Constitutions of Scandinavian Countries: Comparative Analysis

The article offers the comparative analysis of Constitutions of Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Finland and Sweden, determines common features and differences inherent to these acts as well as factors that explain these countries’ belonging to a certain law family. Special attention is paid to the specificity of state structure, the functioning of state apparatus, the state’s attitude towards religion. The author distinguishes a number of criteria that characterize the attachment of the mentioned above systems to the mixed law family: commonality of historical origin, territory, legal sources and methods of their interpretation, common policy of state legal development, creation of mutual legal rules, implementation of various means aimed at overcoming
legal differences.Cooperation in legal sphere (the foundation of 1872 Assembly, the creation of 2010 Scandinavian Federation) has made a great impact on the preservation of specific regional peculiarities within Scandinavian Law. The autonomy of Scandinavian law family can be explained by the tight historical relations, interweaving occurrence of some states into the others’ composition, later implementation of Roman law over the territories as well as the weak influence of continental and common law. Similarity in the structure and content proves the fact that Scandinavian states’ law belongs to the family of mixed law. All the constitutions are quite short on the form of presentation; do not contain preambles and articles covering the status of local authorities. They announce their regulation by means of concrete laws, affirm one and the only religion as the religion of the state and proclaim freedom of conscience.At the same time the Constitutions are characterized by certain differences which in their turn do not loosen or reduce factors of belonging to the family of mixed law. For example, the Constitution of Sweden is composed of 4 Main laws. The requirement for governmental officials to religion confession is not the qualification of all the Constitutions. Different forms of government are provided – parliamentary monarchies and presidential republics, though the latter possess strong executive power. The Parliaments vary in number of Houses and their names as well as the names of Governments, local governmental authorities, the ways of their formation and number of levels. Not all the Constitutions express the essence of citizens’ rights and freedoms and means to solve the questions at international scale that can be regulated
by certain laws.