Peter Costea – 66.6 hours in Norway

aPeter Costea is a civil rights attorney practicing in Houston, Texas. He also holds a PhD in diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Boston, Massachusetts.

I spent 66.6 hours or so in Norway in late February 2016. It was my first trip there. I landed in Oslo around noon on a Wednesday, and left a little after 6 a.m. the following Saturday from Bergen, a city on Norway’s West coast. It was a quick trip which, however, opened my eyes to the New Norway, where family, marriage, parenthood, and the meaning of parenting have morphed into something the world has never seen before, including the shocking reality that children can be taken away from parents, or be deprived of parental rights, without court order.


in the span of only 66.6 hours, many of my impressions about Norway changed. Or, maybe I should say, new impressions formed. Unfortunately, most of them were negative and were caused by the very reason that took me to Norway in the first place. Months before, I had taken up a pro bono humanitarian case involving Norway. It was a case which, after having investigated it for months, I will today call state-sponsored child kidnapping. In November 2015 Norway’s Barnevernet, the equivalent of the Child Protective Services (CPS) in the United States, seized, without court order, five (5) children from a Romanian-Norwegian family living in Naustdal. The matter fell, almost squarely, within my area of legal expertise, civil rights litigation. When I first heard the news I was scandalized. But indignation soon turned into outrage because, after investigating the case, I became convinced that the family’s religion had something to do with the seizure of the children.

I have heard, along the years, of prominent Western lawyers taking up humanitarian or pro bono causes abroad, but those cases typically involved incidents occurring in Third World countries. South Africa’s apartheid system readily comes to mind. Not only because it was fashionable for attorney to pick up humanitarian cases there, but also because I had lived the apartheid experience for myself. I spent one year there teaching international relations and diplomacy at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg in 1989. That was two (2) years or so prior to the collapse of the apartheid regime. I witnessed, and I still do vividly recall, our international relations department being frequently visited by foreign lawyers pleading various humanitarian causes and drawing international attention to South Africa’s political detainees.

Little did I know that, after twenty-five (25) years of legal practice, I would be involved in an international humanitarian case of my own, but, strangely enough, not one in the Third World, but one involving Norway….

Read this fascinating synopsis of what Norway has become, as a result of its secularism, or as Peter Costea puts it „a country without religion or God”.

Read it here –

3 comentarii (+add yours?)

  1. ion vizitiu
    apr. 12, 2016 @ 13:08:47

  2. Chris
    apr. 12, 2016 @ 18:43:44

    Reblogged this on Wings of the Wind and commented:
    Rodi has posted an excellent and eye-opening report by an attorney who specializes in humanitarian cases. His observations of Norway are quite enlightening.

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