This post is also available in: Íslenska (Icelandic)
Jon Asgeir Johannesson defeated the Icelandic government in the European Court of Human Rights today. The government was found guilty of violating Jon Asgeir´s human rights according to 7th Protocol to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms which involves protection against double jeopardy or the right not to be tried or punished twice for the same act. Jon Asgeir wonders who will shoulder responsibility for repeated human rights violations by the Icelandic government.
„I have not had the time to read the whole verdict properly, but it´s really positive. The court´s conclusion doesn´t surprise me since it´s in compliance with verdicts in similiar cases in other Nordic countries and exactly like my lawyer Gestur Jonsson pointed out in an announcement as early as 2013. I have fought against many branches of the Icelandic government in courts over the past fifteen years and more often than not suspected that the government behaviour was not always compliant with the law. The verdict confirms that my suspicion was justified but more importantly it confirms that the Icelandic court system can not, on it´s own, disregard the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
What worries me is how the Icelandic government is going to deal with this verdict. Is someone going to shoulder responsibility for the fact that every day Icelanders human rights are disregarded in Icelandic court rooms? Will politicians past or present, ministers past or present, District court judges or Supreme Court judges past or present shoulder responsibility for repeatedly violating human rights in Iceland? As long as no one accepts responsibility I am afraid that nothing will change. This verdict is not the first from the European Court of Human Rights where the Icelandic government is found guilty of violating human rights. And if no one is held accountable it will not be the last verdict.
Now I will look at the verdict from all angles before I decide which steps to take.“