CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE IN DENMARK
This article will provide guidance on the Code of Civil Procedure in Denmark. The Danish judicial system is modeled by the adversarial structure used throughout Scandinavia. Litigation and arbitration are the primary forums for settling legal issues. Disputes in the law may also be settled by mediation or mediation conducted in a court of law. During the first stages of a dispute, the courts often provide mediation services.
In most cases, the party making a claim must provide evidence to support their position. In Denmark, oral and written testimony is admissible; however, the latter is given more weight. The concepts of immediacy, orality, and concentration form the basis of the Danish Administration of Justice Act and are important to judicial practice.
The court must decide based only on the evidence presented and arguments made at the main hearing to adhere to the norm of immediacy. According to the rule of orality, all parties and witnesses must physically attend court and testify orally. According to the concept of focus, the main hearing is where the matter will be heard and decided and where no fresh evidence will be given.
Danish law has no hard and fast standards about how evidence should be evaluated or what degree of proof should be presented in court. While the courts do not have the power to use a subjective judgment of the facts at hand, the concept of judicial independence requires that they have considerable latitude to do so when necessary.
In Denmark, natural and legal people may file civil disputes before the courts. Foreigners may file a civil suit in Danish courts if they have jurisdiction since they are afforded the same procedural legal standing as Danish citizens. Unless the plaintiff is a citizen of the EU or one of a few other countries, the defendant may ask for security to cover the expense of the proceedings.
In every case, a district court is the ‘court of first instance.’ However, suppose the issue has broad legal relevance and is essential for applying or developing the law. In that case, either the parties or the district court may request that the case be referred to a High Court or the Maritime and Commercial High Court.
The two-tier idea is a cornerstone of the Danish legal system. A party’s ability to challenge a ruling in court is guaranteed under this rule. If a case has significant implications for the law, the third instance court may be the Supreme Court. The Board of Permission for Appeals determines whether a case may be tried more than once.
The Supreme Court is the highest in Denmark. In cases of broad legal importance and significance to the application or evolution of the law, the Supreme Court hears appeals from decisions of the Maritime and Commercial High Court; in all other cases, the court of appeal is a High Court.
STAGES OF LITIGATION IN DENMARK
The stages of a typical Danish court case include the preliminary hearing and the trial itself. When a plaintiff files a statement of claim, civil litigation officially begins. Courts may throw out a lawsuit if the statement of claim does not include all the facts they need based on the Administration of Justice Act’s detailed guidelines.
Once the court receives the statement of claim, legal action may begin. In such cases, the court will schedule a time for the defendant to file a defense brief. In the statement of defense, one might argue that the case should be thrown out for lack of jurisdiction or any other technicality. Judgment may be entered in favor of the plaintiff if the defendant fails to respond to the plaintiff’s claim before the deadline. The parties are often permitted to exchange further pleadings after the first round.
The court may require the parties to attend a pre-trial conference as part of the preparation process. The agenda and procedural deadlines, including, if feasible, the date of the main hearing, will be determined by the court at this conference. The court has the discretion to hold a separate hearing to rule on a party’s motion to dismiss based on a technicality and provide a separate decision.
PRE-TRIAL PROCEDURES IN DENMARK
Courts often do not look into the case details during pre-trial preparation. The court’s involvement will be limited to presiding over the flow of evidence and argument and investigating technicalities. But the court must frequently make choices, including the possible appointment of a court-appointed expert, on matters such as expert evidence.
Following the end of discovery, the parties will often submit a summary of submissions, and the court will schedule the main hearing if it has not already been scheduled. The court sets the conclusion of the preparation period, typically four weeks before the start of the main hearing. After this date, if a party chooses to submit additional evidence, accusations, or claims, the party must notify the court and counterparty. After the other side has had a week to react, the judge will decide whether to accept the additional evidence. Even if the other side does not react, the court will nonetheless issue a ruling. It must also be known that, as a general rule, class action lawsuits need plaintiffs to opt-in actively.
ENFORCEMENT OF A DOMESTIC DISPUTE IN DENMARK
If the court’s decisions regarding payment and actions are disobeyed, the party making a claim can have the court’s orders enforced through the bailiff’s court. The bailiff’s court is empowered to use the requisite force necessary to enforce the court’s orders. For example, the bailiff can execute a levy against the debtor’s property or give the debtor possession of specific items, including real property.
A claim for payment is usually enforceable two weeks after the judgment is rendered if the decision has not been appealed before this date. Danish courts usually respect the parties’ choice of governing law if that law is not disproportionate to Danish law or if the case is one of public policy. The court will decide on these issues ex officio.
