The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has concluded in a preliminary evaluation that the emergency law passed by the Icelandic parliament in October last year had been justifiable, Prime Minister of Iceland Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir announced yesterday.
Prime Minister of Iceland Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir. Photo by Geir Ólafsson.
The evaluation states that the Icelandic government had the right to defend the banking system and public interest, RÚV reports.
The emergency law included that deposits held in the Icelandic banks in Iceland were prioritized above general claims, which some considered to be in breach of the law and the EEA agreement.
A group of claimants to the bankrupt estate of the old banks filed a complaint to ESA because of this controversy, but the ESA has now come to the preliminary conclusion that the legal understanding of the University of Iceland Law Institute from last autumn had been correct.
Claimants have until January 15, 2010, to respond to ESA’s preliminary evaluation. As it is only an evaluation but not a ruling, it is possible that this case will be taken to the EFTA Court and the European Court of Human Rights.
Click here to read more about the emergency law.