By a judgement today, the European court declared that the appointment of judges to the new Icelandic Court of Appeal “contravened the principle of a tribunal established by law.”
In the case of Guðmundur Andri Ástráðsson v. Iceland (application no. 26374/18) the European Court of Human Rights held, by a majority, that there had been:
a violation of Article 6 § 1 (right to a tribunal established by law) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
It further held, unanimously, that there was no need to examine the remaining complaints under Article 6 § 1 (right to an independent and impartial tribunal).
As Just satisfaction (Article 41), the court held that Iceland was to pay the applicant Guðmundur Andri Ástráðsson, 15,000 euros (EUR) in respect of costs and expenses.
Ástráðsson alleged that the new Icelandic Court of Appeal (Landsréttur), set up as a new court on 1 January 2018, was not established by law.
The European court found in particular that the process by which a judge was appointed to the Court of Appeal had amounted to a flagrant breach of the applicable rules at the material time. It had been to the detriment of the confidence that the judiciary in a democratic society must inspire in the public and had contravened the very essence of the principle that a tribunal must be established by law.