Student Pages
Postgraduate course

Comparative Private Law - Master

Main content

ECTS Credits


Level of Study

Master level

Teaching semester


Place of Instruction

Faculty of Law, University of Bergen

Objectives and Content

Master Students are introduced to comparative law as a method of legal enquiry, which is significant to the cosmopolitan lawyer who requires knowledge of more than one legal system.

Students consider the practical aims and theoretical underpinnings of the comparative legal method and examine how the process of comparing laws has moved from a pure descriptive analysis into a normative evaluation.

Throughout the course they are made familiar with a methodology based on comparison, namely the measurement of the impact of legal reforms, and become able to understand its critical aspects.

Emphasis is placed on the current use of the comparative method by global actors such as the International Financial Institutions (World Bank, IMF, EBRD) and the European Union to promote national legal reforms for a better and sustainable economic performance based on the Rule of Law.

Learning Outcomes


On successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • understand the main aspects of the distinction between common law and civil law legal systems (role of legal interpretation, law-making process)
  • understand the reasons for pursuing, and the factors of resistance against, legal harmonization of private laws
  • analyse the impact of comparative law from comparative and international perspectives, and in the context of social and cultural diversity
  • identify possible advantages and/or factors of resistance in a course of national legal reform based on abstract models driven by international institutions


On successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • recognize the different role played by judicial interpretation in the civil law and common law based legal systems
  • apply a methodology based on an evaluation of effectiveness of legal reforms in the field of economic laws
  • apply comparative law methodology to complex problems/issues

General competence

On successful completion of the course, students

  • will be able to participate in discussions concerning the role of comparative law in the making of legal reforms
  • will be familiar with the use of comparative law made by international institutions to propose best models for updating private and commercial laws
  • will acquire a firm understanding of the role played by the Rule of Law as a general standard in the process of harmonization of national legal systems

Required Previous Knowledge

Three years of law studies

Recommended Previous Knowledge

Good level of English language

Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap

In combination with JUS358 Comparative Private Law, JUS278-2-A Comparative Private Law or JUS2304 Comparative Private Law this course generates no new credits.

The course combines well with

Access to the Course

The course is available for students:

  • admitted to the five-year 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¿s 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 in-class discussion

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance


Forms of Assessment

Four-hour digital school exam.

Information about digital examination can be found here:


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.

Assessment Semester


Reading List

The reading list will be ready 1 July for the autumn semester.

Course Evaluation

According to the administrative arrangements for course evaluation at the Faculty of Law

Programme Committee

The Academic Affairs Committee (Studieutvalget) at the Faculty of Law is responsible for ensuring the material content, structure and quality of the course. 

Course Coordinator

Professor Berte-Elen Konow and Guest Professor Gianmaria Ajani.

Course Administrator

The Faculty of Law¿s section for students and academic affairs (Studieseksjonen) is responsible for administering the programme.

Contact Information

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: School exam

    05.12.2023, 09:00
    4 hours
    Withdrawal deadline
    Examination system
    Digital exam