Section 6-3 subsection 1 of the Child Welfare Act

Supreme Court order 9 December 2019, HR-2019-2301-A, (case no. 19-078205SIV-HRET), civil case, appeal against order.

A (Counsel Knut Gunnar Brindem) v. X municipality (Counsel Frode Lauareid), B (Counsel Olav Sylte)

Attending in accordance with section 30-13 of the Dispute Act:
The State represented by the the Ministry of Children and Family Affairs (The Office of the Attorney General represented by Marius Kjelstrup Emberland)


Justices: Møse, Normann, Ringnes, Arntzen, Thyness

In a case regarding a review of a County Authority's care order and decision regarding contact visits, the District Court had decided in line with expert advice that the child, who had turned seven, should not be informed or given the chance to state his opinion. The Supreme Court, having conducted an oral hearing, found that the unconditional provision in section 6-3 subsection 1 of the Children Act that children have a right to receive information and to state his or her opinion could not be read completely literally. Section 4-1 of the Child Welfare Act on the best interest of the child implies that it must be possible to make exceptions from or adjustments to this obligation under section 6-3. Neither Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the General Comments of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child nor Article 104 of the Constitution could justify a different interpretation. In the individual assessment, it was emphasised that information and a hearing would be harmful to the child, and that his wishes with regard to contact with his parents had already been registered. Thus, nothing suggested that the District Court, according to information provided, would not have a proper base on which to make its decision. The appeal against the Court of Appeal's order, that had dismissed the District Court's order, was dismissed.

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