The organization and responsibility of the Danish Military Prosecution Service are set out in the Military Administration of Justice Act and the (Civilian) Administration of Justice Act.
The Military Prosecution Service is an independent service and does not form part of the military chain of command. The service is subordinate only to the Minister of Defence in the same way as the Civilian Prosecution Service is subordinate to the Minister of Justice.
The Military Prosecution Service is a two tier organization comprised of the Office of the Military Prosecutor General (the Judge Advocate General) and the Office of the Military Senior Prosecutor (Judge Advocate). The latter is comprised by lawyers and investigators. Decisions taken by the Military Senior Prosecutor in criminal cases are subject to appeal to the Military Prosecutor General.
The key responsibility of the Military Prosecution Service is to ensure the enforcement of the law in accordance with the provisions in the Administration of Justice Act where a breach of the law carries a criminal sanction. The Military Prosecution Service is responsible for the investigating as well as the prosecution of violations of the Military Penal Code as well as other (civilian) legislation with a nexus to the military service.
The Military Prosecution Service conducts investigations of service related incidents where Danish military service personnel are seriously injured or killed in connection with military service as well.
Military Criminal Procedure
A law reform of 2005 separated the competences of the Military Prosecution Service and the military commanders. Criminal cases are dealt with by the Prosecution Service while disciplinary cases and sanctions imposed in accordance with the Military Disciplinary Code are dealt with by military commanders only. Such sanctions are considered as administrative procedures and the Public Administration Act apply unless otherwise provided.
The Danish Military Criminal Justice System is – with a few exceptions – based on the same provisions as the civil criminal procedure, the fundamental principle being the principle of objectivity.
In 1919 military courts were abolished and since then all military criminal cases a heard by the ordinary courts.
The Military Prosecution Service has responsibilities outside the criminal field as well. The service is a key player in the Danish Defence’s Legal Advisory Service which was established to fulfil the obligation in Article 82 of the Additional Protocol 1 to the Geneva Conventions of 1949. The Military Prosecutor General’s Office is responsible for training Danish Military Legal Advisors in the obligations under International Humanitarian Law.
Finally, the Military Prosecutor General’s Office provides advice to the Home Guard authorities on the fitness of membership of members or applicants convicted of a criminal offence.
Further information is available here:
The Danish Military Justice System
Military Administration of Justice Act
Military Penal Code
Military Disciplinary Act