Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-684899dbb8-gbqfq Total loading time: 0.395 Render date: 2022-05-27T03:16:51.497Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true }

12 - Sweden: Free Press as a First Fundamental Right

from PART II

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 December 2017

Anna-Sara Lind
Affiliation:
Associate Professor of Public Law, Uppsala University, Sweden.
Get access

Summary

INTRODUCTION

In 2016, the 250th anniversary of the Freedom of the Press Act (FPA) will be celebrated in Sweden. This Act is one of the four constitutional laws that together form the Swedish constitution. Although not unchanged, having evolved with developments in society, several of the main principles in the original Freedom of the Press Act have survived to the present day. In this chapter, I intend to identify these core principles and show how important the Act has been for the development of modern Sweden both as a fundament of the society and also as a tool to enable individuals and the media to contribute to public debate.

Even though it is fundamental to Swedes’ understanding of society and a strong constitutional symbol, the Freedom of the Press Act is today facing new challenges as the constitutional landscape changes nationally and internationally. New forms of fundamental rights as granted through the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms as well as the direct applicability of binding (constitutional) European Union law put the Freedom of the Press Act to new tests. These new phenomena are also discussed, or at least touched upon, in this chapter.

THE FREEDOM OF THE PRESS ACT — THEN AND NOW

The history of written constitutions in Sweden can be traced back to the oaths of the medieval kings. As early as the fourteenth century, the oath of the King was an expression of his willingness to serve the people, to treat people alike and to respect the law. For hundreds of years, this promise to the people served as a firm bond between the King and his people. As time passed and Sweden became one country with one King, the King's power started to become a matter of family ties as the Crown was inherited from father to son. Nevertheless, the oath continued to play a role as the custom was that every new King swore an oath to the people. Accordingly, the bond between the King and his people continued to be a true political reality for centuries.

This tradition was, however, promptly put aside when King Karl XII inherited the crown at only 15 years of age in 1697. At the time, Sweden was a huge country, with a territory embracing great parts of Northern Europe and the Baltic Sea.

Type
Chapter
Information
First Fundamental Rights Documents in Europe
Commemorating 800 Years of Magna Carta
, pp. 151 - 162
Publisher: Intersentia
Print publication year: 2015

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)
1
Cited by

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×