"Instrument of Government" - Chapters I and XI (1974, lastly amended in 1994)

Instrument of Government

* Emphasis added *

Chapter 1. Basic principles of the form of government


Art. 8.Courts of law exist for the administration of justice, and central and local government administrative authorities exist for the public administration.

Art. 9.Courts of law, administrative authorities and others performing tasks within the public administration shall have regard in their work to the equality of all persons before the law and shall observe objectivity and impartiality.

Chapter 11. Administration of justice and general administration

Art. 1.The Supreme Court is the highest court of general jurisdiction, and the Supreme Administrative Court is the highest administrative court. The right to have a case tried by the Supreme Court or by the Supreme Administrative Court may be restricted in an act of law. A person may serve as a member of the Supreme Court or the Supreme Administrative Court only if he holds currently, or has held previously, an appointment as a permanent salaried justice of the Court.

A court other than the Supreme Court or the Supreme Administrative Court must be established by virtue of law. Provisions prohibiting the establishment of a court of lawfor a particular case are laid down in Chapter 2, Article 11, paragraph one.

There shall be at least one permanent salaried judge in any court under paragraph two. Exceptions to this rule in respect of courts established to try a specific group or specific groups of cases may however be made in an act of law.

Art. 2.Neither a public authority nor the Riksdag may determine how a court shall adjudicate an individual case or otherwise apply a rule of law in a particular case.*

Art. 3.A legal dispute between private subjects may not be settled by an authority other than a court except by virtue of law. Provisions concerning examination by a court of a deprivation of liberty are set out in Chapter 2, Article 9.

Art. 4.Provisions concerning the functions of the courts relevant to the administration of justice, the principal features of their organisation, and court procedure shall be laid down in an act of law.*

Art. 5.A person who has been appointed a permanent salaried judge may be removed from office only provided

1.he has shown himself through a criminal act or through gross or repeated neglect of his official duties to be manifestly unfit to hold the office;

2.he has reached the relevant retirement age or is otherwise obliged by law to retire on pension.

If a permanent salaried judge has been removed from office by means of a decision of a public authority other than a court of law he shall be entitled to call for the decision to be examined before a court of law. The same applies to any decision as a result of which a permanent salaried judge is suspended from office or ordered to undergo examination by a medical practitioner.

If organisational considerations so dictate, a person who has been appointed a permanent salaried judge may be transferred to another judicial office of comparable status.*

Art. 6.The Chancellor of Justice, the Prosecutor General, the central administrative boards and the county administrative boards are responsible to the Government. Other State administrative authorities are responsible to the Government, unless they are authorities under the Riksdag according to this Instrument of Government or by virtue of some other law.

Administrative functions may be entrusted to a local authority.

Administrative functions may be delegated to a limited company, association, collective, foundation, registered religious community or any part of its organisation, or to a private person. If such a function involves the exercise of public authority, delegation shall be made by virtue of law.

Art. 7.Neither a public authority nor the Riksdag nor the decision-making body of a local authority may determine how an administrative authority shall decide in a particular case relating to the exercise of public authority vis-à-vis a private subject or a local authority, or concerning the application of law.

Art. 8.No judicial or administrative function may be performed by the Riksdag except inasmuch as this follows from fundamental law or from the Riksdag Act.

Art. 9.Appointments to posts in courts of law or administrative authorities coming under the Government shall be made by the Government or by a public authority designated by the Government.

When making appointments to posts within the State administration attention shall be directed only to objective factors such as merit and competence.*

Only a Swedish citizen may hold or exercise the functions of a judicial office, an office coming directly under the Government, an office or appointment as head of a public authority coming directly under the Riksdag or the Government, or as member of such an authority or its governing board, an appointment in the Government Offices coming immediately under a minister, or an appointment as a Swedish envoy. Also in other cases only a person who is a Swedish citizen may hold an office or appointment if the holder of such an office or appointment is elected by the Riksdag. Swedish nationality may otherwise be stipulated as a condition of qualification to hold an office or appointment under the State or under a local authority only with support in law or in accordance with conditions set out in law.

Art. 10.Basic rules concerning the legal status of civil servants in respects other than those covered in this Instrument of Government shall be laid down in an act of law.

Art. 11.Retrialsof closed cases and reinstatement of lapsed time shall be granted by the Supreme Administrative Court or, insofar as this has been laid down in an act of law, by an inferior administrative court, if the case concerns a matter in respect of which the Government, an administrative court or an administrative authority is the supreme instance. In all other cases, a retrial of a closed case or reinstatement of lapsed time is granted by the Supreme Court or, insofar as this has been laid down in an act of law, by another court which is not an administrative court.

More precise rules concerning the retrial of closed cases and reinstatement of lapsed time may be laid down in an act of law.

Art. 12.The Government may grant an exception from a provision of a statutory instrument, or from a provision adopted by virtue of a Government decision, unless otherwise provided in an act of law or in a decision concerning a budget appropriation.

Art. 13.The Government may by exercising mercy remit or reduce a penal sanction or other legal effect of a criminal act, and remit or reduce any other similar intervention by a public authority concerning the person or property of a private subject.

Where special grounds exist, the Government may order that no further measures shall be taken to investigate or prosecute a criminal act.

Art. 14.If a court or other public body finds that a provision conflicts with a rule of fundamental law or other superior statute, or finds that a procedure laid down in law has been disregarded in any important respect when the provision was made, the provision may not be applied. If the provision has been approved by the Riksdag or by the Government, however, it shall be waived only if the error is manifest.