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International Delegation in the Swedish Constitution

Journal article
Authors Joachim Åhman
Published in European Public Law
Volume 23
Issue 3
Pages 527–546
ISSN 1354-3725
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Law
Pages 527–546
Language en
Keywords International Delegation; Swedish Constitution; Sovereignty; Decision; Making; State Jurisdiction; Monism; Dualism; Treaty; International Organizations; Direct Applicability
Subject categories Law and Society


It has become rather common for States to enter into international agreements where an external body, often an international organization, is given the right to make decisions binding on the States under international law. This is often referred to as ‘international delegation’, and the prime example is of course the European Union. Such agreements may affect the States’ sovereignty in different ways, and therefore, there may be good reasons for a State to have a constitutional regulation limiting the possibilities to delegate decision-making authority. In Sweden, this type of regulation can be found in Chapter 10 of the 1974 Instrument of Government. This article contains an analysis of how the Swedish regulation is constructed, taking into account both a national constitutional law perspective, and an international law perspective. The main conclusion is that the construction is problematic, since an international delegation is treated more or less like a delegation from one internal body to another. The architects of the regulation do not seem to have taken into account the international law perspective to any larger extent. Three aspects of the problem are highlighted in the article, and a few suggestions on how the regulation could be changed are made.

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