Norway. 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 Progress Party.
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.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG: Click to see the meanings of 3-letter acronym and abbreviation of NOR in general and in geography as Norway in particular.
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 year.
The judiciary in Norway
The judiciary in Norway, that is the courts, is part of the public administration system in Norway, see Norway’s political system.
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 state power”.
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 three levels:
- 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 2008.
- 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 cases.
- The time in a criminal case is described in the article Criminal Procedure.
- The time in a civil case is described in the article civil process.
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 Supreme Court.
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 Act.
- 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 body.
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 in Trondheim.
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 similar position.
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.
According to Countryaah, the population of Norway in 2019 was 5,378,746, ranking number 119 in the world. The population growth rate was 0.770% yearly, and the population density was 14.7258 people per km2.