Two years ago, after criticism from the United Nations Periodic Review, Danish Parliament put together a committee of experts to advise the government on implementation of the seven human rights conventions, which Denmark have ratified, but not written into Danish law. Last month a split committee issued a 500 page report, where six experts advised Danish Parliament to implement six conventions, while other members were critical of the conventions and largely left the issue for politicians to decide. And so Denmark now stands at a historical human rights point, with the government yet to announce its evaluation of the report.
Critics claim that implementing the conventions may shift the balance of power between courts and legislators, while the six experts argue that this risk is purely theoretical as court judges know not to rule exceeding their boundaries. Further the implementation would strengthen citizens rights, give them opportunity to take for example a case of violation of a child’s rights to the UN and make the conventions more broadly known and used in the Danish courts. Experience with the European Human Rights Convention has shown that since it was implemented in Denmark in 1992, use of the convention in court cases increased.
Danish members of ENAR are in support of the six experts and are actively supporting the implementation. If Denmark was to implement six conventions in one swoop it would show that human rights are being taken seriously and send an international message of working to live up to human rights standards.
The six recommended conventions are the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.