Comparative law and justice/Greenland

Part of the Comparative law and justice Wikiversity Project Green-37 20:38, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Basic Information edit

Current Flag
Map of Greenland

Greenland is the world's largest island and has the majority of its land covered in ice. Greenland is 2,166,086 square kilometers, with 410,449 square kilometers ice free and 1,755,637 square kilometers covered completly with ice. Because it is such a large island, Greenland has an expansive 44,087 square kilometer coast line. The climate is Arctic with an average temperature of not more than 10°C in the warmest month.[1]

Despite around 81% of the massive island being ice-capped, it has a total population of 56,194 people as of January 1, 2009. Of this population, 29,809 are male and 26,385 are female. The population density is 0.14 persons per square kilometer in the ice free area. The capital city of Nuuk has the largest population density with 15,105 inhabitants. [2] Of the total population 84% live in urban areas.[3]

The inhabitants of Greenland are known as Greenlanders. Gleenlanders are composed of two different ethnic groups; Greenlanders who are Inuits and Greenland born whites who taken together make up 88% of the population and Danish and others making up 12% of the total population. The median age of the total population is 33.5 years old. Male median age is slightly higher than the total median falling at 34.9 years old. The median age for Greenlandic females is slightly lower than both other medians at 31.9 years old. The age bracket of 0-14 years old represents 23% of the population. The majority, 70.1%, falls into the 15-64 bracket and 6.9% of the population is 65 years old or older.[4]

The official language spoken in Greenland is Greenlandic (or East Inuit) and some inhabitants speak English as well as Danish. The new Coalition Government recognizes that "not all citizens speak Greenlandic. In order to ensure the highest level of involvement from all citizens, it is important to improve access to learning the Greenlandic language. This is to be followed up by an integration policy, which aims at a more effective integration of new citizens. Greenland is not alone in the world. There will therefore still be a need to improve skills in Danish, English and other languages."[5] The official and main religion of the island is Evangelical Lutheran. The Coalition Agreement states that," With a government that is based on holistic thinking, the spiritual life of people is central, thus Naalakkersuisut intends to strengthen the conditions of the church parishes and in this connection will work closely with everyone within the church and the parishes."[6]

Brief History edit

In the 10th century, Greenland was inhabited by Vikings who had migrated from Iceland. The Danes started to colonize the island during the 18th century and Greenland was eventually,in 1953, made a part of Denmark. Greenland joined the European Community(EU) with Denmark in 1973. However, they withdrew from the EU in 1985 over a dispute concerning stringent fishing quotas. Home rule was granted to Greenland in 1979 by Denmark and was enacted in 1980. Self-government was established on June 21st, 2009.[7]

Economic Development, Health, and Education edit

Gross Domestic Product [8]
Date Rank in World
Purchasing Power Parity 2001 est. $2.133billion 195
Real Growth Rate 2005 est. 2% 162
Per Capita 2001 est. $37,400 62

Greenland has few main industries with most of them spawned from the country's expansive coastline. The economy relies on a substantial subsidy - about $700 million in 2008-09 - from the Danish Government, which supplies about 60% of government revenues. Employment in the public sector, including publicly-owned enterprises and the municipalities, plays the dominant role in the economy. [9] Fish processing is a large industry in the country, with shrimp and halibut the most popular. Small shipyards litter the coastline and handicrafts as well as hides and skins are sold. Greenland's geography is utilized by several mining industries including gold, niobium, tantalite, uranium, iron and diamonds.

The largest export in Greenland is fish and fish related products comprising 94% of their total exports according to a 2001 estimate. Denmark, Japan, Canada and China are all export partners. The largest imports are machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, and petroleum products. Greenland is import partners with Denmark, Sweden, Norway and the UK.[10]

Greenland has an infant mortality rate of 10.72 deaths per 1,000 lives births and falls as the 151 in comparison to the world. There is slighty higher male infant mortality rate at 12.26 deaths to every 1,000 live births compared to 9.1 deaths of female infants to every 1,000 live births. Greenlanders total populations life expectenct at birth is 70.07 years. Males life expectancy is slightly lower than females in Greenland. Males can expect to live to be 67.44 on average while females can expect to live up to 72.85 on average.[11]

First day in shool for the new pupils in first grade at the Prinsesse Margrethe School in Upernavik, Greenland. All pupils are wearing the national costumes of Greenland on this special day.

