2433.20 - Legal history

Course number
Legal history
Bachelor degree or the equivalent with adequate component of law.
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), elder and younger form of government, taking over power and the welfare society. 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. Time will also be awarded to comparative law, electoral systems and the changing forms of government for the Faroe Islands.
Learning and teaching approaches
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. -Analyse the relevance of a federal arrangement in this context, what influence monarchy and later common policy areas and international law have had on Faroese legal history. -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 citizens 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 difficult legal and philosophical challenges using comparative methods and demonstrating understanding of all relevant types of legal sources from the domestic jurisdiction as well as neighbouring countries and internationally. -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 written report counts for 1/3. The report shall be presented in class and following discussion be improved for final assessment. Oral exam shall count for 2/3. It is a precondition for the final exam that the student has passed the written report, assessed as an independent performance. One single grade is given.
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