From Iceland — Controversial Bill Introduced To Parliament

Controversial Bill Introduced To Parliament

Published October 7, 2011

A new bill introduced to parliament would give police the right to investigate anyone, regardless of whether or not they had committed a crime or were even suspected of doing so.
The bill in question calls for the police to be given the power to conduct what are politely referred to as “proactive investigations”. These give police the authority to spy on people who have not committed a crime or are even suspected of having committed one.
The justifications for the bill are that such power would enable the police to better fight against drug smuggling and human trafficking, saying in part, “Investigations would happen before a crime is committed, in order to prevent a crime from happening.”
Eight members of parliament have co-signed the bill. They are: Siv Friðleifsdóttir (Prog.), Róbert Marshall (Soc. Dem.), Birgir Ármannsson (Conserv.), Birkir Jón Jónsson (Prog.), Jónína Rós Guðmundsdóttir (Soc. Dem.), Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson (Prog.), Kristján L. Möller (Soc. Dem.), and Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson (Prog.).
The bill is far from popular, however, with even conservative lawyer Brynjar Níelsson objecting to its premise.
The bill has been focused specifically on the Ministry of the Interior, which oversees the police force. It is uncertain how well the bill will fare. While three of the eight co-signers are from the ruling coalition, the Leftist-Greens are strongly opposed to the measure, as is The Movement. However, the bill has been introduced before, with the support of the Interior Minister.
A final vote on the matter is still pending.

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