The characteristic of Swedish civil law consists in its continuous and uninterrupted development, which can rightly be traced back, for important parts of it, to the oldest Swedish legal sources that are preserved, namely the Landskapslagar of the century. XIII and to the territorial (Landslag) and municipal (Stadslag) law elaborated towards the middle of the century. XIV. The political revolutions, which have resulted in sudden transformations in the government of the state, have not shaken that part of the juridical order that concerns civil life. It is characteristic that even today the most important source of law is the general code, Sveriges Rikes Lag (law of the kingdom) of 1734, having its basis in the municipal law and in the territorial law mentioned above. Although large parts of this old code have been replaced by new laws (at the forefront of family and inheritance law, criminal law and important parts of real estate law) and laws have been enacted dealing with matters that are outside the scope of the code, this has retained its importance as the main source of civil law regarding patrimonial and procedural matters.
The new discipline, given to family and inheritance law in the last two decades, is so far the largest and most important of the legislative works of the twentieth century on the subject dealt with in the code. This new legislation (marriage law of June 11, 1920; laws on unlawful filiation and adoption of June 14, 1917; guardianship law of June 27, 1924; succession law of June 8, 1928; will law of April 25, 1930; law on the establishment of the inventory and on the distribution of the inheritance of 9 June 1933, and others) contains in many respects radical reforms in the spirit of democracy, especially with the aim of achieving the legal equality of men and women in marriage, and to improve the legal status of the children.
Marriage ends either with an ecclesiastical rite or with a civil rite. Ecclesiastical marriage presupposes that both parties are part of the Swedish national church (Svenska Kyrkan) or that one is part of it and the other is part of another Christian denominational community. Within other confessional communities a valid marriage can only be contracted if the king has granted their clergy permission to do so.
The number of impediments to marriage is very limited. Marriage is forbidden between ascendants and descendants, between brothers and sisters, between uncle and niece, between nephew and aunt; between cognates is prohibited in direct, ascending and descending lines. Mental infirmity, epilepsy as the disease has internal causes are also an impediment to marriage, for eugenic reasons, and so are sexual diseases in the contagious stage. The man becomes capable of marriage at twenty-one, the woman at eighteen. The king can dispense with the observance of some of these rules.
The divorce regime is particularly large. The marriage can be dissolved by court ruling, when both spouses request it. However, in this case, the sentence is at first only of temporary separation, which means that the spouses are imposed a probationary period of one year, during which they must live apart. Divorce becomes definitive only if the spouses do not re-establish the marriage cohabitation during, or after, the course of this year. The right of one spouse to obtain the dissolution of the marriage against the resistance of the other is also facilitated. Legal separation can generally occur as soon as a spouse proves that a deep and lasting incompatibility has arisen between him and the other spouse due to differences in temperament or way of thinking; Furthermore,
According to the new legislation, spouses are completely equal, both as regards personal rights and as regards property rights. Consequently, spouses are mutually obligated to alimony, and this obligation can even survive divorce. From the point of view of property rights, the spouses are completely independent. During the marriage each of them freely disposes of his assets, and is responsible only for his own debts. As a rule, however, these rules governing property relations do not apply to marriages contracted before the entry into force of the new legislation. According to the old regime, the communion of property between the spouses is in force for these, with the corresponding provisions on liability for the debts of the other spouse and with the
The main characteristic of the new provisions on the legal status of children is the tendency to improve the status of the illegitimate child. The child born out of wedlock is entitled to alimony and education from both parents, depending on their financial situation. However, as a rule, he has the right to succession only towards his mother and her relatives, not towards his father. But if, before or after the birth of the child, a promise of marriage has taken place between the parents, the child is entitled to the succession also with respect to the father. Furthermore, the father can grant his illegitimate child the inheritance capacity of the legitimate child, by means of an express declaration made before the competent authority. The care of the person of the illegitimate child is usually the responsibility of the mother; exceptionally it may be due to the father.
Coming of age begins for both men and women at the age of twenty-one. The legal representative of the minor, the guardian, is under the supervision of a so-called ” super-author ” (Overförmyndare), as well as of the court that appointed him. Relatively strict provisions on the placement of the pupil’s estate are binding on the guardian’s administration.
