Act of Union
Act of union poster
|Created||December 03, 1924|
March 11, 1925 by the Parliaments of Denmark, Norway and Sweden|
May 15, 1926 by popular referendum
79% of the MPs of Denmark, Norway and Sweden|
93% of the population by referendum
|Purpose||To create a new constitutional frame for Skandinavia|
The Unionenslov, (Act of Union), is the document signed by the National Parliaments of Denmark, Norway and Sweden on March 11, 1925 and that meant the union of the three nations in a single one called Kingdom of Skandinavia. The three nations were under a personal union until that moment.
Originally the Unionenslov was not a constitution, but the first Unionsparlamentet decided to use it as a constitution of Skandinavia adding a series of Amendments and Parallel Acts. At present, the Unionenslov is considered as the "de facto" constitution of Skandinavia. Although it has been amended and updated, it is mainly based on the proposed constitution for Norway in 1814 under the reign of Christian VIII. It is from this point of view, one of the oldest constitutions that remain in force today.
- 1 History
- 2 Structure
- 2.1 Articles §§ 1–2: Of the form of Government and the Religion.
- 2.2 Articles §§ 3–48: Of the Executive Power, the King and the Royal Family.
- 2.3 Articles §§ 49–86: Rights of Citizens and the Legislative Power
- 2.4 Articles §§ 87–91: of the Judicial Power
- 2.5 Articles §§ 92–109: Human rights
- 2.6 Articles §§ 110–117: General Provisions
- 2.7 Parallel Acts
- 2.8 Ammendments
- 3 Constitutional changes
- 4 Current trends
When Skandinavia was formed, the Constituent Assembly sought for a document as a basis for the creation of the new nation. Nevertheless, this basis should be in line with the traditions of the countries that form the union. After examining the legal texts of the three former nations, was sought that the Norwegian Constitution was unveiled as the perfect base for the charter of the new nation with the necessary Amendments and Parallel Acts.
The Unionenslov was passed first by the parliaments of Denmark, Norway and Sweden on March 11, 1951. Later if was ratified by the first Unionsparlamentet on July 21, 1952 and finally by popular referendum on May 15, 1953.
The text of the Unionenslov is shown as it remains after the 2012 amendments.
Articles §§ 1–2: Of the form of Government and the Religion.
- §. 1.
The Kingdom of Skandinavia is a free, independent and indivisible Realm. Its form of government is a limited and hereditary monarchy.
- §. 2.
The Evangelical-Lutheran Religion shall be maintained and constitute the established Den Skandinaviske Kirke (Church of Skandinavia). The inhabitants who profess the said religion are bound to educate their children in the same. All inhabitants of the Realm shall have the right to free exercise of their religion, but Den Skandinaviske Kirke is the official religion of the Realm and a fundamental part of its structure and organization.
Articles §§ 3–48: 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 Skandinavia.
- §. 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, so that only a male born in lawful wedlock of the King, or of one who is himself entitled to the succession may succeed, and so that the nearest line shall take precedence over the more remote and the elder in the line over 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 Unionsparlamentet, untill the order of succession devolves to them.
- §. 7.
When a Prince, entitled to succession to the throne of Skandinavia, is born, his name and birth time shall be communicated to the next Session of the Unionsparlamentet 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 Unionsparlamentet who either consents to the proposal or rejects it.
- §. 10.
The King is of age when he has filled his eighteenth year. As soon as he has entered his eighteenth 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 Unionsparlamentet: I promise and swear to govern the Kingdom of Skandinavia 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 Statsrådet (Council of State), and the King shall repeat it solemnly in the next Session of the Unionsparlamentet.
- §. 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 Unionsparlamentet, 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 Unionsparlamentet, 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, belonging to Den Skandinaviske Kirke, 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 Unionsparlamentet. Such ordinances are provisional and remain in vigour untill the next Session of the Unionsparlamentet.
- §. 18.
The King generally levies the taxes and duties imposed by the Unionsparlamentet.
- §. 19.
The King superintends the management and employment of the proprieties and regalia of the state conformably to the manner appointed by the Unionsparlamentet and tending most effectually to the public good.
- §. 20.
The King, being in his Statsrådet (Council of State), has a right to pardon criminals, after the Sentence of the Kongelige Høyesterett (Royal Supreme Court) 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 Unionsparlamentet called Odelsthing before the Kongelige Høyesterett (Royal Supreme Court), no other pardon but dispensation from pain of death must be granted.
