From Iceland — The Worst Outcome Would Be No New Constitution

The Worst Outcome Would Be No New Constitution

Published February 13, 2013

Salvör Nordal, former chairman of the Constitutional Council, is stressing the importance of taking into consideration the comments submitted by the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe on Iceland’s constitutional draft, adding that the worst possible outcome at this point would be that nothing would come out of all the work that has been done toward instituting a new constitution, RÚV reports.
Speaking with Morgunútvarpinu television program this morning, Salvör expressed her disappointment that the reviews of the constitution, both by the parliamentary interior and by the Venice Commission, have taken so long. She notes that many of the comments that arose in the Venice Commission’s report had been brought up previously during local discussions of the constitution, but the comments must still be respected and addressed before the constitution can move forward.
“The worst case scenario would be that the issue would hit a wall and people would be less motivated to take the matter back up following the elections,” Salvör said.
The committee responsible for drafting the Iceland’s new constitution had submitted it for parliamentary review last summer, and the parliamentary committee responsible for undertaking the first review of the text was doing so still while the nation went to the polls in October to vote on the need for a new constitution and on several suggested amendments that the new constitution may include. Parliament returned their notes to the committee in November, at which point the text was sent to the Venice Commission, the Council of Europe’s advisory board on on constitutional matters. The Venice Commission returned their notes to parliament just this week, and so parliament has just a dozen working days remaining to review the notes, implement any suggested changes and then vote on the enactment of the new constitution before the elections take place in April.
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