Trust In Justice System Decreasing

26.10.2011
Words by Paul Fontaine
Public trust in different institutions of Iceland's justice system is declining, while faith in law enforcement appears to be strong.

Market and Media Research (MMR) conducted a survey on public trust in different sides of Iceland's legal system. Coming out on top was the Icelandic Coast Guard, which 78.3% of respondents said they trust a great deal, while only 4.7% said they did not trust it much at all.

Following distantly behind, in terms of levels of trust, were the special prosecutor (47.4%), the police (44.8%), the supreme court (38.7%), the state prison authority (36.5%), the lower courts (34.4%) and the state prosecutor (32.9%). All of these institutions enjoyed more trust than distrust among those who responded to the survey.

When respondents were asked to consider the justice system as a whole, the trend reversed: 37.4% said they trusted it very little, as opposed to the 30.4% who trust it a lot. The starkest levels of distrust, however, were aimed at the Office of Immigration (32.1% distrusting versus 19.8% trusting) and the national court, currently trying former prime minister Geir H. Haarde for mismanagement and neglect that contributed to the 2008 financial collapse. Only 16.4% of respondents trust that court, against 40.2% who trust it very little.

The general trend of trust towards these institutions has decreased slightly since the last such survey was conducted in February.

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