A new law came into force on 1 January 2004: the Act concerning the Ethical Review of Research involving Humans. In conjunction with the new law, a Central Ethical Review Board and six regional boards were set up to conduct ethical reviews as independent authorities. On 1 January 2019, the six regional boards were combined into one authority, the Swedish Ethical Review Authority, which is based in Uppsala. The Central Ethical Review Board has changed its name to the Ethics Review Appeals Board. For more information about the Swedish Ethical Review Authority, see etikprovning.se.

The act covers research involving living or deceased persons or biological material from humans, and research involving the handling of sensitive personal data. Researchers must apply for a permit from the Swedish Ethical Review Authority before using certain methods.

The Ethics Review Appeals Board has its office in the same premises as the Swedish Research Council in Stockholm and is under the supervision of the Parliamentary Ombudsmen and the Chancellor of Justice.