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Denmark: Supreme Court Permits Suit Against Prime Minister over Lisbon Treaty

(Jan. 14, 2011) On January 11, 2011, Denmark's Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, permitted a group of plaintiffs to sue the country's Prime Minister, Lars Loekke Rasmussen, over the Danish government's ratification of the Lisbon Treaty. (That treaty amends the documents that are the basis of the European Union. For more information, see Treaty of Lisbon, EUROPA website,</s
(last visited Jan. 13, 2011).) The group argues that a referendum should have been held under article 20 of the Danish Constitution, on matters of sovereignty (Denmark -Constitution [text in English of the Constitutional Act of Denmark (adopted June 5, 1953)], International Constitution Project website,
(last visited Jan. 12, 2011)).

The Eastern High Court, an appeals court, had turned down the requested suit in October 2009, stating that permission could not be granted to sue because the plaintiffs had no legal interest in the matter and citing a 1996 decision in which a group lost a case against the Prime Minister of the time over the country's ratification of the Maastricht Treaty. (The Maastricht Treaty led to more complete integration of the European Union and the adoption of the euro. For more information, see Treaty of Maastricht on European Union, EUROPA website (July 10, 2007),

As a result of the Supreme Court decision, the current group will be able to take their case to a high court. (Supreme Court: Okay to Sue PM over Lisbon Treaty Ratification, THE COPENHAGEN POST (Jan. 11, 2011),
; Danish Court Allows Lawsuit Against PM over Lisbon Treaty, EU BUSINESS (Jan. 11, 2011),

Rasmussen, who was not in office when the Lisbon Treaty was approved, stated that the action was done properly and said, “we have done nothing wrong.” (EU BUSINESS, supra.)