Instrument of Government (1974)

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Instrument of Government  (1974) 
The Instrument of Government is one of the four fundamental laws which makes up the Swedish Constitution.

To amend or to make a revision of a fundamental law, the Parliament needs to approve the changes twice in two successive terms, with a general election having been held in between. The change can be dismissed but not formally approved by a popular vote coinciding with such a general election, although this option has never been utilised. If the people do not dismiss a change, it still has to be ratified by the newly elected Parliament.


Chapter 1. Basic principles of the form of government[edit]

Art. 1. All public power in Sweden proceeds from the people.

Swedish democracy is founded on the free formation of opinion and on universal and equal suffrage. It shall be realised through a representative and parliamentary polity and through local self-government.

Public power shall be exercised under the law.

Art. 2. Public power shall be exercised with respect for the equal worth of all and the liberty and dignity of the private person.

The personal, economic and cultural welfare of the private person shall be fundamental aims of public activity. In particular, it shall be incumbent upon the public institutions to secure the right to work, housing and education, and to promote social care, social security, and a good living environment.

The public institutions shall promote the ideals of democracy as guidelines in all sectors of society. The public institutions shall secure equal rights for men and women and protect the private and family lives of private persons.

Opportunities should be promoted for ethnic, linguistic and religious minorities to preserve and develop a cultural and social life of their own.

Art. 3. The Instrument of Government, the Act of Succession, the Freedom of the Press Act and the Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression are the fundamental laws of the Realm.

Art. 4. The Riksdag is the foremost representative of the people.

The Riksdag enacts the laws, determines State taxes and decides how State funds shall be employed. The Riksdag shall examine the government and administration of the Realm.

Art. 5. The King or Queen who occupies the throne of Sweden in accordance with the Act of Succession shall be the Head of State.

The provisions of this Instrument of Government which relate to the King shall apply to the Queen if the Queen is Head of State.

Art. 6. The Government governs the Realm. It is accountable to the Riksdag.

Art. 7. Sweden has municipalities and county councils. The decision-making power in these local authorities is exercised by elected assemblies.

The local authorities may levy taxes in order to perform their tasks.

Art. 8. Courts of law exist for the administration of justice, and central and local government administrative authorities exist for the public administration.

Art. 9. Courts of law, administrative authorities and others performing tasks within the public administration shall have regard in their work to the equality of all persons before the law and shall observe objectivity and impartiality.

Chapter 2. Fundamental rights and freedoms[edit]

Art. 1. Every citizen shall be guaranteed the following rights and freedoms in his relations with the public institutions:

  1. freedom of expression: that is, the freedom to communicate information and express ideas, opinions and sentiments, whether orally, pictorially, in writing, or in any other way;
  2. freedom of information: that is, the freedom to procure and receive information and otherwise acquaint oneself with the utterances of others;
  3. freedom of assembly: that is, the freedom to organise or attend a meeting for the purposes of information or for the expression of opinion or for any other similar purpose, or for the purpose of presenting artistic work;
  4. freedom to demonstrate: that is, the freedom to organise or take part in a demonstration in a public place;
  5. freedom of association: that is, the freedom to associate with others for public or private purposes;
  6. freedom of worship: that is, the freedom to practise one's religion either alone or in the company of others.

The provisions of the Freedom of the Press Act and the Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression shall apply concerning the freedom of the press and the corresponding freedom of expression on sound radio, television and certain like transmissions and films, videograms, sound recordings and other technical recordings.

The Freedom of the Press Act also contains provisions concerning the right of access to official documents.

Art. 2. Every citizen shall be protected in his relations with the public institutions against any coercion to divulge an opinion in any political, religious, cultural or other such connection. He shall further be protected in his relations with the public institutions against any coercion to participate in a meeting for the formation of opinion or a demonstration or other manifestation of opinion, or belong to a political association, religious community or other association for the manifestation of opinion referred to in sentence one.

Art. 3. No record in a public register concerning a citizen shall be based, without his consent, solely on his political opinions.

Every citizen shall be protected to the extent determined more precisely in law against any violation of personal integrity resulting from the registration of personal information by means of automatic data processing.

Art. 4. There shall be no capital punishment.

Art. 5. Every citizen shall be protected against corporal punishment. He shall likewise be protected against any torture or medical influence aimed at extorting or suppressing statements.

Art. 6. Every citizen shall be protected in his relations with the public institutions against any physical violation also in cases other than cases under Articles 4 and 5. He shall likewise be protected against body searches, house searches and other such intrusions, against examination of mail and other confidential correspondence, and against eavesdropping and the recording of telephone conversations or other confidential communications.

Art. 7. No citizen may be deported from or refused entry into the Realm.

No citizen who is domiciled in the Realm or who has previously been domiciled in the Realm may be deprived of his citizenship unless he becomes at the same time a citizen of another state, either with his own express consent or because he has taken up employment in the public service. It may however be provided that children under the age of eighteen shall have the same nationality as their parents or as one parent. It may further be provided that, in pursuance of an agreement with another state, a person who has been a citizen also of the other state from birth, and who has his permanent domicile there, shall forfeit his Swedish nationality at or after the age of eighteen.

Art. 8. Every citizen shall be protected in his relations with the public institutions against deprivation of liberty. He shall also in other respects be guaranteed freedom of movement within the Realm and freedom to depart the Realm.

Art. 9. If a public authority other than a court of law has deprived a citizen of his liberty on account of a criminal act or because he is suspected of having committed such an act, he shall be entitled to have the matter examined before a court of law without undue delay. This shall not, however, apply where the issue concerns the transfer to the Realm of responsibility for executing a penal sanction which involves deprivation of liberty and which has been imposed in another state.

If, for reasons other than those specified in paragraph one, a citizen has been taken compulsorily into custody, he shall likewise be entitled to have the matter examined before a court of law without undue delay. In such a case, examination before a tribunal shall be equated with examination before a court of law, provided the composition of the tribunal is governed by law and it is stipulated that the chairman of the tribunal shall be currently, or shall have been previously, a permanent salaried judge.

If examination under paragraph one or two has not been referred to an authority which is competent under the provisions laid down therein, the examination shall be carried out before a court of general jurisdiction.

Art. 10. No penalty or penal sanction may be imposed in respect of an act which was not subject to a penal sanction at the time it was committed. Nor may any penal sanction be imposed which is more severe than that which was in force when the act was committed. The provisions thus laid down with respect to penal sanctions apply in like manner to forfeiture and other special legal effects attaching to a criminal act.

No taxes or charges due the State may be exacted except inasmuch as this follows from provisions which were in force when the circumstance arose which occasioned the liability for the tax or charge. Should the Riksdag find that special reasons so warrant, it may however provide under an act of law that taxes or charges due the State shall be exacted even although no such act had entered into force when the aforementioned circumstance arose, provided the Government, or a committee of the Riksdag, had submitted a proposal to this effect to the Riksdag at the time concerned. A written communication from the Government to the Riksdag announcing the forthcoming introduction of such a proposal shall be equated with a formal proposal. The Riksdag may furthermore prescribe that exceptions shall be made to the provisions of sentence one if it considers this is warranted on special grounds connected with war, the danger of war, or grave economic crisis.

Art. 11. No court of law shall be established on account of an act already committed, or for a particular dispute or otherwise for a particular case.

Proceedings in courts of law shall be open to the public.

Art. 12. The rights and freedoms referred to in Article 1, points 1 to 5, in Articles 6 and 8, and in Article 11, paragraph two, may be restricted in an act of law to the extent provided for in Articles 13 to 16. With authority in law, they may be restricted by statutory instrument in cases under Chapter 8, Article 7, paragraph one, point 7, and Article 10. Freedom of assembly and freedom to demonstrate may be similarly restricted also in cases under Article 14, paragraph one, sentence two.

