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Supreme Court of Denmark

Possible claim for damages statute-barred 

Case no. 64/2010
Judgment 31 October 2011

The National Aliens Division of the Danish National Police

A, born in 1979, came to Denmark in 2001 from the Kosovo province of Serbia and Montenegro. His applications for asylum and later for family reunification were denied. After having failed to comply with an order to leave the country, A was imprisoned in August 2002 with a view to ensuring his presence for forced repatriation. A was imprisoned until 26 March 2003 with an intervening failed attempt at forced repatriation. A brought a claim for damages against the National Commissioner for false imprisonment, which claim the National Commissioner rejected in May 2003. On 21 November 2008, A sued the National Aliens Division of the Danish National Police for damages.

The Supreme Court dismissed the claim against the National Aliens Division. The Court stated, among other things, that the events that, according to A, gave rise to liability in damages took place more than five years before 21 November 2008 when the case was brought. Regardless of A's submissions in this regard, the limitation period had not been suspended. Consequently, the claim was statute-barred.

In addition, the Supreme Court dismissed A's claim against the National Aliens Division regarding access to the records of a meeting of 22 January 2003 in Pristina. The Supreme Court stated, among other things, that on the evidence, there was no basis for assuming that the National Aliens Division had received information covered by the duty to record (s. 6 of the Danish Act on Public Access to Documents) at the meeting of 22 January 2003.

Finally, the Supreme Court stated that there were no grounds for assuming that the decision made by the chairman of the appeals committee – to not allow A's request for examination of witnesses regarding the meeting in Pristina – infringed A's rights under Article 6 of the European Human Rights Convention. The same applied to a decision to not allow production of written statements obtained by one party.

The High Court had reached the same conclusion.


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