97. årgang, 2010

April 2010 - 97. årgang Nr. 1

1. Lars Bo Langsted:
The Rules on Corruption in Nordic Legislation

The aim of this article is double-sided. On the one hand it summarizes the rules on corruption in Nordic legislation. On the other hand, it focuses on the difficulties legislators face when creating restrictions against corruptionmore generally. Criminal legislation differs only slightly across the Nordic countries. All Nordic countries have signed the same treaties on corruption, thereby committing them to criminalize the same kinds of public, private and international bribery. The differences mainly arise from the fact that Denmark, Sweden and Finland, in accordance with the Criminal Convention on
Corruption from the Council of Europe (ETS no. 173), have signaled a reservation concerning the criminalization of trading in influence. Norway has criminalized trading in influence in regard to both public and private bribery, whereas Iceland has criminalized trading in influence only when it comes to
public affairs. The keyword in all countries is the word “undue”. Four examples are used to illustrate how legislation works in the different countries and how it is often unclear whether an advantage is “undue” or not. Finally it is argued that corruption is extremely difficult to handle by legislation alone.
We all have sympathies and dislikes when it comes to the specific people we do business with. It is therefore important not only to criminalize as a remedy for regulation, but also to look to civil and other kinds of public law in order to avoid decision-making being biased by irrelevant elements.

2. Minna Viuhko:
Do We Always Have to Pay? Finnish Businessmen’s and Public Servants’ Apprehension and Experience with Corruption at the Border between Finland and Russia

This article deals with corruption on the Finnish-Russian border, particularly on the border between Finland and the Republic of Karelia. The article is based on a Finnish-Russian study that was conducted in 2008-2009 with the following aims: to map out how Finnish and Russian authorities and representatives of cross-border companies define and understand corruption; to classify the types of corruption that are most common in connection with cross-border activities; and to describe interviewees’ experiences with corruption. The current article deals only with the Finnish results of the study. Focus is placed on similarities and differences between Finnish civil servants and businesspersons in regard to their definitions of, and attitudes towards, corruption. Interestingly, while these two groups share similar definitions of corruption, their attitudes towards corruption in practice differ significantly.

3. Margret Saemundsdóttir:
Socio-economic Characteristics of Islandic Politics and Bank Structure

Corruption in developing countries is often attributed to ineffective governance and economic backwardness. However, developed countries characterised by stong economies and seemingly efficient institutions can also experience corruption that results in serious damage to economic
prosperity. It is therefore important to examine the forms of corruption and immoral behaviour that can disrupt economic performance in developed societies. The purpose of this paper is to examine the Icelandic political system and the development of the banking sector. Two cases will be analysed and linked with literatures that focus, respectively, on trust and on structure-based institutions. The paper shows that strong political influence and protectionism help to foster concentrated bank controls which result in a range of serious governance problems. 

4. Per Ole Johansen:
In the Shade of the Norwegian Icon: Four Examples of Corruption

This article examines four municipalities of varying sizes that have been involved in cases of bribery and illegal gain by external business actors. Fraudulent invoicing and overcharging of the municipality were the modi operandi. It was the municipalities’ own employees that carried on the tradition and set the tone for this corruption, as opposed to employees of private companies who were, more or less voluntarily, junior partners. The article concludes with a discussion of the following themes and questions: Weak checks and controls are seen in many studies as interchangeable with causes of corruption; Municipal corruption in Norway is both traditional and modern; Can corruption in Norway be compared with that in Italy and, if so, what questions should be posed?; The municipality’s
independence in Norway has become something of an icon, which is lauded in historical articles and celebratory speeches; The history of municipal corruption in Norway is still waiting for its author.

