Supreme Court (Denmark)
The Supreme Court is the supreme court and the third and final instance in all civil and criminal cases in the Kingdom of Denmark. It is based at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen which houses the Danish Parliament and the Prime Minister's office; the Supreme Court was founded on 14 February 1661 by King Frederik III as a replacement of King Christian IV's King's Court. It was based at first Copenhagen Castle Christiansborg Palace, built in its place on the same site at Slotsholmen, consisted of 30 justices. From its foundation and until the adoption of the Constitution of 1849, the court was formally an instrument of the king, only deciding cases by a majority vote in the king's absence, most kings only attended the first meeting each supreme court year. An office as justitiarius to lead the court was instituted as early as 1674; as absolute monarch the king retained the inherent power to overrule the court, which happened on one occasion. Aside from this the court exercised the power to commute criminal sentences, a power, written into the constitution of 1849.
After the 1794 Fire of the Christiansborg Palace, the Supreme Court moved first to the Prince's Mansion until 1854, now housing the National Museum of Denmark, to one of the four mansions of Amalienborg Palace, before moving back to Slotsholmen. After the fire of the second Christianborg Palace in 1884 the Supreme Court had to move once again and was based at Bernstorffs Palæ in Bredgade until 1919 when it could move back to the present Christiansborg Palace; the Supreme Court functions as a civil and criminal appellate court for cases from the subordinate courts. Since a decision cannot be appealed more than once, County Court cases reach Supreme Court-level, though this may be the case if the independent Board of Appeals grants a leave of appeal. Significant civil cases with issues of principal, are deferred to one of the two Danish High Courts as courts of first instance. In those cases sentences from the Eastern or Western High Courts may be directly appealed to The Supreme Court; as its name indicates, the Supreme Court is the highest Court in the Kingdom of Denmark and its judgments cannot be appealed to another Danish court.
It is split into two chambers. A case is heard by at least five judges. In all, the court consists of 15 judges and a President. Unlike criminal cases in the lower courts, the Supreme Court does not deal with the issue of guilt. However, the basis on which the lower court reached its verdict may be brought into consideration and edited. In criminal trials by jury in the first instance, the defence may appeal on grounds of judicial error regarding the judges' direction to the jury. Courts of Denmark
Mette Frederiksen is a Danish Social Democrat politician. She has been a member of the Folketing, the parliament of Denmark, since 2001, served in Helle Thorning-Schmidt's government as Minister of Employment from 2011 to 2014, as Minister of Justice from 2014 to 2015. On 28 June 2015, she succeeded Thorning-Schmidt as leader of the Social Democrats. Frederiksen was born in Aalborg, she attended the Aalborghus Gymnasium, studied administration and social science at Aalborg University. After graduating in 2000, she worked as a youth consultant for LO, The Danish Confederation of Trade Unions. Frederiksen was elected as a member of parliament for Copenhagen County in the general election held on 20 November 2001. After her election, she was named as her party's spokesperson for culture and gender equality. She became her party's spokesperson for social affairs after the 2005 parliamentary election. Following the 2005 election, she served as the vice-chairperson of the parliamentary group of the Social Democratic party.
In May 2010, it was revealed that Frederiksen's daughter - along with the children of several other prominent Social Democrat politicians - was being educated at a private school. Frederiksen, along with her colleagues, was accused of hypocrisy by the Danish press, as her party had long seen the promotion of public education as a key policy. In 2005, Frederiksen had criticised parents who sent their children to private schools. Frederiksen responded to the criticism by saying that her opinion on private education had become more nuanced since her remarks in 2005, that it would have been hypocritical of her to put her own political career ahead of her daughter's best interest. Mette Frederiksen is a vocal opponent of prostitution, has for many years advocated for the prohibition of the purchase of sex, like in Sweden and Iceland. Pimping and operating a brothel are illegal in Denmark. Mette Frederiksen Folketingets biografi Mette Frederiksen - Socialdemokratiet Mette Frederiksen - Personlige hjemmeside
2015 Danish general election
General elections were held in the Kingdom of Denmark on 18 June 2015 to elect the 179 members of the Folketing. 175 members were elected in two in the Faroe Islands and two in Greenland. Although the ruling Social Democrats remained the largest party in the Folketing and increased the number of seats they held, the opposition Venstre party was able to form a minority government headed by Lars Løkke Rasmussen with the support of the Danish People's Party, the Liberal Alliance and the Conservative People's Party. Following the 2011 general election, a minority government was formed by the Social Democrats, the Social Liberal Party and the Socialist People's Party; the government was supported by the Red–Green Alliance. Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the leader of the Social Democrats, became Prime Minister; the government had rocky relations with the Red–Green Alliance, relying on their ad hoc support to pass bills instead of a formalized alliance. They have preferred to cooperate with Venstre to pass legislation.
