The Constitution, as laid down on 17 May 1814 by the Constituent Assembly at Eidsvoll (with subsequent amendments, the most recent being of 23 July 1995).
A. Form of government and religion
The Kingdom of Norway is a free, independent, indivisible and inalienable Realm. Its form of government is a limited and hereditary monarchy.
All inhabitants of the Realm shall have the right to free exercise of their religion.
The Evangelical-Lutheran religion shall remain the official religion of the State. The inhabitants professing it are bound to bring up their children in the same.
B. The Executive Power, the King and the Royal Family
The Executive Power is vested in the King, or in the Queen if she has succeeded to the Crown pursuant to the provisions of Article 6 or Article 7 or Article 48 of this Constitution. When the Executive Power is thus vested in the Queen, she has all the rights and obligations which pursuant to this Constitution and the Law of the Land are possessed by the King.
The King shall at all times profess the Evangelical-Lutheran religion, and uphold and protect the same.
The King's person is sacred; he cannot be censured or accused. The responsibility rests with his Council.
The order of succession is lineal, so that only a child born in lawful wedlock of the Queen or King, or of one who is herself or himself entitled to the succession may succeed, and so that the nearest line shall take precedence over the more remote and the elder in the line over the younger.
An unborn child shall also be included among those entitled to the succession and shall immediately take her or his proper place in the line of succession as soon as she or he is born into the world.
The right of succession shall not, however, belong to any person who is not born in the direct line of descent from the last reigning Queen or King or a sister or brother thereof, or is herself or himself a sister or brother thereof.
When a Princess or Prince entitled to succeed to the Crown of Norway is born, her or his name and time of birth shall be notified to the first Storting in session and be entered in the record of its proceedings.
For those born before the year 1971, Article 6 of the Constitution as it was passed on 18 November 1905 shall, however, apply. For those born before the year 1990 it shall nevertheless be the case that a male shall take precedence over a female.
If there is no Princess or Prince entitled to the succession, the King may propose his successor to the Storting, which has the right to make the choice if the King's proposal is not accepted.
The age of majority of the King shall be laid down by law.
As soon as the King has attained the age prescribed by law, he shall make a public declaration that he is of age.
As soon as the King, being of age, accedes to the government, he shall take the following oath before the Storting: "I promise and swear that I will govern the Kingdom of Norway in accordance with its Constitution and Laws; so help me God, the Almighty and Omniscient."
If the Storting is not in session at the time, the oath shall be made in writing in the Council of State and be repeated solemnly by the King at the first subsequent Storting.
The King shall reside in the Realm and may not, without the consent of the Storting, remain outside the Realm for more than six months at a time, otherwise he shall have forfeited, for his person, the right to the Crown.
The King may not accept any other crown or government without the consent of the Storting, for which two thirds of the votes are required.
The King himself chooses a Council from among Norwegian citizens who are entitled to vote. This Council shall consist of a Prime Minister and at least seven other Members.
More than half the number of the Members of the Council of State shall profess the official religion of the State.
The King apportions the business among the Members of the Council of State, as he deems appropriate. Under extraordinary circumstances,besides the ordinary Members of the Council of State, the King may summon other Norwegian citizens, although no Members of the Storting, to take a seat in the Council of State.
Husband and wife, parent and child or two siblings may never sit at the same time in the Council of State.
During his travels within the Realm, the King may delegate the administration of the Realm to the Council of State. The Council of State shall conduct the government in the King's name and on his behalf. It shall scrupulously observe the provisions of this Constitution, as well as such particular directives in conformity therewith as the King may instruct.
The matters of business shall be decided by voting, where in the event of the votes being equal, the Prime Minister, or in his absence the highest-ranking Member of the Council of State who is present, shall have two votes.
The Council of State shall make a report to the King on matters of business which it thus decides.
The King may appoint State Secretaries to assist Members of the Council of State with their duties outside the Council of State. Each State Secretary shall act on behalf of the Member of the Council of State to whom he is attached to the extent determined by that Member.
