchy anti-crime slogans as opposed to evidence-based knowledge.

4. Felipe Estrada, Anders Nilsson & Sofia Wikman:
The Increase in Work-Related Violence: An Analysis Based on Swedish Victim Surveys.

Victim surveys from both Sweden and her Nordic neighbours show that the proportion reporting exposure to violence at work increased during the 1990s. This article examines how this trend should be understood. Does the increase reflect a rise in the number of people exposed to such violence, or is it rather due to an increase in the focus on violence and a broadening of the way violence is defined? On the basis of Swedish victim surveys covering the period 1984 - 2001, the article examines whether the character of workplace violence has changed in terms of its seriousness, the mix of occupational groups most targeted, or the extent to which victims contact the police. The study shows that there has been an increase in exposure to both violence, and to a lesser degree, threats, at work. This increase has been greatest among women, particularly those working in care-giving occupations. One surprising finding is that the propensity to report work-related violence has diminished somewhat, which is not true for other types of violence. We thus find a high propensity to report when levels of exposure are low, and a lower reporting propensity once exposure to violence has increased. This trend is conceptualized against the background of a shift in and broadening of the type of incidents reported in the context of victim surveys. Acts of violence committed against persons employed in the health sector, in schools, and in care-giving occupations are less likely to be reported to the police than violence perpetrated against members of other occupational groups. Thus as care workers come to account for an increasing proportion of the victims of violence, the aggregate propensity to report such incidents decreases. When focus is limited to victims of violence in the care sector, there is no sign of a decline in their reporting propensity.

5. Janne Flyghed:
Criminal Policy goes International.

Since the early 1990s, an increasing number of social issues have become linked, and then subordinated, to security policy. This policy area has witnessed a paradigm shift, with the emergence of a new security mentality. The crumbling of the walls built up during the Cold War, and the collapse of the Soviet empire, meant the disappearance of the East versus West polarity. And as this world order, based on a balance of terror, passed into history, the nature of the global threat situation was transformed. The antagonisms of the Cold War had hardly had time to cease creating fear before new threat images emerged on the scene. Unlike the Cold War situation, where world peace was threatened by a frenetic arms race between two highly concrete superpowers, the perceived threats of the 1990s became increasingly vague. The military menace was superseded by a much more diffuse criminal threat; "cross-border crime", "terrorism" etc. This international trend has had a distinct impact on national criminal policy.

6. Nicolay B. Johansen:
Stigma and the Ritual Order.

Goffman’s famous book, Stigma, is widely interpreted as a work in the interactionist tradition. However, the book is written in a conspicuously different language: the terminology of identity. Accepting that there are interactionist elements in the analysis Goffman presents, I argue that this book is better understood in the terminology of rituals introduced in Goffman’s earlier writings, compiled in the book Interaction Ritual. Here the “self” is portrayed as a sacred unity, continuously paid homage in the encounters of everyday life. The rules governing the order of interaction secure that the fragile entity, the self, is not violated. In Stigma there are only remnants of the vocabulary from Interaction Ritual. The phenomenon of stigma is understood as occurring in the gap between “virtual and actual identity”, and the “daily round” of the stigmatized is described as a matter of “information control”. I argue that the vocabulary of sacred selves both illuminates the phenomenon Goffman addresses in Stigma, and further that it has a potential for clarifying unresolved puzzles in the book. When he terms meetings of stigmatized and normal people as a primary sociological scene, it might not be a reference to Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, but rather better understood as a reference to Durkheim’s concept of deviance. Stigmatized people have, as the subtitle of Stigma suggests, “spoiled identities”. They live with continuous experiences of what “normals”, in Goffman’s terms, would take as insults. They are experiencing “profanations”. And these individual pains are an intrinsic part of the social demarcation of normalcy

August 2007 - 94. årgang Nr. 2

1. Susanne Clausen:
Do Offenders Sentenced to Community Service Have Lower Rates of Recidivism than Offenders Sentenced to Imprisonment?

