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The Norwegian Nobel Committee
Nobel Committee
(Norwegian: Den norske Nobelkomité) selects the recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Peace Prize
each year on behalf of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel's estate, based on instructions of Nobel's will. Its five members are appointed by the Norwegian Parliament
Norwegian Parliament
. In his will, Alfred Nobel
Alfred Nobel
tasked the Parliament of Norway
Norway
with selecting the winners of the Nobel Peace Prize. At the time, Norway
Norway
and Sweden were in a loose personal union. Despite its members being appointed by parliament, the committee is a private body tasked with awarding a private prize. In recent decades, most committee members have been retired politicians. The committee is assisted by the Norwegian Nobel Institute, its secretariat, and the committee holds their meetings in the institute's building, where the winner is also announced. The award ceremony, however, takes place in Oslo
Oslo
City Hall (since 1990).

Contents

1 History 2 List of Chairpersons 3 Members 4 Secretariat 5 References 6 External links

History[edit] Further information: Alfred Nobel Alfred Nobel
Alfred Nobel
died in December 1896, and in January 1897 the contents of his will were unveiled. It was written as early as in 1895.[1] In his will, it was declared that a Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Peace Prize
should be awarded "to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses",[2] and that some of Nobel's money was to be donated to this prize. The Nobel Foundation manages the assets.[3] The other Nobel Prizes were to be awarded by Swedish bodies (Swedish Academy, Royal Swedish Academy
Swedish Academy
of Sciences, Karolinska Institutet) that already existed, whereas the responsibility for the Peace Prize was given to the Norwegian Parliament,[4] specifically "a committee of five persons to be elected" by it.[2] A new body had to be created—the Norwegian Nobel Committee. Jurist Fredrik Heffermehl has noted that a legislative body could not necessarily be expected to handle a judicial task like managing a legal will. The task of a parliament is to create and change laws whereas a will can not be changed unless the premises are clearly outdated. However, this question was not debated in depth, out of contemporary fear that the donated money might be lost in legal battles if the body was not created soon.[5] On 26 April 1897 the Norwegian Parliament
Norwegian Parliament
accepted the assignment and on 5 August the same year it formalized the process of election and service time for committee members.[6] The first Peace Prize was awarded in 1901 to Henri Dunant and Frédéric Passy.[3] In the beginning, the committee was filled with active parliamentarians and the annual reports were discussed in parliamentary sessions. These ties to the Norwegian Parliament were later weakened so that the committee became more independent. Accordingly, the name was changed from the Norwegian Nobel Committee
Nobel Committee
to the Nobel Committee
Nobel Committee
of the Norwegian Parliament (Norwegian: Det norske Stortings Nobelkomité) in 1901, but changed back in 1977.[6] Now, active parliamentarians cannot sit on the committee, unless they have explicitly stated their intent to step down shortly.[7] Nonetheless, the committee is still composed mainly of politicians. A 1903 proposition to elect a law scholar (Ebbe Hertzberg) was rejected.[5] In late 1948, the election system was changed to make the committee more proportional with parliamentary representation of Norwegian political parties. The Norwegian Labour Party, which controlled a simple majority of seats in the Norwegian Parliament orchestrated this change.[8] This practice has been cemented, but sharply criticized.[9] There have been propositions about including non-Norwegian members in the committee, but this has never happened.[7] The Norwegian Nobel Committee
Nobel Committee
is assisted by the Norwegian Nobel Institute, established in 1904.[3] The committee might receive well more than a hundred nominations and asks the Nobel Institute in February every year to research about twenty candidates.[10] The director of the Nobel Institute also serves as secretary to the Norwegian Nobel Committee; currently this position belongs to Olav Njølstad. Kaci Kullmann Five
Kaci Kullmann Five
had been the Norwegian Nobel Committee's leader since March 2015. List of Chairpersons[edit]

List of chairpersons[11]

