The Defence Act

The Defence Act

Defence Act No 34/2008. The Defence Act applies to the administration of defence matters within Icelandic territory as well as the co-operation and relations of Icelandic state authorities with foreign states, military authorities and international security and defence organisations. The Act does not apply to government matters that are civil in nature, such as policing and civil defence.

The objectives of this Act are as follows:

  1. to define the powers of Icelandic state authorities regarding defence matters
  2. to define the limits between defence matters and civil activities pertaining to policing  and internal state security;
  3. to differentiate between policy formulation and implementation in matters of defence;
  4. to facilitate democratic controls of defence-activities.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs is the central authority for defence and in charge of the implementation of this Act. The Minister for Foreign Affairs formulates defence policy within the framework of this Act and is responsible for the performance of a threat assessment regarding defence. The Minister is also responsible for the formulation and implementation of Iceland's Security and Defence Policy on the international arena and represents the Government of Iceland in relations and co-operation with foreign states, military authorities and international security and defence organisations, including the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

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