The Constitution of the Kingdom of Norway

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Constitution of the Kingdom of Norway  (1814) 

The


CONSTITUTION


of the


Kingdom of Norway.




Translated pursuant to order of Government.




Christiania 1814.

Printed by Jacob Lehmann.



The

Constitution

of

the Kingdom of Norway.




A.
Of the form of Government and the Religion.

§. 1.

The Kingdom of Norway is a free, independent andindivisible Realm. Its form of government is a limited and hereditary monarchy.

§. 2.

The Evangelical-Lutheran Religion shall be maintained and constitute the established Church of the Kingdom. The inhabitants who profess the said religion are bound to educate their children in the same. Jesuits and Monastic orders shall not be tolerated.

Jews are furthermore excluded from the Kingdom.
B.
Of the Executive Power, the King and the Royal Family.
§. 3.

The executive power is vested in the King. His title shall be: We N. N., by the Grace of God and the Constitution of the Kingdom, King of Norway.

§. 4.

The King's person is sacred, he cannot be blamed, nor accused. The responsibility is incumbent on his council.

§. 5.

The hereditary succession is lineal and agnatical, in such a manner, that only male descending from male may inherit the crown. The nearer line shall be preferred to the remoter, and the elder to the younger.

§. 6.
The elected King's male issue, begotten in lawful matrimony, is entitled to the succession, in the order prescribed in the foregoing §., so that the Kingdom remains for ever undivided; whereas the other Princes, to whom the crown may devolve by inheritance, shall be contented with such appanage, as shall be granted them by the National Assembly (called Stor-Thing), untill the order of succession devolves to them.
§. 7.

When a Prince, entitled to succession to the throne of Norway, is born, his name and birthtime shall be communicated to the next Session of the National Assembly and be entered in its records.

§. 8.

Among those entitled to succession is also reckoned the unborn, who shall immediately assume his due place of succession, when born after the death of his father.

§. 9.

If there should be no Prince entitled to succession, the King may propose his successor to the National Assembly who either consents to the proposal or rejects it.

§. 10.

The King is of age when he has filled his twentieth year. As soon as he has entered his twenty first year, he shall publicly declare himself to be of age.

§. 11.

When the King is of full age he accedes to the Government after having made the following oath to the National Assembly: I promise and swear to govern the Kingdom of Norway according to its Constitution and laws; so help me God and his holy word.

If there be no National Assembly sitting at that time the oath shall be deposited in writing in the Council of State, and the King shall repeat it solemnly in the next Session of the National Assembly.

§. 12.

When the King has attained to full age, his Coronation and Unction shall be performed in the cathedral of Trondhjem (Dronthem) at the time and with the ceremonies which he himself may appoint.

§. 13.

The King shall always reside within the present frontiers of the Kingdom, and he must not abide beyond them longer than six months at a time, without the consent of the National Assembly, unless he will, for his own person, forfeit his right to the crown.

§. 14.

The King must not accept of any other crown or government without the consent of the National Assembly, for which consent two thirds of the votes shall be required.

§. 15.
The King shall always have professed and actually profess the Evangelical-Lutheran Religion, which he shall maintain and protect.
§. 16.

The King ordains all public worship and divine service, all meetings and congregations concerning religion and superintends the public teachers adherence to the norms prescribed them.

§. 17.

The King may issue and repeal Ordinances concerning Commerce, Duties, Trades and Police, provided they do not infringe upon the constitution and the laws given by the National Assembly. Such ordinances are provisional and remain in vigour untill the next Session of the National Assembly.

§. 18.

The King generally levies the taxes and duties imposed by the National Assembly.

§. 19.

The King superintends the management and employment of the proprieties and regalia of the state conformably to the manner appointed by the National Assembly and tending most effectually to the public good.

§. 20.

The King, being in his Council of State, has a right to pardon criminals, after the Sentence of the High Court of justice has been pronounced and its Opinion heard. The criminal may choose whether he will accept the King's pardon or submit to the punishment imposed.

In the law-suits caused to be commenced by the Section of the National Assembly called Odels-Thing before the Court of State, no other pardon but dispensation from pain of death must be granted.

§. 21.

The King, after hearing the declaration of his Council of State, elects and appoints all civil, ecclesiasticai and military functionaries. These shall swear to be faithful and obedient to the Constitution and the King.

