Did Stieg Larsson describe a Swedish trial accurately?
March 20, 2012 7:03 PM   Subscribe

Does the description of the trial in the book "The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest" accurately reflect Swedish court procedure?

A couple of things seemed odd to me: 1) During the cross examination of a witness, the defense counsel asks other witnesses for input or explanations of what the original witness has testified. 2) Defense objects that the prosecution has had access to documents denied to the defense, but later produces evidence that the prosecution obviously did not know existed.

Are these bloopers by the author, or is the depiction of the trial plausible in a Swedish court?

N.B. I have avoided spoilers in framing the question, please avoid spoilers in your answer.
posted by HiroProtagonist to Law & Government (1 answer total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I'm interested in the answer myself. I'll primarily note that the Swedish legal system is based on neither English common law nor the Napoleonic Code, so could very well have significant and surprising differences. 1) does seem odd to me, but there are things about the Napoleonic magistrate (i.e. investigator/prosecutor) approach that it would fit with. 2) on the other hand is much in line with US law, where the prosecution has a duty to share potentially exculpatory evidence with the defense, but no such reciprocity exists for the defense (indeed, the US Constitution's Fifth Amendment essentially absolves the accused of doing anything of the sort).

Larsson coming from a background in journalism suggests that he would strive for a high degree of realism in such depictions. I've forgotten the details just now, but I do believe he experienced the courtroom as a defendant in civil cases, much as he depicted his ... hero protagonist.
posted by dhartung at 2:09 AM on March 21, 2012

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