Actions have consequences – Danish politics edition

I have been out traveling for the last couple of months, so I didn’t cover this, while it was happening, but a major event happened in Danish politics.

Former Danish minister of immigration, Inger Støjberg, was impeached for illegal orders and found guilty, and now faces 60 days in jail (or more likely, in house arrest with an ankle bracelet).

Former Immigration Minister in Denmark Sentenced to Prison for Separating Couples (NY Times)

Inger Stojberg was sentenced to two months’ incarceration after being found by a court to have illegally ordered the separations of married migrant couples in which at least one person was underage.

Inger Støjberg has tried to make this case into being about protecting child brides, but this is not what the case is about at all. Rather, it was about a minister knowingly giving instructions that breaks both Danish laws and international conventions. The facts are simple, during a period in 2016, Støjberg gave instructions that Syrian refuge couples should be separated automatically if at least one of the people was under 18 years old. While it is legal for the Danish authorities to separate couples if they feel that there are good reasons for this, they are not allowed to do so without an individual evaluation of the circumstances.

Back when this happened, it was legal for Danes to get married when under 18, if they got a dispensation. This option has since been removed (in part to help give Støjberg cover when she claimed that this was to protect the young women).

As a consequence of the judgement, the Danish parliament has to evaluate whether Støjberg is worthy to be a member of the Danish Parliament (Folketinget). The debate about this is happening as I am writing this post, but it is clear that there is a majority for expelling her from the parliament. This is not permanent, as she can be re-elected after she has served her time.


  1. says

    What a concept! Punishing a policy-maker for promulgating an illegal policy – brilliant. Meanwhile, over here, we – you know – tortured some folks, committed war crimes, and illegal detentions and searches – but we’ve got to move on and not look back because I dunno.

    Congratulations, Danes