Sovereign immunity—Denmark—Q&A guide [Archived, 2021 edition]

The following Dispute Resolution practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Sovereign immunity—Denmark—Q&A guide [Archived, 2021 edition]
  • 1. What is the general approach to the concept of sovereign immunity in your state?
  • 2. What is the legal basis for the doctrine of sovereign immunity in your state?
  • 3. Is your state a party to any multilateral treaties on sovereign immunity? Has the state made any reservations or declarations regarding the treaties?
  • 4. Describe domestic law governing the scope of jurisdictional immunity.
  • 5. How can the state, or its various organs and instrumentalities, waive immunity or consent to the exercise of jurisdiction?
  • 6. In which types of transactions or proceedings do states not enjoy immunity from suit (even without the state’s consent or waiver)? How does the law of your country assess whether a transaction falls into one of these categories?
  • 7. If one of the exceptions to sovereign immunity set out above applies, is there any related principle that could prevent a court having jurisdiction over the state?
  • 8. To what extent do proceedings against a state enterprise or similar entity affect the immunity enjoyed by the state? Is there precedent for piercing the corporate veil to subject the state itself to those proceedings?
  • 9. What is the nexus the plaintiff needs to have standing to bring a claim against a state?
  • More...

Sovereign immunity—Denmark—Q&A guide [Archived, 2021 edition]

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to sovereign immunity in Denmark published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: May 2020).

Authors: Gorrissen Federspiel—Jacob Skude Rasmussen; Niels Anker Rostock-Jensen

1. What is the general approach to the concept of sovereign immunity in your state?

Denmark applies the restrictive theory on sovereign immunity. The restrictive theory on sovereign immunity entails that state actions are qualified either as actions pertaining to the sovereign capacity of a state (acta de jure imperii) or as actions pertaining to the private capacity of a state (acta de jure gestionis).

Actions that reflect the sovereign capacity of a given state (acta de jure imperii), such as exercising sovereign power, are covered by immunity. Consequently, the state cannot be a party to court proceedings for actions reflecting acta de jure imperii, nor can state assets be subject to enforcement proceedings.

Actions that concern a private or economic transaction (acta de jure gestionis) of the state, such as entering into lease agreements, are as a rule not covered by state immunity.

2. What is the legal basis for the doctrine of sovereign immunity in your state?

Denmark does not have specific acts governing sovereign immunity. The legal basis for sovereign immunity is found in customary international law, which forms part of Danish law by

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