This report is part of CRIN's access to justice for children project, looking at the status of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in national law, the status of children involved in legal proceedings, the legal means to challenge violations of children’s rights and the practical considerations involved in challenging violations.
Norway ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in 1991 and incorporated it into Norwegian law in 1993 through the Human Rights Act. Under this Act, the CRC takes precedence over national laws and is directly applicable in national courts. Children through their representatives can challenge violations of their rights in a wide range of settings, including through administrative appeals, or private prosecution where criminal acts are not prosecuted by the state. Actions on behalf of children must be filed by their legal guardian. Norwegian law allows organisations, associations or other interest groups to bring an action for non-compensatory relief in their own names on behalf of the interests of the general public or a specific group - including children. The court takes into account the interests of the child during the trial and aims to protect them from testifying or being cross-examined, though specific arrangements are left to the discretion of the court. Norway’s legal system is based on the doctrine of precedent, therefore negative effects of an unfavourable decision can last for years before being overruled by the Supreme Court.