The minimum working age in Greenland is fifteen and compulsory education ends at age sixteen.[12] Childcare institutions or day-care centers are available throughout Greenland. In the larger towns facilities exist for day-care, nursery, kindergarten and after-school care of children. Cost is determined by parents´ income.After-school teaching and other leisure activities are available for children and young people of between 6 and 19. These centers are open to children during the daytime and also to 15-19 year olds during the evening. Schools are municipal and the responsibility of the Greenland Home Rule government. Schooling is divided into a preparatory year, 8 years of primary education, 2 years continuation, and a final course year of school. School is compulsory for the nine calendar years following the child´s sixth birthday, and most schools can offer nine years of schooling, although not in the settlements. The oldest settlement children are sent to town schools which have boarding facilities or a student residence.High School education is available in three towns: Aasiaat, Nuuk, and Qaqortoq, and takes three years to complete. Graduation gives access to further education in both Greenland and Denmark. Vocational schools offer courses of study similar to training available in other countries. Further education is available at the University of Greenland, and teacher training at Greenland´s Teacher Training College. Both of these institutions are in Nuuk. Cooperation agreements have been signed with Danish and foreign educational institutions so that study can be taken abroad. [13] Greenland has a literacy rate of 100% meaning every male and female over the age of 15 can read and write.[14]

Governance edit

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark September 2004
Prime Minister Kuupik Kleist July 2009

Greenland is part of the Kingdom of Denmark and acts as a self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark.It is a parliamentary democracy within a constitutional monarchy. The laws of Denmark and the Danish Constitution apply unless otherwise stated in those documents. The Chief of State since January 14, 1972 is Queen Margrethe II of Denmark who is represented by High Commissioner Soren Moller since April 2005. The monarchy is hereditary while the high commissioner is appointed by the monarch. The head of the government is a Prime Minister who is elected by the Greenlandic Parliament. As of the June 12, 2009 election, the Prime Minister is Kuupik Kleist. The next election is scheduled for 2014. Two representatives were elected to the Danish Parliament or Folketing on November 13, 2007 by general election and the next election for these positions will be held in November 2011.[15]

There are six political parties in Greenland. The Siumut is the largest party and was founded in 1977. The oldest party was founded in 1976 and is called the Inuit Atugatigiit. In the late 1970s the Atassut was founded. In 2002 the Demokraatit was created. 2005 brought forth the creation of the Kattussegaitigiit Partiiat and in 2008 the newest political party called the Sorlaat Partiiat was founded.

In 1953 the Danish Constitution was expanded to encompass Greenland. At that point in time Greenland sent two representatives to the Danish Parliment. In 1955 the Ministry of Greenland was established under the Danish Prime Ministers Office. The purpose of the Danish constitution was to give Greenland and Denmark equal footing. In 1960 the Danish Government established the Greenland Committee which aimed to strengthen efforts to make equality more effective. The Danish state would be responsible for the social programs and physical infrastructure. In 1979 Greenland was granted Home Rule.

In 1979 the Greenlandic Parliment and Greenland Government sat for the first time under the Home Rule Act. The Home Rule Act said that the Danish Government has responsibility for foreign policy, defence and security policy, the legal system and monetary policy while the other areas of responsibility fall under the jurisdiction of Greenland Home Rule. The Home Rule Government included Greenland’s internal administration, direct and indirect taxes, the established church, fishing in the territory, hunting, agriculture and reindeer breeding, social welfare, labour market affairs, education and cultural affairs, vocational education, other matters relating to trade, health services, the housing area and protection of the environment.[16] Greenland Home Rule worked closely in coordination and cooperation with the High Commission of Greenland and the Prime Ministers office as well as other Ministrys.

