Holle, Marie-Louise. The Forced Relocation of Indigenous Peoples in Greenland – Repercussions in Tort Law and Beyond. CBS Law Research Paper, 1940, Copenhagen Business School, 24 Nov. 2019.
In 1953, the US wished to establish a military base in the Dundas area of Greenland. Greenland was at the time a Danish colony. The Danish authorities granted the American request. The establishment of the military base meant that the over 100 members of the Thule tribe was forcibly relocated to another areas in a matter of very few days. Until then, the Thule tribe had been seminomadic catchers in that specific area for millennials. Only decades later, the Thule Tribe’s claim for damages was tried before the Courts of Denmark. The Thule tribe especially claimed damages for serious interference with their rights as well as loss of hunting opportunities. Stating it was a law measure of legal and valid expropriation, the Supreme Court did award damages, but only amounting to a fraction of the amount claimed by the Thule Tribe. The motivation for the judgment is not quite clear, and seemingly national expropriation rules are at the core of both the lower and the higher courts’ reasoning, perhaps at the expense of international law. Another overlooked aspect is that the courts in several (at least European) countries may seem biased, when the defendant in a tort case is a public authority; in certain legal areas one may even talk of a lenient standard of negligence. Relocation is a removal of a people from their home to another place. It may not always involve violence, direct threats or force, but coercion or other tactics against the removed people, who are not in a position to challenge the relocation. Forced relocations of tribal and indigenous peoples may seem a thing of the past as few still defend colonialism and it is therefore generally seen as a historical trait that has reached its conclusion. Nevertheless, forced relocations of peoples may happen again; in the Arctic for instance several superpowers of this world express much interest in a strategic presence in this specific area. There has been a number of examples of forced relocations of indigenous peoples all over the world, not only in the Artic with the Thule tribe, but also the Canadian First Nations, Native Americans in the US, black citizens of South Africa.
Weiss, Holger, editor. ‘Ports of Globalisation, Places of Creolisation: Nordic Possessions in the Atlantic World during the Era of the Slave Trade’. Ports of Globalisation, Places of Creolisation, Brill, 2021
This anthology addresses and analyses the transformation of interconnected spaces and spatial entanglements in the Atlantic rim during the era of the slave trade by focusing on the Danish possessions on the Gold Coast and their Caribbean islands of Saint Thomas, Saint Jan and Saint Croix as well as on the Swedish Caribbean island of Saint Barthelemy. The first part of the anthology addresses aspects of interconnectedness in West Africa, in particular the relationship between Africans and Danes on the Gold Coast. The second part of this volume examines various aspects of interconnectedness, creolisation and experiences of Danish and Swedish slave rules in the Caribbean.
Simonsen, Gunvor. ‘Sovereignty, Mastery, and Law in the Danish West Indies, 1672–1733’. Itinerario, vol. 43, no. 2, Cambridge University Press, Aug. 2019, pp. 283–304.
In the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, officers of the Danish West India and Guinea Company struggled to balance the sovereignty of the company with the mastery of St. Thomas’ and St. John’s slave owners. This struggle was central to the making of the laws that controlled enslaved Africans and their descendants. Slave laws described slave crime and punishment, yet they also contained descriptions of the political entities that had the power to represent and execute the law. Succeeding governors of St. Thomas and St. John set out to align claims about state sovereignty with masters’ prerogatives, and this balancing act shaped the substance of slave law in the Danish West Indies. Indeed, the slave laws pronounced by and the legal thinking engaged in by island governors suggest that sovereignty was never a stable state of affairs in the Danish West Indies. It was always open to renegotiation as governors, with varying degrees of loyalty to the company and at times with questionable capability, strove to determine what sovereignty ought to look like in a time of slavery.
Simonsen, Gunvor. Slave Stories: Law, Representation, and Gender in the Danish West Indies. Aarhus Universitetsforlag, 2017.
In the Danish West Indies, hundreds of enslaved men and women and a handful of Danish judges engaged in a broken, often distorted dialogue in court. Their dialogue was shaped by a shared concern with the ways slavery clashed with sexual norms and family life. Some enslaved men and women crafted respectable Christian self-portraits, which in time allowed victims of sexual abuse and rape to publicly narrate their experiences. Other slaves stressed African-Atlantic traditions when explaining their domestic conflicts. Yet these gripping stories did not influence the legal system. While the judges cunningly embraced slave testimony, they also reached guilty verdicts in most trials and punished with extreme brutality. Slaves spoke, but mostly to no avail. In ‘Slave Stories’, Gunvor Simonsen reconstructs the narratives crafted by slaves and traces the distortions instituted by Danish West Indian legal practice. In doing so, she draws us closer to the men and women who lived in bondage in the Danish West Indies (present-day US Virgin Islands) in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Simonsen, Gunvor. ‘Skin Colour as a Tool of Regulation and Power in the Danish West Indies in the Eighteenth Century’. Journal of Caribbean History, vol. 37, no. 2, 2003, pp. 256–276.
