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Faculty of Law

Strategy 2011-2015

The vision of the Faculty of Law is to be a nationally leading and internationally recognised institution of research and education through a clear profile and well-defined quality objectives.

Adopted by the faculty board 14 December 2010


Our societal tasks

1: To educate candidates for degrees in law and to equip them with a methodological and ethical consciousness that will enable them to solve complex legal issues and societal tasks in an independent, unbiased and morally irreproachable manner in a national and international labour market.

2: To conduct legal research and exert influence on legal developments at a high international level in a learning environment that includes students and ph.d. candidates, and to develop new and existing academic environments to reach the forefront of research.

3: To disseminate high-level research and knowledge and to be a central participant in discussions pertaining to societal issues.

The Faculty sees itself as having a particular responsibility for offering knowledge and special expertise to public administration, courts of law, national and international institutions and organizations.


Value-based foundation

Our societal tasks demand that the Faculty and its governing bodies set long-term priorities based on high ethical standards. The Faculty will promote scientific and academic ideals in all its activities in order to make clear how these ideals represent a necessary form of competence in society. The Faculty considers that one of its central tasks is to provide academic leadership predicated on the principle of academic freedom and autonomy.

The Faculty will conduct research and teaching that can contribute to a stable and well-developed foundation of values in all societal processes that involve the regulation and application of law. It is the duty of the Faculty to allocate resources to research pertaining to fundamental problems and issues in order to promote autonomy, long-term viability and quality assurance in research on basic societal systems and processes. The Faculty also wishes to collaborate with public institutions on research that is of mutual use and thus achieve synergy effects.

The Faculty recognises the intrinsic value in further enhancing the competence of all its employees, and in increasing competence transfer and cooperation between administrative and academic staff members. The Faculty shall have a secure and attractive working environment for all employees. It will work to achieve optimal utilization of resources through predictability and active cooperation between staff and student employees within research and teaching. An attractive working environment entails, among other things, meeting places based on academic activities, which also help develop a sense of social belonging.

 

Research


Primary and long term objective

The Faculty will develop a qualitatively strong academic research profile, thus enabling the Faculty to become more visible as a contributor at the forefront of national and international research. Particular emphasis will be placed on areas of commitment in which the Faculty, with its present size and established network, has a good basis for rapid growth and the opportunity to develop concentrated academic environments.


Subsidiary objectives and measures to attain both primary and subsidiary objectives:

The Faculty will strive to provide the individual researcher with stable framework conditions and a predictable career path, so as to ensure good opportunities for optimal professional development. This can be achieved in several ways, including scheduling to permit more uninterrupted blocks of time for research, support so as to facilitate the researcher's participation in the international debate pertaining to law, and personal follow-up so as to enable visions to be realized in accordance with the main objectives and values of the Faculty.

The Faculty will give priority to long-term enhancement of resources for these specialized areas:

  • Criminal law and criminal procedure, with the aim to further develop a leading international research environment, including active exchange of competence between the research environment and institutions associated with the police, prosecuting authorities and courts of law.
  • Competition and market law, with special development of competence in EU- and EEA-related law so as to become a powerhouse in the development of a national, interdisciplinary competence centre, in collaboration with central partners in the region.
  • Law of property and obligations, with the aim to develop high-quality specialist communities that the Faculty wishes to prioritise, so as to ensure targeted recruiting to an community that meets several of the quality criteria in the strategy plan.

The Faculty will continue to pursue the existing Democracy and Rule of Law commitment area during the initiative period leading up to 2013. Through this effort, the Faculty will achieve synergy effects with other robust research communities in the fields of human rights, administrative law, and environment and development research. It is a further aim that the Democracy and Rule of Law effort should remain an important area of commitment at UiB in accordance with the University's quality criteria. The Faculty will work to ensure this, provided that the responsibility for coordination continues to be delegated to the Faculty and that local synergy effects can be achieved by maintaining this responsibility.

