Circus Lippestad

This time last year the Scandinavian airwaves were crammed with news about the trial of Anders Behring Breivik, part of a media extravaganza that Fjordman dubbed “Circus Breivik”. For several weeks Mr. Breivik’s legal team, led by a lawyer named Geir Lippestad, enjoyed an extraordinary moment under the spotlight on television and in the newspapers.

Mr. Lippestad has recently extended his fifteen minutes of fame by publishing a book in which, among many other things, he takes potshots at Fjordman and this blog. His literary efforts led to an unusual situation in which he is now being scrutinized for possible violations of professional ethical standards.

Our Norwegian correspondent The Observer has translated an article describing the tribulations of Geir Lippestad. The translator includes this note:

Norway has finally waved goodbye to ‘Circus Breivik’, only to welcome ‘Circus Lippestad’, where ‘Lippie the Clown’ is playing the lead part.

Circus Breivik — Geir Lippestad is the second clown from the right.

It’s also worth noting that Geir Lippestad was invited to speak at the Labour Party’s annual conference about a week ago or so. This raises questions about a conflict of interest, as leading members of the Labour Party made it abundantly clear that it was preferable that Breivik was found to be criminally sane so he could be given a prison sentence. Is Lippie the Clown cashing in on the favour?

I guess Lippestad is so thoroughly blinded by his newfound fame that he’s unable to look at the situation in a rational manner. But then again, it’s not that much of a surprise. Remember the pictures that he and the defence team posed for during the trial? The guy is an attention-seeker.

The translated article from VG:

The Norwegian Association of Lawyers (MNA) is going to look into Geir Lippestad’s new book about the Breivik trial after having been contacted by concerned members

The MNA will look into whether the lawyer Geir Lippestad has violated the ethical code of conduct by publishing a book describing his role as a public defense attorney for Anders Behring Breivik.

In the book ‘Det vi kan stå for’ (‘We can hold our heads high’) Lippestad writes about the co-operation with Breivik during the trial and reveals information about the case that has previously not been published.

The MNA has received a number of complaints about the book and will look into the matter at a board meeting this coming weekend.

“We will look into the matter on Saturday. We have been contacted by several of our members who are deeply concerned and who have asked us to assess whether Lippestad has violated the ethical code of conduct by publishing this book,” says Merete Smith, Secretary-General of the MNA, to NTB (Norwegian News Agency).

In an op-ed published last Saturday in Dagbladet, the lawyer Carl Bore strongly criticized Lippestad’s new book.

“It is important that people feel comfortable talking to their lawyers. In my opinion this book should never have been published. The privilege of confidentiality between a client and a lawyer is paramount. The law dictating these matters is strict and it applies even after the assignment has been completed,” Bore told the newspaper Dagbladet.

Lippestad does not agree with the criticism.

“I’m well within what is considered a good conduct for a lawyer. I acknowledge that Bore has a different opinion. Beyond that, I have no need to respond to his comments,” says Lippestad.

3 thoughts on “Circus Lippestad

  1. Quotation:
    In the book ‘Det vi kan stå for’ (‘We can hold are heads high’)

    This translation into English is not correct. Maybe Fjordman can help, but imo the better translation is: ´What we can stand for´ or ´for this we can stand for´

    • Rolf, is that a distinction without a difference? Surely the connotation is the same?

      I was intrigued by this line:

      “We will look into the matter on Saturday…

      I didn’t know socialist workers ever had to labor on weekends.

  2. @ Rolf,

    The aim of translating is to get the translated text as close to the original text as possible, often by a literal word by word translation. Sometimes however when you translate sayings and proverbs, like in this incident (the title of the book is a popular Norwegian saying) it’s almost impossible to do a word by word translation and still convey the correct meaning in a different language.

    In some scenarios a word by word translation simply doesn’t make sense at all, and in those cases the best option is to ‘replace’ it with an equivalent saying in the language it is being translated into, even though it’s not a word by word translation. That’s what I’ve done in this case, and in my opinion both sayings convey exactly the same message.



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