THE CONSTITUTION OF THE KINGDOM OF NORWAY
The Constitution, as laid down on 17 May 1814 by the Constituent
Assembly at Eidsvoll (with subsequent amendments, the most recent being
of 19 June 1992)
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
All inhabitants of the Realm shall have the right to free exercise of
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 reign ing 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.
Article 10 (Repealed)
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 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
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.
Article 15 (Repealed)
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 ordi nances 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
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
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
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
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.
Article 33 (Repealed)
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
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
Article 38 (Repealed)
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
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.
Article 42 (Repealed)
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
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
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
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
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
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 sixtyfive.
Each county constitutes a constituency.
One hundred and fiftyseven 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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
The Storting shall meet in open session, and its proceedings shall be
published in print, except in those cases where a majority decides to
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
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
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.
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
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 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
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
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
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
Allodial right and the right of primo-geniture 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
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
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 longterm 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 ar 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.
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.
NORWEGIAN INFORMATION : Produced for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by
Nytt fra Norge. Reproduction permitted. Printed in November 1992.
Lagt inn 7 desember 1994 av Statens