April 2009- 96. årgang Nr. 1
1. Paul Larsson & Dan Magnusson:
The Costs of Money Laundering Regulation
The aim of this study is to estimate the costs of implementing anti-money laundering regulations in Norway and Sweden. The banks are the central institutions in this respect and the study shows that the annual costs of these regulations are approximately 400 million SEK in Sweden and 200 NOK in Norway. It is difficult to estimate the effects of anti-money laundering regulations upon the magnitude of money laundering itself. There is little evidence that these regulations have had any noteworthy preventive effect upon either the original criminality that gives rise to illegal earnings or the illegal endeavours, e.g., terrorism, to which these earnings are sometimes applied. It is, however, possible that the regulations strengthen the security and integrity of the financial institutions themselves. The use of intelligence in connection with investigations of financial crimes and other types of criminality can be seen as another positive outcome. There are also nonfinancial costs associated with these anti-money laundering regulations. The loss of secrecy in the banks and the increase of supervision within one more area of private life can be seen as the most serious. The regulations can also have unintended costs by contributing to the marginalization of vulnerable groups of bank customers. The article ends with some suggestions for reforms that may be helpful as a basis for a more precise cost/benefit evaluation of anti-money laundering regulations.
2. Håkan Hallbäck:
Digital and Undercover Investigations: Reflections on Two Methods of Police Work
This article deals with two aspects of Swedish criminal procedure: police investigations in digital environments and the possibilities that police have to work undercover. In both cases, the Swedish rules and regulations are set in relation to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (European Convention). Concerning digital investigations, the Swedish police execute examinations of computers and other digital media belonging to suspects on a daily basis. Both the European Convention and the Swedish constitution state that everyone has the right to privacy concerning their correspondence and that public authorities can transgress this right only via specific legal exceptions. The Swedish code of judicial procedure provides strictly regulated possibilities for the police to investigate the contents of different kinds of written material. There is, however, no law supporting investigations in a digital environment, which means that the police violate the European Convention and Swedish constitution each time they carry out an investigation of digital media. In Sweden, the law about qualified protection of identity provides the legal basis for undercover investigations, which are primarily used to combat organized crime. This law contains no concrete stipulations as to how an undercover search should be carried out. This kind of search can give a considerably more thorough mapping of the life of a search object than e.g. wire-tapping. Yet one can wonder whether the gathering of information by undercover means should require legal stipulations similar to those the police are forced to abide by when conducting other types of criminal investigations.
3. Jane Dullum:
Prisons and Psychiatric Institutions: How different, how similar?
In this article, the author presents some main features in the historical development of prisons and psychiatric institutions in Norway. This comparative approach opens up for reflections regarding the power relations and interests that have contributed to the development of these two institutions. The comparison shows that the power relations and discipline that characterize the inner life of these institutions reflect the power relations in society at large. In addition, professional power and professional interests are also important elements that can contribute to our understanding of the development of both institutions.
4. Flemming Balvig & Britta Kyvsgaard:
An Analysis of the Increasing Tendency to Report Violence to the Police
Danish crime victim surveys show that the inclination to report assault to the police has increased during the past decades. Part of this increase is due to changes in the character of the violence committed, as a rising proportion of incidents involve the use of weapons and are therefore more likely to be reported to the police. Yet part of the increase in reporting cannot be explained by changes in the character of the violence, and is instead probably due to a growing societal rejection of violence. This is reflected in an increasing tendency to report less serious forms of violence. In addition, forms of violence that were previously considered “excusable” (e.g., violence committed in pubs; violence committed by girls) have become less tolerated and are thus now being reported more frequently to police.
5. Solgunn Eidheim´:
Confidential Addresses as a Relief Measure for Victims of Domestic Violence
This article discusses results from an evaluation of confidential address tactics. Confidential addresses can be assigned to women and children who have been victims of domestic violence and cannot be protected in other ways. The evaluation shows that the most severe consequence of having a confidential address is social isolation since victims always have to be extremely cautious in order not to reveal their home locations. This not only limits a victim’s ability to keep contact with family and friends, but also her possibilities for establishing new social contacts. Life as a ‘secret citizen’ invokes a series of challenges because the use of public services and participation in the workforce generally require openness about personal information such as name and area of residence. The study further reveals great differences between those who benefit from having a confidential address and those who don’t. The former include women without children and women whose jobs provide financial independence. Women who have children with the perpetrator benefit less since they have to relate to the father through the children.
