17 April 2018

Human rights: The Danish confrontation led to good reforms

Feature article by Mikael Rask Madsen and Jonas Christoffersen: Agreement in the Council of Europe about the so-called Copenhagen Declaration.

The at that time Venstre-government set in August 2006 the scene for the human rights to be traced back to the original core from the end of 1940. Furthermore, the first draft contained statements about how the European Court of Human Rights should be reluctant in interfering in the deportation of foreigners. This was rooted in a domestic policy agenda that did not survive the negotiations.

The objectives were to make the Court more efficient, to give national institutions a greater freedom to act due to the principle of subsidiarity and to create a better dialog between the member states and the civil societies, in order to develop the human rights. The latter is, despite criticism, concluded in the negotiations and is a manifestation of a broad European support for the development and strengthening of the human rights system.

The Court’s independence and authority is emphasized, despite far-reaching wordings about a limitation of the Court in favour of the constitutional traditions of the member states in the first draft of the declaration.

Read the feature here (Danish only)

Mikael Rask Madsen is Center Director and Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen, Centre of Excellence for International Courts (iCourts). Mikael Rask Madsen’s research is focused on globalization and the role of legal institutions and professionals in these processes, including international courts and their evolutions and challenges, the role of legal elites in the globalization, the development of the legal profession and legal knowledge and power.

Jonas Christoffersen is Executive Director of The Danish Institute for Human Rights and Doctor Juris from the Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen. He is an expert on Danish and international human rights law and has recently published on the democratic challenge of human rights, the EU Charter on Fundamental Rights, and the European Convention on Human rights.