5. Joakim Thelander:
Title in English: The Bofors-India Affair: A Controversial Case of Swedish Arms Export

This is a case study of one of the most well-known political scandals in Sweden: the Bofors-India affair. The purpose of the study is to describe this affair and to analyze it using established theories of corruption and economic crime. The arms industry is considered one of the most corrupt business sectors in the world. Important reasons for this are the secrecy involved in arms deals, the considerable amounts of money at stake in the contracts and the strong competition between manufacturers. In March 1986, the Swedish arms manufacturer Bofors signed a large order with the Indian government for a system of 155 mm field howitzers. The deal was worth approximately 8.4 billion Swedish kronor. In April 1987, journalists at the Swedish National Radio claimed that large bribes had been paid to Swiss bank accounts in order to secure the deal. The Swedish National Audit Office examined the payments, and concluded that sums exceeding 260 million Swedish kronor had been paid to Swiss
bank accounts. Bofors acknowledged the payments, but claimed that these were legitimate provisions and not bribes. It is argued that Sweden has a strong industrial and political tradition in protecting the domestic arms industry and exporting arms abroad. This means competing for contracts in a business sector where corruption is regarded as widespread. At the same time, Sweden has declared strong positions against corruption, as well as a commitment to international peace and mediation in international conflicts, something that can easily clash with the selling of arms. This explains the heated debate that followed the Bofors-India

6. Pål Lagestad and Hild Rønning:
Title in English: Common Sense or Knowledge-Based Practice? The Importance of Police Use of Legislation in Public Interactions

The ways in which police officers involved in operative policing behave, exercise their authority and justify their actions can be decisive for how the public perceives and trusts them. In order to achieve a good public image, the police have to know the law and practice it well. A very important factor is knowledge of the law in the first place. In this article, we clarify some of the legal frameworks governing police interventions with the public. At the same time we would like to stress that the police’s use of so-called common sense and “gut-feelings” must be founded in the law. Furthermore, we would like to show what happens when police work isn’t sufficiently founded in the law and how this can influence the efficiency of ordinary policing. When the police do not give reasons for their interventions, it can be interpreted as a lack of respect. And this, in turn, can lead to confrontational
situations. In conclusion, we examine police officers’ attitudes towards the law as a working tool in their public interactions and identify a frequent failure to learn from experience as well as an apparent culture of disinterest when it comes to expanding one’s knowledge.

August 2010- 97. årgang Nr. 2

1. Vagn Greve:
National Criminal Law and Internationalization.

Other legal systems, foreign scholars, philosophers etc have always influenced national criminal law. Nowadays such adaptations and developments are not only taking place by free choice. More and more changes are forced upon the national systems from supranational and international bodies and courts. This means that the national legal system loses its coherency and legitimacy, and thus that our society becomes less of a Rechtsstaat. The often heard argument of necessity with regard to fighting international and cross-border crime is not convincing. The article argues for a turning back of the wheels.

2. Hanns von Hofer:
Long Term Forecasting of Prison Populations.

The article discusses whether it is possible to make reliable predictions of prison populations five to ten years in advance. This period corresponds approximately to the planning period that the Swedish Prison and Probation Service considers necessary for building new prisons. After a brief description of forecasting and its various methods, three quantitative forecasting methods are discussed: trend projection, extrapolation from causal models, and statistical modelling. Swedish and international prison population data (comprising years 1961 to 2010) are used as illustrations. It is concluded that accurate long-term forecasts are unlikely, since prison population data tend to show strong random walk patterns

3. Paul Larsson:
From Strong-Armed Country Boys to Children of Scholars:

The Recruitment of Police Officers in Norway.
This article documents the movement of the Norwegian police away from the recruitment of “arm strong country boys” at the end of the 1960’s in favor of the sons and daughters of the relatively well-educated middleclass. The myth of the strong country boy is well supported by research. Today, however, police students generally come from towns and smaller cities, and as much as 70 percent of them have parents with university or college degrees. The article describes when this change occurred, and explores whether it resulted in more “academic” police officers and how the change in recruitment can be explained. The most surprising finding is that the motivation for choosing a career in the police has not changed substantially for the last 40 years. The most common reason for wanting to become a police officer is that it is an occupation with multiple and varying tasks, that it allows work with people, and that it is seen as a stable, secure job. There is little if any indication that the students today are more “academic” in their perceptions of the work than before. What is more striking, in fact, is their similarity in world view. This suggests that there is a certain type of middle-class child that is attracted to the profession. Regarding the timing of the change, some indicators suggest the end of the 1970’s as the watershed, though it has actually been a gradual movement over the last 40 years. Explanations for the change are mainly found outside the police force. One is the gradual rise in level of education within the Norwegian population, while another is the increased social status and professionalization of the Norwegian police.

