The new proposals of Inger Støjberg, the immigration and integration minister, regarding harsher penalties for foreigners in Denmark on ‘tolerated stay’ visas would severely compromise the autonomy of the Danish legal system, reports Politiken.
‘Tolerated stay’ visas are visas granted to foreign criminals in Denmark who cannot be deported back to their country of origin due to circumstances such as war or threat of persecution.
Distrust of courts
Mikael Sjöberg, the chairman of the Association of Danish Judges (Den Danske Dommerforening), believes that the proposals demonstrate a distrust of courts on behalf of Denmark’s politicians.
“When you legislate so minutely, it leaves nothing up to the judge’s discretion,” he told Politiken.
However, Støjberg has defended her decision, saying judges have, in the past, ruled too leniently.
“Presently it has been left up to the judge to decide on the sanctions,” she said.
“However, there have been too many mild judgements, and I’d like to do away with those.”