The View from Elsewhere: Scandinavian Penal Practices and International Critique

  • Malcolm Langford
  • Aled Dilwyn Fisher
  • Johan Karlsson Schaffer
  • Frida Pareus
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology book series (PSIPP)

Abstract

International organs review rights performance regularly and while one may dispute their objectivity, their access to relevant information has risen significantly in recent years. Through this material, we have engaged in a longitudinal, comparative analysis of penal exceptionalism in Scandinavia. We contrast in particular the findings of the Committee against Torture (CAT) for Norway, Sweden and Denmark against four Western European states (Belgium, United Kingdom, Germany and Italy). In other words, we compare the Scandinavian states with countries with similar economic development and determine to what extent there are differences in detention conditions.

References

  1. Barker, V. (2012). Nordic exceptionalism revisited: explaining the paradox of a Janus-faced penal regime. Theoretical Criminology, 17, 5–25. doi: 10.1177/1362480612468935.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Beland, D. (2005). Ideas and social policy: an institutionalist perspective. Social Policy and Administration Journal, 39, 1–18. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9515.2005.00421.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bergman, A. (2007). Co-constitution of domestic and international welfare obligations: the case of Sweden’s social democratically inspired internationalism. Cooperation and Conflict Journal, 42, 73–99. doi: 10.1177/0010836707073477.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Berman, S. (2001). Ideas, norms, and culture in political analysis. Comparative Politics, 33, 231–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brysk, A. (2009). Global good Samaritans : human rights as foreign policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Buchanan, A. (2008). Human rights and the legitimacy of the international order. Legal Theory, 14, 39–70. doi: 10.1017/S1352325208080038.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Committee Against Torture. (1989). Report of the committee against torture (No. A/44/46).Google Scholar
  8. Committee Against Torture. (1990). Report of the committee against torture (No. A/45/44).Google Scholar
  9. Committee against Torture. (1992). Report of the Committee against Torture (No. A/47/44).Google Scholar
  10. Committee against Torture. (1993a). Report of the Committee against Torture (No. A/48/44).Google Scholar
  11. Committee against Torture. (1993b). Concluding observations: Norway (No. A/48/44(SUPP)).Google Scholar
  12. Committee against Torture. (1993c). Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture: Germany (No. A/48/44).Google Scholar
  13. Committee against Torture. (1995). Report of the Committee against Torture (No. A/50/44).Google Scholar
  14. Committee against Torture. (1996). Report of the Committee against Torture (No. A/51/44).Google Scholar
  15. Committee against Torture. (1997a). Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture: Denmark (No. A/52/44).Google Scholar
  16. Committee against Torture. (1997b). Report of the Committee against Torture (No. A/52/44).Google Scholar
  17. Committee against Torture. (1998). Report of the Committee against Torture (No. A/53/44).Google Scholar
  18. Committee against Torture. (1999a). Report of the Committee against Torture (No. A/54/44).Google Scholar
  19. Committee against Torture. (1999b). Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture: UK and Northern Ireland (No. A/54/44).Google Scholar
  20. Committee against Torture. (2002a). Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture: Denmark (No. CAT/C/CR/28/1).Google Scholar
  21. Committee against Torture. (2002b). Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture: Sweden (No. CAT/C/CR/28/6).Google Scholar
  22. Committee against Torture. (2002c). Concluding observations: Norway (No. CAT/C/CR/28/3).Google Scholar
  23. Committee against Torture. (2003). Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture: Belgium (No. CAT/C/CR/30/6).Google Scholar
  24. Committee against Torture. (2004a). Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture: Germany (No. CAT/C/CR/32/7).Google Scholar
  25. Committee against Torture. (2004b). Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture: United Kingdom and Northern Ireland (No. CAT/C/CR/33/3).Google Scholar
  26. Committee against Torture. (2007a). Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture: Denmark (No. CAT/C/DNK/CO/5).Google Scholar
  27. Committee against Torture. (2007b). Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture: Italy (No. CAT/C/ITA/CO/4).Google Scholar
  28. Committee against Torture. (2008a). Concluding observations: Sweden (No. CAT/C/SWE/CO/5).Google Scholar
  29. Committee against Torture. (2008b). Concluding observations: Norway (No. CAT/C/NOR/CO/5).Google Scholar
  30. Committee against Torture. (2009). Concluding observations: Belgium (No. CAT/C/BEL/CO/2).Google Scholar
  31. Committee against Torture. (2011). Concluding observations: Germany (No. CAT/C/DEU/CO/5).Google Scholar
  32. Committee on the Rights of the Child. (1993). Concluding observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child: Sweden (No. CRC/C/15/Add.2).Google Scholar
  33. Committee on the Rights of the Child. (1999). Concluding observations: Sweden (No. CRC/C/15/Add.101).Google Scholar
  34. Committee on the Rights of the Child. (2009). Concluding observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child: Sweden (No. CRC/C/SWE/CO/4).Google Scholar
  35. Creamer, C.D., Simmons, B.A. (2015). Ratification, reporting, and rights: Quality of participation in the convention against torture. Human Rights Quarterly, 37, 579–608. doi:10.1353/hrq.2015.0041.
