Saturday, September 09, 2006

Division of powers in Danish Constitution threatened?

The presumed terror case in Vollsmose, Odense, has provoked fear among some politicians and legal experts for the principle of the division of powers in the Danish constitution. According to this constitutional principle the power to legislate resides with parliament (Folketinget), the power to administrate with the government and the ministries, and the power to pass sentences resides with the courts.

After the apprehension of the presumed terrorists the Danish minister of Justice Lene Espersen said that it is a very serious case, perhaps the most serious ever, and that the police has got very far in its investigations. A responsible high-ranking minister, and least of all the minister of justice, should not say such things, as it may affect the courts. The courts are supposed to be completely independent of the executive branch of government. They are supposed to pass judgments independently of what leading politicians think.

In The Berlingske Tidende September 6th the chairman of the Judicial Committee in the Danish parliament Peter Skaarup (Danish People's Party) writes:

It is with a mixture of fear and relief that one sees that Denmark for the second time within a year manages to unravel a terror group. The Relief of course is due to the fact that the Danish Police Secret Service have been on the spot at the right time and apparently have unraveled an armed and determined terror group right in the midst of Danish society.

Skaarup talks in a way that suggests that the presumed terrorists have been convicted. He is chairman of the Judicial Committee of the Danish Parliament! Actually there is no sentence in the case so far. We are still waiting for the court to speak.

2 Comments:

Blogger Sophia said...

This is a clear case of politisation of terrorism which is a criminal matter and which is being treated as a political matter. Look how the last terror threat was nadled in the UK. The most visible were politicians trying to bank on it and we didn't hear much from the police.

8:20 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Duck said...

Hi Sophia.

Long time, no hear. I just read on your blog about the college shooting. Terrible. The division of powers is an old entrenched principle of the Danish constitution. So it's a pretty serious matter going on at present.

4:27 PM  

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