Supreme Court Decision Confounds Common Sense

Words by

Published February 1, 2013

The prosecuting attorney and the single female justice in a recent Supreme Court case involving sexual assault disagree strongly with the opinion of the other justices. Trigger warning: sexual assault details are included in this article.
The case in question saw four people – three men and one woman – accused of forcing their way into the home of a young woman in Hafnarfjörður in December 2011. The woman was physically assaulted by the group, among other ways, by having a a finger forcefully inserted into her anus and vagina against her will. Police charged the perpetrators of the act with sexual assault.
Amazingly, the four of the five Supreme Court justices – all of them male – ruled that this particular part of the attack was not sexual assault. The reason they gave was that the assault was not meant to achieve sexual gratification, but rather to “only” physically hurt the victim.
The only female justice on the case, Ingibjörg Benediktsdóttir, wrote a dissenting opinion. She referred to Article 194 of the Icelandic General Penal Code, which states: “Anyone who by means of violence or threats of violence forces a person to have carnal intercourse or other sexual intimacy shall be subject to imprisonment for no less than 1 year and up to 16 years. Violence is considered to include the deprivation of independence by means of confinement, pharmaceuticals or in other comparable ways.” The definition as such, she argued, it does not matter if the perpetrators were trying to gratify themselves sexually or not – the victim was sexually assaulted and humiliated by the ordeal.
Hulda Elsa Björgvinsdóttir, the prosecuting attorney in the case, agreed with Ingibjörg, saying that the court speculating on the thoughts of the perpetrator, rather than what the criminal act entailed, sets a bad precedent. She added that the matter was clearly a case of sexual torture.
Acquitted in the highest court in the country, the perpetrators cannot be tried again for the sexual assault charge. They were all, however, sentenced to prison for physical assault.



News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Annie Places Second Despite Back Injury

by

Annie Mist Þórisdóttir finished 2nd overall in the 2014 CrossFit Games despite a back injury which threatened to keep her from competing as a Crossfit athlete for the rest of her life, reports RX Review. During a press conference after the win, Annie shared the story of her emotional recovery; how the injury left her legs numb for 6 months and unable to lift weights for a year. Despite all this plus a year and a half break from the Crossfit circuit she managed to finish just short of winner Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, showing the world Annie is still a force to be reckoned

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Hallgrímskirkja Among World’s Weirdest Buildings

by

Hallgrímskirkja has been voted one of the world’s weirdest buildings, reports Vísir. According to the Top 50 Weirdest Buildings list, Hallgrímskirkja is the third strangest looking building on the planet. The Stone House in Guimarães and the Casa Da Musica – both located in Portugal, came in first and second place respectively.  Hallgrímskirkja is the largest church in Iceland and is named after the Icelandic poet and clergyman Hallgrímur Pétursson. According to the State Architect Guðjón Samúelsson who designed the church, it’s appearance is meant to resemble basalt lava flows in Iceland’s landscape. The construction of the church began in 1945 and was completed 41 years later

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Women 10% Of Highest-Earning CEO’s In Iceland

by

According to new figures from Frjáls Verslun women make up only 10% of the highest-earning CEO’s in Iceland. Out of 200 top-earning CEO’s women account for only 20 and out of 19 categories (split by industry) only one woman came in first place. Vísir reports that Unnur Þorsteinsdóttir, VP of Genetic Research with deCode Genetics is the highest-earning female director making over 13 million ISK each month. Guðbjörg Edda Eggertsdóttir, former president of Actavis Pharmaceuticals, came in second with over 10 million ISK a month and Birna Einarsdóttir, CEO of Íslandsbanki, came in third with just over 3.5 million ISK a month. The results cast a new

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

11,000 Take Part In SlutWalk, Inspire Parliamentarians

by

About 11,000 Icelanders participated in yesterday’s annual SlutWalk, and helped inspire a parliamentary proposal which could help victims of sexual assault. Vísir reports that about 11,000 Icelanders marched from Hallgrímskirkja at 14:00 yesterday to Austurvöllur, in front of parliament. There, attendees listened to speeches on the subject of placing the blame for rape on rapists rather than victims. The stage was also graced with musical acts, such as the rap group Reykjavíkurdætur, who composed a song for the occasion (see below). While the attendance alone is significant, SlutWalk has also inspired lawmakers to take notice. Vísir reports that Bright Future

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Petition On Israeli Government Submitted To Foreign Affairs Committee

by

About 6,600 Icelanders signed a petition calling for their government to end diplomatic ties with Israel in response to the attacks on Gaza. Vísir reports that journalist Illugi Jökulsson, who initiated the campaign, met with Foreign Affairs Committee chair Birgir Ármannsson on Friday to give him the signatures. While the petition drive began only the previous Monday, by the end of the work week some 6,600 signatures had been gathered. The petitions calls upon the Icelandic government to break political and diplomatic ties with the Israeli government as a response to the attacks on Gaza, adding that diplomatic methods have

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Expecting Couple Struggle With Immigration Bureaucrasy

by

An Icelandic man’s pregnant American wife has still not received a verdict on her Icelandic residence permit application even though she applied for one in the fall of last year, reports DV. Jessica Jacobs has lived in Iceland since 2012. Initially she moved to study Icelandic in Ísafjörður, but quickly relocated to Reykjavík where she met her future husband, Matthías Enok Hannesson. After getting married, Matthías and Jessica filed an application for residency which has since developed into a long-winded bureaucratic nightmare. According to the Reykjavík District Commissioner’s Office the couple need to deliver a certificate confirming her marital status in the U.S. This document must

Show Me More!