Category Archives: Law

Technology – Can the Law Keep Up?

Technology is moving faster than the ability to our laws to keep track of it. A good example of this is the so called high-tech glasses made by Google, commonly known as Google Glass.[1]
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Google Glass is a computer that looks like a pair of glasses. As a device, it offers many of the same functions as smartphones, making it possible for people to read emails, take photos and record audio and video. Most of these functions respond to verbal command, which of course makes the glasses very convenient to use.

I believe most of us welcome this new technology, however, from legal point of view one cannot help but wonder how the law should deal with devices such as Google Glass. Google itself is of course lobbying officials to stop any proposed restrictions on – for instance – driving with headsets such as Google Glass.[2]

Courts are just beginning to consider the matter. In January this year a woman’s traffic ticket for wearing Google Glass behind the wheel was dismissed because there was no proof the device was operating at the time.[3]

Another concern is that the devices will erode privacy since Google Glass wearers may take photos or shoot video instantaneously. The use of audio recording could possibly even be considered violating wiretapping laws in some states.[4]

The Google Glass also is seen as posing a privacy threat by making it harder than ever for people to remain anonymous. There is already a facial recognition app, which allows Glass wearers to scan faces of strangers against several databases.[5] And even though Google officially bans facial recognition apps, people who tinker with the device’s software can get around the company’s policy pretty easy.

However, some lawyers believe that technology is not a foe but rather a great tool that can be used to enhance the legal practice.[6] In the end, it is not as much about as technology as it is about who is in control of it.

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[1] http://www.google.com/glass/start/

[2] http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/25/us-google-glass-lobbying-idUSBREA1O0P920140225

[3] http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/google_glass_is_already_causing_legal_experts_to_see_problems

[4] http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/google_glass_is_already_causing_legal_experts_to_see_problems

[5] http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/facial-recognition-app-scans-strangers-faces-for-dating-profiles-criminal-background-9049568.html

[6] http://www.lxbn.com/2014/02/07/google-glass-used-lawyers-msu-law-student-andy-ninh/

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Swedish Hooliganism & the English Model

The opening day of the Swedish soccer season began in tragedy after police confirmed that a supporter of the soccer team Djurgården died due to his injuries after being beaten up in the city of Helsingborg.[1] Sweden’s current issues highlight how much progress that has been made in England since its violent days of the 1980’s. Back then, hooliganism was as much a part of English soccer as beer drinking is today.
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No one is saying that English hooliganism has gone away. But the on the English scene, hooliganism has been in decline ever since its peak in the 80’s.[2] After the riots in 1985, caused by Luton and Millwall fans, Ted Croker, head of the FA, was summoned to see Margaret Thatcher and soon the police were sticking their oar in.[3] Then the Hillsborough disaster happened in 1989 and almost all soccer stadiums became all-seated affairs. Years later, a widespread CCTV coverage was standard procedure on all arenas, making it easy to identify notorious troublemakers.

Nowadays, arrests at English soccer matches are a rare sight and it will most likely stay that way. In that sense, the English Model is a great success, worth to be replicated by other countries experiencing the same problems as England used to.

In Sweden however, we see a different development. Incidents of soccer violence have been on the rise in Sweden for a long time now.[4] And even though Sweden’s Justice Minister has called for tighter legislation to improve the security at soccer games, little progress has been shown. Maybe the death of an innocent will make the Swedish government to start taking hooliganism seriously. But even if so, the price has been far too high.
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[1] http://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=2054&artikel=5823630

[2] http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/ross-jonesmorris/euro-2012-where-have-all-the-hooligans-gone_b_1626334.html

[3] http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/ross-jonesmorris/euro-2012-where-have-all-the-hooligans-gone_b_1626334.html

[4] http://www.thelocal.se/20140330/soccer-fan-dead-after-pre-match-fight

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Marijuana & the Law – Legal or Illegal?