The Community Service Programme (CS) was introduced in Denmark in 1982. The programme offers an alternative to incarceration in which offenders are sentenced to anywhere from 30 to 240 hours of unpaid work benefiting the community. The article presents results from an effect evaluation which is part of a dissertation about the Danish CS. The effect evaluation examines whether offenders sentenced to CS have lower rates of recidivism than offenders sentenced to imprisonment. The evaluation is conducted with two types of offenders examined within two “natural experiments”. The first natural experiment is based on a change in the law that occurred in 2000 which made traffic code offenders (primarily drunk drivers) eligible for CS. The second natural experiment emanates from a change in judicial policy in the late 1990s after which the courts more frequently sentenced violent offenders to CS. The evaluation shows that after controlling for criminal history and socio-economic circumstances, some offenders sentenced to CS have lower rates of recidivism than offenders sentenced to prison. For example, a positive preventive effect of CS was clearly apparent among young offenders sentenced for traffic offences. Among those sentenced for violent offences, CS was associated with a lower rate of recidivism among the unemployed, i.e. unemployed offenders who served CS had lower rates of recidivism than unemployed offenders who went to prison.

2. Per Ole Träskman:
Trends in Nordic Criminal Policy

1950 to 1990 can be characterized as ’The Golden Age of Nordic criminal policy’. It was a period dominated by common views and by a defensive criminal policy, as opposed to an offensive criminal policy – which sees punishment as the primary means to combat crime. In the Golden Age, criminal policy was seen as playing a minor part in crime prevention, while social policy and other political areas were considered of major importance. Yet things have changed during the last 10-15 years. Partly due to EU legislation, but also to changes in national policy, sentencing has become ever harsher and prison is being used to an increasing degree. The article asks how this trend can be explained and whether it can be defended. 

3. David WM Sorensen:
The Journey to Crime: On the Mobility of Residential Burglars

This article describes the Danish journey to residential burglary, i.e., the distance that burglars travel between their homes and their burglary targets. It is based on an analysis of 3,238 crime trips made by offenders throughout Denmark during the 20-month period 1 January 2002 to 31 August 2003. The Danish data support all of the primary findings of previous international research, specifically: (1) that the majority of crime trips are short; (2) that the number of crimes committed decreases with distance from offenders' residences (“distance decay”); and (3) that there is a “buffer zone” immediately surrounding offenders’ homes within which they avoid committing crime - presumably out of concern for being recognized. The current study is unique in terms of the size and quality of the crime trip data available for analysis. Furthermore, it advances prior research by distinguishing trips to different types of residential targets (e.g., stand-alone houses; apartments; farm houses; etc.). The article concludes with an analysis of the popular assumption that burglars favor affluent areas when seeking crime targets - an assumption that is not supported by the data. 

4. Helene Oppen Gundhus:
Hallmarks of Good Policing

This article explores the notion of ‘good policing’ by thinking normatively about security and policing in late-modernity. It is argued that ‘good policing’ is conceptualized by a public police that emphasizes problem-solving, co-operative and future-oriented approaches to policing rather than punitive, past-oriented and reactive policing strategies. ‘Good policing’ should also be discussed with reference to the changing face of governance in late-modernity. Late-modernity gives rise to both a fragmentation of policing, which threatens to unleash unjust and ineffective policing, and a proliferation of policing, which threatens to promote a maximum security society. To avoid a maximum security society, where the police intervene in potential future crimes in ways that reduce citizens’ freedoms and rights, the article argues that good public policing should reflect on the potential negative and damaging consequences of pro-active policing. If these maximum security tendencies are not addressed, two problems occur. First, an unlimited promotion of security gives rise to a dangerous situation of ‘too much policing’. Second, increased efficiencies associated with an instrumental risk-based policing encourage an overly-invasive style of policing which threatens to undermine public freedoms. The article concludes with an argument that optimal policing must embrace diversity in policing. A mentality tightly knitted to a strong focus on ‘bandit-catching’ is a bad combination seen through an ethical lens. If a model of optimal policing is to be developed, a balance must be struck between the promotion of security and the promotion of other social objectives. However, the trends towards diversity and proliferation demand good governance of policing.

