Denmark - National | Legislation
Current conflicts 
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Applicable international law 
Judicial decisions 
International treaties adherence 
Regional treaties adherence 
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UN resolutions and reports 
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UN Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review 
National | Legislation

The Constitution

The Constitutional Act of Denmark, 1953

Criminal Law

Criminal Code, (in Danish). Excerpts in English available in pdf and under "Counter-terrorism" below.

Code of Criminal Procedure (in Danish only).Excerpts in English in pdf below (from 2001).

War crimes, crimes against humanity,genocide

The Justice Ministry prepared a White Paper on Danish criminal jurisdiction in 2007 (Dansk straffemyndighed, Betænkning nr. 1488, available here in Danish only), which included recommendations that would make it easier for Danish courts to prosecute crimes committed abroad, especially international crimes.

The Special International Crimes Office of the Danish Prosecution Service (SICO) is responsible for investigating and – if possible – prosecuting serious crimes committed abroad by persons now residing Denmark. These crimes include war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity, terrorism and torture.

(See also: HRW, Universal jurisdiction in Denmark, 2006).

Act No. 132 of 29 of April 1955 concerning the punishment of genocide (see pdf below)

Act No. 342 of 16 May 2001 on the International Criminal Court (see pdf below).

For further reading see: Andreas Laursen, "A Danish Paradox?: A Brief Review of the Status of International Crimes in Danish law", Journal of International Criminal Justice (2012) 10(4), pp. 997-1016


Chaptes 12 (Offences against the Independence and Safety of the State) and 13 (Offences against the Constitution and the Supreme Authorities of the State) of the Danish Criminal Code. See in particular paragraph 114.

Source: Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET).

See also the Council of Europe's Committe of Experts on Terrorism report below (pdf).

In October 2008, an inter-ministerial working group published a report on secret CIA-flights in Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands (available in Danish only). 


Law no. 494 of 17 June 2008 (Lov om ændring af straffeloven og militær straffelov, in Danish only) amends the criminal code and the military criminal code so as to make it an aggravating circumstance if a crime is committed in connection with torture. The amendment also means that there is no statute of limitations for such acts. However, Danish criminal law still does not contain a separate provision that criminalises torture as such.

Since 2007, the Parliamentary Ombudsman functions as National Preventive Mechanism under the OPCAT.

Other human rights law

On 8 July 2008, the Director of Public Prosecutions (Rigsadvokaten) issued Instruction Nr. 4/2008 on solitary confinement during pre-trial detention (available in Danish only).

Military law

Military Criminal Code (in Danish). Excerpts in English in pdf below.

Military Code of Criminal Procedure (in Danish only).


Law no. 348 of 6 May 2009 allows the police (on a trial basis) to use pepper spray (in Danish only).

Chemical Weapons Convention implementation legislation (in Danish). Excerpts in English available here.

Refugee law

Alien (Consolidation) Act, 2008 (see pdf below).

Links to the relevant Danish laws (in Danish only) can be found here

The Parliamentary Ombudsman started an inquiry in July 2008 into whether the practice of the Danish Immigration Service regarding family reunifications was compatible with EU law. The report is available here (in Danish only).

2008 Aliens (Consolidation) Act
Council of Europe - Committee of Experts on Terrorism - Country Profile for Denmark
2001 Act No. 342 on the International Criminal Court
Act No. 132 of 29 of April 1955 concerning the punishment of genocide
Art. 8 of the Criminal Code (in French)
Articles 1-6 of the Military Criminal Code (in English)
Administration of Justice Act, Consolidated Act No. 809 of 14.9.2001
Denmark links
Sunday, 23 October 2016
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