Postgraduate course

Human Rights Law: Special Focus on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

  • ECTS credits20
  • Teaching semesterAutumn
  • Course codeJUS276-2-A
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Resources

ECTS Credits

20 ECTS Credits

Level of Study



Full time

Teaching semester


Place of Instruction

Bergen Law Faculty

Objectives and Content

In this course, economic, social and cultural human rights as formulated in international human rights instruments are in focus. The International Convention of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, etc, will be examined. What characterize the protection and content of socio-economic human rights, and how are they related to civil and political rights? Understanding of the human rights legal framework, the interrelatedness of different human rights, as well as understanding of the various human rights actors in relation to socio-economic rights (including non-state actors), is essential. An important part of the course is to examine state obligations following from various human rights instruments with regard to socio-economic human rights, e.g. with regard to health, education, adequate standard of living, social security. The course also offers insight into domestic comparisons when it comes to the implementation and fulfilment of socio-economic rights. The duty of non-discrimination is essential, as well as understanding of the tripartite state obligations (respect, protect, fulfil) in the context of socio-economic rights, and with regard to different groups. In particular, the course addresses problems for vulnerable groups, e.g. women and children, with regard to the enjoyment of socio-economic rights. In addition to substantial analysis of the content of various socio-economic rights, the course offers knowledge about the cultural dimensions of the human rights framework: what does it mean that human rights are "universal¿? How do culture and traditions come into play? What are the responses to human rights from different cultural perspectives?  

The course consists of lectures and paper sessions. Student participation in class discussion are expected. An individual paper (max 2000 words) must be submitted for evaluation and approved prior to the exam, as part of the final grade.

Learning Outcomes

The course will enable the students to analyse, discuss and make decisions concerning basic socio-economic human rights, such as the rights to health, social services, education and work. An important objective is to train students in human rights argumentation in the field of socio-economic rights, e.g. with regard to the state obligations of non-discrimination and implementation of socio-economic rights in national laws and practices. The students should be able to analyse and solve legal problems in national law in light of the human rights instruments, discuss methodological issues, be able to present legal arguments in a balanced and reasonable way as well as discussing the overall human rights perspectives, both orally and in writing.

Required Previous Knowledge

Three years of university studies.

Good English

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


Compulsory Assignments and Attendance


Forms of Assessment

Exam only in semesters with teaching.

Four hour digital school exam.

Resit is held in August/January.

Information about digital examination can be found here:


A - E for passed, F for failed.

Exam language:

  • Question paper: English
  • Answer paper: English

Examination Support Material

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.

In addition:

- Exam compendium. Only the version that is made available by the Faculty, or previous allowable versions for exam use.

- Folkerettslig tekstsamling (Buflod, Sannes, Aasebø)

- Global and European 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.

Subject Overlap

Combined with JUS360 this course generates no new credits.

Assessment Semester

Exam only in semesters with teaching.

Course Evaluation

According to administrative arrangements for evaluating courses at the Law Faculty.

Course Coordinator

Professor Henriette Sinding Aasen.


Contact Information

Course teacher: Professor Henriette Sinding Aasen

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