Norway’s government — a mix of conservatives and populists — had argued the 67-year-old should retire when he turns 70, the mandatory age for judges working in Norway.Critics point out there is no age limit in EFTA’s own rules. They also said the government appeared to be punishing Christiansen, after the three-judge court ruled against Oslo in a series of controversial cases ranging from the sale of alcohol to the free movement of people.Ane Haavardsdatter Lunde, a spokesperson for the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, confirmed the decision, saying Norway wanted “to serve the best interests of the Court.”Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are members of the EFTA Court. Each county has one permanent judge on the court which oversees the countries’ access to the EU single market and rules on their application of EU laws. Also On POLITICO ‘Norway-style’ Brexit plan impossible, Oslo tells Scotland By Esther King Norway has moved to defuse accusations it sought to punish one of its judges at a European court by shortening his term.In a confidential decision Friday, the countries that are part of the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) re-appointed judge Per Christiansen for the mandatory six-year term, revoking a December agreement pushed by Norway that he should only serve three years.The abbreviated term provoked complaints from senior judges and academics in Norway, who said the government was undermining the court’s independence and setting a bad example for authoritarian regimes across Europe. The trade bloc’s regulator opened an investigation to assess whether curtailing Christiansen’s time on the bench was in line with European law.