Up to this day, Colorado and Washington are the only two states to have legalized recreational use of marijuana. Numerous other states have voted to allow it for medical purposes and many of them will most likely legalize it for recreational use during elections in 2014 and 2016.[1]
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It is fair to say that the states have taken progressive actions in dealing with the issue of marijuana legislation. So far so good, but there is just one small problem; it is still a federal felony to grow, sell or possess cannabis in the United States. State-licensed growers and sellers are thereby criminals in the eyes of federal law.[2]

In August 2013, a memo was issued by U.S. Deputy Attorney General James Cole where he stated that prosecutions should focus on drug cartels and other criminal organizations that are growing and distributing marijuana.[3] Meaning that state-licensed distributers have nothing fear. This is, however, not entirely correct since the federal law making marijuana illegal is still on the books. The next presidential administration could easily – though not very likely – change this policy whenever they like to.

But even if the next presidential administration would change its policy on marijuana, the Justice Department does not have the capacity to control illegal production of marijuana in each and every state without help of state and local police since federal drug law enforcement is only small part of the national drug enforcement effort.[4]

What we have here is thereby a substance that is both legal and illegal at the same time. From a strict legal perspective this ‘conflict of laws’ raise a lot of interesting questions. One question that many attorneys and lawyers have asked themselves is whether it is OK to work with marijuana businesses or not. Until recently, this question was pretty much up for debate. Since this week however, at least Colorado’s lawyers have the state’s permission to work with marijuana businesses, after the Colorado Supreme Court approved a rule change.[5]

The new rule in Colorado states that lawyers may assist a client in conduct that the lawyer reasonably believes is permitted by these constitutional provisions and the statues, regulations, orders, and other state and local provisions implementing them. Translated into English this simply means that lawyers have the right to work with marijuana businesses as long as they do not help these businesses to break state law.
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[1] http://www.delawareonline.com/story/opinion/columnists/2014/02/14/confused-about-the-state-of-pot-so-is-the-law/5495125/

[2] http://www.baynews9.com/content/news/baynews9/news/article.html/content/news/articles/cfn/2013/12/27/politifact_is_medica.html?cid=rss

[3] http://www.justice.gov/iso/opa/resources/3052013829132756857467.pdf

[4] http://www.delawareonline.com/story/opinion/columnists/2014/02/14/confused-about-the-state-of-pot-so-is-the-law/5495125/

[5] http://www.courts.state.co.us/userfiles/file/Court_Probation/Supreme_Court/Rule_Changes/2014/2014(05)%20redlined.pdf

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EU Micromanagement of Tobacco Sales

Tobacco consumption is considered to be the largest avoidable health risk in the EU. Of the overall population, 28 percent are smokers.[1] To address this situation, the EU has taken various control measures. These control measures include the regulation of tobacco products on the EU market. The aim is to protect citizens from the dangerous effects of smoking and other types of tobacco consumption.[2]
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Much of the EU policies are made from a public health perspective. At first glance, it sure looks a righteous and noble cause. Especially since around 50 percent of smokers die prematurely (which means 14 years earlier than ‘expected’).[3] However, what the EU legislators seem to forget is that consumption of tobacco products is something people do by choice. I.e. it is a choice addiction. To believe that consumers are so ignorant that they do not understand the dangers of inhaling tar and other harmful substances is, well, ignorant by all means.

According to the EU, union-wide rules are necessary to ensure that all consumers are equally protected. In order to ensure this, the EU has drafted a new Tobacco Products Directive, which was formally approved by the European Parliament on 26 February 2014.[4] In particular, the new Directive prohibits cigarettes with flavors and makes it possible for Member States to prohibit internet sales. In addition, the legislation will also tightly regulate the content and marketing of electronic cigarettes.[5]

The problem is that people do enjoy flavored cigarettes and menthol cigarettes are probably the number one flavor among a lot of consumers. A legislation banning something people like and enjoy consuming is dangerous for many reasons. First of all, there will always be a black market. And in fact, there already is one. As a result of the free market a lot of cheap and low quality products (mostly produced in China) are flowing into the EU market. Nothing is more welcoming for criminals than prohibition since prohibition means new markets and bigger profits. We know so because we have seen it happen so many times during past decades.

Second of all, why on earth should the EU legislators decide what something ought to taste like? It just doesn’t make sense. If you implement the same rules on let us say alcohol, I guess all hard liquor should taste like bad vodka. Because alcohol, then, should taste like alcohol and not like Minttu (a clear peppermint liqueur). Maybe we should ban all mixed drinks as well because we all know that if it tastes good we are likely to consume more. And that is a bad thing, right? I suggest that we start regulating all bars, pubs and clubs within the union, making sure that all bartenders are trained and authorized by the government, ensuring that nothing else is served but alcohol beverages tasting like… well, shit.