PRE-ACTION PROCEDURE IN DENMARK
A court official serves the defendant with the writ of summons. If the defendant cannot be located, a member of their household must be served with the summons. The summons must be sent to the company’s CEO or another authorized representative if the defendant is a corporation. The defendant must be given at least two weeks from the day the writ of summons was issued to file a defense brief with the court. The court will then schedule a hearing and meet with the attorneys to discuss and agree upon any remaining procedural concerns (such as memoranda, evidence, and other processes). In this jurisdiction, there is no such thing as a summary judgment.
If the defendant requests security in response to the claim, the court might order an out-of-EU claimant to provide security. An application for a security for expenses order cannot be made in any other circumstance. The court will set the number of expenses as part of its decision. The expenses of resolving a disagreement are usually proportional to its financial significance.
It is not always the case that the costs granted in civil disputes are sufficient to pay the parties’ actual expenditures. Aside from appealing the case’s merits, the court’s cost decision might be challenged independently. As a temporary solution, injunctions might require one party to do something or stop doing something else. Any party seeking an interim remedy must show, or at least make a credible showing that it is likely to show, that an injunction or order will be filed to stop the harm from continuing. The requesting party must additionally show or make plain that they would incur further damages without the injunction or decree. An action to confirm the temporary injunction must be filed within fourteen days following the issuance of the interim remedy.
All requests for temporary attachment orders must be submitted in writing to the enforcement court. The request must include the claimant’s case, the breadth of the evidence and papers, and anything else required for the proceedings. The request must be supported by the papers relied on by the claimant. Usually, the debtor will be notified by the enforcement court.
CROSS-BORDER JURISDICTION IN DENMARK
A foreign ruling will be recognized and enforced in Denmark if a convention or Danish national rules grant recognition. A judgment from a country within the EU (or the European Free Trade Association (EFTA)) is normally enforceable in Denmark. The Brussels Regulation establishes rules governing the jurisdiction of courts and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters in EU member states.
EU Regulation No. 1393/2007 governs the service of process inside the European Union. According to the Regulation, where service is sought in another Member State, the courts in Denmark may forward the application straight to that state’s responsible authorities. Additionally, the Nordic Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Service and Taking of Evidence of 1974 governs the service of process within Nordic countries.
In addition, Denmark is a party to the Hague Service Convention. It should be noted that a treaty on enforcement between Denmark and the foreign state is often necessary for a foreign court ruling to be executed in Denmark. Judgments rendered in countries with which Denmark has no treaties are, in theory, not binding in Denmark. There is little case law to back up the question of whether or not Danish law recognizes foreign decisions under particular requirements, even though a treaty duty does not bind Denmark. To use the Convention’s legal aid provisions, one need only make direct contact with the appropriate authorities and make the appropriate request. Without a convention or Danish national rules granting recognition, Denmark will not recognize and enforce a foreign ruling. Therefore, international treaties and conventions are the sole sources of regulation for recognizing foreign civil judgments.
The legal systems of Denmark and the other Nordic countries have many things in common with those of continental Europe. It should be noted that the Nordic legal systems have developed their unique features throughout time. It is easy to see the influence of common law principles on Danish law. However, the Nordic nations are quite different from those that use Common Law.
Despite having close relations to continental legal systems, it is generally agreed that Danish law and other Nordic nations form distinct legal families. It is imperative to recognize the intricacies of the country’s legal system to ensure that the case may move forward smoothly and without interruption.
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1. When a matter is first heard in a district court, the parties can appeal the decision to a High Court, and vice versa for cases heard in the High Court.
2. To facilitate parties’ ability to litigate in person, the Administration of Justice Ac was amended on January 1, 2008, to include special rules governing small claims. The overarching principle of these rules is that the court will guide proceedings and instruct the parties on factual and legal circumstances. Claims totaling less than or equal to fifty thousand kroner are eligible for the small claims process. If the amount in question is less than 20,000 NOK, one will need the approval of the Appeals Permission Board to file an appeal.
3. The Administration of Justice Act added provisions for class actions in 2008. Individuals or businesses with comparable claims may initiate a class action lawsuit in Danish courts.
4. The high courts also issued a memorandum with fee schedules and instructions for civil matters. District courts follow the rules.
5 Article 33 of Regulation (EC) 44/2001 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters.
6. As per Article 1 of the Convention, a contracting state may apply directly to the relevant authority in another Nordic state for service of process and taking of evidence.
7. Hague Convention of 15 November 1965 on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters.
8. Denmark is not subject to EU Regulation No. 1206/2001, which governs cooperation between member states during the collecting of evidence.
9. Denmark’s cooperation with foreign courts of signatory nations in collecting evidence in Denmark is governed by the Hague Convention of 18 March 1970 on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters.