Dignified resolution of the Pioneer diver case

Published under: Solberg's Government

Publisher Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs

In December 2013, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled in favour of seven North Sea divers, finding that the Norwegian State has violated Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights concerning the right to respect for private and family life. The State was unanimously acquitted of the other counts in the case.

In December 2013, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled in favour of seven North Sea divers, finding that the Norwegian State has violated Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights concerning the right to respect for private and family life. The State was unanimously acquitted of the other counts in the case.

For the violation of Article 8, the seven divers have been awarded damages of EUR 8 000. The ECHR has not concluded that the divers are entitled to compensation for lost earnings, etc. beyond this amount.

The Government will also facilitate the disbursement of equivalent damages of EUR 8 000 to other divers who have been in situations similar to the seven applicants. Conditional upon approval by the Storting (Norwegian Parliament), the Ministry wants to ensure that this matter is resolved in a sound and practical manner. We hope to disburse the EUR 8 000 before the summer.

Over the course of the spring, the Ministry will submit a proposition to the Storting which will mark the political conclusion of the Pioneer diver case, regardless of the judgment by the European Court of Human Rights. The Government proposes to offer the individual divers, who are covered by the compensation scheme from 2004, compensation totalling 20 G (National Insurance basic amount), i.e. NOK 1.7 million. This will be in addition to the 40 G previously disbursed through the Storting compensation scheme from 2004. The divers will then have received a total compensation of nearly 60 G, which according to the current G regulation amounts to NOK 5.1 million.

The divers have also previously received separate damages from the Storting totalling NOK 200 000. This entails that the North Sea divers, including the Government’s new compensation scheme, have been offered a total of NOK 5.3 million in compensation and damages from the State.

Divers who have previously been granted compensation will be contacted directly with a letter offering the new compensation, immediately following an allocation resolution from the Storting. In order to receive compensation, the agreement will stipulate that the individual agrees to refrain from pursuing the matter further vis-à-vis the courts, and that the person in question ceases any ongoing legal proceedings.

The offer will stand for six months after it has been received.