Postgraduate course

European Human Rights

  • ECTS credits20
  • Teaching semesterSpring
  • Course codeJUS276-2-B
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Resources

Semester of Instruction


Objectives and Content

First and foremost, the course focuses on the Council of Europe´s system for protecting human rights in its 47 Member States.


Firstly, the history and background of the system, its institutions and the relationship between them is explored. Main emphasis is put on the European Court of Human Rights: what is it, how does it work, its legal method, the relationship between the Court and national Courts and the Court´s main challenges for the future.

Secondly, Secondly, the substantial rights of the European Convention of Human Rights is given considerable attention: the right to life, the prohibition of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, the protection from slavery and forced labour, the right to personal liberty and security, the right to a fair trial, the right to private- and family life, the freedom of thought, conscience and religion, the freedom of expression and of assembly and association, the protection of property and the right to an effective remedy.

The European Union is emerging as an ever more important institution securing and safeguarding human rights in 28 European Union Member States. The course focuses mainly on the structural and institutional framework of the European Union human rights regime of human rights. Emphasis is also put on the relationship between the human rights protection regimes of the Council of Europe and the European Union, i.e. the relationship between the European Court of Human Rights and the European Court of Justice. In addition, some attention is drawn to the most important substantial human rights in the European Charter of Fundamental Rights and how these rights are interpreted and operationalised through the jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice.

Soon to come, the European Union will accede to the European Convention of Human Rights. A wide range of questions surfaces, which some of them will be addressed at the course. An overreaching topic in this regard is the relationship between the European Court of Human Rights and the European Court of Justice.

Learning Outcomes

Passing the course, students will have acquired thorough, in depth knowledge on the current status and challenges of European human rights.

The combination of an overreaching understanding of the European human rights regime as a whole, which interacts on several levels and detailed knowledge of the substantive human rights, will enable the students to make accurate, independent and critical analyses of current and future topics within the field.

Required Previous Knowledge

Three years of university studies

Recommended Previous Knowledge

Three years of law studies

Access to the Course

The course is available for the following students:

  • Admitted to the integrated master programme in law
  • Admitted to the two-year master programme in law
  • Granted admission to elective courses at the Faculty of Law
  • Granted additional right to study following completed master degree in law at UiB
  • Exchange students at the Faculty of Law

The pre-requirements may still limit certain students' access to the course

Teaching Methods and Extent of Organized Teaching

Lectures and seminars

Optional oral presentation, approximately 20 minutes.

Forms of Assessment

Semester with teaching: 4 hour digital school exam

Semester without teaching: 4 hour digital school exam - resit

Information about digital examination can be found here:


A - E for passed, F for failed.

Exam language:

  • Question paper: English
  • Answer paper: English

Support materials allowed during school exam:

See section 3-5 of the Supplementary Regulations for Studies at the Faculty of Law at the University of Bergen.

Special regulations about dictionaries:

  • According to the Regulations for Studies, one dictionary is permitted support material during the examination. Bilingual dictionaries containing for example both Norwegian-English and English-Norwegian are considered as one dictionary.
  • Bilingual dictionaries to/from the same two languages - for example Norwegian-English/English-Norwegian - in two different volumes are also considered as one dictionary (irrespective of publisher or edition).
  • Dictionaries as described above cannot be combined with any other types of dictionaries.
  • Any kind of combination which makes up more than two physical volumes is forbidden.
  • In case a student has a special need for any other combination than the above mentioned, such combination has to be clarified with/approved by the course coordinator minimum two weeks before the exam. Students who have not been granted permission to have a special combination minimum two weeks before the exam will be subject to the usual regulations (Section 3-5) about examination support materials.

Subject Overlap


Combines successfully with

Assessment Semester


Course Evaluation

Evaluation at the end of each course.

The teachers evaluate themselves, in addition the students are asked to fill out evaluation forms anonymously.


Contact Information

Administrative contact: elective-courses@jurfa.uib.no

Course leader: Prof. Dr. Jon Petter Rui

Subject lecturers: Prof. Dr. Jon Petter Rui, Associate Prof. Dr. Bjørnar Borvik and Prof. Dr. Jørgen Aall