We meet at the Court of Appeal for Skåne and Blekinge in Malmö, where Lennart Svensäter since 2009 is presiding as President. It is a beautiful building by the Central station in Malmö, black and glistering in the cold January snow. Walking with Lennart through the building means nodding here and chatting there. He is in his element.
Lennart Svensäter is truly a man grown from Skåne. He took his PhD at Lund University in 2001 and has since then had various positions at the District Courts in Malmö and Helsingborg, before coming back to Malmö 2009. He gives the impression of being very present and very unassuming, yet laden with experience and humanism.
–It was fascinating to be in academia, but reality always beats the theories, doesn´t it? Says Lennart Svensäter when he is asked about his career so far. I am truly fascinated by the work we are doing through the courts, where we meet society face to face every day.
So far Lennart Svensäter has never worked with human rights, but has worked internationally as an expert on immaterial right and property rights. As manager and administrator of institutions of justice his long experience is almost unparallelled. He started young as a manager, but comments that the he first and foremost sees himself as a lawyer.
–I think I am good at listening, and seeing the big picture, says Lennart Svensäter who intends to use the same method when getting to know the Institute.
–I plan to talk to staff, and learn more about the Institute´s work and challenges. I approach the Institute with great humbleness, and hope to be able to contribute where I can.
It turns out that Lennart has done what many international professionals do sooner or later in their career. He was “spouse” in Canada, when his wife did her research in dentistry, and took care of their then baby daughter.
–But that was a long time ago, and since then I have stayed in Skåne, he says with a smile and adds that he would thoroughly like to visit some of the Institute´s programs abroad.
–Perhaps not this year, but next?
However, without being aware of it one of the Institute´s core values is Lennart Svensäter´s priority as lawyer and manager. Gender equality. He is part of a mentoring program where he is committed to help more women within the legal sphere to take up managerial positions.
–And I really believe in it, he emphasizes. Women are far too shy when it comes to applying to high positions, and it is a real shame. If I can contribute to bringing more women forward in society, I am happy. And when it comes to the courts it is absolutely necessary, we can´t have staff at the courts that don´t correspond to the surrounding society.
When I tell him that this echoes well with the values of the Institute, he looks pleased.
Lennart Svensäter is far too experienced and humble to come up with any great plans for the future of the Institute when asked. He says he hopes that the rest of the board will share their experience and visions.
— I am curious to learn more, and committed to contribute. I have come to a point in my life where I have a lot of accumulated knowledge about organization and management. It feels meaningful to give that on to an organization like Raoul Wallenberg Institute.