5. Helgi Gunnlaugsson & Rannveig Þórisdóttir:
Criminal Victimization and Crime Reporting in Iceland

Research has repeatedly shown that the frequency of victimization is considerably greater than that indicated by police data.
This article examines criminal victimization in Iceland and its reporting to the police based on data from the 2005 Icelandic ICVS survey. Data was collected in Iceland in January and February of 2005. A random sample of 3000 individuals age 16 and older was derived from the National Census. The net response rate was about 67 percent, and the sample appears representative of the Icelandic population in terms of gender, age, and location of residence. The study shows that a relatively large proportion of Icelanders experiences a criminal victimization each year. Most people stated that property crimes had been reported, but a much smaller number acknowledged reporting violent and sexual offences. Upon studying the effects of personal characteristics and factors linked to the offence itself it is revealed that those taking a serious view of the violation are more likely to report it to the police than those who do not consider the violation as serious. This conforms to previous studies which have shown that the decision to report an offence is largely based on a so-called cost benefit calculus.

November 2007 - 94. årgang Nr. 3

1. Gustav Möller:
The Increasing Legal Internationalization: Are the Nordic Countries an Alternative?

This article asserts that EU legislation in the field of penal law does not prevent traditional legislative cooperation between the Nordic states. While legal cooperation within the EU is quite advanced, it is argued that cooperation within the Nordic states could be even more ambitious and far-reaching, as already evidenced by the Nordic warrant of arrest. In other words, when it comes to legal cooperation, a case in another Nordic country should be treated as a domestic case

2. Eva Jagander:
Hate speech? Two Rulings from the Swedish Supreme Court

There are few cases against Sweden concerning article10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Indeed, the European Court of Human Rights has yet to examine a Swedish case that deals with the question of what may be incriminating to say or, rather, under what circumstances the state may infringe on an individual’s freedom of expression without at the same time being in breach of the Convention. The focus of the present article is therefore on two cases before the Swedish Supreme Court concerning such issues. As the reader of the article will find, the case law under the European Convention on Human Rights plays a decisive role in the rulings.

3. Ragna Aarli:
The European Convention and its Public Watchdog

The European Court of Human Rights´ recognition of the mass media as ‘the public watchdog of democracy’, has limited our ability to protect individuals from offending statements. It is necessary to rethink national strategies towards safeguarding personality. This paper explores the foundation for the unique position of the media in modern democracies and examines various approaches to strengthening the protection of individuals without violating European standards of freedom of speech.

4. Vagn Greve:
Insulting Speech and Principles of Criminalization

The author discusses different principles for criminalizing speech. Criminalization of Auschwitz Lügen and other distortions of historical facts are rejected. The traditional interpretation of the European Convention of Human Rights Art. 10 and 17 is criticised. Further, it is argued that written and oral insults of groups – including blasphemy and racist hate speech – should not be outlawed. Finally, it is maintained that all expressions of value judgments should be decriminalized.

5. Björg Thorarensen:
The Impact of Article 10 ECHR on Nordic Criminal Law: What is a Punishable Expression?

The author discusses the impact of Article 10, of the European Convention on Human Rights, on provisions within Nordic criminal law that penalise discussing certain issues. However, the conclusion in a criminal case ultimately depends on specific factors that a national judge must assess in each individual case. These factors have been developed within the case law of the European Court of Human Rights which places a high value on the crucial role of freedom of expression in democratic societies. The Nordic courts have increasingly adopted the methods of the European Court when assessing whether restrictions on the freedom of expression are warranted. In some areas, such as that regarding the right to criticise public officials and government institutions, freedom of expression has clearly been expanded – a trend reflecting the direct influence of Strasbourg case law on Nordic court practice. In other areas, such as that regarding dissemination of racial hatred, the Court has stressed the key role played by the media in imparting information and opinions in a democratic society. In light of events surrounding the publication of Mohammed cartoons, it will be interesting to see how the European Court deals with clashes between freedom of expression and the duty of states to protect religious beliefs. Such conflicts will undoubtedly increase in the multicultural societies of Europe. This applies particularly to the rights and duties of the media and to the extent to which states may or should apply penal provisions to protect religious beliefs.

