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Courts of Denmark

Table of contents
1 The Danish Court System
2 Administration of the Courts
3 Appointment of Judges

The Danish Court System

Organization of the Danish Courts

In the Danish system of justice, all cases are processed by on court system, i.e. there is no constitutional court or special courts set up to deal with public administrative law. Only cases against ministers and/or former ministers, in cases surrounding their dealings as minister, are handled by a special Court of Impeachment (Rigsretten).

Only judges of the court can pass judgements. Commissions set up by Parliament (Folketinget) may only investigage.

The court system consists of: 82 County Courts (Byretten); 2 High Courts (Landsretten); 1 Maritime and Commercial Court (Sø- og Handelsretten) as well as the Supreme Court (Højesteret). Furthermore, the Special Court of Indictment and Revision (Den særlige Klageret) deals with cases concerning disciplinary sanctions against judges.

Administration of the Courts

The Court Administration was formed in 1999 following the Court Administration Act, 1998. As a result the responsibility of administering the justice system and courts was removed from the Ministry of Justice and given to a newly formed, independent Court Administration, thereby securing separating of the judicial and executive branches of government.

Appointment of Judges

All judges are appointed by the Queen/King, following recommendations (i.e. orders) from the Minister of Justice on the advice of the Judicial Appointments Council. The advice of the council is always followed.

The Judicial Appointments Council, like the Court Administration, was formed in 1999, and facilitate that judges are recruited from all branches of the legal procession. Before 1999, it was felt that too many judges had a career background within the Ministry of Justice.

In accordance with the constitution (§ 64), no judge can be removed against their will; they may only be dismissed by order of the Special Court of Indictment and Revision. This insures personal independence. Likewise, in the execution of their duties, judges are only to be governed by the law. This insures functional independence from the Government as well as Parliament.