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Victims' rights - by country

Sweden

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Sweden

Can I appeal against a sentence or if the defendant is declared not guilty?

Is further appeal possible?

What rights do I have after the court sentence enters into force?

More information

Can I appeal against a sentence or if the defendant is declared not guilty?

If you as a party are not satisfied with the decision of the district court you may appeal against the decision to the Court of Appeal.

If you want to appeal you have to do so in writing and submit the appeal papers to the district court within three weeks of the date when the judgment was pronounced. Depending on the sentence, you may need to receive a special permit from the Court of Appeal in order to have your appeal accepted for consideration. When a decision has been appealed against, there is often a new hearing in the Court of Appeal. In certain simple cases, however, the Court of Appeal can decide the case without holding a hearing.

Is further appeal possible?

You can appeal against a decision of a Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court. However, the Supreme Court will only review cases where a decision may be useful as a guide to future action (known as ‘precedent‘) or where a review is deemed absolutely necessary, for example, because a district court or a Court of Appeal has made a serious error.

If you want to appeal you shall do so in writing and the appeal papers shall be delivered to the Court of Appeal. It shall have arrived at the court within four weeks of the date when the judgment was pronounced.

What rights do I have after the court sentence enters into force?

As a party you have the right to receive a written notice of the content of the judgment as promptly as possible. If you are not a party you have to contact the court to receive information about the content of the judgement.

In general you have the right to interpretation of documents. The court may, if required, provide for the translation of documents filed with or dispatched from the court. You may have to contact the court and ask for this service. The interpretation and translation are free of charge.

If conditional or provisional release of the offender is decided upon you do not have the right to intervene upon such decision. You do, however, have the right to be informed about the release by the Swedish Prison and Probation Service.

You cannot be represented by a legal counsel (1) at public expense. The counsel’s assignment to help you ends when the hearing is over. You may though be represented by a legal counsel at your own cost, or if you are eligible for legal aid part of your cost will be met by the State.

If you want a support person after the sentencing of the offender you have to contact of the voluntary organisations in this field, for example one of the victim support centres or women’s shelters - Women’s and Girls Shelters in Sweden, Swedish Association of Women’s Shelters and Young Women’s Empowerment Centres (SKR), etc.

More information:

  • Code of Judicial Procedure (Rättegångsbalk) – in English and Swedish
  • Decree on Preliminary Investigation (Förundersökningskungörelse) – in Swedish
  • Public Access to Information and Secrecy Act (Offentlighets - och sekretesslag) – in Swedish
  • The Freedom of the Press Act (Tryckfrihetsförordning) – in English and Swedish
  • Criminal Injuries Compensation Act (Brottsskadelag) – in Swedish
  • Decree on Criminal Injuries Compensation (Brottsskadeförordning) – in Swedish
  • Act on Mediation (Lag 2002:445 om medling med anledning av brott) – in Swedish
  • Act on Restraining Orders (Lag 1988:688 om kontaktförbud) – in Swedish
  • Act on Population Registration (Folkbokföringslag) – in Swedish
  • Name Act (Namnlag) – in Swedish
  • Act on Special Representative for Children (Lag 1999:997 om särskild företrädare för barn) – in Swedish
  • Act concerning Counsel for the Injured Party (Lag 1988:609 om målsägandebiträde – in Swedish
  • Parental Code (Föräldrabalk ) – in Swedish
  • Administrative Procedure Act (Förvaltningslag) – in Swedish
  • Social Service Act (Socialtjänstlag) – in English and Swedish
  • Legal Aid Act (Rättshjälpslag) – in Swedish
  • Ordinance of Payments Concerning Reimbursements of Expenses in Cases and Court Matters( Kungörelse 1973:261 om utbetalning av vissa ersättningar I mål eller ärende vid domstol m.m.) – in Swedish
  • Decree on Reimbursements from Public funds to witnesses (Förordning 1982:805 om ersättning av allmänna medel till vittnen m.m.) – in Swedish
  • The Prison Treatment Act (Lag 1974:203 om kriminalvård I anstalt) in English and Swedish
Note:

1. Legal counsel
The counsel is usually a lawyer or an assistant lawyer at a legal practice, but can also be another suitable person with legal expertise. The counsel will look after your interests and give you guidance and support during the investigation.
A counsel can be appointed as soon as the preliminary investigation has been initiated. If you feel you need a counsel, you need to bring up the matter with the police officer or the public prosecutor in charge of the preliminary investigation as soon as possible. You can also make a request for a counsel directly to the district court. It is the district court that decides whether you are entitled to a counsel and if so, the court will appoint the counsel free of charge. You are allowed to make a request regarding whom the court shall appoint. The counsel can also help you by presenting your claim for damages.
Last update: 16/07/2018

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