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Sorenskriver is the title of the judge who is also the leader of tingretten (the court system). He is a government official. Earlier he had a number of other functions in addition to being a judge. Among others he had responsibility for Tinglysingen (read and recorded by the court, usually in conjunction with property). The sorenskriver was used only in the country districts. In the cities the judges were only judges and had no administrative duties.
The sorenskriver position has a long historical tradition in Norway. Way back in 1591 the regulation for a sorenskriver was introduced in the community courts. Originally the sorenskriver was not a judge but was one who functioned as an assistant and a secretary. Beginning in 1634 the sorenskriver became a judge. The law of 1687 made it so that the sorenskriver became the only judge in most court cases. The “Sorenskriveri or court” is then run by a sorenskriver or judge.
-Imsen Steinar and Winge Harald. Norsk Historisk Leksikon - Kultur og samfunn ca. 1500 – ca. 1800, pages 408-410, 2nd ed. (Oslo, Cappelen Akedemisk forlag, 2004). Accessed 19 November 2012.
-Wikipedia. ”Sorenskriver.” http://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sorenskriver. Accessed 19 November 2012.