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Nominations for New Court Approved

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Nominations for New Court Approved

Alþingishúsið

Alþingishúsið, the Icelandic parliamentary building. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Alþingi, the Icelandic Parliament, has approved the minister of justice’s 15 nominations to Landsréttur court, RÚV reports. Landsréttur is a new court which will add a new judicial level to the Icelandic court system.

Government MPs voted in favor of the nominations, while members of the opposition parties, with the exception of the Progressive Party, voted against. Progressive Party MPs abstained from the vote. The nominations were approved by 31 votes against 22. Eight MPs did not vote.

Independence Party MP Hildur Sverrisdóttir and others celebrated the appointment’s inclusion of seven female judges out of fifteen. Guðrún Ágústa Þórdísardóttir, substitute MP for the Pirate Party, said that claiming the minister of justice's nominations were in support of equality was an insult to women.

The appointment of judges to Landsréttur has been a source of debate in the parliament, where the governing coalition currently holds a majority by only one seat.

Minister of Justice Sigríður Á. Andersen, stated that this as a watershed vote for the parliament, which was voting on the appointment of a judge for the first time in its history. She states that the 15 individuals nominated are diverse and all possess the required qualifications.

Pirate Party MP Jón Þór Ólafsson said there was cause to believe the nominations were political in nature, a fact that would be clear to Icelanders and undermine their trust in the judicial system. Katrín Jakobsdóttir, minority spokesperson, stated there had not been enough time to review the matter.

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