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Curtain fall for the Laval case

| Text: Kerstin Ahlberg

Sweden's Supreme Court has refused to reverse the Swedish Labour Court's judgement in the Laval case. Now a labour law expert says the state should pay the considerable compensation which trade unions have been ordered to pay.

The final word in the Swedish Laval case has been said. In July Sweden's Supreme Court rejected the trade unions' application to have last year's judgement from the Labour Court's reversed. Strict rules apply for how and when the Supreme Court can remove a judgement from the Labour Court. Its judgement cannot normally be appealed. It is only possible to reverse a Labour Court judgement if the court has been proven to have made an 'obvious' or 'grave' mistake. The Supreme Court decided that was not the case in this instance.

Professor emeritus Tore Sigeman is one of Sweden's leading experts in labour law. In a newspaper article he suggested the state should foot the bill for the considerable compensations which the trade unions now must pay. He argued there was clear support in Swedish law for the unions to take industrial action against the construction of the Vaxholm school, and if the Swedish state had followed the EU Directive on Posted Workers correctly this would never have happened. Hence it is reasonable that the state takes responsibility for believing it could act the way it did, argued professor Sigeman.

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