The Constitutional Committee and the National Forum

Under the Act on the Constitutional Assembly, the Althingi was to elect a seven-man Constitutional Committee, which was entrusted with a threefold task, as follows. 

  1. To prepare and hold a National Forum on issues relating to the Constitution and to process the information obtained and present it to the Constitutional Assembly.
  2. To see to the collection and processing of the available data and information on constitutional issues that could be of use to the Constitutional Assembly.
  3. To present ideas to the Constitutional Assembly, when it met, regarding amendments to the Constitution.

The National Forum was held on 6 November 2010 and was attended by 950 representatives chosen at random from the National Register. The principal conclusions of the meeting and the views expressed were divided into eight categories intended to clarify the matters to which the participants attached the greatest importance as values and principles to be expressed in a new Constitution: integrity; democracy; human rights; Iceland’s natural environment and its protection and utilisation; peace and international collaboration; the distribution of power, accountability and transparency; justice, welfare and equality, and the country and its people.

The committee submitted a two-volume report to the Constitutional Council when it met. The first of these covered the National Consultative Meeting of 2010 and its conclusions, the alternatives available regarding amendments to the Constitution and other surveys and reports. The second volume contained notes on the provisions of the Constitution, a discussion of amendments and a summary of the constitutions of various other countries.