Extradition of Criminals and Other Assistance in Criminal Proceedings Act No. 13, 17th April 1984
Translated from the Icelandic
Extradition of Criminals
and Other Assistance in Criminal Proceedings
ActNo. 13, 17th April 1984
CHAPTER I Conditions for Extradition
Article 3 A person may only be extradited if the offence involved, or a comparable offence, could be punishable by more than one year's imprisonment under Icelandic law. Agreements may be made with other states concerning extradition for offences which may be punishable by [shorter periods of imprisonment] under Icelandic law.
Extradition in connection with the conduct of a court case shall only be permitted if it has been decided in the foreign state that the person whose extradition is requested is to be arrested or imprisoned for the offence in question.
1. if the punishment specified in the judgement consists of at least 4 months’ [imprisonment],1)
2. if, according to the judgement or a decision taken in accordance with an authorisation in the judgement, the person sentenced is to be placed in an institution, and the period he is to spend there may be at least 4 months.
Extradition in connection with the conduct of a court case or the execution of punishment for additional offences may be permitted even though the conditions under paragraphs 1-3 are met only in connection with one offence.
If there is reason to believe that the suspicion concerning criminal conduct, or the conclusion of a judgement under which extradition is requested, does not meet the basic principles of Icelandic law concerning reasonable suspicion of criminal conduct or legally acceptable proof of guilt in criminal cases, then extradition shall not be permitted.
Article 6 No person may be extradited if there is an appreciable risk that after being extradited, he will be subjected to injustice or persecution which is directed against his life or freedom, or is otherwise of a serious nature, on account of his race, nationality, belief, political opinions or for other political reasons.
If an investigation concerning an accused person does not result in his being indicted, he may not be extradited for the offence which was the subject of the investigation unless the conditions of the [Code of Criminal Procedure]1) for the institution of proceedings are fulfilled.
Article 10 [When the person whose extradition is requested has been sentenced to imprisonment, or, in accordance with a judgement or under the authorisation of a judgement, is to be placed, or has been placed, in an institution for an offence other than that covered by the application for extradition, he may not be extradited until he has served the term of imprisonment or been discharged from the institution.]1) No person may be extradited if proceedings are in progress in Iceland for an offence other than the one covered by the application for extradition, and to which a punishment of at least 2 years’ [imprisonment]1) may apply, or if the person is in custody or has been released on bail according to provisions established under the [Code of Criminal Procedure].2)
Extradition in connection with the conduct of a court case may, however, be permitted on condition that the person involved will be sent back to Iceland as soon as possible after the conclusion of the case.
1)Act No. 82/1998, Article 172. 2) Act No 88/2008, Article 234.
Article 11 The following conditions shall be set for extradition:
1. That the person extradited will not be made to face legal proceedings, or undergo punishment, or be extradited to a third state, for another criminal offence committed before he was extradited unless:
a. the Ministry of Justice so permits, cf. Article 20, or
2. That the case involving the person extradited may not be conducted by a temporary court or a court which is authorised only to deal with the offence involved, or with particular exceptional cases, without the permission of the Ministry of Justice.
3. That the death penalty may not be inflicted on the person extradited.
Further conditions for extradition may be set.
CHAPTER II Procedure in Extradition Cases
An application for extradition shall contain information about the nationality of the person whose extradition is requested, his address (if known) in Iceland, the nature of the offence and where and when it was committed. If there exists a description of the person whose extradition is requested, this shall be included. Furthermore, applications for extradition shall be accompanied by a copy of the legal provisions of which the offence is considered to be a violation. If there are substantial obstacles to providing a copy, then it may be regarded as sufficient to give an account of the legal provisions which are believed to have been violated.
An application for extradition in connection with the investigation of a case shall be accompanied by an original, or a certified photocopy, of an arrest warrant or other decision regarding arrest which, under the agreed arrangements, is in accordance with the legislation of the state involved and presents arguments in support of the view that there are valid reasons for suspecting the person concerned of having committed a criminal offence.
