There are four main sources of law in Sweden: legislation, preparatory legislative material, case law and academic literature.
The most important sources of law are the statutes. They are published and published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The statutes are divided into acts, ordinances and regulations. Acts are decided by the Parliament, ordinances are decided by the Government and regulations are issued by the authorities.
The Swedish Parliament is the only public body entitled to adopt new laws or amend existing laws. Adopted laws may only be repealed or amended by a new decision of the Riksdag.
Decisions from the courts, case law, play an important part in the application of the law. This applies in particular to decisions of the highest courts, the Supreme Court and the Supreme Administrative Court.
Preparatory work on proposed laws, i.e. the texts that are created in connection with the legislative process, are also used in the application of the law.
It is usually the government that proposes a new law or a legislative amendment. Before submitting a draft law to the Riksdag, the Government normally needs to properly examine different options. A specially appointed commission of inquiry is assigned this task.
Before the Riksdag decides whether to adopt a draft law, the members of the Riksdag must examine the proposal in a parliamentary committee. There are fifteen committees, each with its own area of responsibility, such as transport or education.
The Committee then submits to the Riksdag a report containing recommendations on the decision that the Riksdag should take on the proposals of the Government and the members of the Riksdag. The draft law is then debated by all members of the Riksdag with a view to the final decision.
It is the Government’s responsibility to implement the Riksdag’s decisions and ensure that they are enforced in the way intended by the Riksdag. The Government Offices including all ministries and some 300 public agencies assist the Government in this task.
All laws and regulations are published in the Swedish Code of Statutes (SFS), which is available on paper and on the Internet.
You can find legal information on public administration on Lagrummet. Links to access legal information from the Government, Riksdagen, higher courts and government agencies are available from this portal.
All laws and ordinances are published on the Swedish Code of Statutes website.
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