Lovdata in English

Terms of use

The website Lovdata.no provides access to a collection of online legal resources.

Some of the legal documents are available free of charge to all non-subscribers; and such documents may be used on a personal basis as long as such use is for a non-profit and/or non-commercial purpose.

Any use, distribution and/or re-packaging of said documents for resale, educational purposes etc. requires a separate agreement with Lovdata – see below for further details and conditions.

Mass downloading is not allowed. You will find an English translation of the original User Agreement at the end of this article.

Norwegian Laws in English

The following collection of translations has been compiled by  the Faculty of Law Library, University of Oslo, and resides on their website.

The translations have been initiated by various Royal Ministries, Governmental Agencies and private institutions. The translations are  unofficial and may not have been updated since the time of translation. The Faculty of Law Library itself does not undertake any translation work, nor does Lovdata.

The Constitution of Norway


Norwegian Court Cases in English

Decision by the Oslo District Court (22 July 2012)

The final judgment of Anders Behring Breivik in the July 22 terror case:  toslo-2011-188627-24e.

Norwegian Supreme Court (Rt-2006-1498, Rt-2010-1121, Rt-2012-1051)

The Attorney General has in connection with an appeal to the ECHR provisioned authorized translation into English of the Supreme Court Cases Rt-2006-1498, Rt-2010-1121 and Rt-2012-1051. The cases concern the application of ECHR P7-4 (ne bis in idem) and parallel prosecution. 

English translation of the cases; Rt-2006-1498, Rt-2010-1121 and Rt-2012-1051

Decision by the Norwegian Supreme Court (12 June 2009)

The case concerned an appeal against a judgement of the Court of Appeal in a criminal case following conviction for, among other things, attempted murder. The main issue raised in the appeal was whether the defendant's right to a fair trial or his right to review of a criminal conviction had been violated because the question of guilt was determined by a jury, which does not give reasons for its decision.

For an English summary of the case, see  hr-2009-01192-p-summary
For an English translation of the case, see  hr-2009-01192-p.

The Norwegian DVD case  ̶   Decision by Borgarting Appellate Court (22 December 2003)

A young person had in 1999 with others co-operated to the development of a program that circumvented Content Scrambling System for DVDs, and posted this on the Net. He had programmed a user interface, which made the program available also for persons without any special knowledge of information technology. The appellate court found, as the first instance court , that the development of the program was not illegal, see  lb-2003-00731.

Decision by the Supreme Court of Justice (20 November 2015)  ̶   Criminal process, protection of source, documentary film

The case concerned the protection of sources in accordance with Section 125 of the Norwegian Criminal Procedure Act and Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The question was whether the seizure of film material from a documentary film maker by the Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) should be uphed.

Decision in English: HR-2015-2308-A. See also the case presented at the website of the Global Freedom of Expression, Columbia University.

The Lovdata Foundation



Lovdata was established on 1 July 1981, as a private foundation by the Ministry of Justice and the Faculty of Law at the University of Oslo. Some of the background material leading up to the creation of Lovdata is collected in The Lawdata Papers , published in 1981.

Members of the board:

The Lovdata board members are (as of March 2015): 
Herman Bruserud (chairman, The Faculty of Law at the University in Oslo) 
Anne K. Herse (The Ministry of Justice and Public Security) 
Ida Børresen (The Norwegian Parliament) 
Kjetil Gjøen (The Norwegian Association of Judges) 
Randi Birgitte Bull (The Norwegian Bar Association)

Odd Storm-Paulsen is the managing director.


The purpose of Lovdata is to establish and operate legal information systems on a non-profit basis.


Lovdata's main activities are:

  • The operation of a website with legal information
  • The operation of an online Legal information service
  • Publication of
      Norsk Lovtidend ( The Official Legal Gazette) 
    and the production of the text for
      Norges Lover ( Norwegian statutes in force) and Overenskomster med fremmede stater (Norway Treaty Series). 
    and many other publications containing laws and regulations.
  • Development of software in connection with maintaining and running large databases.
  • Consultancy services in informatics.

