Magnus Erikssons landslag

The Magnus Erikssons landslag ('Country Law of Magnus Eriksson'), also known as simply the Landslagen ('Country Law'), was a Swedish law passed by king Magnus IV around 1341. It was the first attempt to apply a legal code to the entire nation of Sweden, replacing the previous local county laws under medieval Scandinavian law. The Country Law applied to the entire countryside, but not to the cities, which were governed according to the Stadslagen ('City Law'), which were issued in about the same time, but were separate. The Kristofers landslag from 1442, was an amended version this law, in effect in Sweden until the Civil Code of 1734.

Magnus Erikssons landslag
"Deliberate Assault" illustrated in Codex B 68 of the Magnus Erikssons landslag from 1430.

The royal oath that was stipulated in Magnus' country code said that:

The King shall strengthen, love and look after all justice and truth and shall suppress all injustice and untruth and he shall be his peasantry faithful, so that he shall not destroy any poor or rich in any way to his life or limbs without being judged according to the law and he shall not take any property from anyone without being judged according to the law.[1]

The law was divided into the following chapters (Swedish: balkar):

  • Kyrkobalken - The Church
  • Konungabalken - The King
  • Giftermålsbalken - Marriage
  • Ärvdabalken - Inheritance
  • Jordabalken - Land
  • Byggningabalken - Buildings
  • Köpmålabalken - Merchants
  • Tingmålabalken - Court
  • Edsöresbalken - Breach of Peace
  • Högmålsbalken - Capital cases
  • Dråp med vilja - Intentional homicide
  • Dråp med våda - Involuntary manslaughter
  • Såramål med vilja - Deliberate Assault
  • Såramål med våda - Accidental assault
  • Tjuvabalken - Theft


  1. ^ Ruffert, Matthias (2011). Legitimacy in European Administrative Law: Reform and Reconstruction. Europa Law Publishing. p. 118. ISBN 9789089520982.
  • Nationalencyklopedin (NE)

Further reading