Resources and strategic support may also be allocated to other academic environments to ensure more long-term development during the course of the plan period, provided the academic environment has documented notable indicators of growth and quality.

Indicators of growth and quality reflect that the academic environment has:

  • researchers with doctoral degree-level competence in the specialist area, who have produced high-level research and have displayed the capacity and will to manage a research environment and develop or recruit researchers.
  • one or more concepts for major research projects in collaboration with attractive partners that can generate external financing within a relatively brief period of time.
  • received research grants and/or has robust, active collaborative relationships, internally and externally, which can contribute towards an enhanced position of the research environment, nationally or internationally.
  • other indicators of rapid growth and recognition that provide grounds to believe that the environment can become a leader in its area of research in the course of a relatively brief period of time, or in the course of an externally funded project period. This may include national or international assessments of the research environment, the quality of research and the quality of active collaborating partners.

In the evaluation of whether an academic environment qualifies as a commitment area, great emphasis is placed on whether the environment has the capacity and will to assume responsibility for quality assurance and further development of the faculty's teaching.


Measures to achieve the primary objective and subsidiary objectives

  • Systematic recruiting to the academic environments, including the establishment of earmarked positions.
  • Active management on the part of the faculty leadership in the form of allocated resources contributing to further network-building and dissemination of research results.
  • Active management on the part of the faculty leadership in developing career paths and research management competence for central persons in the academic environments in question.
  • Compensated release from teaching hour-for-hour for persons with doctoral degree-level competence, so that, in dialogue with the management, they are enabled to make a concentrated effort with regard to project development.
  • A new action plan for dissemination during the next plan period. The action plan will focus on measures which enable the promotion of international activity and international publication.

One or more of the above-mentioned measures shall ensure that the faculty, in the course of the plan period, has a well-qualified candidate to apply to the Research Council of Norway for funding for a Centre of Excellence.

Teaching, particularly in the compulsory subjects in the study model, is the core of the faculty's financing. The faculty leadership will work to ensure that the academic environments promote research-based teaching. Furthermore, matters are to be arranged so as to ensure research and recruiting that actively involves students. This can be done by having talented students actively participate in research communities and in the Faculty’s ongoing research projects during the course of their study. Participation of this kind can be stimulated through an increased offer of student stipends.

 

Education


Primary and long term objective

The Faculty will develop its study programme academically, pedagogically and administratively, with an aim to provide teaching with a clear research-based profile, a targeted focus on the relationship between the national and the international, and a quality of study equivalent to that offered by the foremost international places of learning.


Measures to attain the primary objective

The Faculty shall:

  • ensure that research-based teaching is provided at a high academic and pedagogical level by scholars in the Faculty's research environments, based on research results and the ideals of legal scholarship.
  • ensure a study programme with clear internal consistency and progression, both academically and pedagogically. Special emphasis is to be placed on methodology, jurisprudence, ethics and values in law.
  • ensure that the study programme comprises the international as well as the national perspective.
  • ensure that teaching in all compulsory subjects to the greatest extent possible is provided by researchers with competence at the ph.d. level or higher. It must be ensured that there are several senior staff members in permanent positions available to supervise courses in each compulsory subject at all times.
  • arrange matters so that an LLM programme is established during the course of the plan period.
  • take measures to ensure that talented master’s degree students are made aware of academic positions as potential career paths.
  • ensure that ph.d. candidates are able to carry out their research tasks in attractive academic environments, and offer research training that allows for autonomy, flexibility and scientific creativity.


Measures to achieve the primary and subsidiary objectives

The Faculty management will facilitate, and can provide financial support for, course supervisors to develop teaching based on their own research activity. Such allocation of funds requires the establishment of combined teaching and research teams which include the course supervisor. The supervisors must have a long-term academic and pedagogical perspective on how to develop the teaching in the subject in question.

The Faculty will implement systematic, long-term quality-enhancing teaching measures, based on evaluations from students and staff members.

The Faculty will arrange for academic employees with ph.d. level competence or higher to be enabled to concentrate for brief periods on research-based development projects related to teaching.