RS 29

44 Sunde 2014, 56–7. 45 Nylund & Sunde 2019, 209–210. 46 See Nina Berglund, ‘NAVadmits blame in welfare scandal’,, 13 Dec. 2019; ead., ‘Child welfare scolded again’,, 19 Nov. 2019. part ii • legal cultures • jørn øyrehagen sunde With the highest lay participation in Europe, many Norwegians know someone who has served as a lay judge in a panel of judges in a criminal case. Even though the jury system has been abolished, and the use of lay judges in civil cases is dwindling, there are still plenty of citizens who can testify to the propriety of what goes on in the courts.45 This has contributed to the general confidence in the courts, while reducing much of the power they exercise. Two scandals in recent years might change this, but it will take more scandals to trigger the political pressure needed for lasting change.46 Judicial review is strong in Norway. This is partly due to the vastness of the country, which for much of its history left the courts as the most important governing institutions, and partly to the fact that most people have had a positive experience of being in a Norwegian courtroom, or know someone who has. Together this has created a path dependency which thus far has resisted dramatic change.Againwe seehow a legal cultural approach can be used in analysis. However, legal culture also has another quality: it enables dialogue and critique. Friedman has done much to make legal culture a tool for legal analyses of law and society. However, perhaps the finest aspect of his research is his engagement with popular legal culture, and his use of legal culture to opened up the law to a wider legal and social dialogue. A search of the Norwegian newspapers for the term ‘legal culture’ shows that it was in the 1930s it became a term used in public debate, with an average of about eight entries a year. During the German occupation of Norway in 1940–1945 the references to legal culture in Nor140 People Legal culture and dialogue