Information on the office of the chancellor of justice
Visiting address: Birger Jarls Torg 12
Postal address: Box 2308, SE-103 17 Stockholm
Switchboard: +46 8 405 10 00
Fax: +46 8 723 03 57
The Chancellor and the directors
Chancellor of Justice Anna Skarhed
Director Britt-Mari Lundberg (Head of Division 1)
Director Daniel Kjellgren (Head of Division 2)
Director Olof Simonsson (Head of Division 3)
Director Anna Erman (Head of Division 4)
Director Anders Lindgren (Head of Administration)
A brief presentation
The Office of the Chancellor of Justice was introduced by King Charles XII in 1713. The Chancellor of Justice is a non-political civil servant appointed by the Government. The period of time for which he or she is appointed is not limited. The present Chancellor Anna Skarhed took up office on 7 December 2009. The Office of the Chancellor of Justice is an independent authority and the Chancellor performs his or her duties from a strictly legal point of view. The duties of the Chancellor of Justice are set forth in two legal instruments: The Act (1975:1339) concerning the supervision exercised by the Chancellor of Justice and the Ordinance (1975:1345) concerning the duties of the Chancellor of Justice.
The main tasks of the Chancellor of Justice are to:
- Act as the Government's ombudsman in the supervision of authorities and civil servants.
- Represent the State in legal disputes, primarily actions for damages against the State.
- Ensure that the limits of the freedom of the press and other media are not transgressed and to act as sole prosecutor in cases concerning offences against the freedom of the press and the freedom of expression.
The Chancellor of Justice is free to raise issues on the supervision of authorities of his or her own motion. The majority of cases are however initiated by private parties by means of submitting a written complaint, thus drawing the Chancellor's attention to malpractice or abuse of powers within the public administration. It falls within the competence of The Chancellor of Justice to reach out of court settlements on behalf of the State in actions for damages ("voluntary settlement of claim"). Individuals may therefore turn directly to the Chancellor of Justice with a written application for compensation. If the application is rejected by the Chancellor the right to initiate court proceedings remains.
In 2015 the Chancellor of Justice handled at total of about 7 800 cases. About 1 200 of those were complaints concerning public administration, 3 000 claims for compensation (1 900 concerning persons arrested or detained) and 340 alleged offences of the Freedom of the Press Act or the Freedom of Expression Act. Some 2 600 cases related to legal aid.