Committee considered the third periodic report of Norway (CCPR/C/70/Add.2)
at its 1270th to 1272nd meetings, held on 21 and 22 October 1993,
and adopted, at its 1282nd meeting (forty-ninth session), on 29
October 1993. the following comments:
Committee welcomes the timely submission of the third periodic report
of Norway. The report contains detailed information on laws and
practices relating to the implementation of the Covenant and is
in full conformity with the Committee's guidelines. The Committee
appreciates that the State party has envisaged both the report and
the dialogue with the Committee as an unbroken continuation of the
examination of the initial and second periodic reports. The Committee
is also grateful for the oral responses provided by the high-ranking
delegation and considers that the dialogue with the State party
has been most fruitful and constructive.
Committee thanks the State party for the core document (HRI/CORE/1/Add.6),
drawn up in accordance with the consolidated guidelines for the
initial part of States party reports to be submitted under the various
international human rights instruments (HRI/1991/1).
and difficulties affecting the implementation of the Covenant
Committee notes the emergence in certain parts of the population
of Norway of a trend towards intolerance against foreigners, particularly
asylum-seekers and migrant workers. With this exception, the Committee
notes that there are no important difficulties affecting the implementation
of the Covenant in Norway.
Committee takes note, with particular appreciation, of the level
of achievement in the respect of human rights in Norway. Among the
positive developments that have been realized since the consideration
of the second periodic report in 1988, the Committee notes, inter
alia, the ratification of the Second Optional Protocol to the
Covenant on the abolition of the death penalty and the efforts undertaken
with regard to the promotion of greater public awareness of the
provisions of the Covenant and the Optional Protocols, particularly
in the area of human rights education in schools and universities
and through the organization of training courses for members of
the police and other law enforcement officials. While noting that
it is still not possible to appeal against the reversal by the Court
of Appeal of an acquittal by a lower jurisdiction, the Committee
also appreciates the efforts made towards the withdrawal of Norway's
reservation in connection with article 14, paragraph 5, of the Covenant.
Committee notes with satisfaction that independent investigative
bodies have been set up to inquire into complaints of offences by
members of the police and that their reports have been followed
up by a number of prosecutions. It further commends the devolution
of responsibility to the Sami Assembly (Sametinget) with
regard to matters affecting the life and culture of members of the
Sami community and notes with satisfaction that the Sami language
may be used in contacts with public bodies and before the courts.
respect to equality and non-discrimination, developments relating
to the granting to foreigners of the right to vote in local elections
and to hold local office as well as legislative steps relating to
the registration of partnership of the same sex are welcomed by
the Committee. The continuing improvements in the legal and de facto
equality of women and the strengthened measures against domestic
violence and sexual abuse of children were also noted with satisfaction.
subjects of concern
efforts undertaken with regard to the status of the Covenant within
domestic law, the Committee regrets that the opportunity has not
been taken to fully incorporate the provisions of the Covenant into
the Constitution, or otherwise to confer on it a higher status than
ordinary legislation. The Committee also notes that certain obsolete
laws still exist in Norway, in particular with regard to penal sanctions
Committee expresses its concern over the vagueness of the criterion
of "compelling social considerations" under which a foreign
national's right to choose his or her place of residence may be
restricted and its conformity with article 12 of the Covenant.
Committee emphasizes that article 2 of the Constitution which provides
that individuals professing the Evangelical-Lutheran religion are
bound to bring up their children in the same faith is in clear contradiction
with article 18 of the Covenant.
Committee notes that the authorities have included multicultural
issues in education but is concerned that they have approached these
issues only by reference to articles 2 and 26 of the Covenant. This
gives a narrow interpretation of article 27 of the Covenant relating
to the rights of persons belonging to minorities. The Committee
has observed, in this regard, that the rights conferred under article
27 of the Covenant on individuals who are members of a minority
avail all such individuals on a State party's territory and must
not, as enjoined by article 2, paragraph 1, of the Covenant, be
restricted to nationals.
Committee recommends that further measures should be adopted to
repeal outdated provisions in the Constitution or in laws relating
to the freedom of conscience and religion or the freedom of expression
and bring them into line with the provisions of the Covenant.
Committee recommends that a careful study of the recently enacted
amendment to the Criminal Procedure Act be undertaken with regard
to the scope of article 14, paragraph 5, of the Covenant, with a
view to withdrawing the reservation made in that connection.
Committee recommends that the laudable efforts already made in connection
with the promotion of greater public awareness of the provisions
of the Covenant and the Optional Protocols should be further pursued.