24 September 2018

Olav Sylte, lawyer:
After 12 months: 12 new serious miscarriages of justice

The Norwegian original of this article, with the title "Etter 12 måneder: 12 nye justismord", was published
on the website of the law firm Sylte AS on 23 September 2018.
The English version is published here with the author's generous consent.
Translation: Marianne Haslev Skånland

Does the Minister for children find that it is not necessary to scrutinise miscarriages of justice in Barnevern cases or does she not understand the problem formulation? Some of our parliamentary representatives should make use of question time to have it settled whether she means what she has said.

I have written about 12 Barnevern cases which have ended with defeat for the child protection service Barnevernet in court over the last 12 months. Cases which should be investigated more closely, since they are characterised by having been serious miscarriages of justice against single individuals. I could have written about more cases too.

However, the minister for children Helleland does not think it necessary to investigate. She thinks that regardless, errors are compensated by all the good Barnevernet does in other cases and, if I interpret her rightly, that miscarriages of justice are not so bad anyway.

To take children away from their families by force is just as serious interference as it is to jail people. That is why the same set of human rights rules apply for child protection cases as in criminal cases. It is unclear whether Helleland sees the problem in this way.

I have never heard of anybody who, having been the victim of a serious miscarriage of justice, thinks this was all right because Barnevernet is supposed to have done something good for other people
in other cases.

It is question time in Parliament soon. One of the representatives should seek clarification of what the Minister really means by what she has been saying now lately.

Read and judge for yourself the 12 cases:

«Lekte psykolog» på barn – gikk galt!

Knusende dom mot barnevernkontor

To år unødvendig i fosterhjem

Tingretten opphevet adopsjonsvedtak

Fosterhjem som kasteballsystem

Fikk tilbake livet med dom fra tingretten

Ville tvangsflytte mobbeofferet

Kommuneadvokaten ble ikke hørt med sin «bønn»

Feil på feil – men endte motsatt vei!

Problem og risiko i alle hjem

Må tvinges til å tenke nytt

Barnevernet dømt for mer enn lovbrudd