4. Maria Libak Pedersen:
Violent Youth Cultures in Socially Disadvantaged Neighbourhoods

This article examines violent youth cultures in socially disadvantaged residential areas in Denmark. The focus on these cultures stems from their identification by youth themselves when describing the local circumstances that contribute to their repeated involvement in violence. The tone among these young people is harsh and they seem to believe that an aggressive behaviour pattern is necessary for their own survival. Violent behaviour is expected and these expectations are difficult to counteract
given the conventionality of violence within the culture. In that sense, the culture works to further reinforce the marginalization of these already marginalised youth. The article focuses on neighbourhood conditions and the social codes found among young people on the street. The stories they tell about the violence they have committed and the reality they experience depicts a particularly violent youth culture context.

5. Åsa Bergenheim and Jonas Liliequist:
“Honour and Respect your Father and your Mother”: Violence Against Parents by Adult Children in a Historical Perspective.

Today, violent abuse of parents by their grown-up children is veiled in silence; but this has not always been the case. In 17th and 18th century Sweden, violent and verbal abuse of parents constituted a capital crime, and in the 19th century physical abuse of parents was still regarded as a serious crime. The turning-point came in 1864 when parental abuse was excluded from the new penal code as an independent category of crime – a first step on the road to the modern veil of silence. The aim of this article is to analyse today’s silence and violent abuse in the light history. In the long run this was a history of changing attitudes and meanings. While the children of early modern families were obliged by both law and religion to respect their parents as the fundament of society, the rise of the modern
bourgeoisie ideology implied that families should be united by bonds of love and affection as a natural fact which didn’t need to be regulated by law. What was seen as sin and crime in early modern society was diagnosed as a psychological and social deviation in the emerging modern society.

November 2010 - 97. årgang Nr. 3

1. Flemming Balvig, Helgi Gunnlaugsson, Kristina Jerre, Leif Petter Olaussen and Henrik Tham:
Attitudes towards Punishment in the Nordic Countries

In 2009, a comprehensive comparative study of citizens’ attitudes towards punishment was conducted in the five Nordic countries. In each country three kinds of attitudinal data were gathered. General attitudes to punishment were explored in a nationwide telephone interview. A postal survey to a random sample of citizens was used to investigate penal attitudes in six relatively serious cases. In an effort to compare citizens’ penal attitudes with the actual level of punishment, a panel of judges evaluated the six cases and suggested what the punishment would be if brought before the court. Finally, participants in a number of focus groups in Copenhagen, Oslo, Reykjavik and Stockholm answered the questionnaire used in the postal survey. Then the focus group participants watched a short mock trial film of court proceedings of one of the cases included in the questionnaire, and immediately afterwards answered a questionnaire about punishment for the accused. After one hour’s discussion of punishment for the accused the focus group members answered a new questionnaire about punishment for him. The findings in Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden were very much the same. (Data for Finland has not yet been analysed). Generally, a majority of citizens think that punishment is too lenient, especially for violence, and suggest more use of imprisonment. However, when asked to suggest a punishment for each of the six concrete cases, a majority suggest a punishment that is more lenient than the actual level of punishment. The studies also demonstrate that citizens underestimate the actual level of punishment. This explains why they, when asked general questions, complain that punishments are not stiff enough.

2. Magnus Matningsdal:
The Politician’s Influence on Sentencing

This article examines the influence of politicians’ statements on sentencing outcomes. In this discussion, democracy and the independence of the judiciary must be balanced. The author argues that there is a fundamental difference between statements made in connection with legislation and those made without any such connection – for example in public debates on sentencing. Statements made in connection with legislation should be given considerable weight. The author gives examples of this practise from the supreme courts of Norway and Denmark. The thoroughness of the available legislative history is, however, of considerable importance, especially as regards whether it is possible to see that the legislator knows how the courts sentence the current violation. On the other hand, the author is very sceptical of statements made without connection to legislation. In his opinion, it is wrong to attach significance to such statements. 

