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Ministry of Justice

Act on Civil Procedure, No. 91/1991 - Excerpts

In case of any discrepancies between the original text in Icelandic and the translation, only the original text as published in the Official Gazette of Iceland (Stjórnartíðindi) is authentic. Please note as well that amendments may have been made since the translations were prepared.

Act on Civil Procedure, No. 91/1991 - Excerpts

Article 5 A judge, including an assessor, is disqualified from conducting a case if:

a. s/he is party to the case, or represents such a party,

b. s/he has guarded the rights of a party with regard to the cause of action or provided a party with guidance pertaining thereto, beyond the requirements of law.

c. s/he has testified or been required to testify on circumstances of the case for a legitimate reason, or acted as an appraiser or inspector with regard to the subject matter of the case,

d. s/he is, or has been, the spouse of the party in question, related to him/her, or connected to him/her through matrimony, by direct descent, or linked by a second generation side-branch of the family, or similarly connected by means of adoption,

e. s/he is connected or has been connected to the party's spokesman or his/her attorney-at-law pertaining to the case in such a way as outlined in section d,

f. s/he is connected or has been connected to a witness in the case in such a way as specified in section d, an appraiser or examiner, or a person who refuses to submit a piece of evidence,

g. if there are other conditions or circumstances which are likely to cast reasonable doubt on his/her impartiality.

Article 8 Hearings shall be held in open court. However whether a party demands it or not the judge may decide that hearings take place in camera if the hearing is conducted outside of the regular court house, or if he/she finds it necessary:

a.  in order to protect a party, a relative of the party, a witness, or other entity that the case  concerns,

b. because of the necessarily for a party, witness or other entity that the case concerns by maintaining secrecy regarding business interests or comparable situation,

c. because of public interest or for the interests of the state,
d. due to decency,
e. in order to maintain peace in the courtroom.

The decision of the judge about holding a hearing in camera must be recorded and it must be indicated why this decision was made.

Although a hearing is held in open court—he judge may limit the number of listeners to the number that may be accommodated at the courtroom. The judge may also deny access to those who are younger than 15 years or who are in such situation that their presence does not meet the standards for good order at a hearing.

Article 44 The judge makes a ruling on each occasion following an evaluation of the evidence that has been presented in the case, whether an allegation about a questionable incident is found to be proven, provided that prescriptions of the law do not bind the judge in any particular way regarding assessment in these matters.

Article 46 The parties gather evidence if the parties retain a certain control over the merits of the case.

According to what the judge finds to be necessary in the interests of the clarification of a case the judge may instruct the parties to obtain evidence about certain aspects of the case.

If a judge finds it obvious that a certain issue, which one party wishes to prove, does not matter, or that it does not serve any purpose to prove it, the judge may deny that party to provide the evidence.

Article 47 The gathering of evidence must generally take place with the judge who handles the case. If this is not done except by accruing significant costs or serious disadvantage the judge can decide following the request of a party that the gathering of evidence may take place before an other judge under the provisions of Chapter XI., provided that this does not lead to unnecessary delays in the processing of the case.

Article 96 In the event that the defendant does not appear before the court at the filing of the case, and it is not known that the person has acceptable reasons for staying away, in that event the case must be submitted for a final ruling and order in its present form, provided that the plaintiff did not receive a moratorium under paragraph 2 of Article 95. The case will then be judged according to plaintiff's claims and his/her presentation of the case to the extent that this is compatible with already presented evidence, unless the case has such apparent flaws that the case will be dismissed automatically.

Article 101 In the event that the defendant decides to defend his/her case and the case will not be dismissed, then the case must be processed orally before the court. The judge may however decide to have the case processed in writing, if he/she feels there is a risk that the case cannot be sufficiently clarified through oral litigation. The judge may also decide that a case will be submitted for judgment and ruling if the parties agree to this.

Article 111 The judge may not exceed the claims made by the parties in its judgment or it's ruling, unless these pertain to issues that the judge must handle ex officio. A claim that does not appear in the summons must be dismissed unless the defendant has already agreed that such claim be allowed in the case without being listed in the filing. The same applies to the raising of a claim amount, or other adjustments contrary to the interests of the defendant.

A judge may not base his/her findings on a cause of action or on objections that would have been acceptable if they had been presented, but were not, during the proceedings. In the event that an incident is mentioned in a document submitted to the court, but the party has not in particular pointed this out as a cause of action during the proceedings, in that case the judge will assess whether or not that cause of action will be taken into account.

The judge shall make an assessment whether or not the silence of one party regarding an allegation or claim made by the counterparty shall me assessed as being acceptance or not.

Article 165 Judgment must be rendered as soon as possible after a case has been submitted for final judgment and ruling, and no later than when four weeks are passed from that date. If this cannot be complied with and if the case has bee orally argued, then the oral argumentation must be repeated to the extent that the Supreme Court might find it necessary.


Disclaimer: This section of the site details available translations on legislation relating to the Government Offices in Iceland. In case of any discrepancies between the translations and the original text in Icelandic, the original text as published in the Icelandic Legal Gazette prevails.

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