Bátsbandið Bátshaldsskipan føroyinga fyri 1865 og rættarstøði hennara



Published Jan 1, 1993
Andras Mortensen


'Bátsbandið' is the common word for the old (unwritten) Faroese customary law system of keeping large fishing boats for winter fishing. Within this system certain boatowners had at any time at their disposal the requisite number of men for their boats. In return the crew had certain rights opposite the boatowner. After the introduction of the first Danish constitution in 1849, and when later the Faroe Islands got free trade, the system came into conflict with the spirit of the time, and in 1865 it was abolished by law. In the article the legitimacy of the system is examined. The source material points out that the origin of the system was connected with the landed property of the original farms, which in the course of time had been divided into 'býlingar', i.e. groups of houses built on the building ground of the original farms, and thus we deal with a relict of the oldest customary law system of the Faroe Islands. In some villages the original boat keeping system remained until the day of abolition. In other places it was gradually adapted to the ideology of the Danish absolute monarchy 1660-1849, whose representatives dominated the Faroese administration of justice.

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