The royal Princes must not be invested with civil offices.

§. 22.

The Members of the Council of State and the functionaries appointed in its offices, embassadors and consuls, the superior civil and ecclesiasticai magistrates, the chiefs of regiments and of other military bodies, governors of fortresses and commanders of ships of war may be discharged by the King, without any previous judgment, after hearing the declaration of his Council of State. How far pension or annuity may be allowed the functionaries thus discharged shall be decided by the National Assembly next sitting. In the mean time they shall enjoy the two thirds of their former salary. The other functionaries may only be suspended by the King, after which they shall immediately be prosecuted at law; but they must not be discharged without a previous sentence, nor must they be removed against their will.

§. 23.

The King may confer orders upon whom he chooses, as a reward for distinguished merits, which shall be made known to the public, but no other rank or title than what every office implies. The order exempts nobody from the common duties and burdens of Citizens, nor does it imply a peculiar right of preferment to any office in the Kingdom. Functionaries discharged with the King's favour retain the title and rank of the offices they have borne. No personal or mixed hereditary prerogatives shall be granted to anybody for the future.

§. 24.

The King appoints and discharges, according to his own will, his household and the functionaries at his court. For the pay of these and the sustenance of his household a suitable sum shall be allowed him every year by the National Assembly.

§. 25.

The King has the supreme command of the land and naval forces of the Kingdom. They must not be left to the disposal or service of foreign powers, and no foreign soldiers, except auxiliaries against hostile invasion, must be called into the Kingdom without the consent of the National Assembly.

§. 26.

The King has right to assemble troops, declare war and conclude peace, to make and dissolve alliances, to send and receive embassadors.

§. 27

Government has no right to employ military power against members of the state, except in cases determined by the law, unless any assembly should disturb the public tranquillity and it should not instantly be dissolved after the articles of the civil law concerning riot have been thrice audibly read by the civil magistrate.

§. 28.

The King himself elects a Council of Norwegian Citizens whose members must not be younger than thirty years. This Council shall consist of five members at least. Besides them the King may, on extraordinary occasions, call other Norwegian citizens, except members of the National Assembly, to take place in the Council of State. He distributes the affairs among them in such a manner as he thinks most proper.

Father and son or two brothers must not at the same

time take seat in the Council of State.
§. 29.

All the counsellors of state shall be obliged, if there be no lawful hinderance, to be present in the Council of State, and no resolution must be taken there if there be no more than half the number of the members present.

§. 30.

Presentations concerning the appointments to offices and other affairs of importance, except diplomatic matters and special affairs of military orders, shall be laid before the Council of State by the member to whose office they belong, and the affairs shall be despatched by him according to the resolution taken by the King in the Council of State.

§. 31.

If a lawful hinderance should prevent a counsellor of state from meeting and exposing the affairs relating to his department, they shall be exposed by another counsellor of state, whom the King may constitute.

If so many members should be prevented by a lawful hinderance from meeting in the Council of State, that no more than half of the appointed number of members are present, other officers shall be constituted by the King to take seat in the Council of State.

§. 32.

A register shall be kept in the Council of State of all the matters which shall be discussed there.

Every body who has a seat in the Council of State is obliged to declare his opinion freely, to which the King shall attend; but it is left to the King to take a resolution according to his own judgment.

If any member of the Council of State should think the King's resolution inconsistent with the form of government or the laws of the Kingdom, or evidently prejudicial to the Kingdom, he shall be obliged to make forcible remonstrances against it and to insert his opinion in the register. He who has not thus protested shall be looked upon as being of the same opinion as the King and shall account for it in such a manner as shall be determined hereafter.

§. 33.

The counsellor of state who presides the department for foreign affairs shall have his own register wherein those matters shall be entered which are of such a kind as not to be laid before the assembled Council of State.

§. 34.

All Decrees and Ordinances of Government shall always be issued in the King's name.

§. 35.

All ordinances and official letters issued by the King, except matters concerning military orders, shall be countersigned by him who has exposed the matter pursuant to his office, as being responsible of the expedition's conformity with the register in which the decree has been inserted.

§. 36.

The next heir to the crown, if he be a son of the reigning King, shall have the title of Kronprinds til Norge (Crown-Prince of Norway). The King's other sons who are entitled to the crown shall have the title of Princes and the Kings's daughters that of Princesses.

