Herdis Thorgeirsdottir is an Icelandic professor, lawyer and political scientist who has specialised in human rights. She announced her candidacy for the office of President of Iceland on March 30, 2012. She is the author of books in the field of human rights and constitutional law, which have been published internationally, along with articles in magazines and chapters in books. Her research has in particular been directed at civil and political rights. She has done extensive research on freedom of the press and the protection of the rights of journalists from self-censorship due to the integration of financial and political power. In addition, she has performed research in other areas of human rights and business, labour law and gender equality.
Currently, Herdis Thorgeirsdottir is an attorney at law in Reykjavik. She was appointed a Professor of Law at Bifrost University in 2004; teaching courses in constitutional law and comparative constitutional law as well as courses in business and human rights. Herdis Thorgeirsdottir is on the Board of Trustees of ERA (European Academy of Law). She is member of the European Commission for Democracy through Law/Venice Commission, where she is the chair of the sub-committee on human rights. In 2009, she was elected President of the European Women Lawyer’s Association (EWLA). She was re-elected for a second term in 2011. She is also part of the Network of Legal Experts (since 2003) that ensures that the European Commission is kept informed in relation to important legal developments in the field of gender equality at national level and the impact of these developments. She is the founder of the “Network – empowering women” large conferences in Iceland since 2004 attracting participants from every walk of life. In the 1980s and early 1990s, she was the founder, publisher and editor of Heimsmynd magazine in Iceland. Prior to that she was the founding editor of Mannlif magazine. She began her career as a journalist at Morgunbladid, a major daily newspaper in Iceland.
Herdis Thorgeirsdottir holds a Doctor Juris degree (the highest academic law degree) in Law from the Faculty of Law at Lund University in Lund Sweden. She also has degree in Law from the University of Reykjavik and is a member of the bar. She was a guest scholar at Oxford University in 1999. Earlier she earned the M.A.L.D. degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts. She received the B.A. degree in Political Science from the University of Iceland. She also studied journalism on Fleet Street in London, the United Kingdom and prior to that she had one year of psychology at the University of Aix-en-Provence.