NJORD Law Firm receives an award for efforts against digital offences
NJORD Law Firm, represented by Attorney and Partner Miriam Michaelsen, received the Association of Danish Law Firms’ advokatKODEKS award 2018 for its efforts against digital offences. NJORD received the award for its focused efforts to create fair solutions for its clients and for those whose voice is not being heard.
Among other things, the Association of Danish Law Firms’ committee stated the following:
”NJORD Law Firm has with its extraordinary strong efforts against digital offences demonstrated that attorneys can make a great positive difference when it comes to this big social problem of current interest. That a law firm supports the association Digitalt Ansvar and with pro bono work assists more than 30 digitally offended persons shows great social responsibility, which is exactly in the spirit of the Association of Danish Law Firms. Furthermore, NJORD Law Firm has managed to heavily influence the legislation in this field"
Since 2016, NJORD’s digital offences team has fought to make the police and the courts of justice investigate and put punishment for digital offences on equal terms with physical offences. Attorney and Partner Miriam Michaelsen has assisted in more than 30 cases on digital sexual offences, including one of the offended parties to the so-called “Umbrella case”.
”We are very proud to receive this award. The award proves that the industry supports the project. It is also an acknowledgement of the offended parties. It reminds us that our work is not just about bottom-line figures, but it actually makes a great difference to our clients. We have to engage in social responsibility, and we are in a position where we can help solving a societal problem by helping the offended parties to obtain justice. This is precisely what attorneys are supposed to do. Help the ones who need it.”
A couple of years ago, terms such as revenge porn and digital sexual offences were new in the Danish vocabulary. The police and the courts of justice lagged far behind in cases concerning the combat against illegal sharing of private, offensive photos and videos without the consent of the persons involved.
It demanded a joint effort and not least a focus on the problem, if you ask Miriam Michaelsen.
”It is very simple – we cannot sit back and watch while people are being bullied, harassed and blackmailed because offensive photos and videos of them are being shared without their consent. The law is clear – it is illegal, and it seriously affects the victims. The case handling must reflect this,”
The massive joint effort against digital offences by several actors has created an increased social awareness of the problem. Among other things, there appears to be a positive tendency towards digital behavioral changes and an increased focus by the police. Specifically, the maximum penalty for illegal sharing of nude photos was increased when a new law came into force on 15 April 2018.
As a legal representative in several cases on digital offences, Miriam Michaelsen has also pushed to increase the level of compensation to those affected. In cooperation with the association Digitalt Ansvar, NJORD has forwarded a consultation response to the Danish Ministry of Justice concerning a proposal to amend Section 264 d of the Danish Criminal Code about illegal sharing of offensive photos and videos.
NJORD Law Firm has actively decided to invest massively in CSR. A choice and a set of values that have made it possible for Miriam Michaelsen and the rest of NJORD’s team to combat digital offences to an extent that has created significant results, which are now being awarded.
”I am so proud of how far we have come. This award is an important recognition. Especially of all those who are part of this effort. Many thanks to my team of assistant attorneys and students, which every day assists me in preserving evidence and removing illegal material. Many thanks to the association Digitalt Ansvar, where organizations such as Save the Children, Børns Vilkår, the Danish Family Planning Association, the Danish Women’s Society, KVINFO, Victim Support Denmark, etc. contribute with vital professional knowledge and dissemination of the message, and many thanks to the cooperative Minister for Justice and the Minister for Equal Opportunities. And not least, many thanks to my workplace, NJORD Law Firm, which from the beginning supported me with a massive amount of pro bono work and an exceptional company culture, where social responsibility, respect and justice are core values. Without you, this project would not be possible.”
NJORD Law Firm has adopted the UN Global Compact’s principles and has incorporated them into the daily operations. NJORD is an active member of the association Digitalt Ansvar that focuses its efforts on up-to-date legislation and an effective investigation of digital offences and along with researchers and actors secures wider knowledge about and instruction in the meaning of digital offences. NJORD Law Firm has donated the cheque for DKK 50,000 to the association Digitalt Ansvar.
”At NJORD Law Firm, respect is a core value. Respect is to take responsibility for your actions and for each other. Therefore, it is important for us to engage in social responsibility. With the law behind us and based on our professional knowledge and strengths as attorneys, we have to take on social responsibility to ensure that the legislation works both in the digital universe and in parallel to the real world in a legal community such as ours.”