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Iceland/European Court of Human Rights: Dismissal of Defamation Claim Violated Right to Respect for Private Life

(Nov. 20, 2017) On November 7, 2017, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) found that the Icelandic Supreme Court had erred in ruling against a claim of defamation, and “had not struck a fair balance between the applicant’s right to respect for his private life under Article 8 of the Convention [for the Protection of Human […]

Iceland: Central Bank Eases Currency Restrictions, Ends Financial Crisis Capital Controls

(May 16, 2017) On March 12, 2017, the Icelandic Central Bank announced that it had adopted new currency exchange rules and entered into agreements to purchase Icelandic krónur from foreign holders. (Central Bank of Iceland Concludes Agreement with Owners of Offshore Króna Assets, ICELANDIC CENTRAL BANK (Mar. 12, 2017); New Rules on Foreign Exchange, ICELANDIC CENTRAL […]

Iceland: New Home Sharing Law To Take Effect January 1, 2017

(Nov. 29, 2016) On May 31, 2016, the Icelandic Parliament (Althingi) passed a new law amending the Act on Restaurants, Lodging and Entertainment. (Lög um breytingu á lögum um veitingastaði, gististaði og skemmtanahald nr. 85/2007 (heimagisting, veitingastaðir án áfengisveitinga, ótímabundin rekstrarleyfi) [Act on Amending the Act on Restaurants, Lodging and Entertainment 85/2007 (Private Accommodation, Restaurants Without […]

Iceland: Supreme Court Convicts Bankers in Market Manipulation and Fraud Case

(Nov. 10, 2016) On October 6, 2016, the Icelandic Supreme Court handed down a judgment in the Kaupthing case, in which nine bank officials were convicted of fraud and market manipulation in connection with the Icelandic banking crisis of 2008 when the Kaupthing bank bought its own stock in order to keep its value artificially […]

Iceland: Legalization of Surrogacy Proposed

(Oct. 26, 2015) On October 13, 2015, Iceland’s Health Minister, Kristján Þór Júlíusson, announced a proposal to legalize surrogacy in Iceland. (Proposal to Legalise Surrogacy in Iceland, MBL.IS (Oct. 14, 2015).) The proposed law would permit only altruistic surrogacy agreements, not commercial ones. It would allow both men and women to solicit a surrogate to carry their child. […]

Iceland/European Union: Reduction in Import Duties, Increase in Quotas for Agricultural Products

(Oct. 20, 2015) On September 17, 2015, Iceland’s government and the European Union agreed on new terms for agricultural trade. (Press Release, EU and Iceland Strike Deal to Protect Geographical Indications and Enhance Trade for Agricultural and Food Products (Sept. 18, 2015) EUROPA.) Under the new agreement, Iceland will reduce the tariffs on agricultural products […]

Iceland: Easing of Capital Controls and Banking Regulations

(July 16, 2015) On July 3, 2015, the Icelandic Parliament (Althingi) passed legislation (The Act on a Stability Levy) to ease capital controls and bank regulation in the country, provided certain conditions are met. The regulations were set in place following the 2008 banking crash in the country. (Press Release, Legislation on Stability Levy Adopted […]

Iceland: Blasphemy Law Repealed

(July 15, 2015) On July 2, 2015, the Icelandic Parliament voted to repeal the country’s blasphemy legislation. (821 Frumvarp, Heligi Hrafn Gunanrson, Althingi [Parliament] website (last visited July 15, 2015).) The crime of blasphemy had been on the books since 1940; the relevant legal provision stated: “[a]nyone officially ridiculing or insulting the dogmas or worship […]

Iceland: Update: Supreme Court Increases Jail Sentence for Kaupthing Bank Director and Shareholder

(July 2, 2015) On February 12, 2015, the Icelandic Supreme Court decided the Al-Thani Case, in which the Chief Executive of Kaupthing Bank, the CEO of its Luxembourg branch, the Chairman of the Board, and the bank’s largest shareholder were charged with market manipulation. (Iceland Jails Kaupthing Bankers for Market Manipulation, NEW YORK TIMES (Feb. […]

Iceland: Family Fined over Daughter’s Name

(Mar. 20, 2015) Icelandic parents of a young girl are facing daily fines of ISK1.47 (about US$0.01) because they gave their daughter a name not previously used in Iceland for a girl. (Anita Rienstra, Icelandic Parents Facing Daily Fines over Daughter’s Name, ICE NEWS (Mar. 15, 2015).) Iceland’s Personal Names Act requires all names to […]