Iceland - Judicial system
District courts are courts of first instance. There are eight district courts in Iceland, which have jurisdiction in both civil and criminal cases. Appeals are heard by the Supreme Court, consisting of nine justices (all appointed for life by the president), who elect one of their number as chief justice for a two-year term. There are special courts for maritime cases, labor disputes, and other types of cases.
The courts are free from political control. Although the Ministry of Justice administers the lower courts, the Supreme Court oversees independent and fair application of the law.
A recent reform project transferred all judicial authority for criminal and civil cases form local officials (chiefs of police) to newly established district courts. This complete separation of judicial and executive power in regional jurisdictions was completed in 1992.