Back Sweden amends its Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression

21 March 2023
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In response to the European Court’s judgment in the case of Arlewin, concerning the lack of effective access to a court to obtain protection against alleged defamation through a foreign TV broadcast, the Swedish Parliament amended the Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression (one of the four laws  making up the Swedish Constitution).

The scope of application of the Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression was extended to include the possibility to bring before domestic court defamation cases concerning satellite transmissions having a particularly strong connection to Sweden (e.g. perceived to be Swedish, retransmitted in Sweden, and addressed to a Swedish audience).  

An amendment of a fundamental law is a complex process which requires two identically worded, simple majority decisions by the Parliament, with general elections taking place in between. The first Parliament’s vote of the bill took place on 11 May 2022. Following the latest election in Sweden of September 2022, the newly formed Parliament adopted the proposed amendments to the Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression which entered into force on 1 January 2023.   

 Country factsheet for Sweden