22. juli-senteret

The question relating to soundness of mind

Norwegian legislation requires the accused to be of sound mind in order to be punished. The assessment of Breivik’s soundness of mind was key during the 22 July court case. Many believed that Breivik was mentally ill to an extent that made him criminally insane. In such case, he could not be punished, but rather be sentenced to forced treatment in a mental healthcare institution.

Two groups of experts were appointed by the court to examine Breivik. The first forensic psychiatrists, Synne Sørheim and Torgeir Husby, concluded that Breivik suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and was psychotic both during his actions and during the examination. Many criticised the psychiatric report, which was given before Oslo District Court on 29 November 2011. Breivik himself disagreed with the conclusion. He wanted to be declared sane in the hope that his political message would be taken seriously.

The doubt regarding his sanity contributed to the court ordering a second report, this time by forensic psychiatrists Terje Tørrisen and Agnar Aspaas. In the report submitted to the District Court on 10 April 2012, they stated that Breivik suffered from antisocial and narcissistic personality disorder and not paranoid schizophrenia. They therefore believed that Breivik did not have a serious mental illness that prevented a realistic assessment of his relations with the world around him. All the forensic psychiatrists agreed that there was a risk of repeated violent actions.

The court found Breivik to be sound of mind and on 24 August 2012, he was sentenced to 21 years’ preventive custody with a minimum term of 10 years.

 

References

Husby, T. & Sørheim, S. (2011). Rettspsykiatrisk erklæring avgitt den 29.11.11 til Oslo tingrett i henhold til oppnevnelse av 28.07. 28.07-2011: TOSLO-2011-120995-1 (11-120995ENE-OTIR/08). https://www.vg.no/spesial/2011/22-juli/psykiatrisk_vurdering/

Grøndahl, P. (2017). Straff og utilregnelighet. Læringsressurser: fordypningstekst. 22. juli-senteret. https://files.nettsteder.regjeringen.no/wpuploads01/blogs.dir/251/files/2019/05/Straff-og-utilregnelighet.pdf

NOU 1990: 5 Strafferettslige utilregnelighetsregler og særreaksjoner. Regjeringen. https://www.regjeringen.no/globalassets/upload/kilde/odn/tmp/2002/0034/ddd/pdfv/154751-nou1990-5.pdf

Oslo tingrett. 22. juli-dommen. TOSLO-2011-188627-24 (11-188627MED-OTIR/05). Rettskraftig. 24.08-2012. Tilgjengelig fra: https://lovdata.no/static/file/1276/toslo-2011-188627-24.pdf

Rosenqvist, R. (2011). Notat: Foreløpig psykiatrisk vurdering av forhold rundt Anders Behring Breivik. Kriminsalomsorgen – Ila fengsel og forvaringsanstalt. https://www.vg.no/spesial/2011/22-juli/psykiatrisk_vurdering/

Tørrisen, T. & Aspaas, R. (2012). Rettspsykiatrisk erklæring til Oslo tingrett. Avgitt 10.04.12 i henhold til oppnevning den av 13.01-2012: TOSLO-2011-188627-1 (11-188627MED-OTIR/05). https://www.vg.no/spesial/2011/22-juli/psykiatrisk_vurdering/