This article focuses on the process of “encolouring” social reality in the Caribbean. This is done by investigating how connections between status and colour were created in the Danish West Indies by using certain strategies and techniques of power. Essential to the regulatory efforts of planters and officials were three variables: time, space and body. By the manipulation of these phenomena colonial masters managed to make skin colour represent something other than itself. It came to be associated with a web of ideas concerning the constitution of society and its subjects – their status, condition and opportunities in life.
Simonsen, Gunvor. ‘Legality Outside the Courtroom:: Practices of Law and Law Enforcement in the Danish West Indies at the End of the Eighteenth Century’. Quaderni Fiorentini per La Storia Del Pensiero Giuridico Moderno, vol. 33, no. 2, A. Giuffrè, 2004, pp. 921–961.
Nielsen, Per. Fra slaveri til frihed: det dansk-vestindiske slavesamfund 1672-1848 : symposium den 3.juli 1998 på Nationalmuseet i anledning af 150-året for slaveriets ophør på de dansk-vestindiske øer. Kbh.: Nationalmuseet, 2001.
Jens Erik skydsgaard: Den antikke baggrund for det europæiske slaveri.
Erik Gøbel: De danske mennesketransporter over Atlanten.
Poul Erik Olsen: Fra ejendomsret til menneskeret.
Inge Mejer Antonsen: Slavesamfundet gengivet i tegninger og malerier.
Per Nielsen: Slaver og frie indbyggere 1780-1848.
Karen Fog Olwig: Privilegier og rettigheder som slave og fri – emancipationen på St. Jan. S
vend Einer Holsoe: A view of the emancipation rebellion on St. Croix : 150 years later.
Ole Justensen: Slaveri og emancipation på Guldkysten 1830-1850.
Nexø, Sniff Andersen. ‘Særlige grønlandske forhold … Rum, ret og uægteskabelige børn i det koloniale Grønland’. Historisk Tidsskrift, Sept. 2013.
Making allowance for the special conditions there, the ‘legally fatherless’ appeared before the Danish public in the spring of 2010 as they formed an association aiming at securing children born out of wedlock in Greenland legal rights towards their biological father equal to the ones bestowed on Danish children. The media framed their situation as the result of the colonial system having discharged Danish men from their responsibilities towards their illegitimate children in Greenland; that is, as a token of colonial discrimination. The following year, a historical investigation was organized in order to identify differences in the legal position of children born out of wedlock in Greenland and in Denmark over the period 1914-1974. The present article, authored by one of the contributors to the report, investigates the rules concerning children born out of wedlock in Greenland at three historical moments: The earliest rules of 1782; the first modern regulation from 1914; and the first post-colonial Children’s Act from 1962. What legal and colonial differences were at stake? How may one interpret the changing regulation? The analysis draws attention to shifting problematizations of the ‘illegitimate’ children, associated with changes in the colonial context. At the same time, however, it is argued that the regulation reflects a continuous colonial rationality by which the particularities of the colonial space came to legitimize fundamental differences between colony and metropolis, and between population categories in Greenland.
Jonker, Merel, and Sigtona Halrynjo. ‘Multidimensional Discrimination in Judicial Practice: A Legal Comparison between Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands’. Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights, vol. 32, no. 4, SAGE Publications Ltd STM, Dec. 2014, pp. 408–433.
The concept of multidimensional discrimination is claimed to pose considerable challenges for judicial practice. The methods for tackling discrimination on more than one ground have been extensively discussed in the literature but not yet comprehensively analysed empirically. The present study compares and analyses the case law of the Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish and Danish equality bodies concerning gender-plus discrimination in the labour market. Based on 74 cases, the comparison shows that neither integrated equality bodies nor anti-discrimination legislation is a prerequisite to protect against multidimensional discrimination, and that the appointment of comparators occurs on pragmatic grounds. These findings suggest that multidimensional discrimination can be adequately dealt with in judicial practice.
