Preparatory Proceedings in Norway: Efficiency by Flexibility and Case Management

  • Anna NylundEmail author


Active use of the preparatory stage to promote a concentrated main hearing is a key element in Norwegian civil procedure. The judge actively manages the cage and prepares it for the main hearing. Judicial discretion is an important tool to allow the judge to tailor the proceedings to the need of the parties. If an issue or question is unclear, the judge has a duty to help the parties clarify the issues and provide guidance by helping parties identify disputed and undisputed facts and argument and to separate core questions from questions that are more peripheral. The judge has a duty to promote settlement either by judicial settlement efforts or by diverting the case to court-connected mediation. When appropriate, the case can be disposed of during the preparatory stage. The format of preparatory proceedings is flexible: the judge has discretion to combine written and oral proceedings and use telephone hearings. The 2008 reform of Norwegian civil procedure, which emphasised the role of preparatory proceedings, has made civil litigation swifter and cheaper. It has also enhanced the quality of proceedings and the outcome. In the final part, Finnish and Norwegian preparatory proceedings are compared. Norway has a long tradition of concentrated oral hearings, promotion of settlement and an active judge, whereas these ideas were introduced in Finland only in 1993. The comparison explores how the underlying structure and culture of civil proceedings influence the implementation of the main hearing model in countries with a similar (legal) culture.


District Court Civil Procedure Preparatory Proceeding Legal Question Preparatory Stage 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Adrian L, Mykland S (2014) Creativity in court-connected mediation: myth or reality? Negot J 30(4):421–439CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bernt C (2011) Meklerrollen ved mekling i domstolene. Fagbokforlaget, BergenGoogle Scholar
  3. CEPEJ (2014) European judicial systems – Edition 2014 (2012 data): efficiency and quality of justice., Council of EuropeGoogle Scholar
  4. Ervasti K (2009a) Käräjäoikeuksien riita-asiat 2008. Oikeuspoliittisen tutkimuslaitoksen tutkimustiedonantoja, vol 93. Oikeuspoliittinen tutkimuslaitos, HelsinkiGoogle Scholar
  5. Ervasti K (2009b) Riita-asiat tuomioistuimissa. In: Lasola M (ed) Oikeusolot 2009. Katsaus oikeudellisten instituutioiden toimintaan ja oikeuden saatavuuteen, vol 244, vol. Oikeuspoliittisen tutkimuslaitoksen tutkimuksia, Helsinki, pp 43–64Google Scholar
  6. Ervo L (2014) Nordic court culture in progress: historical and futuristic perspectives. In: Ervo L, Nylund A (eds) The future of civil litigation. Access to court and court-annexed mediation in the Nordic countries. Springer, Cham, pp 383–408Google Scholar
  7. Ervo L (2015) Comparative analysis between East-Scandinavian countries. Scand Stud Law 61:135–152Google Scholar
  8. Evaluering av tvisteloven (2013) Justis- og beredskapsdepartementet, OsloGoogle Scholar
  9. Lipp V, Fredriksen HH (eds) (2011) Reforms of civil procedure in Germany and Norway. Mohr Siebeck, TübingenGoogle Scholar
  10. Mykland S (2010) Særmøter som rasjonelle myter? Tidskrift for Rettsvitenskap 123:288–326Google Scholar
  11. NOU 2001: 32 Rett på sak. Lov om tvisteløsning (tvisteloven) Norges Offentlige Utredninger 2001:32Google Scholar
  12. Nylund A (2014) The Many Ways of Civil Mediation in Norway. In: Ervo L, Nylund A (eds) The future of civil litigation. Access to courts and court-annexed mediation in the Nordic countries. Springer, Cham, pp 97–120Google Scholar
  13. Robberstad A (2015) Sivilprosess, 3rd edn. Fagbokforlaget, BergenGoogle Scholar
  14. Schei T, Bårdsen A, Nordén DB, Reusch C, Øie TM (2012) Tvisteloven: Kommentarutgave Bind I, vol 1, 2nd edn. Universitetsforlaget, OsloGoogle Scholar
  15. Skoghøy JEA (2001) Tvistemål, 2nd edn. Universitetsforlaget, OsloGoogle Scholar
  16. Skoghøy JEA (2014) Tvisteløsning, 2nd edn. Universitetsforlaget, OsloGoogle Scholar
  17. Stürner R (2002) Zur Struktur des europäischen Zivilprozesses. In: Roth H, Gottwald P (eds) Festschrift für Ekkehard Schumann zum 70. Geburtstag. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, pp 491–505Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of LawUniversity of Tromsø – The Arctic University of NorwayTromsøNorway

Personalised recommendations