  36. Esping-Andersen, G. (1990). The three worlds of welfare capitalism. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  37. European Committee for the Prevention of Torture. (1992). Report to the Swedish Government on the visit to Sweden carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 5 to 14 May 1991 (No. CPT/Inf (92) 4). Council of Europe, Strasbourg.Google Scholar
  38. European Committee for the Prevention of Torture. (1993). Report to the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany on the visit to Germany carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 8 to 20 December 1991 (No. CPT/Inf (93) 13). Council of Europe, Strasbourg.Google Scholar
  39. European Committee for the Prevention of Torture. (2009). Report to the Swedish Government on the visit to Sweden carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 9 to 18 June 2009 (No. CPT/Inf (2009) 34). Council of Europe, Strasbourg.Google Scholar
  40. European Committee for the Prevention of Torture. (2014). Report to the German Government on the visit to Germany carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 25 November to 2 December 2013 (No. CPT/Inf (2014) 23). Council of Europe, Strasbourg.Google Scholar
  41. Fisher, A.D., Langford, M., Schaffer, J.K. (2015). Compliance with the Convention against Torture: Testing Nordic exceptionalism (SSRN Scholarly Paper No. ID 2585377). Social Science Research Network, Rochester, NY.Google Scholar
  42. Government of Germany. (2012). Response of the German Government to the report of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) on its visit to Germany from 25 November to 2 December 2010 (No. CPT/Inf (2012) 7). Council of Europe, Strasbourg.Google Scholar
  43. Government of Germany. (2014). Response of the German Government to the report of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) on its visit to Germany from 25 November to 2 December 2013 (CPT/Inf (2014) 24). Council of Europe, Strasbourg.Google Scholar
  44. Government of Sweden. (2004). Response of the Swedish Government to the report of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) on its visit to Sweden from 27 January to 5 February 2003 (No. CPT/Inf (2004) 33). Council of Europe, Strasbourg.Google Scholar
  45. Government of Sweden. (2010). Response of the Swedish Government to the report of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) on its visit to Sweden from 9 to 18 June 2009, (No. CPT/Inf (2010) 18). Council of Europe, Strasbourg.Google Scholar
  46. Human Rights Committee. (1989). Report of the Human Rights Committee (No. A/44/40).Google Scholar
  47. Human Rights Committee. (2006). Concluding observations of the Human Rights Committee: Norway (No. CCPR/C/NOR/CO/5).Google Scholar
  48. Human Rights Committee. (2011). Concluding observations of the Human Rights Committee: Norway.Google Scholar
  49. Kälin, W. (2012). Examination of state reports. In UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies, Studies on human rights conventions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  50. Langford, M., Schaffer, J.K. (2014). The Nordic Human Rights Paradox (SSRN Scholarly Paper No. ID 2275905). Social Science Research Network, Rochester, NY.Google Scholar
  51. Lawler, P. (1997). Scandinavian exceptionalism and European Union. Journal of Common Market Studies, 35, 565–594. doi:10.1111/1468-5965.00089.
  52. Minde, H. (2003). Assimilation of the Sami – implementation and consequences. Acta Borealia, 20, 121–146. doi:10.1080/08003830310002877.
  53. Nasjonal institusjon for menneskerettigheter. (2015). Criminalisation of homelessness in Oslo: An investigation. Oslo: Norsk senter for menneskerettigheter.Google Scholar
  54. O’Flaherty, M. (2006). The concluding observations of United Nations Human Rights Treaty Bodies. Human Rights Law Review, 6, 27–52. doi:10.1093/hrlr/ngi037.
  55. Pratt, J. (2008). Scandinavian exceptionalism in an era of penal excess part I: The nature and roots of Scandinavian exceptionalism. British Journal of Criminology, 48, 119–137. doi:10.1093/bjc/azm072.
  56. Scharff Smith, P. (2011). A critical look at Scandinavian penal exceptionalism. In T. Ugelvik, J. Dullum (Eds.), Penal Exceptionalism?: Nordic Prison Policy and Practice (pp. 38–57). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  57. Schmidt, V.A. (2008). Discursive institutionalism: The explanatory power of ideas and discourse. Annual Review of Political Science, 11, 303–326. doi:10.1146/annurev.polisci.11.060606.135342.
  58. Sen, A. (2009). The idea of justice. London: Allen Lane.Google Scholar
  59. Sköld, J. (2013). Historical abuse—a contemporary issue: Compiling inquiries into abuse and neglect of children in out-of-home care worldwide. Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention, 14, 5–23. doi:10.1080/14043858.2013.771907.
  60. Smith, P. S. (2006). The effects of solitary confinement on prison inmates: a brief history and review of the literature. Crime Justice, 34, 441–528. doi:10.1086/500626.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Smith, P.S. (2007). Prisons and human rights: The case of solitary confinement in Denmark and the US from the 1820s until today. In S. Lagoutte, H.-O. Sano (Eds.), Human rights in Turmoil: Facing threats, consolidating achievements (pp. 221–248). Boston: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Malcolm Langford
    • 1
  • Aled Dilwyn Fisher
    • 2
  • Johan Karlsson Schaffer
    • 3
  • Frida Pareus
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Public and International LawUniversity of Oslo and Co-Director, Centre on Law and Social Transformation, University of Bergen and Chr. Michelsen InstituteOsloNorway
  2. 2.Department of Public and International LawUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  3. 3.Norwegian Centre for Human RightsUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  4. 4.Norwegian Centre for Human RightsUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

Personalised recommendations