The Supreme Court in 2017

In 2017, the Supreme Court received 2141 appeals, of which 800 were appeals against judgments.
Annual Report 2017

Plenary session 17 January

Finnmarkseiendommen v. Unjárgga Gilisearvi/Nesseby regional society

Case no. 2017/860, civil case, appeal against judgment: 

During the period 17 – 25 January 2018 the Norwegian Supreme Court will hear the appeals between the abovementioned parties in plenary session with 19 justices present. Reindeer grazing district 5/6 and Meskelv and environs regional society are admitted as interveners for Finnmarkseiendommen. 

The case concerns an appeal from Finnmarkseiendommen and a derivative appeal from Unjárgga Gilisearvi/Nesseby regional society against a judgment given by the Finnmark Land Tribunal. The Finnmark Land Tribunal is a special court that considers disputes concerning rights that arise after the Finnmark Commission has investigated a field pursuant to the Finnmark Act. Stjernøya and Seiland were proclaimed as field 1, and a dispute regarding the ownership of this field was heard by the Supreme Court in HR-2016-2030-A. The municipality of Nesseby, the area concerned in this case, is field 2. 

The subject matter of the case is the right to control and manage the land resources on Finnmarkseiendommen's land in the municipality of Nesseby – Finnmarkseiendommen as the owner, or the Sami local inhabitants, represented by Unjárgga Gilisearvi/Nesseby regional society, with their rights of usage. The disputed area measures 470 square kilometres and stretches from Meskelva in the west to the border between Nesseby and Vadsø in the east, and from the shore slope to Jakobselvkroken. The right of ownership is not disputed in this case.

The Supreme Court is to decide whether the local inhabitants have exclusive rights to control and manage the land resources to which they have a right of usage, including a right to receive the financial proceeds from the resources. Of particular interest is the local inhabitants' actual usage of the land through the ages, and whether this usage justifies the rights asserted. The case also addresses the observance of international conventions on the rights of indigenous peoples.  

The Finnmark Commission concluded in a report issued on 13 February 2013 that the local inhabitants have independent, but not exclusive, rights of usage to the area, and that the rights are limited to the scope set out in the Finnmark Act. Unjárgga Gilisearvi/Nesseby regional society brought an action before the Finnmark Land Tribunal. In its ruling of 23 January 2017, the Tribunal supported the local inhabitants' claim that they alone have a right to control and manage the land resources, apart from extracting timber in the disputed area and fishing in Bergebyelva.

The derivative appeal from the regional society relates to the control and management of the fishing activity in Bergebyelva.

The hearing will take place in the courtroom of the Supreme Court's second chamber. The proceedings start at 9 a.m. and last until 2.30 p.m. on all court days.

The hearing is open to the press and to the public. 

For more information, please contact the Supreme Court's information office at

Full-text decisions in English

The Supreme Court now has its own legal translator, which allows us to provide a larger number of translated full-text decisions. These decisions are selected based on what we believe may be of interest outside Norway.

Under Summaries you will find a summary of all decisions.
Translated decisions

Chief Justice Toril Marie Øie

Chief Justice Toril Marie Øie of the Supreme Court of Norway was appointed in March 2016. She is the 20th Chief Justice in the 200-year history of the Supreme Court. 
Toril Marie Øie is the first woman to hold this office.
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The Supreme Court

The main function of the Supreme Court is to ensure clarity and development of the law.

The Supreme Court has general jurisdiction and hears all types of cases, civil as well as criminal, and cases pertaining to administrative law and constitutional law.

The Norwegian Supreme Court wishes to promote openness and transparency in its activities.