A recent proposal submitted to parliament calls upon the Icelandic government to sue the United Kingdom for damages in international court for use of the so-called “terrorist law” against Landsbanki in the fall of 2008.
As Grapevine reported, British Secretary of State for Defence Liam Fox, speaking with Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten about the previous government’s use of what has become known as “the terrorist law” in seizing Landsbanki’s assets in autumn 2008, said that the former government’s action was less than graceful, that Britain and the Nordic countries have long been friends, and that such an action will not be repeated. The law specifically used – the “Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001” – was put into action by then Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling in order to prevent Landsbanki from taking its assets out of the country.
However, use of an anti-terrorism law struck many Icelanders as insulting, and yesterday, 14 members of parliament submitted a proposal calling upon the Icelandic government to sue Britain in international court because “use of the terrorism law was pointless, not according to law, and damaged Iceland’s reputation, and with it, the financial interests of the people.”
The proposal says furthermore that the government should assemble experts to determine just how much damage the implementation of the terrorist law did to the economy. However, the proposal seems to put less emphasis on financial compensation and more on “to have confirmed in international court that the application of the terrorist law had been wholly inappropriate, that the operation had not been one of substance or legal, as it was never proven that the British financial system was threatened”. However, the fact that assessing damages is mentioned could imply that financial compensation may be sought after.
Every member of parliament who submitted this bill hails from the opposition, with the majority from the Progressives, along with three conservatives, and all three members of the Movement.