The King ordains all public church services and public worship, all meetings and assemblies dealing with religious matters, and ensures that public teachers of religion follow the norms prescribed for them.
The King may issue and repeal ordinances relating to commerce, customs tariffs, all economic sectors and the police; although these must not conflict with the Constitution or with the laws passed by the Storting (as hereinafter prescribed in Articles 77, 78 and 79). They shall remain in force provisionally until the next Storting.
As a general rule the King shall provide for the collection of the taxes and duties imposed by the Storting.
The King shall ensure that the properties and prerogatives of the State are utilized and administered in the manner determined by the Storting and in the best interests of the general public.
The King shall have the right in the Council of State to pardon criminals after sentence has been passed. The criminal shall have the choice of accepting the King's pardon or submitting to the penalty imposed.
In proceedings which the Odelsting causes to be brought before the Court of Impeachment, no pardon other than deliverance from the death penalty may be granted.
The King shall choose and appoint, after consultation with his Council of State, all senior civil, ecclesiastical and military officials. Before the appointment is made, such officials shall swear or, if by law exempted from taking the oath, solemnly declare obedience and allegiance to the Constitution and the King, although senior officials who are not Norwegian nationals may by law be exempted from this duty. The Royal Princes must not hold senior civil offices.
The Prime Minister and the other Members of the Council of State, together with the State Secretaries, may be dismissed by the King without any prior court judgment, after he has heard the opinion of the Council of State on the subject. The same applies to senior officials employed in government offices or in the diplomatic or consular service, to the highest-ranking civil and ecclesiastical officials, commanders of regiments and other military formations, commandants of forts and officers commanding warships. Whether pensions should be granted to senior officials thus dismissed shall be determined by the next Storting. In the interval they shall receive two thirds of their previous pay.
Other senior officials may only be suspended by the King, and must then without delay be charged before the Courts, but they may not, except by court judgment, be dismissed nor, against their will, transferred.
All senior officials may, without a prior court judgment, be discharged from office upon attaining the statutory age limit.
The King may bestow orders upon whomever he pleases, as a reward for distinguished services, and such orders must be publicly announced, but no rank or title other than that attached to any office. The order exempts no one from the common duties and burdens of citizens, nor does it carry with it any preferential admission to senior official posts in the State. Senior officials honourably discharged from office retain the title and rank of their office. This does not apply, however, to Members of the Council of State or the State Secretaries.
No personal, or mixed, hereditary privileges may henceforth be granted to anyone.
The King chooses and dismisses, at his own discretion, his Royal Household and Court Officials.
The King is Commander-in-Chief of the land and naval forces of the Realm. These forces may not be increased or reduced without the consent of the Storting. They may not be transferred to the service of foreign powers, nor may the military forces of any foreign power, except auxiliary forces assisting against hostile attack, be brought into the Realm without the consent of the Storting.
The territorial army and the other troops which cannot be classed as troops of the line must never, without the consent of the Storting, be employed outside the borders of the Realm.
The King has the right to call up troops, to engage in hostilities in defence of the Realm and to make peace, to conclude and denounce conventions, to send and to receive diplomatic envoys.
Treaties on matters of special importance, and, in all cases, treaties whose implementation, according to the Constitution, necessitates a new law or a decision by the Storting, are not binding until the Storting has given its consent thereto.
All Members of the Council of State shall, unless lawfully absent, attend the Council of State and no decision may be adopted there unless more than half the number of members are present.
A Member of the Council of State who does not profess the official religion of the State shall not take part in proceedings on matters which concern the State Church.
Proposals regarding appointments to senior official posts and other matters of importance shall be presented in the Council of State by the Member under whose department they come, and such matters shall be dealt with by him in accordance with the decision adopted in the Council of State. However, matters strictly relating to military command may, to the extent determined by the King, be excepted from proceedings in the Council of State.
If a Member of the Council of State is lawfully prevented from attending the meeting and from presenting the matters coming under his department, these may be presented by another member temporarily appointed by the King for the purpose.