August 2009 - 96. årgang Nr. 2
1. Per Ole Träskman
The Prosecutor’s Right and Duty to Initiate a Criminal Proceeding:
A Nordic Comparison It is officially recognized that it is impossible to prosecute every criminal case with complete attention to detail. The prosecutor therefore plays a key role in the modern criminal justice system when he or she decides whether to initiate a criminal case. A proper understanding of the prosecutor’s right and duty to make such a decision requires consideration of the various forms of criminal proceedings within the broader context of the prosecutorial system. The prosecutor acts as a rational “works manager” when choosing between a complete trial as opposed to a summary proceeding and/or any further case hearings. If the prosecutor decides to pursue the case as a summary penal judgment, he or she must be prepared to switch roles and perform the duties of an impartial judge. The prosecutor must make all decisions and take all actions necessary in connection with the preliminary investigation. From the standpoint of legal security, the most important and sensitive of these concern restrictions on the criminal investigation and its proper time for closure. These kinds of decisions affect both defendants and victims, and can significantly impact public confidence in the criminal justice system overall. The decision to charge a suspect is, of course, notably important. For this, the prosecutor must estimate the strength of the evidence and decide, in accordance with procedural law, whether the charges are likely to hold. “Plea bargaining” can also be considered in this context, though its use remains very controversial throughout the Nordic countries. All of the decisions discussed require a rational consideration of the balance between economy, efficiency and fair trial.
2. John Pratt & Anna Eriksson:
Scandinavian Exceptionalism in Criminal Policy:
This paper sets out the theoretical background to a research programme in comparative penology. The research will explain why Scandinavian prison rates and prison conditions differ so much from those in the Anglophone world. Scandinavian exceptionalism refers to the relatively low rates of imprisonment in these societies and the generally liberal and humane prison conditions of these countries. These would simply be ‘unthinkable’ in the Anglophone world. The article reviews a range of possible explanations for these differences but argues that the roots of Scandinavian exceptionalism – and its differences from Anglophone penal arrangements – lie in long term historical trends that begin with the respective early 19thy century geo-political arrangements of these two clusters of societies.
3. Andreas Karlgren & Helén Örnemark Hansen:
The Status of Mediation in the Swedish Criminal Justice System:
This article examines correspondence between restorative justice and the existing legal system on both theoretical and practical levels. More specifically, the Swedish Mediation Act is considered in terms of its compatibility with the ideology of a modern criminal justice process and the acquis of the EU, most notably the demands of the European Convention on Human Rights.
4. Linda Kjær Minke, Pernille Petersen & Anne Dorte Weismann:
Cognitive Behaviour Programmes. Experiences and Reflections from Participants concerning Programme Preventive Effects:
Several international quantitative studies show that participation in cognitive behavioural programmes reduces the risk of recidivism. But how do participants experience such programmes? The current article is based on two qualitative studies conducted in three Danish prisons. These studies seek to shed light on how participants understand and experience the changes that the cognitive behavioural programme facilitates. Interviews with participants during and after the programme reveal that they start to consider their lives from a new perspective. They feel that they have received cognitive tools that enable them to identify and solve problems without violating the law. In a broader perspective these tools can therefore have a crime-reducing effect. The article also points to barriers in using the cognitive tools from the programme. After finishing the programme, participants seem to be influenced yet again by the more aggressive sociality in the prison. Furthermore, some participants seem to discontinue their use of the cognitive tools once the formal programme is over. This is probably due to the fact that they no longer receive encouraging feed back from an instructor and the responsibility to employ the tools becomes their own. These barriers suggest that the context of learning and using the tools of the cognitive behavioural programme is of great importance, and is fundamental for a long-term experienced effect.
