Denmark


DK

 

Official (constitutional) name of the country: Kingdom of Denmark

 

Organisation of the judicial system

The tasks and the organisation of the Prosecution Service are described in Part 10 (sections 95-107) of the Danish Administration of Justice Act.

 

It is the task of the Prosecution Service in co-operation with the Police to prosecute crimes in pursuance of the rules of the Danish Administration of Justice Act. The overall objectives of this task are described in Section 96(2) of the Danish Administration of Justice Act.

 

This provision states that the Prosecution Service shall proceed with every case at the speed permitted by the nature of the case. In this connection the Prosecution Service shall ensure that those liable to punishment are prosecuted and the innocent are not prosecuted ("the principle of objectivity").

 

The Prosecution Service is governed by the Minister of Justice who supervises the public prosecutors. The Prosecution Service is composed of the Director of Public Prosecutions, The Regional State Prosecutors, one specialized State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crimes and the Commissioners.

 

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions

The Director of Public Prosecutions conducts criminal cases before the Supreme Court and, in addition, takes part in hearing cases put before the Criminal Cases Review Commission. The Director of Public Prosecutions is superior to the other prosecutors and supervises their work, and the Director of Public Prosecutions processes complaints of decisions made by the Regional Public Prosecutors in the 1st instance. Also, the Danish Prosecutions International Affairs is placed with the Director oof Public Prosecutions.

 

The State Prosecutors

Two Regional State Prosecutors conduct criminal cases before the two High Courts and supervise the Commissioners’ handling of criminal cases. Furthermore, the Regional State Prosecutors process complaints against decisions made by the Chiefs of Police regarding prosecution. Finally, the Regional State Prosecutors deal with cases of compensation with regard to criminal prosecution, and some complaints against the police.

 

The State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime is – nationwide – responsible for prosecuting serious economic crimes and international criminal cases committed abroad including cases concerning genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

 

The Police Commisioners

The 12 Commissioners act as prosecutors before the city courts (1st instance) and thus – in addition to the management of the police – are responsible for the inquiries and investigations conducted by the police district as well as the operation of the local Prosecution Service.

 

Recent national developments on judicial cooperation in criminal matters

(Information provided during the 36th Regular Meeting of the European Judicial Network on 24 February 2015, The Hague)

Protocol 22 attached to the 2009 Lisbon Treaty exempts Denmark from participating in the policy areas of Justice and Home affairs, which are instead conducted on an intergovernmental basis (Schengen visa rules being the exception). As a result, Denmark is currently not bound by acts adopted under ordinary procedure (majority) and is, therefore, exempt from all directives on penal law, including the European Investigation Order (EIO). A referendum was expected to take place in 2016 to decide whether to keep or remove these reservations. If the referendum ended in favour of deepening judicial cooperation, Denmark would have had the option to opt in on these matters, on a case-by-case basis.

 

On 3 December 2015, Denmark held the referendum on the Danish general exemption to Justice and Home Affairs. The proposal to turn the Danish exemption into an opt-in solution was turned down by 53% of the votes. For now, this means inter alia that Denmark will not opt-in to the European Investigation Order.

 

European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ). Profile of Denmark

 

Court Organisation

 

The District Courts

There are 24 district courts in Denmark. District courts hear civil, criminal, enforcement, probate and bankruptcy cases. Notarial acts also fall within the jurisdiction of district courts.

The district courts handles cases as first tier.

 

The High Courts

There are two high courts in Denmark - the High Court of Western Denmark and the High Court of Eastern Denmark. Appeals from a district court lies to the high courts - tried as second tier. 

 

The Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is the final court of appeal in Denmark and is situated in Copenhagen. The Supreme Court reviews judgments and orders delivered by the high courts.

 

The Supreme Court reviews both civil and criminal cases and is the final court of appeal (third tier) in probate, bankruptcy, enforcement and land registration cases. In criminal cases, the Supreme Court does not review the question of guilt or innocence. There are no lay judges on the Supreme Court panel. Only in exeptional cases is there a right of appeal (third tier) to the Supreme Court.

Mutual Legal Assistance

The district courts are appointed as competent judicial authorities regarding Summoning of witnesses or suspects/accused persons and Service of procedural documents (regarding criminal sentences).

 

In order to find the competent district court, please use the Judicial Atlas. The central authoriity regarding mutual legal assistance with the courts is:

 

Danmarks Domstole - Enhed for Udlandsforkyndelse  (The Danish Courts - Unit for Foreign Summonings)

Howitzvej 32

2000 Frederiksberg

 

Telephone: +45 9968 5070

E-mail: udlandsforkyndelse@domstol.dk

 

Judicial cooperation

General description of the national system for international judicial cooperation in criminal matters

The central authority for international judicial cooperation in criminal matters is the Director of Public Prosecutions. Requests for legal assistance are issued and executed by the Police Commissioners and the State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crimes, but may be sent via the central authority.

 

Text in original language, English and/or other available languages of the relevant national laws/provisions of the Criminal procedure codes  on judicial cooperation in criminal matters

International judicial cooperation is not directly regulated by law in Denmark, but by an analogy of the national rules in the Administration of Justice Act and the relevant international legal instruments. Specific matters, such as extradition, are regulated by specific laws.


Link to the EJN website’ section on the status of implementation in Denmark of the EU legal instruments on judicial cooperation in criminal matters

 Link to the national Fiches belges

 

 Links to the relevant sections of the Council of Europe and United Nations Treaties Offices websites containing information on the conventions to which Denmark is party

Council of Europe Treaty Office

United Nations Treaty Collection

 

 

Information on the organisation of the EJN

There are 5 EJN contact points in Denmark.

One contact point, who is also the National Correspondent, belongs to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

One contact point, who is also the Tool Correspondent, also belongs to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

One contact point belongs to the State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime.

Further two contact points are representing respectively the western and the eastern Police Districts of the country. 

 

Other useful information

 

Judicial Authorities

 

  • ® 2020 EJN. All Rights Reserved