Norwegian Breivik, who killed 77 people, arrives at a court hearing in Oslo.
Norwegian Breivik, who killed 77 people, arrives at a court hearing in Oslo. Reuters

Norway lawmakers have less than a month to pass a bill that will ensure that mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik will find himself in a top security mental institution for life.

Breivik killed 77 people in a shooting spree and bombing attack last summer in Oslo.

If the verdict in his trial declares Breivik mentally insane, then he would be forced to undergo compulsory mental treatment.

The law, which has been in the works since 2010, would allow police to lock up convicted patients in mental facilities for a 6-month period, provided the patients were found to be in danger of being attacked by someone seeking revenge. Patients would not be able to stay locked up for more than 6 months at a time without approval from medical staff.

However, the July 2011 massacre has sped up the lawmaking process and prompted a review of the Norway's health care system concerning violent mentally ill people.

Tailored to the Breivik massacre, the bill would apply to patients who may have committed grave, atrocious and offensive acts, such as mass murder.

In effect, this law would allow for Breivik to be locked up forever in a top security mental hospital unit.

But with the trial date set for April 16 and a verdict to be delivered by early July, authorities are rushing to enact the law.

It is my duty to ensure we have mental health care legislation in place to protect everyone's safety, said Norway's Health Minister Anne-Grete Stroem-Erichsen.

The bill passed through a brief 3-week consultation period, which ended on Thursday.

If all goes well, the legislation would be implemented by July 1.

In an ironic twist, Breivik is pleading for sanity. If he is found sane, he would get 21 years in prison.

Some see this as a clever tactic to escape a life-sentence.

But Breivik's argument appears tinted with more glorious intentions. As an extreme anti-Islamist, Breivik believes his murderous acts were necessary. If he is found insane, he would be seen as madman versus a hero.