- §. 21.
The King, after hearing the declaration of his Statsrådet (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 Statsrådet (Council of State) and the functionaries appointed in its offices, embassadors and consuls, the superior civil and ecclesiastical 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 Statsrådet (Council of State). How far pension or annuity may be allowed the functionaries thus discharged shall be decided by the Unionsparlamentet 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 and nobiliary dignities upon whom he chooses, as a reward for distinguished merits, which shall be made known to the public. These dignities can be for life or hereditary. The order exempts nobody from the common duties and burdens of Citizens, but it can 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.
The rights and obligations of the nobility will be regulated by their specific legislation, although in case of conflict with the Constitution the Constitution will always prevail.
- §. 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 Unionsparlamentet.
- §. 25.
The King has the supreme command of all the military 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 Unionsparlamentet.
- §. 26.
The King has right to assemble troops, declare war and conclude peace, to make and dissolve alliances, to send and receive ambassadors. Treaties on matters of special importance, and, in all cases, treaties whose implementation, according to the Constitution, necessitates a new law or a decision by the Unionsparlamentet, are not binding until the Unionsparlamentet has given its consent thereto.
- §. 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 chooses a Council from among Skandinavian citizens who are entitled to vote. This Statsrådet (Council of State) shall consist of a Statsminister (Prime Minister) and at least seven other Members. More than two thirds of the number of the Members of the Statsrådet shall profess the official religion of the State. The King apportions the business among the Members of the Statsrådet , as he deems appropriate. Under extraordinary circumstances, besides the ordinary Members of the Statsrådet, the King may summon other Skandinavian citizens, although no Members of the Unionsparlamentet, to take a seat in the Statsrådet. Husband and wife, parent and child or two siblings may never sit at the same time in the Statsrådet.
The King may appoint State Secretaries to assist Members of the Statsrådet with their duties outside the Statsrådet. Each State Secretary shall act on behalf of the Member of the Statsrådet to whom he is attached to the extent determined by that Member.
- §. 29.
During his travels within the Realm or to foreign countries, the King may delegate the administration of the Realm to the Statsrådet. The Statsrådet shall conduct the government in the King's name and on his behalf. It shall scrupulously observe the provisions of this Constitution, as well as such particular directives in conformity therewith as the King may instruct. The matters of business shall be decided by voting, where in the event of the votes being equal, the Statsminister, or in his absence the highest-ranking Member of the Statsrådet who is present, shall have two votes. The Statsrådet shall make a report to the King on matters of business which it thus decides.
- §. 30.
All the counsellors of state shall be obliged, if there be no lawful hinderance, to be present in the Statsrådet, and no resolution must be taken there if there be no more than half the number of the members present.
- §. 31.
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 Statsrådet 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 Statsrådet.
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 member of the Statsrådet, whom the King may constitute. If so many members should be prevented by a lawful hinderance from meeting in the Statsrådet, 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 Statsrådet.
- §. 32.
A register shall be kept in the Statsrådet of all the matters which shall be discussed there.
Everybody who has a seat in the Statsrådet 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 Statsrådet 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 Member of the Statsrådet 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 Statsrådet.
- §. 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 is a son of the reigning King, shall have the title of Kronprins til Skandinavia (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 is absent at the King's death, and he be not prevented by insurmountable obstructions, he shall be obliged to return to the Kingdom within a space of one month, 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 mother, as long as she remains widow, together with the Statsrådet, 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 Statsrådet 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 Statsrådet together with the persons whom the Unionsparlamentet may think necessary to appoint, under the responsibility prescribed in §. 45. The first member of the Statsrådet 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 Unionsparlamentet: 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 Unionsparlamentet.
- §. 46.
At the King's death, or in the cases, in which a regency ought to be appointed, the Statsrådet, or others concerned, shall immediately convoke an extraordinary Unionsparlamentet. If the Statsrådet do not perform this duty within the space of four weeks, the convocation shall be done by the Høyesterettsjustitiarius (Chief Justice of the Supreme Court) and the members of the Kongelige Høyesterett (Royal Supreme Court).
- §. 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 Unionsparlamentet and the Queen-dowager if she be his mother, excluding the next heir to the crown, his offspring, the Statsrådet and the other members of the regency.
- §. 48.
