The former Attorney General will put an end to frequent Breivik trials with a slight adjustment in the penal code. While FrP, Høyre and SV are positive to the proposal, Venstre refers to important rule of law principles.
On Thursday, it became known that the terrorist Anders Behring Breivik has made long-term plans to try his case in court annually in the time ahead.
He can do that with the law in hand.
On the same day, former Attorney General Tor-Aksel Busch was quickly out Rett24 with a proposal for an amendment to the law that will limit Breivik and other detainees’ opportunities to apply for parole.
Today, it is the case that as soon as the minimum time set by the court is out, the question of parole can be tried every year – as Breivik has thus stated that he has plans to do.
– Then it must be justified to raise the question of whether this access can be restricted, the former Attorney General told VG, and at the same time referred to a proposal he has outlined for a possible change in the law.
In Busch’s proposal, he proposes that in cases where remand prisoners have a “particularly high risk of recidivism for serious offenses”, the court may decide that a new case cannot be requested until up to 3 years have elapsed – instead of one year.
Right: Will give the court the opportunity to adjourn
Both the Conservatives and the Progress Party are positive to the specific proposal.
– We will promote this proposal in the Storting immediately, confirms FRP politician and leader of the justice committee in the Storting, Per-Willy Amundsen, to VG.
– If not, it could be the same circus again year after year, he says, and refers to the three-day trial in connection with Breivik having for the first time applied for parole.
Basically, the party will go even further:
– FRP wants to remove the possibility of applying for parole for the most serious crimes. There are some examples in our history where crime and violence are so great that the convicted person should not be given the opportunity to be rehabilitated and return to society. This is a principled position we have, says Amundsen.
Amundsen is supported by justice policy spokesman in the Conservative Party, Sveinung Stensland.
He believes that one should not adapt the judicial system to only one person, but that the last week has revealed a weakness in the current system. He agrees with the former Attorney General that there is a need for a review of the rules.
– The possibility of parole is a cornerstone in Norwegian prison care, where the goal is to rehabilitate criminals, he points out and continues:
– But if the court considers that a case is so obvious that it has no intention to reconsider the question, then the court should have the opportunity to say «you know what, this is a waste of time. See you in three years ».
SV: Open to evaluate the proposal
– We are open to taking a closer look at such proposals.
This is what justice policy spokesman in the Socialist Left Party (SV), Andreas Sjalg Unneland, says about the specific legislative amendment proposal from Busch.
At the same time, he is concerned that it is in principle important that those who have indefinite sentences, have their case regularly assessed. Unneland points out that we can not make the rules based solely on the Breivik case.
Detention is about shielding dangerous people from society. There are many detainees in Norway who are not Breivik. It is a basic principle that people should have the opportunity to have their cases tried, there is a safety valve and the price of having a state governed by the rule of law, he says and continues:
– Then we are open to looking at the frequency of how often you should be able to try a case, but the right to do it regularly is important and correct.
Left: Will not support the proposal
Justice policy spokesperson in the Liberal Party, Ingvild Wetrhus Thorsvik, welcomes a debate on today’s detention rules.
At the same time, she is aware that the possibility of having her case tried in court is an important mechanism in a state governed by the rule of law.
– Although I understand that it is both resource-intensive and burdensome for many, a resource issue can not be at the expense of the principles of legal certainty we have. A custodial sentence shall be assessed continuously by the court.
– Will you be able to support such a change in the law as what Busch is proposing here?
– No, as of now we believe that the legislation we have today provides the best legal certainty. Detention can in reality be a life sentence, and as a liberal state governed by the rule of law, we must ensure that we do this in the right way.
– Does that mean that you support that Breivik should be able to have his case tried again every year?
– We support that every person should have the opportunity to try their case. Through this case, Norway showed that we take these principles seriously, which are important value for Norwegian society, Thorsvik answers.
She says that she has a great understanding that it can be very stressful for those affected by the case, that it comes up again for several years in a row.
– But then I also point to the media coverage. It may increase the strain they experience.
On Thursday, VG did not succeed in getting in touch with the justice policy spokespersons in the Labor Party and the Socialist People’s Party.