CountryAAH, Prime Minister Erna Solberg is worried about
Norway's low birthrate, which could threaten welfare in the
future. The birth rate is 1.6 children, but should be 2.
Therefore, in her New Year's Eve, she encouraged the
population to have more children. "I don't think I need to
explain how things are going," she said.
The government crisis that arose in the fall of 2018 due
to disagreements mainly on the issue of abortion but also
climate policy resolved in mid-January, after the Christian
Democratic Christian People's Party agreed to join the
former government coalition consisting of Høyre, Venstre and
In March, Norway suffered a major scandal, which led to
the resignation of Justice Minister Mikkel Wara, of the
Progress Party. The minister's partner, Laila Bertheussen,
had been arrested by the security service PST, suspected of
being involved in the threats directed at Wara. It was
suspected that, among other things, she lit a fire on Wara's
car in the hope that it would look as if it had been done by
one or more unknown perpetrators. Wara was replaced by Jøran
Kallmyr, Progress Party.
In mid-April, a court in the Russian Federation sentenced
Norwegian Frode Berg to 14 years in prison for spying on
Russian nuclear submarines. Berg, who had previously been a
border guard in Kirkenes, was arrested in Moscow by the
Russian security police FSB in December 2017. He then
admitted that he had been in contact with the Norwegian
intelligence service and that he had handed money to various
addresses in Moscow. But he denies that this would be
espionage. In November, he was pardoned, and in connection
with a prison exchange where Lithuania was involved, Frode
Berg was taken to the Norwegian embassy in Vilnius for
further transport home to Norway.
In May, the controversial former Justice Minister Sylvi
Listhaug made a comeback in the government, now as the
Minister of Elderly and Public Health. She had resigned last
year because she had accused the Labor Party of caring more
about terrorists than about the security of the country's
own citizens. In August she came again in the hot air; this
time it applied to neighboring Sweden and Anders Ygeman.
After a failed terrorist attack against a mosque outside
Oslo, where fortunately only one person was injured, a war
of words erupted between neighboring countries. It all
started with the Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg at a
press conference claiming that Swedes have a great influence
on the right-wing movement in Norway. The Swedish Minister
of Energy and Digitization Anders Ygeman then asked Solberg
to "see himself in the mirror", she who collaborates with
Sylvi Listhaug and the Progress Party. Listhaug, for his
part, responded to Ygeman's statement and urged him to
"clean up his own country before teaching Norway". Anders
Ygeman later found the word war to be "unfortunate" but
maintained that "in the Norwegian government we have a
government minister who has proclaimed a crusade against
Islam and warned against the Islamization of Norway".
In June, the Storting finally voted for a tougher
abortion law, which means that women carrying multiple
fetuses must have an abortion approved by a special
committee if one wants to remove one (so-called fetal
reduction). The abortion laws were discussed in January and
became a compromise in the government negotiations with
conservative Christian People's Party, which however only
got through this by several proposed austerity measures.
In the municipal elections in September, it was noted
that it is blowing red-green winds in the country, despite
the Labor Party making a historically poor choice - from 33
to 24.8%. The Center Party, on the other hand, made a
sensationally good choice and nearly doubled its numbers,
reaching 14.4%; The Green Party got 6.7%. At the same time,
the Høyre and the Progress Party backed down.
At the beginning of the year, the Norwegian police
revealed that the wife of Tom Hagen, one of Norway's richest
men, Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen, had disappeared from her
home since October 31, 2018. She was most likely then
kidnapped. Someone or some at the "other end", as the police
described it, had demanded a ransom of € 9 million in
cryptocurrency. However, you do not know if the woman is
still alive. The case was still unsolved at the end of the
The judiciary in Norway
The judiciary in Norway, that is the courts, is part of
the public administration system in Norway, see Norway's
The ordinary courts are divided into three levels: the
district courts, the courts of appeals and the Supreme
Court. Decisions on one level can be appealed to the next
level, but the appeal does not mean that the case is
automatically tried for a new level.
Separation of powers
In accordance with the principle of power distribution,
power is divided between a legislative and granting
authority (the Storting), an executive (according to the
Constitution the King, in our day in practice the
government) and a judicial authority (the courts, the
judiciary). The courts are often referred to as "the third
The courts are thus independent of the other state
powers. They judge by the laws passed by the Storting and
also apply other sources of law.