Under the new law, inheritance law is more linked to the family community than to natural kinship, and is therefore very limited. Those entitled to the succession are the descendants in the first line, the parents and their descendants in the second line, the ancestors and their children in the last line; hence cousins and other more distant relatives have no right to succession. If there are no heirs, the inheritance belongs to a particular fund, called the “general fund of succession”, which is dedicated to the assistance and education of children and adolescents. In harmony with the principle of succession law mentioned above, the series of those entitled to succession has been extended by recognizing a certain right to succession to the surviving spouse in the event that the person leaving the inheritance has no descendants. The part that thus falls to the surviving spouse, however, falls after the death of the latter to the less close relatives, entitled to succession, of the premorted spouse, according to certain rules; after all, this right to an indirect succession ceases if the inheritance does not exceed the value of 3000 crowns.
If a person wants to leave his assets to persons other than legitimate heirs, this is done by means of a will. If there are descendants or adopted persons, the testator cannot dispose of more than half of the estate.
As we have mentioned above, property law is largely built on ancient Germanic legal traditions. Among other things, a characteristic example should be remembered: the broad protection of the purchase in good faith of movable property, which developed from the old Germanic legal maxim “Hand muss Hand wahren”; today the purchase in good faith of a movable property is protected even independently of the circumstance that the seller has, for example, stolen it. It is also worth noting that the distinction between the law of obligation and the real law derived from Roman law is not applied in the system of Swedish law. The Swedish legal system, on the other hand, distinguishes between property law and property law. However, Roman law also exerted a powerful influence on Swedish property law: this is borne out by the same terminology in use, which largely derives from Roman law. However, many important particular phenomena in the field of Swedish property law are the result of the peculiar situations of the present era. In a certain sense this can already be seen in the discipline of the alienation of movable property established by the law on the sale and exchange of movable property, of June 20, 1905: but it can be seen even more clearly in many other recent laws. Worthy of note is in the first place the protection enjoyed by the economically weaker party in the conclusion of a contract; coercive provisions in this regard have been enacted in a number of important laws, e.g., in the Act on Contracts and Other Legal Affairs in the Field of Property Law of 11 June 1915, the Real Estate Usufruct Act of 14 June 1907, the Installment Contract Act of 11 June 1915, and the Contracts Act of insurance, of April 8, 1927. The express recognition of “good faith” as the supreme rule for the decision of matters concerning the validity of a contract is on the same line (par. 33 of the aforementioned law on contracts, etc.), of fairness as a basis for the lowering of unjustifiably high contractual penalties (paragraph 36), for the judgment on forfeiture clauses and the like, as well as for prohibitions of competition extended in an excessive way (paragraph 38), etc. A’
Among the provisions that aim to protect the economically weaker, there are also those relating to companies, especially those on joint-stock companies (law of 12 August 1910) which, among other things, tend to protect minorities within the companies themselves.. But, since the provisions in force have proved insufficient, both in this and in other important respects, a reform of this part of the legislation is in preparation.
A direct result of economic development is the introduction of the obligation to pay damages even if there is no fault. However, this new principle has so far only been expressed in some special laws, especially those on railway traffic (12 March 1886) and automotive (30 June 1916), on aviation (26 May 1922) and on electrical systems (27 June 1902).). The judgments of the courts, on the other hand, show considerable resistance to this: not even the non-contractual liability of the owner for negligent actions of his employees is recognized in all respects, regardless of the fault.
Another important step on the way to implementing the legislation on damages is the introduction of compulsory motor vehicle insurance to cover civil liability (law of 10 May 1929).
Finally, as an important result of the legislation in the field of property law, derived from the peculiar economic development of the contemporary era, we should also remember the laws by which the dominion over Swedish natural wealth must be reserved only to Swedish citizens (laws of 30 June 1916 ; June 18, 1925; June 7, 1934).
The Swedish Criminal Law is dated February 16, 1864. Although it arose long after the Swedish Code, whose provisions on punishable acts and penalties it replaced, this law is from a time when the theory of repression dominated criminal law. But in the original system of the law, the theory of prevention, coming from the Italian school of criminal law, has opened a gap, by means of various particular reforms. This happened, among other things, with the laws on the coercive education of juvenile offenders, of June 27, 1902; on the conditional sentence, of 22 June 1906 (new law 28 June 1918); on conditional early release, of 22 June 1906; on the internment in special institutions of repeat offenders, for an indefinite period (usually for a minimum of 10 years, and for a maximum of 20), of 22 April 1927; on indefinite internment in special institutions of semi-responsible offenders, of April 22, 1927, etc.
