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Icelandic Online Dictionary and Readings

Carry On Icelandic: Culture [selections] (2004)

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Lýđrćđisríki - A Democratic State

Lýđrćđisríki

Ísland er lýđrćđisríki sem byggir á ţingrćđi og hefđbundinni ţrískiptingu valdsins.

Löggjafarvaldiđ er í höndum Alţingis, en svo nefnist löggjafarsamkundan. Til setu á ţví eru valdir 63 fulltrúar í almennum kosningum á fjögurra ára fresti.

Međ framkvćmdarvald fara forseti og ríkisstjórn sameiginlega.

Color photograph

Bessastađir um jól (Bessastađir at Christmas time)

Dómskerfiđ mynda tvö dómstig, hérađsdómar og Hćstiréttur. Öll mál fara fyrir dómara í hérađi en vilji ađilar ekki una úrslitum má áfrýja ţeim til Hćstaréttar. Dómarar dćma í öllum málum á Íslandi, einn dómari í hérađsdómum (ţrír ef sérstök ástćđa ţykir til) og ţrír í Hćstarétti (fimm ef sérstök ástćđa ţykir til). Auk ţessara dómstiga er starfandi félagsdómur, en til hans má kćra mál sem rísa af ágreiningi stéttarfélaga og vinnuveitenda. Ákvörđunum hans má vísa til Hćstaréttar.

Forseti hefur mjög lítiđ formlegt vald. Hann undirritar öll lög og reglugerđir og hefur vald til ađ neita ţví. Ef ţađ gerist er máliđ boriđ undir ţjóđaratkvćđi, en ţađ hefur aldrei gerst í sögu lýđveldisins.

Til ađ hćgt sé ađ mynda ríkisstjórn verđur sá sem fer međ umbođ til stjórnarmyndunar frá forseta (oftast fráfarandi forsćtisráđherra eđa formađur stćrsta flokksins) ađ tryggja sér fylgi meirihluta ţingmanna. Ţar sem enginn flokkur hefur nokkurn tíma náđ meirihluta á Alţingi eru flestar ríkisstjórnir samsteypustjórnir tveggja eđa fleiri flokka.

A Democratic State

Iceland is a democratic state based on a representative government and the three traditional branches of power.

The legislative power is in the hands of the Alţingi or Parliament, called the legislative assembly. Sixty-three representatives are elected to sit in it by general elections every four years.

The executive power resides jointly with the President and the national government.

The judicial power is comprised of two judicial levels, the District Court and the Supreme Court. All cases go before a judge of the District Court, but a party who is not satisfied with the outcome may appeal to the Supreme Court. Judges in Iceland do adjudicate in all matters, one judge in the District Court (three if the matter is felt to be of special importance) and three in the Supreme Court (five if the matter is felt to be of special significance). In addition to these judicial levels, hearings are held in the Labour Court, to which one may bring a case that arises from a dispute between a trade union and an employer. Its decisions may be referred to the Supreme Court.

The President holds restricted formal authority. He gives his assent to all laws and regulations and has the power to refuse to do so. If assent is withheld, the matter is put to a referendum: this has not yet happened in the history of the Republic.

To form a new government, the one who has the authority from the President to form a government (most often the exiting Prime Minister or the leader of the largest party), must obtain the support of the majority of the parliamentarians. As no party has, at any time, obtained a majority of the Parliament, most governments are formed by coalition of two or more parties.

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