The restraints referred to in paragraph one may be imposed only to satisfy a purpose acceptable in a democratic society. The restraint must never go beyond what is necessary having regard to the purpose which occasioned it, nor may it be carried so far as to constitute a threat to the free formation of opinion as one of the fundaments of democracy. No restraint may be im-posed solely on grounds of a political, religious, cultural or other such opinion.

Proposed legislation under paragraph one, or a proposal for the amendment or abrogation of such legislation, shall be held in suspense, unless rejected by the Riksdag, for a period of at least twelve months from the date on which the first Riksdag committee report on the proposal was submitted to the Chamber, if at least ten members so request. This provision not-withstanding, the Riksdag may adopt the proposal provided it has the support of at least five sixths of those voting.

Paragraph three shall not apply to any proposal prolonging the life of a law for a period not exceeding two years. Nor shall it apply to any proposal concerned only with

  1. prohibition of the disclosure of matters which have come to a person's knowledge in the public service, or in the performance of official duties, where secrecy is called for having regard to interests under Chapter 2, Article 2 of the Freedom of the Press Act;
  2. house searches and similar intrusions; or
  3. deprivation of liberty as a penal sanction for a specific act.

The Committee on the Constitution shall determine on behalf of the Riksdag whether paragraph three shall apply in respect of a particular draft law.

Art. 13. Freedom of expression and freedom of information may be restricted having regard to the security of the Realm, the national supply of goods, public order and public safety, the integrity of the individual, the sanctity of private life, and the prevention and prosecution of crime. Freedom of expression may also be restricted in commercial activities. Freedom of expression and freedom of information may otherwise be restricted only where particularly important grounds so warrant.

In judging what restrictions may be introduced by virtue of paragraph one, particular regard shall be paid to the importance of the widest possible freedom of expression and freedom of information in political, religious, professional, scientific and cultural matters.

The adoption of provisions which regulate more precisely a particular manner of disseminating or receiving information without regard to its content shall not be deemed a restraint of freedom of expression or freedom of information.

Art. 14. Freedom of assembly and freedom to demonstrate may be restricted in the interests of preserving public order and public safety at a meeting or demonstration, or having regard to the circulation of traffic. These freedoms may otherwise be restricted only having regard to the security of the Realm or in order to combat an epidemic.

Freedom of association may be restricted only in respect of organisations whose activities are of a military or quasi-military nature, or constitute persecution of a population group of a particular race, colour, or ethnic origin.

Art. 15. No act of law or other provision may imply the unfavourable treatment of a citizen because he belongs to a minority group by reason of race, colour, or ethnic origin.

Art. 16. No act of law or other provision may imply the unfavourable treatment of a citizen on grounds of sex, unless the provision forms part of efforts to promote equality between men and women or relates to compulsory military service or other corresponding compulsory national service.

Art. 17. A trade union or an employer or employers' association shall be entitled to take industrial action unless otherwise provided in an act of law or under an agreement.

Art. 18. The property of every citizen shall be so guaranteed that none may be compelled by expropriation or other such disposition to surrender property to the public institutions or to a private subject, or tolerate restriction by the public institutions of the use of land or buildings, other than where necessary to satisfy pressing public interests.

A person who is compelled to surrender property by expropriation or other such disposition shall be guaranteed compensation for his loss. Such compensation shall also be guaranteed to a person whose use of land or buildings is restricted by the public institutions in such a manner that ongoing land use in the affected part of the property is substantially impaired or injury results which is significant in relation to the value of that part of the property. Compensation shall be determined according to principles laid down in law.

All persons shall have access to nature in accordance with the right of public access, notwithstanding the above provisions.

Art. 19. Authors, artists and photographers shall own the rights to their works in accordance with rules laid down in law.

Art. 20. Restrictions affecting the right to trade or practise a profession may be introduced only in order to protect pressing public interests and never solely in order to further the economic interests of a particular person or enterprise.

The right of the Sami population to practise reindeer husbandry is regulated in law.

Art. 21. All children covered by compulsory schooling shall be entitled to a free basic education in a public school. The public institutions shall be responsible also for the provision of higher education.

Art. 22. A foreign national within the Realm shall be equated with a Swedish citizen in respect of

  1. protection against any coercion to participate in a meeting for the formation of opinion or a demonstration or other manifestation of opinion, or to belong to a religious community or other association (Article 2, sentence two);
  2. protection of personal integrity in connection with automatic data processing (Article 3, paragraph two);
  3. protection against capital punishment, corporal punishment and torture, and against medical influence aimed at extorting or suppressing statements (Articles 4 and 5);
  4. the right to have a deprivation of liberty on account of a criminal act or on suspicion of having committed such an act examined before a court of law (Article 9, paragraphs one and three);
  5. protection against retroactive penal sanctions and other retroactive legal effects of criminal acts, and against retroactive taxes or charges due the State (Article 10);
  6. protection against the establishment of a court for a particular case (Article 11, paragraph one);
  7. protection against unfavourable treatment on grounds of race, colour, ethnic origin, or sex (Articles 15 and 16);
  8. the right to take industrial action (Article 17);
  9. protection against expropriation or other such disposition and against restriction of the use of land or buildings (Article 18);
  10. the right to an education (Article 21).

Unless it follows otherwise from special provisions of law, a foreign national within the Realm shall be equated with a Swedish citizen also in respect of

  1. freedom of expression, freedom of information, freedom of assembly, freedom to demonstrate, freedom of association, and freedom of worship (Article 1);
  2. protection against coercion to divulge an opinion (Article 2, sentence one);
  3. protection against physical violations also in cases other than cases under Articles 4 and 5, against body searches, house searches and other such intrusions, and against violations of confidential communications (Article 6);
  4. protection against deprivation of liberty (Article 8, sentence one);
  5. the right to have a deprivation of liberty other than a deprivation of liberty on account of a criminal act or on suspicion of having committed such an act examined before a court of law (Article 9, paragraphs two and three);
  6. public court proceedings (Article 11, paragraph two);
  7. protection against interventions on grounds of opinion (Article 12, paragraph two, sentence three);
  8. authors', artists' and photographers' rights to their works (Article 19);
  9. the right to trade or practise a profession (Article 20).

The provisions of Article 12, paragraph three; paragraph four, sentence one; and paragraph five shall apply with respect to the special provisions of law referred to in paragraph two.

Art. 23. No act of law or other provision may be adopted which contravenes Sweden's undertakings under the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

Chapter 3. The Riksdag[edit]

Art. 1. The Riksdag shall be appointed by means of free, secret and direct elections. In such elections, votes shall be cast for parties, with an option for the voter to express a preference for a particular candidate.

The Riksdag shall consist of a single chamber comprising three hundred and forty-nine members. Alternates shall be appointed for all members.

Art. 2. Every Swedish citizen who is currently domiciled in the Realm or who has ever been domiciled in the Realm shall be entitled to vote in a Riksdag election. A person who has not attained the age of eighteen on or before election day shall not be entitled to vote.

The question of whether a right to vote exists under paragraph one shall be determined on the basis of an electoral roll drawn up prior to the election.

Art. 3. Ordinary elections for the Riksdag shall be held every four years.

Art. 4. The Government may order an extraordinary election for the Riksdag to be held between ordinary elections. An extraordinary election shall be held within three months from the issue of such an order.

After an election for the Riksdag has been held, the Government shall be debarred from calling an extraordinary election until three months from the date on which the newly-elected Riksdag first convenes. Neither may the Government call an extraordinary election while ministers remain at their posts, pending assumption of office by a new Government, after all have been formally discharged.

Rules for an extraordinary election in a particular case are set out in Chapter 6, Article 3.

Art. 5. A newly-elected Riksdag shall convene on the fifteenth day following election day but not before the fourth day after the result of the election has been declared.

Each election shall be valid for the period from the date on which the newly-elected Riksdag convenes to the date on which the Riksdag elected next thereafter convenes. This period is the electoral period of the Riksdag.