3. Anne-Stina Sørensen:
The Academics and the Police

A Struggle between Theory and Practice In recent years the police and the police education have encountered a demand for the development of best practice strategies and methods. The aim is a professionalization of policing. This calls for cooperation between the police and academia, but this cooperation can be difficult and ischaracterised by limited mutual understanding and conflicting interests. It is argued that the organizational structure of the police and the way in which the police role is defined can be a hindrance to fruitful cooperation with academia and hence to the professionalization of the police profession. Similarly, the lack of police science as an academic discipline in Denmark, the low prioritisation of applied science, and the frequent inability of academics to effectively communicate ideas to the general public increase the difficulties that police have in seeing the relevance of science and research.

4. Anders Danielsson:
The Future of Police and Police Training in Sweden

What demands will the Police be facing in the next 15 to 20 years and what is the strategy for meeting these demands? To better understand what future demands the Police are likely to face it is important to identify not only who is making these demands, but also to learn more about current trends in the broad spectrum of criminality as well as recognising the driving forces in society in general. It is also important to identify the types of training, education and research needed to make the Police better equipped to meet future demands. What type of police officers will be needed in the future, and what type of training will be necessary to ensure that the Police can fulfil their duties? At least in Sweden, policing has been a neglected area of academic research for quite some time. To successfully develop strategies for future policing, further insight is needed into which police measures are effective – in other words, which working methods actually work.

5. James Bonta:
Understanding What Works: Lessons for the Nordic Countries?

Developed in the 1980s and first formalized in 1990, the Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR) model has been used with increasing success to assess and rehabilitate criminals in Canada. As suggested by its name, it is based largely on three principles: 1) the risk principle asserts that criminal behaviour can be reliably predicted and that treatment should focus on the higher risk offenders; 2) the need principle highlights the importance of criminogenic needs in the design and delivery of treatment; and 3) the responsivity principle describes how treatment should be matched to the learning style of the individual. However, the principles are less familiar to many of the Nordic countries. This paper summarizes the role of the principles guiding the development of offender rehabilitation programs and ends with a description of an RNR-based training program for probation officers.

6. Nils Dalseide:
Control of Extraordinary Investigation Methods: The Surveillance Society and the New Techniques

The ruling of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Klass and others versus Germany (application no 5029/71) of September 6th, 1978, states: ”Whatever system of surveillance is adopted, there must exist adequate and effective guarantees against abuse”. This article discusses how we can design and apply the best possible control system concerning the use of concealed coercive investigation methods by the police service. The control system needs to be such that those subject to it will act in compliance with the rules regulating their police work, which will also generate confidence among the public.

7. Felipe Estrada:
Violence as a (Suitable) Social Problem

In Scandinavia, as in many other European countries, violence constitutes an important focus for the public and political debate on crime. Much of what is said in the public debate, and done in the field of criminal policy, stems from a perception that violence is on the increase. This paper challenges the view that violence is rapidly increasing. Instead it is argued that the way violence is viewed in society and the subsequent response to violent offending have changed, leading to a deviancy amplification spiral. The discussion highlights the role of neo-liberal policies and the media as actors and arena, respectively, in the creation of this altered reaction.

8. Inger-Lise Lien:
Gang Crime and Prevention:

This paper discusses gang prevention within the Scandinavian context. The paper argues for a holistic approach based on a thorough analysis of the causes of crime and the processes of gang formation so that these can be targeted on a micro, meso and macro level. Migration seems to be one of the macro-level conditions that proliferates and seeps down to the lower levels. There is a need for measures directed towards education at early ages. The psychological pain that comes from life in the gang, such as that manifested in traumatic stress disorders, must be communicated to the young. Family programs are essential in order to strengthen the family and social control. It is also important to prevent the processes of withdrawal that often take place in areas where gang problems are most serious. Police work should be guided by a deep understanding, sharp analysis and thorough knowledge of the community, and of gang members’ activities and lives, in order to provide relevant solutions in the form of arbitration and tension reduction, as well as deterrence. Nervousness among the police may trigger further tensions, such that the process of gang formation escalates.

