A unanimous Norwegian parliament changed the country’s Constitution on 21 May 2024, to prevent that a “strongman” can take control of the Norwegian courts of justice. Poland under the former PiS government controlled by Jarosław Kaczyński, Viktor Orbán’s tight grip on Hungary and undemocratic attempts to control the courts by US politicians are mentioned as terrifying examples by Norwegian Members of Parliament.

It is for the first time since 1814 that the Norwegian Constitution is changed on the independency of the courts. According to the change, the Norwegian government needs to install an independent council that appoints the judges. Up till Monday, only the Norwegian High court was mentioned in the Grunnloven, the Constitution, but none of the lower courts. The other judges were considered sort of normal clerks according to the previous law, but their status has now been changed.

The maximum age for the judges is now set at 70 years old, to make it impossible for a ruling government to install a sudden age limit on the judges to get more political influence in the judicial system. The Stortinget – Norway’s parliament – decided in favour of the new law four days after the yearly Constitution Day of 17 May. This is celebrated as Norway’s Independence Day.
| © 2024 Marcel Burger at Nordicreporter.com. Featured photo of Norwegian flag by Rawpixeld (Public domain)