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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78645 Find in a Library
Title: Reform of Scandinavian Criminal Law Compared to the Criminal Law Reform in the German Federal Republic (From Strafrechtsreform und Rechtsvergleichung, P 66-85, 1979, Hans Luettger, ed. - See NCJ-78642)
Author(s): H Thornstedt
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 20
Sponsoring Agency: Walter de Gruyter & Co
1 Berlin 30, Germany United
Sale Source: Walter de Gruyter & Co
Genthiner Str 13
1 Berlin 30,
Germany (Unified)
Language: German
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: Reforms of criminal law in Sweden and other Scandinavian countries are compared to reforms in West Germany.
Abstract: The reform of Scandinavian criminal codes has been gradual over the 20th century. While only Sweden has undertaken a complete reform in recent years (1965), the partial reforms of the Scandinavian countries have all been influenced by developments in German law, based on the principles of guilt, legality, and decriminalization. Swedish law follows the same principles, it differs in some points; for example, soundness of mind is not a necessary prerequisite for standing trial in Sweden. Not the guilt of the accused but guidelines established to promote general and special prevention are crucial to sentencing. In conjunction with the current tendency toward decriminalization, Swedish law also allows the prosecutor to decide against prosecuting certain cases and provides for a system of immediate fines to replace court proceedings for certain offenses. Reforms for individual offenses have taken the same direction in German and Scandinavian law but have proceeded more rapidly in Scandinavian countries. Sweden has been particularly progressive in decriminalizing offenses such as adultery, incest, homosexuality, pornography, and abortion up to the 18th week of pregnancy. In contrast, new Swedish laws have been introduced to protect minorities against discrimination, to treat violations connected with public office in the same manner as offenses in private industry, to eliminate drunken driving, and to discourage terrorist activities. The Swedish system of sanctions is guided by the notion of treatment. Fines have replaced a number of penalties: the day rate fine system was introduced in Finland in 1921 and has since been adopted in some form by all the other Scandinavian countries. The death penalty was eliminated in Sweden in 1921. The Swedish system does not permit extending the length of incarceration by imposing a measure for improvement or protection after a prison sentence. In recent years, all of the Scandinavian countries have been moving away from institutional treatment to treatment alternatives outside prison walls. Imprisonment is to remain as the most severe form of punishment. Notes and a bibliography are supplied.
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Criminal codes; Criminal responsibility; Decriminalization; Fines; Germany; Law reform; Scandinavia; Treatment
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