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Constitution of Norway (1814, rev. 2004)

1The following text is from the Constitute Project, who through a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License, has generously made this content available for use for noncommercial purposes. Follow (right-click) the links and read the annotation to learn more. 1

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3A. FORM OF GOVERNMENT AND RELIGION

4Article 1

5The Kingdom of Norway is a free, independent, indivisible and inalienable Realm. Its form of government is a limited and hereditary monarchy.

6Article 2

7All inhabitants of the Realm shall have the right to free exercise of their religion.

8The 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 [manner].

9B. THE EXECUTIVE POWER, THE KING AND THE ROYAL FAMILY

10Article 3

11The 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.

12Article 4

13The King shall, at all times, profess the Evangelical-Lutheran religion, and uphold and protect the same.

14Article 5

15The King’s person is sacred; he cannot be censured or accused. The responsibility rests with his Council.

16Article 6

17The 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.

18An 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.

19The 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.

20When 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 (Stortinget) in session and be entered in the record of its proceedings.

21For those born before the year 1971, Article 6 of the Constitution as it was passed on November 18, 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.

22Article 7

23If 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.

24Article 8

25The age of majority of the King shall be laid down by law.

26As soon as the King has attained the age prescribed by law, he shall make a public declaration that he is of-age.

27Article 9

28As soon as the King, being of-age, accedes to the government, he shall take the following oath before the Storting:

29“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.”

30If 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.

31Article 10

32(Repealed)

33Article 11

34The King shall reside in the Realm and may not, without the consent of the Storting, remain outside the Realm for more than six (6) months at a time, otherwise he shall have forfeited, for his person, the right to the Crown.

35The King may not accept any other crown or government without the consent of the Storting, for which two-thirds (2/3) of the votes are required.

36Article 12

37The 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 (7) other Members.

38More than half (1/2) the number of the Members of the Council of State shall profess the official religion of the State.

39The 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.

40Husband and wife, parent and child or two siblings may never sit at the same time in the Council of State.

41Article 13

42During 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.

43The 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 (2) votes.

44The Council of State shall make a report to the King on matters of business which it thus decides.

45Article 14

46The 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.

47Article 15

48(Repealed)

49Article 16

50The 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.

51Article 17

52The 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.

53Article 18

54As a general rule the King shall provide for the collection of the taxes and duties imposed by the Storting.

55Article 19

56The 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.

57Article 20

58The 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.

59In proceedings which the Odelsting (Odelstinget) causes to be brought before the Court of Impeachment, no pardon other than deliverance from the death penalty may be granted.

60Article 21

61The 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.

62Article 22

63The 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 (2/3) of their previous pay.

64Other 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.

65All senior officials may, without a prior court judgment, be discharged from office upon attaining the statutory age limit.

66Article 23

67The 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 honorably 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.

68No personal, or mixed, hereditary privileges may henceforth be granted to anyone.

69Article 24

70The King chooses and dismisses, at his own discretion, his Royal Household and Court Officials.

71Article 25

72The 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.

73The 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.

74Article 26

75The King has the right to call up troops, to engage in hostilities in defense of the Realm and to make peace, to conclude and denounce conventions, to send and to receive diplomatic envoys.

76Treaties 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.

77Article 27

78All 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.

79A 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.

80Article 28

81Proposals 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.

82Article 29

83If 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.

84If so many Members are lawfully prevented from attending that not more than half (1/2) 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.

85Article 30

86All 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.

87Everyone 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.

88If 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.

89Article 31

90All 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.

91Article 32

92The 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.

93Article 33

94(Repealed)

95Article 34

96The King shall make provisions concerning titles for those who are entitled to succeed to the Crown.

97Article 35

98As soon as the heir to the Throne has completed her or his eighteenth (18th) year, she or he is entitled to take a seat in the Council of State, although without a vote or responsibility.

99Article 36

100A 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 (2/3) of the votes are required.

101If she or he acts contrary to this rule, they and their descendants forfeit their right to the Throne of Norway.

102Article 37

103The 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.

104Article 38

105(Repealed)

106Article 39

107If the King dies and the heir to the Throne is still under-age, the Council of State shall immediately summon the Storting.

108Article 40

109Until 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.

110Article 41

111If 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.

112Article 42

113(Repealed)

114Article 43

115The choice of trustees to conduct the government on behalf of the King during his minority shall be undertaken by the Storting.

116Article 44

117The Princess or Prince who, in the cases mentioned in Article 41, conducts the government shall make the following oath in writing before the Storting:

118“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.”

119If 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.

120The Princess or Prince who has once made the oath shall not repeat it later.