If the King's male issue be extinct and no successor be elected, the Unionsparlamentet 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.
Articles §§ 49–86: Rights of Citizens and the Legislative Power
- §. 49.
The people exercises the legislative power at the Unionsparlamentet, consisting of two chambers; the Landsting (upper house) and the Storting (lower house). Members of the Landsting are appointed while members of the Storting are elected.
- §. 50.
All members of the Landsting (excluding Arvelige Jævnaldrende elected among themselves and the Høj Kongelige Embedsmænd who are ex officio members) are appointed. The membership of the Landsting is drawn from the peerage and is made up of Herrer Åndelig (Lords Spiritual) and Herrer Temporal (Lords Temporal). The Herrer Åndelig are the fourteen most senior bishops of Den Skandinaviske Kirke. Of the Herrer Temporal, the majority are the forty one Arvelige Jævnaldrende (Hereditary Peers) sitting either by hereditary right or by being elected by their fellow hereditary peers. There are also fourteen Livets Jævnaldrende (life peers) who are appointed by the King and six Høj Kongelige Embedsmænd.
- §. 51.
The Landsting is governed by its own ordinances. These ordinances can be modified by the Unionsparlamentet, but can not be modified without the favorable vote of at least two thirds of the Landsting.
- §. 52.
Membership of the Landsting is not remunerated. Only the expenses derived from the maintenance during the sessions or trips commissioned by the Landsting will be provided.
- §. 53.
Voting members are only those Skandinavian Citizens who have filled their 18th year. The extent, however, to which Skandinavian citizens, who on Election Day are resident outside the Realm but who satisfy the aforementioned conditions, are entitled to vote shall be determined by law. Rules may be laid down by law concerning the right to vote of persons, otherwise entitled to vote, who on Election Day are manifestly suffering from a seriously weakened mental state or a reduced level of consciousness.
- §. 54.
The rules on the keeping of the poll list and on the registration in the poll list of persons entitled to vote shall be determined by law.
- §. 54.
The right of voting is lost by persons:
a) sentenced for criminal offences, in accordance with the relevant provisions laid down by law;
b) by entering into the service of any foreign power without the consent of Government;
c) by acquiring citizenship in a foreign state;
d) by being found guilty of high treason d) by being convinced of having bought votes, sold his own vote, or voted in more than one polling station.
- §. 56.
The polls shall be held every fourth year. They shall be concluded by the end of September.
- §. 57.
The polls shall be conducted in the manner prescribed by law. Disputes concerning the right of voting are decided by the directors of the Polling Station from whose judgment there may be appealed to the Unionsparlamentet.
- §. 58.
The number of representatives to be elected to the Storting shall be between 251 and 401.
- §. 59.
Each Fylker (County) constitutes a constituency. Four fifths of the Representatives of the Storting are elected as representatives of constituencies and the remaining one fifth representatives are elected so as to achieve a greater degree of proportionality. Representatives of constituencies are distributed among the constituencies of the Realm according to the Valglov (Electoral Law) in force in every moment.
- §. 60.
Each municipality constitutes a separate polling district. The polls shall be held separately for each polling district. At the polls votes shall be cast directly for representatives to the Storting, together with their proxies, to represent the entire constituency. The election of representatives of constituencies is based on proportional representation and the seats are distributed among the political parties in accordance with the Valglov in force in every moment.
- §. 61.
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. Whether and in what manner those entitled to vote may deliver their ballot papers, without personal attendance at the polls, shall be determined by the Valglov in force in every moment.
- §. 62.
No one is eligible as a representative to the Storting unless he has filled his 25th year and has resided for 10 years in the Realm, as well as being entitled to vote.
- §. 63.
Officials who are employed in government departments, except however the State Secretaries, or officials and pensioners of the Court, may not be elected as representatives to the Storting. The same applies to officials employed in the diplomatic or consular services. Members of the Statsrådet may not attend meetings of the Storting as representatives while holding a seat in the Statsrådet. Nor may the State Secretaries attend as representatives while holding their appointments.
- §. 64.
It is the duty of anyone who is elected as a representative to accept such election, unless:
a) He is elected outside the constituency in which he is entitled to vote.
b) He has as a representative attended all the sessions of the Storting following the previous election.
c) He has completed his sixtieth year at the latest in the year when the General Election is held.
d) He is a member of a political party and he is elected on a list of candidates which has not been issued by that party.
