Annual Report 2016

BI's Departments

Department of Law and Governance

The Department of Law and Governance has one of Norway’s largest academic communities within business law and real estate.

The Department also has a strong team of experts within business history, corporate social responsibility, banking and insurance, political economy and climate strategy. The Department is a merger of the previous Department of Law and 17 people from the old Department of Innovation and Economic Organisation.

Head of Department Tore Bråthen
Head of Administration Anne C. Thestrup

Important events

Eivind Furuseth defended his doctoral thesis in Legal Science on 9 June. The thesis defence took place in the old ceremonial hall at the University of Oslo. The title of the doctoral thesis was “The Relationship between Domestic Anti-Avoidance Rules and Tax Treaties”.

The Department was strongly involved in two important statutory assessments with major significance for the business community: Tore Bråthen headed the Committee on Company Legislation, which proposed substantial amendments and simplifications of company legislation. Stine Winger Minde was the committee’s secretary. Inger Julie Aasland was a member of the Foundations Act Committee, which submitted a proposal for a new Foundations Act.

The BioNEXT research project was launched in 2016. The project involves offering research-based knowledge as a contribution to revitalising the bioenergy industry. The project is funded by Norwegian Research Council and headed by Norwegian University of Life Sciences. Atle Midttun’s contribution is to investigate how innovation theory can be used to help Norwegian forestry gain an advantage within bioenergy.

Morten Kinander was appointed as a member of the Forum for European Securities Research, which is a European expert committee on securities law.

Monica Viken was appointed as a member of the Academic Advisory Board in the European Patent Organization. The agency is working to protect intangible assets e.g. through patent registration for all of Europe. The appointment will highlight BI’s position as a player focusing on innovation in education.

Eivind Furuseth was appointed by the Ministry of Finance to be a member of the new nationwide Tax Appeals Board, which will replace the five previous regional tax appeals boards. Eivind is also the new editor of the journal Skatterett.

The seminar “Profitable corporate social responsibility (CSR)” was organised by Caroline Ditlev-Simonsen at the Centre for Corporate Responsibility which is affiliated with the Department. The seminar reviewed six practical cases that demonstrated how corporate social responsibility can be profitable for both society and businesses.

Per Espen Stoknes organised the seminar Smart Green Growth, which also included a political panel with Nikolai Astrup (H – Conservative Party), Terje Aasland (AP – Labour Party), Trine Skei Grande (V – Liberal Party) and Rasmus Hanson (MDG – Norwegian Green Party).

Gudmund Hernes headed three Open Forums in 2016, where he interviewed former BI President, top executive and politician Leif Frode Onarheim, CEO of Innovation Norway Anita Krohn Traaseth, and Director of the Employers' Association Spekter, Anne-Kari Bratten.

A farewell seminar was organised for Professor Kjell Eliassen, who became professor emeritus in May. The programme was based on three of the research topics that Kjell has contributed to through the years: EU politics, political parties, and elites and globalisation. Kjell is still active with the “security master”, and he organised a seminar in November on the Norwegian forces in Afghanistan with a lecture by Bjørn Tore Godal, from the committee appointed by the Government to evaluate Norway’s efforts in Afghanistan.

The Department held a seminar on money laundering in connection with the review of the money laundering rules in 2015/2016.

A professional seminar on a new accounting act was organised by the Department in September, based on NOU 2015:10 Act relating to the obligation to submit annual accounts and NOU 2016:11 The Accounting Act’s provisions relating to annual reports, etc.

New books

Harald Benestad Anderssen and Tore Bråthen were editors of “Moderne Forretningsjus III” (Modern Business Law III) with an impressive 27 contributions from the Department’s employees on topics such as labour legislation, real estate law, EU legislation, law of finance, copyright law, auditing law, corporate law, tax and fee legislation.

Harald Espeli and Trond Bergh authored the book on the history of Gjensidige Forsikring, published in connection with Gjensidige’s 200th anniversary in 2016: “Tida går. Gjensidige i 200 år”.

Lars Thue, Espen Ekberg and Christine Myrvang published the book “Mellommannen” (the Intermediary), which is the story of the Johannson family, Norway’s most powerful grocery market player from 1866 to 2016. The book was selected as one of the best books in 2016 by the Morgenbladet critics.

Irina Eidsvold-Tøien published the book “Skapende, utøvende kunstnere” which examines the intellectual property rights for creative artists. The book is based on her doctoral thesis.

Atle Midttun published the book “Energy and Transport in Green Transition – Perspectives on Ecomodernity” with Nina Witoszek from the University of Oslo. The book is based on the research project CERES 21 launched by the University of Oslo in cooperation with BI.

Knut Sogner, Einar Lie and Håvard Brede Aven edited the book “Entreprenørskap i næringsliv og politikk. Festskrift til Even Lange” (Entrepreneurship in business and politics. A festschrift to Even Lange)

Pål Nygaard, Kristin Alsos and Åsmund Arup Seip published the book “I arbeidsfredens tjeneste. Arbeidsretten 100 år.” (In the service of labour peace. The Labour Court of Norway 100 years)

Jørgen Randers and Graeme Maxton published the book “Ein Prozent is genug” in German and the English translation “Reinventing Prosperity. Managing Economic Growth to Reduce Unemployment, Inequality and Climate Change”.

Dag Jørgen Hveem published the textbook “Personlig økonomi – juss” (Personal finance – law).