The 2021 Norwegian Sanctions Act significantly strengthens the toolbox for Norway’s human rights policies. As presented by the legal analysis in the report, which has been conducted by Wikborg Rein, a renowned Norwegian law company, the Act authorises the Government to implement UN Security Council sanctions and restrictive measures adopted by intergovernmental organisations (such as the EU) or measures that otherwise have “broad international support”. The measures – such as financial sanctions and travel restrictions – must aim to maintain peace and security or ensure respect for democracy, the rule of law, human rights, or international law in general.
The Norwegian government has applied the Act to implement EU and Security Council sanctions only. However, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee maintains that a more ambitious approach should be developed. As shown by Wikborg Rein’s legal analysis, the Act allows the Government to actively seek international cooperation to apply sanctions against those who commit human rights violations with impunity.