Student Pages
Postgraduate course

Health and Human Rights in the Welfare State

Main content

ECTS Credits

10 ECTS Credits

Level of Study



Full time

Teaching semester


Place of Instruction

Bergen Law Faculty

Objectives and Content

Health protection, human rights and rights of patients and vulnerable groups in society are essential aspect of modern welfare state law. In this course, the right to health and health-related rights are explored in depth, including reproductive rights, with a particular focus on the European human rights instruments, institutions and case-law. Individual rights as well as governmental responsibilities with regard to various health-related issues are discussed. The objective is to give the student knowledge and understanding of the background and content of European human rights law in this regard. The European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR) and relevant case-law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) will be analysed, in addition to other European human rights instruments and monitoring bodies, such as the European (revised) Social Charter (ESC) and Committee (CESC). International treaties and sources will be included in order to supplement the European legal sources. State practice and examples from national law will be introduced in order to illustrate human rights challenges, dilemmas and possible solutions within the human rights framework, e.g. with regard to access and non-discrimination, the right to life, individual autonomy, euthanasia and abortion.

Learning Outcomes

The course should provide the students with good overview and knowledge of the human rights sources in the field of human health, as well as training in human rights discourse and argumentation both orally and in writing in this particular field of the law. Students should obtain good understanding of what the human right to health implies in terms of legal entitlements, duties and responsibilities, and good understanding of the related issues of non-discrimination, autonomy and privacy in this context. In addition, insight in how to arrive at reasonable and balanced decisions when different human rights are in conflict, e.g. the right to health versus the right to reject treatment , and understanding of how the law should protect individuals not able to make autonomous healthcare decisions, are expected learning outcomes.

Required Previous Knowledge

Three years of university studies.

Good English.

Recommended Previous Knowledge


Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap

No overlapping with courses at the Bergen Faculty of Law.

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
  • Admitted to the master¿s programme in sustainability
  • 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 and learning methods

Lectures and seminars.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance


Forms of Assessment

Exam only in semesters with teaching.

Part one: Graded home exam. Part two: Four hour digital school exam. Information about the home exam will be posted in Mitt UiB.

Separate grades will be awarded for the two parts of the examination. In the final grade, the home exam and the school exam will both count 50%. A prerequisite to sit the school exam is that the home exam is passed.

Resit of school exam only when home exam is passed. Resit is held in August/January.

Information about digital examination can be found here:


Exam language:

  • Question paper: English
  • Answer paper: English

Examination Support Material

Support materials allowed during exam:

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

In addition:

  • Exam compendium. Only the version that is made available by the Faculty, or previously allowed versions for exam use.
  • Folkerettslig tekstsamling (Buflod, Sannes, Aasebø)
  • Global and European Treaties (Fauchald/Tuseth (red))


  • Global and Regional Treaties (Fauchald/Tuseth (red))

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.

Grading Scale

A - E for passed, F for failed.

Course Evaluation

According to administrative arrangements for evaluating courses at the Law Faculty

Course Coordinator

Professor Henriette Sinding Aasen.


Course teacher: Professor Henriette.Aasen@uib.no">Henriette Sinding Aasen

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

Exam information

  • For written exams, please note that the start time may change from 09:00 to 15:00 or vice versa until 14 days prior to the exam.

  • Type of assessment: Home exam and written examination

    Withdrawal deadline
    Examination system
    Digital exam
    • Exam part: Home exam

      Assignment handed out
      Submission deadline
      05.05.2023, 13:00
      Examination system
      Digital exam
    • Exam part: Written examination

      06.06.2023, 09:00
      4 hours
      Examination system
      Digital exam