What annoys me the most, however, is the fact that the EU thinks that we – as individuals – are not fit to decide how we should live our lives. From an EU legislator standpoint it is all about numbers and almost never about individuals. They talk about something as abstract as the public health, meaning that my health is your health and that everything is about living as long as possible. By government force, that is.

Maybe I am naïve, but I do believe that life is not about quantity but quality. I am sure not the first saying this and I will most certainly not be the last, but it is worth repeating; if smoking makes you feel good then stick to it. It is nobody’s business what you do with your health. Especially not the publics. And most definitely not the EUs.
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[1] http://ec.europa.eu/health/tobacco/policy/index_en.htm

[2] http://ec.europa.eu/health/tobacco/policy/index_en.htm

[3] http://ec.europa.eu/health/tobacco/policy/index_en.htm

[4] http://ec.europa.eu/health/tobacco/products/index_en.htm

[5] http://www.europeanvoice.com/article/2014/february/parliament-adopts-new-eu-tobacco-rules/79824.aspx

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The Lex Mercatoria & its application in international arbitration

Introduction

The lex mercatoria has been defined as a body of rules not derived from the will of sovereign states, but mainly from international trade practices. In that sense, the lex mercatoria could be viewed as a category of international law, separate from national legislation, which applies to international commercial transactions.

It has been said that there are as many definitions of the lex mercatoria as there are authors writing about it. However, even though the notion of the lex mercatoria lacks a universal definition, it still seems to be accepted in the practice of international commercial arbitration. This paper intends to analyze the lex mercatoria as a concept and its application in international arbitration.

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Brief historical background of the Lex mercatoria

The historical background of the lex mercatoria is controversial. Some authors claim that the lex mercatoria has its precursor in the ius gentium, the body of Roman law that regulated economic relations between foreigners and Roman citizens.[1] Others claim that the origins of the lex mercatoria can be traced back even further, all the way back to the dawn of human civilization.[2] Either way, it is in the Law Merchant of the Middle Ages where its historical roots truly could be found. During the 11th century, international economic relations in Western Europe were flourishing and the continent experienced a great growth of commerce which, in turn, led to the formation of a new social class; the merchants.[3]

During this time, sovereign states did not intervene in the merchants’ self-regulation of their own affairs. States welcomed the growth of trade because it meant tax revenues, employment and access of foreign goods.[4] Thereby, the merchants were free to set their own rules, responding directly to their needs and desires. In following centuries, the lex mercatoria slowly started to become a part of national law. In civil law countries, it was incorporated into commercial codes whereas in common law countries it became a part of customary international commercial law.[5] Meaning; the lex mercatoria became blended with the individualities of national law and, thereby, lost much of its independent character. As sovereign states took control over international trade, the laws regulating economic relations and international disputes were solved by referring to private international law.

These national laws would soon prove to be inadequate to regulate international commercial contracts. The private international rules were considered complex and the domestic laws obsolete; they simply did not satisfy the simplicity and certainty required by the international business community.[6] In the early 1960s, legal scholars started to question the supremacy of national law in international relations. At the same time, a new lex mercatoria began to emerge. Traders from all over the world started to adopt alternative solutions in order to avoid the application of national law on their transactions.[7] By using standard clauses, self-regulatory contracts and by recourse to international commercial arbitration, traders once again were creating their own regulatory framework, independent from national laws.

The concept of the Lex mercatoria

When discussing the concept of the lex mercatoria it is important to do a distinction between the two most common approaches; the positivist approach and the autonomous approach. The positivist approach, mainly influenced by Clive Macmillan Schmitthoff, stresses the importance of international and self-regulatory rules in international commercial law. According to Schmitthoff, the modern lex mercatoria is a combination of two interrelated elements; the importance of international origin of rules and the uniformity of rules at an international level.[8] On the whole, the positivist approach highly concentrates on the harmonization of international trade law and is firmly based on national jurisdiction.[9] As a result, the lex mercatoria only exists by virtue of national law, giving it effect.