Lovdata is also the publisher of the following Scandinavian and Norwegian periodicals

  • Lov&Data, a publication for legal informatics edited by Pr ofessor Jon Bing (published quarterly).
  • EuroRett, a publication highlighting legal developments within the European Union (appr. 20 issues a year) .

Web systems

In May 1995, Lovdata opened a website with the purpose of making legal information available on a broader basis than earlier. In addition to Lovdata’s traditional subscription-based databases, the following information was made available to the general public free of charge :

The Official Legal Gazette  
New statutes and regulations are published in the  Gazette. At the present time the digital issues go back to January 2001. 
(Launched May 1995) 

Statutes in force  
All statutes in force are continually consolidated and are given a table of contents showing the statute’s chapters and sections. Locating statutes may be done by text searching or by going through the chronological or alphabetical indexes.
(Launched May 1997). 

All national and local regulations in force are continually consolidated. An index to chapters and sections is generated for each regulation.

The national regulations (i.e. regulations applying to Norway as a whole) are grouped according to ministry. Within each ministry, regulations may be located in the same way as for statutes: text search or the chronological and alphabetical indexes.
(Launched March 1998).

Local regulations are primarily grouped according to municipality or county. In addition , we have different categories corresponding to national parks, wildlife areas and so on. For each municipality or geographical category, the chronological or alphabetical indexes may be used.
(Launched March 1998). 

Supreme Court decisions  
New decisions are made available soon after they are handed down. They will be available for a period of about 6 months. Hyperlinks to statutes (including chapter/section) are automatically generated. generated automatically. 
(Launched May 1997). 

Appellate Court decisions  
New decisions from the six Norwegian appellate courts are made available for a period of about 4 months. Hyperlinks to statutes (including chapter/section) are generated automatically. 
(Launched August 1999).

European Court of Human Rights  
From January 2006 Lovdata has cooperated with The Norwegian Centre for Human Rights at the University of Oslo. The Centre writes Norwegian summaries of the Court’s category 1 cases. These summaries are then published on Lovdata’s open site along with a link to the case itself.
(Launched 2006).

Treaties from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The treaty register gives information about bilateral and multilateral conventions which Norway is a part of. The register is administered by Lovdata and is accessible from our open site.

Lovdata Pro subscription system
All databases are in full text unless specified otherwise.

Lovdata Pro  
The  Lovdata Pro system is Lovdata’s application for professional users and covers the Norwegian primary legal sources

  • Legislation
  • All statutes since 1687 now in force and all historical versions since 1998.
  • All regulations in force, national and local. Historical versions of all regulations from 1998.
  • The circulars of the tax and social security authorities.
  • The  Norwegian Legal Gazette from 1986.
  • Travaux prépatoires – preparatory works.
    ·  NOU – Official Norwegian reports, from about 1990
    ·   Ot.prp./Prop. – bill drafts from about 1985
    ·   Proposals before the Parliament from 1991.
  • Treaties signed by Norway since 1992 

  • Decisions
    • Supreme court decisions from 1836
    • All appellate court decisions from 1993. Selected decisions from 1870.
    • Selected decisions on a regular basis from Oslo District Court from 2002 and from other district courts (lower courts) from 2004. In addition selected lower court decisions from about 1880.
    • Nordic court decisions concerning maritime law from 1952.
    • Court decisions on all levels concerning employment contracts.
    • Decisions by the Labour court (from 1916)
    • Social security court decisions from 1989.
    • Opinions by the Civil Ombudsman (from 1963)
    • Opinions by special boards dealing with complaints from private customers of banks and insurance companies
    • Opinions of the Market Council
    • The opinions of about 40 d ifferent governmental and other appeal boards

  • Literature
    • More than 6500 legal articles published in the main legal journals.
    • Bibliographic references to legal literature
    • The publishers of several major legal books, Universitetsforlaget and Arbeidsretten, both have bilateral agreements with Lovdata that enable links between our systems for mutual subscribers.
    • Judicial comments based on a sort of Wiki principle

Citation jumps between the different databases are implemented. 

