Iceland 1944 Constitution (reviewed 2013)


Article 35

Althingi shall convene for a regular session every year on the 1st of October or, if the day falls on an official holiday, on the following weekday, and continue in session until the same date the following year, unless the election period of Members of Althingi has elapsed earlier or Althingi has been dissolved.

The opening date of the regular session of Althingi may be changed by law.

Article 36

Althingi is inviolate. No person may disturb its peace or violate its freedom.

Article 37

Althingi shall normally convene in Reykjavik, but under special circumstances the President of the Republic may order that Althingi convene at another place in Iceland.

Article 38

Members of Althingi and Ministers are entitled to introduce bills and draft resolutions.

Article 39

Althingi may appoint committees of its Members in order to investigate important matters of public interest. Althingi may grant authority to such committees to request reports, oral or written, from officials as well as from individuals.

Article 40

No tax may be imposed, altered or abolished except by law. Nor may loans, indebting the State, be taken or any real estate belonging to the State or the use thereof sold or in any other way disposed of, except by authority in law.

Article 41

No disbursement may be made unless authorized in the budget or the supplementary budget.

Article 42

A budget proposal for the coming fiscal year, containing a report on the revenue and expenditure of the State, shall be submitted to each regular session of Althingi upon it being convened.

Article 43

The financial accounts of the State, its institutions and administrative bodies, shall be subject to an audit by, or under the supervision of Althingi, as provided by law.

Article 44

No bill may be passed until it has received three readings in Althingi.

Article 45

Regular elections to Althingi shall take place not later than at the end of the electoral term. The beginning and end of the electoral term is on the same day of the week in a month, counting from the beginning of the month.

Article 46

Althingi decides whether its Members are legally elected and also whether a Member has lost eligibility for election to Althingi.

Article 47

Each new Member of Althingi shall take a pledge to uphold the Constitution when his election has been approved.

Article 48

Members of Althingi are bound solely by their conviction and not by any instructions from their constituents.

Article 49

No Member of Althingi may be subjected to custody on remand during a session of Althingi without the consent of Althingi, nor may a criminal action be brought against him unless he is caught in the act of committing a crime.

No Member of Althingi may be held accountable outside Althingi for statements made by him in Althingi, except with the consent of Althingi.

Article 50

If a Member of Althingi loses eligibility for election to Althingi, he forfeits those rights that the election brought him.

Article 51

Ministers are entitled to a seat in Althingi and, by virtue of their office, have the right to participate in its debates as often as they may desire, but they must observe the rules of procedure. They have the right to vote only if they are at the same time Members of Althingi.

Article 52

Althingi elects a President, who presides over its proceedings.

Article 53

Althingi may not take a decision unless a quorum of more than half of its Members are present at the meeting and take part in the voting.

Article 54

Each Member of Althingi may request, subject to the permission of Althingi, information from a Minister or an answer regarding a public matter, by tabling a question or requesting a report.

Article 55

Althingi may not admit for consideration any matter unless introduced by one of its Members or a Minister.

Article 56

Should Althingi not find cause to take a decision on a given matter it can refer it to a Minister.

Article 57

Meetings of Althingi shall be held in public. Nevertheless, the President of Althingi, or the quorum stipulated by the rules of procedure, may request that all those not Members of Althingi be excluded. The meeting shall then decide whether the matter shall be debated in a public or a closed session.

Article 58

The rules of procedure of Althingi shall be determined by law.

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