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Danish court allows lawsuit against PM over Lisbon Treaty

11 January 2011, 16:56 CET
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(COPENHAGEN) - A Danish court authorised Tuesday a lawsuit to be brought against the prime minister for allowing the EU Lisbon Treaty to go through without a referendum, in possible violation of the country's constitution.

Denmark's Supreme Court ruled that a group of 28 plaintiffs had the right to bring suit against Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen, since they had an "essential interest" in attempting to prove their point before a court of law, according to court documents obtained by AFP.

The plaintiffs maintain that allowing the Lisbon Treaty, the 27-nation EU's rule-book, to go into effect on December 1, 2009 was a violation of article 20 of the Danish constitution pertaining to the transfer of sovereignty from the national parliament to international organisations.

Instead of a mere vote in parliament, the government and its chief at the time should have issued a plebiscite before approving in April 2008 the shift of power from the national parliament to the European Union parliament and council of ministers, the plaintiffs claim.

Tuesday's ruling overturns an Appeals Court decision in 2009 that the plaintiffs did not have judicial grounds to take the prime minister, as a representative of the executive branch, to court.

The Supreme Court ruling obliges the lower court to reexamine the plaintiffs' request and grant them a trial.

Rasmussen, whose predecessor Anders Fogh Rasmussen was at the helm when the Lisbon Treaty was approved, said Tuesday that he had "taken note" of the court ruling.

"But this does not change my point of view in this case: we have done nothing wrong," he told reporters, implying the Lisbon Treaty approval could not be considered a violation of the country's constitution.

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