Greenland has a unicameral (one chamber) Parliament or Landstinget (31 seats; members are elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation to serve four-year terms) ,Cabinet, municipal councils and two representatives to the Danish Parliment.[17] The Cabinet is divided into nine ministries, each headed by a minister. In the ministries, departments handle the practical administrative work. The ministers are politically responsible for the work of these departments. These ministries include:

  • The Premier’s Office
  • Ministry of Housing, Infrastructure and Transport
  • Ministry of Finance
  • Ministry of Fisheries, Hunting and Agriculture
  • Ministry of Industry and Miniral Resources
  • Ministry of Social Affairs
  • Ministry of Health
  • Ministry of Culture, Education, Research and The Church
  • Ministry of Domestic Affairs, Nature and Environment[18]

In November 2008 a referendum on self government was passed and then ratified by the Danish parliment. Entitled the "Act on Greenland Self-Government", this act was established on June 21, 2009. Under this act, the Danish Parliment asserted that it was "Recognising that the people of Greenland is a people pursuant to international law with the right of self-determination, the Act is based on a wish to foster equality and mutual respect in the partnership between Denmark and Greenland. Accordingly, the Act is based on an agreement between Naalakkersuisut [Greenland Government] and the Danish Government as equal partners." The Act further provides that Greenland will have legislative, executive and judicial power in the fields of responsibility that they have assumed. The legislative power lies with Inatsisartut [Greenland Parliament], the executive power with Naalakkersuisut and judicial powers with the courts of law. The Act further provides two lists of responsibility that may be transfered to the Greenlandic government. The first list may be transferred at points in time determined by the Naalakkersuisut and the second list requires approval and negotiation with the Danish Realm before transfer.Items from the first list include:

    • Industrial injury compensation
    • The remaining areas under the health care area
    • The road traffic area
    • The law of property and obligations
    • The commercial diving area

Items from the second list requiring further approval are:

    • Prison and probation service
    • Police and prosecution service as well as related parts of the administration of criminal justice
    • Administration of justice, including the establishment of courts of law
    • Criminal law, Family Law, Sucession Law,Law of Capacity
    • The aliens area and border controls
    • Passports
    • Law practice
    • The weapons area
    • Radio-based maritime emergency and security services)
    • The radio communications area
    • The company, accounting and auditing area
    • The food and veterinary area
    • Aviation
    • Intellectual property and copyright
    • Shipwreck, wreckage and degradation of depth
    • Security at sea
    • Ship registration and maritime matters
    • Charting
    • The buoyage, lighthouse and pilotage area
    • Marine environment
    • Financial regulation and supervision
    • The mineral resource area
    • The working environment
    • Meteorology

The Greenland government and the Danish realm agreed further that any items not covered by these lists but directly related to the affairs of Greenland may be transferred. These items will be financed by Greenland upon their assumption. Denmark will continue to provide an annual subsidy and revenue from mineral resources will accrue to Greenland. Naalakkersuisut may act in international affairs which exclusively concern Greenland and entirely relate to fields of responsibility taken over by them. Both governments will cooperate on foreign affairs with a view to safeguarding the interests of both groups. This does not however limit the Danish responsibility in foreign and security policy areas. The Naalakkersuisut is required to inform the Danish Government of any negotiations under consideration before these are initiated and of the development of the negotiations before agreements under international law are concluded or terminated. Conversely, the Danish government is required to inform Naalakkersuisut before negotiations are initiated regarding agreements under international law which are importantant to Greenland. In matters which exclusively concern Greenland, the Government may authorize Naalakkersuisut to conduct the negotiations, with the cooperation of the Foreign Service.Further, the Act requires that any Danish bills that will affect Greenland must be submitted to the Naalakkersuisut for comments., Disputes between the two governments are to be settled by a board that consists of two members from each government and three judges from the Supreme Court. Additionally, any further moves towards independence are at the discretion of the Greenlandic people.[19]

Elections edit

Greenland Municipalities

Voting rights are available for all citizens reaching the age of eighteen.[20]

The Home Rule government is composed of 31 elected representatives. They are elected every four years and the Parliment meets at least twice a year in the spring and autumn. A speaker is appointed by the parliment and has his or her own secratariate. There are numerous permanent committies and the Parliment elects an executive responsible for central administration.