§. 37.

As soon as the heir to the crown has attained to an age of eighteen years, he is entitled to take seat in the Council of State; but he shall have no vote, nor shall he be responsible.

§. 38.

No Prince of the royal blood must leave the Kingdom, marry or enter into foreign service without permission from the King. If he act against this he forfeits his right to the crown.

§. 39.

The royal Princes and Princesses shall, as for their persons, not be responsible to others than to the King or to whom he may appoint their judge.

§. 40.

If the heir to the crown be absent at the King's death, and he be not prevented by insurmountable obstructions, he shall be obliged to repair to the Kingdom within a space of six months, after the death has been made known to him.

§. 41.

When the next heir to the crown be under age at the King's death, the Queen-dowager shall reign, if she be his german mother, as long as she remains widow, together with the Council of State, till the King be of age. If there be no Queen-dowager, the Prince next to succession who is above twenty-five years old, shall reign in the same manner, and he shall have the title of Regent. If the Regency should fall to a remoter heir in the line of succession, because the proper one was not yet of full age, the former shall resign it to the latter as soon as this has attained to an age of twenty-five years. In these cases resolutions shall be taken in the Council of State according to majority of votes, and the Queen-dowager, or Regent, shall have two votes.

§. 42.

If there be no Prince of full age, the Regency shall be conducted by the Council of State together with the persons whom the National Assembly may think necessary to appoint, under the responsibility prescribed in §. 45. The first member of the Council of State shall then preside and have

two votes.
§. 43

The regulations prescribed in §. 42 shall also have effect if the King should be unable to reign by weakness of mind or body or he should be absent from the Kingdom.

§. 44.

Those who, pursuant to the above mentioned articles, administer the government, while the King is under age, absent, or otherwise unable to reign, shall be obliged singly to make the following oath to the National Assembly: I promise and swear to administer the government conformably to the Constitution and the Laws; so help me God and his holy word.

§. 45.

As soon as their government discontinues, they shall give an account of it to the King and the National Assembly.

§. 46.

At the King's death, or in the cases, in which a regency ought to be appointed, the Council of State, or others concerned, shall immediately convoke an extraordinary National Assembly. If the Council of State do not perform this duty within the space of four weeks, the convocation shall be done by the chief judge (Justitiarius) and the members of the

supreme court of justice.
§. 47.

The care of the King's education while he is under age shall, if his father has not left any written appointment, be committed to some persons, selected for that purpose, by the National Assembly and the Queen-dowager if she be his german mother, excluding the next heir to the crown, his offspring, the Council of State and the other members of the regency.

§. 48.

If the King's male issue be extinct and no successor be elected, the National Assembly shall immediately be convoked in the manner prescribed in §. 46, in order to elect a new line of Kings. In the mean time the same rules shall be observed concerning the executive power, as are prescribed in §. 42.

C.
Of Burghership and the Legislative Power.
§. 49.

The people exercises the legislative power at the National Assembly, consisting of two sections, viz. the Lag-Thing

(Court of Law) and the Odels-Thing (Court of Allodiality).
§. 50.

Voting members are only those Norwegian Citizens who have filled their 25th year, have been settled in the Kingdom for five years and who either

a) are or have been employed in any public office;

b) possess in the country, or have taken a lease of, any matriculated ground for more than five years;

c) are citizens of towns, or possess in a town or port a house or piece of ground amounting at least to the value of three hundred Rigsbank-Dollars Silver-Value.

§. 51.

Within six months from the sanction of this Constitution a register of all the voting members shall be drawn up in every town by the Magistrate, and in every parish by the Foged (Collector of the taxes) and the parson, wherein shall immediately be inserted all the changes which it might undergo by process of time. Everybody is obliged, before he is entered in the register, publicly to swear obedience to the Constituion before a court of justice.

§. 52.

The right of voting is suspended

a) by an accusation of crimes before a court of justice;

b) by being reduced to a state of minority;

a) by stopping of payment or failure 'till the creditors have received full payment, unless the failure may be occasioned by fire or by any other unforeseen or proveable misfortune.

§. 53.

The right of voting is forfeited

a) by having been condemned to work in a House of Correction, to the Slavery or to any infamous punishment;

b) by entering into the service of any foreign power without the consent of Government;

c) by acquiring burghership in a foreign state;

d) by being convinced of having bought votes, sold his own vote, or voted in more than one Elective Assembly.