Art. 6. The Realm shall be divided up into constituencies for the purposes of elections for the Riksdag.

The Riksdag comprises three hundred and ten fixed constituency seats and thirty-nine adjustment seats.

The fixed constituency seats shall be distributed among the constituencies on the basis of a calculation of the relationship between the number of persons entitled to vote in each constituency and the total number of persons entitled to vote throughout the whole of the Realm. The distribution of seats among the constituencies shall be determined for four years at a time.

Art. 7. The seats shall be distributed among the parties. Party shall be understood to mean any association or group of voters which puts itself forward in an election under a particular designation.

Only a party which receives at least four per cent of the votes cast throughout the whole of the Realm shall be entitled to share in the distribution of seats. A party receiving fewer votes shall however share in the distribution of the fixed constituency seats in any constituency in which it receives at least twelve per cent of the votes cast.

Art. 8. The fixed constituency seats in each constituency shall be distributed proportionately among the parties on the basis of the election result in that constituency.

The adjustment seats shall be distributed among the parties in such a way that the distribution of all the seats in the Riksdag, other than those fixed constituency seats which have been allocated to a party polling less than four per cent of the national vote, is in proportion to the total number of votes cast throughout the whole of the Realm for the respective parties participating in the distribution of seats. If, in the distribution of the fixed constituency seats, a party obtains seats which exceed in number the number which corresponds to the proportional representation of that party in the Riksdag, then that party and the fixed constituency seats which it has obtained shall be

disregarded in distributing the adjustment seats. The adjustment seats shall be allocated to constituencies after they have been distributed among the parties.

The odd number method shall be used to distribute the seats among the parties, with the first divisor adjusted to 1.4.

Art. 9. One member shall be appointed for every seat a party obtains, together with alternates for that member.

Art. 10. Only a person who is entitled to vote may be a member or alternate member of the Riksdag.

Art. 11. Appeals against elections for the Riksdag may be lodged with an Election Review Board appointed by the Riksdag. A person who has been elected a member of the Riksdag shall carry out his duties regardless of any such appeal. If the result of the election is revised, a new member shall take his seat immediately after the revised result has been declared. This applies in like manner to alternate members.

The Election Review Board shall comprise a chairman, who shall be currently, or shall have been previously, a permanent salaried judge and who may not be a member of the Riksdag, and six other members. The members are elected after each ordinary election, as soon as the result of the election becomes final, and serve until a new election for the Board is held. The chairman is elected separately. There is no right of appeal against a decision of the Board.

Art. 12. Further rules concerning matters under Articles 2 to 11 and concerning the appointment of alternates for Riksdag members shall be laid down in the Riksdag Act or in another act of law.

Chapter 4. The work of the Riksdag[edit]

Art. 1. The Riksdag shall convene in session every year. Sessions shall be held in Stockholm, unless otherwise determined by the Riksdag or the
Speaker, having regard to the liberty or safety of parliament.

Art. 2. The Riksdag shall appoint a Speaker and First, Second, and Third Deputy Speakers from among its members for each electoral period.

Art. 3. The Government and all members of the Riksdag may introduce proposals on any matter coming within the jurisdiction of the Riksdag in accordance with more precise rules set out in the Riksdag Act, unless otherwise provided in this Instrument of Government.

The Riksdag shall elect committees from among its members in accordance with rules set out in the Riksdag Act, and these shall include a Committee on the Constitution and a Committee on Finance. Any matter raised by the Government or by a member of the Riksdag shall be prepared by a committee before it comes up for decision, unless otherwise provided in this Instrument of Government.

Art. 4. When a matter comes up for decision in the Chamber, every member of the Riksdag and every minister shall have the right to speak in accordance with more precise rules set out in the Riksdag Act. Rules concerning grounds for disqualification are set out in the Riksdag Act.

Art. 5. When a vote is taken in the Riksdag, the opinion in which more than half of those voting concur shall constitute the decision of the Riksdag, unless specially provided otherwise in this Instrument of Government or, in the case of matters relating to Riksdag procedure, in a basic provision of the Riksdag Act. Rules concerning the procedure to be followed in the event of a tied vote are set out in the Riksdag Act.

Art. 6. A member of the Riksdag or an alternate for such a member may exercise his mandate as a member notwithstanding any official duty or other similar obligation incumbent upon him.

Art. 7. No member of the Riksdag or alternate for such a member may resign his mandate without the Riksdag's consent.

Where grounds exist, the Election Review Board shall examine on its own initiative whether a particular member or alternate member is qualified under Chapter 3, Article 10. A person pronounced to be disqualified is deprived thereby of his mandate.

A member or alternate member may be deprived of his mandate in cases other than cases under paragraph two only if he has proved himself manifestly unfit to hold a mandate by reason of a criminal act. A decision in such a case shall be taken by a court of law.

Art. 8. No person may institute criminal proceedings against a person who holds a mandate as a member of the Riksdag, or who has held such a mandate, deprive him of liberty, or take action to restrict his movements within the Realm on account of an act or statement made in the exercise of his mandate, unless the Riksdag has given its consent thereto in a decision in which at least five sixths of those voting concur.

If in any other case a member of the Riksdag is suspected of having committed a criminal act, the relevant rules of law concerning arrest, detention or remand shall be applied only if he admits guilt or was caught in the act, or the minimum penalty for the offence is imprisonment for at least two years.

Art. 9. During such time as a member is acting as Speaker or is a member of the Government, his mandate as a member shall be exercised by an alternate. The Riksdag may stipulate in the Riksdag Act that an alternate member shall replace a member while the latter is on leave of absence.

The rules set out in Articles 6 and 8, paragraph one, concerning immunity in respect of the exercise of a mandate as a member of the Riksdag shall apply also to the Speaker and the Speaker's mandate.

The rules relating to a member of the Riksdag shall apply also to an alternate exercising a mandate as a member.

Art. 10. Further rules concerning the work of the Riksdag are set out in the Riksdag Act.

Chapter 5. The Head of State[edit]

Art. 1. The Head of State shall be kept informed by the Prime Minister concerning the affairs of the Realm. The Government shall convene in special Council under the presidency of the Head of State when so required.

Art. 2. No person who is not a Swedish citizen or who has not attained the age of eighteen may serve as Head of State. The Head of State may not at the same time be a member of the Government or hold a mandate as Speaker or as a member of the Riksdag.

The Head of State shall consult the Prime Minister before undertaking travel abroad.

Art. 3. If, by reason of illness, foreign travel or for any other cause, the King is unavoidably prevented from performing his duties, that member of the Royal House under the valid order of succession who is not prevented therefrom shall assume and perform the duties of the Head of State in the capacity of Regent ad interim.

Art. 4. Should the Royal House become extinct, the Riksdag shall appoint a Regent to perform the duties of the Head of State until further notice. The Riksdag shall appoint a Deputy Regent at the same time.

The same applies if the King dies or abdicates and the heir to the throne has not yet attained the age of eighteen.

Art. 5. If the King has been continuously prevented for six months from performing his duties, or has failed to perform his duties, the Government shall notify the matter to the Riksdag. The Riksdag shall determine whether the King shall be deemed to have abdicated.

Art. 6. The Riksdag may appoint a person to serve, at a Government order, as Regent ad interim when no one competent under Article 3 or 4 is in a position to serve.

The Speaker, or, in his unavoidable absence, one of the Deputy Speakers, shall serve, at a Government order, as Regent ad interim when no other competent person is in a position to serve.

Art. 7. The King may not be prosecuted for his actions. Nor may a Regent be prosecuted for his actions as Head of State.

Chapter 6. The Government[edit]

Art. 1. The Government comprises the Prime Minister and other ministers.

The Prime Minister is appointed according to the procedure set out in Articles 2 to 4. The Prime Minister appoints the other ministers.

