Norway’s highest court (Høyesterett) has refused to hear a direct appeal filed by environmental organizations that lost their attempt to halt oil exploration in the Barents Sea. The organizations aren’t giving up, though, and will now file their complaint according to normal procedure at the appeals court level.
Greenpeace, Natur og Ungdom (Nature and Youth) and an organization representing grandparents concerned about oil activity in the Arctic sued the Norwegian government last year, claiming that its allowance of oil drilling in sensitive Arctic areas violates the Norwegian constitution. They lost in the Oslo City Court in January and appealed directly to the supreme court on the grounds there was no time to waste in their attempt to block the government’s issuance of new oil drilling licenses.
The high court, however, determined that the case didn’t meet their criteria for circumvention of normal legal procedure in Norway, according to newssite Rett24. “We are disappointed by the decision,” stated Truls Gulowsen, who leads Greenpeace in Norway, “but look forward to argue our case before lagmannsretten (the appeals court).”