Human Rights and Welfare Policies
10 ECTS credits
Level of Study
Autumn. Exams only in semsters with teaching.
Place of Instruction
Faculty of Law, Bergen
Objectives and Content
The overall objective of this course is to provide students with comprehensive knowledge of human rights law and its application in the area of domestic welfare policies. Health protection, education, work and social security are important aims of welfare states, supported by international human rights norms. While the content of socio-economic human rights are at the center focus, civil human rights (autonomy, liberty, privacy) are explored insofar relevant for analyses of how to balance different rights and state obligations. An important objective of the course is to strengthen the student´s ability to critically evaluate and assess domestic welfare law and policies in light of international human rights norms.
1. Good knowledge and understanding of human rights law and its underpinning values, notions of universality and relativity, state obligations
and governing principles, negative and positive aspects of state obligations, conflicting human rights in the area of welfare policies, the relationship and differences between different types of rights.
2. Very good knowledge and understanding of the nature of state obligations arising out of socio-economic human rights, the notion of ¿core content¿ of socio-economic rights, different theories and strategies to comply with socio-economic human rights and state obligations,
the duty of non-discrimination under human rights law, how to balance conflicting human rights in the field of welfare policies.
After successful completion of the course, students should be able to:
describe international and European human rights norms, their objectives, and the monitoring systems,
identify central human rights in the area of welfare policies,
explain the interplay and relationship between different human rights,
apply human rights law on domestic welfare policies,
identify and balance conflicting human rights in the area of welfare policies,
explain the nature of state obligations,
explain the notion and significance of ¿core content¿ of socio-economic human rights,
explain the notion and significance of state´s ¿margin of appreciation¿,
compare different theories and strategies to fulfil socio-economic human rights,
critically analyze and evaluate domestic welfare policies in the light of human rights law,
develop legitimate arguments in the evaluation of domestic welfare policies.
The course requirement of writing a 2000 word essay within the frame of the course will contribute significantly to the mentioned learning outcomes. Completion of this course will also improve student´s general competence in oral and written English, in academic communication and in legal argumentation in the area of human rights and welfare state law.
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
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
Mandatory paper of max 2000 words. Individually chosen topic, approved by the course supervisor.
The paper must be passed in order to sit the school exam. Students who have failed the paper will be given an opportunity to hand in a new paper prior to the final exam. The paper will be awarded a pass/no pass. No grade will be given.
Forms of Assessment
Exam only in semesters with teaching.
Four hour digital school exam.
Information about digital examination can be found here:
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: Course compendium supplied by the Faculty of Law.
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.
Combined with JUS276-2-A, this course will not give any credits.
According to administrative arrangements for evaluating courses at the Faculty of Law.
Professor Henriette Sinding Aasen.