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Supreme Court of Denmark

Processing time in criminal cases 

Case no. 349/2011, 11/2012, 12/2012, 13/2012, 14/2012, 16/2012
Judgments 16 April 2012
 

The Public Prosecutor
vs.
T1-T6

Compensation for long processing time in a district court

In six uncomplicated driving offence cases heard by the District Court of Glostrup after the Court Reform in 2007, the cases had not been set down for trial or completed within a reasonable time due to, among other things, lack of resources.

The total processing times from when the defendants were charged and until a judgment had been delivered by the District Court had varied from approx. one year and nine months to approx. three years.

The Supreme Court held that in all six cases the processing time had been so far beyond reasonable that the defendants should be compensated. This applied regardless of whether or not the European Human Rights Convention had been breached.

The Supreme Court held that the defendants should be compensated as follows: Penalties of up to DKK 5,000 would be cancelled and only 50% of the amount of a penalty exceeding DKK 5,000 had to be paid. In addition, legal costs were to be borne by the Danish State.

In addition, the Supreme Court held that the considerations justifying the imposition of disqualification from driving and a driving ban are of such a nature that there is no basis for setting aside these decisions by reason of a long processing time.

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