If so many Members are lawfully prevented from attending that not more than half of the stipulated number are present, the requisite number of other men or women shall be temporarily appointed to take a seat in the Council of State.
All the proceedings of the Council of State shall be entered in its records. Diplomatic matters which the Council of State decides to keep secret shall be entered in a special record. The same applies to military command matters which the Council of State decides to keep secret.
Everyone who has a seat in the Council of State has the duty frankly to express his opinion, to which the King is bound to listen. But it rests with the King to make a decision according to his own judgment.
If any Member of the Council of State is of the opinion that the King's decision conflicts with the form of government or the laws of the Realm, or is clearly prejudicial to the Realm, it is his duty to make strong remonstrances against it, as well as to have his opinion entered in the records. A member who has not thus protested is deemed to have been in agreement with the King, and shall be answerable in such manner as may be subsequently decided, and may be impeached by the Odelsting before the Court of Impeachment.
All decisions drawn up by the King shall, in order to become valid, be countersigned. The decisions relating to military command are countersigned by the person who has presented the matter, while other decisions are countersigned by the Prime Minister or, if he has not been present, by the highest-ranking Member of the Council of State present.
The decisions adopted by the Government during the King's absence shall be drawn up in the King's name and be signed by the Council of State.
The King shall make provisions concerning titles for those who are entitled to succeed to the Crown.
As soon as the heir to the Throne has completed her or his eighteenth year, she or he is entitled to take a seat in the Council of State, although without a vote or responsibility.
A Princess or Prince entitled to succeed to the Crown of Norway may not marry without the consent of the King. Nor may she or he accept any other crown or government without the consent of the King and the Storting; for the consent of the Storting two thirds of the votes are required.
If she or he acts contrary to this rule, they and their descendants forfeit their right to the Throne of Norway.
The Royal Princes and Princesses shall not personally be answerable to anyone other than the King, or whomever he decrees to sit in judgment on them.
If the King dies and the heir to the Throne is still under age, the Council of State shall immediately summon the Storting.
Until the Storting has assembled and made provisions for the government during the minority of the King, the Council of State shall be responsible for the administration of the Realm in accordance with the Constitution.
If the King is absent from the Realm unless commanding in the field, or if he is so ill that he cannot attend to the government, the person next entitled to succeed to the Throne shall, provided that he has attained the age stipulated for the King's majority, conduct the government as the temporary executor of the Royal Powers. If this is not the case, the Council of State will conduct the administration of the Realm.
The choice of trustees to conduct the government on behalf of the King during his minority shall be undertaken by the Storting.
The Princess or Prince who, in the cases mentioned in Article 41, conducts the government shall make the following oath in writing before the Storting: "I promise and swear that I will conduct the government in accordance with the Constitution and the Laws, so help me God, the Almighty and Omniscient".
If the Storting is not in session at the time, the oath shall be made in the Council of State and later be presented to the next Storting.
The Princess or Prince who has once made the oath shall not repeat it later.
As soon as their conduct of the government ceases, the trustees shall submit to the King and the Storting an account of the same.
If the persons concerned fail to summon the Storting immediately in accordance with Article 39, it becomes the unconditional duty of the Supreme Court, as soon as four weeks have elapsed, to arrange for the Storting to be summoned.
The supervision of the education of the King during his minority should, if both his parents are dead and neither of them has left any written directions thereon, be determined by the Storting.
If the Royal Line has died out, and no successor to the Throne has been designated, then a new Queen or King shall be chosen by the Storting. Meanwhile, the Executive Power shall be exercised in accordance with Article 40.
C. Rights of citizens and the Legislative Power
The people exercises the Legislative Power through the Storting, which consists of two departments, the Lagting and the Odelsting.
Those entitled to vote are Norwegian citizens, men and women, who, at the latest in the year when the election is held, have completed their 18th year.
The extent, however, to which Norwegian citizens, who on Election Day are resident outside the Realm but who satisfy the aforementioned conditions, are entitled to vote shall be determined by law.
Rules may be laid down by law concerning the right to vote of persons, otherwise entitled to vote, who on Election Day are manifestly suffering from a seriously weakened mental state or a reduced level of consciousness.