Art. 2. When a Prime Minister is to be appointed, the Speaker shall summon for consultation representatives from every party group in the Riksdag. The Speaker shall confer with the Deputy Speakers and shall then place a proposal before the Riksdag.

The Riksdag shall proceed to vote on the proposal no later than the fourth day following, without prior preparation in committee. If more than half the members of the Riksdag vote against the proposal, it is rejected. In every other case, it is adopted.

Art. 3. If the Riksdag rejects the Speaker's proposal, the procedure set out in Article 2 shall be repeated. If the Riksdag rejects the Speaker's proposal four times, the procedure for appointing a Prime Minister shall be abandoned and shall be resumed only after an election for the Riksdag has been held. If no ordinary election is due in any case to be held within three months, an extraordinary election shall be held within the same period.

Art. 4. When the Riksdag has approved a proposal for a new Prime Minister, he shall inform the Riksdag as soon as possible of the names of the ministers he has appointed. Government changes hands thereafter at a special Council before the Head of State or, in his unavoidable absence, before the Speaker. The Speaker shall always be summoned to attend such a Council.

The Speaker issues a letter of appointment for the Prime Minister on the Riksdag's behalf.

Art. 5. If the Riksdag declares that the Prime Minister or any other minister no longer enjoys the confidence of parliament, the Speaker shall discharge the minister concerned. If the Government is in a position to order an extraordinary election, however, no decision shall be taken to discharge the minister, provided the Government calls an extraordinary election within one week from the declaration of no confidence.

Art. 6. A minister shall be discharged if he so requests; the Prime Minister shall be discharged by the Speaker, and another minister by the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister may also discharge another minister in other circumstances.

Art. 7. If the Prime Minister is discharged or dies, the Speaker shall discharge the other ministers.

Art. 8. If all the members of the Government have been discharged, they shall remain at their posts until a new Government has taken office. If a minister other than the Prime Minister has been discharged at his own request, he shall remain at his post until a successor has taken office, should the Prime Minister so request.

Art. 9. Only a person who has been a Swedish citizen for at least ten years may be a minister.

A minister may not have any other public or private employment. Neither may he hold any appointment or carry on any activity likely to impair public confidence in him.

Art. 10. In the unavoidable absence of the Speaker, a Deputy Speaker shall assume the duties incumbent upon the Speaker under the present Chapter.

Chapter 7. The work of the Government[edit]

Art. 1. Government offices shall exist for the preparation of Government business. The Government Offices include ministries for different areas of activity. The Government allocates responsibilities among ministries. The Prime Minister appoints the heads of the respective ministries from among the ministers.

Art. 2. In preparing Government business the necessary information and opinions shall be obtained from the public authorities concerned. Organisations and private persons shall be afforded an opportunity to express an opinion where necessary.

Art. 3. Government business shall be settled by the Government at Government meetings. Government business relating to the implementation of statutes or special Government decisions within the armed forces may however be approved by the head of the ministry responsible for such matters, under the supervision of the Prime Minister and to the extent laid down in law.

Art. 4. The Prime Minister shall summon the other ministers to attend Government meetings and shall preside at such meetings. At least five ministers shall be present at a Government meeting.

Art. 5. At a Government meeting, the head of a ministry presents business falling within the purview of his ministry. The Prime Minister may, however, prescribe that a matter or a group of matters coming within the purview of a particular ministry shall be presented by a minister other than the head of the ministry concerned.

Art. 6. A record shall be kept of Government meetings. A dissenting opinion shall be entered in the record.

Art. 7. Statutes, proposals for submission to the Riksdag, and other de-
spatches of Government decisions must be signed by the Prime Minister or another minister on behalf of the Government in order to be valid. The Government may, however, prescribe in a statutory instrument that an official may sign a despatch of a Government decision in a particular case.

Art. 8. The Prime Minister may appoint another minister to perform his duties and act as his deputy in his unavoidable absence. If the Prime Minister has not appointed a deputy, or if the deputy is also unavoidably prevented from performing the duties of Prime Minister, these duties shall be assumed by that minister among those currently in office who has been a minister longest. When two or more ministers have been ministers for the same length of time, the minister who is senior in age takes precedence.

Chapter 8. Acts of law and other provisions[edit]

Art. 1. It follows from the rules set out in Chapter 2 concerning fundamental rights and freedoms that provisions with a particular content may not be

adopted or may be adopted only by means of an act of law and that in certain cases draft legislation shall be dealt with in a particular way.

Art. 2. Provisions relating to the personal status or mutual personal and economic relations of private subjects shall be laid down in an act of law. These provisions include:

  1. provisions concerning Swedish citizenship;
  2. provisions concerning the right to a family name, or concerning marriage and parenthood, wills and inheritance, or family matters in general;
  3. provisions concerning the right to fixed and movable property, or concerning contracts and companies, associations, collectives and foundations.

Art. 3. Provisions concerning the relations between private subjects and the public institutions which relate to obligations incumbent upon private subjects or which otherwise encroach on the personal or economic circumstances of private subjects shall be laid down in an act of law. These provisions include provisions relating to criminal acts and the legal effects of such acts, provisions concerning taxes due the State, and provisions concerning requisition and other such disposition.

Art. 4. Provisions concerning the holding of a consultative referendum throughout the whole of the Realm and the procedure for holding a referendum on a matter of fundamental law shall be laid down in an act of law.

Provisions concerning elections to a parliamentary assembly within the European Union shall also be laid down in an act of law.

Art. 5. The principles governing changes in the division of the Realm into local government districts, and the principles governing the organisation and working procedures of the local authorities and local taxation shall be laid down in an act of law. Provisions concerning the competence and responsibilities of the local authorities in other respects shall likewise be laid down in an act of law.

Art. 6. Provisions concerning religious communities shall be laid down in an act of law. Provisions concerning the bases of the Church of Sweden as a religious community shall also be laid down in an act of law.

The enactment, amendment or abrogation of such an act of law shall be governed by the provisions of Article 16 concerning enactment of the Riksdag Act.

Art. 7. Without hindrance of the provisions of Article 3 or 5, the Government may, with authority in law, adopt provisions relating to matters other than taxes by means of a statutory instrument, provided such provisions relate to any of the following matters:

  1. the protection of life, health, or personal safety;
  2. the sojourn in the Realm of foreign nationals;
  3. the import or export of goods, money or other assets, manufactures, transport and communications, granting of credits, business activities, rationing, reuse and recycling of materials, design of buildings, installations and human settlements, or the obligation to obtain a permit in respect of measures affecting buildings and installations;
  4. hunting, fishing, animal protection, or nature conservation and environmental protection;
  5. the circulation of traffic or public order;
  6. training and education;
  7. prohibition of the disclosure of matters which have come to a person's knowledge in the public service or while performing official duties;

8.the protection of personal integrity when processing personal data.

Authority of the nature referred to in paragraph one does not confer the right to adopt provisions concerning the legal effects of criminal acts other than the imposition of fines. The Riksdag may also, in an act of law granting authority under paragraph one, prescribe legal effects other than fines for contraventions of provisions laid down by the Government by virtue of such authority.

Art. 8. Without hindrance of the provisions of Article 2, 3 or 5, the Government may, with authority in law, adopt by means of a statutory instrument provisions concerning the granting of respites for the meeting of obligations.

Art. 9. Without hindrance of the provisions of Article 3, the Government may, with authority in law, adopt by means of a statutory instrument provisions concerning customs duties on the importation of goods.

With authorisation from the Riksdag, the Government or a local authority may adopt provisions concerning charges which otherwise fall under Article 3 to be adopted by the Riksdag.

Art. 10. With authority in law, the Government may prescribe by means of a statutory instrument, in any matter referred to in Article 7, paragraph one, or in Article 9, that a provision of such law shall come into force or cease to apply.

