Norway - OPCAT Ratification

Opcat status

OPCAT Ratification June 27, 2013
UNCAT Ratification July 9, 1986
SPT Member Ms Nora Sveaass (2015-2018)
NPM Designated

Parliamentary Ombudsman

NPM Type

Ombuds Institution

NPM Legal Framework

Parliamentary Ombudsman's Act amended on 21 June 2013 (English unofficial translation)

Instructions for the Parliamentary Ombudsman amended on 17 June 2013 (English unofficial translation)

Process

2006-2007

In early July 2006 the APT received a communication from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway stating: “We can assure you that the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs will strive to ensure that Norway ratifies the Protocol in a timely manner”.

The APT learned in early June 2007 that, although Norway’s ratification of the instrument had been delayed, it was envisaged that it would be forthcoming in the near future and that the issue of NPM would be resolved by the time the country was examined by the UN Committee against Torture in November 2007.

In its Concluding Observations (November 2007), the CAT welcomed Norway’s assurance that measures are being undertaken to seek the ratification of the OPCAT, and encourages Norway to proceed to a prompt ratification.

2009-2013

In its pledge in support of its candidacy to the UN Human Rights Council in May 2009, Norway stated the following: “Norway has further signed (…) and the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and we intend to ratify these instruments as soon as the necessary national legislation has been adopted”.

Norway reiterated its commitment to ratifying the OPCAT during the Universal Periodic Review in November 2009. In response to the recommendations made to ratify the OPCAT, Norway answered that it

"(..) will consider the possibility of signing and ratifying the protocol after having completed a study of its legal implications. The study is expected to be completed within a year”.

On the same occasion, Norway confirmed that the ratification of the OPCAT was "a high-priority task for the Government" (see Addendum to the Working Group report for further information).

In June 2011, an inter-ministerial working group was established to assess the consequences of possible ratification of the OPCAT by Norway and to propose which body would be set up or designated as NPM. The working group also consulted the Norwegian's Centre for Human Rights (National Human Rights Institution) and relevant civil society organisations. 

The Parliament approved the ratification on 14 May 2013. Norway deposited the instrument of ratification of the OPCAT to the United Nations in New York on 27 June 2013 and officially became the 69th State Party.