There are 18 local authorities in Greenland that are responsible for local affairs. There are popularly elected district councils who serve for four years and elect a mayor. The District Councils form together to create a national association which takes responsibility for the common interests within the home rule government. Each settlement elects a settlement commitee every four years.[21]

Judicial Review edit

Judicial branch: High Court or Landsret (appeals can be made to the Ostre Landsret or Eastern Division of the High Court or the highest court in the country, the Supreme Court (Højesteret).[22]

Legal System edit

The Greenlandic and Danish legal systems are inquisitorial. They are a type of civil law system. Judges have a very active role under this system..[23]

Branches of Law edit

The law is divided into two branches, public law and civil law. Public law is divided into constitutional law, international law, administrative law, criminal law, and the law of procedure.Civil law regulates reciprocal relations between citizens and between natural persons and legal persons, e.g. companies and institutions. Areas in civil law are the law of contracts and torts, the law of property and the law of capacity, family law and the law of wills and succession.One particular feature of Danish law is that there are not civil codes, but that the civil law rules are found in specific legislation or are established by practice.[24]

Sources of Law edit

There is a hierarchial system of laws in place. At the apex are Constitutional Acts that regulate the interelationship between government and civil liberties. These Acts can only be changed by special procedure. The next layer is laws or legal precedent that control citizen's actions. Acts in this layer can only be changed or repealed by the passage of a new Act. Case law is used areas where there is no legislation and in found in the next layer. The final layer is made up of customary law. There is also and influence from natural law and from German jurisprudence.[25]

Court System edit

The courts of Greenland are composed of the High Court of Greenland and 18 magistrates' courts. Magistrates' court decisions are made by a magistrate and two lay judges, none of whom holds a law degree. The magistrates' courts hear all civil and criminal cases. Under certain circumstances, the High Court of Greenland may take over the hearing of a case if it is found to require special legal insight or other expertise. Appeal against a decision made by a magistrates' court lies to the High Court of Greenland. Major cases are, however, brought directly before the High Court of Greenland. Appeal can be made to the High Court of Eastern Denmark.[26]Usually, all cases may be tried in two instances. First in a magistrate's, and then in front of the High Court. Minor cases may only be heard in one instance, by the magistrate's court, without any access to appeal to the High Court. The High Courts serve as courts of original jurisdiction in serious criminal cases, in which 12-person juries are impaneled. Eight votes are needed for conviction in this case. In some non-jury criminal cases, lay judges sit alongside professional judges and have an equal vote.[27]Special courts, so-called undersøgelsesretter (investigative courts), can be established to determine a course of events. In addition to the ordinary courts there are courts which on a permanent basis deal with special areas of law, such as the Maritime and Commercial Court. There is no separate constitutional court.[28]

Legal Personnel edit

To be admitted to the Master’s degree program, you must have completed a Bachelor’s degree in law.The Bachelor's degree program requires a qualifying examination as well as several specific subject levels and an upper secondary leaving certificate. The Bachelor of Laws education consists of a number of legal science subjects and culminates in an LLB degree. It is a three year program with a defined curricular path. Students must sit for 1st-year examinations prior to the end of the first year and must pass the examinations prior to the end of the second year. All courses require passing of an exam. The Master’s degree in law is a two-year degree program that leads to an LLM degree. As an LLM, you can become employed at the courts and within public prosecution or become qualified to practice as a lawyer after working for three years as a lawyer’s clerk and passing an exam.[29]The judges of the High Court and all judges in Denmark have to get university law degrees in order to even have appointment be considered by the Ministry of Justice. The Constitution makes it so that if a judge works in the courts for over ten years they will automatically be appointed for life or until retirement.[30]

Criminal Law edit

The age of criminal responsibility is fifteen years old.[31]

Punishment edit

The Criminal Code describes the penalty applicable for a particular crime and the upper range of its duration. The court then has the opportunity for choosing a penalty within the range. The penalties employed are fines, lenient prison (7-30 days), prison (1 month-16 years or imprisonment for life)and community service orders. Lifetime imprisonment is prescribed for homocide and a few other crimes of equal gravity. In effect most of these lifetime sentences will receive a conditional royal pardon after approximently 12-14 years of imprisonment. Other prison sentences and fines may be suspended with conditions such as probation, payment of damages, and abstaining from drug use. The typical offense will receive a penalty within the lower half of the range for that crime. Certain circumstances may increase the penalty from this lower half of the range. If a particular case incompases more than one criminal act the penalty will be within the range of the most serious offense.[32] There are two types of prisons that are utilized in incarceration. Open prisons are used for the majority of sentences. Closed prisons with stricter rules are used for longer sentences and escape risks.[33]

