Non-Legal Aspects of Legally Controlled Decision-Making. The failure of predictability in governing the 3G infrastructure development in Sweden

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter


Predictability is a key function of law. When the application of law goes from being flexible to becoming unpredictable this key function is lost. This article shows how legal application can deviate from formal agreements and law, how legal predictability experiences a setback when other forces or values affect the decision making that is supposed to be strictly legally controlled. Non-legally acknowledged factors can affect
the decision-making tacitly. This means that causes like economy and politics can affect the application of law, although not admittedly, and the legislative process in order to change the application.
The example used for this demonstration is taken from the Swedish development of the third generation of mobile phone infrastructure, 3G, and more specifically the responsible authority’s, the Post and Telecommunications Agency, supervision of the four licence winning operators during the infrastructure roll-out.
The paper addresses the difference between the intentions of the law and the application of the law, analyses and aims to explain parts of the legal complexities or inconsistencies from a socio-legal perspective. To do so, data permit process data from a regional case collected within a MiSt study (Larsson 2008) is used, along with legal documents, cases, PTA reports and more.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Law and Society


  • Governing infrastructure development, Law in books, Legal predictability, Law in action, Sociology of Law, Decision-making, 3G/UMTS, Post and Telecommunications Agency, Non-legal aspects
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContributions in Sociology of Law. Remarks from a Swedish Horizon
EditorsHåkan Hydén, Per Wickenberg
PublisherLund Studies in Sociology of Law
ISBN (Print)91-7267-276-5
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Publication categoryResearch

Publication series

ISSN (Print)1403-7246

Total downloads

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Related research output

Stefan Larsson, 2008, Blekinge Institute of Technology. 179 p.

Research output: ThesisLicentiate Thesis

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Related projects

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