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Karl Dahlstrand presented at Icelandic conference on recognising sexual violence

Karl Dahlstrand at a conference
Dahlstrand is a researcher and senior lecturer at the Sociology of Law Department at Lund University. Photo: Kristinn Ingvarsson

At the end of September, Karl Dahlstrand visited Iceland to present at the international conference "Recognising Sexual Violence: Developing Pathways to Survivor-Centred Justice", organised by the University of Iceland.

Karl Dahlstrand has studied crime victim compensation for over a decade. At the conference organised by the Institute for Gender, Equality and Difference (RIKK) at the University of Iceland, he presented his research on compensation provided for sexual violence victims in Sweden. He says the law giving victims of crimes the right to compensation is vague and can be interpreted differently. There is also the issue of the violation and the victim's suffering. It is not obvious how they are measured or converted into monetary compensation.

"According to the law, damages for violation should be set at a level reflecting the current social norms. Therefore, the compensation must be seen in relation to the context of criminal law, levels of punishment, the proportionality of the compensation in relation to the punishment and the crimes' penal value," Dahlstrand writes.

Hildur Fjola Antonsdottir at RIKK conference
Antonsdóttir is currently a postdoctoral researcher at EDDA Research Center at the University of Iceland. Photo: Kristinn Ingvarsson

The conference was a cooperative endeavour by RIKK, the Law Faculty of Lund University and the Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law at Oslo University.

The conference chair Hildur Fjóla Antonsdóttir earned her PhD at the Sociology of Law Department at Lund University in 2020. In her dissertation Decentring Criminal Law: Understandings of Justice by Victim-Survivors of Sexual Violence and their Implications for Different Justice Strategies she investigates how survivors of sexual violence in the Nordics experience justice. She found that justice is almost unattainable for sexual violence victims and that it is critical to move beyond the focus on the conventional criminal justice system.


A recording of Karl Dahlstrand's presentation is available on the University of Iceland's Youtube channel.

Visit the conference page at the University of Iceland's website to see all presentations

Download Hildur Fjóla Antonsdóttir's doctoral thesis (PDF, new tab)