Law and Compliance in Denmark

Overview by

Business Contract

General Observation
The overriding principle which governs Danish contract law is the principle of freedom of contract. This means that the Danish Contracts Act and the Danish Sale of Goods Act provide very few mandatory rules applying to business-to-business relations as regards the formation and content of contracts. Therefore, the individual parties can negotiate, enter into a contract, and draft the contract almost in the way the parties decide, as long as there is no violation of third-party rights or public law such as competition law.
Law Applicable to the Contract
Denmark is a signatory to the Vienna Convention on international contracts. International laws can be used or an arbitration system can be called on. International laws are generally accepted in contracts concluded with Danish companies.
Advisable Incoterms
CIF (Incoterms 2000) is preferred.
Language of Domestic Contract
Danish, English or any other language is possible if both parties agree.
Other Laws Which Can Be Used in Domestic Contracts
If Danish law is not used, the law of the other contracting party must be chosen.

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Legal Framework of Business

Equity of Judgments

Independence of Justice
Equal Treatment of Nationals and Foreigners
Denmark is ruled by law. Foreign nationals can expect a fair trial from the country's judicial system. Denmark is one of the least corrupt nations in the world.
The Language of Justice
Danish, but English is the predominant second language.
Recourse to an Interpreter
It is possible to have an interpreter.
Legal Similarities
The main source of the law is the constitution of 1849 which went through a major overhaul in 1953. The legal system is based on the civil law system and the judicial review of various legislative acts. Denmark accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations. Denmark is a member of the European Union (EU), so the country's national law needs to comply with the Community legislation.

The Different Legal Codes

Constitutional law Regulates the relations between the highest state organs and provides for civil liberties (Human Rights); it can only be changed by special procedure.
International law Regulates relations between states
Individual statutory acts Private law
The Administration of Justice Act of 1916 (Lov om Rettens Pleje - Retsplejeloven) The only Danish legal code, contains almost 1000 articles, defining the administration and organization of the courts, covering fields of both civil and criminal procedure. The Act has undergone substantial changes since its enactment in 1916.
Checking National Laws Online
Ministry of justice
Country Guides
Lett, Law Firm

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The Jurisdictions

The Danish Supreme Court The highest civil and criminal court responsible for the administration of justice in Denmark
The courts of justice: the two High Courts (Landsretten), the Copenhagen Maritime and Commercial Court (Sø- og Handelsretten i København), the Land Registration Court, 24 district courts (Byretten). All courts of law may adjudicate disputes in legal areas such as civil, labour, administrative and constitutional law as well as criminal justice.
Court of Impeachment of the Realm (Rigsretten) Judicial action against ministers and/or former ministers, in cases surrounding their dealings as minister.
The Court of Indictment and Revision (Den Særlige Klageret) Handles complaints regarding procedure, disqualification of judges etc. brought fort by the users of the courts, against the courts.

Court Officials

Danish law only recognizes one kind of lawyer who advises on legal matters and also represents clients in court. It is common for lawyers to practice within a particular field of law.
All judges are jurists. Lay judges may be of any profession, it is however considered good practice, that none may be a jurist.
Find more on about Legal and Compliance Issues in Denmark.

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