The Promulgation Theory on Statutory Interpretation and the Rule of Law in Denmark

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The article deals with statutory interpretation of public law statutes in Denmark.
The proposed theory on statutory interpretation - The Promulgation Theory - argues for certain interpretational 'meta rules', indicated by the Danish constitutional design in the text and structure of the constitution and indicated by the debates on the formulation and adoption of the constitution. As something new, the Promulgation Theory tries to link the specific constitutional design to a methodological interpretation of public law statutes. In many ways, the theory finds inspiration in debates on statutory interpretation in the US.
The theory does not aim to prove the existence of a certain set of meta rules for statutory interpretation of Danish public law statutes. It points to the separation of powers clause (Section 3), the take care clause (Section 22), the administrative review clause (Section 63), and the bound by the law clause (Section 64). The content of these four clauses - and the debates on the formulation and adoption of the constitution - comprise the main arguments for the Promulgation Theory.
In the view of the Promulgation Theory, 'faithful execution', 'textualism' and 'originalism' should be seen as guiding stars in Danish statutory interpretation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRule of Law
EditorsJane Reichel, Mauro Zamboni
Number of pages26
Place of PublicationStockholm
PublisherStockholm Institute for Scandinavian Law
Publication dateMay 2023
ISBN (Print)9789185142828
Publication statusPublished - May 2023
SeriesScandinavian Studies in Law


  • Statutory interpretation
  • Legal method
  • Originalism
  • Textualism
  • Legitimacy

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