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Iceland: Proposal to Change Funding for Asylum Programs

(Aug. 29, 2011) Iceland's Minister of the Interior, Ögmundur Jónasson, recently proposed changing the way funding is allocated to support facilities for persons seeking asylum in the country. He argued that the current system, in which such funding is part of the budget of the Directorate of Immigration, is problematic. As the number of asylum […]

Iceland: Former PM Pleads Not Guilty to Gross Negligence Charges in Banking Crisis

(June 13, 2011) Geir Haarde, the former Prime Minister of Iceland, pleaded not guilty on June 7, 2011, to charges of gross negligence in connection with the collapse of the country's banking system in 2008. More specifically, Haarde is accused of “intentionally or grossly negligently failing to prevent the 2008 Icelandic financial crisis.” (Zach Zagger, […]

Iceland: Icesave Bill Adopted to Guarantee U.K., Netherlands Loans

(Feb. 22, 2011) The Althingi, Iceland's Parliament, passed a bill on February 16, 2011, on Icesave deposits, the high-yield savings accounts offered by the online bank Icesave in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The purpose of the legislation was to enable the Icelandic government to guarantee loans from those two countries to cover Dutch […]

European Union; Iceland: Code of Conduct for Legislators Approved

(Nov. 22, 2010) In a November 9, 2010, report on the progress made by nations applying for European Union membership, the European Commission praised Iceland's recent reforms. The report was a follow-up to the February 2010 recommendation by the Commission that the EU begin membership talks with Iceland. At that time, the Commission indicated that […]

Iceland: Commission Suggests Charging Officials with Negligence in Financial Crisis

(Sept. 16, 2010) On September 11, 2010, a nine-member parliamentary commission in Iceland recommended that the former Prime Minister of that country, Geir Haarde, be charged, tried, and punished for negligence in connection with the 2008 financial crisis. The commission also proposed that Solrun Gisladottir, the former Foreign Minister, Boergyin Sigurdsson, the former Commerce Minister, […]

Iceland: Tax Concessions and Relief

(Aug. 24, 2010) In June 2010 Iceland's Parliament (Alþingi) approved several measures related to taxation. Temporary legislation approved on June 15 makes concessions available for direct investment in the country. It will remain in effect until December 31, 2013 (except as otherwise agreed to by the investor concerned and the Ministry). Companies that seek to […]

European Union; Iceland: Opening of Accession Negotiations

(June 18, 2010) Iceland's application to join the European Union, formally submitted on July 27, 2009, is moving the country a step closer to eventually joining the European Union as a full member. The European Council concluded on June 14, 2010, that Iceland meets the political criteria for EU membership set by the European Council […]

Iceland: Same-Sex Marriage Approved

(June 17, 2010) The Althingi, Iceland's parliament, on June 11, 2010, unanimously approved same-sex marriages. The new concept of marriage as being neutral on gender-orientation will replace the existing practice of registered partnerships for gay couples, which has been in effect in the country since 1996. (Dwyer Arce, Iceland Parliament Approves Same-Sex Marriage Legislation, PAPERCHASE […]

Iceland: Parliamentary Panel Blames Officials for Role in Financial Collapse

(Apr. 13, 2010) On April 12, 2010, a Special Investigation Committee of the Althingi, Iceland's parliament, released a special report on the collapse in 2008 of the country's financial system. (Available in Icelandic, together with excerpts in English entitled Report of the Special Investigation Commission (SIC), Althingi website, (last visited Apr. 12, 2010).) The […]

Iceland: Injunction Against File-Sharing Website Upheld by Supreme Court

(Mar. 9, 2010) On February 11, 2010, the Supreme Court of Iceland upheld an injunction imposed in November 2007 against Istorrent (, the country's largest torrent (file-sharing) website, and its operator, Svavar Lúthersson, and ordered Istorrent to pay ISK700,000 (about US$5,415) to the plaintiff for litigation costs. The website reportedly facilitated distribution of music and […]