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Sweden: Changes to Law on National Minorities and Minority Languages Take Effect

(Jan. 28, 2019) On January 1, 2019, provisions expanding rights and protection for Swedish national minorities and minority languages took effect. The new provisions provide that minorities have a right to both elder care and preschool in their native (minority) language. (17, 18 & 18 a §§ Lag om nationell minoriteter [Act on National Minorities] […]

Sweden: Animal Protection Ordinance Takes Effect, Prohibiting Circus Animals

(Jan. 9, 2019) On January 1, 2019, a new Animal Welfare Protection Ordinance took effect in Sweden. (Djurskyddsförordning Svensk författningssamling [SFS] 1988:539, as amended by SFS 2018:1204, Riksdagen (Parliament) website.) Under the new rules circuses may no longer include elephants or sea lions in their performances. (35 § 2 st Djurskyddsförordning.) Other animals that were […]

Sweden: Public TV and Radio Service Fee System Reformed, New Tax Introduced

(Dec. 14, 2018) On November 14, 2018, the Swedish Parliament voted to replace the Swedish public service fee (tv-avgiften), which, under current rules, is paid only by households that have a television set. As of January 1, 2019, the fee will be replaced by a public service tax equal to 1% of the annual income […]

Sweden: Migration High Court Rules That Applying High School Act Does Not Violate Schengen

(Dec. 13, 2018) On September 25, 2018, the Swedish Migration Court of Appeals found that the newly enacted “High School Act,” which allows undocumented minors whose asylum application has been rejected to stay in the country to pursue a high school education, does not violate the Schengen rules requiring proof of identity. (Migrationsöverdomstolen [Migration Appeals […]

Sweden: Parliament Limits Recognition of Child Marriages

(Dec. 10, 2018) On November 21, 2018, the Swedish Parliament (Riksdagen) passed legislation that will limit the instances in which child marriages are recognized in Sweden. (Förbud mot erkännande av utländska barnäktenskap, RIKSDAGEN (Nov. 21, 2018).) Under the new provisions marriages that were conducted when one or both parties were underage will be recognized only […]

Sweden: Swedish Media Criticized by Swedish Press Council for Publishing Names of #MeToo Accused Without Cause

(Oct. 4, 2018) On June 25, 2018, the Swedish Pressens opinionsnämnd (PON, Press Council) in an unprecedented move issued critical opinions of the media regarding 10 of the 11 cases brought forward during 2018 in connection with the #MeToo movement. The Press Council condemned the media for publishing without sufficient cause the names of persons […]

Sweden: Supreme Court Rules Live Broadcast of Rape Is Aggravated Defamation but Not Violation of Duty to Report Ongoing Rape

(Aug. 8, 2018) On July 2, 2018, the Swedish Supreme Court ruled that a man who had filmed an ongoing rape and broadcast it on Facebook Live was guilty of aggravated defamation (grovt förtal) but not of the crime of failure to report a rape. (Högsta domstolen [Swedish Supreme Court], Case No. B 3552-17 (July […]

Sweden: New Tax on Electronic Cigarettes and Other Non-Tobacco Nicotine Products Takes Effect

(July 26, 2018) On July 1, 2018, a new tax on all e-liquids and similar nicotine products, commonly referred to as e-cigarettes, took effect in Sweden. (Lag om skatt på vissa nikotinhaltiga produkter, SVENSK FÖRFATTNIGNSSAMLING [SFS] 2018:696.) The new provisions subject e-nicotine products to a new targeted 25% value-added-tax (VAT). Previously, these nicotine products were […]

Sweden: Supreme Court Rules Ice Hockey Player’s Cross-Check Constitutes Assault, Not Excused as Part of Game

(July 19, 2018) On July 10, 2018, the Supreme Court of Sweden handed down a judgment that sets limits for what violent actions may be deemed “consented to” as part of an ice hockey game. (Högsta Domstolen [Supreme Court] Case No B 4888-17, July 10, 2017, Supreme Court website.) The issue in the case was […]

Sweden: Parliament Makes Lack of Consent the Basis for Rape Charges, Introduces Criminal Liability for Negligent Sexual Assault

(July 3, 2018) On May 23, 2018, the Swedish Parliament passed legislation that changes the definition of rape under Swedish law. The law currently considers a person to be guilty of rape “who, by assault or otherwise by force or threat of a criminal act forces another person to have sexual intercourse.” (6 kap 1 […]