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Civil Freedoms and Rights in the Swedish Constitution of 1974: the Process and the Rationale

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Chapter Summary

The recent development in expanding rights in the Swedish legal system was a commission mandated in 1991 to inquire into how the European Convention could be integrated. The development since the 1930s is summarized in four phases. The first phase concerned whether freedoms and rights should be introduced into the Swedish constitution at all; the second dealt with what rights should be included; the third examined how the protection of not absolute rights could be strengthened, and the fourth phase concerned how the European Convention ought to be incorporated. The 65 years of development could also be summarized by three different perspectives: The language used has stressed a general applicability of the rights, for all citizens and more broadly also all humans. Secondly, the rights have been referred to with wording seeking to emphasize that they are unchangeable. Finally, a third perspective addresses the legitimacy of the rights.

Keywords: European Convention; Swedish constitution; Swedish legal system



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