Compensation or redress subsequent to a prosecution
The regulations governing Compensation or redress subsequent to a prosecution are found in the Criminal Procedures Act chapter 31. New regulations came into force with effect from 01.01.04. The new regulations apply to all cases where post 01.01.04 claims for compensation or redress subsequent to a prosecution are lodged.
Case handling procedure
Case handling procedure can be found in the Criminal Procedures Act § 449.
Claims for compensation or redress after a prosecution shall be lodged with the police district that investigated the case. The prosecuting authority comments on the case and forward it to the Norwegian Civil Affairs Authority for a decision.
The Norwegian Civil Affairs Authority ruling is not a simple ruling pursuant to the Administration Act, and one cannot appeal The Norwegian Civil Affairs Authority’ ruling to a higher organ. Claims that are decided by the Norwegian Civil Affairs Authority must, in the case of appeal or complaint, be brought before the ordinary courts of law. The courts have the necessary full legal jurisdiction to try the appeal. The case is raised by a writ in the legal jurisdiction in which the injured party is domiciled or residing, or before Oslo Municipal Court. The case will be dealt with pursuant to the regulations laid down in the Act relating to judicial procedure in civil cases [The (Civil) Disputes Act].
Compensation for economic/financial loss
An accused person who is acquitted or has his/her case dismissed has a basic right to compensation for the loss incurred by him/her as a result of the prosecution, cf. The Criminal Procedures Act § 444 first part litra a and b. Further, losses incurred as a result of incarceration while under prosecution that is in conflict with human rights also provides a legal basis for the award of compensation, both when the prosecution is dropped or dismissed, the accused party is acquitted, and when the accused party is found guilty, cf. The Criminal Procedures Act § 444 first part litra c. It is the injured party who bears the burden of proof that he/she has suffered loss as a result of the prosecution. The applicant must therefore provide sufficient evidence of the loss and the amount of the loss in accordance with the general principles of legal practice applied to compensation and regress.
An accused also has the right to compensation for economic/financial loss in cases where he/she, after re-opening or retrial of the case receives a sentence that is less than the sentence already served, cf. The Criminal Procedures Act § 444 second part.
Even when the conditions for receiving compensation pursuant to § 444 are not met with, the injured party shall, if this is deemed to be reasonable, be awarded compensation for economic/financial loss resulting from special or disproportionate loss or damage resulting from the prosecution, cf. The Criminal Procedures Act § 445.
An accused person who is acquitted or has his/her case dismissed after having been incarcerated has a basic right to reparation in accordance with standardised rates, cf. The Criminal Procedures Act § 447 first part. The standard rates can be found in the Regulations on standard rates for reparation after unwarranted prosecution of 12.12.2003.
Even if the accused has not been incarcerated, reparation can be awarded if this is deemed to be reasonable, cf. The Criminal Procedures Act § 447 second part.
In cases where the accused is acquitted after serving the sentence, typically after the re-opening or re-trail of a criminal case, the calculation of the reparation shall be based on whatever is deemed to be reasonable in the individual case, cf. The Criminal Procedures Act § 447 third part.
Reduction or annulment of compensation/reparation
Compensation shall be reduced or be annulled if the accused has refused without reasonable grounds to make a statement or acted in a manner contrary to the clarification of the case, acted in a manner conducive to the instigation of investigations/prosecution and the guilty verdict, or has desisted from limiting the damage/loss caused by the prosecution or judgment, cf. The Criminal Procedures Act § 446 first part. Compensation can also be reduced or annulled for the reasons shown in § 446, cf. § 447 third part.
The annulment or reduction of compensation is not dependent of whether the accused can be reproached for the circumstance(s) that were the cause of the investigation/prosecution. When assessing this, one shall consider who must bear the risk of the investigation/prosecution in each individual case.
Compensation paid to others than the accused
Others than the accused who suffer loss as a result of the prosecution must base their claims for compensation on the rules of best judgment in the Criminal Procedures Act § 448.
Innst. O. No. 21 (2002-2003) Recommendation to the Odelsting by the Justice Committee on the Act on changes to the Criminal Procedures Act and more. (Compensation or redress subsequent to a prosecution)