Public prosecution service

The Ministry of Justice is responsible for the prosecution service and for ensuring that it has the resources to meet the demands placed on its activities by the Government. The Ministry's task is primarily to formulate targets and guidelines for the work of the prosecution service, take part in the budget process and monitor and analyse its operations.

The Prosecution Authority

The Swedish Prosecution Authority has two organisational levels - a central management level and a local, operational level. The central level is responsible for the management, planning and coordination of activities as well as for strategy and policy matters. Functions like supervision; legal control and reviews; the processing of cases concerning misuse of office; and complaints against prosecutors are also placed at central level.

The central management structure also includes four national development centres - in Stockholm, Göteborg, Malmö and Umeå. These centres focus on legal development, analysing and following up the application of the law, working methods, knowledge development, etc. Each development centre is responsible for a number of crime areas, such as special penal law focusing on drug crime and smuggling crime, or crime against property, other crime covered by the Penal Code, environmental crime and corruption. The idea is to gather and develop a substantial body competence concerning various types of crime at the relevant centre. The national development centres are also responsible for supervision and review work in their areas of responsibility.

The local public prosecution offices have full responsibility direct under the authority's central management and all prosecutors have national competence.

The Swedish Economic Crime Authority and the Chancellor of Justice

Another part of the prosecution service is the Swedish Economic Crime Authority which is a special prosecution agency for fighting economic crime. Prosecutors, police officers and economic investigators work together in this agency. It is headed by a Director-General whose role in prosecution matters corresponds to that of a director of a regional public prosecution office.

Another agency with certain prosecution tasks is the Office of the Chancellor of Justice. The Chancellor of Justice is sole public prosecutor in cases involving offences against freedom of the press and freedom of expression. The responsibilities of the Office of the Chancellor of Justice also include acting as the Governments legal advisor, exercising supervision of agencies and their officials in order to monitor compliance with laws and other statutes and representing the state in certain trials relating to the rights of the state (primarily damages cases). The agency is also entitled to appeal against decisions of county administrative boards under the Public Camera Surveillance Act, as part of its task of guarding the integrity of the individual.