Screen-Shot-2014-04-21-at-23.17.21-1024x636According to the IMMI resolution the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture is required to work on the resolution’s progression. On the 3rd of May 2012 the first   Steering Committee was put together which was tasked with analysing and researching the legal framework both in Iceland and abroad in accordance with the resolution. It’s role is to prepare necessary changes in legislation or implement new laws, looking at legislation abroad in the aim of combining the best set of laws to create a safe haven in Iceland for information freedom and freedom of expression.

During the nine years since the resolution passed, Iceland has undergone serious political crises with only one government being able to sit full term. Four governments and five Prime Ministers later, we finally have a deadline for IMMI to be fully ratified. In the first months after taking office as Prime Minister of Iceland, Katrin Jakobsdottir, announced she was committed to have all the laws finalized and put forward as governmental bills in Parliament before 2019 ends.

Steering Committee 2018/19:

  • Eiríkur Jónsson Professor, Chairman, appointed by the Prime Minister
  • Páll Þórhallsson, Deputy Chairman,
    Director General Department of Legislative Affairs Prime Minister’s Office
  • Birgitta Jónsdóttir, Chairman of IMMI
  • Elísabet Gísladóttir, lawyer from the Interior Ministry
  • Elísabet Pétursdóttir, lawyer from the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture
  • Hjálmar Jónsson, Executive Director of the Icelandic Journalist Association
  • Sigríður Rut Júlíusdóttir, Supreme Court Attorney from the law firm Réttur
  • Þröstur Freyr Gylfason, expert from the Ministry of Finance and Economic AffairsThe employee of the steering committee is, Oddur Þorri Viðarsson, lawyer at the Prime Minister’s Office

Steering Committee 2012:

  • Ása Ólafsdóttir, Chairman, appointed by Minister of Education and Culture
  • Davíð Logi Sigurðsson, nominated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Elfa Ýr Gylfadóttir, nominated by the Media Commission
  • Halla Gunnarsdóttir, nominated by the Interior Ministry
  • Smári McCarthy, nominated by IMMI
  • Tryggvi Björgvinsson, nominated by the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture
  • The employee of the steering committee is, Margrét Magnúsdóttir, lawyer

Steering Committee 2013:

After the parliamentary elections in the spring of 2013 a new Steering Committee was appointed :

  • Ása Ólafsdóttir, Chairman, appointed by Minister of Education, Science and Culture
  • Aðalheiður Ámundadóttir, nominated by IMMI
  • Aðalheiður Þorsteinsdóttir, nominated by Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Elfa Ýr Gylfadóttir, nominated by the Media Commission
  • Gísli Valdórsson, nominated by the Interior Ministry
  • Páll Þórhallsson, nominated by the Prime Minister’s Office
  • Sirrý Hallgrímsdóttir, nominated by the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture
  • The employee of the steering committee is Margrét Magnúsdóttir, lawyer

The main issues the Steering Committee is reviewing:

  1. Source protection; whether source protection needs to be strengthened.
  2. Whistleblower protection; whether whistleblower protection needs to be strengthened and whether it is advised to change clauses on confidentiality in laws on the rights and duties of public officials, no. 70/1996, compared to laws no. 45/1998 and article 136 of the penal code, no. 19/1040.
  3. Communications protection and protection of intermediaries; whether communications protection needs to be strengthened by limiting or revoking rights to host data at a third party, such as telecommunications companies. Whether telecommunications law need revising, no. 81/2003, in particlar article 3., section 42., regarding data retention for six months for the benefit of criminal cases investigations and public safety.
  4. Whether it is advisable to revoke or limit grounds for injunctions due to impending publishing of materials. Furthermore, whether the rights of those who will be affected by the published material can be strengthened by other means.
  5. Whether rules need to be implemented regarding legal costs in freedom of expression court cases and whether procedural rules need to be modified in such cases.
  6. Limitation on the completion of foreign rulings in libel and defamation cases and whether procedural rules need to be changed in order to do so. Both the EEC agreement and the Lugano treaty need to be looked at in this regard.
  7. Protection of historical records and databases. Whether it is appropriate to define the date of publishing more clearly when material that’s accessible to the public in electronic databases, in order to put a time limit on rights to bring forth libel cases. Furthermore, whether it is appropriate to install a cap on compensation payments in such cases.
  8. Freedom of information law and whether the public’s right to information can be further enforced.
  9. Virtual limited liability companies; whether virtual limited liability companies should be able to register virtually in Iceland. Furthermore, review rules on jurisdiction over particular media which transmit media from earth stations or satellites within Icelandic jurisdiction.
  10. Everything else that is considered to strengthen freedom of expression, freedom of speech, freedom of information and publishing freedom in Iceland.