Law Enforcement edit

Historically Greenland was considered an independent police district operating under the Danish Ministry of Justice. Within this independent district, there are seventeen police districts under the command of the Chief Constable in Nuuk. The Chief Constable has responsibility for not only routine police work but also holds the position of public prosecuter.[34] Since June of 2009 under the Home Rule Act the law enforcement function is handled by the Legal and Justice Department within the Office Of the Premier.[35] The police in Denmark, in the Faroe Islands and in Greenland constitute one national force, employed directly by the state.This police structure represents a single centralized structure under Bayleys typology. According to the 2009 Corruption Perspective Index (CPI) of Transparency International, Denmark was one of the highest scorers at 9.3. This scores reflect political stability, long-established conflict of interest regulations and solid, functioning public institutions.[36]

Law enforcement officers undergo a three year training program. The training includes both classroom and field work at a police academy. To be accepted into the training program applicants must be between 21 and 29 years of age, hold citizenship, and not have any convictions. Additionally, they must be in good physical condition as well as good personal and economic condition. Good grades in school are also required. To advance to the level of chief of police the canidate must hold a masters degree in law. Within the law enforcement structure the police are subdivided into plain clothes criminal investigators, uniformed patrolmen, traffic police officers, immigration police, and other catagories. There is a divide between the state police and military police with the military police only having authority over soldiers.[37]

Crime Rates and Public Opinion edit

In comparision to the United States, Greenland has a low crime rate; however, the murder rate is far higher. For the year 2006, the U.S. had a percent rate per 1000 households of 25.4 for personal crimes and 160.5 for property crimes.[38] U.S. cities comparably sized to Greenland's population had rates per 1000 of 4.68 for personal crimes and 36.41 for property crimes in 2007.[39]The same rates for Greenland were 9.97 for personal crimes and 28.86 for property crimes.

Convicted Criminal Offences [40]
1998 2000 2002 2004 2006
Offences,Total 3,478 4,010 3,627 3,942 3,470
Sexual Offences,Total 114 175 172 160 101
Rape and Attempted Rape 48 64 56 58 44
Incest 5 11 4 3 1
Sexual Offences Against Minors 21 40 39 44 28
Other sexual offences 40 60 73 55 28
Crimes of Violence,Total 404 461 452 495 459
Assault 391 431 426 477 439
Homicide and Attempted Homicide 7 14 13 13 10
Other Offences Against Life or Body 6 16 13 5 10
Offences Against Property,Total 1,711 1,957 1,727 1,951 1,622
Theft 1,243 1,377 1,287 1,455 1,240
Fraud,Embezzlement,Etc. 112 179 96 80 52
Malicious Damage 287 318 264 331 239
Other Offences Against Property 69 83 80 85 91
Other Offences,Total 222 266 265 279 214
Offences Against Special Legislation 1,027 1,151 1,011 1,057 1,074
Selling and Smuggling of Narcotics 401 347 238 372 348
Number of Charged Persons 1,861 2,112 1,918 2,091 1,953

Rights edit

Family Law edit

As the supreme administrative authority in Greenland, the High Commissioner is in charge of matters concerning family law, including separations and divorce, adoption, determination of alimony, maintenence to spouse and children, and new surnames. Outside the capital,Nuuk, the local police act on behalf of the High Commissioner. In Nuuk, the High Commissioner is contacted directly. In addition the High Commissioner is in charge of matters concerning supervision of the funds of minors and persons of incompetence, permission to contract marriage where the joint fortunes of spouses in a former marriage has not been divided, granting permission to contract marriage despite status as a minor, matters involving a risk of a child being taken out of the Realm against the wish of one of the custody holders, marriage contracted outside municipalities are carried out locally following authorisation from the High Commissioner. [41]

Adoption edit

The Danish Adoption (Consolidation) Act outlines the steps to adoption in Denmark however this act does not extend to Greenland except that some of its provisions may be used in Greenland with variations. [42]

Marriage edit

Both parties must be over the age of 18 to marry. If either party is under the age of 18, permission to marry must be obtained from the prefect of the county where you reside. In 1989, the Danish Parliament approved a law that allows same-sex couples to enter into registered partnerships which provide most of the rights of married couples to same-sex couples, although not allowing them to adopt children.Greenland accepted Denmark 's registered partnership legislation in 1996.[43]