Ketscher, Kirsten. ‘Etnisk Ligebehandling, Religionsfrihed Og Ligestilling Mellem Kvinder Og Mænd – Set i Lyset Af Føtex-Sagen’. Ugeskrift for Retsvæsen, no. 26, 2005, pp. 235–243,
Kortlægningsrapport: Domme Og Nævnssager Om Diskrimination På Grund Af Etnicitet Og Handicap. Kortlægning Af Omfanget Af Sager i Perioden 2009–2014. Als Research, 2016,
Kühle, Lene, and Helge Årsheim. ‘Governing Religion and Gender in Anti-Discrimination Laws in Norway and Denmark’. Oslo Law Review, vol. 7, no. 02, Oct. 2020, pp. 105–122.
This article examines the decisions on religious and gender discrimination handed down by two quasi-judicial monitoring bodies in Denmark and Norway, mapping similarities and differences between the two bodies. While the monitoring bodies tend to arrive at similar results, their modes of reasoning and understanding of what constitutes ‘religion’ for legal purposes differ considerably. Looking in particular at the decisions on religious headgear and handshaking, the article suggests that these differences may be due to a range of different factors, from the legal framework on anti-discrimination in the two countries, to the staffing of the monitoring bodies, and the financial support available for their work.
Lægaard, Sune. ‘The Cartoon Controversy: Offence, Identity, Oppression?’ Political Studies, vol. 55, no. 3, Oct. 2007, pp. 481–498.
If the publication of twelve drawings of the Prophet Mohammad in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, which sparked the ‘cartoon controversy’, was wrong, why might this be the case? The article considers four arguments advanced in relation to the quite similar Rushdie affair for judging such publications to be wrong, and asks whether they provide plausible moral reasons against such publications, and whether they justify legal restrictions on freedom of speech. The arguments concern: (a) the consistent extension of group defamation legislation to cover Muslims; (b) offence to religious sensibilities; (c) issues of identity; and (d) oppression. The article also considers whether such arguments can be acknowledged within a liberal model of toleration. It is argued that versions of several of the arguments may in fact be thus accommodated, but that they nevertheless do not provide strong reasons for judging the kind of publications under consideration to be morally wrong or suitable objects for legal restrictions. The argument from oppression is different, however, in pointing to different kinds of factors, but its applicability is limited both by a number of conditions for when oppression provides the right kind of reasons, and by empirical constraints. The suggested conclusion is that the publication of the Mohammad cartoons was not wrong, at least not all things considered, for any of the noted reasons, but that there might be other kinds of factors that are not captured by traditional liberal models of toleration, which might provide reasons for moral criticism of this and similar publications.
Lindekilde, Lasse, and Mark Sedgwick. Impact of Counter-Terrorism on Communities: Denmark Background Report. London: Institute for Strategic Dialogue, 2012, p. 73.
This report provides background information for understanding and assessing the impact and effectiveness of Danish counter-terrorism and counter-radicalisation policies on minority ethno-cultural communities, in particular Muslim ones. The report contextualises questions of impact – positive as well as negative – in Denmark in terms of the demographic/socio-economic profile of immigrants; general perceptions of threats from terrorism and perceptions of discrimination experienced by minorities; the legal framework of counter-terrorism; policies of radicalisation prevention and their implementation in practice; key institutional structures of counter-terrorism and division of labour; high profile terrorist court-cases; and developments in the general political climate and public discourse regarding issues of ‘integration’ and security.
Liversage, Anika, and Mikkel Rytter. ‘A Cousin Marriage Equals a Forced Marriage: Transnational Marriages between Closely Related Spouses in Denmark’. Cousin Marriages: Between Tradition, Genetic Risk and Cultural Change, Eds. Alison Shaw and Aviad Raz, Oxford ; New York, NY: Berghahn, 2015, 130–153.
This chapter first outlines the recent historical political context of Denmark in which this specific rule of supposition took shape. Before 2001, heated debate concerned whether, and if so, how to distinguish between ‘forced marriages’ and ‘arranged marriages’ in certain immigrant groups. Later, with the introduction of the rule of supposition in 2003, the deciding factor now became whether couples were ‘closely related, and otherwise closer related relatives’ (relationships presented as highly problematic ones, with strong indications of enforcement) or not. In this respect both the problem and the potential political solution changed within a few years. Second, we present two extended cases, of the Danish-Pakistani couple Hamid and Aisha and the Danish-Turkish couple Baha and Gülser, to shed light on the experiences that transnational couples may have with the rule of supposition1. Last, to illustrate the clash between the views of the authorities and those of an affected couple about the character of their marriage, we present a third exemplary adjudication, taken from the home page of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration. Throughout, the chapter discusses the workings of state classification. Here, transnationally married couples may experience having their own understandings of their marriages overturned, and their life trajectories torqued in the confrontation with bureaucratic classifications of the state (cf. Bowker & Star 2000). The chapter also presents strategies that transnational couple may use or seek to use to put their life trajectories back on track and establish their desired family life.