§. 54.

The assizes of the Elective Assembly and those of the Districts are held every third year. The transactions shall be finished before the end of the month of December.

§. 55.

The Elective Assemblies are held in the country in the principal church of the parish, in the towns in the church, in the town-house, or at any other place convenient for that purpose. They are presided in the country by the parson and his coadjutors, in the towns by their Magistrates and Aldermen. The act of voting is performed in the order appointed in the register. Disputes concerning the right of voting are decided by the directors of the Assembly from whose

judgment there may be appealed to the National Assembly.
§. 56.

Before the elections begin, the Constitution shall be audibly read, in the towns by the chief Magistrate, in the country by the parson.

§. 57.

In the towns one elector is chosen for each 50 voting inhabitants. These electors meet within 8 days after, at the place appointed by the Magistrate, and elect either from among themselves or among the other voting members in their respective district of election a fourth part of their own number, to meet and take seat at the National Assembly, in such a manner that 3 to 6 choose one, 7 to 10 two, 11 to 14 three, 15 to 18 four, which is the greatest number a town is allowed to send. If a town have less than 150 inhabitants entitled to vote it sends its elector to the next town, in order to vote together with the electors of this, in which case both the towns are regarded as one district.

§. 58.

In each parish in the country the inhabitants entitled to vote choose in proportion to their number electors in the manner following: A number from 1 to 100 choose one, from 100 to 200 two, from 200 to 300 three and so on in the same proportion. These electors meet within a month after that time, at a place appointed by the Amtmand (Chief Justice of the bailiage), for that purpose, and then either choose from among themselves, or among the other voting members in the bailiage a tenth part of their own number, to meet and take seat at the National Assembly, in such a manner that 5 to 14 choose one, 15 to 24 two, 25 to 34 three, 35 and upwards four, which is the greatest number.

§. 59.

The rules prescribed in §. 57 and 58 have their effect 'till the next meeting of the National Assembly. If then it be found that the number of the Deputies from the towns amount to more or less than ⅓ of the Deputies of the whole Kingdom, the National Assembly shall alter these articles, to serve as a norm for the future, in such a manner, that the Deputies of the towns correspond with those of the country at the rate of one to two, and the number of the Deputies in general shall not be less than 75, nor above 100.

§. 60.

The voting members residing within the boundaries of the Kingdom, and impeded by sickness, military service or any other lawful hinderance from meeting, may send their votes in writing to those who preside the Elective Assemblies, before these are concluded.

§. 61.

Nobody can be elected a Deputy unless he has filled

his 30th year and has lived 10 years in the Kingdom.
§. 62.

The members of the Council of State and the functionaries employed at its offices, or at court, as well as its pensioners can not be elected Deputies.

§. 63.

Every one who is elected Deputy is obliged to accept of the election, unless impeded by any hinderance declared a lawful one by the electors, whose declaration may be submitted to the decision of the National Assembly. Whoever has met two times one after another at an ordinary meeting of the National Assembly is not bound to accept of the election for the ordinary National Assembly next following. If any Deputy be hindered by lawful impediment from meeting at the National Assembly, he who, next him, has the greatcst number of votes, takes his place.

§. 64.

Immediately after the election the Deputies are provided with a full-power, signed in the country by the superior Authorities and in the towns by their respective Magistrates as well as by all the Electors, as a proof of the election being made in the manner prescribed by the Constitution.

The legality of these full-powers is decided by the National Assembly.
§. 65.

On their journey to and from the National Assembly, as well as during their stay there, the Deputies are exempted from being personally arrested, unless they should be caught in public crimes, nor are they bound without the assizes of the National Assembly to account for opinions uttered there. Every one is obliged to submit to the order established there.

§. 67.

The Deputies elected in the manner above mentioned form the National Assembly of the Kingdom of Norway.

§. 68.

The Sessions of the National Assembly generally begin every third year on the first work-day of the month of February in the Capital of the Kingdom, unless the King, on account of extraordinary circumstances, such as a hostile invasion or a plague, might choose an other town for that purpose. In such cases the alteration must be timely published.

