Press release from the Supreme Court in the ACER case
On Wednesday 13 January 2021 at 9 a.m., the plenary of the Supreme Court will start hearing case no. 20-072085SIV-HRET between the organisation No to the EU and the Norwegian State on the implementation of EU's third energy market package into the EEA Agreement. The Supreme Court is to determine whether the action is inadmissible.
Four days are reserved for the hearing, which will end on Monday 18 January 2021. The hearing will be held as a video conference and be livestreamed on various media platforms. Other press agencies that wish to stream the proceedings, may contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The case has arisen from the Storting's consent on 22 March 2018 to the EEA Committee's decision to incorporate the EU's third energy market package into the EEA Agreement. The Storting granted its consent in accordance with the procedure in Article 26 subsection 2 of the Norwegian Constitution.
In November 2018, the organisation No to the EU brought an action against the State represented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, claiming that the State has an obligation to refuse implementation of the third energy market package into Norwegian law. The organisation argues that such an implementation would be a relinquishment of sovereignty, which requires the Storting's consent by a three-fourths majority according to Article 115 of the Constitution. In other words, No to the EU contests the constitutionality of the Storting's consent granted on 22 March 2018.
The Supreme Court is now to determine whether No to the EU's action may be heard in Norwegian courts, or whether the action is inadmissible because the criteria for bringing an action in section 1-3 of the Dispute Act are not met. According to this provision, an action may be brought before the courts for "legal claims". The claimant "must demonstrate a genuine need to have the claim decided against the defendant. This is determined based on an overall assessment of the relevance of the claim and the parties' connection to the claim".
Borgarting Court of Appeal and Oslo District Court have both refused to hear No to the EU's action.
Although the hearing will be held as a video conference, counsel will be present in the Supreme Court Building.