A legal expert believes that the police’s letter is in violation of the constitution

– I consider this to be in violation of the constitution, says Marius Storvik, who is an associate professor at the Faculty of Law at the Arctic University of Norway.

He is referring to the police’s advance notice of confiscation of the driver’s license of Gard Hope Bakke (26). The letter is dated 31 October.

The police will take away his driving license for two reasons:

  • His sister called in a report of concern at the beginning of May, when she could not reach him by phone.
  • On 26 October, Bakke took part in a climate demonstration in Trondheim.

Now this issue can also become a topic in the Storting. More about that further down in the article.

– It removes all doubt

Storvik points out that it is perfectly reasonable for the police to follow up a report of concern by asking for a health assessment of Bakke. In May.

– But in June he takes part in a demonstration, and then the police know that he is so healthy that this concern has disappeared. When we get to October, and the police then ask for a health assessment, it’s too late. Then this is an abuse of power, says the legal expert.

He reacts strongly to the police combining the report of concern with the civil disobedience.

– Then it removes all doubt that this is an abuse of power. Here, the police must clean up and withdraw this advance warning, says Storvik to TV 2.

Storvik hopes that the police do not consider climate activism as a sign of a lack of sanity, as the police are unlikely to possess such diagnostic expertise.

– You think that it is a side track that the demonstration is mentioned in the letter?

– I want to use stronger words than a side track. The fact that it is mentioned in the notice is suitable for curbing freedom of expression. It is illegal.

– That is the police’s task

Siw Hind is head of the Joint Unit for Immigration and Administration (FUF) in Trøndelag police district and says that she cannot comment on this specific case, due to the duty of confidentiality. She therefore only comments on a general basis.

When asked if the police understand that people think this appears to be an abuse of power, Hind explains that the police’s concern is for traffic safety.

– We know that many people find it very demanding to receive a notice of revocation of, for example, driving licenses or weapons and the like, where we ask questions about whether health requirements have been met. But it is the police’s task to contribute to increasing traffic safety, says Hind.

Associate professor Marius Storvik points out that the police here order Bakke to contact a doctor, pay the doctor and carry out paperwork.

– This extra paperwork and this order ties up his time and makes it more difficult for him to demonstrate. That is why this is an abuse of power or an abuse of authority, he argues.

– It may be tempting to say that this request for a medical certificate is invalid and that he can disregard it, but here we have too little case law for me to dare to give him advice on that, says Storvik.

Gard Hope Bakke tells TV 2 that he appreciates the support, and that he has already put a lot of work into answering the letter from the police.

– Of course I appreciate the support. The most important thing for me is that the cause is supported. We cannot say that everyone who has depressive disorders must take a health certificate to be able to have a driver’s licence, believes Bakke.

– Political activism, whether you agree or disagree, should not be suppressed. And I completely agree that this is perceived as them wanting to suppress my opportunity to express myself politically, he adds.

In TV 2’s article on Wednesday morning, lawyer John Christian Elden also says that this appears to be an abuse of authority on the part of the police.

Storvik and Elden are not alone in reacting to the police in this case. From a political perspective, Bakke’s case has also been noticed.

– Based on what the media is writing about this case, this looks like a politically motivated act of revenge by the police who do not like climate activists, says Rasmus Hansson of the Green Party (22) to TV 2.

The car trick surprises: – Brilliant

Will take it up in Parliament

Climate demonstrations have nothing to do with the ability to drive, says the MDG profile.

– The consequence of such a line from the police will be to scare people away from climate activism. In this way, the police become a weapon against perhaps the most important political commitment of our time, Hansson believes.

REACTS: Rasmus Hansson will raise the matter in the Storting.  Photo: Martin Leigland / TV 2

REACTS: Rasmus Hansson will raise the matter in the Storting. Photo: Martin Leigland / TV 2

Hansson says that there is nothing about this case to suggest that the police’s practice is legally sustainable.

– I will follow this up in the Storting, and expect the Minister of Justice to put a clear stop to what looks like a politically motivated practice against a climate activist, says Hansson.

Bakke confirms that he experiences this as Hansson sees it.

– I completely agree, but am a little more cautious about saying so, because it is impossible to know with one hundred percent certainty what the police’s motivation is, says Bakke.

However, the police are self-criticizing the use of time itself.

– It should have been sent earlier. It should. But sometimes it can take time. We have many cases, but the processing of reports of concern should have a short processing time. It has nothing to do with what happens afterwards, says Siw Hind.

Read more about the police’s explanation here.

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