Symbolically, Red–Green deputy Frank Aaen told Finance Minister Bjarne Corydon "Happy New Year" on 28 February 2013, because the government had failed to meet with his party since the beginning of 2013. On 3 February 2014, the Socialist People's Party left the government in protest over the sale of shares in the public energy company DONG Energy to the investment bank Goldman Sachs; this sparked a crisis within the Socialist People's Party, as three former cabinet ministers left the party, joining either the Social Democrats or the Social Liberal Party. However, the Socialist People's Party continued to support the government on confidence motions, preventing an early election; the incumbent government prior to the elections consisted of a coalition between the Social Democrats and Social Liberal Party, with Helle Thorning-Schmidt continuing as Prime Minister. The cabinet was composed of 6 Social Liberal ministers; the 179 members of the Folketing were elected in the Faroe Islands and Greenland.
The 175 seats in Denmark included 135 seats elected in ten multi-member constituencies by proportional representation, using a modified version of the Sainte-Laguë method and Hare quota, 40 "top-up" seats, allocated to parties in order to address any imbalance in the distribution of the constituency seats. According to the Danish Constitution, the election had to be held no than 15 September 2015, as the last election was held on 15 September 2011; the Prime Minister was able to call the election at any date, provided it was no than four years from the previous election, this is cited as a tactical advantage to the sitting government, as it can call an early election when polls are favourable. On 27 May Thorning-Schmidt announced that the elections would be held on 18 June 2015. Polls notably underestimated. In Denmark proper, the "Red" bloc won the "Blue" bloc 90 seats. Although the Social Democrats increased their share of the vote and won the most seats for the first time since 2001, the "Blue" opposition bloc led by Venstre's Rasmussen gained a parliamentary majority over the "Red" Social Democrat-led bloc.
Within an hour of the election result being declared, Thorning-Schmidt announced her government would step down on 19 June, that she would resign as party leader on the same day. In accordance with the Danish Constitution, on the day after the election each party submitted their recommendation to Queen Margrethe II for the appointment of a party to be in charge of government formation negotiations; the submitted recommendations showed a parliamentary majority for Venstre to lead the process of government formation. The negotiation mandate was unconditional from all "blue bloc" parties, except Liberal Alliance, who made their support conditional on a first negotiation phase being restricted to the attempt to assemble a majority government. After Rasmussen had been granted this specific mandate, he invited such negotiations to begin on 20 June. Negotiations began on 20 June, but it was not thought that a majority government involving all the "blue bloc" parties was possible; the Conservative People's Party indicated.
The Danish People's Party set out four conditions for their involvement in a coalition: a Eurosceptic approach to the EU, the re-introduction of border controls, further restrictions on immigration and asylum policy, 0.8% growth in public spending. Meanwhile, the Liberal Alliance indicated willingness to be in a coalition, but the party supports reductions in public spending, as does Venstre. On 21 June, Rasmussen concluded that, having tried, it would not be possible to form a majority government and he announced his intention to seek a new negotiation mandate allowing a minority government. On 28 June, Lars Løkke Rasmussen's new government assumed office with a cabinet composed of Venstre ministers. Election polling and trends Politiken.dk Greenland Folketing Election Results Qinersineq
Elections in Denmark
There are three types of elections in Denmark: elections to the national parliament, local elections and elections to the European Parliament. Referendums may be called to consult the Danish citizenry directly on an issue of national concern. Parliamentary elections are called by the Monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister four years after the last election, although early elections may occur. Elections to local councils and to the European Parliament are held on fixed dates. Elections use the party-list proportional representation system. Only citizens on the national register are eligible to vote in parliamentary elections and long-time residents may vote in local elections; the last elections were the Danish local elections for all municipal councils and regional councils held on 21 November 2017. The Kingdom of Denmark elects the Folketing, on a national level. Of the 179 members of parliament, the Faroe Islands and Greenland elect two members each, 135 are elected from ten multi-member constituencies on a party list PR system using the d'Hondt method and the remaining 40 seats are allocated to ensure proportionality at a national level.
