Ordinary courts – introduction
Supreme Court (Højesteret)
The Supreme Court is the final court of appeal in Denmark and is situated in Copenhagen. The court reviews judgments and orders delivered by:
- The High Court of Eastern Denmark
- The High Court of Western Denmark and
- The Copenhagen Maritime and Commercial Court.
The Supreme Court reviews both civil and criminal cases and is the final court of appeal (third tier) in probate, bankruptcy, enforcement and land registration cases.
The Supreme Court does not review questions of guilt or innocence in criminal cases. Only in exceptional cases is there a right of appeal (third tier) to the Supreme Court (see below). There are no lay judges on the Supreme Court panel.
Easter High Court (Østre Landsret) and Western High Court (Vestre Landsret)
There are two high courts in Denmark – the High Court of Western Denmark and the High Court of Eastern Denmark. The high courts hear appeals from district courts.
Civil and criminal cases are tried by the district courts (first tier). Under certain conditions a civil case may be referred to a high court.
District courts (Byretterne)
District courts hear civil, criminal, enforcement, probate and bankruptcy cases. Notarial acts also fall within the jurisdiction of district courts. Some district courts will continue to handle registration in certain jurisdictional districts until this is taken over by the Land Registration Court.
For more information, please consult the structural chart of the Danish judicial system.
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