Supreme Court of Sweden

Supreme Court Of Sweden

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Supreme Court of Sweden

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The Supreme Court of Sweden () is the supreme court and the third and final instance in all civil and criminal cases in Sweden. Before a case can be decided by the Supreme Court, leave to appeal must be obtained, and with few exceptions, leave to appeal can be granted only when the case is of interest as a precedent. The Supreme Court consists of 16 Councillors of Justice or justitieråd who are appointed by the government, but the court as an institution is independent of the Riksdag, and the government is not able to interfere with the decisions of the court.


Historically, all judicial power was vested in the Swedish monarchs, but in 1614 Gustavus Adolphus instituted Svea Hovrätt and authorized it to issue sentences in his name. Those not satisfied with sentencing were able to turn directly to the monarch, and appeals were handled by a committee of the Privy Council.

Under the authoritarian rule of King Gustav III, the Privy Council was suspended in 1789, and instead on May 19 His Majesty's Supreme Court was instituted on to handle legal matters. There were twelve judges of the court, half of which was to be nobles and half commoners. While in session, no more than eight judges could serve at the same time, and with equal numbers of nobles and commoners. In the court the king held two votes, as well as the deciding vote in case of a tie. However, this voting right was never exercised, except on the centennial of the court, when King Oscar II took part in the...
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