POSTS BY Hans Petter Graver

Fighting the Virus and the Rule of Law – A Country Report on Norway

Governments across Europe are quick to limit personal freedoms in the name of fighting the pandemic. The case of Norway, however, reveals how the process of adopting these measures can compromise democratic discourse and procedure. The main rule of law challenges we have seen here are an overreach of the authorities of their legal powers, a lack of transparency and exclusion of the public from public decision-making and battle over jurisdiction to regulate between the central government and local authorities. In the end, it is not just our health, but the rule of law that is under threat.

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The Impossibility of Upholding the Rule of Law When You Don’t Know the Rules of the Law

On October 28 2019, it became known that the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration has been systematically breaching the rule of law for years when it applied the EEA legislation incorrectly in cases of unemployment and sickness benefits and work assessment allowances. According to the Attorney General, at least 48 people have been wrongly convicted of social security fraud, 36 of whom have been sentenced to prison. Later investigations have revealed that the number is much higher. This blatant disregard of the rule of law illustrates what happens when political pressure meets legal professionals, judges and an administration who are blissfully ignorant when it comes to European law.

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