Court work is to a large extent regulated by legislation, but the day-to-day activities and how the organisation should develop is not decided by law.

In this context, the starting point is a shared vision and shared values and objectives. They are the result of considerations and debates that have involved a very large number of  the Courts of Denmark employees.

Vision for the Courts of Denmark

The courts' role and duty

The Courts safeguard our democracy, the rule of law, and the legal rights of the individual.

The Courts’ duties are defined in the Constitution and other legislation.

The Courts impose sentences and settle disputes between individuals, businesses, and public authorities. The Courts decide issues on the legality of the actions of public authorities and ensure that legislation is in accordance with the Constitution and Denmark’s international obligations.

The Courts also decide enforcement proceedings, probate matters, and land registration.

In the words of the Constitution: The Courts have the judicial power.

The Courts must ensure equality before the law for all, and must protect the individual against abuse of power. According to the Constitution, judges are therefore independent. They must decide cases only according to the law, and they must be impartial. They must not allow themselves to be influenced by political or other extraneous interests.

Vision

The courts work in a contemporary and professional manner for law and justice by making the right decisions at the right time – decisions that are well-founded and easy to understand. In this way we earn the public's trust and respect.

Values of the Courts of Denmark

Values

The courts are built upon strong values that we do our best to live up to every day and in all contexts, both externally and internally.

  • Accountability

The Courts must make correct, justified, and clear decisions in a timely manner. We must therefore have the necessary professional competencies and personal skills to perform our duties with the highest possible quality and efficiency.

Everyone at the Courts has a shared responsibility for both the individual court’s outcome, and for the Courts in general. We therefore share our knowledge, and we develop and encourage the use of best practice.

  • Respectful treatment

We treat everyone properly and with respect. We demonstrate an understanding for the individual’s situation and background, and we respect diversity. We express ourselves
in a clear and comprehensive manner both verbally and in writing.

  • Credibility

In the courts, we work according to the law, and we are trustworthy. We are not influenced by extraneous considerations. We are impartial and neutral, and we are aware that we must appear as such at any given time.

  • Openness and receptiveness

The courts must be open and accessible to all. We cooperate with each other and our service users in respect of the framework that applies to the courts. We work for the courts to develop in a contemporary way as an organisation and as a workplace.

The Four Overall Objectives

Four objectives have been established for the Courts of Denmark for the period 2019-2022. They express the direction in which the Courts wish to work, and they constitute guideposts for the areas where the Courts particularly wish to develop.

Objective 1: User-focus

The Courts protect our democracy, the rule of law, and the legal rights of the individual. In order to live up to these objectives, the Courts must continue to be able to create value for our users and for our society.

The increasing speed at which society is developing – not least due to new technologies – requires that we develop in a modern way to meet the demands and expectations of our users. User-focus is therefore an important area for the Courts to work on in the coming years.

The Courts will support the realization of the user-focus objective by employing up-to-date methods and by
working with the culture of the Courts. The natural starting-point for the Courts’ work with their day-to-day tasks and any possible changes therefore becomes to a greater extent a user-focus on how to meet the wishes, expectations, and needs of society.

It is expected that this objective will contribute to a consolidation of the services, frameworks, and processes which the Courts make available, thereby improving the value of the Court users’ meeting with the Courts and enabling the Courts to continue to work for law and justice in a modern professional way.

Objective 2: Short Case-Processing Times

When individual citizens and businesses come into contact with the Courts, the situation is typically of great
significance for their lives and future possibilities. It is therefore crucial that a decision is given at the right time.

Short case-processing times are important for ensuring the rights of citizens and for experiencing timely law and justice.

In the criminal case domain some of the case-processing times are fixed politically, whereas this is not so with other cases. However, this does not mean that the case-processing time in, for instance, civil cases is not of central importance for the Courts’ ability to administer law and justice to the citizens and businesses of Denmark.

The Courts will support the objective of short case-processing times by continuing to focus on optimizing and developing their procedures, including ongoing cooperation between the public authorities in criminal cases and an added digitalization of procedures.

During the Strategy period further concrete objectives will be formulated for case processing times. These will be accessible in the annual plan of action.

Objective 3: Consistency

Consistency is important for the experience of the rule of law. Citizens and businesses must be treated in a
consistent manner. It is of practical significance for users of several courts that the case-processing and administrative procedures are consistent across these courts, so that they are – and increasingly so – predictable for users. Greater consistency will contribute to retaining public trust in the Courts.

The Courts will support the realization of this objective of greater consistency by sharing knowledge across the Courts, by activating initiatives which support best practice, by using a shared IT-system, and by establishing more shared solutions across the Courts.

Objective 4: Quality and Efficiency

The Courts of Denmark must be able to perform their duties efficiently both now and in the future. In doing so, they must at the same time maintain a high level of quality. It is therefore important to find the right balance between quality and efficiency, while making the right decisions at the right time with the best use of resources.

This places a number of demands on the Courts of Denmark as an organisation. The Courts will support the realization of the objective of quality and efficiency by attracting, retaining, and developing the relevant skills among leaders and other employees, as well as by maintaining stable and futureproof operations, including IT-support.

At the same time, the Courts of Denmark should have a clear and efficient structure of governance for operating and for developing common, shared solutions, where it makes sense and can create an effective assignment result.

Sidst opdateret: 15. juli 2020