The scope of collective rights of use to land in Nesseby, Finnmark

Supreme Court judgment of 9 March 2018, HR-2018-456-P (case no. 2017/860), civil case, appeal against judgment.

 

I.

Finnmark Estate Agency (FeFo)(Counsel Kristin Bjella) (Assisting counsel Frode A. Innjord)

Reindeer Grazing District 6/5D (intervener) (Counsel Anja Jonassen)

Meskelv regional society (intervener) (Counsel Kristoffer Dons Brøndbo)

v.           

Nesseby regional society (Counsel Brynjar Østgård) (Assisting counsel: Frode Elgesem)

II.

Nesseby regional society (Counsel Brynjar Østgård) (Assisting counsel: Frode Elgesem)

v.           

Finnmark Estate Agency (FeFo)(Counsel Kristin Bjella)  (Assisting counsel Frode A. Innjord)

Reindeer Grazing District 6/5D (intervener) (Counsel Anja Jonassen)

Meskelv regional society (intervener) (Counsel Kristoffer Dons Brøndbo)

 

Justices: Bergh, Utgård, Tønder, Endresen, Indreberg, Bårdsen, Webster, Matheson, Normann, Noer, Bull, Kallerud, Bergsjø, Arntzen, Falch, Berglund, Matningsdal

A regional society in Nesseby in Finnmark, holding indisputable and extensive rights of use based on immemorial usage in a large part of the municipality, see the Finnmark Act section 5 subsection 2, asserted that they, and not the Finnmark Estate Agency, had a right to manage the renewable natural resources to which the rights of use related. The Supreme Court, having heard the case in plenary, concluded as opposed to Finnmark Land Tribunal that the inhabitants had not exercised their rights of use in a way that they had also acquired rights of management based on immemorial use. This entailed that the management authority ascribed to the Finnmark Estate Agency as landowner persisted pursuant to the Finnmark Act chapter 3. Neither the ILO Convention no.169 nor other rules under international law could give any other result. Judgment was given in favour of the Finnmark Estate Agency to the extent the judgment by Finnmark Land Tribunal was appealed.

Read the whole judgment.