Lodge an appeal and request leave to appeal

Before it can try a case, the Supreme Court must, as a rule, first grant leave to appeal. Around 6 000 appeals are lodged with the Supreme Court every year. Leave to appeal is granted in only just over 100 cases.
  1. 1

    Include this in your appeal

    If a court of appeal judgment or decision can be appealed to the Supreme Court, an appendix to the ruling normally states what the appeal must contain. If you have an email address, please state this.

  2. 2

    State the reasons why the Supreme Court should grant leave to appeal

    The main rule is that the Supreme Court only grants leave to appeal if its judgment or decision can provide a precedent (i.e. give guidance on how courts are to assess similar cases). Thus, state why a Supreme Court ruling can be valuable for the application of law in a perspective wider than just your own case. Alternatively, state why you consider there are exceptional reasons for the Supreme Court to try your appeal.

    If your appeal relates to a court of appeal decision not to allow review of a case, you need to state both why the court of appeal should have granted leave to appeal and why the Supreme Court should grant such leave.

  3. 3

    Send your appeal to the court of appeal that decided your case

    Your appeal is to be sent to the court of appeal that decided your case. This is so that this court can give an opinion on whether the appeal was submitted within the stated deadline. Please do not hesitate to send your appeal via email. The court of appeal then sends its file and the appeal to the Supreme Court.

  4. 4

    The Supreme Court processes your appeal

    The appeal is first examined to assess whether any supplementation is necessary. If the appeal is not complete, you will be notified. When the appeal is complete, it is handed over to a drafting law clerk or a judge referee. This person is in charge of the further processing of the appeal.

  5. 5

    This is how long it takes

    Normally, the Supreme Court decides whether to grant leave to appeal around 1 month after it receives the application. This decision is taken by one or more Justices of the Supreme Court. Usually, a good 90% of applications for leave to appeal are decided by a single Justice of the Supreme Court.

  6. 6

    The court sends you its decision on leave to appeal

    When the court has decided whether to grant leave to appeal, a copy of the decision is sent to you and your counter-party.

    If the Supreme Court decides not to grant leave to appeal, this means that it will not accept your case for trial. In this event, the ruling of the court of appeal stands. The Supreme Court’s decision on leave to appeal is immediately legally binding and cannot be appealed.

    If the court grants leave to appeal, the processing of the case continues.

Whether or not a ruling can be appealed is stated in each judgment or decision given by a court of appeal (the Land and Environment Court of Appeal and the Patent and Market Court of Appeal included therein).

Before it can try a case, the Supreme Court must, as a rule, first grant leave to appeal. If the Supreme Court decides not to grant leave to appeal, this decision cannot be appealed. The court of appeal’s ruling then stands.

However, a court of appeal’s refusal to grant leave to appeal regarding a district court judgment or decision can be appealed to the Supreme Court. In trying such an application, the Supreme Court decides both whether there is reason to grant leave to appeal to the Supreme Court, and whether the court of appeal should have granted leave to have the case reviewed in the court of appeal.

The main rule is that the Supreme Court only grants leave to appeal if its judgment or decision can provide a precedent (i.e. give guidance on how courts are to assess similar cases).

Sweden’s Code of Judicial Procedure (Chapter 54, Section 10) has provisions on when the Supreme Court may grant leave to appeal. The party appealing a court of appeal ruling has to show that the case is of such a nature that it should be tried by the Supreme Court. Thus, it is not enough to state that the decision of the court of appeal is wrong. The rules enabling the Supreme Court to grant leave to appeal are not exactly the same as those for a court of appeal. For example, as a rule, doubt having been cast on a court of appeal’s assessment of evidence is not a reason for leave to appeal to be granted. This is because a decision on the assessment of evidence in an individual case cannot often be sufficiently generalised to provide guidance.

Leave to appeal can sometimes be granted if there are exceptional reasons for this. One example of what can be regarded as an exceptional reason is the outcome of a case having been affected by a gross procedural error in a court of appeal’s handling of a case. Other examples are the court of appeal having applied the wrong law, or the court of appeal’s application of the law being otherwise clearly wrong. The requirement that there must be exceptional reasons means that the Supreme Court has extremely limited scope to grant leave to appeal other than when a precedent is needed.

The film was recorded on the 21st of January 2019 (in Swedish).

Updated
2020-09-04