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Disputation: Kai Spurkland

LLM Kai Spurkland will be defending the thesis The legal framework for operational assistance from the Norwegian armed forces to the Norwegian police force for the degree of Ph.D.

Original title: Forsvarets bistand til politiet: En studie av de rettslige rammene for operativ bistand fra Forsvaret til politiet

The disputation will be held in Norwegian.

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Kai Spurkland

Photo: private 

There is a limited number of seats at the disputation. There will therefore be registration in advance. Registration form you will find HERE Deadline for registration is 22nd of September.

Please note that the disputation will be streamed and some of the seats behind the candidate and the opponent will be visible for those who are watching.

Participate at the disputation here (opens at 11:15am)

You can download zoom or use your browser. 

Trial lecture - time and place

Adjudication committee

  • Professor Hans Petter Graver, University of Oslo (leader)
  • Professor Birgit Feldtmann, Aalborg University(1. opponent)
  • Professor Gert Johan Kjelby, University of Bergen (2. opponent)

Chair of defence

Vice Dean Ragnhild Hennum 


  • Professor Tor-Geir Myhrer
  • Professor Johan Boucht


The theme of this thesis is the legal framework for operational assistance from the Norwegian armed forces to the Norwegian police force. Military assistance to the Police has historically, and still is, subject to legal and political debate in Norway. Following the terror events of 22 July 2011, the Norwegian authorities’ operational preparedness, including the topic of police-military cooperation, has been given considerable interest. This focus has revealed several unresolved legal questions related to military assistance to the Police. 

In this thesis I have looked into four principle questions: 

The first is which tasks the armed forces can assist the Police with. Is it any kind or only certain selected Police tasks?

The second question is in which situations the Police can request assistance from the armed forces. Is military assistance reserved for emergencies, or can the Police request assistance also in less critical situations?

The third question is what kind of assistance the armed force can provide to the Police. Here there are two main issues: Firstly, may the Police request the use of military weapons and heavy military equipment, or can the Police only request the use of equipment similar to its own? Secondly, may the Police request assistance from military personnel with military training only – or must the assisting personnel have some kind of training in civil police work?

The fourth question is how the assistance should be arranged. I have focused in on two main issues. The first is what kind of formal policing authority the soldiers have, and how they demonstrate this to the public? Secondly, I address planning, command and control in operations where the armed forces assist the Police.

My main finding is that the authorities’ expectations to how and when the armed forces can assist the Police exceeds what the legal framework permits. However, the field of permitted assistance can be expanded by two key measures. These are to give military personnel the right training and to in detail regulate the use military weapons in police operations.  


Published Sep. 9, 2020 3:03 PM - Last modified Oct. 1, 2020 11:32 AM