If you have been the victim of domestic violence, rape or other sexual abuse, you have the right to a free meeting with a lawyer before you decide whether or not to report the offence. The County Governor will pay the lawyer’s fees if you decide not to report the offence. If you do report the offence, the lawyer will apply to the court and be appointed as your legal aid lawyer after the offence has been reported to the police.
Some of the links to resources (web pages) below are only available in Norwegian or English.
You will be entitled to a legal aid lawyer if you have been the victim of one or more of the following offences:
- rape/attempted rape
- other sexual abuse
- domestic violence
- human trafficking
- forced marriage
- female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C)
You will be entitled to a legal aid lawyer if you have been the victim of serious sexual assault or abuse (such as rape, sexual intercourse when you were a minor and incest). The same applies if you have been sexually exploited by a doctor as a patient, or by a member of staff as a resident at an institution.
In the case of domestic violence, the physical or psychological violence must have been aggravated or repeated. In order for it to be regarded as domestic violence, the perpetrator must be a close associate of yours. ‘Close associate’ includes current and former spouses, cohabiting partners, parents and children. Children who have witnessed family violence will also be entitled to a legal aid lawyer.
Watch this video about how to see a legal aid lawyer:
You will also be entitled to a legal aid lawyer
- if the other party was subject to a restraining order in your shared home, regardless of whether or not the restraining order has been breached
- if someone has breached a no-contact or restraining order against you
- if you have suffered significant physical or psychological harm as a result of a violent act, regardless of whether or not the perpetrator is someone you know (this is practised strictly)
- if you are the bereaved mother or father of a child under the age of 18 who has died as a result of a criminal offence
The court may also appoint a legal aid lawyer on a discretionary basis in exceptional cases based on the nature and severity of the case. This provision is practised strictly.
The rules concerning entitlement to a free legal aid lawyer are complicated, and it can be difficult to determine whether you are covered by the scheme. A lawyer can help you to assess whether your case entitles you to a free legal aid lawyer.
When they first meet victims and survivors in cases concerning domestic violence, rape or other sexual assault, the police will explain the possibility of having a legal aid lawyer appointed to the case.
For more information on legal aid lawyers, see Chapter 9 a of the Norwegian Criminal Procedure Act (straffeprosessloven)
The legal aid lawyer will be appointed by the court, and you can choose any lawyer you wish. In urgent cases, the police may summon a lawyer who will be given the same position as a court-appointed lawyer.
Overview of permanent legal aid lawyers from domstolen.no (pdf)
Overview of legal aid lawyers on Advokatenhjelperdeg.no, the “Finn advokat” (“Find a lawyer”) service
If you decide to report the offence, the legal aid lawyer will give you advice and support in connection with police questioning, and assist you during the investigation and any court proceedings. The legal aid lawyer will be responsible for safeguarding the procedural rights of the victim, and where appropriate for providing assistance in submitting a claim for compensation in the case.
Hva er bistandsadvokatens rolle i etterforskning og rettssak?
This article was written by dinutvei.no in cooperation with the law firm Salomon-Johansen AS