§. 69.
On extraordinary occasions the King has right to convoke the National Assembly out of the ordinary time. The King then issues a proclamation which shall be read in all the churches of the capital towns at least six weeks before the members of the National Assembly are to meet on the place appointed for that purpose.
§. 70.

Such an extraordinary meeting of the National Assembly may be dissolved by the King whenever he pleases.

§. 71.

The members of the National Assembly keep their charges as members of the said Assembly for three years together at the extraordinary as well as at the ordinary assizes which may be held in the mean time.

§. 72.

If an extraordinary Assembly be sitting at the time when an ordinary one is going to meet, the former is dissolved as soon as the latter is assembled.

§. 73.

Neither of the Assemblies can hold their assizes unless two thirds of its members are present.

§. 74.

Immediately after the National Assembly is constituted the King, or whom he appoints in his place, opens its transactions with a speech, in which he informs the Assembly of the state of the Kingdom and of the subjects on which he particularly desires to draw its attention. No deliberation must take place in the King's presence.

The National Assembly selects from among its members one fourth part to constitute the Lag-Thing; the other ¾ form the Odels-Thing.

Either of the Things holds its assizes separately and elects its own President and Secretary.

§. 75.

It belongs to the National Assembly:

a) to give and repeal laws, to impose taxes, duties, customs and other public burdens, which, however, have no longer effect than 'till the 1st of July in the year when an other ordinary National Assembly is sitting unless expressively renewed by it;

b) to open loans on the credit of the State;

c) to superintend the monetary system of the State;

d) to allow the sums necessary to defray the expences of the State;

e) to determine the sum allowed the King for the main tenance of his court, and to appoint the appanage of the Royal family, which, however, must not consist in possessions of grounds;

f) to order the records of the Council of State and all other public intelligences and papers, except military orders, to be laid before them;

g) to order a communication of the alliances and treaties, concluded by the King in the name of the state with foreign powers, except secret articles, which, however, must not be contrary to the public;

h) to summon any one, except the Royal family, to appear before it in state-affairs; yet this exception does not regard the Royal Princes in case they should be invested with any office;

i) to review the provisional lists of military pay or allowances, and to make the alterations in them which they should think necessary;

k) to appoint five Reviewers whose duty shall be every year to review the state-accounts and publish extracts of it in print, for which purpose the said accounts shall be communicated to the reviewers every year before the 1st of July;

l) to naturalize foreigners.

§. 76.

Every law shall previously be proposed at the Odels-Thing, either by its own members, or by government through a counsellor of state. When the bill is past there, it shall be sent to the Lag-Thing which either consents to it or rejects it, and in the latter case, it is sent back with remarks added to it. These are taken into consideration by the Odels-Thing which either may put aside the bill or send it a second time to the Lag-Thing with or without alteration. When the Odels-Thing has twice laid a bill before the Lag-Thing and the latter has a second time refused to confirm it, the whole National Assembly meets, and decides of the bill with two thirds of its votes. Between each such deliberation three days must pass at least.

§. 77.

When a bill proposed by the Odels-Thing is confirmed by the Lag-Thing or by the whole National Assembly, it shall be sent to the approbation of the King by a deputation from both the houses of the National Assembly.

§. 78.

If the King consents to the bill he adds his signature to it, by which it is made a law. If he do not consent to it, he returns it to the Odels-Thing with the declaration, that he does not for the present think it proper to give his sanction to the bill.

§. 79.

On such occasions the National Assembly then sitting must no more present the bill to the King who may act in the same manner if the next ordinary National Assembly brings, in the same bill again. But if the bill, upon a repeated and stricter examination, should again pass in the third ordinary National Assembly without any alteration at both courts, and; it should then be presented to the King, with the desire that His Majesty will not refuse his sanction to a bill which the National Assembly, upon the maturest deliberation, judges to be useful, it shall be made a law, if even the sanction of the King should not follow before the National Assembly breaks up.

§. 80.

The National Assembly remains sitting as long as it should think necessary, though not above three months without the King's consent. When, after having finished its transactions, or, after having been assembled the prescribed time, it is dissolved by the King, he communicates it at the same time his resolution concerning the bilis which have not yet been determined, by either sanctioning or rejecting them. All the bills, to which he does not positively consent, are looked upon as being rejected by him.

§. 81.

