Constitutional Law / Droit constitutionnel
DENMARK / DANEMARK
JØRGEN ALBÆK JENSEN
Associate professor, University of Aarhus Law School, Denmark
This chronicle deals with the legal regulation of the internal affairs of political parties in Denmark. Three areas are covered - the relationship between party and members of electoral parties, the relationship between party and members of parliamentary parties, and the relationship between the electoral and parliamentary parties. The relationship between party and members in electoral parties is governed by the general unwritten rules of voluntary associations as no statutory law has been passed concerning the question. Basically the relationship between party and members can therefore be considered to be of a contractual nature. The other two relationships are governed by Article 56 of the Danish Constitution that guarantees the right of the individual MPs to follow their own conviction when taking part in the workings of Parliament. In practice, however, there is a high degree of party discipline in the Danish Parliament, and the chronicle demonstrates that in certain respects this has also had legal implications. On the other hand, all prac¬tices can still be exercised with respect for Article 56 while at same time fulfilling the requirements of an effective political process in a modern parliamentary system.