The second approach is perhaps even more controversial. According to the autonomous approach, advocated by Berthold Goldman, international trade is independent of national legislation and that the majority of international business is not regulated by national law at all.[10] Meaning that the lex mercatoria is a set of general principles and customary rules spontaneously referred to within the framework of international trade, without referring to a particular national law.[11] In that sense, the lex mercatoria should be seen as a separate legal system, continuously developing independent of national law.

Depending on the approach chosen, the sources of the lex mercatoria are various. From a positivist standpoint, trade customs formulated by international bodies and institutions such as the International Chamber of Commerce and international legislation are main sources of the lex mercatoria.[12] While from an autonomist viewpoint, the usages of international trade and general law are perceived as its actual sources.[13] From what has now been said, it is clear that the concept of the lex mercatoria is very much open to argument.

In order to determine the real basis of the lex mercatoria, Ole Lando’s approach could be informative. Instead of distinguishing from content and sources, Lando proposes a list of what he calls existing elements constituting the lex mercatoria. These elements are public international law, uniform law, general principles of law, rules of international organizations, standard form contracts and reported arbitral awards.[14] This list of elements has been widely accepted by authors and scholars.[15]

The Lex mercatoria in International Commercial Arbitration

In the field of international commercial arbitration, disputes are usually solved by the application of so called non-national rules alone or in combination with municipal law. In most cases, arbitrators’ jurisdictions is based on the will of the parties, whereby they are allowed to apply non-national law if the parties so choose.[16] In situations where the parties have not made any choice of law, the arbitrators are also allowed to determine the law applicable to the merits of the dispute, without previous recourse to private international law.[17]

As far as party autonomy is concerned, it is clear that the parties are fully entitled to choose what law to apply to a dispute. However, the question arises as to whether the lex mercatoria can be chosen as the law to be applied. The short answer to that question is undoubtedly ‘yes’. There are, in fact, numerous arbitral awards where the lex mercatoria, or a version of it, has been applied.[18] In the following, I will briefly describe and discuss two of the more recent cases.

In ICC Case no. 9875 an arbitral tribunal decided to apply the lex mercatoria.[19] The claimant was a French company who had been given an exclusive license to manufacture and distribute the respondent’s products in Europe. The respondent was a Japanese enterprise. In 1996, after the first license agreement, the respondent entered into another license agreement with a third party, covering the distribution in Asia. The claimant contended that this agreement infringed its exclusivity in Europe. The arbitration agreement between the parties did not contain a choice of law clause and the tribunal decided that no national law should be applied since ‘that the difficulties to find decisive factors qualifying either Japanese or French law as applicable to the contract reveal the inadequacy of the choice of a domestic legal system to govern a case like this’.[20] Instead, the tribunal decided to apply the lex mercatoria, arguing that it was the most appropriate ‘rules of law’ to be applied to the merits of this case.

Sometimes, the arbitration tribunal decides a case by reference to ‘general principles of law’ or ‘principles rooted in the good sense and common practice of the generality of civilized nations’. An example of this can be found in the ICC Case no. 7375, where the tribunal found that the failure to include a choice of law clause reflected an implicit intent to avoid the party’s national law. Therefore, the tribunal decided to apply the general principles of law applicable to international contractual obligations, since these principles have earned a wide international consensus, ‘including notions said to form part of the lex mercatoria as well as the UNIDROIT Principles.[21]

One cannot emphasize enough how important the UNIDROIT Principles have been on the development of the modern lex mercatoria. The Principles constitute a newer development in what can be argued to be a trend toward a more definitive lex mercatoria.[22] Some authors even claim that the Principles, in itself, constitutes a full-fledged codification of the lex mercatoria.[23] Regardless of position, it is a fact that in the Preamble of the UNIDROIT Principles it is stated that the Principles ‘may be applied when the parties have agreed that their contract be governed by general principles of law’, the ‘lex mercatoria or the like’.

The final question is whether counsel should begin recommending the selection of the lex mercatoria to govern international commercial contracts. The answer is probably still ‘no’. It is uncertain what practical effect such a choice will have. However, an increased use of the lex mercatoria is very likely, especially as it is reflected in the UNIDROIT Principles. Last but not least, the role of the arbitrator in developing the lex mercatoria cannot be overemphasized. In this role, the international arbitrators are deemed to be somewhat of social engineers, since the lex mercatoria still is not clear cut.[24].

