European Human Rights
20 ECTS Credits
Level of Study
Place of Instruction
Bergen Law Faculty
Objectives and Content
The course aims to provide the students with a thorough understanding of the Council of Europe system for human rights protection, both the enforcement machinery and the substantive rights.
The course starts out with an exploration of the history and background of the Council of Europe system for human rights protection, and of the Rule of Law concept. The various Council of Europe institutions and the relationship between them are introduced. Main emphasis is put on the European Court of Human Rights: how it works, the relationship between the Court and national courts, and the Court's main challenges for the future.
The course moves on to a more detailed analysis of the Court's legal method (the principles of interpretation of the Convention), and the different ways of limiting the human rights protected are introduced.
Upon this backdrop, some of the substantive rights of the European Convention of Human Rights are given considerable attention: the right to life; the prohibition of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment; 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; and the freedom of expression.
Although the focal point of the course is the Council of Europe system for human rights protection, the students will also be introduced to some contemporary human rights discourses from other human rights systems, since such awareness and understanding will enhance the students' understanding of the Council of Europe system for human rights protection.
By the end of the course, students will have acquired general knowledge and understanding of the current status and challenges of the Council of Europe system for human rights protection.
Further, the students will be enabled to do practical work in this field by interpreting and applying the European Convention substantive human rights on new sets of facts.
And finally, the combination of an overreaching understanding of the Council of Europe system for human rights protection as a whole, and a detailed knowledge of the substantive human rights, will enable the students to make accurate, independent and critical analyses in the context of further advanced studies within the field of human rights.
Required Previous Knowledge
Three years of university studies
Recommended Previous Knowledge
Three years of law studies
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
Combined with JUS135, this course will not give any credits.
Combines successfully with
JUS276-2-A Human Rights Law: Special Focus on Economic, Social and Cultrural Rights
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 and learning methods
Teaching Methods and Extent of Organized Teaching
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
Forms of Assessment
Semester with teaching: four hour digital exam.
Semester without teaching (resit): four hour digital exam.
Exam question: 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: European Convention on Human Rights, copy supplied by the Faculty of Law (only).
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.
A - E for passed, F for failed.
Evaluation at the end of each course.
Administrative contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Course supervisor: Professor Bjørnar Borvik