Workshop: The Past and Future of the Norwegian Legal System

Voor wie
Medewerkers
Wanneer
16-03-2018 van 13:00 tot 16:00
Waar
Aud. 1.1 Paddenhoek - Faculty of Law and Criminology
Voertaal
Engels
Door wie
Matthias Van Der Haegen
Contact
matthiasr.vanderhaegen@ugent.be
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Workshop on the past and future of the Norwegian legal system

The Ghent Legal History Institute and the Institute for Procedural Law organize a workshop on the past and future of the Norwegian legal system with two distinguished speakers from the University of Bergen. Prof. Ragna Aarli will discuss the work of the Norwegian Court Commission in her lecture titled “Courts of the future. Reflections from work of the Norwegian Court Commission”. Prof. Jørn Øyrehagen Sunde will touch upon legal history in his lecture “The Four Daughters of God in Norwegian Law in the High Middle Ages”. Full synopses can be found below. Attendance is free, but participants are requested to register beforehand with Matthias Van Der Haegen (). Please note that places are limited.
Prof. dr. Ragna Aarli – “Courts of the future. Reflections from work of the Norwegian Court Commission” – Aud. 1.1 Paddenhoek (1 PM- 2.15 PM) – Faculty of Law and Criminology
Judiciaries in Europe face a range of challenges to justify their needs for sufficient public funding as well as their needs for independence. In Norway, a Court Commission was appointed by the government in 2017 to give an account on how Norwegian courts can become more efficient and how judicial independence can be better secured. The mandate for the commission includes fundamental questions of the purpose and function of the judicial branch: How many courts do we need? How should they operate? What are the essential judicial tasks and how can public courts defend their position as attractive forums for these tasks? The commission is to deliver a report in 2020 and has barely managed to unfold the complexity of the questions to answer. The lecture outlines the challenges all judiciaries in Europe faces from the position of a vast and low populated country with long-standing traditions for non-specialized and highly trusted courts.
Prof. dr. Jørn Øyrehagen Sunde - The Four Daughters of God in Norwegian Law in the High Middle Ages – Faculty Board Room, Volderstraat (2.30 PM-3.45 PM) - Faculty of Law and Criminology
The allegory of the Four Daughters of God - Truth, Mercy, Justice and Peace - came to play a central role in Norwegian law, and hence in Norwegian state formation, from the 13th century on. It is based on an image found in Psalm 84, developed as an allegory in the Jewish Midras Rabba in the Early Middle Ages, before it was transmitted in a European-Christian context in the High Middle Ages, maybe first by Hugo of St. Victor. From the St. Victor abbey outside Paris it found its way to the Nidaros archbishopric. My hypothesis is that it was a version of the allegory of the Four Daughters of God found in sermons by Petrus Comestor that was brought to Norway by either Archbisop Eirik Ivarsson (1189-1205) or Archbisop Tore Gudmundsson (1206-1214), and that the Archbishop ordered the allegory to be applied when sculpturing the judgement porch at the Nidaros Cathedral, completed around 1215. After being firmly established as an allegory of judging in the ecclesiastical context, it got the same role in a more temporal context with the King’s Mirror from the late 1250s. The allegory, as the rest of the King’s Mirror, was used to teach princes and young aristocrats what God expected a good judge to consider when judging. When this political elite, headed by King Magnus VI, ran a legislative project in the 1260s and 70s, making a series of codes of law, the allegory of the Four Daughters of God made its way into the codes. The provision containing the allegory was to be read loud before a major judgement was passed, and the council of Truth, Mercy, Justice and Peace to be taken by the judges. In this way, morals and welfare would be upheld by just judgements.