All the iaws, except those mentioned in §. 79, are issued in the King's name and under the seal of the Kingdom, in the following terms: We — —, by the grace of God and according to the Constitution of the Kingdom, King of Norway, make known, that, having received the resolution of the National Assembly of the following date and purport (here the resolution follows) We have consented to and sanctioned the said resolution, as by these Presents We do actually consent to and sanction it as a law under our hand and the seal of the Kingdom.

§. 82.

The provisional ordinances, issued by the King while no National Assembly is sitting, as well as the other ordinances and orders, belonging only to the executive power, shall be drawn up in the following manner: We — — &c, make known that, by virtue of the authority allowed Us by the Constitution of the Kingdom, We have decreed as by these Presents We do decree &c.

§. 83.

The sanction of the King is not required for the Decrees of the National Assembly by which it

a) declares itself sitting as National Assembly pursuant to the Constitution;

b) regulates its interior police;

c) consents to or rejects the warrants of the members present;

d) confirms or rejects judgments in disputes concerning elections;

e) naturalizes foreigners; f) and lastly the King's sanction is not required to the decree by which the Odels-Thing declares counsellors of state under accusation.

§. 84.

The National Assembly may receive the cognizance of the High Court of Justice concerning matters of law.

§. 85.

The National Assembly shall be kept at open doors and its transactions be published in print, except in the cases where the contrary is decreed by majority of votes.

§. 86.

Whoever obeys an order tending to disturb the freedom and safety of the National Assembly is guilty of treason against his native country.

D.
Of the Judicial Power.
§. 87.

The members of the Lag-Thing together with those of the High Court of Justice constitute the Rigs-Ret (Court of State) who in the first and last instance shall judge in the causes, commenced before the Odels-Thing, either against members of the Council of State or of the High Court of Justice on account of crimes in the performance of their offices, or against members of the National Assembly, on account of crimes they commit in such a quality. In the Rigs-Ret the President of the Lag-Thing shall preside.

§. 88.

The Defendant may reject, without alledging any reason, even to a third part of the members of the Court of State, yet in such a manner that the court do not consist of less than fifteen persons.

§. 89.

In order to judge in the last instance a High Court of Justice shall be established, as soon as possible, which must not consist of less than a chief judge and six members.

§. 90.

In times of peace the High Court of Justice together with two high military officers, whom the King appoints, constitute the second and last instance in all the affairs of court martial, concerning either life or honour or the loss of freedom for more than three months.

§. 91.

The judgments of the High Court may on no occasion be appealed or submitted to revision.

§. 92.
Nobody may be appointed member of the High Court of Justice before he is thirty years old.
E.
General Rules.
§. 93.

In the offices of the state must only be employed those Norwegian citizens who profess the Evangelical-Lutheran religion, have sworn obedience to the Constitution and the King, speak the language of the country, and

a) either are born in the Kingdom of parents who at that time were subjects of the Kingdom; or

b) are born in foreign countries of Norwegian parents who were not at that time subjects of an other state;

c) or who have at present a steady residence in the Kingdom and have not refused to make the oath to maintain the independence of Norway;

d) or who live in the Kingdom for ten years;

e) or who are naturalized by the National Assembly.

Foreigners, however, may be appointed teachers at the University and the high schools, physicians and consuls on foreign places.

Nobody must be appointed chief magistrate before he is thirty years old, or magistrate, inferior judge and collector of the taxes before he is twenty-five years old.
§. 94.

A new general civil and criminal law shall be caused to be published by the first, or, if this be not possible, by the second ordinary National Assembly. In the mean time the present laws of the Kingdom shall remain in vigour, as far as they are not inconsistent with this fundamental law or the provisional ordinances which in the mean time might be issued. The present permanent taxes shall likewise remain untill the next National Assembly.

§. 95.

No dispensations, no bilis of protection, no letters of respite or restitutions must be granted after the new general law has been published.

§. 96.

Nobody may be judged but by virtue of a law, or be punished but pursuant to a judgment.

Torture must not be inflicted.

§. 97.

No law must be retroactive.

§. 98.

Perquisites due to the officers of the courts of justice must not be attended with taxes to the treasury.

§. 99.

Nobody must be imprisoned but in cases appointed by the law and in the manner determined by the same. Whoever thus, without any reason or sanction of the law, imprisons or detains anybody shall be obiiged to account for it.

§. 100.

