Norway began as an absolute monarchy under the rule of the Kingdom of Denmark. The Norwegian Constitution (NC) was ratified in 1814 establishing the sovereign state of Norway. Originally, the ratification of the constitution was to signify the Danish release of Norway to the Swedish Union, however, the constitution stated in §1 “The Kingdom of Norway is a free, independent, and indivisible realm.” This allowed Norway to maintain their sovereignty while being a part of the Swedish Union until 1905. The NC was modeled after the United States Declaration of Independence and the French system of government.
Norway is a unitary constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government. The Head of State is the King and the Head of Government is the Prime Minister. The government is divided into three branches, the executive, legislative, and judicial as outlined in the NC. The King, while retaining the executive power, is now a representative figure. The Prime Minister exercises the executive authority of Norway. The legislative authority rests with the government and the Parliament of Norway. However, the actual exercise of the legislative authority rests in the unicameral house of parliament. Parliament is made up of 169 elected officials from the 19 districts of Norway. Norway is essentially a representative democracy, where the power to make law rests with the people and is carried out through parliament. The members of Parliament are responsible for passing laws, ratifying treaties, and impeaching members of government found to be violating the NC.
The judicial branch consists of a three essential parts; the Supreme Court, 6 Courts of Appeal, and 65 District Courts. Judges in every level hear cases in all areas including, criminal, civil, and administrative law. All judges are appointed to the bench. The Supreme Court is comprised of nineteen justices who are nominated by the Prime Minister, approved by Parliament, and officially confirmed by the King. The King, through the advice of the Prime Minister, appoints the judges in the Courts of Appeal and the District Courts. The judges come from two pools, those with a legal background, and lay judges. Judges are provided with a high level of protection because of the position they h...