Powers of the King

Part III Powers of the King

Section 12: Supreme Authority

Subject to the limitations laid down in this Constitution Act the King shall have the supreme authority in all the affairs of the Realm, and he shall exercise such supreme authority through the Ministers.

Section 13: Responsibility of Ministers

The King shall not be answerable for his actions; his person shall be sacrosanct. The Ministers shall be responsible for the conduct of the government; their responsibility shall be determined by Statute.

Section 14: Appointing Ministers

The King shall appoint and dismiss the Prime Minister and the other Ministers. He shall decide upon the number of Ministers and upon the distribution of the duties of government among them. The signature of the King to resolutions relating to legislation and government shall make such resolutions valid, provided that the signature of the King is accompanied by the signature or signatures of one or more Ministers. A Minister who has signed a resolution shall be responsible for the resolution.

Section 15: Vote of No Confidence

1. A Minister shall not remain in office after the Parliament has passed a vote of no confidence in him.

2. Where the Parliament passes a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister, he shall ask for the dismissal of the Ministry unless writs are to be issued for a general election. Where a vote of censure has been passed on a Ministry, or it has asked for its dismissal, it shall continue in office until a new Ministry has been appointed.

3.Ministers who continue in office as aforesaid shall do only what is necessary for the purpose of the uninterrupted conduct of official business.

Section 16: Impeachment

Ministers may be impeached by the King or the Parliament with maladministration of office. The High Court of the Realm shall try cases of impeachment brought against Ministers for maladministration of office.

Section 17: Council of State

1. The body of Ministers shall form the Council of State, in which the Successor to the Throne shall have a seat when he is of age. The Council of State shall be presided over by the King except in the instance mentioned in Section 8, and in the instances where the Legislature in pursuance of Section 9 may have delegated the conduct of the government to the Council of State.

2. All Bills and important government measures shall be discussed in the Council of State.

Section 18: Council of Ministers

If the King should be prevented from holding a Council of State he may entrust the discussion of a matter to a Council of Ministers. Such Council of Ministers shall consist of all the Ministers, and it shall be presided over by the Prime Minister.

The vote of each Minister shall be entered in a minute book, and any question shall be decided by a majority of votes.

The Prime Minister shall submit the Minutes, signed by the Ministers present, to the King, who shall decide whether he will immediately consent to the recommendations of the Council of Ministers, or have the matter brought before him in a Council of State.

Section 19: Foreign Affairs

1. The King shall act on behalf of the Realm in international affairs. Provided that without the consent of the Parliament the King shall not undertake any act whereby the territory of the Realm will be increased or decrease, nor shall he enter into any obligation which for fulfillment requires the concurrence of the Parliament, or which otherwise is of major importance; nor shall the King, except with the consent of the Parliament, terminate any international treaty entered into with the consent of the Parliament.

2. Except for purposes of defense against an armed attack upon the Realm or Danish forces the King shall not use military force against any foreign state without the consent of the Parliament. Any measure which the King may take in pursuance of this provision shall immediately be submitted to the Parliament. If the Parliament is not in session it shall be convoked immediately.

3. The Parliament shall appoint from among its Members a Foreign Affairs Committee, which the Government shall consult prior to the making of any decision of major importance to foreign policy. Rules applying to the Foreign Affairs Committee shall be laid down by Statute.

Section 20: Delegation of Powers

1. Powers vested in the authorities of the Realm under this Constitution Act may, to such extent as shall be provided by Statute, be delegated to international authorities set up by mutual agreement with other states for the promotion of international rules of law and co-operation.

2. For the passing of a Bill dealing with the above a majority of five-sixths of the Members of the Parliament shall be required. If this majority is not obtained, whereas the majority required for the passing of ordinary Bills is obtained, and if the Government maintains it, the Bill shall be submitted to the Electorate for approval or rejection in accordance with the rules for Referendum laid down in Section 42.

Section 21: Introduction of Bills

The King may cause Bills and other measures to be introduced in the Parliament.

Section 22: Royal Assent

A Bill passed by the Parliament shall become law if it receives the Royal Assent not later than thirty days after it was finally passed. The King shall order the promulgation of Statutes and shall see to it that they are carried into effect.

Section 23: Provisional Laws

In an emergency the King may when the Parliament cannot assemble, issue provisional laws, provided that they shall not be at variance with the Constitution Act, and that they shall always immediately on the assembling of the Parliament be submitted to it for approval or rejection.

Section 24: Prerogative of Mercy and Amnesty

The King shall have the prerogative of mercy and of granting amnesty. The King may grant Ministers a pardon for sentences passed upon them by the High Court of the Realm only with the consent of the Parliament.

Section 25: Grants

The King may either directly or through the relevant Government authorities make such grants and grant such exemptions from the Statutes as are either warranted under the rules existing before the 5th June, 1849, or have been warranted by a Statute passed since that date.

Section 26: Coinage

The King may cause money to be coined as provided by Statute.

Section 27: Appointment of Civil Servants

1. Rules governing the appointment of civil servants shall be laid down by Statute. No person shall be appointed a civil servant unless he is a Danish subject. Civil servants who are appointed by the King shall make a solemn declaration to the effect that they will adhere to the Constitution Act.

2. Rules governing the dismissal, transfer, and pensioning of civil servants shall be laid down by Statute, confer Section 64.

3. Civil servants appointed by the King shall only be transferred without their consent if they do not suffer any loss in the income accruing from their posts or offices, and if they have been offered the choice of such transfer or retirement on pension under the general rules and regulations.