An intire liberty of the press shall take place. Nobody must be punished for any writing, of what argument soever, which he has published or caused to be printed, unless he has either willingly and evidently shown himself disobedient to the law or animated others to disobedience against the same, to contempt against religion, morality or the constitutive powers, to resistance against their orders, or uttered false and injurious accusations against anybody.

It is allowed everybody freely to deliver his opinions of government or any other subject.

§. 101.

New and constant restrictions in the liberty of trades must not be allowed to anybody for the future.

§. 102.

Inquiries in private houses are not permitted, unless in criminai cases.

§. 103.
No refuge is allowed to those who turn bankrupts hereafter.
§. 104.

Lands and moveable heritages cannot be forfeited in any case.

§. 105.

If the public welfare should require the sacrifice of anybody's moveable or unmoveable propriety to public use he shall be indemnified out of the public treasury.

§. 106.

The produce of the sale as well as revenues of glebelands (benefices of clergymen) shall only be empioyed to the benefit of the clergy and to the promoting of arts and sciences. The propriety of Institutes of charity shall only be employed to the advantage of these.

§. 107.

The Odels- and Aasædes-Ret (Right of redeeming patrimonial lands and of dwelling on the chief mansion) must not be abolished. The further conditions, under which they shall contlnue to the greatest advantage to the state and benefit to the peasantry, shall be determined in the session of the first or second following National Assembly.

§. 108.
No Counties, Baronies, Fee-simples and Fidei-Commisses (feoffments in trust) must be erected for the future.
§. 109.

Every citizen of the state is in general equally bound to defend his native country during a certain time, without any regard to birth or fortune. The application of this ruie and the restrictions it ought to suffer is left to the determination of the next ordinary National Assembly after having acquired all the informations possible by a committee, elected before the conclusion of the present session of the National Assembly. In the mean while the present rules shall continue.

§. 110.

This Constitution, when sanctioned by the National Assembly, becomes the fundamental law of the Kingdom.

If experience should prove, that any part of it ought to be altered, a proposal concerning that affair shall be made in an ordinary session of the National Assembly and be published in print. But it is the business of the next National Assembly to decide, whether the alteration proposed shall take place or not. Yet such an alteration must never be inconsistent with the principles of this fundamentel law, but only concern modifications in particular cases, which do not alter the spirit of this Constitution, to which alteration the consent of two thirds of the National Assembly is required. We the signed, Deputies of the Kingdom of Norway, hereby declare this Constitution, sanctioned hy the National Assembly, to be the fundamental law of the Kingdom of Norway, which all and every one shall obey. In witness whereof we have signed these Presents and thereto put our seals.

Eidswold the 17th of May 1814.

Peder Anker. C. M. Falsen. Christensen. C. Sibbern.
[L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.]
F. Stabell. Z. Mellebye. Alexand. Chr. Möller. Motzfeldt.
[L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.]
H. Haslum. Christie. F. Meltzsr. J. Rolfsen. J. Rein.
[L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.]
A. v. W. Koren. G. B. Jersin. R. Gierager. Irgens. Nielsen.
[L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.]
P. Hiermand. C. Holck. N. Loftesnæs. F. Schmidt. J. Collett.
[L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.]
C. Hoen. Lövenskiold. P. Cloumann. T. O. Huvestad.
[L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.]
Sverdrup. Omsen. Wergeland. O. C Mörch. Weidemann.
[L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.]
Stabel. Lysgaard. J. Moses. N. Scheitlie. Dahl.
[L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.]
A. M. Heiberg. Bendeke. König. Evenstad. H. Nysom.
[L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.]
H. Wedel-Jarlsberg. Blom. O. R. Apeness. A. Sibbern.
[L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.]
P. Steenstrup. C. H. Hornemann. Diriks. J. Hesselberg.
[L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.]
A. Grönneberg. O. Amundröd. G. Lund, jun. Erichstrup.
[L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.]
T. J. T. Lundegaard. O. Lömsland. E. Jaabech. S. Eeg.
[L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.]
F. Motzfeldt. G. Wulfsberg. J. Aall, jun. Grögaard
[L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.]
T. R. Lilleholt. Prydz. H. Maagaard. Fleischer. N. Dyhren.
[L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.]
D. Hegermann. Haraldstad. J. Aall. T. Bryn. E. T. Lande.
[L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.]
O. K. Tvedten. Krohg. J. Stub. E. Waldböe. R. Floer.
[L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.]
Hount. J. Hansen. D. Cappelen. P. V. Rosenkilde. Oftedahl.
[L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.]
E. Mölbach. A. Regelstad. F. Fabricius. F. Konow.
[L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.]
P. Johnson. E. Thorsen. Petersen. O. Svendsen. P. Ramm.
[L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.]
Balke. E. Höyum. G. Röed. A. Rogert. P. Schmidt, jun.
[L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.]
J. H. Darre. H. Rambech. L. Forsæth. C. Midelfart.
[L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.]
H. Heyerdahl. S. Bratberg. Wasmuth. D. Scheviz. J. Lange.
[L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.]
H. Giedeboe. F. Høidmann. P. Ertzgaard. C. Stoltenberg.
[L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.]
J. Ely. O. B. Bercheland. H. Carstensen.
[L. S.] [L. S.] [L. S.]
Address from the Deputies of the people of Norway about the conferring the Norwegian crown upon the Regent of Norway, His Royal Highness, Prince Christian Frederik.