Art. 11. Where, under the present Chapter, the Riksdag authorises the Government to adopt provisions in a particular matter, the Riksdag may authorise the Government in such context to delegate the power to adopt regulations in the matter to an administrative authority or a local authority.

Art. 12. Provisions adopted by the Government by virtue of authority under the present Instrument of Government shall be submitted to the Riksdag for examination and approval should the Riksdag so decide.

Art. 13. In addition to what follows from Articles 7 to 10 the Government may adopt by means of a statutory instrument

  1. provisions relating to the implementation of laws;
  2. provisions which do not fall under fundamental law to be adopted by the Riksdag.

The Government may not by virtue of paragraph one adopt provisions which relate to the Riksdag or authorities under the Riksdag. Nor may the Government by virtue of paragraph one, point 2, adopt provisions which relate to local taxation.

The Government may, by means of a statutory instrument under paragraph one, delegate to an authority under the Government the task of adopting regulations in the relevant matter. The provisions of paragraph two notwithstanding, the Government may also employ a statutory instrument to delegate to an authority under the Riksdag the task of adopting regulations under paragraph one which do not relate to the internal affairs of the Riksdag or an authority under the Riksdag.

Art. 14. The power conferred on the Government to adopt provisions in a particular matter shall not preclude the Riksdag from adopting provisions in the same matter in an act of law.

The Riksdag may direct the Riksbank in an act of law to adopt provisions coming within its sphere of responsibility under Chapter 9.

With authority in law, an authority under the Riksdag may adopt provisions relating to the internal affairs of the Riksdag or an authority under the Riksdag.

Art. 15. Fundamental law shall be enacted by means of two decisions of identical wording. The second decision may not be taken until elections for the Riksdag have been held throughout the whole of the Realm following the first decision, and the newly-elected Riksdag has convened. At least nine months shall elapse between the time when the matter was first submitted to the Chamber of the Riksdag and the date of the election, unless the Committee on the Constitution grants an exception from this provision by means of a decision taken no later than the committee stage, in which at least five sixths of members concur.

The Riksdag may not adopt as a decision held in suspense over an election any proposal for the enactment of fundamental law which conflicts with any other proposal concerning fundamental law which is currently held in approving suspense, unless at the same time it rejects the proposal it first adopted.

A referendum shall be held on a proposal concerning fundamental law which is held in suspense over an election, on a motion to this effect by at least one tenth of members, provided at least one third of members concur in approving the motion. Such a motion must be made within fifteen days from the date on which the Riksdag adopted the proposal which is held in suspense. The motion shall not be referred for preparation by a committee.

The referendum shall be held simultaneously with the election referred to in paragraph one. In the referendum, all those entitled to vote in the election shall be entitled to state whether or not they accept the proposal on fundamental law which is pending final decision. The proposal is rejected if a majority of those taking part in the referendum vote against it, and if the number of those voting against exceeds half the number of those who registered a valid vote in the election. In all other cases the proposal shall go forward to the Riksdag for final consideration.

Art. 16. The Riksdag Act shall be enacted as prescribed in Article 15, paragraph one, sentences one and two, and paragraph two. It may also be enacted by means of a single decision, provided at least three quarters of those voting and more than half the total membership of the Riksdag concur. Supplementary provisions of the Riksdag Act shall however be adopted in the same manner as ordinary law.

Art. 17. No law may be amended or abrogated other than by an act of law. Articles 15 and 16 apply in like manner with respect to an amendment or abrogation of fundamental law or of the Riksdag Act.

Art. 18. A Council on Legislation comprising justices of the Supreme Court and justices of the Supreme Administrative Court shall exist to pronounce an opinion on draft legislation. The opinion of the Council on Legislation shall be solicited by the Government or, under provisions of the Riksdag Act, by a committee of the Riksdag.

The opinion of the Council on Legislation should be obtained before the Riksdag takes a decision on a fundamental law concerning the freedom of the press or the corresponding freedom of expression on sound radio, television and certain like transmissions and technical recordings, on any act of law restricting the right of access to official documents, on any act of law under Chapter 2, Article 3, paragraph two, Article 12, paragraph one, Articles 17 to 19 or Article 22, paragraph two, or any act of law amending or abrogating such an act, on any act of law relating to local taxation, on any act of law under Article 2 or 3, and on any act of law under Chapter 11, if such an act is of significance for private subjects, or having regard to the public interest. The foregoing shall not however apply, if obtaining the opinion of the Council on Legislation would be without significance having regard to the nature of the matter, or would delay the handling of legislation in such a way as to cause serious detriment. If the Government submits a proposal to the Riksdag for the making of an act of law in any matter referred to in sentence one, and there has been no prior consultation of the Council on Legislation, the Government shall at the same time inform the Riksdag of the reason for the omission. Failure to obtain the opinion of the Council on Legislation on a draft law shall never constitute an obstacle to application of the law.

The Council's scrutiny shall relate to

  1. the way in which the draft law relates to the fundamental laws and the legal system in general;
  2. the way in which the different provisions of the draft law relate to each other;
  3. the way in which the draft law relates to the requirements of the rule of law;
  4. whether the draft law is so framed that the resulting law may be expected to satisfy the stated purposes of the draft law;
  5. what problems are likely to arise in applying the law.

More precise rules concerning the composition and working procedures of the Council on Legislation shall be laid down in an act of law.

Art. 19. Any act of law which has been approved shall be issued by the Government without delay. An act containing provisions relating to the Riksdag or authorities under the Riksdag which shall not be incorporated

into fundamental law or into the Riksdag Act may however be issued by the Riksdag.

Laws shall be published as soon as possible. The same applies to statutory instruments, unless otherwise laid down in law.

Chapter 9. Financial power[edit]

Art. 1. Rules concerning the right to approve taxes and charges due the State are set out in Chapter 8.

Art. 2. State funds may not be used other than as determined by the Riksdag.

The Riksdag approves the use of such funds for different purposes by adopting a budget in accordance with Articles 3 to 5. The Riksdag may, however, determine how funds shall be employed according to some other procedure.

Art. 3. The Riksdag shall adopt a budget for the following budget year or, if special reasons so warrant, for some other budgetary period. In this connection, the Riksdag shall estimate revenues and make appropriations for particular purposes. Decisions taken in this connection shall be incorporated into a national budget.

The Riksdag may decide that a particular appropriation within the national budget shall be made for a period other than the budgetary period.

When adopting a budget under this Article, the Riksdag shall have regard to the need for funds for the defence of the Realm in time of war, danger of war, or other exceptional circumstance.

Art. 4. If time does not permit final adoption of the national budget under Article 3 before the start of the budgetary period, the Riksdag shall approve appropriations as required to cover the period until a budget is adopted for the budgetary period concerned. The Riksdag may authorise the Committee on Finance to take such a decision on the Riksdag's behalf.

Art. 5. The Riksdag may revise its revenue estimates for the current budget year, alter appropriations already approved, and determine new appropriations in a supplementary budget.

Art. 6. The Government shall submit proposals for a national budget to the Riksdag.

Art. 7. The Riksdag may lay down guidelines for a particular activity of the State covering a period exceeding that for which appropriations have been made for the activity concerned, in conjunction with approval of the budget or in some other context.

Art. 8. Funds and other assets of the State shall be at the disposal of the Government. This provision shall not, however, apply to assets intended for the Riksdag or for authorities under the Riksdag or which have been set aside by law for special administration.

Art. 9. The Riksdag shall determine the principles for the administration and disposition of State property as required. The Riksdag may prescribe in this connection that measures of a particular nature may not be taken without the consent of parliament.

Art. 10. The Government may not take up loans or otherwise assume financial obligations on behalf of the State unless authorised by the Riksdag.

Art. 11. The Government is responsible for general currency policy questions. Other provisions concerning currency policy shall be laid down in an act of law.