Liversage, Anika, and Mikkel Rytter, editors. Aegteskab og migration: Konsekvenser af de danske familiesammenforingsregler 2002-2012. ISD LLC, 2014.
Siden 2002 har Danmark været foregangsland i Europa, nar det gAelder stramme regler for AegtefAellesammenforing. Denne lovgivning har pavirket tusindvis af danske borgeres partnervalg og har fort til ændrede ægteskabs- og indvandringsmønstre. Lovgivningen, der blev indfort for at dæmme op for tvangsægteskaber og indvandring i forbindelse med ægteskab generelt, har haft vidtrækkende konsekvenser for mange. Danske borgere med savel minoritets- som majoritetsbaggrund er blevet tvunget ud i en vanskelig ventesituation, hvor de ikke har kunnet leve sammen, og mange har valgt at forlade landet og flytte mere eller mindre permanent til Sverige med deres ægtefælle ægteskab og migration. Konsekvenser af de danske familiesammenforingsregler 2002-2012 gor status over 10 ar med denne lovgivning og belyser nogle af familiesammenforingsreglernes mangeartede konsekvenser. Bogens kapitler er skrevet af en række danske og udenlandske forskere fra sociologi, okonomi, politologi og antropologi, der gennem aktuelle studier stiller skarpt pa Aegteskab, familiedannelse, migration og statslig regulering.
Uddrag af bog: https://books.google.dk/books?id=1ZufDwAAQBAJ&lpg=PP1&ots=R_hYW6xVTx&lr&pg=PT3#v=onepage&q&f=false.
Roseberry, Lynn. ‘Tørklædediskrimination På Arbejdsmarkedet’. Ugeskrift for Retsvæsen, no. 23, 2004, pp. 189–196,
Jensen, Tina Gudrun, Garbi Schmidt, Kathrine Vitus, and Kristina Weibel. The Historicity of (Anti-)Racism and the Politics of Integration in Denmark. Danish National Centre for Social Research, July 2010, p. 24.
The aim of this paper is to describe the various aspects of the history of (anti-)racism and the politics of integrationin Denmark. The paper consists of two parts. The first part discusses the international literature on concepts of (anti-)racism, citizenship and tolerance. The next part focuses on (anti-)racism and Tolerance in the Danish context. The paper thus deals with the historicity of (anti-)racism and the politics of integration in Denmark from four angles: A discussion of international literature on the concepts of (anti-) racism, citizenship and tolerance An outline of a Danish grammar of diversity. An overview of concepts (vocabulary) of (anti-)racism and tolerance in Danish anti-discrimination politics, and a Danish grammar of diversity. A description of the historical roles of racism and tolerance in Denmark.
Vinding, Niels Valdemar. ‘Discrimination of Muslims in Denmark’. State, Religion and Muslims Between Discrimination and Protection at the Legislative, Executive and Judicial Levels, Eds. Melek Saral and Şerif Onur Bahçecik, Leiden: Brill, 2020, 144–196. brill.com,
This chapter investigates the question of discrimination of Muslims in the Danish context. This is considered across the branches of government, looking at political discourse and legislation, at ministerial administration and at the judiciary and quasi-judicial rulings. While both freedom of speech and freedom of religion are constitutionally guaranteed, and non-discrimination is protected across the branches of government, the current state of discourse on Muslims has the adverse effect of legitimising, condoning or even promoting discrimination of Muslims in Denmark. Analysing concrete cases across five major themes in discrimination against Muslims, the chapter finds a worrying tendency to explicitly legitimize and even normalize discrimination. National and international reports, studies and other sources all point to the particularly harsh and alienating discourse and debate on Muslims. Not only is discrimination against Muslims a challenge across all three branches of Danish government, but the perception of discrimination is particularly pertinent and little seems to be done by government to limit this. There is a political readiness and willingness to discriminate and to violate some of the foundational principles of both the constitution and Denmark’s international commitments, and government misses a number of important opportunities to right divisive wrongs in Danish society.
Halrynjo, Sigtona, and Merel Jonker. ‘Naming and Framing of Intersectionality in Hijab Cases — Does It Matter? An Analysis of Discrimination Cases in Scandinavia and the Netherlands’. Gender, Work & Organization, vol. 23, no. 3, 2016, pp. 278–295.