If anyone is elected as a representative without being bound to accept such election, he must, within the time and in the manner prescribed by law, make a declaration stating whether or not he accepts election. It shall similarly be prescribed by law by what date and in which manner anyone who is elected as representative for two or more constituencies shall state which election he will accept.
- §. 65.
Immediately after the election the representatives elected shall be furnished with credentials, the validity of which shall be adjudged by the Storting.
- §. 66.
Every representative and proxy called to the Storting shall be entitled to receive from the Treasury such reimbursement as is prescribed by law for travelling expenses to and from the Storting, and from the Storting to his home and back again during vacations lasting at least fourteen days. He shall further be entitled to remuneration, likewise prescribed by law, for attending the Storting.
- §. 67.
Representatives on their way to and from the Storting, as well as during their attendance there, shall be exempt from personal arrest, unless they are apprehended in public crimes, nor may they be called to account outside the meetings of the Storting for opinions expressed there. Every representative shall be bound to conform to the rules of procedure therein adopted.
- §. 68.
The representatives elected in the aforesaid manner shall constitute the Storting of the Kingdom of Skandinavia.
- §. 69.
The Storting shall as a rule assemble on the first weekday in October every year in the Stortingsbygningen (Storting Building) in the city of Stockholm, unless the King, by reason of extraordinary circumstances, such as hostile invasion or infectious disease, designates another town in the Realm for the purpose. Such a decision must be publicly announced in good time.
- §. 70.
When the Storting is not assembled, it may be summoned by the King if he finds it necessary.
- §. 71.
The members of the Storting function as such for four successive years
- §. 72.
If an extraordinary Storting 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 Storting may hold a meeting unless at least half of its Members are present. However, Bills concerning amendments to the Constitution may not be dealt with unless at least two thirds of the Members of the Storting are present.
- §. 74.
As soon as the Storting is constituted, the King, or whoever he appoints for the purpose, shall open its proceedings with a Speech, in which he shall inform it of the state of the Realm and of the issues to which he particularly desires to call the attention of the Storting. No deliberations may take place in the presence of the King. When the proceedings of the Storting have been opened, the Statsminister and the Members of the Statsrådet have the right to attend the Storting, and, like its Members, although without voting, to take part in any proceedings conducted in open session.
- §. 75.
It belongs to the Storting:
a) to enact and repeal laws; to impose taxes, dues, customs and other public charges, which shall not, however, remain operative beyond 31 December of the succeeding year, unless they are expressly renewed by a new Storting;
b) to raise loans in the name of the Realm;
c) to supervise the monetary affairs of the Realm;
d) to appropriate the moneys necessary to meet government expenditure;
e) to decide how much shall be paid annually to the King for the Royal Household, and to determine the Royal Family's appanage;
f) to have submitted to it the records of the Statsrådet, and all public reports and documents;
g) to have communicated to it the conventions and treaties which the King, on behalf of the State, has concluded with foreign powers;
h) to have the right to require anyone, the King and the Royal Family excepted, to appear before it on matters of State; the exception does not, however, apply to the Royal Princes if they hold any public office;
i) to review the provisional lists of salaries and pensions and to make therein such alterations as it deems necessary;
j) to appoint five auditors, who shall annually examine the State Accounts and publish extracts of the same in print, for which purpose the Accounts shall be submitted to the auditors within six months of the end of the year for which the appropriations of the Storting have been made, and to adopt provisions concerning the procedure for authorizing the accounts of government accounting officials;
l) to naturalize foreigners.
- §. 76.
Every law shall previously be proposed at the Storting, either by its own members, or by the Statsrådet through a counsellor of state. When the bill is past there, it shall be sent to the Landsting which either consents to it or rejects it, and in the latter case, it is sent back to the Storting with appended comments. These are taken into consideration by the Storting which either may put aside the bill or send it a second time to the Landsting with or without alteration. If a bill has been rejected by the Landsting, the same bill can not sent again without alteration to the Landsting during the same sessions period. When the Storting has twice laid a bill before the Landsting and the latter has a second time refused to confirm it, it can not be presented until after two years. If it is resubmitted in the same terms, the Landsting can not reject it again.
- §. 77.
When a Bill passed by the Storting has been approved by the Landsting, it is sent to the King, with a request that it may receive the Royal Assent.
