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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Iceland: Blasphemy Law Repealed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 […]

Iceland: 2015 and 2016 Tax Measures

(Dec. 31, 2014) Iceland’s Parliament, the Alþingi, approved legislation on December 16, 2014, that amends a number of the country’s tax laws. Except where otherwise noted, the changes take effect from January 1, 2015. (Hjordis B. Gunnarsdottir, Iceland: Some Budget Measures Adopted, TAX NEWS SERVICE (Dec. 18, 2014), International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation (IBFD) online […]

Iceland: National Digital Currency Auroracoin Launched

(Aug. 12, 2014) On March 24, 2014 creators of Auroracoin launched a helicopter drop of Auroracoins; they were available to all Icelanders who wanted to claim them. The digital currency is a competitor of Bitcoin and meant to cater to Iceland, although it can be changed into Bitcoins. It acts as a gateway currency for […]

Iceland: Icelandic Bankers Jailed for Fraud

(July 30, 2014) In a decision issued by the Reykjavik district court on December 12, 2013, two bank directors were among the parties imprisoned for fraud in connection with the banking crisis of 2008. (Dómur: Héraðsdóms Reykjavíkur 12. desember 2013 í máli nr. S-127/2012 [Judgment: Reykjavík District Court December 12, 2013 in case no. S-127/2012], […]

Iceland: Whale Meal Beer Ban Lifted

(Jan. 29, 2014) Iceland had temporarily banned the production and sale of beer made with whale bone meal. The West Iceland Public Health Authority had halted production, citing food production regulations; a complete, national prohibition was imposed on January 20, 2014. The companies that planned to make the beer, the brewery Steðji and the whaling company […]