We the signed, Deputies from the Kingdom of Norway, make hereby known, that, according to the desire of the people and to the proclamation of Your Royal Higness, we have-joined, pursuant to our full-powers, in order to draw up a fundamental law for the Kingdom of Norway, so as to the best of our judgment we should think it most beneficial to the Kingdom. To that effect, we have endeavoured to distribute the sovereign power, in such a manner, that legislation is deposited into the hands of the people, and the executive power into the hands of the King.

Having finished this fundamental law, it became a dear and sacred duty to us to elect a King, who, by the wisdom and energy of his government, was able to ensure and support the safety, welfare and glory of the Kingdom.

The Deputies of the Norwegian people could not hesitate a moment whom they should select to this elevated and important post. Confidence, gratitude and love equally forced us to fix our regards on Your Royal Highness. You arrived among us in the time of danger and misery. With the most constant zeal You always directed your actions and thoughts to the benefit of the country; You inseparately tied Your fate to ours, and, as Regent of the country, You have expressed no less a regard to the rights of the people than zeal for the promoting of its prosperity and glory.

We are convinced, that we have compleated the desire and will of the Norwegian people, by electing You this day King of Norway, and, on presenting to Your Royal Highness this fundamental law of the country, we rejoice in the hope, that it may be found worthy of Your approbation, and that You will accept of a crown, voluntarily offered You by a free people.

At the Diet at Eidswold, the 17th of May 1814.

According to the resolution of the National Assembly signed in behalf af all the Deputies, by

G. Sverdrup, Motzfeldt, Christie
President. Vice-President. Secretary.

His Royal Highness' the Prince Regents Answer in the National Assembly to the Adress above.

Norwegians! The high calling, to which you are elected by the trust of your fellow-citizens, is finished. The Constitution of Norway is founded; the Norwegian people has maintained its rights through you, its selected Deputies; it has maintained them for futurity, and, by a sage distribution of the power, secured civil Liberty and that public order which the executive power is obiiged and able to preserve.

The experience for which other states must suffer has taught the Deputies of the Norwegian people to guard the Constitution equally against the marks of despotism as against the abuses of a popular government.

This old Kingdom calls for a King, but he should no more be a despot in the form than in the government; — no he should be the first friend and father to his people. This the people expects to find in me, and its confidence is to me a sacred calling, notwithstanding the dangers and pains that attend me, entirely to devote myself to the welfare and glory of Norway.

With these honest views, and strengthened by a confidence on the assistance of God Almighty, I hope to answer the expectations of this nation.

I accept the crown of Norway as the gift of a constant and sincere people, as a pledge of its attachment to me and my royal family.

I promise and swear to reign the Kingdom of Norway according to its Constitution and Laws; so help me God and his holy word.

Eidswold, the 19th of May 1814.

Christian Frederik.

We the Signed, chosen by the Deputies of the Norwegian people to publish in print the transactions of the National Assembly do hereby attest, that this fundamental law of the Kingdom of Norway and the documents annexed to it, are, word for word, conformable to the chief records of the National Assembly.

Christiania, the 31st of May 1814.

G. Sverdrup. L. Stoud Platou. Omsen.


This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.