- §. 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 Storting with the declaration, that he does not for the present think it proper to give his sanction to the bill. In that case the Bill must not again be submitted to the King by the Unionsparlamentet then assembled.
- §. 79.
If a Bill has been passed unaltered by two sessions of the Storting and the Landsting, constituted after two separate successive elections and separated from each other by at least two intervening sessions of the Storting, without a divergent Bill having been passed in the period between the first and last adoption, and it is then submitted to the King with a petition that His Majesty shall not refuse his assent to a Bill which, after the most mature deliberation, the Unionsparlamentet considers to be beneficial, it shall become law even if the Royal Assent is not accorded before the Unionsparlamentet goes into recess.
- §. 80.
The Unionsparlamentet shall remain in session as long as it deems it necessary and shall terminate its proceedings when it has concluded its business. In accordance with the rules of procedure adopted by the Unionsparlamentet, the proceedings may be resumed, but they shall terminate not later than the last Sunday in the month of September. Within this time the King shall communicate his decision with regard to the Bills that have not already been decided (cf. Articles 77 to 79), by either confirming or rejecting them. All those which he does not expressly accept are deemed to have been rejected by him.
- §. 81.
All the laws, except those mentioned in §. 79, are issued in the King's name and under the seal of the Realm of Skandinavia, in the following terms: We — —, by the grace of God and according to the Constitution of the Kingdom, King of Skandinavia, make known, that, having received the resolution of the Unionsparlamentet 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 of Skandinavia.
- §. 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 Unionsparlamentet by which it
a) declares itself sitting as Unionsparlamentet 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 Storting declares counsellors of the Statsrådet under accusation.
- §. 84.
The Unionsparlamentet may obtain the opinion of the Kongelige Høyesterett (Royal Supreme Court) on points of law.
- §. 85.
The Unionsparlamentet 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 Unionsparlamentet is guilty of treason against his native country.
Articles §§ 87–91: of the Judicial Power
- §. 87.
The members of the Landsting together with those of the Kongelige Høyesterett (Royal Supreme Court) constitute the Rigs-Ret (Court of State) who in the first and last instance shall judge in the causes, commenced before the Storting, either against members of the Statsrådet or of the Kongelige Høyesterett on account of crimes in the performance of their offices, or against members of the Unionsparlamentet, on account of crimes they commit in such a quality. In the Rigs-Ret the Høyesterettsjustitiarius (Chief Justice of the Royal Supreme Court) shall preside.
The Defendant may reject, without alledging any reason, even to a third part of the members of the Rigs-Ret, yet in such a manner that the court do not consist of less than fifteen persons.
- §. 88.
The Kongelige Høyesterett (Royal Supreme Court) pronounces judgment in the final instance. Nevertheless, limitations on the right to bring a case before the Kongelige Høyesterett may be prescribed by law. The Kongelige Høyesterett shall consist of a Høyesterettsjustitiarius (Chief Justice of the Royal Supreme Court) and another twenty four other judges.
- §. 89.
The judgments of the Kongelige Høyesterett may on no occasion be appealed or submitted to revision.
- §. 90.
No judge may be appointed member of the Kongelige Høyesterett before he is forty years old.
- §. 91.
In times of peace the Kongelige Høyesterett 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.
Articles §§ 92–109: Human rights
- §. 92.
The authorities of the State shall respect and secure the human rights as they are written in this Constitution and in the treaties of human rights that are binding for the Kingdom of Skandinavia.
- §. 93.
Every human has the right to life. No one can be sentenced to death. No one must be subjected to torture or other inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. No one shall be held in slavery or forced labour. The authorities of the State shall protect the right to life and oppose torture, slavery, forced labour, abortion, euthanasia and other forms of inhuman or degrading treatment.
- §. 94.
No one must be imprisoned or otherwise be deprived of their liberty except in cases determined by law and in the manner the law prescribes. The deprivation of liberty must be necessary and cannot constitute an unreasonable encroachment. The person in custody shall as soon as possible be presented to a court of law. Others who have been deprived of their liberty, can have their deprivation tried before the courts without ungrounded delay.
Those who have unjustly arrested someone or kept someone illegally imprisoned are accountable to that person.
- §. 95.
Everyone has the right to have their case decided by an independent and impartial court within a reasonable time. The trial shall be fair and public. The court may still close the courtroom if the interests of the parties’ privacy or other substantial public interests make it necessary.