Article 13 If, on the grounds of the extradition application and the information submitted with it, the Ministry of Justice considers that the application should be rejected immediately, this shall be done.
If an application is not rejected immediately under paragraph 1, the Ministry of Justice shall send the application to the Director of Public Prosecutions, who shall be obliged to ensure that the necessary investigation is carried out immediately.
Unless otherwise provided for in this Act, the provisions of the Code of [Criminal Procedure]1) shall apply, as appropriate, to investigations and other matters concerning extradition applications.
Article 14 The person whose extradition is requested may demand the ruling of the [District Court]1)of Reykjavík as to whether the legal conditions for extradition have been met. In addition to informing the person concerned of the extradition application and the supporting arguments, the Director of Public Prosecutions shall inform him of this authorisation and of the fact that he may have a legal advisor appointed under Article 16.
A demand for a ruling shall be submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions or the Ministry of Justice not later than 24 hours after the person whose extradition is requested has been informed that the Ministry of Justice has decided to grant the extradition request. If special circumstances so recommend, the Ministry of Justice may permit a decision regarding extradition to be referred to a court even though the deadline stated above has passed.
If an order is demanded within the legally prescribed period, or if an exemption from the deadline has been granted, then extradition shall not take place until a final court ruling has been delivered.
[Article 14a In the event that the person to whom the extradition application to a state that is a member of the Schengen co-operation applies consents to the extradition, such person, moreover, may declare that proceedings may be initiated against him or he may undergo punishment in the state which sent the extradition application, for punishable offences other than those stated in the application for extradition. Such declaration is binding unless the person in question retracts his consent for extradition. The consent and declaration must be documented and approved in writing in the presence of the police, the prosecuting authority or before a court of law.]1)
1)Act No. 15/2000, Article 5
Article 15 In the course of an investigation in connection with an extradition application, the coercive measures permitted under the [Code of Criminal Procedure]1)in the investigation of comparable criminal cases may be applied. Decisions on whether the conditions exist for applying coercive measures may be based on the court decisions accompanying the applications without further investigation of the demonstration of the guilt of the person concerned.
The coercive measures mentioned above may be applied until it has been established whether extradition is to take place, and, if permitted, until it takes place. If a ruling is delivered authorising remand custody, it shall not be for a period of longer than 3 weeks. If it is considered necessary to extend the custody period, this shall be done by a ruling delivered by a court in which the person remanded in custody is present. The custody period may not be extended by more than 2 weeks at a time.
Article 16 A judge shall appoint a legal advisor for the person whose extradition is requested if the person or the Director of Public Prosecutions so requests. A judge may also appoint a legal advisor on his own initiative if he considers there is reason to do so.
Article 17 As soon as the investigation has been completed, the Director of Public Prosecutions shall send all evidence in the case to the Ministry of Justice, together with a report on the case. The ministry shall then decide on whether to authorise the extradition.
Article 18 When the Ministry of Justice has decided to grant an extradition application, extradition shall proceed as quickly as possible. If the person whose extradition is requested is not in detention, he may be arrested and remanded in custody until he is handed over, or his freedom may be curtailed in other ways according to the provisions of the [Code of Criminal Procedure].1)
Rulings on coercive measures shall not, however, be valid for more than 30 days after a final decision on extradition has been made. However, a criminal court may decide, under particular circumstances and at the request of the Ministry of Justice, that coercive measures are to be applied for a specified further period.
When a person is extradited, it may be decided that items or valuables which have been confiscated in connection with the case shall be made over to the authority which requested the extradition, providing that when such items are made over, provisos are stated, if there is considered to be reason for doing so, to protect the rights of third parties.
1)Act No. 88/2008, Article 234
CHAPTER III Other Decisions in Connection with Extradition
Article 19 In the event a person is sought by the authorities in a foreign state because he is suspected of, has been indicted for, or has been convicted of, a criminal offence which may constitute the basis for extradition under this Act, the coercive measures prescribed in the [Code of Criminal Procedure]1)may be applied to him in the same manner as if he were accused of the corresponding offence in Iceland. The same measures may be applied if the relevant authorities announce that they intend to demand the extradition of the person for the offence.