6. Dan Frände:
The Latest Developments in Criminal and Procedural Law within the EU. Harmonization and Mutural Recognition

This article looks at the latest developments in the criminal and procedural law within the EU. As a starting point, the author accepts the objective of harmonising the material criminal law, and concludes that much remains to be done. An EU-wide criminal code should be adopted to protect the financial interests of the European Communities and prevent serious cross-border crime. Much has been achieved in the field of mutual recognition. The biggest challenge will be the establishment of joint EU rules in respect to evidence in the sphere of criminal procedural law. 

7. Britta Kyvsgaard:
Evidence-Based Correctional Policy:

This article discusses evidence-based correctional programmes and the extent to which they have produced positive preventive effects. It also provides a general overview of the rationales for using evidence-based programmes within the Nordic correctional system. The article concludes with discussions of the need for alternative educational methods within prisons, the tendency towards exaggerated optimism concerning treatment effects, and the limitations of programmes initiated within correctional settings.

8. Birgitta Göransson:
Evidence-Based Correctional Policy: A Practitioner’s View

Evidence-based measures in the Prison and Probation Service are now an important issue in Scandinavia. Most treatment programmes come from Canada and the UK. Britta Kyvsgaard presents an important survey of different measures and their effectiveness. Relapse into crime and drug addiction (drug addiction is a crime in Sweden) is reported as infrequent. Yet the meta-analyses behind these conclusions have a lot of shortcomings. We don’t know much about the subjects who are treated in these programmes. Individual factors, measurement factors, and the spirit of support surrounding these programmes all have significant importance for their results. These factors are not described in the summaries of the meta-analyses’ presented. Conditions within the experimental settings used to test the effects of different programmes are not comparable to those found in real life. It is impossible to create an experimental setting that controls for all relevant factors. When studying changes in behaviour, the choice of method is of minor importance compared to the influence of individual factors and the relationship between the subject and his or her therapist. This is not to suggest that we should avoid evidence-based programmes; a return to evaluations based on gut instincts or impressions might even increase the crime rate. But instead of focusing on statistics concerning programme effects, we should focus on individual factors and strive to improve therapeutic alliances. Choosing the right therapist is more important than to trying to improve the technique. Fostering a supportive climate in prison units is also more important. To improve our results we need to mix and adjust our techniques to fit the needs of individual clients in terms of education, work, and family support, etc., and we need to know when clients are most susceptible to change. Finally, programmes considered for use in Scandinavia must also be evaluated in Scandinavia.

9. Lars Korsell:
Corruption: Economic or Organised Crime?

The question considered herein is whether corruption in the contexts of economic and organised crime – as discussed in to two empirical studies in Sweden - should be treated as criminality in and of itself or as simply a means by which to facilitate other forms of crime. The article concludes that corruption is in many ways an instrument to facilitate the transaction of both economic and organised crime, ie, legal activites for economic crime and illegal operations for organised crime. The one exception is occupational crime in which white collar criminals misuse their occupations, typically by demanding or accepting brides. In this case, corruption can clearly be treated as the goal of criminal activity.

10. Anne-Mette Dyrnes:
Some Reflections Regarding Corruption

Any discussion of the nature or prevention of corruption needs to begin by acknowledging that these issues have only recently arrived on the agendas of both the international and Norwegian communities. For example, in Norway, a bribe that had been paid to a foreign public official could be tax-deductible until 1996. International conventions on corruption do not contain a definition of corruption. However, they clearly indicate that a broad approach is the best one. This is also in line with the experience in Norway.

11. Iain Cameron:
The EU Sanction System Against Suspected Terrorists

In recent year, the UN Security Council and the EU have started issuing “blacklists” of suspected terrorists and terrorist groups. These blacklists involve a duty for all states, and all EU states respectively, to freeze the assets of the targets, and to criminalize financial support to the targets. However, the process by which the blacklists are drafted, the effect of a blacklist at the national level (which involve organizational prohibitions) and the procedure for challenging blacklisting all raise serious problems from the perspective of democratic control over the criminal law, legal security and human rights.

