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PM wants overseas assistance with ECHR ruling

19.03.2019 - 14:38
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The prime minister wants to call in an overseas expert to advise on whether to appeal last week’s European Court of Human Rights decision, and how. She calls the court’s ruling “unprecedented” and says it is not possible to interpret it in any single way, given its breadth and rarity.

PM Katrín Jakobsdóttir and the new justice minister Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir plan to meet with the leaders of all parties in parliament this week to go over the ECHR ruling and what it means for the future. 

“Because the issue is complicated, It is not possible to interpret the ruling simply, with simple means, and it therefore makes a difference for everyone to be informed of the work we face in reviewing this ruling.” 

Katrín says she does not know when a decision will be made, but says the case is high priority and that time will be used carefully. The window to appeal the case closes after three months. 

“I think there are very many questions that it would be interesting to have answered by the Grand Chamber and I don’t look at it as a political message to the ECHR, as some people have interpreted [the idea of appealing]. Rather, it is just a fact that this ruling is unprecedented,” Katrín says. 

If the Grand Chamber accepts an appeal to the Chamber of the Court’s decision, the proceedings could take up to two years. Making changes in Iceland to assure the smooth running of the Landsréttur appeals court and appealing the ECHR decision are not mutually exclusive, Katrín insists. She believes Iceland can both appeal the case and make positive changes based on the first ECHR ruling.