The rules on the keeping of the poll list and on the registration in the poll list of persons entitled to vote shall be determined by law.
The right to vote is lost by persons:
a) sentenced for criminal offences, in accordance with the relevant provisions laid down by law;
b) entering the service of a foreign power without the consent of the Government;
d) demonstrably guilty of having bought votes, of having sold their own vote, or of having voted at more than one polling station.
The polls shall be held every fourth year. They shall be concluded by the end of September.
The polls shall be conducted in the manner prescribed by law. Disputes regarding the right to vote shall be settled by the poll officials, whose decision may be appealed to the Storting.
The number of representatives to be elected to the Storting shall be one hundred and sixty-five.
Each county constitutes a constituency.
One hundred and fifty-seven of the Representatives of the Storting are elected as representatives of constituencies and the remaining 8 representatives are elected so as to achieve a greater degree of proportionality.
Representatives of constituencies are distributed among the constituencies of the Realm as follows: 8 are elected from the county of Østfold, 15 from Oslo, 12 from the county of Akershus, 8 from the county of Hedmark, 7 from the county of Oppland, 7 from the county of Buskerud, 7 from the county of Vestfold, 6 from the county of Telemark, 4 from the county of Aust-Agder, 5 from the county of Vest-Agder, 10 from the county of Rogaland, 15 from the county of Hordaland, 5 from the county of Sogn og Fjordane, 10 from the county of Møre og Romsdal, 10 from the county of Sør-Trøndelag, 6 from the county of Nord-Trøndelag, 12 from the county of Nordland, 6 from the county of Troms, and 4 from the county of Finnmark.
Each municipality constitutes a separate polling district.
The polls shall be held separately for each polling district. At the polls votes shall be cast directly for representatives to the Storting, together with their proxies, to represent the entire constituency.
The election of representatives of constituencies is based on proportional representation and the seats are distributed among the political parties in accordance with the following rules.
The total number of votes cast for each party within each separate constituency is divided by 1.4, 3, 5, 7 and so on until the number of votes cast is divided as many times as the number of seats that the party in question may expect to obtain. The party which in accordance with the foregoing obtains the largest quotient is allotted the first seat, while the second seat is allotted to the party with the second largest quotient, and so on until all the seats are distributed. If several parties have the same quotient, lots are drawn to decide to which party the seat shall be allotted. List alliances are not permitted.
The seats at large are distributed among the parties taking part in such distribution on the basis of the relation between the total number of votes cast for the individual parties in the entire Realm in order to achieve the highest possible degree of proportionality among the parties. The total number of seats in the Storting to be held by each party is determined by applying the rules concerning the distribution of constituency seats correspondingly to the entire Realm and to the parties taking part in the distribution of the seats at large. The parties are then allotted so many seats at large that these, together with the constituency seats already allotted, correspond to the number of seats in the Storting to which the party in question is entitled in accordance with the foregoing. If according to these rules two or more parties are equally entitled to a seat, preference shall be given to the party receiving the greatest number of votes or, in the event of a tie, the one which is chosen by drawing lots. If a party has already through the distribution of constituency seats obtained a greater number of seats than that to which it is entitled in accordance with the foregoing, a new distribution of the seats at large shall be carried out exclusively among the other parties, in such a way that no account is taken of the number of votes cast for and constituency seats obtained by the said party.
No party may be allotted a seat at large unless it has received at least 4 per cent of the total number of votes cast in the entire Realm.
The seats at large obtained by a party are distributed among that party's lists of candidates for constituency elections so that the first seat is allotted to the list left with the largest quotient after the constituency's seats are distributed, the second seat to the list with the second largest quotient, and so on until all the party's seats at large have been distributed.
Whether and in what manner those entitled to vote may deliver their ballot papers, without personal attendance at the polls, shall be determined by law.
No one is eligible as a representative to the Storting unless he has resided for 10 years in the Realm, as well as being entitled to vote.
