The Commission can appoint expert witnesses as part of the investigation of a case, see the Criminal Procedure Act section 398 b (2). Such appointment of expert witnesses is regulated by straffeprosessloven kap. 11.
Through the years it has been active, the Commission has appointed expert witnesses with expertise in different areas. These include:
- Forensic psychiatry
- Forensic psychology
- Forensic toxicology
- Forensic genetics
- Image and photographic technology
- Audio engineering
- Fire investigation
- Traditional forensic science
The Commission defines the mandate of the expert witnesses. The parties will normally be given the opportunity to comment on the Commission’s suggested expert witnesses and mandate. The expert witnesses will give their statement to the Commission.
The appointed expert witnesses are entitled to payment according to the current established rates.
Many of the cases that have been reopened by the Commission concern the convicted person’s mental health. The grounds for reopening can be that the convicted person was not accountable at the time of the act, see the Penal Code 1902 section 44 and the Penal Code 2005 section 20, or that he/she was mentally disabled to a lesser degree so that a more lenient sanction should have been considered, see the Penal Code 1902 section 56 c and the Penal Code 2005 section 80.
Expert witnesses appointed to make statements regarding forensic medicine must also send their statement to the Norwegian Board of Forensic Medicine, see the Criminal Procedure Act section 398 b (2) and section 147 (1). Here is the link to the Norwegian Board of Forensic Medicine (the Norwegian Civil Affairs Authority): www.sivilrett.no