Divorce edit

The Danish rules governing legal separation and divorce do not apply in full in Greenland. In Greenland attendence is mandatory at a meeting to negotiate the terms for divorce or legal separation, and there must be agreement about custody before a separation or divorce can be granted by the High Commissioner. Agreement must be reached on the following basic conditions before a grant for separation or divorce is issued:

  • The obligation to pay spousal maintenance and for how long.
  • Which spouse is to continue the lease for rented accommodation (including housing association property).
  • Compensation if one of the spouses owns separate property, etc.

After a year of legal separation a couple may be divorced. However, if both parties are in agreement, a divorce may be granted after a six month separation. An immediate divorce can be granted under the following conditions:

  • if one of the parties has committed adultery
  • if the parties have lived apart for two years due to irreconcilable differences
  • violent abuse has been committed
  • one of the joint children has been abducted to a foreign country
  • there has been bigamy.

An application for legal separation/divorce must be filed with the regional state administration. A divorce granted by the regional state administration costs DKK 500 and the fee is non-refundable.[44]

Human Rights edit

The Danish Constitution contains several sections that protect human rights that apply also to Greenland. These rights are found in Part VIII of the Constitution and are as follows:

§ 71

  • (1) Personal liberty shall be inviolable. No Danish subject shall, in any manner whatsoever, be deprived of his liberty because of his political or religious convictions or because of his descent.
  • (2) A person shall be deprived of his liberty only where this is warranted by law.
  • (3) Any person who is taken into custody shall be brought before a judge within twenty-four hours. Where the person taken into custody cannot be immediately released, the judge shall decide, in an order to be given as soon as possible and at the latest within three days, stating the grounds, whether the person taken into custody shall be committed to prison; and in cases where he can be released on bail, shall also determine the nature and amount of such bail. This provision maybe departed from by statute as far as Greenland is concerned, if for local considerations such departure may be deemed necessary.
  • (4) The pronouncement of the judge may be separately appealed against at once to a higher court of justice by the person concerned.
  • (5) No person shall be remanded in custody for an offence which can involve only punishment by fine or mitigated imprisonment (hæfte).
  • (6) Outside criminal procedure, the legality of deprivation of liberty not executed by order of a judicial authority, and not warranted by legislation relating to aliens, shall at the request of the person so deprived of his liberty, or the request of any person acting on his behalf, be brought before the ordinary courts of justice or other judicial authority for decision. Rules governing this procedure shall be provided by statute.
  • (7) The persons referred to in sub-section (6) shall be under supervision by a board set up by the Folketing, to which board the persons concerned shall be permitted to apply.

§ 72

  • The dwelling shall be inviolable. House search, seizure, and examination of letters and other papers, or any breach of the secrecy that shall be observed in postal, telegraph, and telephone matters, shall not take place except under a judicial order, unless particular exception is warranted by statute.

§ 73

  • (1) The right of property shall be inviolable. No person shall be ordered to surrender his property except where required in the public interest. It shall be done only as provided by statute and against full compensation.
  • (2) Where a Bill has been passed relating to the expropriation of property, one-third of the members of the Folketing may, within three weekdays from the final passing of such Bill, demand that it shallnot be presented for the Royal Assent until new elections to the Folketing have been held and the Bill has again been passed by the Folketing assembling thereafter.
  • (3) Any question of the legality of an act of expropriation, and the amount of compensation, maybe brought before the courts of justice. The hearing of issues relating to the amount of the compensation may by statute by referred to courts of justice established for such purpose.

§ 74

  • Any restraint on the free and equal access to trade, which is not based on the public interest, shall be abolished by statute.

§ 75

  • (1) In order to advance the public interest, efforts shall be made to guarantee work for every ablebodied citizen on terms that will secure his existence.
  • (2) Any person unable to support himself or his dependants shall, where no other person is responsible for his or their maintenance, be entitled to receive public assistance, provided that he shall comply with the obligations imposed by statute in such respect.

§ 76

  • All children of school age shall be entitled to free instruction in primary schools. Parents or guardians making their own arrangements for their children or wards to receive instruction equivalent to the general primary school standard shall not be obliged to have their children or wards taught in a publicly provided school.