The Ministry of Justice shall be informed immediately of any decision on coercive measures. The ministry may decide that coercive measures may not be taken if it considers that no grounds for extradition exist. If the ministry does not decide that coercive measures are to be discontinued, it shall take steps to have the foreign state notified of them, and to have them discontinued if an application for extradition is not submitted at the first opportunity. If no extradition application has been received within 30 days of the sending of the notification, the coercive measures shall be discontinued. In special circumstances, this period may be extended.
Article 20 In response to a request, the Ministry of Justice may authorise the initiation of legal proceedings against a person who has been extradited under this Act, or give its consent for him to undergo punishment for a criminal offence other than the one for which he was extradited, and which was committed before the extradition. The same shall apply regarding consent to have such person extradited to a third state in connection with a criminal offence committed before extradition from Iceland.
Consent may only be granted if the person could have been extradited under this Act for the offence. The provisions of Articles 14 and 16 shall also apply, as appropriate, to the granting of such consent.
The request for authorisation pursuant to the first paragraph must contain the same information as required by the second paragraph of Article 12.Moreover, acceptable documentation that the person in question has been informed of his rights according to Articles 14 and 16, as applicable, must be included together with information on whether he wishes to take advantage of such rights.
When a court ruling is sought as to whether the legal conditions have been met, consent may not be granted until a final court ruling has been given. Such cases shall be brought [District Court]1) of Reykjavík for a ruling.
In response to a request, the Ministry of Justice may permit a temporary court or other court (cf. the second paragraph of Article 11) to address the case of a person who has been extradited, but only if it is considered that treatment by such court will not jeopardize the case.
1)Act No. 19/1991, Article 195
Article 21 The Ministry of Justice may grant permission for a person who is extradited from one foreign state to another to be transported through Icelandic territory except in cases where the provisions of Article 2 or Articles 4-6 prevent the extradition of persons from Iceland for the offence.
In the case of extradition to Denmark, Finland, Norway or Sweden, permission under paragraph 1 may be granted except in cases where the provisions of Article 2 or Article 4 of Act No. 7/1962, on extradition to those countries, prevent the extradition of persons from Iceland to the state involved.
CHAPTER IV Other Assistance in Connection with Criminal Proceedings
Article 22 In order to gather evidence for use in criminal proceedings in another state, it may be decided, in response to a request, that the provisions of the [Code of Criminal Procedure]1)shall be applied in the same manner as in comparable proceedings in Iceland.
[In the event that a request for assistance is submitted on the basis of the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters from 29 May 2000 and the protocol thereto from 16 October 2001, the legal proceedings specified by the state submitting the request shall apply provided that such proceedings do not violate Icelandic law. Requests for the questioning of witnesses or experts by telephone or teleconferencing shall be granted as far as possible. Questioning by telephone shall only be permitted if the witness or expert in question so consents.]2)
Requests shall be sent to the Ministry of Justice unless other arrangements are decided in an agreement with another state, [cf. Article 7.]2) A request shall contain information on the type of offence and where and when it was committed. Requests may only be granted if it is demonstrated that a decision has been taken on coercive measures which are in conformity with the legislation of the state involved.
[A request may not be granted if the act which it concerns, or a comparable act, is not punishable under Icelandic law or if, under the provisions of Articles 5-7, it cannot constitute grounds for extradition. The second condition contained in the first sentence does not apply to states participating in the Schengen co-operation. With respect to requests from Denmark, Finland, Norway or Sweden, the first condition of the first sentence applies only with respect to political offences.]3)
The Ministry of Justice shall immediately reject the request if the conditions of the [third paragraph]2) are not met, or if it is clear that the request can not be granted. If a request is not rejected pursuant to this paragraph, the case shall be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions for further treatment, and he shall take steps to have the necessary investigation carried out immediately.
