New Compensation for Violent Crime Act enters into force on 1 January 2023

Today, the Norwegian Government decided that the new Act relating to compensation from the Norwegian State for victims of violent crime (Compensation for Violent Crime Act) will enter into force on 1 January 2023.

“I am pleased that this Act will ensure a more effective and predictable compensation scheme for victims of violent crime. The new scheme will ensure a near automatic disbursement of compensation to victims of violent crime who have been awarded compensation by judgement. This currently accounts for approximately 67 per cent of the cases concerning compensation for violent crime”, says Minister of Justice and Public Security, Emilie Enger Mehl.

The goal of the new Compensation for Violent Crime Act is to strengthen the due process guarantees of those who are covered by the scheme, including through a clear and simple regulatory framework that ensures that victims of violent crime are able to familiarise themselves more easily with their rights and quickly receive compensation when the conditions for compensation have been met.

The new Act is based on the ordinary principles relating to damages. Among other things, this entails that claims for compensation for violent crime shall, as a general rule, be considered by the courts as part of the criminal proceedings. The Norwegian State’s disbursement of compensation for violent crime shall correspond to the amount for which the perpetrator of the injury is liable. Compensation shall be disbursed almost immediately following a legally enforceable judgement and without an application process. The Norwegian State will bring a recourse claim against the perpetrator of the injury for the compensation amount.

If no judgement has been handed down in the case, e.g., in cases of discontinuation of investigation or prosecution, the victim of violent crime may apply for compensation from the Norwegian Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. Under the new Act, there are fewer discretionary conditions, and this will result in faster processing of applications. The Norwegian Government will ensure that the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority in Vardø will not be scaled down but rather be assigned other tasks so that staffing at the Authority is not reduced. The work of considering measures to strengthen the Authority is underway.

“A speedy resolution will ease the situation for victims of violent crime and reduce their financial concerns. I hope that it will also contribute to a quicker and better processing of what they have been subjected to”, says Minister of Justice and Public Security, Emilie Enger Mehl.

The new Act will result in a number of changes impacting the right to compensation for violent crime. In order to make it easier for those who have been subjected to violent crime to understand what this means for them, please see the announcement, which provides a clear account of the changes.

Announcement in connection with the date of entry into force of the new Compensation for Violent Crime Act