Rules of Procedure

The Appeals Selection Committee

Section 1. The Chief Justice appoints justices to serve in the Supreme Court's Appeals Selection Committee upon the proposal of the Secretary-General.

Section 2. Justices serve in the Committee for a period of 4-6 weeks. The duration may be deviated from during court holidays or when there are special reasons for doing so.

Section 3. Four justices are normally appointed to serve in the Committee. If the workload is heavy or the consideration for expedient proceedings so suggests, the Chief Justice may decide to appoint more than four justices, or to appoint a separate Committee to consider a complex case or multiple cases that should be considered in context. During court holidays, the number of justices appointed is normally three.

The Chief Justice presides over the Committee when he or she serves. Otherwise, the Committee is presided over by the most senior justice.

Section 4. The justices must be appointed taking into account that they, over time, are to serve in the Committee with approximately the same frequency, and that the composition should vary.

Section 5. The individual cases must be randomly assigned among the justices and to the justice who is to consider the case first. The presiding justice can make exceptions when the Committee is considering cases that are particularly demanding or when there are other weighty reasons for doing so.

If there is a lack of qualified justices in the Committee in a particular case, the Secretary-General will appoint – under the guidance of the Chief Justice – the necessary number of justices.

Section 6. If it is urgent to have a case decided and the Committee is not complete, the Chief Justice, or the most senior justice available, will appoint a Committee to consider the case.

 

Grand chamber

The Norwegian Courts of Justice Act stipulates that a case of particular importance, or legal issues therein, may be heard by a grand chamber of the Supreme Court, composed of eleven justices.

Aspects to consider in this regard are whether the Supreme Court may depart from an opinion it has previously held or whether legislation, provisional ordinances or parliamentary decisions may be contrary to the Constitution or Norway's international obligations.

In extraordinary events a case, or legal issues therein, may be heard by the plenary of the Supreme Court, consisting of all justices who are not disqualified or otherwise absent.

The Rules of Procedure are adopted by the Supreme Court as of 12 December 2007 in accordance with section 8, cf. section 7 subsection 2 of the Courts of Justice Act. Amended 17 March 2009.

Section 1. The Chief Justice participates in all cases heard by a grand chamber of the Supreme Court in accordance with section 5 subsection 4 first sentence of the Courts of Justice Act. The other justices are selected by drawing of lots. A justice who is disqualified is excluded from participation. The same applies to a justice who on legitimate grounds requests to be excluded. A decision under third and fourth sentence is made by the Chief Justice.

An acting justice does not participate in the drawing of lots under subsection 1 or in the assessment of whether a justice is qualified to sit in a grand chamber under section 5. However, an acting justice may participate if the court without his or her participation will be composed of ten justices or fewer. If there are several acting justices, their order is determined by drawing of lots.

Section 2. The Chief Justice participates and presides over the court in cases heard by a grand chamber. In the Chief Justice's absence, the most senior justice serves in his or her place in accordance with section 7 of the Courts of Justices Act.

Section 3. The drawing of lots is conducted by the Secretary-General, and ten justices are selected to participate in the grand chamber. Then, the drawing of lots continues so as to rank the remaining justices on a reserve list.  

Section 4. Counsel are informed of which justices have not participated in the drawing of lots and of the reason for that.  

Section 5. A party may, in the usual manner, object to the qualification of a justice in a grand chamber, and to have the objection reviewed. Should such a review be required, the justice being last on the reserve list after the drawing of lots will participate. If a justice selected to participate in a grand chamber is declared disqualified, or is otherwise absent, the justice being first on the reserve list will serve in the absent justice's place.