Just over a year ago I found it literally incomprehensible what had happened on Utoeya, the bombing in Oslo was more comprehensible in that it happens far too often, but to slaughter nearly 70 young people, one by one, seemed insane. The word ‘incomprehensible’ was the only word that I could think of, that was until I saw the Church service and the King and Queen of Norway, who were sat in the front row, publicly wept. It was that act of humanity that encapsulated what had just happened, they put ‘a face’ on the grief everyone seemed to be repressing.
It was just over a year ago that the service was held, and the trial of Anders Breivik has been drawn to a conclusion.
The trial is not to establish guilt, Breivik openly admits he did the crime, but to establish his sanity. If found insane he is likely to spend the rest of his life in a mental institution, if found sane then he is likely to spend the rest of his life in prison, at least 21 years as that is the maximum sentence – but it can be extended every five years by a Court. What has been apparent is that Norway has given Breivik every use of the legal system, it has not been used as a tool of revenge, but a cool, calculated, and costly process to find out what happened, and perhaps why. I am sure if someone I loved had been killed on the Island I would be have been baying for revenge, but watching the interviewees from the Island is the overwhelming sense that Justice, regardless as to who it is, has to be done. It is not the justice of revenge, it is the justice that even though people who are against ‘the system’ are entitled to, and must have access to, in a civilised society.
It is the Norwegian people and judicial system that has won today, it has proved that it is a just and fair society.