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Constitutional Limitations on the Competence to Entrust the Exercise of Authority to Private Entities

  • Mathias Rose Svendsen

Danish constitutional limitations – Entrusting executive power to private entities – Executive power involving coercive measures – A previous assumption – Use of physical force – Private prisons – Constitutional interpretation – Binding constitutional assumptions – Substantive limitations – Organisational limitations – External delegation under Danish administrative law – American constitutional law – Private entities’ fundamental self-interest – Conflicts of interest – Pecuniary or other personal interest – Healthcare legislation – The ministerial system – Democratic and legal liability – Judicial review – Ombudsman supervision – Constitutional organisation of state – The bulk of state executive power – Citizens’ constitutional rights and freedoms

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Assistant Attorney at Bruun & Hjejle law firm and Consultant at Karnov Group.

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1 Stevenson, D.D., ‘Privatization of State Administrative Services’, Louisiana Law Review (2008) p. 114 ff .

2 Also, C. Henrichsen’s ‘Rammebetingelser for udlicitering af myndighedsopgaver’ from 2004 and ‘Udlicitering af myndighedsopgaver – Er det foreneligt med retssikkerhedsmæssige hensyn’ from 2006 are largely based on Christensen’s definition of the term ‘executive power’.

3 Garde, J., et al., Forvaltningsret, Almindelige Emner [Public Law, General Issues], 5 th edn (Jurist- og Økonomforbundets Forlag 2009) p. 560 .

4 Kaidatzis, A., ‘A Typology of the Constitutional Limitations on Privatization’, Hellenic Review of European Law (2009) Special Edition, p. 79-96 .

5 Henrichsen, C., Responsum til Udliciteringsrådet, Rammebetingelser for udlicitering af myndighedsopgaver [The Legal Framework on Privatisation of the Exercise of Authority] (Schultz Information, 2004).

6 Henrichsen, C., Rønsholdt, S., Blume, P. (eds.), Forvaltningsretlige Perspektiver [Public Law Perspectives] (Djøf/Jurist- og Økonomforbundets Forlag 2006) p. 476 f .

7 Ibid., p. 476.

8 Ibid., p. 477.

9 Ross, A., Dansk Statsforfatningsret 1 [Danish Constitutional Court 1], 3 rd edn (Nyt Nordisk Forlag 1983) in Ole Espersen (ed.), p. 24 ff .

10 Ibid., p. 25 ff.

11 Marcusson, L., Myndighet eller marknad. Statsförvaltningens olika verksamhetsformer [Authority or Market. The State Administration's Various Forms of Action] (Fritzes 1997) p. 12ff .

12 More examples are to be found in other foreign constitutions. However, a thorough analysis falls outside the scope of this article.

13 The purpose as an interpretative factor can be illustrated with the Danish Supreme Court’s decision in U 1999.841 H, U 1999B.227. See also U 1999B.531, U 1999B.227 and Jensen, M.H., Beskyttelse af juridiske personer efter grundlovens [Protection of Legal Persons According to the Constitution] § 73 (Djøf Forlag 2006) p. 225 .

14 Christensen, J.P., Jensen, J.A. and Jensen, M.H., Dansk Statsret [Danish Constitutional Law] (Djøf/Jurist- og Økonomforbundets Forlag 2012) p. 116 f .

15 Ibid., p. 208.

16 Sørensen, M., Statsforfatningsret [Constitutional Law], 2 nd edn (Juristforbundets Forlag 1973), in Peter Germer (ed.), p. 308 f .

17 Even though the nature of legislative practice regarding constitutional interpretation has been the subject of discussion, it is widely acknowledged that legislative practice can be taken into account when interpreting the Constitution. Hence, it is primarily when wording, remarks, case law, and broader considerations do not provide a clear answer that importance may be attached to legislative practice in the interpretation of the Constitution. See Jensen, supra n. 13, p. 273.

18 See Christensen, J.P., Forfatningsretten og det levende liv [Constitutional Law and the Living Life] (Jurist- og. Økonomforbundets Forlag 1990) and H Zahle, Dansk Forfatningsret 1 [Danish Constitutional Law], 2nd edn (1997).

19 Ross, supra n. 9, p. 53.

20 Jensen, supra n. 13, p. 214.

21 See Strömberg, H., ‘Myndighet och Myndighetsutövning’, 5 Förvaltningsrättslig tidskrift (1972) and Marcusson, L., Offentlig förvaltning utanför myndighetsområdet [Authority and the Exercise of Authority] (Iustus 1989).

