Elverum Authorization

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The Elverum Authorization (Norwegian: Elverumsfullmakten) allowed the Norwegian executive branch to temporarily and legitimately assert absolute authority given that parliament was no longer able to convene in ordinary session in Oslo. The action was approved unanimously by the Parliament of Norway (the Storting) on 9 April 1940, in the town of Elverum, in Norway, after the Norwegian royal family, executive branch, and parliament had evacuated Oslo to evade capture by German troops in the course of Operation Weserübung during World War II.[1]

Text[edit]

The authorization reads, in translated form:

Significance[edit]

The authorization is of historical significance because it allowed the Norwegian executive branch to assert legitimacy – even while in exile.

Debate[edit]

The authorization is controversial in that it constituted a complete abandonment of the legislative powers in Norway during the war. The issue was brought to the Supreme Court of Norway, which ruled that the authorization was legitimate and valid.

Critics have pointed to the fact that the authorization was never formally put to a vote, and that it in any case was invalid because there was no constitutional basis for the Storting to hand over its functions to the executive branch. These critics also claim that Section 17 – which was invoked in the authorization – only authorized emergency powers within the areas of "trade", "customs", "economy" and "police" until the Storting could be seated again.

Result[edit]

In any event, the legitimacy of the exiled government was to little extent called into question during the war, except by the Quisling government and the German occupying power.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Elverum Authorization" (in Norwegian). NorgesLexi.com. Retrieved 2008-08-28. 

Coordinates: 60°52′53″N 11°33′50″E / 60.8814°N 11.5639°E / 60.8814; 11.5639