To get a share of supplementary seats a party needs to get at least 2% of the total number of votes. Denmark has a multi-party system, with numerous parties in which no one party has a chance of gaining power alone, parties must work with each other to form coalition governments and/or minority cabinets. Elections to the Folketing must be held at least every four years. For Denmark proper, the "Red" bloc won the "Blue" bloc 90 seats. With all of the extra four seats from Greenland and the Faroe Islands going to the "Red" bloc, it would still be one seat behind the "Blue" bloc; the latest elections for the ninety-eight municipal councils and the five regional councils were held on 21 November 2017. The Denmark constituency directly elects thirteen members to the European Parliament every five years; the d'Hondt method of proportional representation is used. The last elections took place in May 2014: The Constitution of Denmark requires a referendum to be held in the following three cases: if one third of the members of the Parliament demands a referendum on a law, passed in the previous 30 days, or a law that transfers sovereignty to an international organisation has not received a majority of five sixth of the MPs, or in case of changing the electoral age.
The option for one third of the members of the Parliament to put a law to a referendum has a number of restrictions. Finance Bills, Supplementary Appropriation Bills, Provisional Appropriation Bills, Government Loan Bills, Civil Servants Bills and Pensions Bills, Naturalization Bills, Expropriation Bills, Taxation Bills, as well as Bills introduced for the purpose The Work of Parliament of discharging existing treaty obligations shall not be decided by a referendum. Though the Constitution of Denmark requires referendum to be held only if super-majority of five sixths of members of Parliament cannot be obtained, in practice, referendums have been held every time new treaties of the European Union have been approved when more than five sixths can be found; the Danish government was criticized when it did not hold a referendum regarding the controversial Lisbon treaty. In all three cases, to defeat the proposition the no votes must not only outnumber the yes votes, they must number at least 30% of the electorate.
The Constitution of Denmark can be changed only after a complicated procedure. First a government proposes a change in constitution a parliamentary election is held. After the new parliament approves the same text of the constitutional changes, the proposal is put to a referendum. To pass, the yes votes must not only outnumber the no votes, they must number at least 40% of the electorate; as of 2013, 16 referendums had been held in Denmark, the most recent being Danish euro referendum in 2000 and Danish Act of Succession referendum in 2009. All turnout figures include invalid votes and totals exclude invalid votes All turnout figures include invalid votes and totals exclude invalid votes Politics of Denmark Cabinet of Denmark Electoral calendar Faroe election results Greenland election results Adam Carr's Election Archive Political parties and elections NSD: European Election Database - Denmark publishes regional level election data.
2011 Danish general election
General elections were held in Denmark on 15 September 2011 to elect the 179 members of the Folketing. Of those 179, 175 members were elected in two in the Faroe Islands and two in Greenland; the incumbent centre-right coalition led by Venstre lost power to a centre-left coalition led by the Social Democrats making Helle Thorning-Schmidt the country's first female Prime Minister. The Social Liberal Party and the Socialist People's Party became part of the three-party government; the new parliament convened on the first Tuesday of the month. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, re-elected Prime Minister following the 2007 parliamentary election, resigned on 5 April 2009 to become the Secretary General of NATO in August. Polls indicated a preference for early elections over having Finance Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen take over as PM. However, Pia Kjærsgaard, the leader of the Danish People's Party, had reiterated the DPP's continued support for the government avoiding a new election and making Rasmussen the PM within the existing parliament.
