The Danish Institute for Human Rights and the Copenhagen Declaration – a Reply to Helga Molbæk-Steensig

In her blog post “Is Something Rotten in the State of Denmark?”, Helga Molbæk-Steensig analyses the making of the Copenhagen Declaration; the most important outcome of the Danish chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. Molbæk-Steensig agrees with most commentators that the declaration does not reflect the Danish government’s “strong discourse of sovereignty and democratic deficit in the Danish debate“. We certainly agree on this point, but we cannot agree with Molbæk-Steensig when she claims that we – Denmark’s national human rights institution – played a passive, or even negative, role during the making of the declaration. We especially disagree when Molbæk-Steensig implies that we somehow legitimise a far-right narrative designed to limit the system of human rights protection in Europe or subscribe to a reductionist concept of democracy.

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Something Rotten in the State of Denmark?

The final version of the Copenhagen Declaration has turned out to be a lot less dramatic than the original draft led many observers to believe. This leaves several questions of why. Why did Denmark, traditionally a frontrunner country, create a draft declaration so regressive it gave rise to harsh critiques from the Council of Europe Assembly, from academia and from civil society? Why was the Danish Minister of Justice glossing over the content of the declaration? Why has the Danish Institute of Human Rights been so relatively quiet throughout the whole debacle?

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Stateless persons’ entitlement to citizenship – and Denmark’s call for dilution of state obligations in this regard

The UN statelessness convention obliges member states to grant citizenship to persons born on their soil who would otherwise be stateless. Denmark, with very little success so far, is pushing for a renegotiation of that obligation, allegedly for security reasons. What is behind this effort? Could maybe the Danish initiative prove even beneficial by laying the ground for more international cooperation on citizenship law matters?

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Legal Disintegration? The Ruling of the Danish Supreme Court in AJOS

On December 6, 2016, the Supreme Court of Denmark (SCDK) ruled in the Ajos case. The ruling will be read, remembered and taught as an example of defiance of clear guidelines from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) by the highest court in Denmark. EU law is an exterior phenomenon but part and parcel of Danish law. It follows that switching it off, as in Ajos, necessarily entails applying one law by breaking another. That is not a viable path for any legal system taking supranational obligations seriously.

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The prince of Denmark facing mass immigration – from Germany.

How would Denmark react to a wave of mass immigration from Germany, numbering hundreds of thousands or millions of people? The question is, needles to say, purely hypothetical, but it is nevertheless, in my view, highly pertinent in the context of discussing the issues raised in Liav Orgad’s important book, The Cultural Defense of Nations. These questions are at the very heart of Europe’s present concerns and dilemmas, which makes the book’s highly original, learned and well-argued contribution to the debate all the more valuable.

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Mann oder Frau – keine Frage für Experten

Ob man Däne ist oder Dänin, darüber soll künftig niemand anders Auskunft geben können als man selbst. Soeben ist ein Gesetz in Kraft getreten, mit dem sich die Dänen neben Argentinien an die Spitze der Transgender-Liberalisierung weltweit setzen. Trans-Frauen und -Männer, die nicht länger rechtlich als Männer bzw. Frauen gelten wollen, können – soweit sie 18 sind und eine Cool-Off-Periode von […]

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