COVID-19 has resulted in all Danish public servants being sent home provisionally until 13 April 2020 if they do not perform critical functions in society. This has a significant impact on public institutions, including the Danish Courts.
In an official announcement, the Danish Courts have stated that they will only handle critical cases until the lockdown is lifted. For the handling of these cases an emergency preparedness is established. The closure of the Danish Courts can thus affect ongoing cases and potential new court proceedings that are not included in the critical areas. The non-covered areas are likely to experience delays in deadlines.
Examples of critical cases which are handled by the emergency preparedness are preliminary examination, extension of deadlines and orders for urgent intervention as well as arrest cases. But, in order to be sure which types of cases a local court continues to handle with emergency preparedness, or which are deferred, the local court should be contacted.
Postponement and delays of deadlines for ongoing and new proceedings are expected to result in bottlenecks when the Danish Courts re-open since pressure and heavy workload will arise as a result of the closure. Therefore, it may be worthwhile to look for alternatives to court proceedings through the Danish Courts.
An effective alternative to proceedings through the Danish Courts is dispute resolution through mediation. Companies will both avoid the extended waiting times in the Danish Courts during the crisis and the aftermath, while also enjoying the following benefits of mediation:
- Businesses avoid court proceedings that last for several years.
- Savings in legal costs and internal employee resources.
- Better opportunities for future cooperation between the involved parties.
Synch has certified mediators trained in conducting structured mediation proceedings as an alternative to dispute resolution through the ordinary courts.