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Sysselmann/Sýslumaður is a Norwegian, Faroese and Icelandic title of local government. It was used during the Middle Ages as a noble title. A sysselmann sometimes assigned fiefs to a lensmann.[1]

In Norway, the term sysselmann has been revived twice in modern times as a special form of local government. The Governor of Svalbard now holds the title, and the Governor of Erik the Red's Land held the title from 1931 to 1933.

On the Faroe Islands, the title has been in use since the Middle Ages; there are currently three sysselmann there.[2] They are tasked as the head of the police in their district (Syssel/Sýsla), and also administer the local grindadráp.

The English version of this word is sheriff.


  1. ^ Mikael Berglund, Cross-border Enforcement of Claims in the EU: History, Present Time and Future, ISBN 9041128611, 2009, page 101
  2. ^ (only the headline is there and one sentence, the article of the national Faroese radio has been removed due to new website, but the sentence tells it: Tríggir sýslumenn í staðin fyri seks. In English: 3 sysselmann instead of 6)