A new, ambitious festival programme about the constitutional state

In cooperation with the Danish think tank Justitia and the Danish Bar and Law society, CPH:DOX launches the festival programme JUSTICE supported by the Dreyer Foundation, consisting of documentaries, talks and debates about civil liberty rights, the rule of law and the different challenges of the constitutional state.

Are we all equal under the law?

The rule of law and civil liberty are fundamental elements in the Danish society, but challenges such as terror, migration, and globalization lead to solutions that put the constitutional state under pressure.

Everything from citizen surveillance to “exception laws” in the democratic society makes it important to inform and qualify the public debate. We must and shall reflect on the relationships between security and liberty, ethics and law, the constitutional state and democracy – as well as the elementary elements, that the constitutional state actually consists of.


Discussion and debate

Therefore we have created the festival programme JUSTICE, that consists of documentaries, debates, talks, an art exhibition and educational activities at CPH:DOX 2018. JUSTICE is created with the support of the Dreyer Foundation, in cooperation with the Danish think tank Justitia, the Danish bar and law society, as well as by the means of the Danish Institute of Human Rights and The Faculty of Law.

We present a nuanced programme, that puts matters to discussion and debates, rather than presenting a unilateral representation of the reality. The documentary form is a powerful medium for conveying the understanding of complex issues in society and for offering a breeding ground for a qualified debate. By inviting prominent lawyers and professionals with relevant background to the different film screenings we further encourage a debate and dialogue with the audience.


About the films in the programme

The full festival programme will be published the 16th of February, but already today we will reveal a handful of films – as well as we will start up the ticket sale to a couple of unique events.

On the 15th of March JUSTICE will launch with a big opening arrangement, where the film ’PRE-CRIME’ will be screened, followed by a debate about increased surveillance by the police, and how this challenges the principle that we are all equal before the law. In the debate, we will find Birgitte Arent Eiriksson from Justitia, director of The National Police of Denmark Svend Larsen and the chairman of law Josephine Fock, among others.

‘PRE-CRIME’ is a documentary thriller about how the state uses new types of algorithms and data, that is said to anticipate crime, before they are committed. But what about if the algorithms are false or wrong? Meet the computer experts and the beforehand suspects, people that haven’t yet done anything wrong, in this thought-provoking film, that will turn guilt and innocence upside down. The film is made by Monika Hielscher and Matthias Heeder and asks all the right questions – all before it is too late.

The film will be screened on the 15th of March at 4:20 PM in Grand Teatret, you can find your tickets through this facebook event.

On the 18th of March, we are screening ’Recruiting for Jihad’, which follows the young, Norwegian jihadist Ubaydullah Hussein for three years in this controversial film about radicalisation, extremism and society’s response. After the screening, there will be a debate with the director of Justitia, Jacob Mchangama, the two directors of the film and journalist, author, and exclusive counselor to the Minister of Justice, Jakob Sheikh.

Ubaydullah Hussein is the leader of the jihad group ‘The Prophet Ummah’, which recruits young Norwegian men to join the Holy War and publicly supports terror without hesitation. The directors Ulrik Imtiaz Rolfsen and Adel Khan Farooq have both struggled with the law during their three years of following the young extremist, who himself would never dream of leaving his safe haven in Norway to go into war in the name of the prophet.

How does a free society handle its radical opponents without giving up on its own fundamental freedoms? Screening is on the 18th of March at 4:45 PM at Cinemateket, you can find your tickets through this Facebook event

The programme also offers a screening of the documentary ’The Judge’, which follows the first female Sharia judge in the Middle East, she is also a self-declared feminist, working in a male dominated reality, where law and religion meets.

’Playing God’ portrays Ken Feinberg, the leading lawyer specializing in disasters and the first one, who the power makers called after 9/11 and the oil spill in the Mexican Gulf. A controversial figure that embodies the ethical paradoxes of modern law more than anyone else; how much is human life worth?

Finally, we will also show ‘The Congo Tribunal’ about the very complex situation in the Democratic Republic – followed by a debate between Frederik Harhoff, former judge of the International Criminal Court, and Sylvestre Bisimwa, Congolese human rights attorney, who appears in the film.

Ticket sales for these events, as well as the rest of the JUSTICE program, will open on February 16, 2018.


Alongside the JUSTICE programme the think thank Justitia launches today the first episode of the podcast “Clear and Present Danger – A History of Free Speech”.

The podcast ask why kings, emperors, and governments killed and imprisoned people to shut them up? And why have countless people risked death and imprisonment to express their beliefs?

Every second week Jacob Mchangama guides you through the history of free speech from the trial of Socrates to the Great Firewall – and we’ll stream the episodes up until the festival here at cphdox.dk

Dive into the first episode: