UNU-GEST Fellows Visit the Supreme Court of Iceland

Yesterday, as an extra curriculum activity to the module Gender, Violence and Security, the UNU-GEST fellows visited the Supreme Court of Iceland. The group was welcomed by Gunnlaugur Geirsson, the Supreme Court’s Law Clerk, who led the group to the main court room. There, the group was briefed about the Icelandic judicial system, the history of the Supreme Court of Iceland and the recent reform of the judicial system, with the establishment of the Court of Appeal on 1 January 2018. Furthermore, Gunnlaugur introduced the history of the Supreme Court building, its architecture and art. To conclude the visit, the fellows visited the Court‘s smaller rooms including the judges‘ meeting room and the Supreme Court Presidents‘ Office.  

Saja Majdoubeh, an UNU-GEST fellow currently enrolled in Public Law in Birzeit University in Palestine, was happy with the visit which she thought was very informative and an important insight into the Icelandic judicial system. Saja’s final assignment with the UNU-GEST programme focuses on women’s rights vs. public interests where she pays a special attention to the role of supreme courts. Saja said it was interesting to hear about the role of the Supreme Court of Iceland even before Iceland became independent. Furthermore, that the visit shade light on how the Supreme Court addresses the fundamental human rights of the Icelandic population and particularly how the Supreme Court adopts the horizontal application of fundamental human rights approach, where legal complaints are made against non-state actors for not complying with human rights standards.

During the postgraduate diploma programme, the UNU-GEST fellows will visit Icelandic institutes relevant to the curriculum of the Gender Equality Studies programme.