Postgraduate course

Comparing Legal Cultures in Europe

ECTS Credits

10 ECTS Credits

Level of Study



Full time

Teaching semester


Place of Instruction

Bergen Law Faculty

Objectives and Content


  1. Learn to appeciate and actively use the legal cultural model as analytical tool for legal comparative analysis.
  2. Increase students understanding of the legal cultures of England, Scotland, Norway and Germany
  3. Improve your ability to communicate to members from other legal cultures and critically evaluate legal cultural challenges, developments and changes both domestically and abroad.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • identify the main structural elements and the subcategories of the legal cultural model taught at the course
  • apply the legal cultural model in order to identify similarities and differences in legal cultures in Europe and by doing so
  • comparing central features in these legal cultures.

In addition, you should be able to

  • utilise the functional and historical approach to legal comparative research in order to
  • identify,
  • describe,
  • categorise and
  • explain differences and similarities of institutionalised forms of normproduction and conflict-resolution as well as the prevailing ideal of justice, legal methods, the degree of and attitude towards professionalisation and internationalisation of law and its impacts on the English, Scottish, Norwegian and German legal culture.

Furthermore you should be able to

  • critically evaluate the narrative of different legal traditions in Europe, and
  • discuss possible solutions for but also limits of the harmonization of legal cultures in Europe.

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

Lectures and seminars.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

One paper maximum 1000 words, to be peer assessed by other students. This will not count towards the overall mark for the course but must be completed in order to be eligible to sit the exam. Papers exceeding 1000 words will not be accepted.

Forms of Assessment

Five days home exam.

Exam in teaching semesters only.

Graded scale with 5 levels from A to E for passes and F for fail, see Section 3-1 no. 2, first sentence of Studieplanen for masterstudiet I rettsvitenskap ved UiB.

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.

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

No overlap with courses at the Bergen Law Faculty.

Combines successfully with

Introductory course for exchange students ¿ Exploring the Norwegian Legal Culture. The course is not mandatory, however a good preparation for this course as it is based on the same operationalised concept of legal culture as JUS290-2-A.

In addition

JUS281-2-A Comparative Constitutional Law

JUS292-2-A Introduction to Chinese Law

JUS276-2-A Human Rights Law: Special Focus on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Assessment Semester


Resit reserved for students who have completed the formative assessment (i.e. essay and peer review process).

Course Evaluation

According to faculty routines.

Course Coordinator

Associate Professor Søren Koch.


Contact Information

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

Course leader: Professor Søren Koch

Subject lecturers: Andrew Simpson, Adelyn Wilson and Søren Koch

Exam information

  • Type of assessment: Home exam

    Assignment handed out
    23.04.2018, 09:00
    Submission deadline
    27.04.2018, 12:00
    Withdrawal deadline
    Examination system
    Digital exam