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Norway Makes Harder the Rules of Being Declared Insane

Talking to Norwegian daily Aftenposten, Faremo said the current laws governing mental incapacity offend public feeling.

– The 22 July terror trial showed that it is now high time to get into a rigorous and principled discussion about psychiatry’s place in criminal law, the use of psychiatric experts and how unaccountable rights issues are addressed, says Faremo.

The Justice Minister also thinks it is necessary to ask whether medical mental incapacity automatically gives impunity. 

She said an interdisciplinary committee will revise all these controversial issues and they will propose a revision in the laws in the fall.

22 July and Breivik Contoversy

Key to the 22 July terror trial was the question of whether Anders Behring Breivik was insane in deed – and thus could not have been sentenced for the murder of 77 people.

Two pairs of forensic psychiatric experts had delivered their own reports with conflicting conclusions. In the end, Oslo District Court ruled that Breivik was not psychotic and sentenced him to detention rather than mandatory psychiatry.

After the forensic psychiatric controversy, there has been a broad consensus in both the scientific community and the parliement that the perpetrator accountability must be reconsidered.

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