Conclusion

The history of the lex mercatoria is an enigmatic affair and there still remains serious disagreement among authors as to its definition, sources and content. Regardless of the highly academic debate surrounding the lex mercatoria, fact still remains, it is applied by arbitrators and it does have a part to play in the international commercial trade of today. In terms of international commercial arbitration and the lex mercatoria, there should be little doubt that we are witnessing an evolution that has long been in motion. With further development, it can most certainly provide a set of rules to deal with international commercial disputes more effectively than national legal systems.

 

[1] Goldman, ‘Lex Mercatoria’, at 3.

[2] Juenger, ‘Choice of Law & Multistate Justice’, p. 6 and Trakman, ‘The Law Merchant: The Evolution of Commercial Law’, at 12.

[3] Postan, ‘Medieval Trade and Finance’, at 12.

[4] Cremades & Plehn, ‘The New Lex Mercatoria and the Harmonization of the Laws of International Commercial Transactions’, p. 318 and Trakman, ‘The evolution of The Law Merchant: Our Commercial Heritage’, at 6.

[5] Marella & Yoo, ‘Is Open Source Software the New Lex Mercatoria?’, at 812.

[6] Mercedes López Rodríguez, ‘Lex Mercatoria’, at 47.

[7] See eg. Schmitthoff, “Das neue Recht des Welthandels”, at 47–77; Goldman, “Frontières du droit et lex mercatoria”, at 89–90.; Goldstajn, “The New Law Merchant”, at 11; Kahn, “La vente commerciale international”; Fouchard, “L’arbitrage commercial international” and Stoufflet, “Le credit documentaire”.

[8] De Ly, “International Business Law and Lex Mercatoria”, at 209–210

[9] Schmitthoff, “The Unification of the Law of International Trade”, at 105–119.

[10] Goldman, ‘Frontières du Droit et Lex Mercatoria’, at 181.

[11] Goldman, ‘The Applicable Law: General Principles of Law – The Lex Mercatoria’, at 116.

[12] Schmitthoff, ‘Das neue Recht des Welthandels’, at 34.

[13] Goldman, ‘Contemporary Problems in International Commercial Arbitration’, at 114.

[14] Lando, ‘The lex mercatoria in International Commercial Arbitration’, at 748.

[15] Mustill, ‘The New Lex Mercatoria: The First Twenty-five Years’, at 109.

[16] See art. 3(1) of the Rome I Regulation, Art. VII of the 1961 European Convention on International Commercial Arbitration and art. 28(1) of the UNCITRAL Model Law.

[17] See eg. Art. 28(2) of the UNCITRAL Model Law, art. 22(1) of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce Rules, art. 1054 of the Dutch Arbitration Act and art. 1496 of the French New Code of Civil Procedure.

[18] See eg. Petroleum Development (Trucial Coast) Ltd v The Sheikh of Abu Dhabi, published in International and Comparative Law Quarterly (1952) 247, Sapphire International Petroleum Ltd v National Iranian Oil Company, reprinted in ILM (1967) 136, Government of the State of Kuwait v The American Independent Oil Company, reprinted in ILM (1982) 976 and Lena Goldfields Ltd v Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, reprinted in Cornell Law Quarterly (1950) 42.

[19] ICC International Court of Arbitration Bulletin, Vol. 12, No. 2, at 52.

[20] ICC International Court of Arbitration Bulletin, Vol. 12, No. 2, at 97.

[21] Redfern and Hunter, ‘Law and Practice of International Commercial Arbitration’, at 126–127.

[22] See generally, Selden, ’Lex Mercatoria in European and U.S. Trade Practice: Time to Take a Closer Look’.

[23] Baron, ‘Do the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts Form a New Lex Mercatoria?’, at 124–125.

[24] Cremades, ‘The Impact of International Arbitration on the Development of Business Law’, at 527–531 and Maniruzzaman, ‘The Lex Mercatoria and International Contracts: A Challenge for International Commercial Arbitration?’, at 711–717.

