MP Calls For Review Of Libel Law - The Reykjavik Grapevine

MP Calls For Review Of Libel Law

Published July 11, 2012

A member of parliament believes the time has come to review Iceland’s law on libel and slander, in light of a European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling against the Icelandic government.
As reported, Björk Eiðsdóttir and Erla Hlynsdóttir, wrote articles about the nightclubs Goldfinger and Strawberries. Within the articles, they quoted employees who spoke of illegal activities going on at these clubs. However, the nightclubs filed charges of libel against the two, and the testimony of the employees interviewed could not be proven. As such, Icelandic courts ruled that the articles be stricken from public record, and that the journalists be made to pay damages to the clubs.
The two appealed their case to the ECHR, who found in their favour, and ruled the Icelandic government must pay damages to the journalists.
In light of this, RÚV reports that MP Þráinn Bertelsson has called upon the chairman of the Parliamentary General Committee, Björgvin G. Sigurðsson, to initiate a review of Iceland’s law on libel and slander when parliament reconvenes this fall. He said that members of parliament should be willing to review this law, as the ruling from the ECHR should be a source of shame.

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