The following is a guest post by Elin Hofverberg, a foreign law research consultant covering Scandinavian jurisdictions at the Law Library of Congress. This post is part of a series highlighting the Law Library’s foreign law collections.
A couple weeks ago, Jenny wrote about Germany’s “Day of the Basic Law,” which is celebrated on the anniversary of Germany’s constitution coming into force. I have also previously written about Syttonde Mai (May 17), the National Day or Constitution Day in Norway. Today, June 5, is Grundlovs Dag (Constitution Day) in Denmark, so I decided to commemorate this national holiday with a post about the great collection of Danish law materials held here at the Law Library of Congress.
Of course, we have several items related to the Danish Constitution, including a version of the Constitution that was published in 1895, and an English translation of the current Constitution from 1953. The original Constitution, which was signed by King Frederik VII on June 5, 1849, established the country as a constitutional monarchy, replacing the absolute monarchy system of government. An amendment to the Constitution on June 5, 1915, gave women the right to vote in national elections. In 1953 (also on June 5), the Constitutional Act was adopted, revising and updating the original Constitution of 1849.
Clearly June 5 is a date of great significance, and today we would all be justified in eating Danish delights such as smørrebrod and pølse, as well as making sure we have plenty of hygge, in addition to reading about some of the thousands of titles pertaining to Denmark in the Law Library’s collections. Highlights from the collection include:
- Karnovs lofsamling (Karnov’s Law Collection), which includes legal provisions and commentary (often including information on binding case law, such as supreme court cases).
- The Danish gazette, Lovtidende. Denmark no longer prints the gazette, instead making it available online. However, the Law Library holds copies dating from 1896 to 2007. Danish laws can also be accessed via the Danish Retsinformation (Legal Information) website, either by browsing by year and/or act number or through the popular title index.
- Ugeskrift for retsvæsendet (Supreme Court Reporter), which includes case law and information from the Supreme Court of Denmark.
- Various old laws, including medieval laws such as the Jyske Lov (Law of Jutland) from the 13th century, and a collection of laws printed in 1590 that includes laws promulgated by Valdemar II in 1241, and reissued by Christian IV on August 14, 1590, which is part of the Law Library’s rare book collection.
The collection also includes recent titles in English, such as:
- Contract Law in Denmark (2011)
- Competition Law in Denmark (2011)
- Sports Law in Denmark (2014)
- Corporate Acquisitions and Mergers in Denmark (2016)
- Danish Law in a European Perspective (2002)
- Danish Business Law (2015)
- Danish Medieval Laws (2016)
- Environmental Law Denmark (2015)
- Family Law and Succession Law in Denmark (2016)
- Intellectual Property Law in Denmark (2012)
- Introduction to Danish Law (2008)
- Labor Law in Denmark (2016)
- Media Law in Denmark (2011)
- The History of Danish Law (2011)
- The Principal Danish Criminal Acts: the Danish Criminal code, the Danish Corrections Act, the Administration of Justice Act (Excerpts) (2006)
For select Danish legal news see the Law Library’s Global Legal Monitor.
Please visit us to use our collection or let us know if you need help finding anything related to Danish law.
Glad Grundlovsdag! (Happy Constitution Day!)