Health and Human Rights - Master



Mål og innhald

The overall objective of this course is to provide students with knowledge of the interconnections between health and human rights, including the right to health protection in international human rights law. While the nature, content and scope of the right to health protection in international law is central, basic civil human rights (autonomy, liberty, privacy) are explored insofar relevant for analyses of how to understand and balance the right to health protection on one hand and other pressing interests or rights on the other. At the domestic level, regulations and practices related to patient rights, coercive treatment, protection of vulnerable groups, reproductive health rights, end of life issues, digital healthcare technologies and public health issues, are explored in the context of human rights requirements and state obligations. An important objective of the course is to strengthen the student´s ability to critically evaluate and assess domestic health regulations and practices through the lenses of international human rights norms.



By the end of the course, students are expected to have solid knowledge and understanding of

  • health protection as an international human right
  • human dignity as a core value of human rights
  • relationship between different rights
  • negative and positive aspects of rights and state obligations
  • civil human rights of particular importance in health protection
  • state obligations and the notions of core obligations and progressive realization
  • the notion and significance of state´s margin of appreciation
  • the duty of non-discrimination
  • conflicting rights and duties in the context of health protection and how to balance them
  • the state obligations of protecting vulnerable groups in the health context


By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • explain and discuss the content of central human rights instruments and sources in relation to health protection
  • identify and apply relevant sources and arguments in human rights assessments of domestic regulations and practices
  • make independent and critical assessments of state´s human rights performance in the context of health protection
  • identify conflicting rights and state obligations, and to discuss how to balance them
  • contribute to the discussion on how to effectively protect health related rights of vulnerable groups

General competence

After successful completion of the course, students should have general competence in

  • human rights law, analysis and communication, especially in the context of health protection
  • academic legal discourse, presentation and writing skills
  • critical thinking and independent legal assessments

The course requirement of writing an individual 3000 words paper contributes significantly to achieving the teaching objectives and learning outcomes.

Studiepoeng, omfang


Studienivå (studiesyklus)

Master level




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

Combined with JUS250-2-C Health and Human Rights in the Welfare State or JUS2322 Health and Human Rights in the Welfare State - Bachelor this course will generate no new credits.

This course combines well with JUS2313/JUS3513 Human Rights and Welfare Policies and JUS250-2-D Velferdsrett.

Krav til studierett

The course is available for the following students:

  • Admitted to the five-year master programme in law
  • Admitted to the two-year master programme in law
  • Admitted to the master's programme in sustainability
  • Granted admission to elective courses at the Faculty of Law
  • Granted additional right to study following completed Master in Law degree 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, master classes or paper writing seminars with paper presentations.

Master classes look to go one step further than regular lectures - requiring more in-depth and specific preparation (i.e. reading of specific cases, articles, reports etc.), and charging students with responsibility for teaching and learning from each other through the use of flipped classrooms, group and/or individual presentations and debates.

Obligatorisk undervisningsaktivitet
It is mandatory to attend the master classes and paper writing seminars, including giving a paper presentation.

The exam consists of two parts:

1. Paper of max 3000 words.

Individually chosen topic, approved by the course supervisor.

The paper must be passed in order to sit the school exam. Students who fail the paper will be given an opportunity to hand in a new paper prior to the school exam.

The paper constitutes 60% of the final grade.

2. Four-hour digital school exam. Information about digital examination.

Resit of school exam only when home exam is passed.

The school exam constitutes 40% of the final grade.

Exam language:

  • Question paper: English
  • Answer paper: English
A - E for passed, F for failed.
The reading list will be ready 1 December for the spring semester.
According to the administrative arrangements for course evaluation at the Faculty of Law
Hjelpemiddel til eksamen

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.

In addition: Course compendium supplied by the Faculty of Law.

The Academic Affairs Committee (Studieutvalget) at the Faculty of Law is responsible for ensuring the material content, structure and quality of the course.
Professor Henriette Sinding Aasen
Administrativt ansvarleg
The Faculty of Law's section for students and academic affairs (Studieseksjonen) is responsible for administering the programme.