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map courtesy CIA World Factbook; click for enlargement Constitution, Government & Legislation

The Kingdom of Norway, often shortened to Norway, is a hereditary constitutional monarchy. As Chief of State, the Norweigan King is the symbol of national unity, however his functions are mainly ceremonial. The 1814 constitution grants executive powers to the king, nevertheless they are almost always exercised by the Council of Ministers in the name of the King The leader of the majority party or leader of a majority of coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the monarch with the approval of the Parliament. The King with the approval of the Parliament appoints the Council of Ministers.

The Norweigan Parliament, the Storting, consists of 165 members elected from 19 counties (fylker) for 4-year terms. Each fylke is headed by a Governor appointed by the King in council. After elections the Storting is divided into two chambers, the Odelsting and the Lagting. They meet separately or jointly depending on the legislative issue under consideration.

Source: U.S. Department of State

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Courts & Judgments

The regular Norweigan courts include the Supreme Court, Appellate Courts, City and County Courts, Labor Court, and the Conciliation Councils.

The Supreme Court consists of 18 Justices and one Chief Justice, who is the head of the Court. Judges are appointed by the King in council after nomination by the Ministry of Justice. The Supreme Court hears both civil and criminal cases, and has jurisdiction in all areas of law. Any matter brought before the Supreme Court must initially be considered by the Appeals Selection Committee. Individual cases are heard by five Justices. The Supreme Court works in two parallel and equal divisions to ease the workload, however in some instances cases are heard by all of the Justices sitting in plenary session. The Supreme Court Justices also sit on the Appeals Selection Committee of the Supreme Court, but the Committee is classed as a separate court. The cases are heard by three Justices. The Justices sit in both divisions of the Supreme Court and on the Appeals Selection Committee in accordance with a rotation system.

The special High Court of The Realm hears impeachment cases.

Source: U.S. Department of State

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