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The Swedish courts

It is a fundamental right of all residents of Sweden to have their case considered by an impartial and independent court. Similarly for a person who has been accused of an offence is to be regarded as innocent "until her/his guilt has been legally determined".

There are three kinds of courts in Sweden: the general courts, which comprise district courts, courts of appeal and the Supreme Court; the general administrative courts, that is to say, administrative courts, administrative courts of appeal and the Supreme Administrative Court; and also the special courts, which determine disputes within special areas, for example the Labour Court.

The regional rent and tenancy tribunals determine disputes between, for example, tenants and landlords. The National Legal Aid Authority deals with matters concerning the Legal Aid Act that are not determined by any court.

As a part of the public legal services, the Swedish Judiciary has due process as its most important overall aim. However, our daily work is largely devoted to ensuring that all cases and matters are dealt with in a legally secure and efficient way.

The courts have an independent status within our Swedish constitution. Neither the Riksdag nor any other authority may decide how a court should adjudicate in a particular case.

What controls the operations at courts?

The operations at courts are governed by the Riksdag by means of legislation.

The responsibility for preparing matters for the Swedish Judiciary lies with the Ministry of Justice, which is also the ministry with the main responsibility for our constitutional laws and other legislation within:

  • constitutional law and administrative law,
  • procedural law and civil law, and
  • criminal law.

The police, prison and probation service, prosecution service and the National Council for Crime Prevention also report to the Ministry of Justice. This ministry is also responsible for matters relating to, among other things, democracy and integration.

Read more on the Ministry of Justice's website (link opened in new window).

Senast ändrad: 2019-01-02

The objective is due process for the individual

The entire public legal services have one common goal: to ensure the individual's legal security and due process.

Due process involves society having the opportunity and resources to prosecute crime in a proper manner and also providing victims of crime and witnesses with the support that they need.

The Swedish judicial system

 - a brief presentation

This brochure provides a brief introduction to the Swedish legal system and its constituent authorities. Order or download it on the Ministry of Justice's website (link opened in new window).