However, when Rasmussen resigned that support became moot. According to the Danish Constitution, the election had to take place no than 12 November 2011 since the last Danish election was held on 13 November 2007; the prime minister can call the election at any date, provided it is no than four years from the previous election. Danish media and political commentators speculated about the timing of the election since Rasmussen took office as Prime Minister in April 2009; the election was called on 26 August 2011, after heavy media speculation. The following had as of March 2010 announced. Malou Aamund Britta Schall Holberg Preben Rudiengaard Jens Vibjerg Jens Kirk Lone Møller Vibeke Grave Niels Sindal Lise von Seelen Jens Christian Lund Jens Peter Vernersen Søren Krarup Jesper Langballe Lone Dybkjær Niels Helveg Petersen Bente Dahl Jørgen Poulsen Line Barfod Mogens Camre Rikke Hvilshøj Gitte Seeberg Mia Falkenberg Anders Fogh Rasmussen Morten Messerschmidt Bendt Bendtsen Svend Auken Morten Helveg Petersen Thomas Adelskov Lene Hansen Knud Kristensen Connie Hedegaard Søren Gade The former Prime Minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, led a centre-right minority government consisting of the Liberal Party and the Conservative People's Party.
This coalition government worked with regular parliamentary support from the national conservative Danish People's Party and gained the necessary 90th seat for a majority in the Folketing through negotiations with the sole MP from the Christian Democrats Ørum-Jørgensen and independent MP Christmas Møller, both elected in 2007 as conservative MPs and since having defected. Since the 2007 election, the Liberal Alliance had gained momentum in opinion polls, since early 2010, the governing coalition had not been able to gather a majority in the polls without the support of the Alliance; the continuing rise in the polls was to an extent the result of the internal crisis in the Conservative People's Party over the leadership Lene Espersen and the continuing debate over a lack of true liberal/conservative ideology in government policy. On 13 January, the continuing turmoil within the Conservative group in the Folketing caused Lene Espersen to resign as political leader of the party and focus on her role as Minister of Foreign Affairs.
A leadership election between Brian Mikkelsen, the Minister of Economic and Business Affairs and Lars Barfoed, the Justice Minister, was expected, but on 14 January the Conservative group in the Folketing unanimously elected Barfoed as their new political leader. He was formally elected as chairman of the party at a party convention within a few weeks; the Social Democrats, under the leadership of Helle Thorning-Schmidt, had enjoyed continuing majorities in opinion polls since late 2009 and hoped to form a centre-left government coalition consisting of the Socialist People's Party and the Social Liberal Party with parliamentary support from the small Red-Green Alliance. Both Margrethe Vestager and Villy Søvndal pledged their support to Thorning-Schmidt before the election, but there has been considerable debate about the future politics of this coalition because the Social Liberal Party demands a more liberal economic agenda. On immigration issues there are political differences between the three coalition parties.
This led some observers to believe that the Social Liberal Party would not join a government coalition but instead opt to be a part of the parliamentary support of a new, centre-left government. In the event the Social Liberals did join the new three-party coalition government formed on 3 October. All turnout figures include invalid votes and totals exclude invalid votes Helle Thorning-Schmidt told a group of supporters: "We did it. Make no mistake: We have written history. Today there’s a change of guards in Denmark." Incumbent Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen congratulated Thorning-Schmidt after conceding defeat: "So tonight I hand over the keys to the prime minister’s office to Helle Thorning-Schmidt. And dear Helle, take good care of them. You’re only borrowing them."The Copenhagen Stock Exchange did not react adversely despite a fear of increased public spending and higher taxes because the election resul
Regions of Denmark
The five Regions of Denmark were created as administrative entities at a level above the municipalities and below the central government in the public sector as part of the 2007 Danish Municipal Reform, when the 13 counties were abolished. At the same time, the number of municipalities was cut from 270 to 98; each region is governed by a popularly elected regional council with 41 members, from whom the regional chairman is chosen. The main responsibility of the regions is healthcare. Lesser powers of the regions include public transport, environmental planning, soil pollution management and some coordination of secondary education. In contrast to the former counties, the regions do not have municipal powers. Regions cannot levy taxes, but are financed by block grants from a tax levied by the central government until 2018 and by taxes collected by their constituent municipalities. Regions cannot decide their budgets independently, but must use the block grant for the purposes that are specified by the state.
