The Constitution of the Kingdom of Norway (part 3)

D. The Judicial Power

Article 86

The Court of Impeachment pronounces judgment in the first and last instance in such proceedings as are brought by the Odelsting against Members of the Council of State, or of the Supreme Court or of the Storting, for criminal offences which they may have committed in their official capacity.

The specific rules concerning indictment by the Odelsting in accordance with this Article shall be determined by law. However, the limitation period for the institution of indictment proceedings before the Court of Impeachment may not be set at less than 15 years.

The permanent Members of the Lagting and the permanently appointed Members of the Supreme Court are judges of the Court of Impeachment. The provisions contained in Article 87 shall apply to the composition of the Court of Impeachment in the particular case. In the Court of Impeachment the President of the Lagting shall preside.

Any person sitting in the Court of Impeachment as a Member of the Lagting shall not resign from the Court if the period for which he is elected as a representative to the Storting expires before the Court of Impeachment has concluded the trial of the case. If he ceases, for any other reason, to be a Member of the Storting, he shall resign as a judge of the Court of Impeachment. The same applies if a Justice of the Supreme Court, who is a Member of the Court of Impeachment, retires as a Member of the Supreme Court.

Article 87

The accused and the person acting on behalf of the Odelsting in the proceedings have the right to challenge as many Members of the Lagting and of the Supreme Court as will leave remaining fourteen Members of the Lagting and seven Members of the Supreme Court as judges in the Court of Impeachment. Each party in the proceedings may challenge an equal number of the Members of the Lagting, although the accused has the preferential right to challenge one more, if the number to be challenged is not divisible by two. The same shall apply to the challenging of the Members of the Supreme Court. If there are several

accused in such proceedings, they exercise the right of challenge collectively in accordance with rules prescribed by law. If the right of challenge is not exercised to the extent permitted, as many Members of the Lagting and of the Supreme Court as are in excess of fourteen and seven respectively retire following the drawing of lots.

When the case comes up for judgment, as many judges of the Court of Impeachment shall retire following the drawing of lots that the Court due to render judgment is left with fifteen Members, of whom at most ten are Members of the Lagting and five Justices of the Supreme Court.

The President of the Court of Impeachment and the President of the Supreme Court shall in no case retire following the drawing of lots.

If the Court of Impeachment cannot be composed of as many Members of the Lagting or of the Supreme Court as prescribed above, the case may nevertheless be tried and judgment rendered, provided that the Court numbers at least ten judges.

Specific provisions as to the procedure to be followed in the composition of the Court of Impeachment shall be laid down by law.

Article 88

The Supreme Court pronounces judgment in the final instance. Nevertheless, limitations on the right to bring a case before the Supreme Court may be prescribed by law.

The Supreme Court shall consist of a President and at least four other Members.

Article 89

(Repealed)

Article 90

The judgments of the Supreme Court may in no case be appealed.

Article 91

No one may be appointed a member of the Supreme Court before reaching 30 years of age.

E. General provisions

Article 92

To senior official posts in the State may be appointed only Norwegian citizens, men or women, who speak the language of the Country, and who at the same time

a) either were born in the Realm of parents who were then subjects of the State;

b) or were born in a foreign country of Norwegian parents who were not at that time subjects of another State;

c) or hereafter have resided for ten years in the Realm;

d) or have been naturalized by the Storting.

Others may, however, be appointed as teachers at the university and institutions of higher learning, as medical practitioners and as consuls in places abroad.

Article 93

In order to safeguard international peace and security or to promote the international rule of law and cooperation between nations, the Storting may, by a three-fourths majority, consent that an international organization to which Norway adheres or will adhere shall have the right, within objectively defined fields, to exercise powers which in accordance with this Constitution are normally vested in the Norwegian authorities, although not the power to alter this Constitution. For the Storting to grant such consent, at least two thirds of the Members of the Storting shall be present, as required for proceedings for amending the Constitution.

The provisions of this Article do not apply in cases of membership in an international organization, whose decisions only have application for Norway purely under international law.

Article 94

The first, or if this is not possible, the second ordinary Storting, shall make provision for the publication of a new general civil and criminal code. However the currently applicable laws of the State shall remain in force, provided they do not conflict with this Constitution or with such provisional ordinances as may be issued in the meantime.