Art. 12. The Riksbank is the central bank of the Realm and an authority under the Riksdag. The Riksbank is responsible for monetary policy. No public authority may determine how the Riksbank shall decide in matters of monetary policy.

The Riksbank shall have a Governing Council comprising eleven members, who shall be elected by the Riksdag. The Riksbank shall be managed by an Executive Board appointed by the Governing Council.

The Riksdag considers whether the members of the Governing Council and the Executive Board shall be granted discharge of responsibility. If the Riksdag refuses a member of the Governing Council discharge of responsibility he shall be severed thereby from his appointment. The Governing Council may sever a member of the Executive Board from his appointment only provided he no longer fulfils the requirements laid down for performing his duties or if he has been guilty of gross negligence.

Rules concerning elections for the Governing Council and concerning the management and activities of the Riksbank shall be laid down in an act of law.

Art. 13. The Riksbank alone shall have the right to issue coinage and banknotes. Further rules concerning the monetary and payment system shall be laid down in an act of law.

Chapter 10. Relations with other states[edit]

Art. 1. Agreements with other states or with international organisations shall be concluded by the Government.

Art. 2. The Government may not conclude an international agreement binding upon the Realm without Riksdag approval, if the agreement presupposes the amendment or abrogation of a law or the enactment of a new law, or if it otherwise concerns a matter which it is for the Riksdag to determine.

If in a case under paragraph one a special procedure has been prescribed for the Riksdag's decision, the same procedure shall be applied in approving the agreement.

Nor may the Government in cases other than cases under paragraph one conclude an international agreement binding upon the Realm without Riksdag approval, if the agreement is of major significance. The Government may however act without obtaining the Riksdag's approval of the agreement if the interest of the Realm so requires. In such a case the Government shall confer instead with the Advisory Council on Foreign Affairs before concluding the agreement.

Art. 3. The Government may commission an administrative authority to conclude an international agreement in a matter in which the agreement does not require the participation of the Riksdag or the Advisory Council on Foreign Affairs.

Art. 4. The rules laid down in Articles 1 to 3 shall apply in like manner to the commitment of the Realm to an international obligation in a form other than an agreement and to the denunciation of an international agreement or obligation.

Art. 5. The Riksdag may transfer a right of decision-making to the European Communities so long as the Communities have protection for rights and freedoms corresponding to the protection provided under this Instrument of Government and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. The Riksdag shall authorise such transfer in a decision which has the support of at least three quarters of those voting. The Riksdag may also take such a decision according to the procedure prescribed for the enactment of fundamental law.

In all other cases, a right of decision-making which is directly based on the present Instrument of Government and which purports at the laying down of provisions, the use of State property or the conclusion or denunciation of an international agreement or obligation, may be transferred, to a limited extent, to an international organisation for peaceful cooperation of which Sweden is a member, or is about to become a member, or to an international court of law. No right of decision-making relating to matters concerning the enactment, amendment or abrogation of fundamental law, the Riksdag Act or an act concerning elections for the Riksdag, or concerning restraints of any of the rights and freedoms referred to in Chapter 2 may be thus transferred. The provisions laid down for the enactment of fundamental law shall apply in respect of any decision concerning such transfer. If time does not permit a decision in accordance with these provisions, the Riksdag may approve a transfer of decision-making rights by means of a decision in which at least five sixths of those voting and at least three quarters of members concur.

If it has been laid down in law that an international agreement shall have validity as Swedish law, the Riksdag may prescribe, by means of a decision taken in accordance with the procedure laid down in paragraph two, that any future amendment of the agreement binding upon the Realm shall apply also within the Realm. Such a decision shall relate only to a future amendment of limited extent.

Any judicial or administrative function not directly based on this Instrument of Government may be transferred, in a case other than a case under paragraph one, to another state, international organisation, or foreign or international institution or community by means of a decision of the Riksdag. The Riksdag may also in an act of law authorise the Government or other public authority to approve such transfer of functions in a particular case. Where the function concerned involves the exercise of public authority, the Riksdag's decision shall be approved by a majority of at least three quarters of those voting. The Riksdag's decision in the matter of such transfer may also be taken in accordance with the procedure prescribed for the enactment of fundamental law.

Art. 6. The Government shall keep the Advisory Council on Foreign Affairs continuously informed of those matters relating to foreign relations which may be of significance for the Realm, and shall confer with the Council concerning these matters whenever necessary. In all foreign policy matters of major significance, the Government shall confer with the Council, if possible, before making its decision.

Art. 7. The Advisory Council on Foreign Affairs shall consist of the Speaker and nine other members elected by the Riksdag from among its members. More precise rules concerning the composition of the Council are set out in the Riksdag Act.

The Advisory Council on Foreign Affairs is convened by the Government. The Government is obliged to convene the Council if at least four Council members request consultations on a particular matter. Meetings of the Council are presided over by the Head of State or, in his unavoidable absence, by the Prime Minister.

A member of the Advisory Council on Foreign Affairs and any person otherwise associated with the Council shall exercise caution in communicating to others matters which have come to his knowledge in this capacity. The person presiding over a meeting of the Council may rule that an obligation to observe silence shall apply unconditionally.

Art. 8. The head of the ministry responsible for foreign affairs shall be kept informed whenever a matter arises at another State authority which has significance for relations with another state or international organisation.

Art. 9. The Government may commit the Realm's armed forces, or any part of them, to battle in order to repel an armed attack upon the Realm. Swedish armed forces may otherwise be committed to battle or despatched abroad only provided

  1. the Riksdag consents thereto;
  2. such commitment is permitted under an act of law which sets out the prerequisites for such action;
  3. a commitment to take such action follows from an international agreement or obligation which has been approved by the Riksdag.

A state of war may not be declared without the consent of the Riksdag, other than in the event of an armed attack upon the Realm.

The Government may authorise the armed forces to use force in accordance with international law and custom to prevent violation of Swedish territory in time of peace or during a war between foreign states.

Chapter 11. Administration of justice and general administration[edit]

Art. 1. The Supreme Court is the highest court of general jurisdiction, and the Supreme Administrative Court is the highest administrative court. The right to have a case tried by the Supreme Court or by the Supreme Administrative Court may be restricted in an act of law. A person may serve as a member of the Supreme Court or the Supreme Administrative Court only if he holds currently, or has held previously, an appointment as a permanent salaried justice of the Court.

A court other than the Supreme Court or the Supreme Administrative Court must be established by virtue of law. Provisions prohibiting the establishment of a court of law for a particular case are laid down in Chapter 2, Article 11, paragraph one.

There shall be at least one permanent salaried judge in any court under paragraph two. Exceptions to this rule in respect of courts established to try a specific group or specific groups of cases may however be made in an act of law.

Art. 2. Neither a public authority nor the Riksdag may determine how a court shall adjudicate an individual case or otherwise apply a rule of law in a particular case.

Art. 3. A legal dispute between private subjects may not be settled by an authority other than a court except by virtue of law. Provisions concerning examination by a court of a deprivation of liberty are set out in Chapter 2, Article 9.

Art. 4. Provisions concerning the functions of the courts relevant to the administration of justice, the principal features of their organisation, and court procedure shall be laid down in an act of law.

Art. 5. A person who has been appointed a permanent salaried judge may be removed from office only provided

  1. he has shown himself through a criminal act or through gross or repeated neglect of his official duties to be manifestly unfit to hold the office;
  2. he has reached the relevant retirement age or is otherwise obliged by law to retire on pension.

If a permanent salaried judge has been removed from office by means of a decision of a public authority other than a court of law he shall be entitled to call for the decision to be examined before a court of law. The same applies to any decision as a result of which a permanent salaried judge is suspended from office or ordered to undergo examination by a medical practitioner.

If organisational considerations so dictate, a person who has been appointed a permanent salaried judge may be transferred to another judicial office of comparable status.