As they are not municipalities, regions are not allowed to have coat of arms, but they do have modern logos. The small archipelago of Ertholmene to the northeast of Bornholm is not part of any region or municipality, its inhabitants do not pay municipal taxes, nor did they pay the central government's health care contribution tax or the tax levied by counties prior to 2007. The representative organisation Danske Regioner was set up on 23 March 2006, it is an advocacy and lobbying organisation speaking on behalf of all of the regions, including negotiating labour contracts, etc. The organization maintains an office in Brussels; as a central representation of the Danish healthcare system it has rather large, although unofficial, powers. Its equivalent before 2006 was the organisation of county representations. 1 The regions themselves use English names that are not a verbatim rendering of the Danish name.2 Area and population figures do not add up. Land area: 42,394 km². Inland water area: 500 to 700 km².
Ertholmene included in totals. Statistikbanken.dk/FOLK1A. Like their geographical areas, the names of several regions are neologisms; the term Syddanmark was known before the reform, but not in the present meaning. It was sometimes used to refer to Denmark proper as opposed to the North Atlantic parts of the Danish realm, the Faroe Islands and Greenland; the term Midtjylland was, in common use still is, used to describe the interior centre of Jutland, but never the coastal areas of the peninsula. The Regions of North Jutland and Central Jutland have chosen to market themselves internationally under the names of North Denmark Region and Central Denmark Region although in Denmark these geographical terms have no traditional use and may be confusing; the government most uses the Danish names in English-language publications or directly translated English names. Speaking, there is no authority defining the correct English names since the official names are stipulated in a law existing only in a Danish version.
Note: Numbers for the year 2006 are pro forma to be a reference, an example, to compare regions and changes in population numbers when the economy was expanding, growing, as opposed to when it was contracting. Health sector, including hospitals and health insurance, general practitioners and specialists. Health insurance for basic dental care. Regional development concerning nature and the environment, private sector economy, employment and culture, outlying areas and rural area development. Administrative assistance for private sector growth fora. Ground pollution surveillance and cleanup. Raw material mapping and planning. Permission for extraction, i.e. gravel pits. Social and educational institutions for people with special needs. Public transportation; the most important area of responsibility for the new regions is the public health service, accounting for 90% of the regions' expenditure. They are responsible for employment policies and public mass transit. However, in eastern Denmark the regions and 45 out of 46 municipalities share one employment region and transit is handled by a single transport agency, Movia.
Bornholm Regional Municipality because of its remote location in the Baltic Sea between Sweden and the westernmost part of Poland is its own employment region and is a 100% owner of its own mass transit agency, BAT, Bornholms Amts Trafikselskab until the island's county was abolished on 1 January 2003. Bornholm performs other tasks that are carried out by the regions in the rest of Denmark - thus the name Bornholm Regional Municipality: Bornholm in some respects forms a region by itself. From 1 January 2016 Ærø Municipality is responsible for public mass transit in the municipality. From 1 January 2018 Fanø Municipality will be the sole provider of public mass transit on the island of Fanø taking over the responsibilities from the Region of Southern Denmark; the regions own all public hospitals in their areas and control the primary care sector through contracts with general physicians and specialists. The name of the region is used on hospitals' letterheads and on doctors' and nurses' white coats.
Four of the regions have a university hospital, corresponding with the four medical faculties of Denmark. The Region of Zealand lacks a medical faculty but has in 2016 renamed its hospitals in Roskilde and Køge, close to Copenhagen, as university hospitals and will collaborate with the medical facul
2014 European Parliament election in Denmark
The European Parliament election of 2014 in Denmark was an election held in Denmark on 25 May 2014 to decide who would represent Denmark in the European Parliament from 2014 to 2019. The Danish People's Party with 26.6% of the votes became the largest party for the first time in a nationwide Danish election. The election was held alongside the Danish Unified Patent Court membership referendum where 62.5% of the voter approved ratification of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court. All parties in the Folketing except the Red–Green Alliance participated in the election. In addition, the People's Movement against the EU participated. Several parties had incumbent candidates as lead candidates: Bendt Bendtsen for the Conservative People's Party, Margrete Auken for the Socialist People's Party and Morten Messerschmidt for the Danish People's Party. Three of the parties represented in the EP had new lead candidates: Jeppe Kofod for the Social DemocratsUlla Tørnæs for Venstre and Rina Ronja Kari for the People's Movement against the EU.
