Sweden: Proof of and Information About Foreign Law in Civil and Commercial Matters – Swedish Perspectives
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The treatment of private international law in Sweden, including proof and information about foreign law, is influenced both by Sweden’s membership in the European Union and by Sweden’s close relationship with its neighboring Nordic countries (e.g. Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway). Another feature of relevance that impacts the possibility to draw firm conclusions regarding the treatment of foreign law in Sweden is the fact that there are few cases to draw conclusions from. However, some distinctive features regarding the treatment of foreign law in Sweden will be presented. It will be discussed to what extent Swedish courts are to apply foreign law ex officio and a distinction between mandatory and non-mandatory issues are made. It is highlighted that foreign law is treated as law (and not fact) in Sweden and that it is to be applied loyally, in conformity with how the law is applied in the country of origin. It is presented that a failure to determine the content of foreign law may be cured in different ways and it is concluded that a wrongful application of foreign law may be appealed in accordance with a normal appeal. It is further concluded that Swedish courts (and other instances that apply foreign law) rather use informal network in order to ascertain the content of foreign law than official networks (like the London rules). A concluding comment is that the treatment of foreign law in Sweden would benefit from a more developed system through which judges will be able to contact colleagues in other countries.