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Iceland’s home-made Constitution – lessons for Scotland – Next Event

Iceland has made a steady recovery from the banking crash of 2008 which saw the country placed on the UK Terrorism Register. Slowly but surely this Nordic nation of just 300,000 people has been making sure such a crisis can never undermine the whole country again. It became clear that the 1944 Constitution (written when Iceland declared independence from Denmark), needed major revision. So a group of 25 ordinary folk was elected (from 550 self nominating volunteers) to rewrite the democratic rulebook. The Icelandic Economist Professor Thorvaldur Gylfason was involved from the outset and won the highest number of votes. The Icelandic Constitutional Council took 4 months to write the world’s newest Constitution with input by e-mail and social media (2/3s of Icelanders are on Facebook) and review by a forum of 950 randomly chosen citizens. The resulting People’s Constitution will be submitted to parliament this summer.

How did Icelanders manage to take the political initiative? What lessons can Scots learn as we embark on our own constitutional referendum process?

Committee Room 1, Scottish Parliament 6-8.30 March 29th  Hosted by the Icelandic Embassy and sponsored by the convenor of the European and External Affairs Committee, Christina McKelvie MSP.

Sign up for this Nordic Horizons event in the Scottish Parliament on March 29th hosted by the Icelandic Embassy with Professor Gylfason and other Scottish speakers to be confirmed. Writer and journalist Lesley Riddoch will chair and the usual round table discussion will follow contributions from the main speakers. Places are free but Parliamentary security means we must provide a list of those attending. For a place email Dan on nordichorizons@hotmail.co.uk. Or visit the Nordic Horizons Facebook page where you will be able to click “going” to this event soon.

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