Governance in Iceland at a Glance
Iceland is a parliamentary representative democratic republic. The National government of Iceland is responsible for establishing laws and regulations and providing government services related for example to justice, healthcare, infrastructure, employment, and secondary and university level education.
Local authorities in municipalities also establish regulations while providing services for citizens who reside within their districts such as preschool and primary school education, social affairs and child protection services, and other services related to community needs.
According to the Icelandic constitution, the state is based on branches of government, the legislative, the judicial, and the executive.
Parliament (Alþingi) is defined as the legislative branch. The coalition of elected officials who sit as Ministers (Ríkisstjórn) are the Executive branch. District, Appeals and the Supreme Court (Dómskerfi) make up the Judicial branch.
There are two levels of governance in Iceland, the federal or state government and municipalities. Elections for national elections and local elections are held separately. Local elections are held every four years, residents elect their representatives to the local government to oversee the implementation of local democracy. National elections are generally held every four years unless the ruling coalition should dissolve an alliance and call for elections.
The president of Iceland is elected by the nation in a direct election. While the president is the official head of state it is a largely ceremonial office that serves as a diplomat and figurehead.
Alþingi is the national parliament of Iceland. It is the oldest surviving parliament in the world, founded in the year 930. The Icelandic constitution clearly demonstrates that Icelandic government is democratic.
Ministries, headed by ministers, are responsible for the implementation of the legislative power.
The role of the police force in Iceland is to protect and serve the public. Police in Iceland work to prevent violence and crime, they investigate and solve cases of criminal offences. In Iceland the public is obliged to obey instructions issued by the police.