JJUA04561U Introduction to Danish Law

Volume 2015/2016

Danes and their legal heritage. General introduction. History and special features of the Danish/Nordic legal system. Prevailing theories of law.

Danish Constitutional Law and Denmark in the International Community. The changing role of the Parliament and the law-making process. Parliamentary control with the government. Political and legal responsibility of Government actions. Checks and balances. The political parties in Denmark. The freedom rights. The Community of the Danish Realm and the special status of the Faeroe Islands and Greenland. The constitutional framework governing international relations. Danish participation in the EU, the Nordic Council, the UN and NATO.

Administrative law. The role of the bureaucracy. Basic facts about the central administration, quasi-judicial organs, special complaints procedures and municipal administrations. Control with executive powers. The legal position of the citizen vis-a-vis the State. Protection of the integrity of the citizen and the freedom of information (acts on freedom of information, public computerized files, exchange of information between public authorities etc.). Administrative procedural requirements. The principle of legality. Legal interpretation and sources of law.

The Parliamentary Ombudsman. The legal basis and the sphere of influence. Jurisdiction. Importance to the development of Danish administrative law.

The legal profession in Denmark. The Judiciary, control of the executive branch, independency, judge made civil law. The courts and the judges. Law studies and law practising in Denmark. The profession of advocate and the organisation of practising lawyers.

Family law and law of inheritance. The changing structure of the family and the ensuing legal problems (unmarried couples, involuntary removal of children, registered partnership etc.). New birth technology and abortion. The effects of the present system of inheritance law. Testaments. Minors.

Property Law. The Danish registration system. Transfer of personal property.

Contracts and sales. Formation of contract. Offer and acceptance. Void and unenforceable contracts. Interpretation and filling out of contracts. Performance and non-performance and contractual obligations. Delay and non delivery. Danish private international law. The choice of applicable law. Consumer sales of goods.

Torts and insurance in Danish Law. The basis for imposing tort liability. Grounds for exemption from liability.

Welfare State law. The social security system under stress. Free access to medical assistance. Basic facts about structure and financing. Privatisation and competition between public and private supplier of services. Unemployment benefits and public and private pension schemes.

Company law. The law on foundations and trusts. Multi-national companies in the local market. Influence and implementation of EU law.

Market and consumer law. Price and monopoly control. Unfair competition. Consumer protection. Influence and implementation of EU Law.

Crime and the Welfare State. Danish criminal law. Basic facts on crime and the criminal system. Theories and research on causes of crime, theories on the appropriateness of sanctions and the development of different types of sanctions in Danish law.

Learning Outcome

- Explain the structure and the organisation of the Danish society and its legal framework. Reflect on fundamental legal questions within this context.
- Present an overview of the basics concerning Danish public law with regard to the Danish Constitution, the Act on Danish Public Administration and the Act on Acces to Public Administration Files, Danish legal theory and practise concerning interpretation and supplementing of legal authorisation.
- Critically to reflect upon the citizens' rights and obligations in connection with execution of public authority.
- Identify the fundamental basics concerning Danish private law within the fields of property law, contract law, company law, Danish private international law, familiy law and torts and insurance in Danish law (“private law”)
-Put the parties´ legal position in different situations under Danish private law into perspective and to be able to consider and explain differences and similarities, and the correlation between the different interests and legal position and discuss strengths and weaknesses.
- Identify relevant concrete as well as legal problems and provide legal argumentation.
- Present solutions based on legal argumentation to concrete examples concerning basic Danish public and private law.
- Discuss and analyse legal aspects within Danish private and public law.
- Communicate and formulate her/his knowledge and arguments professionally and linguistically correct and in a way that is structured and coherent

Public Law

  • Chapters 1 (Danish Law in a European Context), 2 (The Danes and Their Legal Heritage), 3 (The Danes, Their Constitution and the International Community), 7 (The Growth of Danish Administrative Law), 12 (The Danish Social Welfare System), 15 (Environmental Protec-tion in Denmark), 21 (Criminal Law and Justice in Denmark), and 22 (The Judicial System in Greenland) in ”Danish Law in a European Perspective”, 2nd edition by Børge Dahl, Torben Melchior and Ditlev Tamm. Chapters 15 and 21 are mandatory only if time permits readings of the chapters in class.
  • Handouts
  • Some judgments and cases that will be gone through in class, e.g. the Tvind-case and the Maastricht-case.Required readings cover approximately 250 pages.


Private Law

  • Chapters 8 (Family law) and Chapters 9 (Danish Property Law), 10 (Contracts and Sales in Denmark), 11 (Torts and Insurance in Danish Law), 16 (Danish Company Law) and 20 (Danish Private International Law) in "Danish Law in a European Perspective", 2nd edition by Børge Dahl, Torben Melchior and Ditlev Tamm.
  • Handouts on all topics.
  • Some cases to illustrate pensum, will be reviewed in class.Required readings cover approximately 250 pages.
Theories and research on causes of crime, theories on the appropriateness of sanctions and the development of different types of sanctions in Danish law.
This course is only for International Students. Danish students can not participate in this cource.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 241
  • Seminar
  • 34
  • Total
  • 275
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 min
Oral exam without preparation, 20 minutes
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Exam period

Autumn: 7. - 11. December 2015 (preliminary dates)

Spring: 6. - 10. June 2016 (preliminary dates)