This article examines how intersectionality is recognized in hijab discrimination cases brought before the Norwegian, Swedish, Danish and Dutch equality bodies. Hijab cases are regarded as a perfect example of intersectionality, as religion and gender are interwoven in the use of the Muslim veil. The theoretical shift towards intersectionality has influenced substantial revisions of equality policies, bodies and laws. Recognizing intersectionality has become synonymous with quality in the equality architecture. We question this and argue that quality must be scrutinized empirically, including the practice of the equality bodies. Our results show that most complainants do not present their cases as intersectional discrimination, and that only the Norwegian equality body applies an intersectional approach. However, an intersectional approach seems not to be crucial to protect against discrimination in these cases. Thus, we argue that the quality of the equality architecture should be scrutinized more on the process, judgement and actual ability to promote equality, than on the naming and framing of intersectionality.
Ersbøll, Eva. ‘Biao v. Denmark – Discrimination among Citizens?’ EUI Working Paper, no. 79, 2014, p. 24. Zotero.
On 25 March 2014 the European Court of Human Rights delivered a controversial judgment in a case on family reunion in Denmark, the Biao case. The applicants were a Danish national, Mr Ousmane Ghanian Biao, and his wife, a Ghanaian national, Mrs Asia Adamo Biao. They alleged that a refusal by the Danish authorities to grant them family reunion was in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) article 8, alone and in conjunction with article 14. The Danish authorities had refused the application for family reunion because the spouses did not fulfil the requirement that their aggregate ties to Denmark be stronger than their aggregate ties to any other state where they could live together – in this case Ghana (‘the attachment requirement’). They submitted that the decision breached their rights under article 8 of the ECHR since it did not pursue a legitimate aim on the ground that it was introduced to target Danish citizens of non-Danish ethnic or national origin. Alternatively, if the refusal was not deemed to be contrary to article 8, they claimed that it was contrary to the prohibition against discrimination, cf. ECHR article 14 read in conjunction with article 8, since particular groups of Danish citizens were treated differently in relation to family reunion in Denmark. In analogous circumstances, those who were born Danish citizens would be exempted from the attachment requirement according to the so-called ‘28-year rule’ which states that the requirement does not apply in cases where the resident person applying for family reunion has been a Danish citizen for 28 years cf. the Aliens Act section 9(7). The complaint regarding the attachment requirement’s conformity with article 8 will not be dealt with here. This paper will primarily deal with the question whether a state lawfully can treat its citizens differently solely on the basis of how and when they acquired their citizenship. In this context the significance of the European Convention on Nationality (ECN) article 5(2), will be analysed. Article 5(2) states that in matters of nationality, state parties shall be guided by the principle of non-discrimination between their citizens, whether they are citizens by birth or have acquired their citizenship subsequently.
Christoffersen, Lisbet, and Niels Valdemar Vinding. ‘Challenged Pragmatism: Conflicts of Religion and Law in the Danish Labour Market’. International Journal of Discrimination and the Law, vol. 13, no. 2–3, SAGE Publications Ltd, June 2013, pp. 140–168.
Against the backdrop of a well-regulated and pragmatic Danish labour market, the question of reasonable accommodation is discussed on the basis of current legislation, recent legal cases and substantial interview material drawn from the RELIGARE sociolegal research done in Denmark. Employees of religious faith have made religious claims and thereby challenged a secular understanding of the Danish labour market. This raises the question of the extent to which the religion of the individual can be accepted in the general public sphere. At the same time, religious ethos organisations have argued for the protection of their organisational identity and sought to employ and dismiss personnel according to the norms of the religious ethos, raising the question of how far ‘reasonable accommodation’ extends. Both the individual and the collective cluster cases ultimately raise questions concerning where to draw the line between accommodating religion and restricting freedom on the basis of professionalism, job functions or other reasons. On the basis of empirical findings, this article concludes that the pragmatic approach is supporting a renewed religious identity of faith-based organisations, but also warns against hijacking rights of individual employees.
Bleich, Erik. ‘Free Speech or Hate Speech? The Danish Cartoon Controversy in the European Legal Context’. Global Migration, Ed. Kavita R. Khory, New York: Palgrave Macmillan US, 2012, 113–128.
By now, most people know the story of the Danish Cartoon Controversy. A Danish author claimed he had trouble finding an artist to draw the prophet Muhammad for a children’s book he was writing. The editors of the conservative Jyllands-Posten newspaper believed that Muslims had succeeded in cowing illustrators and imposing a taboo that had no rightful place in a liberal democracy. So they asked the newspaper illustrators’ union for images in order to uphold the value of free speech. On September 30, 2005, they published 12 illustrations under the heading “The Face of Muhammad.” The reactions over the ensuing months ranged from protests and lawsuits within Denmark and Europe to boycotts, burned flags, and ransacked embassies abroad. The political manipulation of these depictions also generated violent unrest that led to over 200 deaths across the Muslim world (Hansen and Hundevadt 2008; Klausen 2009).