121Article 45

122As soon as their conduct of the government ceases, the trustees shall submit to the King and the Storting an account of the same.

123Article 46

124If 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 (4) weeks have elapsed, to arrange for the Storting to be summoned.

125Article 47

126The 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.

127Article 48

128If 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.

129C. RIGHTS OF CITIZENS AND THE LEGISLATIVE POWER

130Article 49

131The people exercises the Legislative Power through the Storting, which consists of two departments, the Lagting (Lagtinget) and the Odelsting (Odelstinget).

132Article 50

133Entitled to vote in elections to the Storting are Norwegian citizens, men and women, who in the year when the election is held, have completed their 18th year.

134The 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.

135Rules 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 serious mental weakness or a reduced level of consciousness.

136Article 51

137The 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.

138Article 52

139(Repealed)

140Article 53

141The right to vote is lost by persons:

142 a.sentenced for criminal offences, in accordance with the relevant provisions laid down by law;

143 b.(repealed)

144 c.(repealed)

145 d.(repealed)

146 e.(repealed)

147Article 54

148The polls shall be held every fourth (4) year. They shall be concluded by the end of September.

149Article 55

150The 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.

151Article 56

152(Repealed)

153Article 57

154The number of representatives to be elected to the Storting shall be one hundred and sixty-nine (169).

155The Realm is divided into nineteen (19) constituencies.

156One hundred and fifty of the Representatives of the Storting are elected as representatives of the constituencies while the remaining nineteen representatives are elected in order to achieve a greater degree of proportionality.

157Each constituency shall have one of these additional seats.

158The number of representatives to the Storting to be elected in each constituency is determined on the basis of a calculation of the relation between the number of inhabitants per area of each constituency and the number of inhabitants per area of the Realm as a whole, with every inhabitant counting as one point and every square kilometer counting as 1.8. The calculations have to be updated every eighth year.

159Detailed rules on the division of the Realm into constituencies and the distribution of seats in the Storting between the constituencies will be determined by law.

160Article 58

161The polls shall be held separately for each municipality. At the polls, votes shall be cast directly for representatives to the Storting, together with their proxies, to represent the entire constituency.

162Article 59

163The 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.

164The 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.

165List alliances are not permitted.

166The additional [19] seats are distributed among the parties taking part in such distribution on the basis of the relation between the total numbers 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 of each party in the Storting is determined by applying the rules on the distribution of constituency seats correspondingly to the entire Realm and to the parties taking part in the distribution of the additional seats. The parties are then allotted so many additional seats 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, through the distribution of constituency seats, a party has already obtained a greater number of seats than that to which it is entitled in accordance with the foregoing, a new distribution of the additional seats 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.

167No party may be allotted an additional seat unless it has received at least four percent (4%) of the total number of votes cast in the entire Realm.

168Detailed rules on the distribution of additional party seats in the constituencies will be determined by law.

169Article 60

170Whether and in what manner those entitled to vote may deliver their ballot papers, without personal attendance at the polls, shall be determined by law.

171Article 61

172No one is eligible to be a representative to the Storting who is not entitled to vote.

173Article 62

174Officials who are employed in government departments, State Secretaries and political advisers excepted, may not be elected as representatives to the Storting. The same applies to members of the Supreme Court and officials employed in the diplomatic or consular services.

175Members 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 State Secretaries as long as they hold their appointments and political advisers in government departments as long as they occupy their position attend as representatives.

176Article 63

177It is the duty of anyone who is elected as a representative to accept such election, unless:

178 a.He is elected outside the constituency in which he is entitled to vote.

179 b.He has as a representative attended all sessions of the Storting following the previous election.

180 c.(repealed)

181 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.

182Rules concerning the date by and the manner in which those entitled to do so shall refuse the election will be determined by law.

183It shall similarly be prescribed by law by what date and in which manner anyone who is elected as representative for two (2) or more constituencies shall state which election he will accept.

184Article 64

185The representatives elected shall be furnished with credentials, the validity of which shall be adjudged by the Storting.

186Article 65

187Every representative and proxy called to the Storting shall be entitled to receive from the Treasury such reimbursement as is prescribed by law for traveling expenses to and from the Storting, and from the Storting to his home and back again during vacations lasting at least fourteen (14) days.

188He shall further be entitled to remuneration, likewise prescribed by law, for attending the Storting.

189Article 66

190Representatives 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.

191Article 67

192The representatives elected in the aforesaid manner shall constitute the Storting of the Kingdom of Norway.

193Article 68

194The 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.

195Article 69

196When the Storting is not assembled, it may be summoned by the King if he finds it necessary.

197Article 70

198(Repealed)

199Article 71

200The members of the Storting function as such for four (4) successive years.

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