9. Per Ole Träskman:
Penal Principles and the Efforts of the European Court of Human Rights to Implement Positive Human Rights

This article deals with a development seen in some of the more recent judgments of the European Court of Human Rights. This development concerns a re-interpretation of human rights as being not only a protection of citizens against the encroachments of public authorities, but also as a principle that requires pro-active efforts to prevent infringements committed by one citizen against another. The decision in the case MC versus Bulgaria provides a good example for discussion. 

10. Gorm Toftegaard Nielsen:
Is the European Court of Human Rights a Threat to the Fundamental Principles of Criminal Law?

On the basis of the rape case, M.C. v Bulgaria in 2003, a critical analysis is made of how the European Court of Human Rights has developed its ‘interpretation’ of the Convention from being a protection of citizens against injustices committed by their nation states to a requirement granting victims a ‘human right’ to demand that their perpetrators be punished, or at least be subjected to criminal proceedings. As it stands now, the suspect and the victim each have their own ‘human right’ and can demand the same protection. The classic protection of legal certainty for the suspect can easily be eroded by this approach.

11. Vagn Greve:
Minor Cases in Criminal Law.

Zero tolerance has become an influential political ideology. Therefore we have good reasons to reconsider the limits of criminalization, the judicial and administrative interpretation of provisions concerning minor infractions of law, and the sanctions applied to such. The author warns against the development and calls for a renewed respect for Rechtsstaat ideology.

12. Dan Frände:
Zero Tolerance and Trivial Offences

This article discusses the relationship between the principle of zero tolerance and petty crimes. Zero tolerance implies a decree to tolerate a certain incident to the lowest extent possible. The article asserts that the principle is to be given a certain independent weight on the level of law application, though this should be restricted to the activity of crime investigation by the police. The principle is, however, clearly expressed on the level of criminalization. The legislators of today do not accept forms of conduct that they regard as dangerous, i.e., that have the potential to result in concrete damage. From this perspective, the legislator does not create types of petty crime. At the same time, the legislator is clearly aware that certain concrete acts are so trivial, that they ought to be sifted out at the earliest possible stage of the criminal process. A general law of sanctions of a non-criminal type is not needed either.

13. Martin Borgeke:
How can we Ensure Comparable Penalties for Similar Crimes?

The author emphasizes the importance of the principle of legality when establishing the penalty for a crime. He describes how to achieve greater coherence and presents his views on the responsibilities of different authorities and actors. While the author sees the Swedish courts as fairly consistent, he argues that much more could be done to ensure equal penalties in equal cases. He highlights the Supreme Court’s responsibilities and the need to continually examine the quality of judicial work. The potential advantages of using computer-assisted techniques to harmonize crime penalties are explored.

14. Bent Carlsen.
Sentencing and Explanatory Memoranda.

This article concerns the relationship between the Parliament and the judiciary when it comes to questions of sentencing. How can Parliament express sentencing guidelines in the law or in explanatory memoranda to bills without inappropriately limiting judicial discretion? The article describes difficulties that have been faced by the judiciary when trying to find and follow Parliamentary guidelines in various cases that have given rise to uncertainty and different sentences in the three court instances. The author’s conclusion is that the Danish courts make every effort to follow sentencing guidelines handed down from the Parliament, but that it is often very difficult for the Parliament to give clear and precise guidelines without including acts that should be omitted. It will therefore often be preferable for all – including the Parliament – to leave greater discretion to the judiciary when handing down sentences in a concrete case.

