Constitution (1953) (excerpts)

THE CONSTITUTIONAL

ACT OF DENMARK

OF JUNE 5, 1953

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PART I

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§3

Legislative authority shall be vested in the King and the Folketing conjointly. Executive authority shall be vested in the King. Judicial authority shall be vested in the courts of justice.

PART III

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§17

(1) The body of Ministers shall form the Council of State, in which the Heir to the Throne shall have a seat when of age. The Council of State shall be presided over by the King except in the instance mentioned in section 8, and in instances where the legislature in pursuance of section 9 may have delegated the conduct of government to the Council of State.

(2) All Bills and important government measures shall be discussed in the Council of State.

§18

Should the King be prevented from holding a Council of State he may entrust the discussion of any matter to a Council of Ministers. Such Council of Ministers shall consist of all the Ministers, and shall be presided over by the Prime Minister. The vote of each Minister shall be entered in a minute book, and any question shall be decided by a majority of votes. The Prime Minister shall submit the minutes, signed by the Ministers present, to the King, who shall decide whether he will immediately consent to the recommendations of the Council of Ministers, or have the matter brought before him in a Council of State.

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§20

(1) Powers vested in the authorities of the Realm under this Constitutional Act may, to such extent as shall be provided by statute, be delegated to international authorities set up by mutual agreement with other states for the promotion of international rules of law and co-operation.

(2) For the enactment of a Bill dealing with the above, a majority of five-sixths of the members of the Folketing shall be required. If this majority is not obtained, whereas the majority required for the passing of ordinary Bills is obtained, and if the Government maintains it, the Bill shall be submitted to the electorate for approval or rejection in accordance with the rules for referenda laid down in section 42.

§21

The King may cause Bills and other measures to be introduced in the Folketing.

§22

A Bill passed by the Folketing shall become law if it receives the Royal Assent not later than thirty days after it was finally passed. The King shall order the promulgation of statutes and shall ensure that they are carried into effect.

§23

In an emergency the King may, when the Folketing cannot assemble, issue provisional laws, provided that they shall not be at variance with the Constitutional Act, and that they shall always, immediately on the assembling of the Folketing, be submitted to it for approval or rejection.

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PART IV

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§29

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(2) The age qualification for suffrage shall be as determined by the referendum held under the Act dated March 25, 1953. Such age qualification for suffrage may be altered at any time by statute.

A Bill passed by the Folketing for the purpose of such enactment shall receive the Royal Assent only when the provision for altering the age qua-lification for suffrage has been submitted to a referendum in accordance with sub-section (5) of section 42, and which has not resulted in the rejection of the provision.

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PART V

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§38

(1) At the first meeting in the sessional year the Prime Minister shall render an account of the general state of the country and of the measures proposed by the Government.

(2) Such account shall be made the subject of a general debate.

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§41

(1) Any member of the Folketing shall be entitled to introduce Bills and other measures.

(2) No Bill shall be finally passed until it has been read three times in the Folketing.

(3) Two-fifths of the members of the Folketing may request of the President that the third reading of a Bill shall not take place until twelve weekdays after it has passed the second reading.

The request shall be made in writing and signed by the members making it. There shall be no such postponement in connection with Finance Bills, Supplementary Appropriation Bills, Provisional Appropriation Bills, Government Loan Bills, Naturalization Bills, Expropriation Bills, Indirect Taxation Bills, and, in emergencies, Bills the enactment of which cannot be postponed because of the intent of the Act.

(4) In the case of a new election, and at the end of the sessional year, all Bills and other measures which have not been finally passed shall be void.

§42

(1) Where a Bill has been passed by the Folketing, one-third of the members of the Folketing may, within three weekdays from the final passing of the Bill, request of the President that the Bill be submitted to a referendum. Such request shall be made in writing and signed by the members making the request.

(2) Except in the instance mentioned in sub-section 7, no Bill which may be submitted to a referendum (see sub-section (6)), shall receive the Royal Assent before the expiration of the time limit stated in sub-section (1), or before a referendum requested as aforesaid has taken place.

(3) Where a referendum on a Bill has been requested the Folketing may, within a period of five weekdays from the final passing of the Bill, resolve that the Bill shall be withdrawn.

(4) Where the Folketing has made no resolution in accordance with sub-section (3), notice that the Bill is to be submitted to a referendum shall be given without delay to the Prime Minister, who shall then cause the Bill to be published together with a statement that a referendum is to be held.

The referendum shall be held, in accordance with the decision of the Prime Minister, not less than twelve and not more than eighteen weekdays after the publication of the Bill.

(5) At the referendum votes shall be cast for or against the Bill. For the Bill to be rejected, a majority of the electors who vote and not less than thirty per cent of all persons who are entitled to vote, shall have voted against the Bill.

(6) Finance Bills, Supplementary Appropriation Bills, Provisional Appropriation Bills, Government Loan Bills, Civil Servants (Amendment) Bills, Salaries and Pensions Bills, Naturalization Bills, Expropriation Bills, Taxation (Direct and Indirect) Bills, as well as Bills introduced for the purpose of discharging existing treaty obligations shall not be submitted to decision by referendum.

This provision shall also apply to the Bills referred to in sections 9, 8, 10, and 11, and to suchresolutions as are provided for in section 19, if existing in the form of a law, unless it has been prescribed by a special Act that such resolutions shall be submitted to referendum. Amendments to the Constitutional Act shall be governed by the rules laid down in section 88.

(7) In an emergency a Bill which may be submitted to a referendum may receive the Royal Assent immediately after it has been passed, provided that the Bill contains a provision to this effect.

Where, under the rules of sub-section (1), one-third of the members of the Folketing request a referendum on the Bill or on the Act to which the Royal Assent has been given, such referendum shall be held in accordance with the above rules. Where the Act is rejected by the referendum an announcement to that effect shall be made by the Prime Minister without undue delay, and not later than fourteen days after the referendum was held. From the date of such announcement the Act shall become ineffective.

(8) Rules for referenda, including the extent to which referenda shall be held in the Faroe Islands and in Greenland, shall be laid down by statute.

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§48

The Folketing shall lay down its own rules of procedure, including rules governing its conduct of business and the maintenance of order.

§49

The sittings of the Folketing shall be public, except that the President, or such number of members as may be provided for by the rules of procedure, or a Minister, shall be entitled to demand the removal of all unauthorized persons, whereupon it shall be decided without debate whether the matter shall be debated at a public or a secret session.

§50

In order that a decision may be made, more than one-half of the members of the Folketing shall be present and take part in the voting.

§51

The Folketing may appoint committees from among its members to investigate matters of general importance. Such committees shall be entitled to demand written or oral information both from private citizens and from public authorities.

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