When the investigation has been completed, the Director of Public Prosecutions shall send all the evidence in the case to the Ministry of Justice, together with a report on it. The ministry shall then decide on whether to grant the request.
If it is likely that a person residing in Iceland, who is not suspected in connection with the case, has legally acquired an item which is to be seized, then the condition for yielding him to the authorities of another state shall be that he will be returned, free of charge, when the conduct of the case is completed.
Article 23 In connection with the conduct of a criminal case in another state, the decision may be made, in response to a request, that a person who in accordance with a sentence is imprisoned or deprived of his liberty for a criminal offence shall be sent to another state for questioning as a witness or for joint questioning.
Requests shall be sent to the Ministry of Justice unless other arrangements are decided in an agreement with another state (cf. Article 6). The request shall contain accurate information about the criminal offence.
A request may not be granted if the act which it concerns, or a comparable act, is not punishable under Icelandic law or if, under the provisions of Articles 5-7, it can not constitute grounds for extradition. In addition, a request shall be rejected if the presence in Iceland of the person involved is necessary in connection with a criminal case or if there are other cogent reasons against transferring him to the other state. Particular consideration shall be given to whether transferring him is likely to lengthen the period during which he will be deprived of his freedom. In the case of requests from Denmark, Finland, Norway or Sweden, the conditions of the first sentence of this paragraph shall be replaced by the demand that extradition in connection with the act is not permitted under the provisions of Article 4 of the Act No. 7/1962 on the extradition of persons to those countries.
The Ministry of Justice shall immediately reject the request if it is clear that it can not be granted. If a request is not rejected under this paragraph, the case shall be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions for further treatment, and he shall take steps to have the necessary investigation carried out immediately.
If the person concerned does not consent to be transferred, the [District Court]1)of Reykjavík shall deliver a ruling as to whether the legal conditions for transferral have been met. When the investigation has been completed, the Director of Public Prosecutions shall send the Ministry of Justice all the evidence in the case together with a report on the entire case. The ministry shall then decide on whether to grant the request.
The condition set for the transferral of a person shall be that the person concerned shall be returned at the first opportunity, possibly within a specific period, and that while he resides in the foreign country, no investigations in a case against him shall be initiated and he shall not be punished there or extradited to another country for an offence committed before the transferral took place.
[Article 23a The authorities may negotiate an agreement to the effect that the authorities in the foreign state may send notification or documentation relating to an investigation or criminal proceedings by mail to a person in Iceland.
In the event that it is assumed that the recipient does not understand the language in which the document is written, the document or its substance must be translated into Icelandic or another language that the foreign authorities know that the recipient understands.
Notifications or documents pertaining to the case must be accompanied by information stating that the recipient can obtain information on his rights and obligations pursuant to the documents from the authorities who issued such documentation or other authorities in the state in question. The provisions of the second paragraph apply to such instructions.]1)
1)Act No. 45/2001, Article 1
[Article 23b In the event that a foreign public official participates in an investigation or criminal proceedings in Iceland, the provisions of Chapters XII and XIV of the Penal Code shall apply as appropriate.]2)
1)Act No. 82/2008, Article 234. 2) Act No 45/2001, Article 1.
CHAPTER V Final Provisions
Article 24 Appeals against rulings given under this Act may be made to the Supreme Court under the general rules of the [Code of Criminal Procedure].1)
Article 25 Agreements may be made with other states concerning the obligation to extradite persons and other assistance in criminal proceedings, with specific conditions which may not, however, be at variance with the provisions of this Act.
Without prejudice to this Act, extradition may be carried out and requests for assistance in criminal proceedings may be granted to the extent of Iceland's obligations under agreements made with other states before the entry into effect of this Act.
Extradition and other assistance in criminal proceedings shall be permitted under this Act even though Iceland is not obliged to provide such assistance under an agreement on these matters with the state involved.
Article 28 This Act shall enter into effect on 1 July 1984.