Who is afraid of a watchdog for human rights?

Time: 16:00-18.00

Guarding Norway’s human rights obligations.

Anine Kierulf (Research Director at NIM) in conversation with Eirik Holmøyvik (Professor of Law, UiB) and Siri Gloppen (Professor of Comparative Politics, UiB).

Enshrining rights in legal documents like constitutions or conventions does not guarantee their protection. Courts have a crucial, but often insufficient, role to play when transforming formal rights into “rights in action”. Independent watchdogs are often established in an effort to address problems and prevent controversy.

Norway’s National Human Rights Institution (NIM) recently presented its third annual report to the Parliament, pointing to a range of challenges, including migrant children’s rights, gender-based violence, the use of solitary confinement, and human rights challenges arising from new technology. The report was followed by a critical editorial in the Norwegian national daily, Dagbladet, titled “What is the purpose of a watchdog if you can’t hear it bark – or fear its bite?”

We have invited Anine to speak about NIM’s role in guarding the constitution and Norway’s human rights obligations.