Slow Justice

Fast-tracking Delayed Trials

The Swedish government says no one should have to wait years to have a court case come to trial in this country.

There are more than 300,000 court cases heard every year in Sweden. But, Swedish Radio News reports, at the beginning of last year more than 6000 cases in District Court had been pending for more than two years.

Justice Minister Beatrice Ask points to EU rules that say cases must come to trial within a reasonable period. One Swede was acquitted by the European Court of Justice after waiting seven years without the case coming to trial.

The Swedish Justice Minister wants to make it possible for those who believe their cases are taking too long to be able to apply to have them fast-tracked. The proposal now goes to parliament, and if the legislation passes it would go into effect from the beginning of next year.