Thorgeir Örlygsson elected Chief Justice of Iceland


Professor Thorgeir Örlygsson has been elected President of the Supreme Court of Iceland. The new President of the Hæstiréttur Íslands was educated at the University of Iceland and at Harvard University. Thorgeir Örlygsson became a Professor of law at the University of Iceland in 1987 and became Dean of Law in 1994. Subsequently, he became Permanent Secretary in the Icelandic Ministry of Industry and Trade.  
Thorgeir Örlygsson served as a Judge of the Court from 2003 to 2011 before returning to Iceland as a Justice of the Supreme Court. Thorgeir Örlygsson will take up his office as President of the Supreme Court of Iceland from 1st January 2017. The Court congratulates its former member on his election and wishes him very well as he takes up his new office.

Lunchtime talk with Dr. Erhard Busek


On 16 November 2016, Dr. Erhard Busek, the Former Vice-Chancellor of Austria gave a talk on the Balkans and its importance for the security of Europe. In his illuminating talk, Dr Busek drew on his extensive knowledge and experience of the region to map the rich interplay between ancient and modern history, and current affairs in the Balkans. He then took a number of questions from the audience which included many distinguished guests. 

Judgment in Case E-4/16 - EFTA Surveillance Authority v Norway


Judgment in Case E-4/16 - EFTA Surveillance Authority v Norway, delivered in open Court on 16 November 2016.

Order of the Court in Case E-7/16 - Míla ehf. v EFTA Surveillance Authority


Order of the Court in Case E-7/16 - Míla ehf. v EFTA Surveillance Authority, delivered on 15 November 2016.

President Carl Baudenbacher speaks at the 20th Anniversary Symposium of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea


On 6 October 2016, President Carl Baudenbacher attended the 20th Anniversary Symposium of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS). He spoke on a panel, chaired by the Vice-President of ITLOS Boualem Bouguetaia, on improving working methods in international adjudication. The other panel speakers were Judge Ronny Abraham, President of the International Court of Justice and Judge Joseph Akl of ITLOS. Panel discussants included Judges Jean-Pierre Cot, Albert Hoffmann and Tafsir Ndiaye all of ITLOS. The President also attended the solemn ceremony to mark the 20th Anniversary of ITLOS on 7 October 2016 in the City Hall of Hamburg. The ceremony was attended by more than 500 guests and included speeches given by Mr Joachim Gauck, President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr Olaf Scholz, First Mayor and President of the Senate of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, and Mr Vladimir Vladimirovich Golitsyn, President of ITLOS.

Lunchtime talk with President Sven Erik Svedman


On 19 October 2016, Mr Sven Erik Svedman, the President of the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) gave a talk on ESA and the issues currently before it. He highlighted the importance of independence and impartiality at ESA and the EFTA Court as well as the interdependence and bond between both institutions. Mr Svedman placed emphasis on ESA’s role in ensuring that citizens are aware of their rights under the EEA Agreement and continue to reap the prosperity, in terms of both social and economic benefits, from the EEA Agreement. He then went on to set out the new and important challenges faced by ESA and how ESA is tackling them before taking questions from the audience.

For the Statement of President Sven Erik Svedman please click here.

Lunchtime talk with Mr Ralf Jansen


On 28 September 2016, Mr. Ralf Jansen, General Counsel and Member of the Management Board of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), gave an introduction to the ESM and its work. He outlined the development from EFSF to ESM and explained the structure and functioning of this inter-governmental institution as a permanent crisis resolution mechanism in the euro area. His talk was followed by an insightful discussion. The EFTA Court Registry provides registry services for the Administrative Tribunal of the European Stability Mechanism (ESMAT).

President Carl Baudenbacher in Oslo


On 26 September 2016 President Baudenbacher spoke on "Current Trends in the EFTA Court's case law" at the Norwegian Bar Association. During his speech, President Baudenbacher said that the homogeneity objective which lies beneath the EEA Agreement is not a concept which can be viewed at a particular snapshot in time, but must be seen in the medium to long term. Homogeneity is also not a one way street; the ECJ, its Advocates General and the General Court have based themselves on EFTA Court jurisprudence in over 150 cases. As regards reciprocity, the President emphasised that citizens and economic operators must have equal access to the European courts in both EFTA pillars. In this context he noted that the Supreme Courts in all the three EEA/EFTA States have sent important cases to the EFTA Court in the recent past. As regards the Høyesterett, he referred to the Holship and Ski Taxi cases. Baudenbacher also stated that the struggles over the legal nature of EEA law, its effect in the domestic legal orders of the EEA/EFTA States and the scope of the EEA Agreement are basically settled. The big challenge for the Court follows from the fact that it must be able to tackle difficult questions of substantive EEA Single Market law with limited resources, "the beef", as Carl Baudenbacher called it. Examples are cases concerning the fundamental freedoms, competition and State aid law, contract law, financial markets law, banking and insurance law, intellectual property law, or internet law.

On 27 September 2016, President Baudenbacher was received by the leadership of the largest Norwegian labour union, Landsorganisasjonen i Norge (“LO”). LO President Gerd Kristiansen chaired the discussion which focused on questions of collective labour law under the EEA Agreement. Baudenbacher was accompanied by his wife, Dr. Doris Baudenbacher-Tandler, and his Head of Cabinet, Michael-James Clifton, Barrister.

Judgment in Case E-29/15 - Sorpa bs. v The Competition Authority


Judgment in English and Icelandic in Case E-29/15 - Sorpa bs. v The Competition Authority, delivered in open Court on 22 September 2016.

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