Legislation on civil asset forfeiture

Norway’s Penal Code sets out strong provisions for asset recovery. Norway is also considering introducing new legislation on civil asset forfeiture to supplement the provisions in the Penal Code.

Completion Status:
⚠ Unqualified*

*commitment is not specific or/and not measurable

Commitment filtering:


The statement is specific in terms of identifying a concrete policy area (asset recovery).

Measurable: ❌ no

Based on information received from the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, there has been progress regarding the reform of legislation on asset recovery in the last two years. The regulation on confiscation was addressed in 2020 and 2021 in reports by the Criminal Law Commission, in charge of analysing and suggesting changes to the laws regulating criminal matters, on request from the Ministry of Justice. On 16 September 2020, the commission submitted its second evaluation addressing amendment of laws on the confiscation of assets or property gained through criminal conduct.[1] According to Professor Linda Gröning, chair of the commission, the work on the confiscation of such assets or property seeks to tackle the incentives at the heart of gang-related organised crime in order to discourage engaging in criminal conduct.[2] The first report of the Criminal Law Commission, from 2020, has been subject to consultation. In line with Norway’s legislative process, after receiving comments from the consultation on the first report, the Ministry of Justice prepared a preparatory law, also called a Proposition, to be presented to the King-in-Council (when the monarch exercises executive authority, usually to approve orders, in the presence of the country’s executive council). If the Proposition is approved, it will be sent to Parliament. As reported by the Ministry of Justice, the second report is still in the hearing process. After the consultation process, the Ministry of Justice concluded that the authorities have sufficient power to seize assets under the current penal code. However, two issues remain to be decided: whether the burden of proof required by the authorities should be lowered; and whether to accept the Criminal Law Commission’s proposal to introduce new legislation to allow the authorities to seize assets with unclear ownership. As pointed out by the ministry, these issues will be decided after it reviews comments from the public consultation on the second report.

However, the language in which the statement is formulated is non-committal (“Norway is considering…”), therefore it cannot be considered measurable.

[1] Criminal Law Commission, The Criminal Law Commission’s Report No. 2. Confiscation of Proceeds from Gang Crime, https://www.regjeringen.no/contentassets/3386fdf3859d498eba9ddc3a8b7b68cd/no/pdfs/nou202020200010000dddpdfs.pdf

[2] University of Bergen,  UiB-Professor to lead Commission on Criminal Law Reform as First ever Female Chairperson, https://www.uib.no/en/jur/141053/uib-professor-lead-commission-criminal-law-reform-first-ever-female-chairperson

Last updated: 30 August 2022
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