The authorities of the State shall secure the independence and impartiality of the courts and the judges.
- §. 96.
No one may be convicted except according to law, or be punished except after a court judgment. Everyone has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law.
No one can be sentenced to forfeit immovable property or all of their assets, unless these values have been used for or are the result of an unlawful act.
- §. 97.
No law must be given retroactive effect.
- §. 98.
When special fees are paid to officials of the Kongelige Domstoler (Royal Courts of Justice), no further payment shall be made to the Treasury in respect of the same matter.
- §. 99.
All are equals before the law. No person must be subject to unfair or unreasonable discrimination.
- §. 100.
An entire 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.
Everyone shall be free to speak his mind frankly on the administration of the State and on any other subject whatsoever.
Prior censorship and other preventive measures may not be applied unless so required in order to protect children and young persons from the harmful influence of moving pictures. Censorship of letters may only be imposed in institutions.
Everyone has a right of access to documents of the State and municipal administration and a right to follow the proceedings of the courts and democratically elected bodies. Limitations to this right may be prescribed by law to protect the privacy of the individual or for other weighty reasons.
It is the responsibility of the authorities of the State to create conditions that facilitate open and enlightened public discourse.
- §. 101.
Everyone has the right to form, join and withdraw from organizations, herein labour organizations and political parties.
Everyone can meet in peaceful assembly and demonstrations.
- §. 102.
Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence. Search of private homes shall not be made except in criminal cases.
The authorities of the State shall secure the protection of personal integrity.
- §. 103.
Children have the right to be respected for their human value. They have the right to be heard in questions regarding themselves, and their opinion shall be given due weight in accordance with their age and maturity.
In actions and decisions regarding a child, the best interests of the child shall be a fundamental concern.
Children have the right to protection of their personal integrity. The authorities of the State shall create conditions enabling the child’s development, hereunder secure the necessary economic and social safety, as well as the necessary standard of health, for the child; preferably within its own family.
- §. 104.
If the welfare of the State requires that any person shall surrender his movable or immovable property for the public use, he shall receive full compensation from the Treasury.
- §. 105.
Everyone who has legal residency in the realm may freely move within its borders and choose their place of residence there. No one can be denied leaving the realm unless it is necessary with regards to effective prosecution or compulsory military service. Skandinavian citizens may not be denied access to the realm.
- §. 106.
Everyone has the right to education. Children have the right to receive basic education. The authorities of the State shall secure the access to secondary education, and equal opportunities to higher education on the basis of qualifications.
- §. 107.
The authorities of the State shall create conditions enabling every person capable of work to earn a living by working or doing business. Whoever is unable to provide for themselves has the right to support from the state.
- §. 108.
Every person has a right to an environment that is conducive to health and to natural surroundings whose productivity and diversity are preserved. Natural resources should be made use of on the basis of comprehensive long-term considerations whereby this right will be safeguarded for future generations as well.
In order to safeguard their right in accordance with the foregoing paragraph, citizens are entitled to be informed of the state of the natural environment and of the effects of any encroachments on nature that are planned or commenced.
The State authorities shall issue further provisions for the implementation of these principles.
- §. 109.
The authorities of State require a provision in law to encroach on the individual.
Articles §§ 110–117: General Provisions
- §. 110.
In the offices of the state must only be employed those Skandinavian citizens who have sworn obedience to the Constitution and the King, speak the official language of the country, and who at the same time
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 Skandinavian 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 Skandinavia;
d) or who live in the Kingdom for ten years;
e) or who are naturalized by the Unionsparlamentet.
Foreigners may, however, be appointed as teachers at the university and institutions of higher learning, as medical practitioners and as consuls in places abroad.
- §. 111.
In order to safeguard international peace and security or to promote the international rule of law and cooperation between nations, both chambers of the Unionsparlamentet, by a three-fourths majority, consent that an international organization to which Skandinavia adheres or will adhere shall have the right, within objectively defined fields, to exercise powers which in accordance with this Constitution are normally vested in the Skandinavian authorities, although not the power to alter this Constitution. For the Unionsparlamentet to grant such consent, at least two thirds of the Members of every chamber shall be present, as required for proceedings for amending the Constitution. The provisions of this Article do not apply in cases of membership in an international organization, whose decisions only have application for Skandinavia purely under international law.
Following the same procedure, at any time the Parliament can go back this decision.
- §. 112.
