A historical commentary on the Constitution

The project is part of the 2014 commitment of the research team Law, Society and Historical Change at the Faculty of Law in Oslo. A historical commentary on the Constitution will provide a deeper understanding of Norwegian constitutional history.

Source: colourbox.

About the project

During the 200-year old history of the Norwegian Constitution there has never been issued a historical commentary. By "historical commentary" is here meant that the Constitution as a Whole in addition to several provisions is studied in a constitutional historical and otherwise legal historical context. The elements concerned are the background of the provisions enacted in 1814, the main changing features in their history from 1814 till today. "Historical" covers in other words Constitutional history through to current constitutional law.

The Constitution's provisions are discussed in articles, which together will constitute a book.

Background and objective

This historical commentary will provide a more detailed historical introduction to the constitutional than previous attempts. Thus, the project will both investigate and disseminate legal and historical knowledge on the Constitution that would otherwise not exist in such a unified way. Moreover, the project aims at promoting a clearer understanding of the relationship between history and current constitutional law in Norway.

This project will provide a jurisprudential history and scientific contributions to improve the understanding of the Constitution's historical and legal character and convey the constitutional history in a new way. The book is expected in 2020.

The project was initiated by the research group: Law, society and historical change at the Department of Public Law and International Law (University of Oslo). The project is lead by professors Dag Michalsen and Ola Mestad.

Cooperation and financial backing

The project is funded since 2011 by the Parliamentary Presidency, as well as receiving publication funds by the Norwegian Research Council (the GRUNNLOV project).

The project is based on a close collaboration with several legal scholars from the three law faculties in Norway.


Published Apr. 21, 2017 10:30 AM - Last modified Apr. 29, 2020 8:36 AM



Dag Michalsen (UiO)

Ola Mestad (UiO)



Nora Naguib Leerberg (UiO)