United Nations Committee Against Torture - Concluding Observations
Convention against Torture
and Other Cruel, Inhuman
or Degrading Treatment
12 June 2002
COMMITTEE AGAINST TORTURE
29 April-17 May 2002
1. The Committee considered the fourth periodic report of Norway (CAT/C/55/Add.4) at its 511th, 514th and 519th meetings, on 6, 7 and 10 May 2002 (CAT/C/SR.511, 514 and 519), and adopted the following conclusions and recommendations.
2. The Committee welcomes the fourth periodic report of Norway, which was submitted on time and is in full conformity with the guidelines of the Committee for the preparation of State party periodic reports. The Committee compliments the State party for ensuring periodicity of reports in a timely manner and welcomes the fruitful and constructive dialogue with the State party.
3. The Committee commends the State party for maintaining a high level of respect for human rights in general and for the positive record in the implementation of the provisions of the Convention.
GE.02-42552 (E) 140602
4. The Committee notes with satisfaction:
(a) The adoption of a Plan of Action for Human Rights for the period 2000-2004, as part of the follow-up to the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights, indicating, inter alia, measures aiming at the further implementation of the Convention in Norwegian legislation;
(b) The issuance of guidelines on the notification of arrest to relatives and lawyers, as well as concerning the right to access to health care for persons in police custody;
(c) The proposal to incorporate a new provision into the Penal Code that will prohibit and penalize torture, in conformity with article 1 of the Convention;
(d) The proposals made for an amendment to the Criminal Procedure Act to reduce the overall use of solitary confinement and to strengthen its judicial supervision by means of legal regulation and limitation;
(e) The research undertaken to evaluate the quality of investigations carried out by the Special Investigative Bodies;
(f) The regularity and generosity of donations made by the State party to the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture;
(g) The high percentage of women among members of the judiciary, police force and prison staff.
5. The Committee continues to be concerned about the use of pre-trial solitary confinement.
6. The Committee recommends that:
(a) Appropriate legislation introducing the offence of torture into the Norwegian penal system in conformity with article 1 of the Convention be enacted, in accordance with the above-mentioned proposal. It requests that information in this regard be included in the next periodic report of Norway;
(b) Information on steps taken to respond to the Committee’s ongoing concern about the use of pre-trial solitary confinement be included in the State party’s next periodic report;
(c) Information on the outcome of the proposals for amendments to the Criminal Procedure Act on the issue of solitary confinement be included in the State party’s next periodic report;
(d) Information on the proposed amendments to the Alien Act on the basis of Security Council resolution 1373 (2001) on international cooperation to combat threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts also be included in Norway’s next periodic report;
(e) The Committee’s conclusions and recommendations be widely disseminated in the country in all appropriate languages.