12. Agneta Bäcklund:
Evidence-Based Criminal Policy

This article discusses possibilities for a truly knowledge-based crime policy, where the term ‘crime policy’ is used to encompass not only the penal law but also other measures designed to prevent or combat crime. A knowledge-based policy would include mechanisms to actively seek knowledge on the phenomena of interest, and would have the flexibility to change focus, etc., depending on the knowledge obtained. The article examines differences in the working environments of research and politics and how this affects criminal policy conclusions. Research should ideally be independent and objective, and is often time-consuming. The world of politics, on the other hand, is largely built on ideology and is greatly influenced by the media and by public opinion. Politics requires quick decisions that are often taken without regard to available knowledge. An official in a political organisation, the author gives examples that highlight some of the problems encountered when developing policy in the area of crime and penal law.

13. Jesper Ryberg:
Criminal Policy, Knowledge, and Ethics

The purpose of this comment is threefold: First, to direct attention to the fact that a crime policy must rest upon empirical as well as normative premises. Second, to make a minor comment regarding the considerations on evidence-based crime policy presented by Agneta Bäcklund. Finally, and most importantly, to point to one among several possible explanations for why real-life crime policy often fails to be evidence-based.

14. Aina Mee Ertzeid:
Victims’ Standing in Criminal Proceedings

In Finland and Sweden, crime victims can be parties to criminal proceedings. This status gives them procedural rights equal to and independent of those enjoyed by the prosecuting authorities. In Denmark, Iceland and Norway, crime victims have traditionally been regarded primarily as witnesses, with few procedural rights or even legitimate interests in the criminal proceedings. This traditional perspective has been perceived as both unsatisfactory and unjust by many victims and is now under critique. Recent reports in Denmark and Norway have suggested legislative amendments to strengthen victims’ rights in criminal proceedings.

15. Henrik Tham:
What is a Successful Crime Victim Policy

Ideally, a policy that strengthens the position of crime victims should not infringe on the rights of suspects or sentenced persons. There are obvious tensions in this regard in the new policy that must be discussed. Such tensions exist, for example, when the state sides with victims in the name of human rights, yet thereby risks violating traditional human rights for citizens, especially if the restoration of the victim is said to require the punishment of the perpetrator, or if the creation of an ideal victim demands the creation of a stereotyped perpetrator. In order to develop a successful crime victim policy, it is important to base that policy on research and experience, to recognize that there are different sorts of victims with differing needs, and to avoid being influenced by ideologies and preconceptions

16. Johanna Niemi-Kiesiläinen:
Threats against Victims and Witnesses: Can We Uphold Justice?

Threats against victims and witnesses occur in connection with all kinds of crime. These actions threaten not only individuals but the justice system itself, which is inherently dependent on the willingness of ordinary people to testify. This article focuses upon protections provided in the context of two particularly high-risk groups: victims of domestic violence and those who witness for, or otherwise collaborate with, the justice system in cases concerning organized crime. The article discusses various ways of improving the security provided these parties both during and after a trial. The Swedish witness protection program and discussions concerning the anonymity of witnesses in Europe are evaluated in the context of prosecutions against organized crime. The article concludes that these programs can not replace comprehensive and long-range measures designed to improve the security of person who step forward as witnesses.

17. Harald Strand:
Reduced Sentences as a Result of Cooperation during Legal Proceeding.

Norwegian law offers criminal defendants two primary means for reducing their sentences through various forms of cooperation during the course of the proceedings. The first of these means is to plead guilty to all charges in court. Entry of a guilty plea will oblige the court to consider a reduction in sentence, a sentencing arrangement called ‘reduction for guilty plea’. The determining factor in the court’s assessment is the value of the guilty plea, or of any prior indication of a willingness to plead guilty. Calculation of this value is based on the plea’s impact on closing the case, ameliorating the suffering of victims, or reducing the use of resources at the investigation, prosecution or trial stages.
The second means by which a defendant might reduce his or her sentence is to assist in the investigation, e.g. by providing information on persons charged in the same or a different case, or by cooperating with the police in some other way. While the courts are not bound by prosecutorial requests for sentence reduction, a 2007 Supreme Court ruling states that the courts must be willing to attach a certain independent importance to undertakings by the prosecuting authority to request a reduced sentence. A stated condition, however, is that the contents of the request must conform to Supreme Court precedent. While the ‘reduction for guilty plea’ arrangement has a great deal in common with some types of ‘plea bargaining’, other types of plea bargaining are alien to Norwegian law and judicial precedent. Among them is the arrangement where the prosecuting authority will, in return for a guilty plea or admission of guilt, pursue a lesser charge than that supported by the available evidence.

