Vad kallas det när bomberna faller? En studie av det straffrättsliga terrorismbegreppet mot bakgrund av legalitetsprincipen
Sammanfattning: Although terrorism poses a growing threat, few can present a precise and all encompassing definition of the term. Internationally, as well as academically, there is disagreement about which acts should be subjected by the term. Swedish criminal law similarly lacks a definition; instead numerous terrorist acts are criminalized under separate forms of crimes. The purpose of this essay is to investigate the meaning of terrorism in Swedish criminal law. It is based on a right dogmatic approach and has its theoretical basis in the principle of legality. Firstly, the definitional problem is examined, as well as some definitions suggested in the literature. A number of objective characteristics are identified: terrorism is the use of violence to attain a political aim, where fear is used as a tool to achieve psychological effects. The precise limits of the scope, however, are controversial. If these characteristics describe terrorism, the criminal definition indicates to what extent such acts are prohibited. Swedish counter-terrorism legislation is comprised of three special laws, wherein terrorist acts are sorted under terrorist crimes and particularly serious crimes. Given the above mentioned character traits, the terrorist crime should be understood as terrorism in Swedish criminal law, whilst particularly serious crimes represents terrorist acts which are prohibited to assist, including terrorist crimes. Several legality issues are pointed out. Firstly, it is unclear what constitutes a terrorist crime. Court praxis in the area is highly limited, and legislative history merely contains general formulations to exemplify varying terrorist acts. Furthermore, the regulations of terrorist crimes and particularly serious crimes are highly complex. The latter seems most problematic since it refers to several legal norms found in international instruments. Lastly, the separation of terms causes great confusion, as it is difficult to deduce their interrelation only by the wording of the laws. As a whole, the counter-terrorism legislation should be regarded as highly questionable from a point of view of legality. To achieve greater foreseeability, the author advocates that the regulations should be implemented into a separate chapter of the Swedish penal code. In addition, the terrorist crime should either be titled terrorism, or expressly mentioned as the collection of acts that comprises terrorism. Lastly, the acts subjected by the financial and recruitment laws should be titled lateral terrorist acts, or, alternatively, not be titled as a separate form of crime, and the term particularly serious crimes repealed.
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