Art. 6. The Chancellor of Justice, the Prosecutor General, the central administrative boards and the county administrative boards are responsible to the Government. Other State administrative authorities are responsible to the Government, unless they are authorities under the Riksdag according to this Instrument of Government or by virtue of some other law.

Administrative functions may be entrusted to a local authority.

Administrative functions may be delegated to a limited company, association, collective, foundation, registered religious community or any part of its organisation, or to a private person. If such a function involves the exercise of public authority, delegation shall be made by virtue of law.

Art. 7. Neither a public authority nor the Riksdag nor the decision-making body of a local authority may determine how an administrative authority shall decide in a particular case relating to the exercise of public authority vis-à-vis a private subject or a local authority, or concerning the application of law.

Art. 8. No judicial or administrative function may be performed by the Riksdag except inasmuch as this follows from fundamental law or from the Riksdag Act.

Art. 9. Appointments to posts in courts of law or administrative authorities coming under the Government shall be made by the Government or by a public authority designated by the Government.

When making appointments to posts within the State administration attention shall be directed only to objective factors such as merit and competence.

Only a Swedish citizen may hold or exercise the functions of a judicial office, an office coming directly under the Government, an office or appointment as head of a public authority coming directly under the Riksdag or the Government, or as member of such an authority or its governing board, an appointment in the Government Offices coming immediately under a minister, or an appointment as a Swedish envoy. Also in other cases only a person who is a Swedish citizen may hold an office or appointment if the holder of such an office or appointment is elected by the Riksdag. Swedish nationality may otherwise be stipulated as a condition of qualification to hold an office or appointment under the State or under a local authority only with support in law or in accordance with conditions set out in law.

Art. 10. Basic rules concerning the legal status of civil servants in respects other than those covered in this Instrument of Government shall be laid down in an act of law.

Art. 11. Retrials of closed cases and reinstatement of lapsed time shall be granted by the Supreme Administrative Court or, insofar as this has been laid down in an act of law, by an inferior administrative court, if the case concerns a matter in respect of which the Government, an administrative court or an administrative authority is the supreme instance. In all other cases, a retrial of a closed case or reinstatement of lapsed time is granted by the Supreme Court or, insofar as this has been laid down in an act of law, by another court which is not an administrative court.

More precise rules concerning the retrial of closed cases and reinstatement of lapsed time may be laid down in an act of law.

Art. 12. The Government may grant an exception from a provision of a statutory instrument, or from a provision adopted by virtue of a Government decision, unless otherwise provided in an act of law or in a decision concerning a budget appropriation.

Art. 13. The Government may by exercising mercy remit or reduce a penal sanction or other legal effect of a criminal act, and remit or reduce any other similar intervention by a public authority concerning the person or property of a private subject.

Where special grounds exist, the Government may order that no further measures shall be taken to investigate or prosecute a criminal act.

Art. 14. If a court or other public body finds that a provision conflicts with a rule of fundamental law or other superior statute, or finds that a procedure laid down in law has been disregarded in any important respect when the provision was made, the provision may not be applied. If the provision has been approved by the Riksdag or by the Government, however, it shall be waived only if the error is manifest.

Chapter 12. Parliamentary control[edit]

Art. 1. The Committee on the Constitution shall examine ministers' performance of their official duties and the handling of Government business. The Committee is entitled for this purpose to have access to the records of decisions taken in Government matters and to all documents pertaining to such matters. Any other Riksdag committee and any member of the Riksdag shall be entitled to raise in writing with the Committee on the Constitution any issue relating to a minister's performance of his official duties or the handling of Government business.

Art. 2. It shall be incumbent upon the Committee on the Constitution to communicate to the Riksdag, whenever reasons so warrant but at least once a year, any observations it may find worthy of attention in connection with its scrutiny. The Riksdag may make a formal statement to the Government in consequence thereof.

Art. 3. A person who is currently, or has been previously, a minister may be held accountable for a criminal act committed in the performance of his official duties only if he has grossly neglected his official duty thereby. A decision to institute criminal proceedings shall be taken by the Committee on the Constitution and the case shall be tried before the Supreme Court.

Art. 4. The Riksdag may declare that a particular minister no longer enjoys the confidence of the Riksdag. Such a declaration of no confidence requires the concurrence therein of more than half the total membership of the Riksdag.

A motion calling for a declaration of no confidence shall be taken up for consideration only if raised by at least one tenth of the members of the Riksdag. It shall not be taken up for consideration during the period between the holding of an ordinary election or the calling of an extraordinary election and the date on which the Riksdag elected in such an election convenes. A motion relating to a minister who, under Chapter 6, Article 8, has remained at his post after having been formally discharged, may not in any circumstances be taken up for consideration.

A motion calling for a declaration of no confidence shall not be prepared in committee.

Art. 5. Under rules laid down in the Riksdag Act, any member of the Riksdag may submit an interpellation or put a question to a minister on any matter concerning the minister's performance of his official duties.

Art. 6. The Riksdag shall elect one or more Parliamentary Ombudsmen to supervise the application of laws and other statutes in the public service, under standing orders which the Riksdag draws up. An Ombudsman may institute criminal proceedings in the cases indicated in these standing orders.

An Ombudsman is entitled to be present at the deliberations of a court of law or an administrative authority and shall have access to the records and other documents of such a court or authority. A court of law or administrative authority and any State or local government official shall provide an Ombudsman with such information and opinions as he may request. A similar obligation shall be incumbent upon any other person coming under the supervision of the Ombudsman. A public prosecutor shall assist an Ombudsman if so requested.

More precise rules concerning the Ombudsmen are set out in the Riksdag Act.

Art. 7. The Riksdag shall elect Parliamentary Auditors to examine the activities of the State. The Riksdag may determine that the Auditors' examination shall extend also to other activities. The Riksdag shall draw up standing orders for the Auditors.

Under rules laid down in law, the Auditors may demand access to such documents, information and opinions as are necessary for their examination.

More precise rules concerning the Auditors are set out in the Riksdag Act.

Art. 8. Criminal proceedings on account of a criminal act committed by a member of the Supreme Court or a member of the Supreme Administrative Court in the exercise of his official duties shall be instituted in the Supreme Court by a Parliamentary Ombudsman or the Chancellor of Justice.

The Supreme Court shall likewise examine and determine, in accordance with provisions laid down in this connection, whether a member of the Supreme Court or the Supreme Administrative Court shall be removed from office or suspended from duty, or shall be obliged to undergo examination by a medical practitioner. Proceedings of this nature shall be instituted by a Parliamentary Ombudsman or the Chancellor of Justice.

Chapter 13. War and danger of war[edit]

Art. 1. If the Realm finds itself at war or is exposed to the danger of war, the Government or the Speaker shall convene the Riksdag. The authority issuing the notice convening the meeting may determine that the Riksdag shall convene at some place other than Stockholm.

Art. 2. If the Realm is at war or exposed to the danger of war, a War Delegation appointed from among the members of the Riksdag shall replace the Riksdag if circumstances so warrant.

If the Realm is at war, the order instructing the War Delegation to replace the Riksdag shall be issued by the members of the Advisory Council on Foreign Affairs in accordance with more precise rules laid down in the Riksdag Act. The Prime Minister shall be consulted, if possible, before the order is issued. If war conditions prevent the Council from convening, the order shall be issued by the Government. If the Realm is exposed to the danger of war, the order shall be issued by the members of the Advisory Council on Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minister acting jointly. Such an order requires the concurrence of the Prime Minister and six members of the Council to be valid.

The War Delegation and the Government may determine, either jointly or severally, that the Riksdag shall resume its powers.

Rules concerning the composition of the War Delegation are set out in the Riksdag Act.

Art. 3. While the War Delegation is acting in place of the Riksdag, it shall exercise the powers otherwise vested in the Riksdag. It shall not however take decisions under Article 12, paragraph one, point 1, or paragraph two or four.

