Petition for extradition to Rwanda

Supreme Court order of 6 February 2015, HR-2015-289-A (case no. 2014/1787), criminal case, appeal against order

A (Counsel John Christian Elden) v. The public prosecution authority (Den offentlige påtalemyndighet (Public prosectutor Carl Fredrik Fari)

A man from Rwanda, who in that country had been charged with participating in genocide and crimes against humanity in 1994, was requested extradited from Norway. He has been resident here as a refugee since 1999, is married, and has three children here. The Supreme Court, which heard this case in chambers, based its assessment on the fact that basic human rights, as incorporated in sections 102 and 104 of the Constitution, Article 8 of the ECHR, and Article 3 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, are central to the interpretation of what constitutes “basic humanitarian considerations” pursuant to section 7 of the Extradition Act, and that one must weigh society's interest in extraditing criminals on the one hand, against how such interventions affect constitutional individual rights on the other.

The court pointed out that the crux of this assessment is the fact that it is in the interest of involved states that serious crimes are prosecuted in the country where the crimes were committed, and, in the case of genocide, this is an expectation and a condition of international agreements and conventions. The court stated that the right to respect for private and family life under Article 8 of the ECHR has limited validity in terms of preventing extradition in cases involving serious crimes, and that the threshold for giving the best interests of children absolute priority similarly must be very high in such cases. Given a specific assessment of the circumstances in this case, the court found no grounds on which to give the interests of the children absolute priority. Consequently, there were also no grounds on which to refuse extradition on the grounds of basic humanitarian considerations.

Read the whole order