European Court of Human Rights says Icelandic minister broke law and fines state

Yesterday the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the Icelandic State must pay 15 thousand Euros because Minister of Justice Sigríður Á. Andersen broke article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights on the individual's right to a fair court trial. Andersen has told Icelandic media she will not resign.  Two members of the opposition have already demanded that she resign. 
"Although the Minister of Justice was statutorily authorised under domestic law to propose different candidates than those proposed by the Committee, provided that her choices were approved by Parliament, the Supreme Court found that the Minister had proceeded in this manner without an independent examination of the merits of the candidates in question and without any further collection of evidence or other materials to substantiate her conclusions." it states in the ruling. 
Iceland’s Court of Appeals (Landsréttur) was established on January 1, 2018, as a new mid-tier court between district courts and the Supreme Court of Iceland. Minister of Justice Sigríður Á. Andersen received heavy criticism from opposition MPs for failing to follow the recommendations of a selection committee in her nominations of judges to the new court. In March 2018, opposition MPs put forth a motion of no-confidence against the minister, which was voted down with 33 votes to 29, with one MP abstaining.

The four aspiring Court of Appeals judges whose nominations were passed over by the minister have all sued the state for compensation and damages. The Supreme Court has ruled two of them be compensated ISK 700,000 (USD 6,800/EUR 5,600) but denied their claim to liability for damages.


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