  • The Norwegian version of the EEA agreement
  • The Norwegian translations of legislation relevant to the EEA (about 8100 documents)
  • The English version of the  Celex database implemented on our system
  • The  Lovdata database

Citation jumps between  Eurlex and  Lovdata are implemented as well as citation jumps between the  Eurlex databases.

Updating, use and costs

All databases are continuously updated. They contain at present a total of about 17 gigabytes of source text. The number of databases are steadily increasing.

Lawyers in private practice, government agencies, banks and other financial institutions, oil companies, large corporations, libraries and universities make up our main user groups.

Cost of service:

(As of 1 January 2015)

Monthly charge  ̶  Lovdata Pro NOK 940  for up to ten potential users.

Public libraries pay a monthly charge in accordance with a special agreement.

Collection of source material
Lovdata has entered into agreements with the Parliament, the Ministry of Justice, the Supreme Court, all the appellate courts and several other organisations in order to secure the collection of new source material. Lovdata’s role as the producer of the  The Legal Gazette has been especially helpful in this respect.

Most new material is now received in machine-readable form. Historic material is read optically or entered manually.

Use of high level mark-up codes
All texts that enters the Lovdata systems are coded in Lovdata’s own mark-up BOKUS. This language was originally developed in 1979-81. It gives a complete description of the structure of the document and can be automatically converted to other mark-up or typesetting codes. The BOKUS codes are designed to be simple to learn and to use. The coded texts are stored in so-called “mother files". All amendments, corrections or changes to the texts are made in these mother files.

The texts can then be utilized for either publishing or for incorporation in the retrieval system. In Lovdata’s new generation of systems all codes are converted into standard XML.

If the text is to be published, it is run through a program , which translates the codes to typesetting codes. Finished paste - ups are generated automatically.

For incorporation into the databases, the text is run through another program, which automatically edits the text on the basis of the codes and produces a layout suitable for retrieval purposes.

Financial status
Lovdata is run on a commercial basis. Gross income in 2014 was appr. NOK 33 million. Lovdata operates at a moderate profit. About two thirds of the income derives from the information systems, the rest from sale of text/ paste-ups to legal publishers and from other services including consultant contracts.

At present Lovdata has 24 full-time employees.

Access from abroad
Both the user interface and the documents in the databases are in Norwegian, a language you therefore have to understand fairly well if you want to access our online databases.

The best way to reach our computer from abroad is to connect to our website www.lovdata.no. At present we have foreign subscribers in all Nordic countries as well as in continental Europe.

Access codes to our online systems are received within a couple of days, after signing a subscription agreement. A one-day introductory course is recommended to learn the basic commands in a quick and easy way.

English translation of the original Norwegian User Agreement.

 - Terms of use of documents from Lovdata’s open site lovdata.no

§ 1. Utilization for the purpose og publishing, distribution, database usage or training activities of documents obtained from Lovdata, including but not limited to, statutes , regulations, circulars, decisions etc., requires a separate agreement. Lovdata will decide, in case of doubt, what is meant by publishing, distribution, database usage or training activities stated above.

Any resale of Lovdata services requires a separate agreement.

§ 2. Linking to Lovdata’s site is allowed and encouraged. The pages must, however, be presented to the user in their original form. It is not permitted to process, modify or edit the pages before they are passed on to the user, unless otherwise agreed.

§ 3. Lovdata is not responsible for any errors in the documents. Should the user become aware of any errors, a notice should be sent to Lovdata at the user`s earliest convenience.  Lovdata cannot be held responsible for any consequence of downtime, restrictions on the availability of lovdata.no or other system errors.

§ 4. Lovdata does not allow indexing or mass downloading from its website, with or without automated methods.

Updated: 19 May 2015.