Published October 26, 2011
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.