Herdis Kjerulf Thorgeirsdottir is an Icelandic lawyer and political scientist. Dr. Thorgeirsdottir has developed an international reputation in promoting freedom of expression in an era of globalisation where the significance of large media conglomerates and big tech in shaping public opinion threatens the fundamental democratic right of imparting and receiving information on matters of public concern. She has done extensive research on freedom of the press and the protection of rights of journalists from self-censorship due to the intertwined interests of financial and political power and her work has been published internationally. Her recent focus has been on the growing impact of oligarchs and their unconstrained power in political economies outside the constitutional framework.
An attorney at law in Reykjavik since 2011. She was professor of constitutional law at Bifrost University until 2012 when she announced her candidacy for the President of Iceland. She is a member of the Venice Comnmission / the Council of Europe Commission for Democracy through Law and its First Vice President until 2019. She was on the board of trustees of ERA (European Academy of Law) in Trier from 2012 – 2015. She was the President of the European Women Lawyers Association (EWLA) from 2009 – 2013 (re-elected for two terms). She is a member of the EU Network of Legal Experts on Gender Equality since 2003. She is the founder of the “Network – Empowering Women”, large annual conferences from 2004-2010, having an impact on gender equality policy and legislation in Iceland for which she was twice nominated for the Gender Equality Price. She has given lectures on human rights, the rule of law and democracy widely and taught at the Faculty of Law at Tbilisi University in 2012. In the 1980s and early 1990s she was the founder, publisher and editor of a monthly magazine (Heimsmynd) and prior to that the 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, LLD from the Faculty of Law at Lund University in Sweden. She also has degree in law from the University of Reykjavik and is a member of the Icelandic Bar Association. She was a guest scholar at the Programme in Media and Comparative Law 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.