PRESS RELEASE from the High Court of Eastern Denmark, April 11, 2007

PRESS RELEASE from the High Court of Eastern Denmark, April 11, 2007


On April 11, 2007 The High Court pronounced judgement in two cases filed by 26 plaintiffs against Prime Minister Mr. Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

The plaintiffs had two claims:

Primary claim (B-3130-05): The Prime Minister must acknowledge that the decision in Parliament of March 21, 2003 concerning Denmark’s participation in the military attack on Iraq is against the Danish Constitution of June 5, 1953.

Secondary claim: That the decision to involve Danish soldiers in the Iraq war as part of the US-led multinational coalition is a cession of sovereignty in violation of the Danish Constitution of June 5, 1953. In the case filed by the parents of lieutenant Kirkmand there is an additional claim of 10.001 D.kr. plus interest.

The Prime Minister has claimed repudiation or secondarily acquittal.

In both cases the plaintiffs have claimed that the substance of the case should be treated in court whereas the defendant has maintained his claim of dismissal.

The court has accepted that The Prime Minister’s claim of repudiation has been treated separately and it has chosen to dismiss the cases on the following grounds:

As to B-3130-05:

After the production of evidence, the High Court rules that the plaintiffs are neither individually nor as a whole more severely influenced by the Danish involvement in Iraq than the population in general. This goes for the situation in Denmark, the Danish soldiers´ command conditions in Iraq as well as the reputation of the Danish state abroad. Thus they are not directly concerned by the Danish involvement in Iraq in a way to give ‘legal interest/qualification’ as normally required in Danish law practice.

Furthermore the plaintiffs´ primary claim about the substance of the case concerns the parliamentary decision B 118 of March 21, 2003 about Danish military engagement in a multinational involvement in Iraq, by which Parliament consented that Danish military forces were available for a multi-national engagement in Iraq. Again on March 15, 2003 Parliament consented by the parliamentary decision B 165 to the Danish military involvement in Iraq. And this was confirmed by several subsequent decisions.

When the 26 plaintiffs’ writ was served on October 11, 2005, the decision of Parliament of March 21, 2003 was no longer the formal basis of the Danish presence in Iraq, and thus the plaintiffs´ interest in their primary claim concerning the reality of the case lacks legal actuality.

The substance of this case does not concern cession of legislative competence. Furthermore, the life conditions that the plaintiffs have referred to, which concern the population in general are not found to have such a radical impact that it can be compared to the Maastricht case regarding the matter of legal interest. It is to be noted that the Danish involvement in Iraq, to which Parliament consented at the end of March 21, 2008, can only be seen as one of a multitude of coherent causes for the actual risk level and thereby the laws and other legislation to oppose acts of terrorism which have been effected – some of which in appliance with Denmark’s international obligations after the time of our involvement in Iraq.

As the plaintiffs´ further arguments cannot lead to any other result, the plaintiffs have no ‘legal interest or qualification’ to have their claims tried.

The article 6 of the European Human Rights Convention cannot give the plaintiffs a right to have their claims tried during in this case. The High Court hereafter sustains the defendant’s claim of repudiation.

Concerning B-3606-05

Lieutenant Barney Olsen Kirkmand was of age when he signed up to go to Iraq, and as a whole his engagement was comprehended by the parliamentary decision of May 31, 2005 about a continued Danish contribution to a multi-national security force in Iraq. Hereafter, and for the reasons stated above concerning case B-3130-05, the High Court sustains the defendant’s repudiation claim concerning the plaintiffs` primary and secondary claim. The fact that the plaintiffs’ secondary claim is based on an allegation concerning the military command situation of the defence personnel in Iraq of which Lieutenant Barney Olsen Kirkmand was part can not alter that result.

Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen is not found to be the correct defendant as to the plaintiffs` claim II about compensation.

Considering the terms of the writ, The High Court judges for a dismissal of the case.