Across political cleavages, the terror attack was condemned as an attack on Norwegian democracy: on elected politicians, civil servants and politically engaged youth. The Norwegian legal system was tested in a society that wanted and needed justice. Through the trial, the terrorist’s rights were to be safeguarded within the framework of the democracy he had so brutally attacked.
A message of democracy is repeated each year in the official memorial ceremonies. In recent years, the discourse concerning 22 July has been characterised by more political disagreement than in the immediate aftermath.