Officials who are employed in government departments, except however the State Secretaries, or officials and pensioners of the Court, may not be elected as representatives to the Storting. The same applies to officials employed in the diplomatic or consular services.
Members of the Council of State may not attend meetings of the Storting as representatives while holding a seat in the Council of State. Nor may the State Secretaries attend as representatives while holding their appointments.
It is the duty of anyone who is elected as a representative to accept such election, unless:
a) He is elected outside the constituency in which he is entitled to vote.
b) He has as a representative attended all the sessions of the Storting following the previous election.
c) He has completed his sixtieth year at the latest in the year when the General Election is held.
d) He is a member of a political party and he is elected on a list of candidates which has not been issued by that party.
If anyone is elected as a representative without being bound to accept such election, he must, within the time and in the manner prescribed by law, make a declaration stating whether or not he accepts election.
It shall similarly be prescribed by law by what date and in which manner anyone who is elected as representative for two or more constituencies shall state which election he will accept.
The representatives elected shall be furnished with credentials, the validity of which shall be adjudged by the Storting.
Every representative and proxy called to the Storting shall be entitled to receive from the Treasury such reimbursement as is prescribed by law for travelling expenses to and from the Storting, and from the Storting to his home and back again during vacations lasting at least fourteen days.
He shall further be entitled to remuneration, likewise prescribed by law, for attending the Storting.
Representatives on their way to and from the Storting, as well as during their attendance there, shall be exempt from personal arrest, unless they are apprehended in public crimes, nor may they be called to account outside the meetings of the Storting for opinions expressed there. Every representative shall be bound to conform to the rules of procedure therein adopted.
The representatives elected in the aforesaid manner shall constitute the Storting of the Kingdom of Norway.
The Storting shall as a rule assemble on the first weekday in October every year in the capital of the Realm, unless the King, by reason of extraordinary circumstances, such as hostile invasion or infectious disease, designates another town in the Realm for the purpose. Such a decision must be publicly announced in good time.
When the Storting is not assembled, it may be summoned by the King if he finds it necessary.
The members of the Storting function as such for four successive years.
The Storting nominates from among its members one fourth to constitute the Lagting, the remaining three fourths to constitute the Odelsting. This nomination shall take place at the first session of the Storting that assembles after a new General Election, whereafter the Lagting shall remain unchanged at all sessions of the Storting assembled after the same election, except insofar as any vacancy which may occur among its members has to be filled by special nomination.
Each Ting holds its meetings separately and nominates its own President and Secretary. Neither Ting may hold a meeting unless at least half of its Members are present. However, Bills concerning amendments to the Constitution may not be dealt with unless at least two thirds of the Members of the Storting are present.
As soon as the Storting is constituted, the King, or whoever he appoints for the purpose, shall open its proceedings with a Speech, in which he shall inform it of the state of the Realm and of the issues to which he particularly desires to call the attention of the Storting. No deliberations may take place in the presence of the King.
When the proceedings of the Storting have been opened, the Prime Minister and the Members of the Council of State have the right to attend the Storting, as well as both departments of the Storting, and, like its Members, although without voting, to take part in any proceedings conducted in open session, while in matters discussed in closed session only insofar as permitted by the Ting concerned.
It devolves upon the Storting:
a) to enact and repeal laws; to impose taxes, dues, customs and other public charges, which shall not, however, remain operative beyond 31 December of the succeeding year, unless they are expressly renewed by a new Storting;
b) to raise loans in the name of the Realm;
c) to supervise the monetary affairs of the Realm;
d) to appropriate the moneys necessary to meet government expenditure;
e) to decide how much shall be paid annually to the King for the Royal Household, and to determine the Royal Family's appanage which may not, however, consist of real property;
f) to have submitted to it the records of the Council of State, and all public reports and documents;
g) to have communicated to it the conventions and treaties which the King, on behalf of the State, has concluded with foreign powers;
h) to have the right to require anyone, the King and the Royal Family excepted, to appear before it on matters of State; the exception does not, however, apply to the Royal Princes if they hold any public office;
i) to review the provisional lists of salaries and pensions and to make therein such alterations as it deems necessary;
k) to appoint five auditors, who shall annually examine the State Accounts and publish extracts of the same in print, for which purpose the Accounts shall be submitted to the auditors within six months of the end of the year for which the appropriations of the Storting have been made, and to adopt provisions concerning the procedure for authorizing the accounts of government accounting officials;
l) to appoint a person, not a member of the Storting, in a manner prescribed by law, to supervise the public administration and all who work in its service, to assure that no injustice is done against the individual citizen;
m) to naturalize aliens.
