Iceland

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Question Value
Legal provisions for mandatory referendums at national level
  • Yes
Legal provisions for optional referendums at national level
  • Yes
Legal provisions for citizens' initiatives at national level
  • No
Legal provisions for agenda initiatives at national level
  • No
Legal provisions for recall at national level
  • Yes
Legal provisions for direct democracy at the regional level
  • No
Legal provisions for direct democracy at the local level
  • Mandatory referendum
  • Optional referendum
Legal basis for direct democracy at the national level
  • Constitutional
  • Specific laws/legislation
Legal basis for administrative requirements at the national level
  • Specific laws/legislation
Who administers direct democracy mechanisms at the national level?
  • Government
  • Independent electoral commission
First referendum/initiative held
  • 1908
Has there been a national referendum since 1980?
  • Yes

Question Value
Issues in relation to which referendums are mandatory at the national level
  • Constitutional amendments
  • Bills passed by legislature
Issues in relation to which referendums are optional at the national level
  • Any issue of national importance
Issues excluded from being the subject of referendums at the national level
  • None
Issues of sub-national referendums regulated at the national level
  • Not specified
Who can initiate an optional referendum at the national level?
  • Legislative majority
Who drafts the referendum question?
  • Mandatory referendum - Government
  • Optional referendum - Legislature
Who decides on the final form of the ballot text?
  • Mandatory referendum - Government
  • Optional referendum - Government
Quorum requirements for a referendum to be valid
  • No quorum requirements
Requirements for a referendum to pass
  • Mandatory referendum - simple majority
  • Optional referendum - simple majority
Are referendum results binding?
  • Mandatory referendum - always
  • Optional referendum - always

Question Value
Issues that can be proposed by citizens using the initiative process at the national level
    Issues excluded from being the subject of an initiative at the national level
      Who may propose the registration of an initiative?
        Materials to accompany an application for registration
          Who determines the title of an initiative?
            What disqualifies a proposed title of an initiative?
              Who is responsible for checking the legality of initiatives?
                At which stage legality check is conducted?
                  Who decides the final ballot text when the initiative is put to a vote?
                    When does voting take place once an initiative is qualified for ballot?

                      Question Value
                      Which individuals/positions may be subject to the recall?
                      • President
                      What are the grounds for recall?
                      • Not specified by legislation
                      What restrictions are there in relation to the time period in which an individual or position can be recalled?
                      • Not specified by legislation
                      When is the recall put to the vote?
                      • Within a certain time limit
                      When does the election to replace an individual who has been recalled take place?
                      • Separately and subsequently
                      Can an individual who is the subject of a recall stand on the ballot for his/her own replacement?
                      • Not specified by legislation

                      Question Value
                      How many signatures are required to start the formal decision making stage of a direct democracy mechanism?
                        What is the deadline for collecting required number of signatures?
                          Restrictions in relation to the individuals who can sign the proposal
                            Where can proposals be signed?
                              What information must signatories provide when signing the proposal?
                                Restrictions in relation to signature collection
                                  What forms of checks are undertaken to verify signatures?
                                    Who checks the signatures?