2839.19 - Legal History

Course number
Legal History
Upper secondary education or the equivalent.
To give insight into the Faroese legal history (laws and court system) – emphasising finding and understanding older Faroese legal sources, and how the legal order in the Faroe Islands has evolved from the Althing to the present day order.
The course starts with looking at the King’s Book, the oldest surviving Faroese Collection of Law, and placing it in the international context both historically and legally. Progressively further such sources will be examines that shed light on periods and trends, including global legal history, Nordic legal history, the Old Covenants (monarchy in the west), elder absolutism (feudal period), enlightened absolutism (reforms and funds), democracy (parliament reconvened), democracy (influence and limitations), second world war (interim constitution). Emphasis shall be on examination of various concepts and contexts of relevance to the various themes, including the customary courts and ancient legislation in Norse tradition, as well as describing the Faroese traditional village as a jurisdiction per se in addition to the superior institutions above and how these institutions interacted. Examples will continuously be used from the Thing Books, and other official records. In further developments, other trends such as absolutism, fysiocratism and modernisation will be look at, and their influence on the Faroes studied.
Learning and teaching approaches
Approx. 40 hours. The teaching shall be organised as lectures and exercises in addition to student presentations. A special component is the written report that shall be improved following presentation.
Learning outcomes
The students shall be able to: -Describe Faroese laws and courts in historical context emphasising trends and periods. -Demonstrate the ability to find, read and understand older legal sources. -Describe the relevant methods and challenges of interpretation regarding various historical periods, including the importance of dynamic practise and various forms of custom. -Describe basic and special powers and rights of the institutions and citizen of the Faroe Islands historically. -Explain the authority and practice of various dispute resolution institutions and the oppurtunity to make use of them. -Explain the importance of constitutional changes in Norway, Denmark og elsewhere for institutions and systems in the Faroe Islands. -Analyse the development that can be seen or expected in various fields, where legal history is pertinent. -Present and pursue arguments in a balanced manner with an understanding of the differing philosophical trends, varying interests and scopes of interpretation, and developments of various legal fields. -Present and pursue arguments with an understanding of the practical importance of the various periods, customs and evolved practises. -Presenting and formulating knowledge and arguments professionally and eloquently marked by clear organisation and context.
Assessment method
A 4 hour written exam accounts for 2/3 of the grade, while a multiple choice exam half-way through the course counts for 1/3. It is a precondition for the final exam that the student has passed the multiple choice exam, assessed as an independent performance. One single grade is given. The student will have access to the internet, course material and other materials from the classes.
Marking scale
Ditlev Tamm, Retshistorie - Danmark, Europa, globale perspektiver, [Legal history – Denmark, Europe, global perspectives] Jurist- og Økonomforbundets Forlag, 2 útg. 2005, and Erling Isholm & Bárður Larsen: Materials for Legal History. Available on Moodle prior to teaching sessions.
Bárður Larsen