Olika rättsliga rum för en skälig levnadsnivå? : En rättskartografisk analys av SoL och LMA i domstolspraktiken
Summary, in English
This is a cartographic vertical analysis of a verdict by the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court, regarding the right to support from the Social Services (HFD 2017 ref. 33). The case concerned three children and their mother whom lacked formal residency. They applied for assistance under the Social Services Act and the municipality’s health and welfare committee rejected the application. Following an appeal to the administrative court, it was decided that since undocumented persons in Sweden are not entitled to assistance according to the Act on the reception of asylum seekers, they are entitled to such assistance under the Social Services Act. However, the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court stated that the Social Services do not have discretionary power to provide assistance under Chapter 4, Section 1 of the Social Services Act, to someone whose asylum application had been rejected and who lives clandestinely to avoid expulsion. The judgement also applies to emergency assistance. We analyse the decision as an expression of interlegality (de Sousa Santos 1987), a notion that provides an understanding of processes that allow different legal systems, with different raison d’être, focus and scope, to interact. Three mechanisms enable distortions, or specific representations, of reality: scaling, projections and symbols. By studying the legally manifested right to an “adequate standard of living” and the court’s reasoning, as a cartography, we identify constructions through law and point to their implications for boundaries in the welfare state.