Judiciary of Norway

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The judiciary of Norway is hierarchical with the Supreme Court at the apex. The conciliation boards only hear certain types of civil cases. The District Courts are deemed to be the first instance of the Courts of Justice. Jury (High) Courts are the second instance and the Supreme Court is the third instance.

Pardon[edit]

The king has the right in the Council of State to pardon criminals after sentence has been passed. This right is seldom used and always by the elected government in the name of the King.

Courts[edit]

The structure of the courts of justice is hierarchical and hierarchic with the Supreme Court at the apex. The conciliation boards only hear certain types of civil cases. The District Courts are deemed to be the first instance of the Courts of Justice. Jury (High) Courts are the second instance and the Supreme Court is the third instance.

Supreme Court[edit]

The Supreme Court is Norway's highest court of justice and the instance of appeal for verdicts handed down by courts of a lower level. The court is situated in Oslo. The decisions made here are final and cannot be appealed or complained against. The only exception is for cases that can be brought before the Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Interlocutory Appeals Committee[edit]

Three of the Supreme Court judges form the Interlocutory Appeals Committee. This committee has to agree that a case is to be brought before the Supreme Court.

Courts of appeal[edit]

The country is divided into six appellate districts. Each court of appeal (Norwegian: lagmannsrett) is headed by a senior judge president and each Court of Appeal has several appellate judges. The courts are:

District courts[edit]

The district courts (Norwegian: tingrett) are the first instance of the courts of justice. There are 83 district courts.

Conciliation boards[edit]

A conciliation board is allocated to each municipality. Each conciliation board consists of three laymen and an equal number of deputies elected or appointed by the municipality council for terms of four years. Conciliation boards are to mediate between disputing parties and are widely authorised to pronounce a verdict. The majority of civil disputes are resolved by the conciliation boards. Conciliation boards do not hear criminal cases, and the participation in their hearings are voluntary.

Special courts[edit]

There are special courts that hear or process issues not covered by the District Courts:

  • The Land consolidation courts: Their main task is to find acceptable solutions for ownership disputes and issues concerning correct land usage.

Officers[edit]

Lay judges[edit]

In the district courts of Norway, lay judges sit alongside professional judges in mixed courts in most cases.[1] In most cases, 2 lay judges sit alongside 1 professional judge, whereas for serious cases (where a penalty of more than 6 years may be imposed) 3 lay judges sit alongside 2 professional judges.[1] Decisions are made by simple majority.[1]

Lay judges are not considered to be representative of the population.[1] About 75% of lay judges are nominated by the political parties in Norway.[1]

Jurors[edit]

In the district courts of Norway, 10 jurors sit alongside 3 professional judges where a penalty of more than 6 years may be imposed.[2] In complicated cases, the number of jurors may be increased to 11 or 12.[2] The 3 professional judges may remove the case to a mixed court if they believe the evidence for the defendants guilt is insufficient.[2]

Jurors are selected from the municipal resident register.[2]

Juries have been in use since 1887.[2] There have been recent proposals to abolish jury trials in Norway.[2]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Malsch 2009, p. 47.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Malsch 2009, pp. 47–48.

References[edit]

External links[edit]