Norway to rush through emergency coronavirus law

The Local Norway
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Norway to rush through emergency coronavirus law
Prime Minister Erna Solberg announced the measures at a press conference on Wednesday. Photo: Norwegian Government/Screenshot

Norway's government is planning to drive through a temporary coronavirus law which allows it to sidestep existing laws and issue new regulations without parliamentary debate.


The new law, the full text of which has been published on the government's website, was formally proposed at an extraordinary meeting chaired by King Harald V on Wednesday night.
The government has been negotiating the new law with the other parties in parliament for several days behind closed doors and hopes to have it approved by this Sunday.  
"This is an extraordinary situation, where we will need to act rapidly," Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said at a press conference on Wednesday, according to state broadcaster NRK. "We want therefore to vote through a law that will exempt us from current laws, with the exception of the Constitution and human rights legislation." 
The law will have a built-in sunset clause so that it expires automatically on 31 December. 
It will empower the government to issue new rules and regulations without needing to debate them in the country's parliament, even if they conflict with existing laws.
The parliament will, however, have the power to intervene and question any of these new measures if a third of MPs come to oppose it. 
"This is to make sure things work," Solberg said. "It's not about extending our powers into new areas." 


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