E v Norway: ECHR 29 Aug 1990

The applicant suffered serious brain damage and was an untreatable psychopath. He was convicted of numerous violent offences and sentenced to a period of imprisonment. He was also sentenced to preventive detention under the Norwegian Penal Code, as result of which he was detained in mental hospitals. The effect of this sentence was to enable the Ministry of Justice to monitor his progress and to release or detain him when this would prove appropriate. It gave the ministry a wide discretion in deciding which of various possible security measures was to be imposed and for how long. The court observed that this system shared a number of features with the Belgian system in regard to recidivists and habitual offenders which was at issue in the Van Droogenbroeck case: ‘Under such systems the courts cannot at the time of their decisions do more than assess how the person concerned will develop in the future. The authorities, on the other hand, through and with the assistance of their officers, can monitor that development more closely and at frequent intervals.’ There remained a risk that time the link between the ministry’s decision not to release or to re-detain and the initial judgment might be broken with the result that it would be transformed into a deprivation of liberty that was arbitrary.


11701/85, (1994) 17 EHRR 30, [1990] ECHR 17


Worldlii, Bailii

Cited by:

CitedGiles, Regina (on the Application of) v Parole Board and Another HL 31-Jul-2003
The defendant had been sentenced for offences of violence, but an additional period was imposed to protect the public. He had been refused leave for reconsideration of that part of his sentence after he completed the normal segment of his sentence. . .
CitedRegina v Parole Board ex parte Smith, Regina v Parole Board ex parte West (Conjoined Appeals) HL 27-Jan-2005
Each defendant challenged the way he had been treated on revocation of his parole licence, saying he should have been given the opportunity to make oral representations.
Held: The prisoners’ appeals were allowed.
Lord Bingham stated: . .
CitedWhiston, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Justice CA 25-Oct-2012
The claimant was a prisoner released on a home detention licence, but his licence had been revoked. He now said that the way it had been revoked, without the respondent’s decision being subject to confirmation by the Parole Board, nor to other . .
CitedFaulkner, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Justice and Another SC 1-May-2013
The applicants had each been given a life sentence, but having served the minimum term had been due to have the continued detention reviewed to establish whether or not continued detention was necessary for the protection of the pblic. It had not . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights, Prisons, Damages

Updated: 04 June 2022; Ref: scu.165080