In order to guarantee this framework so that no one is able to carry out a coup d'etat following an election, these laws cannot be changed easily. In order for a fundamental law to be changed, it is normally necessary for the Riksdag to make the same decision twice. A general election also has to take place between these two decisions. Accordingly, this rule is in place to prevent the central government making decisions with excessive haste. The additional thinking time provides the opportunity for everyone to carefully consider the change to the law. The fundamental laws protect our democracy. There are four fundamental laws in Sweden:
The Instrument of Government which describes how Sweden is to be governed. The current Instrument of Government is from 1974. This contains rules about how the Government is to work and how elections to the Riksdag are to take place. The Instrument of Government also contains laws about the fundamental freedoms and rights. For example, the Instrument of Government states that everyone has a right to freedom of association and freedom of religion.
The Act of Succession which deals with who may become king or queen in Sweden.
The Freedom of the Press Act which is about what may be written in newspapers and books. In Sweden, people can write whatever they want, provided the text is not criminal.
The Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression which deals with what can be said on the radio, TV, in films and on the internet. In Sweden, people can say what they like, with certain exceptions. For example, people are not allowed to say things that are to others. This can relate to what is said about an individual or a group.
< Previous page
Next page >
Back to menu