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TV4 åläggs betala särskild avgift till staten

Kammarrätten slår fast att TV4 ska betala särskild avgift för två inplacerade annonsavbrott under Polar Music Prize i augusti 2012. Avbrotten har skett under framförande av två skilda musikstycken vilket Kammarrätten anser ha utgjort ett avbrott i programmets kontinuitet. Avbrotten hade nämligen inte placerats efter det att musikverken avslutats, utan i verkens inledning.
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TV4 själva menar att inplaceringen
av annonsavbrott saknat uppsåt, varför de inte rimligen kan avkrävas av ansvar. Kammarrätten konstaterar emellertid att ansvaret för överträdelser av radio- och tv-lagens bestämmelser om annonser är strikt. En avsaknad av uppsåt fråntar inte TV4 dess ansvar för hur kanalen väljer att utforma sitt program.

Bestämmelserna om annonser syftar till att undvika onödigt långa avbrott samtidigt som hänsyn ska tas till var i programmen det är lämpligt att göra avbrott för annonser.

TV4 ska därför betala en särskild avgift om 50 000 kronor.

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Niklas Lewenhard Gren
contact@lewenhards.nu

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Höjt straffminimum för grovt vapenbrott

I ett led att minska antalet illegala vapen i Sverige lämnar nu regeringen förslag om att höja straffminimum för grovt vapenbrott till fängelse i ett år. Regeringen föreslår även en särskild straffskala för synnerligen grovt vapenbrott. Användningen av skjutvapen i kriminella kretsar ses som ett växande problem.
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En tillgång till skjutvapen är inte sällan en förutsättning för att grova våldsbrott ska kunna komma till stånd. Därför är brottet, enligt regeringens uppfattning, särskilt allvarligt. Nuvarande straffminimum för grovt vapenbrott är 6 månader.

Att höja straffminimum för grovt vapenbrott till ett år anses bättre spegla brottets allvarliga natur. Straffmaximum för grovt vapenbrott föreslås även höjas till sex års fängelse, liksom en ny straffskala för synnerligen grova vapenbrott införs. I övrigt ska man överväga om försök till grovt vapenbrott även bör kriminaliseras.

Att illegala skjutvapen utgör ett problem är nog de flesta eniga om. Likväl finns anledning att ifrågasätta regeringens tilltro till lagens avskräckande effekter. Vi måste hålla i minnet att tillgången till illegala vapen i huvudsak är ett medel för de ändamål brottsligheten avser uppnå. Vapeninnehavet är sällan ett ändamål i sig.

Jag vill med det här inlägget på intet sätt förminska brottets allvarlighet. Naturligtvis är illegala vapen ett samhällsproblem och det alldeles oavsett storlek och omfattning. Däremot borde regeringen fråga sig vilka effekter lagskärpningen rimligen kan få. Att den organiserade brottsligheten skulle avstå vapeninnehavet enbart på grund av rädslan för strängare straff är naivt. För det stora antalet i dessa kretsar torde vapentillgången snarare utgöra en viktig – och kanske rentav nödvändig – livförsäkring.
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Niklas Lewenhard Gren
contact@lewenhards.nu

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Generaladvokaten: Svensk skattelag förenlig med EU-stadgan

Det svenska skatteförfarandet, att en person kan avkrävas skattetillägg samtidigt som personen döms för skattebrott är förenligt med EU-stadgan enligt generaladvokaten i EU-domstolen.
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I ett förslag till avgörande förklarar generaladvokaten att det är förenligt med EU-stadgan om de grundläggande rättigheterna att någon straffas för en gärning som redan lett till ett lagakraftvunnet avgörande avseende påförande av administrativa sanktioner.

Däremot, skriver generaladvokaten, krävs det att en tidigare administrativ sanktion beaktas vid påföljdsbestämningen. Den administrativa sanktionen måste därmed ha en lindrande effekt på det slutliga straffet.

Bakgrunden till generaladvokatens förslag till avgörande är att vi i Sverige har ett regelverk som gör att en person kan avkrävas skattetillägg samtidigt som personen döms för skattebrott, en sorts dubbelbestraffning. Frågan gäller om det är förenligt med principen ’ne bis in idem’, vilket betyder ’icke två gånger i samma sak’. D.v.s. att en dom som vunnit laga kraft inte får prövas på nytt. Ett av de europeiska länder som motsatt sig det svenska förfarandet är Österike som är av uppfattningen att det svenska regelverket strider mot förbudet mot dubbelbestraffning.