§ 77

  • Any person shall be at liberty to publish his ideas in print, in writing, and in speech, subject to hisbeing held responsible in a court of law. Censorship and other preventive measures shall never again be introduced.

§ 78

  • (1) Citizens shall, without previous permission, be free to form associations for any lawful purpose.
  • (2) Associations employing violence, or aiming at the attainment of their object by violence, by instigation to violence, or by similar punishable influence on persons holding other views, shall be dissolved by court judgement.
  • (3) No association shall be dissolved by any government measure; but an association may be temporarily prohibited, provided that immediate proceedings be taken for its dissolution.
  • (4) Cases relating to the dissolution of political associations may, without special permission, be brought before the Supreme Court of Justice of the Realm.
  • (5) The legal effects of the dissolution shall be determined by statute.

§ 79

  • Citizens shall, without previous permission, beat liberty to assemble unarmed. The police shall be entitled to be present at public meetings. Open-air meetings may be prohibited when it is feared that they may constitute a danger to the public peace.

§ 80

  • In the event of riots the armed forces may not take action, unless attacked, until after the crowd has three times been called upon to disperse in the name of the King and the law and such warning has gone unheeded.

§ 81

  • Every male person able to bear arms shall be liable with his person to contribute to the defence of his country under such rules as are laid down by statute.

§ 82

  • The right of municipalities to manage their own affairs independently, under State supervision, shall be laid down by statute.

§ 83

  • All legislative privileges attaching to nobility, title, and rank shall be abolished.

§ 84

  • No fiefs, estates tail in land, or estates tail in personal property shall in future be created.

§ 85

  • The provisions of sections 71, 78, and 79 shall be applicable only to the defence forces, subject to such limitations as are consequential to the provisions of military laws.


The Coalition Agreement poses the Greenland Mission Statement as follows: "Our vision and shared goal is to create a society where everyone is needed and everyone has a place. With determination and hope, we will build a society where we reinforce each other as individuals and as a people. Through dialogue and interaction with the people we will create the foundation for a dignified life where everyone has the opportunity to develop and sustain life through active self-provision. Together with the people and by applying a robust leadership, we will create the framing conditions for a healthy society in transition. With solidarity and equality as our fundamental principles, we will all contribute according to ability and capacity. Accordingly those in need of help will receive support." [46] "The Greenlandic Philosophy of Life is based on the appreciation of the “inter-connectedness of everything and all things” – be it with the human persons’ inseparable physical and spiritual connection with each other, with nature, the natural resources or the universe – a connectedness that reaches far beyond the individual person."[47] "Everyone is born with unique abilities, by which everyone should have the opportunity to develop throughout a life-long learning process. Accordingly, these abilities should at all times and in all circumstances be used to provide for oneself and one’s families. Taking responsibility and exerting influence over one’s own life and actions as well as participating as citizens in the development of a democratic society is a right as well as a duty. All people want the opportunity to provide for themselves and their families, and thus the freedom to unfold their lifes as well as their innovative and creative potentials and interests. All people wish to engage in social communion with others and to contribute positively to those. This human perspective entails a society, where everyone takes part in the community at large as equals and in which there is room for the individual’s capabilities, wishes and needs." [48] "Self Government characterized by solidarity, cooperation and strength shall be created through an open and democratic dialogue. This demands that people are active participants and take their share of responsibility for a societal development that is based on the fundamental belief that all people are equal in dignity and worth. The communal bonds between people shall be strengthened and contribute to a societal development which is based on the Greenlandic culture. Changes must be created by paying due respect to the principles of collective and sustainable management and utilization of all living and non-living resources."[49]

Works Cited edit

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  4. The World Factbook 2009. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency,
  5. Official draft translation Government of Greenland’s Coalition Agreement for 2009 - 2013.June 10,2009.//
  6. Official draft translation Government of Greenland’s Coalition Agreement for 2009 - 2013.June 10,2009.//
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  13. Greenland Home Rule, Ministry of Foreign Affairs February 2000 Facts about Greenland. //
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  16. United NAtions Economic and Social Council.March 2009.//
  17. Greenland in Figures 2009.//
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