The purchase money, as well as the revenues of the landed property constituting ecclesiastical benefices, should be applied solely to the benefit of the clergy and to the promotion of education. The property of charitable institutions should be applied solely to the benefit of the institutions themselves.
- §. 113.
Allodial right and the right of primogeniture shall not be abolished. The specific conditions under which these rights shall continue for the greatest benefit of the State and to the best advantage of the rural population shall be determined by the first or second subsequent Storting.
- §. 114.
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.
- §. 115.
The form and colours of the Skandinavian Flag and Skandinavian Coat of Arms shall be determined by law. §. 116. If experience shows that any part of this Constitution of the Kingdom of Skandinavia ought to be amended, the proposal to this effect shall be submitted to the first, second or third Storting after a new General Election and be publicly announced in print. But it shall be left to the first, second or third Storting after the following General Election to decide whether or not the proposed amendment shall be adopted. Such amendment must never, however, contradict the principles embodied in this Constitution, but solely relate to modifications of particular provisions which do not alter the spirit of the Constitution, and such amendment requires that two thirds of the Storting agree thereto. After being passed by the Storting, the process goes to the Landsting and continues as if it were a normal bill with the exception of that two thirds of the members has also to agree.
Once passed in both chambers, the amendment shall be sent to the King for public announcement in print, as an applicable provision of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Skandinavia. §. 117. This Constitution, when sanctioned by the Unionsparlamentet and later in referendum by the people, becomes the fundamental law of the Kingdom of Skandinavia, which all and every one shall obey. In witness whereof we have signed these Presents and thereto put our seals.
Act of Succession of March 2, 1957
The throne shall be inherited by the descendants of King Frederik I of Skandinavia and Queen Ingrid.
(1)Upon the death of a King or a reigning Queen, the throne shall pass to his/her son or daughter, the elder child taking precedence over the younger child.
(2) If one of the King’s or reigning Queen’s children has died, the issue of the deceased person shall take his/her place according to lineal descent and to the rules laid down in subsection 1.
If a King or a reigning Queen dies without issue who is entitled to inherit the throne, the brother or sister of the King or reigning Queen shall succeed to the throne. If the King or the reigning Queen has several brothers or sisters or if some of their respective brothers or sisters have died, the rules laid down in section 2 shall apply correspondingly.
If no person is entitled to succeed to the throne in accordance with the provisions laid down in sections 2 and 3, the throne shall pass to the nearest collateral descendants of King Frederik I of Skandinavia and Queen Ingrid according to lineal descent, the elder person taking precedence over the younger in accordance with sections 2 and 3.
(1) Only children born in lawful wedlock are entitled to succeed to the throne.
(2) The King or the reigning Queen shall not marry without the consent of the Unionsparlamentet.
(3) If a person who is entitled to succeed to the throne decides to marry without the King’s or reigning Queen’s consent, which shall be given during a meeting of the Statsrådet, he/she forfeits his/her right to succeed to the throne and so do his/her children born in lawful wedlock and their issue.
If a King or a reigning Queen decides to abdicate, the provisions in sections 2-5 shall apply.
This Act of Succession enters into force conjointly with the Unionenslov of the Kingdom of Kingdom of Skandinavia of May 15th, 1953.
Human rights ammendments 5, 2012
During the first months of 2012, some constitutional changes were approved regarding the introduction of a series of articles on human rights in the Unionenslov. Some existing articles were rewritten and new ones were added to reflect the nation's respect for human rights.
A proposal to amend the text of the Unionenslov must be submitted to the Storting during one of the first three years of a four-year parliamentary term. Even if the right of initiative belongs to the Statsrådet, such proposals are normally presented by individual members of the Storting.
Such proposals cannot be considered by the Storting until one of the first three years of the next parliamentary term, a system that provides an opportunity for the electorate to have its say through the election of the new Parliament. The proposal is considered by the Storting in a sitting in which at least two-thirds of the members of the Storting must be present to constitute a quorum. Of these, at least two-thirds must vote in favour of the proposal in order for it to be passed. After being passed by the Storting, the process goes to the Landsting and continues as if it were a normal bill.
From time to time proposals are made to separate the church from the state, which would imply an amendment of §2 of the constitution. This has never been supported by a majority in the Storting, it is supposed that would not be passed by the Landsting and probably would be vetoed by the Monark, but is usually a matter of politic debate.