The existing permanent taxes shall likewise remain operative until the next Storting.

Article 95

No dispensations, protection from civil arrest, moratoriums or redresses may be granted after the new general code has entered into force.

Article 96

No one may be convicted except according to law, or be punished except after a court judgment. Interrogation by torture must not take place.

Article 97

No law must be given retroactive effect.

Article 98

When special fees are paid to officials of the Courts of Justice, no further payment shall be made to the Treasury in respect of the same matter.

Article 99

No one may be taken into custody except in the cases determined by law and in the manner prescribed by law. For unwarranted arrest, or illegal detention, the officer concerned is accountable to the person imprisoned.

The Government is not entitled to employ military force against citizens of the State, except in accordance with the forms prescribed by law, unless any assembly disturbs the public peace and does not immediately disperse after the Articles of the Statute Book relating to riots have been read out clearly three times by the civil authority.

Article 100

There shall be liberty of the Press. No person may be punished for any writing, whatever its contents, which he has caused to be printed or published, unless he wilfully and manifestly has either himself shown or incited others to disobedience to the laws, contempt of religion, morality or the constitutional powers, or resistance to their orders, or has made false and defamatory accusations against anyone. Everyone shall be free to speak his mind frankly on the administration of the State and on any other subject whatsoever.

Article 101

New and permanent privileges implying restrictions on the freedom of trade and industry must not in future be granted to anyone.

Article 102

Search of private homes shall not be made except in criminal cases.

Article 103

Asylum for the protection of debtors shall not be granted to such persons as hereafter become bankrupt.

Article 104

Land and goods may in no case be made subject to forfeiture.

Article 105

If the welfare of the State requires that any person shall surrender his movable or immovable property for the public use, he shall receive full compensation from the Treasury.

Article 106

The purchase money, as well as the revenues of the landed property constituting ecclesiastical benefices, shall be applied solely to the benefit of the clergy and to the promotion of education. The property of charitable institutions shall be applied solely to the benefit of the institutions themselves.

Article 107

Allodial right and the right of primogeniture shall not be abolished. The specific conditions under which these rights shall continue for the greatest benefit of the State and to the best advantage of the rural population shall be determined by the first or second subsequent Storting.

Article 108

No earldoms, baronies, entailed estates or fideicommissa may be created in the future.

Article 109

As a general rule every citizen of the State is equally bound to serve in the defence of the Country for a specific period, irrespective of birth or fortune.

The application of this principle, and the restrictions to which it shall be subject, shall be determined by law.

Article 110

It is the responsibility of the authorities of the State to create conditions enabling every person capable of work to earn a living by his work.

Specific provisions concerning the right of employees to co-determination at their work place shall be laid down by law.

Article 110 a

It is the responsibility of the authorities of the State to create conditions enabling the Sami people to preserve and develop its language, culture and way of life.

Article 110 b

Every person has a right to an environment that is conducive to health and to natural surroundings whose productivity and diversity are preserved. Natural resources should be made use of on the basis of comprehensive long-term considerations whereby this right will be safeguarded for future generations as well.

In order to safeguard their right in accordance with the foregoing paragraph, citizens are entitled to be informed of the state of the natural environment and of the effects of any encroachments on nature that are planned or commenced.

The State authorities shall issue further provisions for the implementation of these principles.

Article 110 c

It is the responsibility of the authorities of the State to respect and ensure human rights. Specific provisions for the implementation of treaties hereof shall be determined by law.

Article 111

The form and colours of the Norwegian Flag shall be determined by law.

Article 112

If experience shows that any part of this Constitution of the Kingdom of Norway ought to be amended, the proposal to this effect shall be submitted to the first, second or third Storting after a new General Election and be publicly announced in print. But it shall be left to the first, second or third Storting after the following General Election to decide whether or not the proposed amendment shall be adopted. Such amendment must never, however, contradict the principles embodied in this Constitution, but solely relate to modifications of particular provisions which do not alter the spirit of the Constitution, and such amendment requires that two thirds of the Storting agree thereto.

An amendment to the Constitution adopted in the manner aforesaid shall be signed by the President and the Secretary of the Storting, and shall be sent to the King for public announcement in print, as an applicable provision of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Norway.


Produced for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by Nytt fra Norge, who is also is responsible for the contents of the article.

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