In the rest, Swedish criminal law has become increasingly bland: the death penalty has been abolished (1921), and for various crimes – especially against maternity – the extent of the penalty has been reduced. The circumstance that the courts tend to inflict the lowest penalty within the scope of the sentence also contributes to the mitigation of penalties. On the other hand, the preventive effectiveness of certain penalties has been increased (especially for negligence in driving vehicles: law of September 24, 1931).
The most modern principles, which through the aforementioned reforms have exercised their influence on criminal law in general, have naturally also exercised just as much effectiveness in the sector of the execution of sentences. The treatment of detainees has been reformed in parallel with criminal law, through the acceptance of the fundamental principles of the so-called gradual execution of the sentence, and through the improvement of penal institutions, the establishment of special agricultural prisons for juvenile offenders, and other various measures.
In the area of procedural law, the national character of Swedish law has been preserved better than elsewhere. Thus, especially with regard to the organization of the courts of first instance it can rightly be said that it is based on a legal tradition that goes back as far as the very knowledge we may have of a Swedish legal community. These courts (häradsrätten) consist of a jurist (häradshövdinger) assisted by a college of non- jurist scabins who are elected by the population of the respective jurisdictional district (häradsnämnden). This college decides in all disputes with the häradshövding. The unanimous opinion of the college is worth more than that of the jurist judge, and determines the sentence; but if the opinion of the college is not unanimous, it is the judge alone who decides. Even some city courts are made up of at least one jurist (borgmästaren) assisted by two scabins (rådmänen) who can both be non-jurisperts, and in this case also have individual votes.
Four higher courts (hovrätter) judge in the second instance. Ultimately, the Supreme Judicial Court (högsta domstolen) decides. Legal actions of secondary importance only reach the second instance. Both the hovrätter in the second instance and the supreme judicial court are appellate courts.
According to the law, the procedure is oral in the first instance; but, in reality, it is mostly written. The procedure in the higher instances is entirely written also according to the letter of the law. In this regard, the slowness that results in the issuing of sentences is rightly complained; A complete procedural reform has therefore been in preparation for several years. The law on forced execution is governed by the law of August 10, 1877, which was revised in various important points by a law of October 11, 1912. The bankruptcy law dates from May 13, 1921 and is supplemented by a special law of the same date on non-bankruptcy composition proceedings. For Sweden 1998, please check constructmaterials.com.
Sweden’s public law also rests largely on a legal tradition that goes back a long way in the country’s history. For the form of government, the constitution and parliamentary representation, see above: State system.
A law dated May 23, 1924 provides for the acquisition and loss of Swedish citizenship. We will remember that a foreigner (or a foreigner) born in Sweden, who has had his permanent residence in Sweden, acquires Swedish citizenship at the age of twenty-two. A foreigner can obtain citizenship from the king, provided he is irreproachable, can provide for himself and his family, has reached the age of twenty-one and has had his domicile in the country for a period of five years; however, exceptions can be made to the last two conditions.
The administration of the state is largely decentralized: the municipal corporations enjoy a wide autonomy in the ecclesiastical and scholastic field, in the field of assistance to the poor and children, public health, public safety, roads or public roads, and so on..
From the end of the century. In the nineteenth century, extensive legislation emerged in the field of social reforms. Among the results obtained so far, the following can be mentioned: legal regulation of the employer’s obligation to protective measures against accidents and diseases at work and, in connection with it, the establishment of state supervisory bodies (law of 29 June 1912); compulsory insurance against accidents for workers (law of June 17, 1916); limitation of the duration of daily work to eight hours, especially for industrial workers (put into effect in 1919, now more particularly regulated by the law of May 16, 1930); state offices for the conciliation of labor disputes (law of 28 May 1920); special court for the decision of disputes on collective agreements, in which the interests of workers and employers are strongly represented (law of 22 June 1928); state-assisted unemployment insurance (law of June 15, 1934); old-age assistance through compulsory pension insurance (carried out on a small scale in 1913, on a larger scale with the 1935 law); strict regulation of the production and sale of wine and spirits (the most important laws in this regard are of 11 June 1926 and 14 June 1917).