Every Bill shall first be proposed in the Odelsting, either by one of its own Members, or by the government through a Member of the Council of State.
If the Bill is passed, it is sent to the Lagting, which either approves or rejects it, and in the latter case returns it with appended comments. These are taken into consideration by the Odelsting, which either shelves the bill or again sends it to the Lagting,with or without alteration.
When a Bill from the Odelsting has twice been presented to the Lagting and has been returned a second time as rejected, the Storting shall meet in plenary session, and the bill is then decided by a majority of two thirds of its votes.
Between each such deliberation there shall be an interval of at least three days.
When a Bill passed by the Odelsting has been approved by the Lagting or by the Storting in plenary session, it is sent to the King, with a request that it may receive the Royal Assent.
If the King assents to the Bill, he appends his signature, whereby it becomes law.
If he does not assent to it, he returns it to the Odelsting with a statement that he does not for the time being find it expedient to sanction it. In that case the Bill must not again be submitted to the King by the Storting then assembled.
If a Bill has been passed unaltered by two sessions of the Storting, constituted after two separate successive elections and separated from each other by at least two intervening sessions of the Storting, without a divergent Bill having been passed by any Storting in the period between the first and last adoption, and it is then submitted to the King with a petition that His Majesty shall not refuse his assent to a Bill which, after the most mature deliberation, the Storting considers to be beneficial, it shall become law even if the Royal Assent is
not accorded before the Storting goes into recess.
The Storting shall remain in session as long as it deems it necessary and shall terminate its proceedings when it has concluded its business.
In accordance with the rules of procedure adopted by the Storting, the proceedings may be resumed, but they shall terminate not later than the last Sunday in the month of September.
Within this time the King shall communicate his decision with regard to the Bills that have not already been decided (cf. Articles 77 to 79), by either confirming or rejecting them. All those which he does not expressly accept are deemed to have been rejected by him.
All Acts (with the exception of those mentioned in Article 79) are drawn up in the name of the King, under the seal of the Realm of Norway, and in the following terms; «We, X, make it publicly known: that the decision of the Storting of the date stated has been laid before Us: (here follows the decision). In consequence whereof We have assented to and confirmed, as We hereby do assent to and confirm the same as Law under Our Hand and the Seal of the Realm.»
The Storting may obtain the opinion of the Supreme Court on points of law.
The Storting shall meet in open session, and its proceedings shall be published in print, except in those cases where a majority decides to the contrary.
Any person who obeys an order, the purpose of which is to disturb the liberty and security of the Storting, is thereby guilty of treason against the Country.
D. The Judicial Power
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.
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.
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.
The judgments of the Supreme Court may in no case be appealed.
No one may be appointed a member of the Supreme Court before reaching 30 years of age.
E. General provisions
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.
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.
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.
No dispensations, protection from civil arrest, moratoriums or redresses may be granted after the new general code has entered into force.
No one may be convicted except according to law, or be punished except after a court judgment. Interrogation by torture must not take place.
No law must be given retroactive effect.
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.
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.
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.
New and permanent privileges implying restrictions on the freedom of trade and industry must not in future be granted to anyone.
Search of private homes shall not be made except in criminal cases.
Asylum for the protection of debtors shall not be granted to such persons as hereafter become bankrupt.
Land and goods may in no case be made subject to forfeiture.
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.
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.
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.
No earldoms, baronies, entailed estates or fideicommissa may be created in the future.
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.
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.
The form and colours of the Norwegian Flag shall be determined by law.
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.
Printed in February 1996.
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