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
Senior Registry Clerk: +46 8 405 29 09
Fax: +46 8 723 03 57
The Chancellor and the directors
Chancellor of Justice Anna Skarhed
Director Håkan Rustand (Deputy Chancellor of Justice)
Director Britt-Mari Lundberg (Head of Division 1)
Director Gun Löfgren Cederberg
Director Daniel Kjellgren (Head of Division 2)
Director Karin Wistrand
Director Anders Lindgren (Head of Administration)
Administrative Director Margit Kallner
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 Office of the Chancellor of Justice employs a total of about 30 people, 25 of which are lawyers (including the Chancellor and the Heads of Division). The Office currently operates in two divisions each consisting of two directors and about seven lawyers, most of whom are Associate Judges of Appeal. The main areas of responsibilities of the divisions are:
- Division 1: supervision of the police services and the prosecution authorities and the monitoring of the legal aid system.
- Division 2: supervision of the general and administrative courts, matters concerning EU-law and the Convention on Human Rights, court cases raising points of principle interest and the monitoring of certain decisions according to the Camera Surveillance Act.
Matters concerning the freedom of the press and other media are dealt with by both divisions.
The administrative staff consists of five employees and is headed by the Administrative Director.
The administrative budget for 2012 amounts to SEK 34 488 000.
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 2012 the Chancellor of Justice handled at total of about 8 900 cases. About 1 150 of those were complaints concerning public administration, 2 850 claims for compensation (1 950 concerning persons arrested or detained) and 400 alleged offences of the Freedom of the Press Act or the Freedom of Expression Act. Some 2 750 cases related to legal aid and 1 400 to camera surveillance.