Dataset: Danish Lay Judge System, 1987


The Danish lay judge system has been the subject of debate and discussion since Hother Hage in 1847 published the book 'De faste Statsdommere og Edsvorneretten' (The Permanent State Judges and the Lay Judges). A section promising future legislation on the introduction of a court sitting with a jury was entered into the Constitution of 1849, and this question turned out to be the most controversial one in the following 70 years' political dispute about the working out of an Administration of Justice Act. # Since then the lay judge system and its field of application have been changed numerous times - the most radical change being the one in connection with the 1936-reform which meant the introduction of lay assessors. Also in recent years considerable changes have been made, and an everlasting, rather keen debate is going on among jurists and politicians concerned with legal policy about the justification of the lay judge system, and, in particular, the jury system. # A significant feature of this debate is that it does not involve the lay judges themselves. It is amazing how little information is available after all these years regarding how these lay judges experience their own role, or their attitudes to various proposed changes of scope of function, balance of power, authority, etc. # Thus, during the years when the primary investigator participated directly in the legislative work in this field, the Ministry of Justice held two conferences which partly (in 1979) or entirely (in 1982) concerned the role of the lay judges. All the other groups with affiliation to the legal system were amply represented - but there was not one single lay judge. Proposals for essential changes of the scope of function of the lay judges were submitted to hearings everywhere - but not to the lay judges. # This is the reason why the primary investigator found it appropriate to make it possible for the lay judges to state their opinion. # Thus, the main purpose of this survey is to examine the experience of the lay judges as well as their opinion of the questions concerning the function of the lay judges which have formed part of the debate on legal policy in recent years. At the same time the material will open up the possibility of examining recruitment and representativity as well as the distribution according to sex, age, occupation, party affiliation, etc. of lay judges. # The primary investigator had not in advance put forward any hypotheses which had to be verified

Variable Groups

Full Title

Danish Lay Judge System, 1987

Parallel Title

Folkevalgte dommere, 1987

Identification Number


Bibliographic Citation

Danish Lay Judge System, 1987, Danish Data Archive, DDA1473, version: 1.0.0, 10.5279/DK-SA-DDA-1473

List of Keywords

Geographic Coverage

Descriptive Text


Descriptive Text


Unit of Analysis




Kind of Data

survey data


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