Far reaching legislative measures to fight consequences of Covid-19 outbreak

Aktuelt | 20.03.20

Tvisteløsning og prosedyre
Yesterday, Wednesday 18 March 2020, the Norwegian Government put forward a bill which will give the Government vast authorization to fight Covid-19 and its consequences for the society.

It is called the corona act. The aim is to facilitate "sound and effective measures necessary to limit the disruption of normal social functions" of the Covid-19 outbreak (article 1). To achieve this, the act give the Government statutory authority to - by regulation - "complement, supplement or derogate from applicable legislation as far as is necessary to safeguard the purpose of the Act. (article 2).

This is extremely far reaching, although the bill also provides limitations (most prominently that 1/3 of the votes in the Parliament will suffice to set such regulations aside and a time limit for 6 months, and that the regulations cannot be incompatible with the Constitution nor the Human Rights Act).

The former Dean of the Oslo faculty of Law, Hans Petter Graver, has publicly warned against such an extreme legislative measure. The political discussions so far seems more pragmatic and it is expected that the act will be enacted by Parliament shortly.

The proposal may be found here (in Norwegian).