The Supreme Court of Iceland was founded under Act No. 22/1919 and held its first session on 16 February 1920. The Court holds the highest judicial power in Iceland, where the court system has two levels. The Court was housed at first in the Old Penitentiary Building on Skólavördustígur in Reykjavík, but from 1949 it resided in the former court building on Lindargata. The Minister of Justice dug the first spade of ground for the new Courthouse of the Supreme Court of Iceland at Arnarhóll on 15 July 1994, laid the cornerstone of the building on the Court’s 75th anniversary, 16 February 1995, and handed it over to the Court for use on 5 September 1996.
The architects of the Courthouse are Margrét Hardardóttir and Steve Christer of Studio Grandi, Reykjavík. Their design won the first prize in a competition held in 1993 for a new Supreme Court building, where the selection committee received 40 entries.