Róbert Ragnar Spanó

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Róbert Ragnar Spanó
Judge Robert Spano.jpg
Róbert Ragnar Spanó

(1972-08-27) 27 August 1972 (age 47)
ResidenceStrasbourg, France
Alma materUniversity of Oxford, University of Iceland
OccupationJudge and Vice-President of the European Court of Human Rights

Róbert Ragnar Spanó (born 27 August 1972) is an Icelandic-Italian jurist, Judge and Vice-President of the European Court of Human Rights. Before beginning his service on the Court on 1 November 2013, he served provisionally as Parliamentary Ombudsman of Iceland[1] and Dean of the Faculty of Law,[2] University of Iceland.


Róbert was born in Reykjavík on 27 August 1972[3]. He graduated with a Candidatus Juris degree from the University of Iceland in 1997 and a Magister Juris degree with distinction in European and Comparative law from the University of Oxford (University College) in 2000.

Róbert served domestically as a deputy district court judge 1997-1998, legal advisor and then special assistant to the Parliamentary Ombudsman of Iceland 1998-2004. He was appointed Parliamentary Ombudsman in 2009 on a provisional basis and served full-time and ad hoc until 2013.

Róbert also chaired and participated in various committees and working groups, both nationally and internationally.[4]

In November 2006, Róbert was appointed a full professor of law. In September 2007 he was elected Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Iceland and was subsequently elected Dean of the Faculty, serving in that role from 2010 to 2013.[3]

His nine-year term as a Judge of the [European Court of Human Rights] began on 1 November 2013[5].

Róbert has written extensively in the fields of human rights law, constitutional law, the interpretation of statutes and criminal procedure.[6] Upon taking office in Strasbourg, Róbert has written extrajudicially on the evolution of the Convention system, the principle of subsidiarity and the rule of law. Furthermore, he is an acknowledged expert on the interplay between the Internet and human rights.

Personal life[edit]

Róbert is married and has four children.[3][7] He speaks English, French, Italian and Danish along with his mother tongue, Icelandic. Róbert was a promising amateur bowling player before he became a jurist. He won numerous competitions at home and internationally, both in individual and team tournaments.[8] Róbert is an avid singer and has won awards for his performances.[9] He is currently on a 9 year leave from the all-male choir Fóstbræður[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Robert Spano becomes the Ombudsman of the Parliament". visir (in Icelandic). 17 September 2008. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  2. ^ "Róbert Spanó verður umboðsmaður". RÚV (in Icelandic). 1 March 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "PACE - Doc. 13212 (2013) - Election of judges to the European Court of Human Rights-List and curricula vitae of candidates submitted by the Government of Iceland". Parliamentary Assembly-Council of Europe. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  4. ^ "Ýmsar breytingar í frumvarpsdrögum til nýrra umferðarlaga". Government office of Iceland (in Icelandic). 20 July 2009. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  5. ^ "PACE: News". Parliamentary Assembly, Council of Europe. 23 June 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  6. ^ "Primo by Ex Libris - Róbert Ragnar Spanó". leitir (in Icelandic). Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  7. ^ "Þú getur ekki verið ósammála ein hverju nema þú skiljir það fyrst!". www.mbl.is. 4 July 2010. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  8. ^ Háskólabókasafn, Landsbókasafn Íslands-. "Timarit.is". timarit.is (in Icelandic). Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  9. ^ Háskólabókasafn, Landsbókasafn Íslands-. "Timarit.is". timarit.is (in Icelandic). Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  10. ^ "Þriggja landa söngferð Fóstbræðra | KARLAKÓRINN FÓSTBRÆÐUR". fostbraedur.is. Retrieved 3 July 2019.