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Supreme Court of Denmark

Costs in criminal case under Section 1008 of the Administration of Justice Act 
25-01-2017 

Case no. 168/2016

Order made on 25 January 2017


The Prosecution Service
vs.
T


An offender was liable for the defence counsel
s expenses under Section 1008(1) of the Danish Administration of Justice Act, and there was no basis for assuming that the evidence produced had concerned another crime, cf. Subsection (2), that the offender with his appeal had succeeded in changing the sentence to his advantage, cf. Subsection (3), or that the amount of legal costs was disproportionate to the extent of the offender's guilt and his conditions, cf. Subsection (4)

In one of the so-called Pusher Street cases, T had been convicted of having sold hash and taking part in organised hash trading in Christiania.

The District Court sentenced T to pay legal costs of approx. DKK 710,000, while the costs before the High Court amounted to DKK 290,000, totalling DKK 1 million. The legal costs only comprised the defense counsels expenses.

The Supreme Court found that the defense counsels expenses had been necessary, for which reason T could as a general rule be held liable for them under the first sentence of Section 1008(1) of the Administration of Justice Act.

There was no basis for assuming that the evidence produced had concerned another crime than the one for which T was convicted, which meant that Section 1008(2) could not be applied to limit Ts liability to pay legal costs.

In addition, the Supreme Court found that Ts appeal to the High Court had not changed the sentence to his advantage, meaning that he could not be exempted from paying the costs of the High Court pursuant to Section 1008(3).

According to the nature and circumstances of the case, the Supreme Court found no basis for limiting T's liability with reference to the second sentence of Section 1008(4) of the Administration of Justice Act, just as there was no basis for assuming that Ts liability would otherwise be disproportionate to the extent of his guilt and his conditions.

Finally, the Supreme Court found that Article 6(3)(c) of the European Human Rights Convention could not lead to a different result.

Against this background, the Supreme Court affirmed the High Courts decision on legal costs.

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