Wilhelm Matheson

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Wilhelm Eger Matheson (born 5 May 1955) is a Norwegian Supreme Court Justice. Matheson took office in November 2009. [1]

Supreme Court of Norway supreme court

The Supreme Court of Norway was established in 1815 on the basis of section 88 in the Constitution of the Kingdom of Norway, which prescribes an independent judiciary. It is located in the capital Oslo. In addition to serving as the court of final appeal for civil and criminal cases, it can also rule whether the Cabinet has acted in accordance with Norwegian law and whether the Parliament has passed legislation consistent with the Constitution.


Personal life

Born in Oslo, [2] he was divorced once and subsequently remarried; these marriages produced two children each. [3]

Oslo Place in Østlandet, Norway

Oslo is the capital and most populous city of Norway. It constitutes both a county and a municipality. Founded in the year 1040 as Ánslo, and established as a kaupstad or trading place in 1048 by Harald Hardrada, the city was elevated to a bishopric in 1070 and a capital under Haakon V of Norway around 1300. Personal unions with Denmark from 1397 to 1523 and again from 1536 to 1814 reduced its influence. After being destroyed by a fire in 1624, during the reign of King Christian IV, a new city was built closer to Akershus Fortress and named Christiania in the king's honour. It was established as a municipality (formannskapsdistrikt) on 1 January 1838. The city functioned as a co-official capital during the 1814 to 1905 Union between Sweden and Norway. In 1877, the city's name was respelled Kristiania in accordance with an offical spelling reform – a change that was taken over by the municipal authorities only in 1897. In 1925 the city, after incorporating the village retaining its former name, was renamed Oslo.


Wilhelm Matheson graduated with a degree from the University of Oslo in 1982. He has been employed as higher executive officer and was legal adviser in the Law Department of the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and also as a guest researcher at the Max Planck institute in Freiburg, Germany. From 1987–1988, Matheson served as deputy judge at the district recorder office of Lier, Røyken and Hurum. In 1989 he was employed as deputy advocate in the law firm Mellbye, Schjoldager, Sejersted, Tenden. Between 1990 and 2009 he was employed as a lawyer and partner in Wiersholm. After this, he took the role of supreme court justice. [1]

University of Oslo Norwegian public research university

The University of Oslo, until 1939 named the Royal Frederick University, is the oldest university in Norway, located in the Norwegian capital of Oslo. Until 1 January 2016 it was the largest Norwegian institution of higher education in terms of size, now surpassed only by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. The Academic Ranking of World Universities has ranked it the 58th best university in the world and the third best in the Nordic countries. In 2015, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranked it the 135th best university in the world and the seventh best in the Nordics. While in its 2016, Top 200 Rankings of European universities, the Times Higher Education listed the University of Oslo at 63rd, making it the highest ranked Norwegian university.

Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law

The Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law is a non-university research institute located in Freiburg, Germany. The institute is part of the Max Planck Society and is conducting basic research into criminal law and criminology.

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, and the Alps, Lake Constance and the High Rhine to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.

Appointment to the Supreme Court

Matheson was appointed Supreme Court Justice on 31 October 2008 together with Bergljot Webster and Erik Møse. The process surrounding the 2008 appointments was criticised by professor of comparative politics at the University of Bergen, Gunnar Grendstad for a "lack of transparency". [3] Journalist Hanne Skartveit (working for Verdens Gang) tried to push the three newly appointed judges to reveal their political positions in a selection of matters of public interest. [4] Matheson (and his two new colleagues) did not, however, accept the contentions of the critics and refused to bind themselves to positions that later could become subject to Supreme Court considerations. [3]

Bergljot Cecilie Webster is a Norwegian judge.

Erik Møse is a Norwegian judge.

Comparative politics is a field in political science, characterized by an empirical approach based on the comparative method. In other words, comparative politics is the study of the domestic politics, political institutions, and conflicts of countries. It often involves comparisons among countries and through time within single countries, emphasizing key patterns of similarity and difference. Arend Lijphart argues that comparative politics does not have a substantive focus in itself, but rather a methodological one: it focuses on "the how but does not specify the what of the analysis." In other words, comparative politics is not defined by the object of its study, but rather by the method it applies to study political phenomena. Peter Mair and Richard Rose advance a slightly different definition, arguing that comparative politics is defined by a combination of a substantive focus on the study of countries' political systems and a method of identifying and explaining similarities and differences between these countries using common concepts. Rose states that, on his definition: "The focus is explicitly or implicitly upon more than one country, thus following familiar political science usage in excluding within-nation comparison. Methodologically, comparison is distinguished by its use of concepts that are applicable in more than one country."

In the Supreme Court

Matheson expresses belief in the ideal of unbiased judges; however, he also considers it self-evident that decisions made in the court of law to some extent express the attitudes of the judges, and not "the so-called true law". [3]

As of January 2011, Matheson has dissented in two Supreme Court decisions: One (in January 2010) regarding the demand from a kiosk-company demanding compensation for the loss of income in the Public Roads Administration in the aftermath of a landslide blocking a nearby road (and the kiosk's source of income). The majority of the three justices passed judgment in favour of the government, while the dissenting justices (counting two) argued that the government ought to be seen as responsible for the company's loss of income. Matheson wrote this dissent. [5]

In the second case, of March 2010, Matheson was the sole dissenter against four justices in a case regarding compensation for non-pecuniary damages: The actor Gøril Mauseth demanded compensation from the Norwegian Broadcasting Company (NRK) in the aftermath of the screening of a nude scene including Mauseth from the movie Brent av frost, in conflict with a contract stipulating that this scene was not to be used in the purpose of marketing. The majority of four justices passed judgment in favour of Mauseth, against Matheson's lone dissent in favour of NRK. [6]

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  1. 1 2 Interview with Wilhelm Eger Matheson (Norwegian) at Domstol.no. Visited 28 January 2011.
  2. Wilhelm Eger Matheson (Norwegian) in Store norske leksikon. Visited 28th of January 2011.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Interview with Wilhelm Matheson (Norwegian) in Advokatbladet.no, 13 November 2009. Visited 28 January 2011.
  4. Skartveit, Hanne (13 October 2008). Hemmelig statsmakt. Verdens Gang . Visited 28 January 2008
  5. Supreme Court judgement HR-2010-102-A - Rt-2010-24 (Norwegian), 19th of January 2010. Samferdselsdepartementet mot Tollerudelva AS. Authors: Utgård, Tønder, Tjomsland. Dissenters: Matheson, Indreberg.
  6. Supreme Court judgement HR-2010-527-A - Rt-2010-366 (Norwegian), 25 March 2010. Gøril Mauseth mot Norsk rikskringkasting. Authors: Møse, Bruzelius, Øie, Gjølstad. Dissent: Matheson.