Court of Justice
The courts, especially the Supreme Court, also carry some
control over the legislative and executive power. The courts
have the right to test whether laws are unconstitutional and
whether administrative decisions are unlawful. The latter
role has been seen as particularly important politically. If
the courts find that a law or statute is unconstitutional,
they can set it aside (not to apply it in specific cases).
This "censorship" the courts have before the Storting, is
not constitutional and has at times been disputed.
The trial court was particularly asserted and used in the
period 1884-1918, when several radical legislative reforms
were halted by the Supreme Court. Since then, the courts
have been more reluctant to use the trial court, but it is
still widely recognized.
All levels of the ordinary judicial system can try laws,
but cases that contain an element of law will in practice
always end up with the Supreme Court. The courts' right to
try both individual administrative decisions and
administrative regulations has never been challenged.
After these changes, the ordinary courts are divided into
- The district court initially ruled. There are 63
courts in the first instance divided into 62 parish
parish. The only parish that has two first instance
courts is Oslo (Oslo District Court and Oslo City
Attorney's Office). Many civil cases start in the
conciliation council which mediates between the parties.
The Conciliation Council had status as a court until
- The Court of Appeal judges in second instance. There
are six court cases. The area in which a court of law
has its authority is called a judgment. Each team
consists of several teams.
- The Supreme Court ultimately judges and has the
entire country as a court of law. For a case to appear
in the Supreme Court, it must be considered by the
Supreme Court's appeal committee.
The ordinary courts judge in both civil and criminal
- The time in a criminal case is described in the
article Criminal Procedure.
- The time in a civil case is described in the article
Decisions on one level can be appealed to the next level,
but the appeal does not mean that the case is automatically
tried for a new level. There are separate rules for appeals
in civil cases and appeals in criminal cases.
In 2018, 14,697 civil disputes were handled by the courts
of first instance, which also treated 50,804 criminal cases
as sole judicial cases and 13,361 criminal cases as court
cases, a total of 64,165 criminal cases.
Changes in 2008
On January 1, 2008, the Disputes Act came into force and
replaced the Disputes Act. At the same time, amendments were
made to the Court Act, among other things. Prior to January
1, 2008, the Supreme Court's Appeals Committee and the
Conciliation Councils had the status of separate courts.
After January 1, 2008, the Complaints Committee changed its
name to the Supreme Court's Appeals Committee and is no
longer considered a separate court, but as part of the
At the same time, the conciliation councils were given a
somewhat more limited jurisdiction than before and are no
longer considered by the ordinary courts. They are defined
in the Court Act of August 13, 1915, no. 5 as mediation
institutions with limited jurisdiction, cf. section 6-10 of
the Dispute Act.
In addition to the ordinary courts, there are special
courts that judge in special cases.
- The land courts judge in some cases about property
under the Land Act. The decisions of the landlords can
be appealed to the landlords.
- The Labor Court judges in collective labor law
disputes, that is to say mainly collective bargaining
disputes, under the Labor Disputes Act and the Disputes
- The appraisal courts give discretion under the
Planning and Building Act and in certain cases regarding
voluntary acquisition of land and rights.
- The Finnmark Court of Appeal deals with disputes
arising from investigations of use and ownership rights
on the grounds that Finnmark property has taken over.
- The consular offices take evidence abroad.
- The General Court may be set aside to decide
questions of criminal liability for members of the
Government, the Supreme Court and the Storting "for
criminal or other unlawful matters when they have
breached their constitutional obligations" (Section 86
of the Constitution).
Social security has many features in common with a
special court, but is formally regarded as an administrative
The courts were formerly administratively under the
Ministry of Justice, but since 2002, the ordinary courts
belong to the Judicial Administration, which in 2006 also
took responsibility for the parish court. The new scheme was
intended to mark a clearer distribution of power with a more
independent judiciary. The court administration is located
History before 1814
The oldest known sources of law with us are orally handed
customary law that applied to limited jurisdictions and
limited geographical areas. What one might call a judicial
system was linked to, and developed on, the things where all
free men met, delivered judgment, and said right on behalf
of the entire society. The original land scheme is little
known, but it is clear that larger or smaller areas were
organized with their own village and county councils, county
councils and so on, and partly linked by common law. The
development of the court took place through specific
decisions on things.
In several of the old landscaping laws, there are
provisions for a judicial body, which was called a
judgment (Norrønd jud), which was a collegiate
arbitration court appointed by the parties to a dispute.
There are rules on judgments in several of the old landscape
laws. The arbitral tribunal had the task of
establishing the fact in cases where this was unclear.
