A man was acquitted of child rape due to ambiguity in the girl’s statement. The prosecutor wants to try the case in a high court, which is unusual according to a procedural law professor.
The purpose of such trials is to establish a principled statement to guide judgment in similar cases. However, another law professor doesn’t think this case will be tried again due to the lack of trial errors. Instead, the need for better guidance in applying the Convention on the Rights of the Child is emphasized, especially when dealing with children in court.
The previous case has highlighted the need for judges to actively ensure that a child’s statement is understood correctly, as required by the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
I the Court of Appeals mentioned judgment, a man was acquitted of child rape as it was not clear what the girl meant by “snip” – and thus did not prove that it was about penetration. The sentence has drawn sharp criticism and now the public prosecutor wants to try the case in HD.
According to Anna Kaldal, professor of procedural law at Stockholm University, it is unusual for the public prosecutor to take cases on to the High Court.
– It says something that an error has been committed, but also that a principled statement from the Supreme Court is needed, she says to SVT.
A statement of principle has the purpose of helping the district court and the court of appeal to judge in similar cases, which is the main reason for review in the Supreme Court. In some special cases, trial errors can also be a reason for cases to be tried in HD.
However, Eric Bylander, professor of procedural law at Uppsala University, does not believe that the “snippa case” will be tried because of a trial error.
– Despite the criticism that can be directed at this judgment, on good grounds, my assessment is that it is not so wrong that the Supreme Court would take up this case on that basis, he tells SVT.
Eric Bylander instead emphasizes the need for guidance when it comes to the application of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which became Swedish law in 2020.
– The Supreme Court may have to fill in ambiguities about how the Convention on the Rights of the Child is to be applied in Swedish law. The fact that it is a child is in itself significant as there are several legal issues that are unclear about how to proceed when a child is involved, he tells SVT.
Anna Kaldal also believes that the case is particularly interesting because it concerns a child. According to her, a trial could lead to higher demands on the court when it comes to dealing with children in court.
– The Convention on the Rights of the Child requires the court to act actively, especially when the child is not present at the main hearing, she says and adds:
– In this case, you should have made more of an effort to understand what the child meant.