The Danish Social Liberal Party, not represented in the EP had Morten Helveg Petersen on top of the list while the Liberal Alliance, not represented had Christina Egelund. After the Danish People's Party and the Red–Green Alliance opposed Danish membership in the Unified Patent Court, the Danish cabinet in December 2013 decided to hold a referendum on the issue, since joining the court was judicially regarded as transferring sovereignty and would have required five-sixths majority in the parliament to be approved without a referendum. A central theme in the campaign was the claim of benefit tourism as a threat to the Danish welfare state, a position the Danish People's Party fronted and, supported by Venstre, the Conservatives and the Social Democrats; the Social Liberal Party took the most positive position towards free movement of people inside the EU and was supported by Danish businesses. On 12 May 2014, Ekstrabladet wrote that Venstre's leader Lars Løkke Rasmussen had received about 150,000 Danish kroner in economic support for clothing in his period as prime minister 2009–2011.
In the campaign media wrote that Rasmussen and his wife had received a free holiday to Mallorca at the party's expense. The revelations led to a drop in support for Venstre in the polls. Rasmussen stated the claims were exaggerated; as part of an effort to motivate young people to take part in the election, the Folketing published a video on YouTube featuring a muscle-bound cartoon figure called "Voteman" who had once failed to vote and regretted his resulting loss of influence, so he decided to force everyone to vote in elections. He is seen in the video engaging in group sex, dispensing violence including decapitation, described as "grindhouse"-style by The Guardian's Lars Eriksen; the video was controversial in Denmark and abroad, being criticised for being misogynist and featuring violence while being praised as humorous by others. The Folketing pulled the video a day after its release, with speaker of the Folketing, Mogens Lykketoft, saying the cartoon had been perceived as "more serious and offensive" than intended.
Winner of the election was the Danish People's Party which for the first time became the largest party in a nationwide election, obtaining 26.61% of the votes and four of the thirteen seats. The party was largest in 71 of 92 electoral districts with a particular strong performance in Lolland and Southern Jutland, while doing less well in the urban areas of Copenhagen and Århus; the Social Democrats with 19.1 % of the votes got three. Their strongest performance was in Eastern Jutland and Copenhagen; the Socialist People's Party which lost one of their two seats had their strongest performance in the same area. Venstre lost a seat, getting two seats with 16.7% of the votes, while the Social Liberal Party won back a seat they lost in the previous election. Voter turnout was 56.4%, lower than in 2009, but still the second highest for a Danish election to the European Parliament. Morten Messerschmidt from the Danish People's Party got 465,758 preference votes, the highest for a Danish politician in an election to the EP.
The seats were given out within the parties to the candidates. Danish People's PartyMorten Messerschmidt – 465,758 votes Rikke Karlsson – 9,205 votes Anders Primdahl Vistisen – 8,315 votes Jørn Dohrmann – 6,439 votesSocial DemocratsJeppe Kofod – 170,739 votes Christel Schaldemose – 64,495 votes Ole Christensen – 26,855 votesVenstreUlla Tørnæs – 136,388 votes Jens Rohde – 48,911 votesSocialist People's PartyMargrete Auken – 153,072 votesConservative People's PartyBendt Bendtsen – 151,274 votesPeople's Movement Against the EURina Ronja Kari – 63,673 votesSocial Liberal PartyMorten Helveg Petersen – 76,390 votes With about one third of the votes for Eurosceptic parties, the election was regarded by political commentators as strengthening this position, with a possibility that the Europositive parties would become more critical to certain EU policies, such as sending welfare checks abroad; the support in the referendum of Denmark being part of Unified Patent Court was on the other side seen as evidence that a majority of Danes still favoured giving the EU more influence in certain areas.
Political commentators saw the good result for the Danish People's Party as reflecting that the party since Kristian Thulesen Dahl became leader in 2012 has become less controversial and has put more focus on welfare issues. At the same time, some of the votes for the party were considered to be protest votes in relation to EU matters and not believed to transfer into votes for the party in the next Danish general election; the Social Liberal Party was regarded as another winner, winning a seat which they