The War Delegation shall determine its own working procedures.

Art. 4. If the Realm is at war, and if in consequence thereof the Government is prevented from performing its duties, the Riksdag may decide on the formation of a Government and determine its working procedures.

Art. 5. If the Realm is at war, and if in consequence thereof neither the Riksdag nor the War Delegation is in a position to perform its duties, the Government shall assume these duties to the extent it considers necessary to protect the Realm and bring hostilities to a close.

The Government may not by virtue of paragraph one enact, amend, or abrogate fundamental law, the Riksdag Act, or an act concerning elections for the Riksdag.

Art. 6. If the Realm is at war or exposed to the danger of war, or if such exceptional conditions prevail as result from the war or the danger of war to which the Realm has been exposed, the Government may with authority in law adopt by means of a statutory instrument provisions in a particular matter which shall otherwise be laid down in an act of law under provisions of fundamental law. If necessary in any other case having regard to defence preparedness, the Government may with authority in law determine by means of a statutory instrument that any provisions laid down in law which relate to requisition or other such disposition shall be brought into force or cease to apply.

In any act of law granting authority under paragraph one, the conditions under which such authority may be invoked shall be scrupulously defined. Such authority shall not empower the Government to enact, amend or abrogate any fundamental law, the Riksdag Act or an act concerning elections for the Riksdag.

Art. 7. If the Realm is at war or exposed to the immediate danger of war, the provisions of Chapter 2, Article 12, paragraph three, shall not apply. The same applies in any other circumstances in which the War Delegation is acting in place of the Riksdag.

Art. 8. If the Realm is at war or exposed to the immediate danger of war, the Government may determine, with authorisation from the Riksdag, that a task which falls to the Government by virtue of fundamental law shall be performed by some other authority. Such authorisation shall not extend to any competence or responsibilities under Article 5 or 6, unless the matter relates solely to a decision that a law concerning a particular matter shall come into force.

Art. 9. The Government may conclude a ceasefire agreement without seeking the approval of the Riksdag and without consulting the Advisory Council on Foreign Affairs, if deferment of the agreement would imperil the Realm.

Art. 10. Neither the Riksdag nor the Government may make decisions in occupied territory. Nor may any competence or responsibility vested in a person in his capacity as a member of the Riksdag or as a member of the Government be exercised in such territory.

It shall be incumbent upon any public body in occupied territory to act in the manner that best serves the defence effort and resistance activities, the protection of the civilian population and Swedish interests at large. In no circumstances may a public body make any decision or take any action which, in contravention of international law, imposes on a citizen of the Realm the duty of rendering assistance to the occupying power.

Elections for the Riksdag or for decision-making local government assemblies may not be held in occupied territory.

Art. 11. If the Realm is at war, the Head of State should accompany the Government. Should he find himself in occupied territory or separated from the Government, he shall be deemed to be precluded from carrying out his duties as Head of State.

Art. 12. If the Realm is at war, elections for the Riksdag may be held only if the Riksdag so determines. If the Realm is exposed to the danger of war when an ordinary election falls due to be held, the Riksdag may decide to defer the election. Such a decision shall be reviewed within one year and at intervals of no more than one year thereafter. Decisions under this paragraph are valid only if at least three quarters of the members of the Riksdag concur therein.

If any part of the Realm is occupied when an election falls due to be held, the Riksdag shall approve any necessary modification of the rules set out in Chapter 3. No exceptions may however be made from Chapter 3, Article 1, paragraph one; Article 2; Article 6, paragraph one; and Articles 7 to 11. Any reference to the Realm in Chapter 3, Article 6, paragraph one; Article 7, paragraph two; and Article 8, paragraph two, shall apply instead to that part of the Realm for which the election is to be held. At least one tenth of the total number of seats shall be adjustment seats.

An ordinary election which is not held at the time prescribed, in consequence of paragraph one, shall be held as soon as possible after the war ends or the danger of war is over. It shall be incumbent upon the Government and the Speaker, jointly or severally, to ensure that the necessary steps are taken.

If, in consequence of this Article, an ordinary election has been held at a time other than the time at which it would normally have been held, the Riksdag shall set the date of the next ordinary election for that month in the fourth or fifth year following the first-named election in which an ordinary election was due to be held under the Riksdag Act.

Art. 13. If the Realm is at war or exposed to the danger of war, or if such exceptional conditions prevail as result from the war or the danger of war to which the Realm has been exposed, the decision-making powers of local authorities shall be exercised as laid down in an act of law.


Transitional Provisions[edit]

Relating to Act no 1974:152[edit]

  1. This Instrument of Government supersedes the previous Instrument of Government. With the exceptions given below, the previous Instrument of Government shall however apply in place of the new Instrument of Government until the end of the calendar year in which the Riksdag adopts definitively the new Instrument of Government and, in the cases below, also thereafter.

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  1. Older statute or provisions shall continue to apply, notwithstanding that they have not been enacted in the manner laid down in this Instrument of Government. Authority granted under a joint decision of the King and the Riksdag, or the Riksdag acting alone, may be exercised even after the time appointed under point 1 above, until such time as the Riksdag determines otherwise. The rules of Chapter 8, Article 17 of this Instrument of Government shall apply in respect of older statute adopted by joint decision of the King and the Riksdag, or by a decision of the Riksdag acting alone.
  2. Rules of older law or other statute which refer to the King or the King in Council shall apply to the Government after the expiry of the period set out in point 2, paragraph one, unless it follows from a statute, or is otherwise apparent from the circumstances, that the reference is to the King in person, the Supreme Court, the Supreme Administrative Court, or an administrative court of appeal. Provisions which under older law or other statute shall be determined by joint decision of the King and the Riksdag shall be determined instead in an act of law.
  3. Should an act of law or other statute contain a reference or allusion to a provision which has been superseded by a rule of this Instrument of Government, the new rule shall apply instead.

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  1. This Instrument of Government in no way alters the provisions laid down in Article 2 of the previous Instrument of Government.

Relating to Act no 1976:871[edit]

  1. The changes in the Instrument of Government come into force on 1 January 1977.
  2. The provisions of Chapter 2, Article 16, notwithstanding, older provisions purporting at differential treatment on grounds of sex shall continue to apply for the time being. Such provisions may be amended, even if the amendment is to the effect that such differentiation shall be upheld.

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  1. The provisions of Chapter 2, Article 1, point 3, and Article 14, paragraph one, notwithstanding, it may be laid down in law that films and videograms shall not be shown in public without prior approval.
  2. Older statute or provisions shall continue to apply, notwithstanding that they have not been enacted in the manner laid down in the Instrument of Government in its new wording.

Relating to Act no 1979:933[edit]

  1. The changes in the Instrument of Government come into force on 1 January 1980.
  2. Older provisions relating to taxes or charges shall continue to apply, the provisions of Chapter 2, Article 10, paragraph two, notwithstanding.

Relating to Act no 1994:1375[edit]

  1. This Act comes into force on 1 December 1994.
  2. If the Riksdag has approved an agreement on Swedish accession to the European Union following the holding of a referendum in the matter throughout the whole of the Realm, the Riksdag shall be entitled to transfer to the European Communities rights of decision-making resulting from such accession without applying the qualified majority rules set out in Chapter 10, Article 5. The Riksdag shall also be entitled to approve the incorporation into Swedish law of the Communities' rules at the time of accession in the same manner as applies to the transfer of rights of decision-making to the European Communities.

This work is non-copyrightable, and in the public domain worldwide because it is a creation of the Swedish Government and is:
  1. a law or other regulation,
  2. a decision by public authorities,
  3. a report by Swedish public authorities
  4. an official translations of one of the above.

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Note that Swedish copyright law still applies to the following, should they form part of the Government work:
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  2. works of drawings, painting or engraving,
  3. musical works, or
  4. poetry.