18. Petter Asp:
Cessation and Agreements: Fragments of a Coherent Theory

This article examines the extent to which (i) agreements between the suspect and the prosecutor and (ii) discounts for confessions and other types of “participation” by the suspect should be accepted within the criminal justice system. The paper takes six dichotomies as a point of departure for discussing – in a fragmentary style – relevant aspects of the question.

19. Gorm Gabrielsen & Peter Kramp:
The Increasing Number of Forensic Psychiatric Patients

The Danish penal code § 16 (1) says that “Persons who, at the time of the act, were irresponsible owing to mental illness or similar conditions or a pronounced mental retardation are not punishable”. If “non punishable”, the court will pass one of the following treatment sanctions: (a) placement in a psychiatric ward; (b) psychiatric treatment, or (c) outpatient psychiatric treatment. Among (b) and (c) 95% is under supervision by a probation officer and these persons comprice the material. Treatment continues until the sanction is abolished by the court. Between 1970 and 1990, the number of new forensic psychiatric patients increased with an annual growth rate of 6.5%. In recent years, however, this growth rate has rapidly increased. Between 2003 and 2006, the annual growth rate was 15%. This very high rate of growth is at least partially attributable to a higher growth rate for women as compared to men.

20. Tapio Lappi-Seppälä:
Trust, Welfare and Political Economy: Explaining Differences in Penal Policy

Unprecedented expansions of penal control have occurred in recent decades in different parts of the world. American imprisonment rates have increased nearly five-fold and Dutch rates six-fold since the early 1970s. This increase in states’ willingness to use penal power has provoked criminological and sociological explanations, primarily from writers in North America and English-speaking countries. An unspoken assumption is that developments in the United States and in England and Wales apply to other countries as well. However, things have not happened the same way everywhere. Alongside general growth in cultures of control, there are divergent trends and country-specific deviations. The Scandinavian countries, with their more restrained penal policies, serve as one important counter-example. This essay explores explanations for differences in penal severity in industrialized countries. The focus is not restricted to the Anglophonic world, but also encompasses the Scandinavian countries, Western and Eastern continental Europe, and the Baltic nations. The analyses include cross-sectional and trend analyses taking account of a large number of factors related to crime, e.g., social, economic, and political factors, as well as survey data on sentiments, fears, and public beliefs. The most powerful predictors of moderation in penal policy and practice are high levels of confidence in fellow citizens and in government, strong welfare states, and consensus- as opposed to conflict-based political systems. Other important factors include insulation of the legal system from politics, level of training
among justice system personnel, and the nature of the mass media.

21. Ulla V. Bondeson:
Explanations for the Lower Number of Prisoners in the Nordic Countries as Compared to Other European Countries

Contribution to the theme “Penal Severity in Scandinavia in a Cross-Comparative Perspective”. I make comparisons with conclusions from my article, “Levels of Punitiveness in Scandinavia”, which appeared in Pratt et al.’s The New Punitiveness (2005). We both begin with the assumption that Scandinavia’s low rate of criminality can not, on its own, explain its low rate of imprisonment. Both of us point to public opinion, fear of crime and the influence of the media as causal variables, though I stress that different formulations of the question produce different results. I argue against the common postulate of penal populism starting in the 1980s and point to the
constancy of penal and other social attitudes over the decades, as demonstrated in my book, Nordic Moral Climates (2003). Both of us emphasize economic variables such as GDP and welfare expenditures, as well social inequality. I juxtapose political factors, referred to by Lappi-Seppälä as
“consensual democracies” and “neo-corporativism”, with the theory of “ functional democracy”. In regard to increasing rates of imprisonment – also in the Nordic countries - I conclude by questioning the rationality of the welfare state in the area of criminal policy and advocate more evidence-based research to underpin policy decisions in Scandinavia.