The settlement judgment came into effect where there
was agreement on the fact, but not on the legal effects,
such as how much compensation a plaintiff was entitled to.
Over time, larger parts of the country, probably under
the aegis of the kings, became united to more extensive
jurisdictions with joint laying, so that most of the country
eventually belonged to four or five such things, Gulating,
Frostating, Eidsivating, Borgarting and probably one thing.
for Hålogaland. The legislations originally had both
legislative and judicial functions.
Legal unity was obtained in Norway earlier than in any
other country in the Nordic countries by Magnus Lagabøte's
national law (1274) and bylaw (1276). In the national and
city law, divorce and settlement are absent. Instead, a
committee appointed by the governor, who was a royal
official, has been given judicial authority.
The layman, who, from the time of King Sverre
(1184-1202), was appointed kingly, like the board members
and the laymen, now took a central position, and the number
of laying circles was gradually expanded. Next to it was a
special ecclesiastical jurisdiction.
The supreme court of appeal in appeal cases was,
according to Magnus Lagabøte's national and bylaws, added to
the king and his counsel, and during the union with Denmark
was exercised on man's days or trial. In the course of time,
the slaughter came to have the character of an appeals court
with village council and town meetings as subordinate
bodies. At the end of the 16th century, a sworn writer
(sorcerer) was associated with the village district, and in
the cities the king's bailiff (town bailiff) was given a
In 1590–1591, a uniform arrangement of the judicial
system was implemented by the district authorities passing
judgment as the first instance with the laying as the second
instance. The Supreme Court of Appeal lay with the King.
After the introduction of the monarchy, a supreme court
for Denmark was established in 1661, which from 1666 also
included Norway, becoming the supreme court of the so-called
Overhofret at Akershus, which was established the same year.
According to Christian Den Femti's Norwegian Law (1687), the
ordinary courts in the rural areas were the magistrate, the
magistrate, the supreme court and the Danish-Norwegian
Supreme Court. For the cities, the latter three bodies were
the same, while the first two were city bailiffs and council
courts. By regulation of 1797, the appeal system was
simplified, with the abolition of the supreme court, the
district courts and the courts with the clerks' offices.
Instead, they received a diocese in each of the four
dioceses Christiania, Bergen, Trondhjem and Christiansand.
The development of the courts after 1814
The judicial system applicable to the separation from
Denmark in 1814 was upheld until further notice, however, in
accordance with the Constitution of 17 May 1814 a Supreme
Court for Norway (1815) was established. In the
Constitution, there was little (and still is) about the
judiciary, except that the Supreme Court will ultimately
judge, and some provisions on the General Court.
In the first 50 years after 1814, special maritime, craft
and trade dishes were introduced. The four largest cities
received collegiate court cases with appeal (appeal)
directly to the Supreme Court. But more fundamental changes
in the administration of justice took place first by the
Criminal Procedure Act of 1887, which organized, among other
things, special courts of law (with jury) for the treatment
of more serious criminal cases, as well as the reformed
treatment of criminal cases in subordinate law
(interrogation, court of law).
More significant is the codification or consolidation
work that has otherwise taken place in the late 1800s within
public law. Important Justice Laws was the Criminal
Procedure Act of 1887, the Criminal Code of 22 May 1902, the
Law of 13 August 1915 and the Civil Procedure Act of 13
August 1915. The Criminal Procedure Act of 1887 was
eventually replaced by the Criminal Procedure Act of 22 May
1981, and the Civil Procedure Act was replaced by the
Dispute Act of June 17, 2005. The Penal Code of 1902 was
replaced by the new Penal Code of May 20, 2005.
From 1936, the Court of Appeal also became a court of
appeal for civil cases (without a jury, but possibly with
co-judges) and replaced as far as the previous convictions,
which were dismissed. The major judicial reform in 1915,
which, apart from common rules for all courts, does not
affect the criminal justice system, was partially
implemented in 1927. With the introduction of civil
litigation in 1936, the reform was carried out in its
entirety, but with the important change that the Supreme
Court did not, as originally assumed, only had the
opportunity to try the application of law and the case, but
should also be able to try the assessment of evidence.
In 1995, the so-called two-instance reform was
implemented. Until then, criminal cases in which the maximum
sentence exceeded six years in prison were brought directly
before the Court of Appeal. After the reform, all cases are
first brought before the District Court with the opportunity
to appeal to the Court of Appeal.
In the 2000s, the number of first instance courts has
been sharply reduced.