From Iceland — Committee Has Recommendations For Constitutional Draft

Committee Has Recommendations For Constitutional Draft

Published January 21, 2013

The Judicial Affairs and Education Committee has suggested a number of changes to the Constitutional draft, including the protection of the Icelandic language and the ability to strip someone of their citizenship.
As the draft of Iceland’s new Constitution leaves committee for another round of debates on the parliamentary floor, the committee in charge of the draft – the Judicial Affairs and Education Committee – has offered some input on changes they think should be made to the Constitution, RÚV reports.
Among these changes is a clause that would state “Icelandic is the national language and the state shall support and defend it.” The committee says that as Icelandic is dear to the people, it deserves official protection. There is currently no law defining Icelandic as the official language of the country.
The committee also believes that a proposed clause for the Constitution that would protect media sources and whistle-blowers is not precise enough. They recommend that the clause provides greater protections for whistle-blowers, because their jobs, positions and possibly lives could be at greater risk for the information they provide than a media source might experience.
Foreigners also featured significantly in the committee’s recommendations. They asked that a clause be included that could strip someone of their citizenship if they had obtained it through falsified papers or providing the wrong information. They pointed out that there is no clause in the new Constitution limiting foreign ownership of Icelandic property, and recommended this be included as well.
The constitutional draft will go through another round of debates on the floor of parliament before going back to committee one last time. When it is brought before parliament again, a final vote will be taken.

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