New Bill in Violation of Human Rights? Skip to content

New Bill in Violation of Human Rights?

The Lawyers’ Association of Iceland’s (LMFÍ) law committee believes basic human rights, such as privacy, are in danger if Iceland’s parliament accepts a new bill, presented on November 27, on the investigation of the collapse of the bank system.

In its report on the bill, the law committee points out that the investigation committee should be confidential in its work. However, according to the bill, the committee will have extensive rights to publish information on the investigation if deemed necessary, Morgunbladid reports.

The law committee warns against giving the investigators permission to publish information on personal matters, even if they believe that the public interests involved are greater than the interests of the individual in question.

“What public interests could be at hand that are of such great importance that violating privacy rights is justified?” the law committee asks in its report, pointing out that laws on the rights to privacy are bound by law both in Iceland’s constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights.

Furthermore, the law committee’s report points out a provision in the bill, according to which people are obligated to submit information requested by the investigation committee, such as reports, registries, notes, bookings and contracts. This obligation is meant to overrule confidentiality.

The law committee criticizes this provision harshly, again arguing that confidentiality is bound by law in Iceland’s constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights. “By abolishing confidentiality without exception and in all cases it is certain that if accepted, the bill violates provisions of the constitution.”

The bill has been discussed by the Althingi parliament’s general committee since December 4.

Click here to read about the bill.

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