Features of Norwegian civil procedure

Conciliation Board (Forliksrådet)

Legal fees

The Norwegian Legal Aid Scheme

Extent of liability for damages

The Conciliation Board (Forliksrådet)

The Conciliation Board is the lowest level of the legal system for civil cases. It is a mediation service that has limited judicial powers. The Conciliation Board’s main task is to help the parties to resolve the dispute in a simple, swift, and inexpensive manner, either through mediation or by judgment. Most cases involving disputed values bellow 200 000 NOK must first be brought before the Conciliation Board before it can be appealed to the District Courts. Most civil disputes start at the level of the Conciliation Board.

In some civil cases, mediation through the Norwegian Mediation Service (Konfliktrådet) can be used as an alternative to the ordinary courts.

Legal Fees

In civil cases, not covered by the legal aid scheme, parties must pay for their own legal expenses. The winning party is often awarded lawyer’s fees, which must be covered by the losing party. This means that the risk of exorbitant legal expenses can be higher in Norway compared to other countries where the parties cover their own legal fees regardless of the outcome in court.

The Norwegian Legal Aid Scheme

A party may be entitled to public legal aid in certain types of cases. There is a national income threshold and restrictions regarding the types of cases that fall within the scheme. Therefore, many do not qualify for public legal aid.   

Individuals who do not qualify for the public legal aid scheme may be able to receive assistance from non-profit organization and student-run legal clincs  that offer free legal aid. These are located across the country. Read more about the legal clinics here.

The Norwegian Bar Association has a service called “Advokatvakten”, where individuals can receive a free consultation of up to 30 minutes with a lawyer who is member of the Bar Association. Advokatvakten has several locations across the country. 

Read about Advokatvakten here.

Extent of Liability for Damages

In Norway, liability for damages normally only extends to economic loss. In certain limited circumstances statutory provisions provide liability for non-economic damages.