22. Hrefna Friðriksdóttir:
How do we Deal with our Young Offenders?

All of the Nordic countries are experienced in dealing with young offenders. Children from 15 to 18 years of age who engage in serious and/or repeated criminal activity represent a special area of concern. This paper discusses similarities and differences in the legislation of the Nordic countries when it comes to dealing with young offenders. It looks at the parallel systems of child protection and criminal justice in terms of their underlying principles and the rights they convey to children, and explores areas for further multi-professional interaction and cooperation

23. Stina Holmberg:
Sanctions for Young Offenders

This comment begins by providing additional focus on the difficulties encountered when trying to combine the culpability principle and the treatment-needs principle in connection with the sanctioning system for young offenders. The basic problem is that the culpability principle stipulates proportionality between the criminal act, the sanction, and any foreseeable sanctions, while the treatment-needs principle stipulates individual adjustments and flexibility in accordance with treatment needs. In this connection, I describe how the system in Sweden has developed towards a stronger emphasis on the culpability principle. There is, however, a parallel trend toward increasing demands on the social services to find successful measures to prevent young offenders from relapsing into crime.

24. Elina Pirjatanniemi:
Is Our Guilt Eternal?

The principle of statutory limitations is deeply rooted in the criminal justice system. Yet many states have ruled out the applicability of statutes of limitations in connection with the most serious offences. Furthermore, statutes of limitations are deemed inapplicable in regard to the most serious international crimes. This view is clearly present in the ICC Statute, according to which crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court shall not be subject to any statute of limitations. These developments, alongside rapid advances in DNA-technology, have invigorated the debate concerning the basic values behind statutes of limitations. The current article begins by analyzing the influence of DNA-technology on the applicability of statutes of limitations. The conclusion of this analysis is that technological development should not dictate our attitudes towards statutes of limitations since the central issue is of an ethical, as opposed to technical, nature. Second, the article explores the effects of international criminal law on national debates concerning statutes of limitations. Caution is recommended, since the notion of eternal guilt – inherent in the non-applicability of statutes of limitations – contrasts sharply with the foundations of modern criminal law.

25. Petra Lundh:
The Statute of Limitations on Very Serious Crimes

This article deals with the statute of limitations on very serious crimes. In Sweden, the statute of limitations is a topic of ongoing discussion. Discussion centres on the ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court seen in light of relevant societal changes. An issue is whether the primary reasons for having a statute of limitations remain as valid today as they were when the rules first came into force nearly one hundred years ago. I conclude that they have lost validity and that it may be time for Sweden to abrogate the statute of limitations for, e.g., homicide.

26. Peter Garde:
Equality and Inequality in Sentencing

This article treats the question of whether discrimination in sentencing occurs in Danish criminal justice, esp. as concerns perpetrators from ethnic minorities. While a recent report indicates that conscious discrimination can probably be excluded, such perpetrators are, nevertheless, in some cases sentenced more severely, i.a. because they very seldom plead guilty and thus lose the limited benefit normally caused by the accused’s co-operation during the trial.

27. Robert R. Spano:
Prosecutorial Authority and General Principles of Administrative Law

The article discusses the interconnection between prosecutorial powers relating to the issuance of indictments or the dismissal of cases at the investigative stage of criminal proceedings and general principles of administrative law. It is argued that decisions by the prosecution essentially entail the use of unilateral governmental authority afforded by statutes providing for discretion. Thus, as a general matter, prosecutorial decision-making must comply with general principles of administrative law to the same extent as other discretionary decisions of governmental organs, at least to the extent that the legislator has not provided for clear statutory exceptions. It is argued however that the method of assessing the legality of prosecutorial decisions in relation to general administrative principles must, at least to some extent, recognise the special nature of prosecutorial powers within administrative law. The article then discusses three perspectives on the question if and to what extent the courts have the authority in criminal cases to examine the conformity of prosecutorial decisions to issue indictments with general principles of administrative law. The author argues that courts may have the authority in limited circumstances to dismiss an indictment without reaching the merits of a criminal case if certain conditions are met.

28. Ragnhild Hennum:
Equality Before the Law

Equality before the law involves two principles: formal equality and material equality. Formal equality requires a consistent and objective application of the law in regard to the individual. Material equality requires equal distribution of rights and benefits. This article examines the extent to which Norwegian law provides both formal and material equality.