In order to acknowledge that the conditions set forth by the law are observed, the County Social Welfare Boards (Boards) need access to information. The boards can obtain information and data from witnesses. A witness will present themselves to the board and explain what they know. A witness is a person who has seen, heard or experienced something which has a bearing on a case.
Witnesses are summoned to present themselves before the board by the parties’ counsels. Witnesses are under an obligation to present information to the board. In case a witness refuses to present themselves before the board, he or she can be brought there with police intervention. Witnesses must state the truth. It is a criminal offence to lie to the board.
If you are summoned to appear as a witness, it is important that you prepare yourself by trying to remember what you think may have a bearing on the case, and eventually make notes about it. You may take notes with you. You will be expected to give testimony to the board, and will be given information about an appointed location and time. Once you arrive, you will be asked to wait to be called in to the case, which will be in session. When you are called to enter the meeting room, you must go to the witness stand. You will first be asked to state your name, date of birth, address, profession, and whether you are related to or have other ties to some of the parties in the case. The board chair (In Norwegian Nemndsleder) will put you under oath, ask you to state the truth, and will inform you of the corresponding penal responsibility. The board chair will ask you the following, “Do you promise that you will say the truth and nothing but the truth and not conceal anything?”. You will respond by saying, “Yes, I promise on my honor and conscience.” Thereafter, your testimony will begin.
Witnesses may ask questions about the proceedings to the counsel who has summoned them, or to the board.