Background for the list of lawyers

Published under: Stoltenberg's 2nd Government

Publisher Portal: Barnebortføring

The Ministry of Justice and Public Security has established a list of lawyers who specialise in child abduction cases so that affected parents may get in touch with a lawyer that has special expertise on and knowledge of child abduction.

The Ministry of Justice and Public Security has established a list of lawyers who specialise in child abduction cases so that affected parents may get in touch with a lawyer that has special expertise on and knowledge of child abduction.

List of lawyers in child abduction cases

Background for the arrangement
The purpose of the Hague Convention on Child Abduction is that children who are unlawfully abducted from one signatory country to another will be repatriated as quickly as possible to restore the situation to being as it was before the abduction. The courts in the country where the child has been abducted must decide whether the child shall be repatriated or not, under the provisions of the Hague Convention on Child Abduction. The Ministry of Justice and Public Security has been appointed as the central authority in Norway and has an overall responsibility for ensuring that the purpose of the Convention is met.

When a child is unlawfully abducted to Norway, the court where the child is located must decide whether the child should be repatriated to the country of habitual residence. There is no requirement that the parties be represented by a lawyer in the legal proceedings before the Norwegian courts. In order that the court can make a decision as soon as possible, it will usually be appropriate to be assisted by a Norwegian lawyer with relevant expertise, especially for the party who is abroad. However, it is up to the parties to decide whether they want to be represented by a lawyer. Therefore, the parties may appoint the lawyer of their choice and it will be fully possible to choose a lawyer that is not on the list. The question of cover of lawyer’s fees will be decided by the County Governor of Oslo and Akershus according to the general rules on free legal aid. You can read more about this under Financial assistance.

The list will be revised every five years and inclusion on the list is personal.

Selection procedure guidelines
Inclusion on the list will be according to a specific, comprehensive assessment, where the applicants will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • Valid licence to practise law
  • Litigation experience
  • Broad legal expertise
  • Special expertise (Child and Family Law, experience with use of international conventions)
  • Language skills
  • Gender distribution
  • Geographical distribution

In addition, in order to be included on the list, lawyers must participate in a full-day seminar on child abduction arranged by the Ministry of Justice and Public Security.

The list of lawyers will be submitted to the Norwegian Bar Association for control against decisions in the Disciplinary Tribunal. Any complaints about lawyers on the list will be referred to the ordinary disciplinary system. A lawyer who has a disciplinary ruling against him or her will be removed from the list.