Frågan om dubbelbestraffning har tidigare prövats av såväl Högsta domstolen som Högsta förvaltningsdomstolen. De båda domstolarna har dock kommit fram till olika slutsatser. Nu återstår att se vad EU-domstolen kommer fram till i sitt avgörande.

Om EU-domstolen, i motsats till generaladvokaten, kommer fram till att det svenska regelverket inte är förenligt med EU-stadgan så kommer de svenska myndigheterna vara tvungna att välja att antingen påföra skattetillägg eller att åtala personen för skattebrott. Samtidigt kan det eventuellt vara möjligt för tidigare dubbelbestraffade att kräva skadestånd från staten.

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Lewenhards
lewenhards@live.com

DN, SvD 

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Advokat får 12 års fängelse för insiderhandel

Matthew Kluger arbetade för några av USA:s mest prestigefyllda advokatbyråer. På måndagen dömdes han till 12 års fängelse för insiderhandel. Mellan åren 1994 och 2011 gjorde Kluger – tillsammans med två andra – vinster på mer än 37 miljoner dollar. Fängelsestraffet är det längsta i landets historia för den här typen av ekonomisk brottslighet.
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Garret Bauer 

Den 51 årige Matthew Kluger har arbetat för advokatbyråer såsom Skadden, Arps, Slate och Cravath Swaine. I huvudsak har han arbetat med stora företagsförvärv, s.k. mergers & acquisitions (M&As). Det var först i början av förra året som det uppstod misstankar om att Kluger försåg utomstående med insiderinformation.

Det var i samband med ett större företagsförvärv som en utredare slog larm om att Kluger skulle ha tipsat aktiehandlaren Garrett Bauer om att en större affär var på gång. Bauer ska då ha följt Klugers råd och därmed gjort en vinst på 32 miljoner dollar. Informationen kom dock inte direkt från Kluger utan förmedlades av en gemensam bekant, Kenneth Robinson.

Upplägget vår sådant att Kluger lämnade informationen till Robinson som i sin tur förmedlade informationen vidare till Bauer. Bauers roll var således dels att ta direkta order från Kluger och Robinson, dels agera personlig bankman. Delar av de vinster som trion gjorde förmedlades sedan tillbaka till Kluger i kontanta medel.

I syfte att undvika att bli upptäckt var Kluger noga med att endast använda sig av insiderinformation som rörde affärer som han själv inte var inblandad i. Detta påverkade naturligtvis Klugers möjlighet att få tillgång till tillförlitlig information. Databaserna som advokatbyråerna använder är utformade på så vis att man kan se vilken användare som tittat på vilket dokument. Kluger kunde därmed inte öppna enskilda dokument utan att riskera att bli upptäckt. Istället fick han nöja sig med att läsa dokumentens rubrik och ämnesrader. Trots detta lyckades trion göra stora vinster.

Både Matthew Kluger och Garret Bauer dömdes under gårdagen. Duon fick tolv respektive nio års fängelse. Kenneth Robinsons dom är planerad att komma under dagen.

Alla tre har gått med på att betala tillbaka de vinster de gjort i samband med insiderhandeln. Bauer ska betala tillbaka 31,6 miljoner dollar. Kluger, 516 000 dollar och Robinson, 845 000 dollar. Robinsons summa sattes ned något på grund av att Robinson visat god samarbetsvilja.

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Lewenhards
lewenhards@live.com

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Kartell avslöjad i transportbranschen

Mellan åren 2002 och 2007 höll 14 speditionsbolag återkommande möten där de delade upp verksamheten mellan sig och bestämde gemensam prissättning för tjänster. Nu tvingas kartellen betala 1,5 miljarder i böter.
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Mötena ska ha ägt rum på en restaurang i utkanten av västra London och gått under kodnamnet ”Trädgårdsklubben”. Bolagen ska bl.a. ha använt kodord så som ”sparris” och ”pumpa” för att komma överens om priserna för sina tjänster. Även de olika speditionsbolagen ska enligt uppgift tilldelats kodnamn.

Speditionskartellen är av det större slaget. Utöver jättarna DHL och UPS har även det Schweiziska Kuehne & Nagel ha deltagit. Sistnämnda bolag, vilket ska betala 53,7 miljoner euro i böter, överväger nu överklaga beslutet.
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Niklas Gréen
Lewenhards
lewenhards@gmail.com