15. Lars Korsell and Paul Larsson:
Organised Crime in the Nordic Countries

Organised crime in the Nordic context could best be characterized by two extremes. On one hand, there are the ad hoc-groups that form to carry out criminal enterprises such as smuggling operations. These ad hoc-groups are flexible and collaborators can come and go depending on the projects. The ad hoc-groups are quite discrete and profit is their primary goal. On the other hand, there are the brotherhoods of visible and often provocative gangs. Identity and brotherhood are often more important for these outlaw bikers, street gangs and similar gangs than the criminal enterprise itself. The ad hoc-groups are more common and thus more central to the criminal markets than the brotherhoods, even though the latter get a lot of media and political attention because of their characteristics. The nature of Nordic organised crime grows out of broader societal traits. The level of corruption is low, and people trust the political assemblies, the authorities and the judicial system as a whole. Longstanding democratic traditions, also on the local level, and relative economic equality help to explain why organised crime is not a threat even if there are problems.

16. Paul Larsson and Lars Korsell
Organized Crime: Current Knowledge

Much of our knowledge about organized crime is based on data from official sources. The police, courts and public officials are central contributors of information used in the media discourse and in research on organized crime. We raise the questions of what consequences this has and how we as researchers can deal with the fact that our data come from these sources.

17. May-Len Skilbrei and Charlotta Holmström:
Nordic Prostitution Policies: Do We See the Emergence of a Nordic Model?

The prostitution policies implemented in the Nordic countries have gone through major changes over the past 15 years. A change that has drawn a lot of attention, both within the Nordic region and internationally, is the introduction of prohibitions against the purchase of sexual acts and services. Sweden, Norway and Iceland have introduced such prohibitions, and Finland has criminalised buying sex from victims of trafficking or persons involved in pimp-organised prostitution. The laws applied to prostitution have to be understood in light of how prostitution is defined and dealt with as a social problem, and their existence explained by ideological developments and developments in the prostitution market. The fact that several countries have implemented similar legal reforms does not mean that the Nordic countries have a consistent approach to prostitution. In this article we describe how prostitution is handled in the Nordic countries and discuss the question as to whether one can now say that there is a common Nordic prostitution regime.

18. Claes Lernestedt:
Are there Degrees in Hell? On the Buying (and Selling) of Sexual Services

This paper discusses – and partly questions – a recent development in Sweden regarding the buying of sexual services: Specifically, that the crime of buying has to an increasing degree come to be seen as committed against the seller.

19. Jussi Tapani:
The Icelandic Financial Crisis from a Finnish Perspective

This article explores the financial crisis in Iceland from a Finnish perspective. First, I provide a short introduction to the economic context of the Icelandic financial crisis and give a simplified overview of its primary causes. Second, I describe the primary features of the Finnish banking crisis as it stood at the end of the 1980s and beginning of the 1990s. Third, I present important discussions from criminal law, criminology and criminal policy that emerged during the banking crisis in Finland. These experiences can be useful in understanding and evaluating the types of challenges that the Icelandic criminal justice system is likely to face in the future. The current article serves as a starting point in a larger research project dealing with the complex relationship between financial systems, the criminal law and moral philosophy.

20. Jon Petter Rui:
Ne bis in idem

Ne bis in idem means «not twice for the same». The ne bis in idem-principle is implemented in the criminal procedural laws of all Nordic countries. As opposed to other legal systems, the principle has not been considered as a basic human right, but more as a technical, procedural principle. This has, however, changed due to the ratification and incorporation of Protocol No. 7 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Article 4 of Protocol No. 7 sets out the ne bis in idem-principle on a national level. This paper analyses the implementation of Article 4 of Protocol No. 7 in the Nordic countries. Perhaps surprisingly, substantial differences are revealed. In addition, the paper analyses the impact of the ne bis in idemprinciple in the Schengen Convention Article 54 in the Nordic countries. Both the force of this principle towards harmonization on the European level and the dynamic and evolutive interpretation of the principle at the European Court of Justice raise serious questions in regard to the future of Nordic cooperation in criminal matters.

21. Petter Asp:
Ne Bis in Idem: Not Twice for the Same

This article on the principle of ne bis in idem focuses on two main questions: (1) the relationship between the application of the principle in national (i.e., within state) and international (i.e., between states) contexts, and (2) the application of article 4 protocol 7 of the European Convention of Human Rights in relation to the Swedish system, which provides for the possibility of using parallel sanctions (administrative and penal) for specific offences.