1900–1901: Bernhard Getz 1901–1922: Jørgen Løvland 1922–1922: Hans Jacob Horst 1922–1941: Fredrik Stang 1941–1943: Gunnar Jahn 1944–1945: see below 1945–1945: Carl Joachim Hambro 1945–1966: Gunnar Jahn 1967–1967: Nils Langhelle 1967–1967: Bernt Ingvaldsen

Inside of Norwegian Nobel Institute

1968–1978: Aase Lionæs 1979–1981: John Sanness 1982–1989: Egil Aarvik 1990–1990: Gidske Anderson 1991–1999: Francis Sejersted 2000–2002: Gunnar Berge 2003–2008: Ole Danbolt Mjøs 2009–2015: Thorbjørn Jagland 2015–2017: Kaci Kullmann Five 2017–present: Reiss-Andersen

In January 1944 an attempt by the Quisling government to take over the functions of the Nobel Committee
Nobel Committee
led to the resignation of Jahn and other committee members. The Swedish consulate-general in Oslo formally took over the management of the Foundation's Oslo
Oslo
property on behalf of the Nobel Foundation.[12] Members[edit] The current members are[13]

Berit Reiss-Andersen (chair, born 1954), advocate (barrister) and President of the Norwegian Bar Association, former state secretary for the Minister of Justice and the Police (representing the Labour Party). Member of the Norwegian Nobel Committee
Nobel Committee
since 2011.

Thorbjørn Jagland
Thorbjørn Jagland
(born 1950), former Member of Parliament and President of the Storting
Storting
and former Prime Minister for the Labour Party, current Secretary General of the Council of Europe. Chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee
Nobel Committee
from 2009 to 2015. Currently regular member. Henrik Syse (deputy chair, born 1966), Research Professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo. Asle Toje (b.1975) Member of the Committee, appointed for the period 2018-2023.

Secretariat[edit]

The Norwegian Nobel Institute, where the committee holds its meetings

The committee is assisted by the Norwegian Nobel Institute, its secretariat. The leader of the institute holds the title secretary. The secretary is not a member of the committee, but is an employee of the Norwegian Nobel Institute.

List of secretaries[11]

1901–1909: Christian Lous Lange 1910–1945: Ragnvald Moe 1946–1973: August Schou 1974–1977: Tim Greve 1978–1989: Jakob Sverdrup 1990–2015: Geir Lundestad 2015–present: Olav Njølstad

References[edit]

Notes

^ Heffermehl, 2008: pp. 15–17 ^ a b "Excerpt from the Will of Alfred Nobel". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 14 June 2009.  ^ a b c Arntzen, Jon Gunnar (2007). "Nobelprisen". In Henriksen, Petter. Store norske leksikon
Store norske leksikon
(in Norwegian). Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 14 June 2009.  ^ Heffermehl, 2008: p. 39 ^ a b Heffermehl, 2008: p. 72 ^ a b Heffermehl, 2008: pp. 53–54 ^ a b Helljesen, Geir. "Bare nordmenn i Nobelkomiteen" (in Norwegian). Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 14 June 2009.  ^ Heffermehl, 2008: pp. 84–85 ^ Dahl, Miriam Stackpole (10 October 2008). "Fredspriskuppet". Ny Tid (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 10 December 2008. Retrieved 12 December 2008.  ^ Heffermehl, 2008: pp. 50–51 ^ a b Heffermehl, 2008: pp. 60–64 ^ "The Norwegian Nobel Committee
Nobel Committee
1901-2008". Nobelprize.org. Retrieved 1 February 2012.  ^ "Committee members". Norwegian Nobel Committee. Archived from the original on 6 October 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2015. 

Bibliography

Heffermehl, Fredrik (2008). Nobels vilje (in Norwegian). Oslo: Vidarforlaget. ISBN 978-82-7990-074-0.  Heffermehl, Fredrik (2010). The Nobel Peace Prize. What Nobel really wanted'. Sta Barbara: Praeger. ISBN 978-0-313-38744-9.

External links[edit]

Norwegian Nobel Committee – official site Nobel Prize – official site

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