Comparative Private Law - Master



Mål og innhald

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.



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
  • cooperate with law students from other countries, and gain perspectives on common legal challenges from students from a legal background different than their own
  • contribute with perspectives from their own country and legal background.

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
  • will be able to present and evaluate legal analyses and points of view in English, both orally and in writing

Studiepoeng, omfang


Studienivå (studiesyklus)





Faculty of Law, University of Bergen
Krav til forkunnskapar
Three years of law studies
Tilrådde forkunnskapar
Good level of English language

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

  • JUS2313/3513 Human Rights and Welfare Policies
  • JUS2321 Introduction to Chinese Civil and Commercial Law
  • JUS2317/3517 Comparative European Constitutional Law
  • JUS2307 Introduction to European Human Rights
  • JUS2308 Constitution, Courts and Politics
  • JUS2320 Comparing Legal Cultures in Europe
Krav til studierett

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

Arbeids- og undervisningsformer
Lectures and in-class discussion
Obligatorisk undervisningsaktivitet
Compulsory attendance at master classes.

Four-hour digital school exam.

Information about digital examination can be found here:

Exam language:

  • Question paper: English
  • Answer paper: English
A - E for passed, F for failed.


Students who do not pass the examination may re-sit in the following semester when the result is due to

  • legitimate reason for non-attendance (see Section 3-4, paragraph 3 b ii in the Supplementary Regulations for Studies at the Faculty of Law at the University of Bergen)
  • failed result

For rules regarding voluntary re-sit, (see Section 3-4, paragraph 1 c.)

The reading list will be ready 1st July for the autumn semester.
According to the administrative arrangements for course evaluation at the Faculty of Law
Hjelpemiddel til eksamen

Support materials allowed during school exam:

Students may bring their own copy of a bilingual dictionary to/from English and any other language, in one or two volumes.
For further info see section 3-9 of the Supplementary Regulations for Studies at the Faculty of Law at the University of Bergen.

The Academic Affairs Committee (Studieutvalget) at the Faculty of Law is responsible for ensuring the material content, structure and quality of the course.
Professor Berte-Elen Konow and Guest Professor Gianmaria Ajani.
Administrativt ansvarleg
The Faculty of Law's section for students and academic affairs (Studieseksjonen) is responsible for administering the programme.