This web page is part of the Guide to the Icelandic justice system for victims of sexual offences. It aims to clarify the process regarding offences against individuals 18 years and older.

About judgements

The judge notifies the parties on where and when the judgement will be delivered. An effort is made to deliver judgements within a month from the hearing.

A judgement is the court of law’s written conclusion in the case, sometimes called a ruling. Afterwards, it is published on the district court website (in Icelandic), although your name and the names of the witnesses are not published.

The judgement includes:

  • Who was charged: the name of the person; their kennitala (Icelandic ID number) or their date of birth; and their place of residence.
  • The main substance of the charge.
  • The claims made by the prosecution.
  • The main details of the case.
  • The judge’s reasoning for what is considered proven in the case.
  • The judge’s reasoning for the rulings on punishment, compensation, and litigation costs. The litigation costs are independent of your compensation claim.

Types of judgements

Now it is revealed whether the perpetrator is acquitted or must undergo punishment.


If the judgement does not end in conviction that means that the judge did not consider it possible to prove without a doubt that the offence had taken place. That does not mean that the judge does not believe you.

It can be difficult to accept that the perpetrator will not undergo any punishment and is therefore important to take care of yourself and your mental health. It’s good to get support from both your family and friends, and a therapist or counsellors at the survivor counselling centre Stígamót.


Your perpetrator has been convicted for committing the offence against you. This can help you to move on with your life, but it is also normal for all sorts of feelings to come up. It’s always important that you continue to take care of your mental health.

The judge decides on the length of sentence the convicted perpetrator must serve. The length of the sentence can depend on many things, including age, previous offences, and how likely the perpetrator is to commit another offence.

Unsuspended sentence

The defendant is sentenced to prison.

Suspended sentence

The sentencing decision is suspended on the condition that the defendant does not commit another offence during that time period. Further conditions may be imposed on the convicted party, such as that the person may not consume alcohol or other drugs.

It’s good to get support from both your family and friends, and a therapist or counsellors at the survivor counselling centre Stígamót.

More good advice?

See also

Appealing to the Landsréttur Appeal Court

An appeal means that the case is not closed here and that it continues. District court judgements are appealed to the Landsréttur Appeal Court.

The convicted party appeals

If the defendant was found guilty in the case they have four weeks to appeal.

Prosecution appeals

If the prosecutor wants to appeal the judgement, for example if the defendant is acquitted of the charge, they also have four weeks to appeal.

Director of Public Prosecutions appeals

The Director of Public Prosecutions can decide to appeal the judgement if it is determined that the perpetrator was acquitted when they should have been found guilty, or the punishment is considered too lenient.

When is the case considered closed?

The case is considered closed in the justice system when:


Judgements are usually delivered within a month from hearing.