Honorary Doctorate 2024

The Honorary Doctor wishes to preserve the Nordic legal tradition

"Even though the rules are different, the Nordic perspective gives value because we have so many cultural roots in common, says the Faculty of Law's new Honorary Doctorate, Mads Bryde Andersen. The professor at the University of Copenhagen is an active promoter of keeping the Nordic legal tradition alive.

Mads Bryde Andersen på Grønland
NORDIC BY HEART: Honorary Doctor Mads Bryde Andersen at the Faculty of Law is a passionate supporter of the the Nordic legal tradition. Here from a recent trip to Greenland.
Christine Ulrich Andersen

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Mads Bryde Andersen is one of nine new Honorary Doctors appointed this spring at UiB. The 66-year-old works as a professor of property law at the University of Copenhagen and has significantly contributed to the Nordic legal community through his research, teaching, and dissemination efforts. 

"The similarities between the Nordic legal systems are evident, where the Nordic countries have harmonized legislation. Or in the Nordic courts, where unwritten legal principles exist. Even though the rules differ, the Nordic perspective adds value because we share so many cultural and ideological roots. If an unresolved legal problem arises (e.g., in tort law), it is natural to look at how other Nordic countries have addressed it," the professor points out. 

Research and dissemination 

The honorary doctor has an extensive publication-record, and his academic contributions focuses primarily on contract law. He combines research with practical assignments and the dissemination of private law issues. His research collaboration with the University of Bergen includes participation in numerous assessment committees, serving as a lecturer, and inspiring younger researchers.

Andersen particularly highlights the property law academic community at UiB, which he believes is the strongest in the Nordic region.

"Like all research collaborations, success is only achieved when there are both common academic interests and good personal relationships. A particular aspect that I would like to emphasize, is the collaboration on assessments of academic theses and job appointments. I have had the pleasure of participating in the assessment of property law theses, of which the high level has contributed to Bergen's status. It has been a great joy and inspiration," says the Honorary Doctor. 

The Nordic vs Europe 

Professor Johan Randulf Giertsen from the Faculty of Law has been active in the nomination of Bryde Andersen. He describes the Honorary Doctor as "Nordic to the core".

"The Nordic cooperation has become more challenging because a great a part of the international dimension is controlled from Brussels. Therefore, preserving the Nordic characteristics becomes especially important. Otherwise, they will slowly disappear within the broader European cooperation," says Giertsen. 

Giertsen further points out that the Honorary Doctor is a true "friend of Bergen" who was also one of the driving forces when the Faculty of Law celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Norwegan Contract Law back in 2018.

Bryde Andersen himself has never had a research-stay in Bergen. Instead, he has had an extensive collaboration with his colleagues in Bergen through various committee meetings, seminars, legal commemorations, and academic publications. 

"The property law environment is flourishing, and you meet positive and sympathetic individuals everywhere. The same story I hear from colleagues who have visited the Faculty of Law for shorter and longer periods over the years. They have all been met with exceptional hospitality, generosity, and warmth. That is why the University of Bergen is at the top of the list of academic environments I recommend to visit."

The language-community 

Another aspect that concerns the Honorary Coctor is the Nordic language tradition. 

"The fact that this language community has had a special force has been known since the mid-1800s when Scandinavism and Nordic cooperation were driven forward by the common linguistic, political, and cultural heritage. Since then, other international cooperations have emerged, such as the EU/EEA. But even when the Nordic countries participate in such cooperative relationships, they often come together. I have experienced this myself when representing Denmark in the UN or EU over the years," says Bryde Andersen.

The nine candidates will be awarded their honorary doctorates at a ceremony to be held in the University Aula on May 24th.