Wednesday, May 18

In short, Wednesday, January 19th

We collect the newspaper’s short articles in the column «In short». Here is today’s post.

Quarantine exemption. Ankesiling. Empty buildings. Here is today’s card post.

This is a debate post. Opinions in the text are at the writer’s expense.

Give students exemption from quarantine

Last week, the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) and the Norwegian Directorate of Health recommended that the government replace the quarantine for all close contacts with daily testing. Now the government is releasing the quarantine for close contacts who test themselves daily, but not for household members on the grounds that are not enough quick tests.

In other words, they go beyond professional advice to the great burden of many students who now risk weeks of absence when one by one in the family is infected.

There is no shortage of quick tests in Norway, but perhaps competition for those that are free. We can of course discuss how these tests should be distributed, but it must then be up to the families how they themselves choose to use their own quick tests. It is also possible to buy tests yourself.

It is therefore completely untenable that students who have not been offered three doses, and many barely two, should be forced into quarantine when the rest of society can drop out, with the meager reason that the state does not have enough free tests to distribute.

It is also questionable how legal this measure is.

Without quarantine exemption, it is tempting to let all children in the same family become infected at the same time, but is this desirable? I therefore hope that the government will soon give all school students quarantine exemptions, regardless of who their close contacts are.

Trym Nordhus

Errors regarding appeal in criminal cases

Under the headline “The silent strike” on 14 January, Aftenposten’s commentator Harald Stanghelle writes, among other things, about the Bar Association’s action for increased fee rates. He points out in a timely manner that a state governed by the rule of law must be maintained.

Stanghelle also writes about the appeal screening scheme. According to Stanghelle, the scheme must have undermined the right to appeal a criminal case. This is wrong.

The introduced appeal screening scheme has not entailed any restriction on the right to appeal. What was introduced two years ago was a system where cases involving crimes that can lead to imprisonment for more than six years do not automatically receive an oral hearing in the Court of Appeal.

The more serious cases are thus also dealt with in writing in the appellate body by the question of whether the appeal is to be dealt with orally, ie in a court hearing.

Decisions to refuse an appeal must be substantiated, regardless of the penalty. The justification shall show that the Court of Appeal has carried out a real review of the district court’s judgment.

The commentary article further states that Laila Bertheussen received a “blank no to try her sensational case before the Court of Appeal”. This too is wrong.

The Court of Appeal allowed her sentencing appeal to be advanced, but refused to bring the appeal over the question of guilt.

The written justification for the refusal to re-examine the question of guilt was extremely thorough. The Court of Appeal’s decision was a full 23 pages.

The fact that a case is “sensational” is not a valid reason for allowing an appeal to be submitted. Extensive media coverage should of course not give a convicted person the right to oral appeal.

All in all, the appeal screening scheme has led to a more sensible use of resources in the judicial system. It has in no way undermined the rule of law.

Stein Vale, Public Prosecutor, Oslo Public Prosecutor’s Office

Empty public buildings need new ideas!

Aftenposten has in a number of cases shed light on issues related to empty public properties in Oslo.

Many of the properties have a great potential for social benefit. Establishing creative meeting places that open up for diversity, social arenas, low-threshold services for children, young people and the elderly will provide added value that cannot be calculated in normal terms.

The content and operating concept of the building will give important identity and intrinsic value to an area.

One model for the approach may be to establish a non-profit foundation with local owners, public and private. There, the foundation will take over responsibility for the development, operation and management of the properties.

In this way, we will be able to develop future-oriented “parks” and social meeting places for everyone. This is how we tackle challenges related to exclusion and social isolation in a more offensive way.

The state, municipalities and other public owners provide the foundation with a share capital. It is calculated as a one-time compensation for the lack of maintenance that has been accumulated over a long period of time.

Gunhild Bøgseth and Hans Edvardsen, the development company Gjeslingan AS

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