The ECHR - Principles, Practice and Impact on Icelandic Law

In 2005, the Institute issued the book, The European Convention on Human Rights - Principles, implementation and impact of Icelandic law, with the University of Reykjavik. Teachers from both universities published their research on the Convention and its influence in the Icelandic legal system. This was the first comprehensive academic publication in Icelandic on the ECHR, the case law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and the impact of the Treaty on Icelandic legislation.

The effect of the judgments of the ECtHR and the development of human rights protection in Europe is widespread and has led to fundamental changes in law and practice in most of the Member States. More than hundred complaints have been received against the Icelandic government since 1953, when the convention came into force, but only a small portion has been admitted by the Court. Six judgments have been rendered against Iceland, some reconciliations have been made but other cases dismissed.

The book discusses in detail about each provision of the Convention, they are analyzed and described how strategic results of the European Human Rights Commission and the ECtHR have made an impact on the interpretation of the provisions and how it has evolved over the past decades. It is discussed how rights deriving from the Convention are protected in domestic law, the Constitution and other legislation, which is the case law of the Icelandic courts on the subject described the main issues of the Parliamentary Ombudsman in this connection. It describes the main solutions to the Human Rights Committee and the ECtHR judgments on complaints against the Icelandic government and assesses their impact. Finally, proceedings before the court are described and what conditions a complaint has to fulfill to be admitted by the Court.

The book is dedicated to the memory of Gaukur Jörundsson, judge of the ECtHR, the Icelandic Ombudsman and professor at the University of Iceland and a member of the European Human Rights Commission from 1974 to 1998. He died in the autumn of 2004 after a long and successful career in a field of human rights.

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