The courts' competence to review decisions by the Norwegian Criminal Cases Review Commission

Supreme Court judgment 29 March 2012, HR-2012-00669-S (case no. 2011/1820), civil case, appeal against judgment 

A (Counsel Sigurd J. Klomsæt and Anders Ryssdal) v. The state represented by the Norwegian Criminal Cases Review Commission (Attorney General Sven Ole Fagernæs)

Justices: Falkanger, Gjølstad, Tjomsland, Skoghøy, Utgård, Tønder, Endresen, Indreberg, Normann, Bull, Schei

The case concerned the courts' competence to review a decision made by the Norwegian Criminal Cases Review Commission (the Review Commission) not to reopen a criminal case. The Supreme Court held that a convicted person, whose petition for a reopening of a case has been rejected, may bring a validity action before the courts, but there are limits to the courts' judicial review competence. The Commission's assessment of evidence cannot be reviewed. Reference was made to the fact that the considerations that formed the basis of the establishment of a separate commission were particularly relevant for the assessment of evidence and that it would be contrary to the thinking behind the establishment of the Commission if the courts could be made an arena for a replay regarding the evidence. Nor could the concrete application of the law be reviewed. The limits to the right of review were neither in violation of section 88 of the Constitution nor other constitutional rules or principles. Nor did they represent any breach of Article 6 no. 1 of the ECHR. The appeal was dismissed.

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