The Department of Civil Affairs

The Department of Civil Affairs is a department under the Danish Ministry of Justice. The department has approximately 55 employees and is lead by a director.

The Department of Civil Affairs consists of 4 divisions:

  1. Fondskontoret (The Division of Foundations)
  2. Fri proceskontoret (The Legal Aid Office)
  3. Retsinformation (Legal Information Division)
  4. Erstatningsnævnet (The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board and the Secretariat of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board)

If you wish to contact the Department of Civil Affairs:

Telephone: +45 33 92 33 34, Mon-Fri 10 AM to 2 PM

Fax: +45 39 20 45 05

E.mail: civilstyrelsen@civilstyrelsen.dk

The Division of Foundations

The tasks of the Division of Foundations include supervision according to the Danish Foundation Act, supervision/control of entailed estates, guardianship and settled property.

The Danish Foundation Act

The Department of Civil Affairs is the foundation authority for all non-commercial foundations. The department supervises that the Foundation Act is obeyed. The foundation Act contains rules in accordance with which the foundations must obtain the consent of the foundation authority for a number of arrangements. Among other things this applies to amendments of a bye-law and dissolution of the foundation as well as transfer and mortgaging of the assets of the foundation.

The Department of Civil Affairs issues general rules for non-commercial foundations.

The Danish Business Authority is the foundation authority for all commercial foundations.

Control of entailed estates

The Division of Foundations undertakes all tasks concerning the control of entailed estates.


The Department of Civil Affairs performs the chief supervision of guardianship.

The department is, among other things, the appeals body for the decisions of the public administrations in cases on appointment of a guardian, compensation for a guardian, and consumption of funds belonging to the person under guardianship.

Furthermore, the Department of Civil Affairs issues general rules concerning guardianship.

Settled property

The Division of Foundations is the appeals body for the decisions of public administrations in cases on settled inheritance. The department also makes decisions in cases on settled donations.

The Department of Civil Affairs issues general rules concerning settled property.

The Legal Aid Division

The Legal Aid Division issues legal aid including procuring legal aid abroad, legal aid in appeals in in­ternational appeals bodies, public legal aid by means of lawyers and subsidies for legal aid institutions.

Legal aid means that the State gives financial aid in order to guarantee the individual citizen’s access to the courts. Thus, the purpose of legal aid is to give individuals with less strong financial standing the opportunity to conduct a case on equal terms with a person with better financial standing.

Read more about The Legal Aid Division.

Legal Information Division

The Legal Information Division publishes and edits the legal gazettes of the Danish state, Lovtidende and Ministerialtidende. The two gazettes are available in Danish only on the internet lovtidende.dk and ministerialtidende.dk.

The specific ministries are responsible for the content and the editing of the legislation they publish in the gazettes.

The department also operates and develops retsinformation.dk, the official legal information system of the Danish state, available on retsinformation.dk.

When new legislation is published in Lovtidende or Ministerialtidende, it can also be found by searching the homepage of retsinformation,dk. All documents in retsinformation.dk are in Danish. Translations of some of the central acts etc. can, however, in some cases be found on the homepage of the relevant ministry.

Please note that questions of a legal nature regarding the content or the interpretation of Danish law should be directed to the authority - the ministry - that deals with the particular legal area. Only questions regarding retsinformation.dk or other aspects of the publication of Danish rules and regulations can be answered by the division.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board and the Secretariat for the Criminal Compensation Board

The Board and the Secretariat deal with applications for compensation under pursuance of the State Compensation to Victims of Crime Act and undertake administrative tasks connected to the consideration of applications.

The Board makes decisions upon the recommendation of the Secretariat. In cases concerning smaller amounts and in a number of other cases, the Secretariat is authorized to make decisions without presenting the case to the Board.

Read more about the Board and the Secretariat.