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Cost and fee allocation in civil procedure: National report Sweden

Publication Date
  • Civil Procedure
  • Civil And Criminal Procedure
  • Processrätt
  • Law And Political Science


Microsoft Word - Questionnaire v.2 - Sweden.docx International Academy of Comparative Law 18th World Congress Washington D.C. July 21-31, 2010 Topic II.C.1 COST AND FEE ALLOCATION IN CIVIL PROCEDURE General Reporter: Mathias Reimann University of Michigan SWEDEN Martin Sunnqvist LL.Lic., Lund University Appeal Court Assessor Extra-Ordinary, Scania and Blekinge Court of Appeal Questionnaire I. The Basic Rules: Who Pays? 1. What is the basic rule of cost and fee allocation - that each party bears its own or that the loser pays all? Are attorneys' fees and court costs treated differently? What is the principal justification for this rule? “The losing party shall reimburse the opposing party for litigation costs unless otherwise provided.” This is the clear main rule according to Chapter 18, section 1, of the Code of Judicial Procedure.1 Attorneys’ fees and court costs are treated in the same way. There are historical reasons for this rule. In the 1734 Code of Judicial Procedure, there was an exception for cases where the outcome was so dubious, that the losing party had had a reasonable cause for getting the case tried by a court.2 In such cases, each party paid his costs. This meant, that the liability to pay the costs of the other party depended on the degree of culpability of the losing party in relation to the fact that a trial had been needed. Allocation of costs was considered in a similar way as liability to pay damages. Although the ‘loser pays’- rule was the main rule, the courts did not order the loser to pay unless it was clear that he had no reasonable cause to get the case tried. 1 The present Code of Judicial Procedure (Rättegångsbalken, below: Code of Judicial Procedure) was promulgated in 1942 and came into force January 1st, 1948. It replaced the Code of Judicial Procedure from 1734 (below: 1734 Code of Judicial Procedure). 2 1734 Cod

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