Wara asks for a review of guardianships

Tor Mikkel Wara Progress Party GuardianshipsNorwegian Minister of Justice, Tor Mikkel Wara (Progress Party). Photo: Regjeringen.no

Wara asks for a review of existing guardianships

Norwegian Minister of Justice, Tor Mikkel Wara (Progress Party), wants a review of existing guardianships to find out if Norwegians are provided guardians against their wishes.


On Wednesday VG revealed that over 9,000 Norwegians provided with a guardian since 2014, has been registered as «not able to consent», in other words; that the person is considered not to understand what a guardianship entails. Probably only a few of these have been conversed with.

– This is so serious that we need to conduct a comprehensive review of existing guardianships. We must discover if someone has been provided with a guardian against their will, the Minister of Justice tells VG.

On Wednesday he proposed a legislative amendment that would make it harder to place anyone under guardianship without consent – but would not promise that there would be a complete review of existing guardianships, which may have been inaugurated on the wrong basis.

Turns around

Wara wished on Wednesday to await the conclusion in the review of the so-called Tolga case.

– It is written in the stars that the conclusion is that we must investigate existing guardianships. There is no reason to beat around the bush, he says two days later.

The Norwegian Ministry of Justice today sends a letter to the National Agency for Civil Protection, where it asks for a proposal for how the review can be conducted.

4 out of 10 without consent

Those who are placed under guardianships shall consent according to the law. Exceptions are made in 4 out of 10 cases regardless, VG reports. There are major geographic differences.

Persons who are unable to take care of themselves – or their finances – can be provided with a guardian regardless. Such a guardianship is voluntary. The law, therefore, requires consent. Exceptions are made if the person concerned is unable to consent or is unable to understand what a guardianship entails.

During the period from January 1st, 2014 to June 28th this year, 22,783 guardianships have been inaugurated, according to VG. 9,795 – a staggering 43 per cent – of those are listed as «not able to consent.»

A measly 5 per cent

During the first half of 2018, the newspaper has gone through each case and checked whether the county officials have talked to them beforehand. Of the 1,510 persons who were not considered to be able to understand what a guardianship entails by a doctor, a mere 74 (5 per cent) were contacted by county councillors.

The proportion recorded as «not able to consent» varies between the counties. Østfold and Agder have the lowest proportion, with 28 and 31 per cent respectively. The highest proportion, which was disallowed to consent, were found in Møre & Romsdal, Hedmark and Buskerud, with 49, 48 and 47 per cent.

Minister of Justice, Tor Mikkel Wara (Frp), admits that the law has been incorrectly applied for several years and that it must be clarified. Wara implores persons, who have been placed under guardianships against their wishes, to complain to the County Governor’s Office.


© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today