Re: I might be moving to Canada, but not cause I want to
From what I can gather here: <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.coe.int/t/e/legal_affairs/legal_co-operation/operation_of_justice/access_to_justice_and_legal_aid/Iceland%20-%20legal%20aid%20paper.asp">http://www.coe.int/t/e/legal_affairs/le ... 0paper.asp</a><!-- m --> Legal Aid is available in Iceland (with restrictions, namely that you need a low income and you have to have a case). As such it would be wise to find a local lawyer who specialises in citizenship, nationality, and/or European law. Give them a call and see if you can get a "free initial consultation". Your lawyer should be able to tell you if you are likely to be eligable for legal aid (though will not be able to give a definite answer).
In general, smaller firms are usually more likely to give free initial consultations. Larger firms are less likely to. I don't know what your economy is doing at the minute so I can't guess what an initial consultation would cost if you go to a lawyer who charges. Roughly speaking though, one consultation = wages for two to three days work as a shop assistant or similar role.
As good news, while Iceland is not a member of the European Union it is a member of the Council of Europe. Why does that matter? Because it means Iceland must abide by the European Convention on Human Rights.
Article 6 of the Convention guarantees the right to a fair trial. This is normally taken to be relevant to criminal cases only but in civil cases (eg: the government ordering you out) it can be raised. (I once violated someone's Article 6 rights . . . I felt bad for some time!)
Article 8, depending on interpretation, can force a government to make sure parents have access to their children. If Hafdis has to remain in Iceland for education, then it could be interpreted as a breach of your Article 8 rights to make you leave.
Article 13 gives you the right to raise any issues relating to the Convention with a national court. In other words, if you think the government is trying to violate your rights, then you or your lawyer can organise a hearing in Iceland to discuss the issues.
Article 14 MIGHT offer protection but that depends on the details of your situation (nationality, ethnic background, residence, etc).
Protocol 1, Article 2 gives rights relating to parents deciding on the education their children get. This is very tenuous but as Hafdis requires education in Iceland, and you (as custodian of Hafdis) which to remain looking after her, anything that prevents you from living in Iceland prevents you from making sure she gets an education.
Protocol 4 prevents the expulsion of nationals. (The UK hasn't ratified this . . . so technically they could throw me out.)
Protocol 7 Article 1 is the big one. If foreign nationals are faced with expulsion, this guarantees them the right to fair procedures. I haven't looked this up yet, but at the very least "fair procedure" MUST include legal representation. Let me restate that: if you are a national, they are barred from expelling you. If you are a foreigner, they can expel you ONLY AFTER A FAIR PROCEDURE. Now, I'm not at this point 100% sure of what they are threatening: cutting off benefits or otherwise "encouraging" you out may be more the angle. That's why to give more clear help I need to know the specifics of that damned letter.
I am unspeakably outraged that a modern European country which is party to the Convention on Human Rights would even consider throwing a law-abiding citizen out, whether directly or by stealth, for any reason whatsoever. I find this personally insulting and shocking and I will aid you in any way possible to prevent this disgusting abuse from happening.
My reading of European Law leaves me absolutely BAFFLED as to why they would even ATTEMPT this, but if you can answer my earlier questions and translate the letter for me I can perhaps decipher what the hell they think they're playing at. It's highly possible there is something obvious in the law I have missed, or that they are attempting to cut off benefits or something along those lines - which may well be an issue more for national Icelandic law than European.
However: you and I are Europeans. I am not exagerrating in the slightest when I say that our family members and ancestors fought and died in a war to defeat fascism, give all Europeans the right to life and protection by and from the state, and not least of all gave us all the right to live wherever the bloody hell we want to.
Damned, damned I say, if some petty bureaucrat wants to ship you to Canada because he thinks you don't earn enough.
Right. Now that all that emotion and European law is out of the way (and isn't it a beautiful thing when they coincide), shall we stop with the worry and start with the kicking government ass, hmm? I am entirely at your disposal.
Ubi Dubium, Ibi Libertas
Quote:"I have suffered from being misunderstood, but I would have suffered a hell of a lot more if I had been understood."