22 Garde et al., supra n. 3, p. 243.

23 Nørgaard, C.A., Garde, J. and Revsbech, K., Forvaltningsret Sagsbehandling [Danish Administrative Law Case Processing], 7 th edn (Djøf Forlag 2014) p. 340 ff .

24 Henrichsen, C., Udlicitering af myndighedsopgaver – Er det foreneligt med retssikkerhedsmæssige hensyn? [Outsourcing of Government Tasks – Is it Compatible with Legal Certainty?] (Djøf/Jurist- og Økonomforbundet 2006) p. 440 ff .

25 Christensen, B., Responsum til Udliciteringsrådet [Report to the Outsourcing Council] (Udliciteringsrådet 1997) p. 17 .

26 Brown, K.N., ‘Government by Contract and the Structural Constitution’, 87(2) Notre Dame Law Review (2012) p. 531 .

27 Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation v Lewellyn, Nos. 96-0745, 96-0839, decided 30 April 1997.

28 Nørgaard, Garde and Revsbech, supra n. 23, s. 50 ff. For external and internal delegation, see Nørgaard, Garde and Revsbech, supra n. 23, p. 54-63.

29 Andersen, P., Dansk Statsforfatningsret [The Danish Constitutional Law], 2 nd edn (Gyldendal 1954) p. 60 .

30 Nørgaard, Garde and Revsbech, supra n. 23, p. 64 f.

31 Ibid., p. 68.

32 Ibid., p. 67.

33 Alexander, L., Constitutionalism: Philosophical Foundations (Cambridge University Press 1998).

34 A comparative study of Swedish, Norwegian or Germen constitutional law might also prove fruitful, even though privatisation under these legal systems is less developed.

35 Brown, supra n. 26, p. 514.

36 Brown, supra n. 26, p 531.

37 952 S.W.2d 454.

38 Henrichsen, supra n. 24, p. 45.

39 Betænkning 2003 1432 om valgret under udlandsophold, p. 293 f.

40 Jensen, supra n. 13, p. 273.

41 See Madsen, H.B. and Garde, J., Psykiatriret [Psychiatry Law], 2 nd edn (Djøf/Jurist- og Økonomforbundets Forlag 2017).

42 Zahle, H., ‘Hjemmel for frihedsberøvelse i forfatningsretligt perspektiv’, 64(5) Juristen (1982) p. 147 ff .

43 Jensen, supra n. 13, p. 341 f.

44 The term ‘executive power’ is defined in the introductory section of this article.

45 Under Norwegian constitutional law, it is emphasised that institutional rules in the Norwegian Constitution are subject to a particularly dynamic interpretation. See Holmøyvik, E. (ed.), Tolkingar av Grunnlova [Interpretations of the Constitution] (Pax Forlag 2014) p. 45 . Although this interpretation does not form the basis of the following, it be may be beneficial to keep in mind that other Nordic constitutions are subject to a particularly dynamic interpretation. See also Christensen, supra n. 18, p. 243.

46 B. Christensen, Nævn og Råd [Administrative Boards] (Kbhvn 1958) p. 124.

47 Christensen, Jensen and Jensen, supra n. 14, p. 62.

48 Ross, supra n. 9, p. 26.

49 Ross, supra n. 9, p. 521; Statsministeriet, Mere velfærd og mindre bureaukrati – sanering af råd, nævn, udvalg og centre (2002) p. 5 ff.; and Christensen, supra n. 46, p. 64 ff.

50 Jensen, supra n. 13, p. 228.

51 Holmøyvik (ed.), supra n. 45, p. 76.

52 Under Danish constitutional law, it is acknowledged that ‘finality provisions’ (legislation that provides that a decision of a public authority cannot be brought before the courts) may limit judicial review, see U 2001.861 H and Christensen, Jensen and Jensen, supra n. 14, p. 229 ff.

53 Ross, supra n. 9, p. 492.

54 About the Ombudsman’s supervision of public authorities, see Garde et al., supra n. 3, p. 455 ff.

55 Ross, supra n. 9, p. 796 f.

56 Ibid, p. 796 f. and Garde et al., supra n. 3, p. 449 f.

57 Ross, supra n. 9, p. 796 f.

* Assistant Attorney at Bruun & Hjejle law firm and Consultant at Karnov Group.

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European Constitutional Law Review
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