5. Peter Garde:
The Norwegian Leave-to-Appeal in Human Rights Storm:
In continuation of the article in this periodical 2/2008 p. 113 seq. the author describes a decision in the UN Committee on Civil and Political Rights criticizing the Norwegian appellate process while no reasons were given when an oral hearing was refused, and subsequent decisions in the Norwegian Supreme Court changing the system accordingly.
December 2009- 96. årgang Nr. 3
1. Ingun Fornes:
Juvenile Delinquency: Norwegian Law and New Propositions
The Norwegian government appointed a Committee on juvenile delinquency on the 20th of April 2007. The Committee enounced its propositions on the 15th of October 2008 in NOU 2008: 15 Barn og straff. In the current article, the author gives a short summary of the Norwegian juvenile justice system and of three of the main propositions set forth in NOU 2008: 15. The Committee reaffirms the necessity of using prison as punishment for offenders under age 18 at the time of the crime, but emphasizes that the conditions under which juveniles serve their sentences must be improved. The Committee also proposes the introduction of youth conferences as an alternative to imprisonment for these youthful offenders. An analysis of known risk factors is recommended for use in helping to determine whether a given case should result in imprisonment or a youth conference.
2. Johan Kardell & Karl-Magnus Carlsson:
Conviction of Immigrants and their Descendants in the Nordic Countries
This article discusses the overrepresentation of immigrants and their descendants in Nordic judicial systems. We use data on convictions handed down in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland in 2005, as well as Swedish data on suspicions and convictions from 2003. While both immigrants and their descendents are overrepresented in the conviction data, the results from Denmark and Sweden indicate higher rates of conviction for descendents than for first generation immigrants. Meanwhile the Norwegian data on convictions indicate equal levels of overrepresentation among these groups. In all three countries, persons with foreign backgrounds are overrepresented as compared to the domestic population. Finland is not included in the examination of overrepresentation because it lacks sufficient numbers of immigrants for proper statistical analysis.
3. Per Ole Träskman:
The Role of the Victim in the Penal Process
This article examines the role of the victim in criminal procedure. The victim can serve one or more of the following three roles: Case Initiator, who decides whether a criminal proceeding shall be initiated in the first place; Informant, who provides relevant evidence to the judge; and Near Equal Player, who enjoys rights that are equal or almost equal as those of the public prosecutor and the defendant. The role or roles ultimately served by the victim depend largely on perceptions concerning the primary function of criminal procedure within the criminal justice system.
4. Ole Ingemann-Hansen, Ole Brink, Svend Sabroe, Villy Sørensen Annie Vesterby Charles:
Legal Aspects of Sexual Violence: Does Forensic Evidence Make a Difference?
The legal disposition of 277 cases of sexual violence reported to the police departments in Greater Aarhus, Denmark, in 1999-2004 was ascertained and related to victim and assault characteristics along with patterns of forensic medical and laboratory findings. The police pressed charges in more than half of the cases. Nineteen percent of all cases ended with sentencing of the defendant. Victims reported penile penetration in 63% and exposure to moderate/severe coercion in 20% of the cases. Data indicate that prosecution of the case was generally not advanced by documentation of injuries and intoxication, or detection of sperm and DNA-match between victim and alleged assailant. Severe coercion used by the assailant increased the likelihood for conviction seven times. The results give forensic clinicians and law enforcement officers a helpful tool by drawing attention to specific details that are important for the legal outcome of a case and that may be useful in the optimisation of the sexual assault examination protocol.
5. Lena Hellblom Sjögren:
Miscarriages of Justice and the Rule of Law
Edited by two professors of legal science in 2008, this Norwegian volume concerns miscarriages of justice and the rule of law, and serves as an important contribution to our collective memory. As Milan Kundera states, “Man´s struggle against power is memory´s struggle against forgetfulness”. The book’s contributors write about wrongful convictions; police violence; the irresponsibility of a media that sometimes keeps silent and other times says too much without substantiation; and popular misconceptions of our time, for example, that children never lie about sexual abuse. The volume inspires the reader to think for herself, a necessary ingredient in the education of any good professional. As a research psychologist who has been investigating criminal sexual cases and custody cases in the Nordic countries since 1990, it is my opinion that this book should be included among the required readings for educational programmes in a number of professions in addition to law.