Umboðsmaður og fólkaræði

Translated title of the contribution: Ombudsman and democracy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This note takes a critical look at the Faroese Ombudsman institution. Most authors seem only to have descriptive ambitions when dealing with the Ombudsman. The institution is originally Swedish but the later Danish version of it has become the leading Danish legal export, though only selected elements have been adopted by the importing jurisdictions. Contrary to popular perception, this institution became, as some jurists had predicted, a cross between a supreme administrative authority and an administrative court. In essence, the Danish Ombudsman has developed a kind of administrative equity through his practice thereby supplanting the role of the courts in developing the law during the rise of the administrative state. Though the institution’s record in Denmark is in many ways impressive, the awesome authority it now commands stems more from the deference given to it by Parliament, courts and academics than from the persuasive nature of the ‘decisions’ that are treated as incontrovertible. This is even more so in the Faroe Islands where the secret election of the Ombudsman, the enigmatic recommendations issued, the court-like approach to cases, and the mechanical reliance on Danish precedent makes the authoritative position of the Ombudsman institution undeserved. This is yet another example of the broken spirit of the Faroese in intellectual matters, unable to build an institution of their own through careful analysis of their own needs.
Translated title of the contributionOmbudsman and democracy
Original languageFaroese
Pages (from-to)57-67
Number of pages11
JournalFøroyskt lógarrit
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • Ombudsman
  • law
  • Faroe Islands
  • Denmark


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