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Proportionality in Sweden: The Influence of European Law

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The principle of proportionality constitutes a complex principle that could be seen as the keystone of the general principles of Community law and ECHR. The aim of this article is to demonstrate the influence of European Community (EC) law and the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) on the definition and application of the principle of proportionality in Swedish public law from 1996 to 2006. The Supreme Administrative Court has given some indications as to the application of the principle of proportionality, notably as to the importance of the balancing of interests. Interestingly, this Court has also been proactive as to the application of the principle of proportionality in internal law, e.g. concerning environmental law, tax law, administrative licenses. Moreover, the principle has influenced national legislation in many fields. It is argued, finally, that these jurisprudential and legislative developments increase the judicial protection of the individual and also modifies the structure of traditional judicial review by attributing a new role to Swedish national courts.


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